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Keyword: spengler

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  • America’s Problems in the Middle East Are Just Beginning

    08/16/2013 7:42:02 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 6 replies
    Pajamas Media ^ | 08/16/2013 | Spengler
    It’s 2015, and there is a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. The Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood (Hamas), financed by Iran, wins an election on a platform demanding the expulsion of the Jews from Israel. Iran, meanwhile, smuggles shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles to terrorist cells in Palestine that can take down civilian airlines at Ben-Gurion Airport. With backing from the Egyptian military, Fatah throws out the elected Hamas government and kills a large number of Hamas supporters. What will Washington do? Given the track record of both the Obama administration and the Republican mainstream, one would...
  • Looking for marriage in all the wrong places

    03/04/2013 6:20:46 AM PST · by Pride_of_the_Bluegrass · 7 replies
    Asia Times Online ^ | March 4th 2013 | Spengler
    Two mutually incompatible arguments are advanced to defend gay marriage. The first states that marriage is a good thing provided by the state, such that gay people have the same right to it as anyone else. The second states that marriage is a bad thing, and that bringing gay people into the institution of marriage will destroy it from the inside. Michelangelo Signorile, a prominent gay activist, urges people in same-sex relationships to "demand the right to marry not as a way of adhering to society's moral codes but rather to debunk a myth and radically alter an archaic institution"....
  • The siege of Baghdad and China's rise

    01/08/2013 10:18:02 AM PST · by Theoria · 18 replies
    Asia Times Online ^ | 07 Jan 2013 | Spengler
    American leaders bring to mind the last Abbasid Caliph, who made no preparations for the approach of the Mongols in 1258. What, asked al-Musta'sim Billah, could Mongol arrows do to the walls of Baghdad? When the Mongol commander Hulagu Khan arrived on January 29, though, he had with him 1,000 Chinese bombardiers, as well as Persian, Turkish and Georgian auxiliaries. Historians disagree as to whether the Mongols used cannon or counterweighted catapults, but in any case the bombardment breached the city's walls within three weeks, and they proceeded to slaughter between 200,000 and a million of its inhabitants. There are...
  • Woman Charged With Killing NY Firefighters

    12/28/2012 12:38:55 PM PST · by redreno · 35 replies
    www.kolotv.com ^ | 12/28/2012 | AP
    WEBSTER, N.Y. (AP) - Police say a 24-year-old woman has been charged in connection with the ambush slaying of two volunteer firefighters responding to a house fire in upstate New York.
  • Body found in burned home of killer of 2 firemen

    12/25/2012 1:00:11 PM PST · by JustaCowgirl · 42 replies
    Associated Press ^ | 12/25/2012 | George M. Walsh
    WEBSTER, N.Y. (AP) — Police have found human remains in the burned-out home of the Webster, N.Y., ex-con who killed two firefighters and believe the victim is the gunman's sister. Police Chief Gerald Pickering said Tuesday the remains were found in the charred house that 62-year-old William Spengler shared with his 67-year-old sister, Cheryl. A medical examiner will need to determine the identity. Police say Willliam Spengler armed himself with a revolver, shotgun and military-style rifle before he set his house afire to lure first responders into a pre-dawn death trap on Christmas Eve. Pickering says Spengler "was equipped to...
  • Barack Obama and America’s decline

    11/05/2012 9:48:12 AM PST · by Pride_of_the_Bluegrass · 10 replies
    Pajama Media ^ | Spengler
    America is in incipient decline, and this week’s presidential election might be the last chance to reverse it. We are becoming a different sort of country, with a different people and different beliefs. Another four years of Barack Obama well might take us past the point of no return, although no-one, to be sure, knows quite where that lies. There is still time to change course. There might not be time by 2016. Nearly a third of Americans now depend on food stamps, welfare, disability payments, or some other form of government support, compared with one out of five when...
  • A Russian-Saudi-Turkish-Chinese alliance to contain the Muslim Brotherhood and Obama?

    08/01/2012 9:47:00 AM PDT · by Zionist Conspirator · 19 replies
    Gatestone Institute ^ | 7/31/'12 | David P. Goldman
    I suggested during our conference call yesterday that the only friend the Muslim Brotherhood has in high places is Barack Obama. I didn't mean that facetiously. Turkey's application to join the SIno-Russian Shanghai Cooperation Organization following Prime Minister Erdogan's July 19 pilgrimage to Russia is a diplomatic humiliation for the United States, and of the first order. Just when Washington is demanding that Russia withdraw support for the Assad regime in Syria, and when Turkey is the linch-pin for American logistics in support of the Syrian opposition, Erdogan has proposed in effect to joint the Russian-Chinese club (without being compelled...
  • Is Egypt Ungovernable?

    09/16/2012 12:08:00 AM PDT · by mojito · 32 replies
    The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs ^ | 9/13/2012 | David "Spengler" Goldman
    ...Washington has done everything possible to reach out to the Muslim Brotherhood. It called loudly for Hosni Mubarak's resignation when protests erupted in early 2011. It invited Brotherhood representatives to the White House last April, before Egypt's presidential elections. It backed Morsi's August 12 cold coup against the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and the firing of Gen. Tantawi and the old guard of the Egyptian military, and embraced Tantawi's successor Gen. El-Sisi, a Brotherhood member. The White House said nothing when Morsi traveled to Iran in late August, breaking Iran's diplomatic isolation, believing (as the Council on Foreign...
  • Banning circumcision is dangerous to your health

    07/02/2012 5:46:01 AM PDT · by Pride_of_the_Bluegrass · 32 replies
    Asia Times Online ^ | July 2nd 2012 | Spengler
    I will not address the scientific grounds for circumcision (which among other things drastically reduces the transmission of infections including AIDS), because your decree has nothing to do with science. Rather, as Heinrich Heine wrote in 1844 of your city of Cologne, Dummheit und Bosheitbuhltenhier GleichHunden auf freierGasse; Die Enkelbruterkennt man nochheut An ihremJudenhasse. (Stupidity and evil mated here / Like dogs in the open gutter / You still can recognize their descendants today / By their Jew-hatred).
  • Lincoln's fatalism and American faith

    02/18/2012 3:15:20 PM PST · by Pride_of_the_Bluegrass · 19 replies
    A retired US Marine officer with whom I corresponded asked, "What type of crisis do you think will cause the intellectual right to form a critical mass - if that is even possible?" I wrote back, "Lincoln's Second Inaugural is chiseled on the wall of his monument, and he said all that needs to be said. If they won't take it from Lincoln, why would they take it from us?" But it's Lincoln's birthday, and it's time for another try. Abraham Lincoln is America's least popular president. It seems odd to say this given the near-deification of a man who...
  • Private Equity and Creative Destruction

    01/14/2012 8:24:24 AM PST · by Pride_of_the_Bluegrass · 18 replies
    Pajama Media ^ | Spengler
    Want to see what America would look like without private equity? Move to Detroit and contemplate the ruins of a city ruined by the placid conformity of auto industry executives. The economic impact of the corporate takeover business can’t be measured by the outcome of takeovers as such. Private equity transformed the way American business thought about the world. If managers did a lousy job, outside investors could raise money (a lot of it from trade union pension funds as well as university endowments) and kick them out. Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry should be ashamed of themselves for bean-counting...
  • Angels and inquisitors

    12/23/2011 8:32:44 AM PST · by Pride_of_the_Bluegrass · 16 replies
    Asia Times Online ^ | David Goldman
    One popular comedian argues that it must be dreadful to spend eternity in heaven. No matter how wonderful it might be at first, eventually you're bound to get used to it and end up bored to death. By the same reasoning, one would shrug off the torments of hell over time, and the experience would be the same as heaven. Truth told, Dante's account of the saints contemplating the Godhead in the "Paradiso" section of Dante's Divine Comedy always bored me, without having to wait for too much of eternity to tick by.
  • The economics of polarization

    11/03/2011 11:50:48 AM PDT · by fallujah-nuker · 7 replies
    Asia Times ^ | November 1st, 2011 | Spengler
    Has America become irrational? Not since the 1930s have politics been so polarized, from the Tea Party movement on one side of the spectrum to the Occupy Wall Street protesters on the other. Why does the right object so vehemently to government spending? And why does the left attack private capital with parallel passion? The answer lies not in the American psyche, but in the statistics. America is engaged in class war, but not of the sort one reads about in the mainstream press. The truly indigent - young African-American men, for example, most of whom are now unemployed -...
  • Never have so few been blamed for so much by so many

    10/15/2011 6:16:34 PM PDT · by bruinbirdman · 2 replies
    Asia Times ^ | 10/12/2011 | Spengler
    Here's your final exam question in Middle Eastern studies: A mass of Coptic Christians marches through Cairo to protest the military government's failure to protect them from Muslim radicals. They are attacked by stone-throwing, club-wielding rowdies. Armed forces security personnel intervene, and the Copts fight it out with the soldiers, with two dozen dead and scores injured on both sides. Who is to blame? The full credit answer is: Benjamin Netanyahu, for building apartments in Jerusalem. If that's not what you wrote, don't blame me if you can't get a job at the New York Times. Rarely in the course...
  • Israel as the Dutch Republic in the Thirty Years War

    09/12/2011 2:29:58 PM PDT · by Palter · 4 replies
    Asia Times Online ^ | 13 Sept 2011 | Spengler
    A small country, its land reclaimed from a hostile nature, fights for survival against overwhelming odds for 80 years. Surrounded by enemies dedicated to its destruction, it fields the world's most innovative army and beats them. Despite three generations of war, the arts, sciences and commerce flourish. Its population grows quickly while the conflict empties the failed states that surround it. And it becomes a beacon of hope for the cause of freedom. I refer not to Israel, but to the Dutch Republic of the 17th century, whose struggle for freedom against Spain set the precedent for the American Revolution....
  • Why you won't find the meaning of life

    09/05/2011 5:03:09 PM PDT · by Pride_of_the_Bluegrass · 17 replies · 1+ views
    Asia Times Online ^ | Aug 30, 2011 | Spengler
    Much as I admire the late Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, who turned his horrific experience at Auschwitz into clinical insights, the notion of "man's search for meaning" seems inadequate. Just what about man qualifies him to search for meaning, whatever that might be?
  • No More Big Ideas? Try These On for Size

    09/04/2011 7:23:18 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 13 replies
    Pajamas Media ^ | September 4, 2011 | Frank J. Tipler
    Here are two gigantic concepts that will crack your head wide open.Neal Gabler, a journalist at the Norman Lear Center of the University of Southern California, recently published in the New York Times the opinion that our society “no longer thinks big,” that there are no more “intellectually challenging thoughts,” and, if a Marx or a Nietzsche were suddenly to appear, blasting his ideas, no one would pay the slightest attention, certainly not the general media.… Gabler is wrong on all counts. Not only have truly big ideas been advanced recently, but the mass media (apparently not the New York...
  • US Economy: The Glass is Only Half-Poisoned

    08/22/2011 6:20:13 AM PDT · by decimon · 12 replies
    Spengler ^ | August 22, 2011 | David P. Goldman
    In fact, the glass is half full: the non-bubble parts of the US economy are functioning reasonably well. That suggests that the whole economy could function well, if the glass were not half-poisoned (if oppressive taxes and regulation did not hobble the great American startup machine). I contrast America’s two economies in piece this morning at Asia Times Online: > Item: Americans with no college-level education have an unemployment rate of 9.9% and (which is much more revealing) a labor-force participation rate of just 61%. Americans with some college education have an unemployment rate of 8.6% and a participation rate...
  • End of the road for hedge funds

    08/08/2011 6:51:16 AM PDT · by Palter · 8 replies
    Asia Times Online ^ | 08 Aug 2011 | Spengler
    There's something deeply anomalous about a stock market crash at the peak of United States corporate profitability. Nothing like this ever has happened before. Nonetheless, judging from overnight moves in Asian markets, last week's plunge in world stock markets will be repeated in Europe and America on Monday morning - although recent intraday moves have been so extreme that one is loath to guess. Standard and Poor's downgrade of American sovereign debt from the highest, triple-A rating may be the silliest pretext for a stock market crash in world history. America is the only big industrial country in the world...
  • The collapse of America's middle class

    08/02/2011 9:15:46 AM PDT · by Palter · 13 replies
    Asia Times Online ^ | 01 Aug 2011 | Spengler
    People seem to act irrationally when they have nothing to lose. Often we observe in wars that the losing side expends more blood and treasure after its position becomes hopeless. The American South sustained most of its casualties in the Civil War after July 1863, when the dual defeats at Gettysburg and Vicksburg made its position untenable. Athens suffered its worst casualties in the Sicilian gamble at the end of the Peloponnesian War. The Spanish ruined their empire and depopulated their core provinces during the second half of the Thirty Years War of 1618-1648 rather than cede dominance to France....
  • Debt Downgrade Catastrophe Ahead?

    07/20/2011 6:52:33 PM PDT · by Pride_of_the_Bluegrass · 11 replies
    The Kudlow Report ^ | CNBC Video
    Video at Link
  • Obama could stir a Tea Party crisis

    07/18/2011 10:55:28 AM PDT · by No One Special · 31 replies
    Asia Times ^ | July 19, 2011 | Spengler
    President Barack Obama's best hope of re-election lies in provoking Republicans to force the United States into technical default, engineering a brief but severe financial crisis in order to appear as crisis-manager-in-chief. The Tea Party movement may be marching into a political ambush, in which Obama will be able to portray the born-again budget-cutters as irresponsible fanatics who threaten to tip America into a new depression. The now unpopular president then would assume the role of national savior in time of crisis. What would happen if August arrives without an increase in the US debt ceiling? There is no good...
  • Why we will be poorer

    07/17/2011 7:42:56 PM PDT · by Palter · 41 replies
    Asia Times Online ^ | 14 July 2011 | Spengler
    No man is an island, especially in the markets. Our consumption basket includes the efforts of hundreds of millions of people around the world, and our right to consume depends on our ability to sell to hundreds of millions of people around the world. During the present century the number of adults in affluent and productive countries will shrink by about a third. All of us will be poorer. There will be a third fewer people earnings profits for businesses, paying taxes to governments, buying homes or cars, or taking vacations. Starting around 2015 the adult population will start to...
  • Zombinomics and volatility

    06/14/2011 11:07:07 AM PDT · by danielmryan · 4 replies
    Asia Times ^ | June 14, 2011 | "Spengler"
    We aren't going to have another financial crash. In fact, nothing at all is going to happen. Forecasting the United States economy is about as exciting as predicting next quarter's gross domestic product in 1957 Poland. You want to know what's going to happen, comrade? Read the Five Year Plan. With 40% of US personal income coming from transfer payments, it's almost nostalgic to call it capitalism. The so-called American economic recovery won't die, because it's undead. It was a zombie to begin with. Equity investors during the past six weeks came to the collective conclusion that the US is...
  • The hunger to come in Egypt

    05/09/2011 8:49:28 AM PDT · by Palter · 52 replies
    Asia Times Online ^ | 10 May 2011 | Spengler
    Egypt is running out of food, and, more gradually, running out of money with which to buy it. The most populous country in the Arab world shows all the symptoms of national bankruptcy - the kind that produced hyperinflation in several Latin American countries during the 1970s and 1980s - with a deadly difference: Egypt imports half its wheat, and the collapse of its external credit means starvation. The civil violence we have seen over the past few days foreshadows far worse to come. The Arab uprisings began against a background of food insecurity, as rising demand from Asia priced...
  • Spengler: Why the Republicans can't find a candidate

    04/06/2011 9:53:26 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 52 replies
    Asia Times ^ | 04/06/2011 | Spengler
    Never before in American politics have so few offered so little to so many. I refer to the prospective Republican candidates for next year's presidential elections, not a single one of whom elicits a response that might be mistaken for enthusiasm from the voters, the pundits, or the party's elder statesmen. There are a couple of generic governor types like Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota or Mitch Daniels of Indiana, and a long list of has-beens and never was's. But the Republicans despair of finding the man or woman who can define an alternative to a weak and waffling President Barack...
  • Food and Syria's failure

    04/01/2011 11:15:56 AM PDT · by Palter · 7 replies
    Asia Times Online ^ | 29 Mar 2011 | Spengler
    "In the south it all started after a group of school students started to write some sort of proclamations and complaints, protesting against growing food prices," Middle East analyst Vladimir Ahmedov told The Voice of Russia March 24. Arab-language Syrian press reports and blog posts indicate that the administration of President Basher al-Assad tried to prevent a rise in food prices, but provoked instead a wave of hoarding that has pushed the price of staples like oil and rice "above the purchasing power of consumers", as the online daily al-Tashreen reported from Damascus March 27. As I wrote in Food...
  • The Internet bubble in Middle East politics

    02/19/2011 8:00:00 AM PST · by Pride_of_the_Bluegrass · 7 replies
    Asia Times Online ^ | Feb 16, 2011 | Spengler
    Once America had allies. Now it has Facebook friends. Google News turns up more than 5,000 news reports including the search terms "Facebook", "Egypt" and "revolution". The same soap-bubble of global youth culture that gave us the Internet stock bubble in the 1990s has returned, this time as the solution to the problems of the Arab world. With the last bubble, people got poor. This time people will get killed. As a reality check: the search terms "Egypt", "revolution" and "genital mutilation" turn up just seven stories in Google News (including a previous essay by this writer). Many Egyptian women...
  • Food and failed Arab states (Egypt is backward, not because the Mubarak, but because of Islam)

    02/05/2011 11:29:01 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 43 replies
    Asia Times ^ | 02/04/2011 | Spengler
    Even Islamists have to eat. It is unclear whether President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt will survive, or whether his nationalist regime will be replaced by an Islamist, democratic, or authoritarian state. What is certain is that it will be a failed state. Amid the speculation about the shape of Arab politics to come, a handful of observers, for example economist Nourel Roubini, have pointed to the obvious: Wheat prices have almost doubled in the past year. Egypt is the world's largest wheat importer, beholden to foreign providers for nearly half its total food consumption. Half of Egyptians live on less...
  • Food and failed Arab states

    02/01/2011 8:29:56 AM PST · by ventanax5 · 17 replies
    Asia times ^ | Spengler
    Even Islamists have to eat. It is unclear whether President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt will survive, or whether his nationalist regime will be replaced by an Islamist, democratic, or authoritarian state. What is certain is that it will be a failed state. Amid the speculation about the shape of Arab politics to come, a handful of observers, for example economist Nourel Roubini, have pointed to the obvious: Wheat prices have almost doubled in the past year. Egypt is the world's largest wheat importer, beholden to foreign providers for nearly half its total food consumption. Half of Egyptians live on less...
  • Sodomy and Sufism in Afgaynistan

    01/10/2011 5:21:43 PM PST · by PGR88 · 26 replies · 1+ views
    Asia Times ^ | January 10, 2011 | Spengler
    Social scientists attached to the Second Marine Battalion in Afghanistan last year circulated a startling report on Pashtun sociology, in the form of a human terrain report on male sexuality among America's Afghan allies. The document, made available by military sources, is not classified, just disturbing. Don't ask, don't tell doesn't begin to qualify the problem. These are things you didn't want to know, and regret having heard. The marines got their money's worth from their Human Terrain adjuncts, but the report might have considered whether male pedophilia in Afghanistan has a religious dimension as well as a cultural one....
  • Get out of Muni Bond Funds Now

    12/10/2010 9:08:03 AM PST · by JerseyHighlander · 22 replies
    AsiaTimes.com ^ | December 10th, 2010 | David Goldman (Spengler)
    Get out of Muni Bond Funds NowDecember 10th, 2010 By David Goldman I’ve been warning for months that a few state and municipal bankruptcies (actually, a few states and a great many city bankruptcies) will be required to slay the beast of government-union pension liabilities. The total size of the muni bond market is about $2.4 trillion. Unfunded pension liabilities (calculated with a realistic discount rate) are almost as high, according to one study. Now comes James Pethokoukis of Reuters to tell us of a “secret GOP plan” to bankrupt local governments and crush the government unions.excerpt... My best guess...
  • Longevity gives life to Tea Party

    12/07/2010 10:01:39 PM PST · by Palter · 8 replies
    Asia Times Online ^ | 08 Dec 2010 | Spengler
    How could the Tea Party elect five senators and 40 members of the United States Congress last November, none with political experience and many with evident eccentricities? The answer is that a single issue united a slapdash agglomeration of amateurs, with sufficient power to override all the sources of weakness. The Tea Party represents creditors of the government who do not want to be cheated out of their savings; that is, people close to retirement age who fear slow confiscation by inflation. Governments that run huge deficits normally reduce them by debasing the currency, in order to repay their debts...
  • The lunatic who thinks he's Barack Obama

    11/29/2010 4:00:24 AM PST · by Palter · 72 replies · 1+ views
    Asia Times Onine ^ | 30 Nov 2010 | Spengler
    Napoleon was a lunatic who thought he was Napoleon, and the joke applies to the 44th United States president with a vengeance. What doesn't the president know, and when didn't he know it? American foreign policy turned delusional when Barack Obama took office, and the latest batch of leaks suggest that the main source of the delusion is sitting in the Oval Office. From the first batch of headlines there is little in WikiLeaks' 250,000 classified diplomatic cables that a curious surfer would not have known from the Internet. We are shocked - shocked - to discover that the Arab...
  • What really bugs Iran

    10/15/2010 8:22:08 AM PDT · by Pride_of_the_Bluegrass · 5 replies · 1+ views
    Amid the mass of published analysis of the Stuxnet virus, Iran's most obvious vulnerability to cyber-war has drawn little comment: much of the Islamic Republic runs on pirated software. The programmers who apparently cracked Siemens' industrial control code to plant malware in Iran's nuclear facilities needed a high degree of sophistication. Most Iranian computers, though, run on stolen software obtained from public servers sponsored by the Iranian government. It would require far less effort to bring about a virtual shutdown of computation in Iran, and the collapse of the Iranian economy. The information technology apocalypse that the West feared on...
  • Terry Jones, asymmetrical warrior

    09/14/2010 6:45:38 AM PDT · by Palter · 12 replies
    Asia Times Online ^ | 13 Sep 2010 | Spengler
    Asymmetrical warfare was supposed to benefit the insurgents. For the price of a few flying lessons a gang of jihadis brought down the World Trade Center,a terrorist with a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and powdered Tang can blow up an airplane,and a few pounds of plutonium can cripple a major city. Meet the Reverend Terry Jones, asymmetrical warrior. It appears that pinpricks can produce chain reactions in the Islamic world. The threat may be termed asymmetrical because Islam is more vulnerable to theological war than Christianity (or for that matter Judaism). As the youngest of the major religions (apart from...
  • Goldman on Kudlow - The Lost Decade

    08/30/2010 8:16:38 PM PDT · by Pride_of_the_Bluegrass · 6 replies
    Link above for Dave Goldman on Kudlow
  • Why don't Americans like Muslims?

    08/16/2010 5:55:43 AM PDT · by Palter · 160 replies
    Asia Times Online ^ | 17 Aug 2010 | Spengler
    Popular antipathy to a proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero is so fierce that even President Barack Obama, the nation's Islamophile-in-chief, "clarified" his August 11 statement supporting the plan to say, "I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there." It is not just a mosque, of which there are two in the neighborhood, but a symbol of Islamic presence. The most recent CNN poll shows an overwhelming 70%-29% margin of opposition. When liberal politicians - like the president and New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg - defend the plan, what they mean is,...
  • The Suppurating Mess That is Pakistan

    07/31/2010 4:07:31 PM PDT · by Pride_of_the_Bluegrass · 8 replies
    First Things ^ | David Goldman
    If Pakistan's intelligence service continues to plot terrorist attacks with the Taliban in Afghanistan, as the mass of documents released yesterday by Wikileaks allege, who is responsible for covering this up for so many years? The answer, I argue in this morning's Asia Times Online, is everybody. This raises the question: Who covered up a scandalous arrangement known to everyone with a casual acquaintance of the situation? The answer is the same as in Agatha Christie's 1934 mystery about murder on the Orient Express, that is, everybody: former United States president George W Bush and vice president Dick Cheney, current...
  • Murder on the Khyber Pass express

    07/26/2010 8:21:19 PM PDT · by Palter · 2 replies · 1+ views
    Asia Times Online ^ | 27 July 2010 | Spengler
    The 92,000 American classified military documents released by WikiLeaks add to the evidence that Pakistan's intelligence service backs the Taliban, to the point of helping the Taliban plan assassinations of American and Afghan officials. This raises the question: Who covered up a scandalous arrangement known to everyone with a casual acquaintance of the situation? The answer is the same as in Agatha Christie's 1934 mystery about murder on the Orient Express, that is, everybody: former United States president George W Bush and vice president Dick Cheney, current US President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, India, China and Iran....
  • PIIGS to the slaughter

    07/20/2010 6:40:18 AM PDT · by Palter · 17 replies · 2+ views
    Asia Times Online ^ | 21 July 2010 | Spengler
    To paraphrase a Wall Street adage: bulls make money, bears make money, and PIIGS get slaughtered. Of course I'm referring to Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain. Germany won't bail them out again. Germans work. The country's unemployment rate stands at 7.5%, against an average of 13% for Europe's so-called PIIGS. Those are heavily massaged estimates from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). More revealing is a comparison of youth unemployment, now at 10% in Germany. By contrast, as Doug Saunders observed in the July 16 Globe and Mail, "The under-30 unemployment rate in Spain has just hit...
  • Petraeus Redux

    06/26/2010 12:04:52 PM PDT · by Pride_of_the_Bluegrass · 3 replies
    First Things Magazine ^ | David P. Goldman
    One doesn’t get promoted at the Pentagon, or for that matter on Wall Street, by telling the boss to sacrifice this quarter’s results in order to address a looming disaster in the long term. Petraeus pulled the Bush administration’s chestnuts out of the fire, as well as the reputations of conservatives who signed on to the COIN (for “counterinsurgency”) strategy of turning the American military into a Peace Corps with guns. Afghanistan is different. Hiring the locals with bags of money is far more difficult for a number of reasons. One is that there is no clear sectarian division; the...
  • Baby Bust: The Demographics of Global Depression

    06/09/2010 9:16:02 PM PDT · by Brian Kopp DPM · 63 replies · 361+ views
    Taki Magazine ^ | December 08, 2008 | Spengler
    Baby Bust: The Demographics of Global Depression by Spengler on December 08, 2008 Why will this recession be different, and likely much worse, than all the other recessions of the past? Imagine a Paleolithic village which has no children. When all the adults grow too old to work, everyone dies. Now imagine a country with a well-funded national pension system, also without children. Everyone retires on the same day, and the pension fund instantly goes bankrupt. These hypotheticals overstate the predicament of the industrial nations, who have too few children and too few old people, but it does not overstate...
  • No Israeli good deed goes unpunished

    06/01/2010 9:12:31 AM PDT · by Palter · 4 replies · 352+ views
    Asia Times Online ^ | 02 June 2010 | Spengler
    Israel mishandled the Gaza "humanitarian aid" flotilla through extreme forbearance, and will suffer a marathon of tongue-clicking and hand-wringing by diplomatic hypocrites who know better. The Jewish state lost the propaganda battle the moment the floating time bomb disguised as a humanitarian mission sailed from Turkey. If Israel had denounced the matter as a provocation and withdrawn its ambassador from Turkey, warning that the object of the exercise was to provoke violence and open the way for weapons deliveries to Hamas, the outcome might have been quite different. The facts in the case are straightforward. Although it is true, as...
  • Rima Fakih and the Fragility of Islam

    05/18/2010 6:19:01 PM PDT · by Pride_of_the_Bluegrass · 4 replies · 827+ views
    First Things ^ | Spengler
    “A nation is never really beaten until it sells its women,” I wrote in a 2006 “Spengler” essay about Iranian prostitution. “The French sold their women to the German occupiers in 1940, and the Germans and Japanese sold their women to the Americans after World War II. The women of the former Soviet Union are still selling themselves in huge numbers. Hundreds of thousands of female Ukrainian "tourists" entered Germany after the then-foreign minister Joschka Fischer loosened visa standards in 1999.” It is a cultural marker of inestimable importance that the one Arab whose name every American knows is Rima...
  • Ignore that Keynes behind the arras

    05/11/2010 7:11:05 AM PDT · by Palter · 6 replies · 318+ views
    Asia Times Online ^ | 11 May 2010 | Spengler
    This was supposed to have been the final triumph of John Maynard Keynes, the crisis in which governments actually did what he urged them to do during the Great Depression, the proof that an elite of puppeteers in control of monetary and fiscal policy could make the innumerable actors in economic life march wide-eyed toward recovery. Keynes' idea is simple; in fact, it is simple by construction, for it focuses on the very short term within a closed economy. If consumers won't spend, the government will spend for them; if businesses won't invest, the government will invest for them; and...
  • General Petraeus' Thirty Years War

    05/05/2010 1:58:41 AM PDT · by Palter · 26 replies · 1,005+ views
    The Asia Times Online ^ | 02 May 2010 | Spengler
    Memo to heads of state: beware the clever general who turns up at a tough moment, and says "Leave it to me: I can fix it for you." Two examples come to mind. The great field marshal of the Thirty Years War of 1618-1648, Albrecht von Wallenstein, taught armies to live off the land, and succeeded so well that nearly half the people of Central Europe starved to death during the conflict. General David Petraeus, who heads America's Central Command (CENTCOM), taught the land to live off him. Petraeus' putative success in the Iraq "surge" of 2007-2008 is one of...
  • How radical Islam might defeat the West: A reprise

    04/19/2010 4:38:10 PM PDT · by ventanax5 · 15 replies · 768+ views
    Asia times ^ | Spengler
    A decade ago I argued that radical Islam might horrify the West into submission through the mass sacrifice of Muslim lives. During the past two weeks Iran has virtually invited a nuclear exchange with the West, in a series of statements that blend a deranged sort of bluster with malevolent calculation. Iran's Kayhan press service warned last week, "If the US strikes Iran with nuclear weapons, there are elements which will respond with nuclear blasts in the centers of America's main cities." Meanwhile, Behzad Soltani, the number two man at Iran's Atomic Commission, proclaimed last week, "Iran will join the...
  • Who is Barack Obama?

    03/27/2010 7:20:36 PM PDT · by Pride_of_the_Bluegrass · 73 replies · 2,492+ views
    First Things ^ | Spengler
    I profiled Barack Obama on Feb. 26, 2008 in Asia Times Online. This essay caused more revulsion and anguish than all the rest of my “Spengler” writings put together. I stand by every word, and believe that subsequent events validate the analysis. Obama is a Third World anthropologist studying us who has cleverly infiltrated our culture. He is deeply and fiercely hostile to the American proposition. “Cherchez la femme,” advised Alexander Dumas in: “When you want to uncover an unspecified secret, look for the woman.” In the case of Barack Obama, we have two: his late mother, the went-native anthropologist...
  • Obama in more trouble than Netanyahu over Iran

    03/21/2010 12:05:35 PM PDT · by Pride_of_the_Bluegrass · 6 replies · 438+ views
    The chess-masters of Tehran have played a single combination for the past five years: threaten America's flanks in Iraq and Afghanistan in order to gain control of the center of the board, that is, by pushing on with a nuclear program that many suspect is designed to acquire nuclear weapons. Iran has sufficient assets in the territory of its troubled neighbors to make a shambles of America's Potemkin village. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki may be able to govern Iraq with a third of the seats contested in the March 7 parliamentary elections, provided that Iran's allies such as Shi'ite...