This is one of the most profound articles that I have ever read about this Presidency, this era, and this so-called war. No matter your politics, you owe it to yourself to read this.
Another assessment of where the US stands in relation to the Middle East problems, this one is from the guy who had his finger on the nuclear trigger for three years as head of our defense and response complex buried under Cheyenne Mountain at Colorado Springs.
He was the only person who could initiate a nuclear attack after advising the sitting president of a missile launch by our enemies and our need to respond.
No political or civilian type in the US had more knowledge about day to day military actions around the world.
Everyone should find quiet time to read this. As far as I am concerned, it is exactly the direction we should go and the consequences of not doing so are well thought out.
John R. ( Jack ) Farrington, Major General, USAF (Retired)
Middle East Imperative BY: JIM CASH, Brig. Gen., USAF, Ret.
I wrote recently about the war in Iraq and the larger war against radical Islam, eliciting a number of responses. Let me try and put this conflict in proper perspective.
Understand; the current battle we are engaged in is much bigger than just Iraq. What happens in the next year will affect this country and how our kids and grand kids live throughout their lifetime, and beyond. Radical Islam has been attacking the West since the seventh century. They have been defeated in the past and decimated to the point of taking hundreds of years to recover. But they can never be totally defeated. Their birth rates are so far beyond civilized world rates, that in time they recover and attempt to dominate again.
There are eight terror-sponsoring countries that make up the grand threat to the West. Two, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan just need firm pressure from the West to make major reforms. They need to decide who they are really going to support and commit to that support.
That answer is simple. They both will support who they think will hang in there until the end, and win.
We are not sending very good signals in that direction right now, thanks to the Democrats.
The other six, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, North Korea and Libya will require regime change or a major policy shift. Now, let's look more closely.
Afghanistan and Iraq have both had regime changes, but are being fueled by outsiders from Syria and Iran . We have scared Gaddafi's pants off, and he has given up his quest for nuclear weapons, so I don't think Libya is now a threat.
North Korea (the non-Islamic threat) can be handled diplomatically by buying them off. They are starving. That leaves Syria and Iran. Syria is like a frightened puppy. Without the support of Iran they will join the stronger side. So where does that leave us? Sooner, or later, we are going to be forced to confront Iran, and it better be before they gain nuclear capability.
In 1989 I served as a Command Director inside the Cheyenne Mountain complex located in Colorado Springs, Colorado for almost three years. My job there was to observe (through classified means) every missile shot anywhere in the world and assess if it was a threat to the US or Canada. If any shot was threatening to either nation I had only minutes to advise the President, as he had only minutes to respond.
I watched Iran and Iraq shoot missiles at each other every day, and all day long, for months. They killed hundreds of thousands of their people. Know why? They were fighting for control of the Middle East and that enormous oil supply.
At that time, they were preoccupied with their internal problems and could care less about toppling the west. Oil prices were fairly stable and we could not see an immediate threat.
Well, the worst part of what we have done as a nation in Iraq is to do away with the military capability of one of those nations. Now, Iran has a clear field to dominate the Middle East, since Iraq is no longer a threat to them.
They have turned their attention to the only other threat to their dominance, they are convinced they will win, because the US is so divided, and the Democrats (who now control Congress and may control the Presidency in 2008) have openly said we are pulling out.
Do you have any idea what will happen if the entire Middle East turns their support to Iran, which they will obviously do if we pull out? It is not the price of oil we will have to worry about. Oil WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE to this country at any price. I personally would vote for any presidential candidate who did what JFK did with the space program---declare a goal to bring this country to total energy independence in a decade.
Yes, it is about oil. The economy in this country will totally die if that Middle East supply is cut off right now. It will not be a recession. It will be a depression that will make 1929 look like the "good-old-days". The bottom line here is simple. If Iran is forced to fall in line, the fighting in Iraq will end over night, and the nightmare will be over.
One way or another, Iran must be forced to join modern times and the global community. It may mean a real war---if so, now is the time, before we face a nuclear Iran with the capacity to destroy Israel and begin a new ice age.
I urge you to read the book "END GAME" by two of our best Middle East experts, true American patriots and retired military generals, Paul Vallely and Tom McInerney . They are our finest, and totally honest in their assessment of why victory in the Middle East is so important, and how it can be won. Proceeds for the book go directly to memorial fund for our fallen soldiers who served the country during the war on terror. You can find that book by going to the Internet through Stand-up America at www.ospreyradio.us, http://www.ospreyradio.us/ or www.rightalk.com, http://www.rightalk.com/.
On the other hand, we have several very angry retired generals today, who evidently have not achieved their lofty goals, and insist on ranting and raving about the war. They are wrong, and doing the country great harm by giving a certain political party reason to use them as experts to back their anti-war claims.
You may be one of those who believe nothing could ever be terrible enough to support our going to war. I f that is the case I should stop here, as that level of thinking approaches mental disability in this day and age. It is right up there with alien abductions and high altitude seeding through government aircraft contrails. I helped produced those contrails for almost 30 years, and I can assure you we were not seeding the atmosphere. The human race is a war-like population, and if a country is not willing to protect itself, it deserves the consequences.
'Enough - said!'
Now, my last comments will get to the nerve. They will be on politics.
I am not a Republican. And, George Bush has made enough mistakes as President to insure my feelings about that for the rest of my life. However, the Democratic Party has moved so far left, they have made me support those farther to the right.
I am a conservative who totally supports the Constitution of this country. The only difference between the United States and the South American, third world, dictator infested and ever-changing South American governments, is our US Constitution.
This Republic (note I did not say Democracy) is the longest standing the world has ever known, but it is vulnerable. It would take so little to change it through economic upheaval. There was a time when politicians could disagree, but still work together. We are past that time, and that is the initial step toward the downfall of our form of government.
I think that many view Bush-hating as payback time. The Republicans hated the Clinton's and now the Democrats hate Bush.
So, both parties are putting their hate toward willingness to do anything for political dominance to include lying and always taking the opposite stand just for the sake of being opposed. JUST HOW GOOD IS THAT FOR OUR COUNTRY?
In my lifetime, after serving in uniform for President's Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan , and Bush I have a pretty good feel for which party supported our military, and what military life was like under each of their terms. And, let me assure you that times were best under the Republicans.
Service under Jimmy Carter was devastating for all branches of the military. And, Ronald Regan was truly a salvation.
You can choose to listen to enriched newscasters, and foolish people like John Murtha (he is no war hero), Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Michael Moore, Jane Fonda, Harry Reid, Russ Feingold, Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, and on-and-on to include the true fools in Hollywood if you like. If you do, your conclusions will be totally wrong.
The reason that I write, appear on radio talk shows, and do everything I can to denounce those people is simple. THEY ARE PUTTING THEIR THIRST FOR POLITICAL POWER AND QUEST FOR VICTORY IN 2008 ABOVE WHAT IS BEST FOR THIS COUNTRY. I cannot abide that.
Pelosi clearly defied the Logan Act by going to Syria , which should have lead to imprisonment of three years and a heavy fine.
Jane Fonda did more to prolong the Vietnam War longer than any other human being (as acknowledged by Ho Chi Minh in his writing before he died). She truly should have been indicted for treason, along with her radical husband, Tom Hayden, and forced to pay the consequences.
This country has started to soften by not enforcing its laws, which is another indication of a Republic about to fall.
All Democrats, along with the Hollywood elite, are sending us headlong into a total defeat in the Middle East, which will finally give Iran total dominance in the region. A lack of oil in the near future will be the final straw that dooms this Republic.
However, if we refuse to let this happen and really get serious about an energy self-sufficiency program, this can be avoided. I am afraid, however, that we are going in the opposite direction.
If we elect Hillary Clinton and a Democrat controlled congress, and they carry through with allowing Iran to take control of the Middle East, continue to refuse development of nuclear energy, refuse to allow drilling for new oil, and continue to do nothing but oppose everything Bush, it will be over in terms of what we view as the good life in the USA.
Now, do I think that all who do not support the war are un-American--- of course not. They just do not understand the importance of total victory in that region.
Another failure of George Bush is his inability to explain to the American people why we are there, and why we MUST win.
By the way, it is not a war. The war was won four years ago. It is martial law that is under attack by Iranian and Syrian outside influences, and there is a difference.
So, what do I believe? What is the bottom line? I will simply say that the Democratic Party has fielded the foulest, power hungry, anti-country, self absorbed group of individuals that I have observed in my lifetime. Our educational system is partially to blame for allowing the mass of America to be taken in by this group. George Bush has done the best he can with the disabilities that he possesses.
A President must communicate with the people. And, I would tell you that Desert Storm spoiled the people. Bush Senior's 100-hour war convinced the people that technology has progressed to the point that wars could be fought with no casualties and won in very short periods of time.
I remember feeling at the time, that this was a tragedy for the US military. To win wars, you must put boots on the ground. When you put boots on the ground, soldiers are going to die. A President must make the war decision wisely, and insure that the cause is right before using his last political option.
HOWEVER, CONTROLLING IRAN AND DEMOCRATIZING THE MIDDLE EAST IS THE ONLY CHOICE IF WE ARE HELL-BENT ON DEPENDING ON THEM FOR OUR FUTURE ENERGY NEEDS.
Jimmy L. Cash, Brig. Gen., USAF, Ret. Lakeside, Montana 59922
"I'll tell you what war is all about; you've got to kill people, and when you've killed enough they stop fighting." Gen. Curtis LeMay
Iran has a plan to destroy America, and it has nothing to do with the bomb.
Instead, the Islamic republic will use oil and euros to slay the Great Satan, breathless accounts on the Internet warn. The attack will proceed as follows:
Iran will open an oil trading exchange that operates in euros rather than dollars -- until now, the world's sole currency for buying crude. Other countries, whose central banks were holding onto dollars largely to buy oil, will dump their dollars en masse.
The greenback's value will collapse. The American economy will tank. The U.S.-dominated New World Order will disappear in a flurry of currency trades.
This tall tale has circulated on the Web for months. Bloggers type apocalyptic postings about it. People who identify themselves as economists engage in detailed, sometimes arcane debates on it. And like any good online story, the saga of the Iranian oil exchange, or bourse, has taken on a viral life of its own.
It has veered deep into the Web's netherworld of conspiracy theorists. America invaded Iraq, for example, because Saddam Hussein started trading oil in euros. We'll do the same thing to Iran, for the same reason. The dispute over Tehran's nuclear program? A smokescreen to cover America's true intent -- stopping the bourse.
The story contains several grains of truth. Iran does, in fact, want to create an oil exchange.
The petroleum-rich republic has pursued the idea, off and on, for years. The bourse would rival the New York Mercantile Exchange and International Petroleum Exchange in London -- the twin centers of the oil-trading world.
But it's far from clear that the effort will take off. And even if it does, most economists consider it little threat to the United States.
First of all, Iran would need the cooperation of its oil-producing neighbors to make such an exchange work, and relations with many of them are strained.
"I don't believe the Iranians would dream of going ahead without Saudi agreement," said Chris Cook, the British consultant and former director of the International Petroleum Exchange who first suggested to the Iranians that they create the bourse. The exchange, he said, would likely start with selling petroleum chemicals and expand into crude later -- if the gulf's other oil producers agreed.
"The whole idea would be, in the medium or long term, to get into crude oil," he said. "But you understand how sensitive it is."
In addition, luring business from New York and London to the theocratic republic of Iran might prove difficult. And Iran lacks many of the elements needed to create a successful exchange, including close proximity to international financial institutions, traders, economists and computer experts.
"You can't set up a petroleum exchange in Omaha," said John Taylor, a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and a former U.S. Treasury undersecretary for international affairs. Referring to Iran, he added, "It's doable. In this particular case, it seems like a bit of a stretch."
Should the bourse open, most economists regard the idea that it could kill the dollar as preposterous. Currencies can easily be swapped on the financial markets, meaning one doesn't need a stockpile of greenbacks to buy oil, they say. And countries hold onto, or sell, dollars for many other reasons than to trade oil.
"There's a difference between the currency on the invoice and the currency that people actually want to hold," said Richard Lyons, executive associate dean of UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business.
Skeptics see in the oil bourse tale a prime example of an Internet discussion run amok. In the Web's planetwide echo chamber, a story that normally would interest a limited pool of financiers and oil industry players has mutated into Armageddon. Even its most speculative elements have come to be treated as fact, at least by some.
"It's got 20,000 hits on Google -- that means there must be something there," said Geoffrey Bowker, director of Santa Clara University's Center for Science, Technology and Society. "It's like a playground situation, in the old days, when a rumor would start around a school. In an hour, it's reality."
A January article, written by Krassimir Petrov and posted on several Web sites, provides the most complete version of the bourse story.
Petrov, who teaches economics and finance at the American University in Bulgaria, argues that the value of the U.S. dollar is backed by oil, in much the same way that it was once backed by gold. The dollar has become the world's dominant currency because all nations need it to buy oil. If oil starts trading in other currencies, that dominance will end, taking much of America's international power with it.
"The Iranian government has finally developed the ultimate 'nuclear' weapon that can swiftly destroy the financial system underpinning the American Empire," he writes.
In response, Petrov argues, the United States has a limited number of options. These include hacking into and sabotaging the exchange, blowing it up, negotiating with the Iranians, declaring all-out war against them or organizing a coup d'etat.
"Whatever the strategic choice, from a purely economic point of view, should the Iranian Oil Bourse gain momentum, it will be eagerly embraced by major economic powers and will precipitate the demise of the dollar," he writes.
To say the least, this is not a universal view.
Many people question the eagerness of international oil traders, now comfortably ensconced in London and New York, to decamp to Iran. Those traders and their companies might be hesitant to set up shop in a country known for its opaque government, strict application of Muslim law and hostility to the West.
Although Tehran has an active stock market, it is no hub of international finance. Neither is the bourse's proposed location, a small Persian Gulf island called Kish.
In addition, the bourse could face serious competition close to home. Nymex is part of a joint venture planning to open an oil exchange in Dubai. Growing at breakneck speed, Dubai has worked for years to turn itself into a regional center for trade and finance, since its oil wealth is relatively modest. The Dubai Mercantile Exchange, scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of this year, will trade in dollars.
A spokesman for the Iranian mission to the United Nations said he had no information on the bourse.
Post Carbon Institute Launches New Publicity Campaign Linked to "Syriana"
National Grassroots Campaign to Spread Awareness of Peak Oil to "Syriana" Audiences
To further raise the awareness among Syriana audiences that oil supply disruptions are coming and that preparations urgently need to begin locally, Post Carbon Institute (postcarbon.org) is mobilizing volunteers around the country to distribute catchy flyers to moviegoers before and after the film.
(PRWE December 16, 2005 -- Our tragic reliance on oil is grimly portrayed in the new film Syriana, which depicts $20 per gallon gas, skyrocketing food costs, and escalating global terrorism in the face of declining fossil fuel reserves. With respect to energy scarcity, the plot of the movie is much more realistic than most people realize. Ever-higher oil costs will become the norm for Americans as world production passes its inevitable peak, which many analysts think will occur within two to five years.
Syriana couldn't hit theaters at a more appropriate time with Americans now enduring painful gas prices at the pump and growing anxiety over terrorism and the war in Iraq. "Syriana is a portal into our future. The film will soften up the American public for the coming oil price shocks and the early ramifications of the end of cheap oil," said David Room, Director of Policy and Mobilization for Post Carbon Institute ( www.postcarbon.org), a nonprofit organization that works for the transition to the post-petroleum future. "Post Carbon Institute applauds Participant Productions for making such a timely film on the geopolitics of energy scarcity and initiating their Oil Change campaign."
After "peak oil" - the point at which the rate of global oil extraction reaches its highest level and then goes into inexorable decline - some of the growing demand for petroleum and the multitude of products for which it is used will necessarily go unsatisfied. Oil scarcity will also increase pressure on supplies and raise the price of America's second most important energy source, North American natural gas, which is already strained to its limits despite recent mild winters.
Federal policymakers are beginning to acknowledge the serious need to shift from our dangerous dependence on oil and natural gas. Former State Dept. Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson recently said: "We have an economy and a society that is built on the consumption of [oil and natural gas . We better get fast at work changing the foundation." A new bipartisan Peak Oil Caucus has just formed in the U.S. House of Representatives, calling for the establishment of an energy project with the magnitude, creativity, and sense of urgency that was incorporated in the 'Man on the Moon' project to address the inevitable challenges of peak oil.
To further raise the awareness among Syriana audiences that oil supply disruptions are coming and that preparations urgently need to begin locally, Post Carbon Institute ( www.postcarbon.org) is mobilizing volunteers around the country to distribute catchy flyers to moviegoers before and after the film. The flyers link back to a website (http://www.postcarbon.org/syriana) that provides more information and downloadable flyers. Syriana, which The New York Times calls "one of the best geopolitical thrillers in a very long time," debuts today in theaters.
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