Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 26, 2009

'There will be blood'

There are lots of interesting thoughts in this interview. I especially agree with this part:

Heather Scoffield: Will globalization survive this crisis?

Niall Ferguson: It's a question that's well worth asking. Because when you look at the way trade has collapsed in the world in the last quarter of 2008 – countries like Taiwan saw their exports fall 45 per cent – that is a depression-style contraction, and we're in quite early stages of the game at this point. This is before the shock has really played out politically. Before protectionist slogans have really established themselves in the public debate. Buy America is the beginning of something I think we'll see a lot more of. So I think there's a real danger that globalization could unravel.

Part of the point I've been making for years is that it's a fragile system. It broke down once before. The last time we globalized the world economy this way, pre-1914, it only took a war to cause the whole thing to come crashing down. Now we're showing that we can do it without a war. You can cause globalization to disintegrate just by inflating a housing bubble, bursting it, and watching the financial chain reaction unfold.”

Heather Scoffield: Is a violent resolution to this crisis inevitable?

Niall Ferguson: “There will be blood, in the sense that a crisis of this magnitude is bound to increase political as well as economic [conflict]. It is bound to destabilize some countries. It will cause civil wars to break out, that have been dormant. It will topple governments that were moderate and bring in governments that are extreme. These things are pretty predictable. The question is whether the general destabilization, the return of, if you like, political risk, ultimately leads to something really big in the realm of geopolitics. That seems a less certain outcome.
...

Posted by b on February 26, 2009 at 08:13 AM | Permalink

Comments

I was interested by the bit where he says that the economic crisis is the fault of the US, but it is the rest of the world that is going to suffer. Not unknown as an idea, but I wondered, is it true? Does he have backing for the idea?

So I looked him up on Wiki. And it turns out he is a Scot, a historian (not an economist), who got to the top in the British academic world, and then did like all the others and departed across the pond to climb the US tree to Harvard. He is violently anti-European Union and anti-Putin.

We're beginning to get the picture; he's a US hegemonist, a convert from abroad, very light on the faults of the US. Thinks China and the US are going to get together. What does he call it, Chimerica?

My guess is that he is more affected by his political outlook than by real analysis. he is after all a historian and not an economist.

Posted by: Alex | Feb 26, 2009 8:45:08 AM | 1

@Alex - I usually do not agree with Ferguson for lots of reasons. But he knows a bit about economies as he has written a lot about the depression era in Europe, banking and the role of money.

Yes he is an imperialist. That does not mean his analysis is necessarily wrong ... his conclusion though often are wrong.

I was interested by the bit where he says that the economic crisis is the fault of the US, but it is the rest of the world that is going to suffer. Not unknown as an idea, but I wondered, is it true? Does he have backing for the idea?

The rest of the world is going to suffer more. He is likely right in that. Japan, Korea, Taiwan etc have been hit terribly hard by the crisis. China is a huge mess. As is all of Eastern Europe. The fall in GDP in those countries is much bigger than the fall in U.S. GDP and will get worse.

Here I fear Ferguson is right. We will see additional wars (and famine) as consequence of this downturn. I try to think of ways to avoid it - and find none.

Posted by: b | Feb 26, 2009 9:46:46 AM | 2

b, I didn't say he was wrong. I was looking for why he was saying it. Did he have independent reasoning for saying it, or is it a product of his general outlook? Historians can be amazingly biassed, even in the face of evident facts. I should know, I am one (partly). David Irving is the most extreme example, but Kissinger is another who was once a Harvard professor of history, but whose works of history are awful interpretations.

Posted by: Alex | Feb 26, 2009 10:06:55 AM | 3

The capitalist class has much more solidarity than existed circa 1914. Too much is made about the cause of WWI as intercapitalist conflict, when the catalyst was the disintegration of the colonial empires of the hapsburgs and ottomans.

Add to this american military dominance, and Fergusen seems right about the unlikelihood of world war.

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 26, 2009 11:15:25 AM | 4

Or maybe it's just that the rest of the world has gotten smart enough to learn how to avoid one -- while the U.S. clearly still hasn't?

Would it count as a World War if it turned into a whole bunch of countries against one?

After all: pretty soon, the one thing that most of the world is going to agree upon is that they're just not gettin' much love from the U.S.

Niall thinks that once that happens, they'll just shrug it off and say "Eh. We'll keep using their money, anyway."

But those Asians -- they're crafty people, and the Russians have been warming up to them for a few centuries, now.

Seems to me, the one thing people will come to agree upon is that none of them want to pay the Loanshark's interest --

and isn't Adam Smith's all about "the invisible hand" -- how the market will, of its own power, naturally re-orient itself?

The international market environment is a lot more even these days than it was 50, 100, or 150 years ago -- even in terms of technology, of educational levels, of military might and of relative political responsiveness, and power.

And recently, some horrifyingly repressed peoples have been discovering the power a populist revolt can have, once the U.S. military is out of the picture.

So what if the market just "rights itself" --

Suddenly, all the poor people get together and start selling to one another.

They're more familiar with what one another need, anyway --

all they need is a means of generating technological advances --

some country that's a bit like the U.S., but preferably without all the "saber rattling", as they call it, over there.

But hey --

what happens when the rich people start going hungry?

I could see a world war happening.

Posted by: china_hand2 | Feb 26, 2009 11:45:23 AM | 5

Targeting Banks?

So far, the level of violence directed against the corporations and employees of the global financial system has been relatively muted (the occasional riot, as in the breaking of branch windows as we saw in Iceland and a spike in bank robberies in the US). However, given our experience with the recent punctuated evolution of warfare, that isn't likely to last given the depth/scale of the current crisis. As we have seen in recently (from Iraq to Nigeria to Mexico), the targeting of corporations is now a fixture of modern conflict (please read). The targeting of banks would be a natural extension of this trend line given the following:

* The central role they have recently demonstrated in the global economic system (systemic importance to the status quo).
* Their role in bringing the crisis to individuals (revenge, hatred, etc.) -- this could serve as a common point of agreement for group formation.
* The symbiotic relationship between banks and the government.

John Robb @ his site.

@b: I empathize with your conundrum: how can societies thrive in the face of economic collapse? How do we prevent a 'hollowing out' (Mexico) and all the social violence that follows?

I would go so far as to suggest that warfare is not the preferred natural state of the human being (despite a ton of evidence to the contrary), so *any* community that offers even a modicum of peaceful living will be exponentially preferable to a violent one. That said, there are enough violent actors to go around, and their actions, however minor, can have deep reverberations.

John Robb has been writing about 'resilient communities' for quite a while, and I'm currently subscribing to his (and his peer's) thinking about how this model is probably our near-to-mid term future.

Posted by: Jeremiah | Feb 26, 2009 11:48:50 AM | 6

If "These things are pretty predictable," (Niall Ferguson's droll assessment) and "We 'made a mistake' on WMD" (Ari Fleischer's AIPAC-out clawback), and "We are beyond a Great Depression now" (George Sorus' short-sniffing), then going back to Ferguson, shouldn't Dick Cheney not only be charged with war crimes, and war profiteering, and fraudulent manipulation of oil prices, and tax evasion, but what is the name for the crime of deliberately starting a global great depression, and who had jurisdiction, and would the punishment for same be pressing to death beneath a mountain of marbles, millions of them, everyone waiting to receive theirs in the mail, so they can drive over to the execution paddock and pile it on? Whole dumptrucks of marbles from elderly who are now reduced to tea, crackers and hugging the space heater by a frozen toilet? Maybe give the job to NASA. If the launch fails, no problem. If it flies, no problem.

Posted by: Gerald McBoingBoing | Feb 26, 2009 11:52:44 AM | 7

Yes, Fergusson is a hawkish apologetist of imperialism and capitalism, and has the usual pro-US anti-Europe bias of higher class Anglo-Saxons.
On one hand, this should mean we read him with a grain of salt. On the other hand, if someone that seems to like and serve the system so much is saying it's worse than we think it is, and it's going to get even worse for years, then we're really screwed big time.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Feb 26, 2009 11:53:10 AM | 8

Clueless:

Agree, except that he's not an upper class Anglo-Saxon: he's a middle class Glaswegian.

Posted by: Tantalus | Feb 26, 2009 12:28:21 PM | 9

Very Anglo! Putin’s bluster (if he does he knows what he is doing), Putin invading Georgia, Europe not a model, the Eurozone might break apart, and: there are great opportunities down the road, just wait for prices to lower more!

He sees a depression and some shunting about of assets in a globalized world, with -implied- a return to BAU (business as usual) down the road somewhere.

heh i wrote this before reading the first comment where alex goes down the same path and see clueness joe above...

b wrote: The rest of the world is going to suffer more.

I don’t think so. I may be biased. The point is that there is suffering and suffering, how to qualify, measure it? What does a sinking GDP (lousy measure) mean on the ground, in different places, etc.? the Eurozone and others (Japan..) are politically, socially, culturally, organizationally better equipped to stand shocks, of any kind.

I agree with him though on no WW3 (or 4.)

Posted by: Tangerine | Feb 26, 2009 12:41:07 PM | 10

The Obama Administration has charted an inexplicable future course that is counter to two axioms learned from history: 1) sending more troops to neo-colonial war only kills and maims more humans, and 2) failure to kill and regenerate Zombie Banks only prolongs the economic malaise.

It is only natural that Americans come up with motives to explain the incomprehensible. American soldiers are fighting Muslim fanatics on the other side of the world at the request of China, Russia and India. Arab oil multinational bank stockholders have nixed nationalization.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Feb 26, 2009 12:41:16 PM | 11

Arab oil multinational bank stockholders have nixed nationalization.

This is interesting.

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 26, 2009 12:49:54 PM | 12

In a way, Ferguson is endorsing what's been the US strategic worldview for a long time -- keep the major powers calm and direct conflict to the periphery. All those "moderate regimes" that will crumble in the emerging world -- we'll be right there to help them clean up the mess. No need for "economic hit men" now (John Perkins); depression will take care of that.

Posted by: seneca | Feb 26, 2009 12:54:19 PM | 13

Ferguson is a member of the Peterhouse group of historians - a school of right wingers influenced mainly by the Peterhouse (Cambridge) historian Maurice Cowling - aka The Godfather of Thatcherism.

Since Cowling's death, a society for British neo-cons - The Scoop Jackson Society - is centred there.

Posted by: johnf | Feb 26, 2009 2:13:07 PM | 14

I love how mostly everyone here is pretty well-informed, and how there is a lot of disagreement but it is done constructively, and mostly everyone knows that they do not know everything.

Just felt like time for sayin' again.

Posted by: Cloud | Feb 26, 2009 2:18:05 PM | 15

"The rest of the world is going to suffer more"
At first yes, because many country, like South Korea, Taiwan, are designed to export to US. But in mid term, they are stronger because they have better saving rates, better investment rate, better eductation of middle class...And their industry will recover sooner, in 5 years I think.
For US I predict a generation, 30 years, not less, to rebuild the society.

Posted by: JLS | Feb 26, 2009 3:10:42 PM | 16

Cloud - I love how mostly everyone here is pretty well-informed, and how there is a lot of disagreement but it is done constructively, and mostly everyone knows that they do not know everything.

I hope that's the mark of this place ...

---
@Jeremiah - quoting John Robb - a guy who has seemingly zero knowledge of history: As we have seen in recently (from Iraq to Nigeria to Mexico), the targeting of corporations is now a fixture of modern conflict (please read).


Typical John Robb - he ignores, more likely, doesn't even know trivial history). Hitting companies is a rational fixture as old as mankind (as 'companies' influencing governments are).

The Boston Tea Party was an act of direct action protest by the American colonists ... in which they destroyed many crates of tea belonging to the British East India Company and dumped it into the Boston Harbor.

The Boston folks did not target a government, but a company that controlled an unjust autocratic temporary government and its very one-sided company friendly tax/custom regime.

ALL revolutions (and most wars) in world history had economic reasons. Robb is peddling that as a 'modern' concept. Idiotic, but it sells his books ...

Posted by: b | Feb 26, 2009 3:20:42 PM | 17

What about "has pretty good intuition"? Does that count?

Posted by: rapt | Feb 26, 2009 3:37:04 PM | 18

I thought this guy was pretty clued-in too. This article, and an interview he did on PBS about US financial oligarchs and how they had to be stopped suggested that he was a refreshing change. Liked the sound of him.

Then he appeared last night on ABC television, Australia, in an extended interview. He came over as a total self-satisfied prick. Worst of all he said that he had been at Davos and had heard Putin's speech warning the world that Russia would not hesitate to use aggression to distract the people, and how arrogant and dangerous Putin is. This is the same brilliant speech that anyone with firing neurons read as Putin's warning of the US imperialist threat to the world. The man is a stupid clown selling his book.

Posted by: Fred | Feb 26, 2009 4:05:21 PM | 19

The 'mutiny' in Bangladesh is an indication of the types of local conflicts that have an ability to get much bigger to arise from this global meltdown.

I've been studying the furore of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) rebellion.
The BDR began as a two hundred year old proto-imperial 'border control' force. Founded by the english in 1795 during the pre-raj days of the East India Company, this force whose enlisted personnel generally come from rural farming families, has a significant role in maintaining security on the Bangladesh/Indian borders and the Bangladesh/Myanmar border.

The current size of the BDR is around 70,000 enlisted personnel and despite the Bangladeshi government's claims of a settlement, the insurrection has spread from the Dhaka barracks out to BDR bases in other cities . If the revolt reaches the border outposts, it will likely cause destabilisation in the region as border skirmishes are frequent enough already.

The duties include anti-smuggling operations although a significant cause of conflict is caused Indian Border Security Forcer patrols' penchant for crossing into Bangladesh for a spot of raping, looting and pillaging. The conflicts between the BDR and BSF became so intense that a conference was convened in March 2008 to try to sort out some of the problems.

Significantly the Bangladesh Rifles website was taken down yesterday and the Google cache provides little usable information on whether how the causes of this revolt, but the structure of the Bangladesh Rifles is certainly a major cause of the insurrection by enlisted soldiers.

Following the tradition created by the english imperialists when they first formed this force, known initially as the Ramgarh Local Battalion (to become the Eastern Frontier Rifles after the 'sepoy mutiny'in 1895 when it was integrated into the english run Indian Army) where the officers were all english, the BDR officer class are provided by officers of the Bangladesh Army on 2 or 3 year secondment.

The BDR is an army of the Home Ministry not the Defence Ministry which is responsible for the rest of Bangladesh's military.
It is this administrative confusion combined with a management culture that has no sense of loyalty to the force they manage which breeds the endemic corruption within the command structure of the force.

Pay rates are low (about $70 a month). Probably not such an issue for a force that is fed and housed in barracks, except that the Bangladesh Army officers responsible for organising supplies for the men have been creaming it big time. It is they who first paid the price of their greed.

From AFP via Yahoo

Colonel Mujibul Haq, the third highest ranked BDR officer with a special responsibility for food distribution, was killed during Wednesday's revolt and his body was found dumped in a drain outside the guards' barracks.

The enlisted men have been the only real constant during the two hundred years of Bangladesh Rifles' history. A major source of their public respect comes from the time back when Bangladesh was part of Pakistan, known as East Pakistan. Then officers were seconded from the Pakistan regular army, so as soon as succession began, the enlisted men overwhelmed their officers, killing a number and capturing the rest, then declared themselves part of the armed forces of the new Bangladesh, and joined the Bangladesh Liberation War.

Two BDR soldiers were posthumously awarded the Bir Srestho, the highest honour given to military in Bangladesh.
Yet the politicians didn't get the hint and recognise that it may be a good idea for this force to have a career path, to have an officer corps that was actually part of the BDR!
Sure the army would have resisted partially because of bureaucratic empire building and partly because of the culture of perks based rorting the enlisted men of the BDR, a practise which dated back to the days of the East India Company.
This force has been able to easily change sides from private army to public defence force, from sworn defenders of the english empire to the Pakistan Republic's military, and from Pakistan's military to Bangladesh's defence forces, chiefly because the command structure isn't integrated into the force.
Now that would seem to me, if the BDR were working to protect my administration, as a very good reason to create an indigenous BDR command structure.

The anti-smuggling and Myanmar border patrols must have been the source of major funding from the amerikan empire, especially back in the pre-Afghanistan days when Myanmar was the number one source of heroin for this planet. Even now when Afghani hammer is as low grade as Mexican brown or Iraqi grey, Burmese white powder is still regarded as the primo shit by the smack cognoscenti about the world, and is therefore still a DEA target product.
Yet the grunts doing the hard yakka of catching the smugglers, interdicting islamic fundies moving from Bangladesh to India, are copping roach infested rice for breakfast linch and dinner, and no one fixes it?

It is no surprise that the Bangladeshi government is in such a hurry to cover this up and move on while implying the whole thing is a plot to destabilise their new administration. However it wasn't smart for them to go back on their word within an hour of reaching agreement then 'having the ringleaders rounded up and shot'.
They forget these guys aren't all just grunts because that's all they are capable of, these guys are grunts because that is all they are allowed to be.

The rebels would have known the odds of the government going back on the deal was almost 100% so they had made contingency plans, which especially included growing the rebellion.

Like so much of what has happened about the globe in the past couple of years as the ordure has hit the ventilator, those in charge seem as though they have no knowledge of what has gone before. They keep trying to re-invent the wheel so are repeating the same errors as the original inventor.
The Bangladesh government is terrified of upsetting the army by stopping their perks from scams such as the corrupt management of the BDR.
This is because the government imagines the army will stage yet another coup if they get upset, so they aren't fixing any of the problems that years of the military mal-administration of Bangladesh has created.

Meanwhile they are busily re-instituting their old scams, the ones that gave the army an excuse to stage a coup last time.
When viewed in light of the increasing destablisation of South Asia in general and the sub-Continent in particular, this seemingly minor revolt may be the pre-cursor to much more. It is a shift of the fault lines further South and East than before, Bangladesh is also south of the volatile Indian state of Assam which has been in rebellion with Delhi for at least two decades.
Expect many more of these brushfires as the anomalies caused by imperialists trying to buy a state through pouring money into the elite of that state but not ensuring any real distribution of wealth occurred. Consequently the masses suffer all the disadvantages of a globalised economy such as inflation and a completely cash economy replacing the traditional partial barter system, without reaping any of the rewards eg amerikan dollars.
The global meltdown has made many simple existences unsustainable, it is unlikely that the people will conform to the neo-con dream and trot off quietly to find a spot in which to curl up and die.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Feb 26, 2009 4:44:36 PM | 20

ZioNazi's are running into the ideology gap like faggots onto the bonfire:

--

Obama is a Narcissist

Repost of Article by Dr. Sam Vaknin

[ed. Article claims "Dr. Vaknin has written extensively about narcissism".]

Dr. Sam Vaknin, the author of the Malignant Self Love believes "Barack
Obama appears to be a narcissist." Vaknin is a world authority on
narcissism. He understands narcissism and describes the inner mind of a
narcissist like no other person. When he talks about narcissism
everyone listens. Vaknin says that Obama's language, posture and
demeanor, and the testimonies of his closest, dearest and nearest
suggest that the Senator is either a narcissist or he may have
narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Narcissists project a
grandiose but false image of themselves. Jim Jones, the charismatic
leader of People's Temple, the man who led over 900 of his followers to
cheerfully commit mass suicide and even murder their own children was
also a narcissist. David Koresh, Charles Manson, Joseph Koni, Shoko
Asahara, Stalin, Saddam, Mao,Kim Jong Ill and Adolph Hitler are a few
examples of narcissists of our time. All these men had a tremendous
influence over their fanciers. They created a personality cult around
themselves and with their blazing speeches elevated their admirers,
filled their hearts with enthusiasm and instilled in their minds a new
zest for life. They gave them hope! They promised them the moon, but
alas, invariably they brought them to their doom. When you are a victim
of a cult of personality, you don't know it until it is too late. One
determining factor in the development of NPD is childhood abuse.

----------------------blah, blah, blah-------------------------

It is no wonder that Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez, the Castrists, the
Hezbollah, the Hamas, the lawyers of the Guantanamo terrorists and
virtually all sworn enemies of America are so thrilled by the prospect
of their man in the White House. America is on the verge of destruction.
There is no insanity greater than electing a pathological narcissist as
president.

[ed. Except to be one, like the other Chicken-Hawks] http://samvak.tripod.com

Dr. Shemuel (Sam) Vaknin
Born in 1961 in Qiryat-Yam, Israel. <-- NeoZi propagandist in US (Israel Rose)
'Served' in the Israeli Defence Force (1979-1982)
in training and education units. <-- (e.g Shem's a chicken-hawk pussy)
Ph.D. in Philosophy (e.g blatant-racist academic-propagandist chicken-hawk pussy)

!!HE'S NOT A REAL DOCTOR OF PSYCHOLOGY, BUT HIS 'ANALYSIS' IS MIRRORED EVERYWHERE!!

Posted by: Toarms Toarms | Feb 26, 2009 5:54:12 PM | 21

I, too, have noticed that Niall Ferguson gets a bit carried away bad mouthing Russia. But since he complains about Russia doing the very same undemocratic and anti-capitalistic things that the US does, he really should tone down his bad mouthing of Russia by a few notches.

I also noticed that he makes no bones about being a big believer in Empire, though I will give him some credit for believing that if a country is lousy at doing Empire, it ought to get out of this line of work altogether. Since America consistently does more harm than good to countries it has invaded and occupied, it's high time that America hang up its Empire hat for good!

Plus I think he makes too much to-do about the fact that America's military might eclipses all others on the planet by a long shot. So as the global recession deepens even further, he believes widespread social unrest is likely to ensue but this isn't likely to leads to a huge world war, simply because American firepower is too enormous for any country to want to pick a fight with the US. But I think he's overlooking the fact that a severe downturn in the global economy could easily lead to lots of social unrest, leading to lots of small-scale wars across the globe.

Posted by: Cynthia | Feb 26, 2009 8:21:00 PM | 22

It's this simple. The world hasn't experienced a semi-weakened United States for quite some time. We have been the top dog for a while now, and now that we're in a weakened state, limits are going to be tested. This is nothing new. It's happened throughout history, with the only difference this time aorund being that we now have nuclear weapons as last resorts. There will be blood, indeed. Ironically, I used the same term a number of times for the past year. Anyone with any sense can feel that something wicked this way comes. It's visited many other parts of the globe already, and we were it, but now it's turning inward, and beginning to devour itself. The ultimate price of living in the belly of the beast.

Posted by: Obamageddon | Feb 26, 2009 9:40:26 PM | 23

Alex: Read David Irving for yourself and see if he is biased. While you're at it, read Daniel
Goldhagen using the same standard, then decide for yourself who is biased. Dangerous ideas lead to jail, and truth is no defense.

Posted by: Blue Gene | Feb 26, 2009 10:00:09 PM | 24

According to super-bubba glenn beck, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8La5xLYo2-s&eurl=http://angrybear.blogspot.com/>there will be blood.

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 26, 2009 10:05:03 PM | 25

david irving thinks he is a historian. he is not. he is an obsessive/compulsive with the facts that he has turned into general fiction. his autodidact analysis is poor, very poor. his first book can be read with the respect for a person who has fought all sort of odds to be want he wants to be - but really he is not very good at it. he makes it seem superhuman that he read documents in another language if that itself validates what he does. he was bitter boy who has gone bad, very bad. kissinger, even worse is a self publicist

in this sick old fucking world - when someone so obviouslly barking mad as glenn beck thinks he is an analyst - we have arrived not only of the poverty of philosophy but the poverty & thought perhaps even gesture

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 26, 2009 10:23:37 PM | 26

The knuckleheads are going all Dolchstoß insane.

It's gonna be a long 4 years. I'm teaching myself how to do vivisections with nunchucks, just to be on the safe side.

Posted by: slothrop | Feb 26, 2009 10:26:43 PM | 27

it is the same in france except it said in cultured & refined tones

it is one of the pleasures in the midst of life to watch or listen to these experts turn around statements they made only yesterday - there is one fellow alain minc from le monde - all the science po boys who get it wrong every step of the way - the crooks are crooks & they will make hay while the sun shines - but their slimy sanitisers are a laugh-a-minute. you finally see what an elite education gets you - the studios of television must smell very acrid indeed with them all shitting their pants

an unfortunate revelation of this crisis has been to witness the utter bankruptcy of daniel cohn bendit - they are dimwitted before history does its striptease before them & we haven't even got to the effondrement of ukraine, lithuania etc etc - which i gues will happen in 6 days

these are gay times are they not

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 26, 2009 10:43:13 PM | 28

DiD20) Owe you bigtime, brah. Your BDR completely reversed a defense theory we were pitching DOD. Nothing like empirical evidence to make bollocks of an armchair fart. We'll have to delay the report, but thanks to you won't look like gibbering baboons.

Speaking of g'baboons, b should definitely publish 'best of moa', the same as jane's publishes their best of arms annual.

Speaking of arms, India has announced a 34 per cent increase in its defence budget, although (?sic?) officials have warned that the rise will be ineffective unless the Ministry of Defence begins spending its full budget allocation. Go team!

Northrop Grumman says it expects to complete the remaining construction tasks aboard the US Navy's 10th and obsolete US$4.5 billion and $160M a month operating cost (e.g. $1 a month from every working American, for as long as the grass grows) Nimitz-class aircraft carrier George H. W. Bush (CVN-77), by the end of March, six months late... maybe. Go team!

Meanwhile, a construction facility containing four pedal-powered underwater submersibles has been discovered by the Sri Lanka Army, following the capture of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's (LTTE's) urban stronghold of Mullaittivu on 28 January. A homemade armour-plated submersible, measuring about 35 ft (10.7 m) in length, and three smaller pedal-powered vessels were found at an LTTE base in Udayarkattukulam. The craft successfully sunk two Sri Lankan Navy vessels! Go team!

Gotta love the arms trade, all the strange caressing going on under the covers.
Speaking of which, you may not have noticed this item in Patriot Act 9/11 Fuhrer:

$B'r Adnan Khashoggi, along with Ramy El-Batrawi, was principal financier behind Genesis Intermedia, Inc. (formerly NASDAQ: GENI), a publicly traded 'Internet' company trading shell for his covert arms business, based in Southern California.

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Khashoggi's U.S.-based checking accounts were frozen (?sic?) and Khashoggi was unable to make a margin call with Native Nations Securities, whose CEO and largest shareholder, at the time, was Valerie Red Horse, former office manager of junk bond king Michael Milken.

In turn, Native Nations and Red Horse were unable to meet their obligations on the margin loan to MJK Clearing, Inc. Trading in the stock of Genesis Intermedia was halted in September 2001. Khashoggi's unwillingness to pay his margin loan to Native Nations Securities, and Native Nations (and Red Horse's) inability to pay its debts to MJK Clearing, began a series of bankruptcies that ended in the largest payout in Securities Investor Protection Corporation history.

[ed. That would be you and me footing that bill, a trail of $1's around the moon.]

"Native Nations Securities and MJK Clearing both eventually filed for bankruptcy."

That's nice.

Nothing could be funnier in life than tracking down former fraudsters in their new lives, like Michael Milken selling organic frutti-tofuti and bikram stretch pants.

"Native American Entreprenuer Valerie Red-Horse has built multiple businesses as well as being an award winning filmmaker, "a powerful Wall Street investment banker" (having led over $2 billion in tribal finance or industry related transactions), founder of an American Indian non-profit training organization and a Presbyterian Dance Ministry while being an active mother of three; married for 26 years to former NFL football player Curt Mohl."

Of course, no mention of her "financial difficulties" post 9/11.

The Shoggi must go on! There will be blood!

Gotta love those ReThugs!

Thanks, DiD'y!

Posted by: Adnan Khaskhowgi | Feb 26, 2009 10:52:50 PM | 29

@b - I see your point, but I think he's using the term "modern" in the context of 4th Generation Warfare.

Posted by: Jeremiah | Feb 27, 2009 2:32:12 AM | 30

@Jeremiah - I find all this 4th generation talk is just reinventing the wheel.

There is nothing new in guerrilla war, social unrest, the methods used therein and methods used against it. What Robb and others 4g-theorists (and COIN people) are selling is a lot hype. Maybe because they don't know better and really believe they just invented the wheel. If that is so, they are dumb - if that is not the case, they are frauds.

Posted by: b | Feb 27, 2009 2:53:57 AM | 31

Sorry -- i just had to re-post this, from above.

"Vaknin is a world authority on narcissism. He understands narcissism and describes the inner mind of a narcissist like no other person. When he talks about narcissism -- everyone listens!"

.
.
.
.
.
I mean -- that wasn't for real, was it?

I can imagine me sitting in an office waiting room, and then stepping in for my "analysis" and getting this as Mr. Vaknin's introduction.

!!?

4th G. warfare is an attempt to hijack sane-person talk with jargonized techno-fascist mumbo-jumbo.

Fortunately, the TF guys have yet to figure out that warfare is a lot more complicated than their video games have led them to believe.

God help us once they finally get the hang of it, though -- i imagine some 12-year-old-looking, dough-faced, gap-toothed, freckle-eared roboteers: "Hey, dood! Check that out, man! I shot her up the cootchie, dude! Ahahahaha!"

Then maybe they all go out for a nice Mormon meal with Orson Scott Card and bring along a few of their spirit-wives, for fun.

The problems today have nothing to do with 4th G warfare --

but the problem posed by the people who believe in it -- now, that is just a cold, hard reality, spitting in our face right here and now.

"Just think of it, man: you could fight a war without worrying about any HR costs! Just pure war -- any time, all the time!"

Fortunately, though, i don't think that reality has much of a chance of succeeding any time soon. Of course, it'll fight on --

But the awareness is starting to sink in, everywhere.

So now -- it feels good to be alive. It feels good to watch these things happen. It feels good to know that i have absolutely nothing to do with them: i'm a poor, self-employed, laboring exile, and i have nothing whatsoever to do with these horrors.

Now, if i can just keep my job....

Posted by: china_hand2 | Feb 27, 2009 5:41:17 AM | 32

@Fred:19
I heard a segment of that interview on ABC radio this morning. I had the same reaction to the facile comments about Putin.

I finished his tome on the Ascent of Money just yesterday. It's a fairly readable and interesting history - but it doesn't present insights. Other than the fact that he is now a rich and famous book writer, I can't find a reason to place undue emphasis on any of his opinons.

@Clueless Joe: I'd take him with a grain of salt. Although I haven't delved into his biography, he presents himself as distinctly middle-class (not upper-class with any meaningful connections). I'd normally place more weight on your opinions.

As for a "real war" any time soon (not just bombing the shit out of some hapless 3rd world country) - I agree with Niall. The "West" don't have the balls to take on Russia or China - and I don't loose any sleep worrying that the Russians (or Chinese) are coming.

Posted by: DM | Feb 27, 2009 5:51:42 AM | 33

This is very much on topic, and my apologies to those who have read it before:

1. The US has made a new weapon that destroys people but

keeps the building standing. It's called the stock market.

- Jay Leno


2. Do you have any idea how cheap stocks are? Wall Street

is now being called Wall Mart Street.

- Jay Leno


3. The difference between a pigeon and a London investment

banker. The pigeon can still make a deposit on a BMW.


4. What's the difference between a guy who lost everything in

Las Vegas and an investment banker? A tie!

5. The problem with investment bank balance sheet is that

on the left side nothing's right and on the right side nothing's

left.

6. I want to warn people from Nigeria who might be watching

our show ... if you get any emails from Washington asking for money, it's a scam. Don't fall for it.

- Jay Leno

7. Bush was asked about the credit crunch. He said it was

his favorite candy bar.

- Jay Leno

8. The rescue bill was about 450 pages. President Bush's copy

is even thicker. They had to include pictures.

- Jay Leno

9. President Bush's response was to meet some small business

owners in San Antonio last week. The small business owners

are General Motors, General Electric and Century 21..

- Jay Leno

10. What worries me most about the credit crunch is that if

one of my cheques are returned stamped 'insufficient funds',
I won't know whether that refers to mine or the bank's.

Posted by: Parviz | Feb 27, 2009 7:23:45 AM | 34

Global predictions like Ferguson's are hard to argue with, and are tempting because they simplify and they appeal to basic emotions. Quite a few smart people here agree with his "there will be blood" theme (e.g. Debs, Obamageddon), even while rejecting his neo-con political positions. Is this a paradox? I dont know.

Everyone feels the global system coming apart at the seams, and both left and right have theories of "creative destruction". Weird, huh?

Posted by: seneca | Feb 27, 2009 12:17:21 PM | 35

The Obama Administration has charted an inexplicable future course... Vietnam vet wrote.

Tertio, 3) by supporting ‘capitalist’ actors, fraudsters is a better description, to the hilt, i.e. banks and so on; upping the war budget (?), thus subsidizing the military complex and the arms industry. While at the same time indulging in poorly thought out, perhaps senseless, and often sneaky pay-outs to the ‘people’ based on misguided ideas, paid for by supposed future re-distribution measures. (E.g. mortgage relief for the middle class, no housing for the poor..)

Bread, circuses and aggression...

Don’t get me wrong, in the present US landscape, the rich should pay hugely higher taxes. The problem lies in how they became so rich, and others became so poor, in the first place.

rgiap: d cohn bendit as disgusting as b kouchner in a another style position a pox on them all and the media makes us pay attention to them


Posted by: Tangerine | Feb 27, 2009 12:20:50 PM | 36

Thanks for the laugh, Parviz! If it were ever proven that God is nothing more than a stand-up comedian, I may seriously consider giving up my atheist ways.;~)

Posted by: Cynthia | Feb 27, 2009 12:46:19 PM | 37

Cynthia, I'm sure God has a great sense of humour. Only a complete buffoon could have created this mess.

Posted by: Parviz | Feb 27, 2009 12:54:14 PM | 38

rememberringiap, Daniel Goldhagen, an unbiased historian? Poverty of gesture? No speaka da pomo/academic lingo, pal

Posted by: Blue Gene | Feb 27, 2009 1:44:46 PM | 39

Parviz -- If God wasn't blessed with divine powers to intervene in worldly affairs, I'll laugh along with him. But if he was blessed with these powers, I'll be first in line to beat the hell out of him.

Posted by: Cynthia | Feb 27, 2009 1:51:17 PM | 40

God help us once they finally get the hang of it, though -- i imagine some 12-year-old-looking, dough-faced, gap-toothed, freckle-eared roboteers: "Hey, dood! Check that out, man! I shot her up the cootchie, dude! Ahahahaha!"

Then maybe they all go out for a nice Mormon meal with Orson Scott Card and bring along a few of their spirit-wives, for fun.

Ah, is there another ex-Mormon at the whiskey bar? I definitely hear you. The huge upswing in ROTC army-uniformed students at my Utah college is alarming...

Posted by: Cloud | Feb 27, 2009 2:39:20 PM | 41

no' i'd rate goldhagen & irving equally - they are not very good at what they do

& in that arena we have good parameters, raul hilberg, christopher browning & norman finklestein

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 27, 2009 3:45:00 PM | 42

rememberinggiap: fair enough.

Posted by: Blue Gene | Feb 27, 2009 5:01:55 PM | 43

blugene

i'd also suggest that the russians who are expert at fighting wars & defending themselves have for a long time written about the war without prejudice, a great deal of what came out of even provincial military institutes has greater depth than what you would find in the heavily financed think tanks or the self proclaimed scholar warriors of the elites

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Feb 27, 2009 5:45:35 PM | 44

Cynthia (40), your words in God's ear!

Posted by: Parviz | Feb 27, 2009 10:06:33 PM | 45

Not an ex-Mormon. I live in Taiwan, where the missionaries stick out like white bread at a Chinese buffet. I've met a few who worked for various intelligence gathering agencies (CIA, NSA) back in the pre-millenium.

Their nationalism is usually pushed as "patriotic godliness", and it terrifies me.

But then, most of the Born Again Evangelicals i know tailor their views to fit just as neatly, so it's not really a Mormon thing.

It was really more of an Orson Scott Card thing.

So, Cloud -- did you ever do a mission? If so, where to?

Posted by: china_hand2 | Feb 27, 2009 11:21:32 PM | 46

When I reached the age at which Mormons are expected to go on missions -- that was about the same time I decided that I was no longer loyal to "The Church". So no, I didn't do the mission thing.

Posted by: Cloud | Feb 28, 2009 3:46:25 PM | 47

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