The communist nations have the strongest future because they have ‘sovereign wealth’. Unlike OPEC nations with lots of money but no real power, real power is nuclear bombs. Time to worry about Iran, an OPEC member, getting this! Many European and American commentators were chuckling over how they pulled the wool over Putin’s eyes by running a successful propaganda campaign, claiming Russia started the Olympic Wars in Ossetia. But this hasn’t changed reality: Russia won that was we sponsored and enabled and Russia won the gas pipeline wars, too.
Russia, the worst-performing major stock market in 2008, was Europe’s best last month as the ruble rose and reserves stabilized. Every neighboring market crumbled.
The Micex equity index climbed 6.6 percent in February as the world’s second-biggest oil producer stopped speculators from driving down the ruble and depleting its $382 billion of foreign exchange reserves. InUkraine, the central bank’s holdings fell 24 percent since August and the benchmark PFTS Index lost 21 percent last month. Latvia’s OMX Riga Index dropped 8 percent.
While Russia’s government said the economy will contract for the first time in a decade and currency reserves are down 36 percent from August, the nation’s relative strength is raising Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s influence over former Soviet states. Ukraine discussed borrowing $5 billion. Kazakhstan wants Russia to buy ailing BTA Bank. Belarus is asking for $3 billion in loans, on top of $2 billion granted last year….
Standard & Poor’s cut Russia’s credit rating in December by one level to BBB, the second-lowest investment-grade ranking. The government expects to run a budget deficit of about 8 percent of gross domestic product this year.
The central bank steadied the ruble, which gained 0.5 percent against the dollar last month, by pledging to raise interest rates and curtailing loans that banks were using to bet against the currency. Investors anticipate government plans to provide $200 billion in loans and reduce taxes will bolster the economy and push up the Micex, which is down 67 percent from its record high in May.
OK: what is the anticipated US budget deficit going to be vis a vis our own GDP? Last I heard, it was over 12% and climbing as our GDP falls. When one is in a race, the winner is who crosses the finish line. For the US to boast about having an AAA rating while chuckling over Russia’s BBB rating, this does us no good if Russia crosses the finish line and we go bankrupt and die.
I always prefer to look at where we stand, relative to others. Where we stand is simple: we are not standing. We are up to our necks in a swamp we can’t escape. And we think, ‘If only we go deeper into this swamp, we will win the race with the Russians who are not in a swamp but are standing in a mud puddle.’
Of course, we think Russia is deep in a swamp and we are in a mud puddle. Why we think this is due to hysterical amounts of propaganda lies. Last time I looked, Russia had a trade surplus, a sovereign wealth fund, a healthy FOREX reserves and even a golden hoard. Not to mention, the brief clashes Russia has with over-ambitious neighbors have ended quickly and in Russia’s favor.
While we plan to double our bets in Allah’s Casino in Afghanistan. Graveyard of empires, land of fanatics who hate us. Goody gum shoes. We plan for victory there. Russia is expert at quickly cutting back. Russia is accustomed to hard times and expects nasty winters. Russia knows that countries that have important commodities and nuclear bombs can bide their time.
Japan can’t do this. Japan needs stuff to stay alive. Japan doesn’t even have nuclear bombs. Japan now has a trade deficit and this is pure poison for the Japanese. They need solvent friends and the US is not solvent at all. So Japan has been courting Putin. Like Europe, Japan does this by first giving ultimatums. They want some islands ‘back’. Russia says, ‘Nyet’.
Then the Japanese come back and say, ‘OK, we want gas and oil,’ and Russia grins and pulls out the contracts.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said here Monday that his country was not responsible for the closure of the Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan, the only U.S. facility in central Asia and a key logistic center for American-led operations in Afghanistan.
HAHAHA. The US is obviously steamed about this. Well, we could have told the truth last summer and condemned the sneak attack on the Russian troops. Instead, the entire US media did its warmongering best to place blame on Putin. In turn, he pulled the rug from under us and we deserved it.
Now, he is grinning while offering us a chance to have Mother Russia escort us in and out of the Afghanistan Death Trap. He will even strew flowers in our path as we march to hell. Like the Afghanis, like the Islamic revolutionaries all over the place, he knows we are going rapidly downhill and our pretentious empire is killing us. He also knows that our allies have no stomach for all this. The Germans, for example, are playing footsie with Putzi and are giving up only 600 troops who refuse to leave their base and fight deranged Afghani peasants seeking to chop off heads, arms and legs.
Eastern European governments that ran political risks to support former President George W. Bush’s security policies are now concerned that his successor, Barack Obama, will backtrack on those regional commitments.
Leaders in the Czech Republic, Poland and other former communist nations face a backlash at home over their support of Bush-era initiatives, including the proposed U.S. missile- defense system and troop participation in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, concern is growing in eastern Europe that it will be put on “the back burner” as the Obama administration talks about working with Russia and western Europe on issues such as Iran, says Annette Heuser, executive director of theBertelsmann Foundation, a policy group in Washington.
Oh, the former Warsaw Pact states wanted to use us as their billy goat gruff and have us huff and puff and blow Moscow down. This was a failure since all we could do was a bill goat hairball and some wheezing in the general direction of the Kremlin.
Now, Power Politics resumes! What a shock. Someday, eastern Europe will figure out, they are doomed to be the transit point for armies slamming Russia and then running away from Russia. Not a good position. If they keep friendly with Russia while doing business, all is well. Asking a hostile, demented empire to come plant missiles facing Russia, in Eastern Europe is pure insanity.
Iran has asked Interpol to arrest what it says are 15 Israeli “war criminals” who were involved in the conflict in Gaza in December and January, the Tehran prosecutor said in remarks reported on Sunday.
Iran, which does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, said in December it had set up a court to try Israelis for attacking Gaza. It had said at the time it was ready to try those it accused in absentia.
If we condemn Israeli Military crimes against humanity, the whole world will forgive us our own war crimes just because this will stop the madness in the Holy Land. The Holy Land is very dangerous, it can cause WWIII. I hope another nation puts out arrest warrants on all the US war criminals. About time. I wish we would arrest them, ourselves.
We are still obeying the Jewish lobby and doing stupid things in the Middle East. Maybe it is time, the Saudis think, for some serious saber rattling. This way, the price of oil will shoot up again!
But alas, the US lost the war in Iraq. Iran has excellent relationships with the Iraqis and are pleased to peaches, we killed Saddam for them.
They won’t give it up. The unfairness of this all is beyond stupid. The whole world, even the US public has finally become aware that we have a double standard, demanding Iran, a country repeatedly attacked over the centuries, must disarm. We should set a good example and disarm ourselves.
And a little side story I wanted to do earlier has an interesting end:
A Chinese man who successfully bid for two looted bronze sculptures auctioned in Paris last week says his winning bid will not be paid.Cai Mingchao, a collection advisor of National Treasure Funds of China (NTFC), bid 31.49 million euros (39.63 million U.S. dollars) by telephone during the auction at Christie’s on Feb. 25,Niu Xianfeng, deputy director of the fund, said at a brief press conference Monday. “What I want to stress is that this money cannot be paid,” Cai said at the press conference.
In China’s legends, the moon is a big rabbit. And so it is funny that the same day they land on the Rabbit Moon, they fooled the French auctioneers! They want the loot stolen by British, French and German troops, returned! Since this stuff was obviously stolen, I agree. These are Chinese treasures taken during a terrible time in history when Europe thought, military power meant the right to loot.
The US still has to pay Iraq for the destruction of Iraq’s museum treasures. We took over Iraq and refused to patrol the place or protect important parts of Iraq’s culture and Rumsfeld even joked about the looting while watching it. He was as idle as on 9/11 when he goofed off.
He is a war criminal. Arrest him. If the Iranians would please demand the US put out arrest warrants, I will be immensely happy. And Obama better think thrice before he begins to OK war crimes.
P.O. BOX 483
BERLIN, NY 12022
Make checks out to ‘Elaine Supkis’