Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Chavez primed for war, Neighbors cut ties with Columbia who calls for charges against Chavez as ties cut and Diplomats are sent home!

I just heard Bush offering Columbia his full support. Just what does that mean? As the situation in South America continues to spiral to war I just want to remind you that yes the entire world is erupting but things are a lot more volatile right here in our own backyard than most realize. First I want to reiterate what we have discussed many times as to the dangers in our own backyard even as the remainder of the world continues to erode much in thanks to bush's meddling! Russia building Venezuela Refineries, China Building Mexican ports, North American Union, what about the myriad of problems in our own backyard?I know we have much to be paying attention to and be concerned with around the world. Most of it is due to Bush. However as I have written many times about Chavez's hate for Bush and America and watching their ever growing connections with Iran, China, and Russia, I am becoming increasingly concerned about what is happening right here in our own backyard while our attention seems to be everywhere but in our own backyard. Recent developments showcase a march to war there to.

In the past we have discussed We have Russia building up to 13 refineries in Venezuela. Very interesting as Iran is experiencing gas shortages and riots as a result of a lack of refineries. Anyway Venezuela has to build four refineries to process heavy crude from fields in the Orinoco Belt and is considering establishing a joint venture with Russia to satisfy these goals, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said during a business conference at the Russian Federation Chamber of Commerce."Orinoco, where Lukoil is now working, there are demonstrated reserves of 300 billion tons of heavy crude in two new fields," Chavez said. "Therefore we have decided to build four refineries, and in the future, accounting for the interests of countries in the Caribbean region, 13 refineries altogether."

Chavez said that at present, Venezuela is considering establishing a joint venture with Russia in pursuit of these aims. He said that Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and other South American countries could also found such ventures. they will build a pipeline to Argentina and buy $5 Billion worth of equipment figuring why not Russia?I have learned that China is funding and clandestinely building ports in Mexico. Lázaro Cárdenas is home to a deep-water seaport that handles container, dry bulk, and liquid cargo. involvement by Russia, China, Iran, and others is much more than this. This just scratches the surface and UI invite you to read yesterdays conversation of What is at stake in South America

As this continues to spiral towards more war and right at our damn doorstep I am getting increasingly concerned with this but also the wars continuing to develop unabated around the world! As you know by now President Hugo Chavez ordered tanks and thousands of troops on Sunday to the border with Colombia, accusing it of pushing South America to the brink of war by killing a top rebel leader on Ecuadorean soil. Denouncing Colombia's slaying of the rebel commander in a cross-border raid into Ecuador, Chavez said Venezuela will respond militarily if Colombia violates its border. He ordered Venezuela's embassy in Bogota closed.
Ecuador's president, Rafael Correa, also ordered troops to the Colombian border, withdrew his government's ambassador from Bogota and ordered Colombia's top diplomat expelled.• Click here for video. "There is no justification," Correa said Sunday night, snubbing an earlier announcement from Colombia that it would apologize for the incursion by its military. Venezuela and Ecuador want to fight

Once again it is everyone else's fault and no one wants to talk. They want to fight to get their way! Colombian President Alvaro Uribe says he will ask the International Criminal Court to bring genocide charges against President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. He accused Mr. Chavez of sponsoring and financing Colombian Farc rebels. Venezuela denies the charge. Colombian officials say a laptop found during a raid on a Farc camp held files indicating Venezuela gave Farc $300m. Colombian forces entered Ecuador to raid the camp, provoking furious protests and a diplomatic crisis. "Colombia proposes to denounce the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, in the International Criminal Court for sponsoring and financing genocide," Mr. Uribe said. Venezuela and Ecuador have broken off ties with Colombia and moved troops to the Colombian border. Columbia wants charges against Chavez

It is just sickening because as with Bush it is everyone else's fault but their own. The truth is what they want to know so they can get what they want. You can not trust anyone today period! Ecuador has cut diplomatic ties with Colombia in a deepening crisis over a cross-border raid by Colombian troops. Venezuela also said it was expelling all Colombian diplomats in the wake of the raid, which killed senior Farc rebel Raul Reyes and 16 others. Venezuela and Ecuador have deployed troops to their borders amid calls for restraint led by the head of the UN. Ecuador said the raid had scuppered a possible deal to free French-Colombian Farc hostage Ingrid Betancourt.

President Rafael Correa said his government had been in "very advanced" talks to release the ex-Colombian presidential candidate, who has been held for six years, and other Latin American powers including Chile, Mexico and Brazil have offered to mediate in the dispute. An emergency meeting of the Organization of American States will be held on Tuesday to discuss the crisis. Farc - the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - has been fighting for more than four decades with the declared aim of a fairer wealth distribution in Colombia. Neighbors cut ties with Columbia

* We should be used to this by now but that is absolute BS! This has been going on for 40 years and Columbia's Presidential candidate has been held for more than 6 years. As you can see, this threatens to embroil all of South America as for now Latin American powers including Chile, Mexico and Brazil have offered to mediate in the dispute. however no offers will be taken as escalation is the desire he too! Diplomacy is not desired here any more than it is in the middle east or anywhere else in the world. In this race to future war the entire world seems prepared to fight to have what they think will be there way in the future. No one will have their way! No one will be happy! Again I will say they all fail to realize that people, weapons, and the planet are too advanced to survive what is about to happen and still have a life sustaining Planet. I will say again, we cannot be this stupid and it seems that some just want to fight but some just seem bent on bringing about "The End Of Days"

James Joiner
Gardner Ma


Candace said...

As soon as this came on the news, I wondered if this is going to be the "October surprise" I've been expecting in this election year - let's go after the turrerists in S.A. because they hate our freedom.

Just great - Bush and Chavez go to war. This is what happens when the populace allows child bullies dressed in men's suits gain power.

an average patriot said...

Hi Candace!
Glad to hear from you, Welcome! You know, I never thought about that. I just thought here we go again and right in our backyard. Bush and Chavez both have been pushing for this open confrontation.
This will be just one more of the many fronts in Bush's Forever wars he calls a war on terror. Yeah right!

PoliShifter said...


I am wondering too about this...

I too think Bush/Cheney would love to get us into another war before November....If not Iran, then Venezuela will do just fine for them...

an average patriot said...

By the way I have a problem with my side bar so I had to put my recommendations for TC's Patriot Award on my post yesterday and amongst others I recommended you!
If you choose to accept the directions are in yesterdays post or on TC's front page, left hand side!

an average patriot said...

I must have screwed that up but I wanted to say that there are many scenarios coming to fruition right now around the world in time for Bush to justify canceling elections and declaring Martial Law if McCain doesn't get in to continue the rights mis-agenda.

an average patriot said...

I moved it back to the second!

Larry said...

Why doesn't the press mention this Jim:

In the following interview, Nobel laureate Joe Stiglitz talks about how the economy has replaced Iraq as the central issue in the presidential campaign, but how the two are closely related.

Buzz up!on Yahoo!Stiglitz was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2001. He is the author, with Linda Bilmes, of The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of The Iraq Conflict, just published in the U.S. Stiglitz spoke with me for my Global Viewpoint on Monday.

Nathan Gardels: The American economy, teetering toward recession or worse, has replaced the war in Iraq as the key issue in the presidential campaign. What is the link between U.S. economic woes and the war in Iraq?

Joseph Stiglitz: The war has led directly to the U.S. economic slowdown. First, before the U.S. went to war with Iraq, the price of oil was $25 a barrel. It's now $100 a barrel.
While there are other factors involved in this price rise, the Iraq war is clearly a major factor. Already factoring in growing demand for energy from India and China, the futures markets projected before the war that oil would remain around $23 a barrel for at least a decade. It is the war and volatility it has caused, along with the falling dollar due to low interest rates and the huge trade deficit, that accounts for much of the difference.

That higher price means that the billions that would have been in the pockets of Americans to spend at home have been flowing out to Saudi Arabia and other oil exporters.

Second, money spent on Iraq doesn't stimulate the economy at home. If you hire a Filipino contractor to work in Iraq, you don't get the multiplier effect of someone building a road or a bridge in Missouri.

Third, this war, unlike any other war in American history, has been entirely financed by deficits. Deficits are a worry because, in the end, they crowd out investment and pile up debt that has to be paid in the future. That hurts productivity because little is left over either for public-sector investment in research, education and infrastructure or private-sector investment in machines and factories.

Until very recently, we haven't sharply felt these three factors depressing the economy because the Federal Reserve Bank responded with the attitude that they must keep the economy going no matter how much President Bush spends on the Iraq war. Seeing a weak economy, they kept interest rates low, flooded the economy with liquidity and looked the other way when bad home-lending practices were shoveling money out the door. Regulation was lax. The spigot was wide open. More than $1.5 trillion was taken out of houses in mortgage equity withdrawals alone over the past five years! That is a huge amount of money to be spent.

At the same time, the U.S. savings rates plummeted to zero. So everything that was being spent, from rebuilding Iraq to redecorating the home, was on borrowed money. All the problems were papered over by borrowing. The bubble ultimately burst when the ratio of housing prices to income -- that is, what people whose incomes are falling could afford -- was no longer sustainable.

Now that we can see beyond the bubble, the economic weakness caused by the Iraq war will be fully exposed. And we'll pay for it in spades -- you might say, with interest.

Gardels: One of the bizarre occurrences of globalization is that the Chinese, who opposed the Iraq war at the U.N., have ended up as a major financier of that war by purchasing U.S. Treasury bonds with the huge dollar reserves they've earned from their trade surplus with the U.S. So, a consumer democracy with no savings borrows from a market-Leninist state to combat terrorism and hold free elections in the first Shiite government in an Arab state in 800 years!
How will we sort it all out?

Stiglitz: And the American people haven't a clue about what they are supporting, which undermines democracy at home as well.

The ironies don't stop there. This is the first American war since the Revolutionary War that has been financed from abroad. At the beginning of every other war, there was real public discourse about which costs should be put on future generations and which should be paid today -- in taxes. This is the first war where we have (BEGIN ITALICS) lowered taxes (END ITALICS) as we went to war.

The Iraq war has not only been financed by foreigners, but it is also the most privatized war in American history. And the results are egregious. For example, a security contractor -- I'm not talking about sophisticated engineers here -- makes well over $1,000 a day, often more than $400,000 a year. A person in the U.S. Army gets paid a fraction of that amount -- about $40,000 annually -- for performing the same tasks. Everybody knows any workplace where one person makes 10 times what the other one does for doing the same job is a recipe for discontent. So, in order to attract soldiers, the U.S. Army has increased sign-up bonuses. We're competing with ourselves! And that raises costs all around.

But that is not the end of the absurdity. On top of that, the U.S. taxpayer is paying disability and death insurance for the contractor, but then the insurance policies exempt paying in the circumstances of "hostilities." Who are we buying insurance for? The taxpayer, then, is essentially paying the insurance companies for nothing. Talk about a sweet deal!

Gardels: What is the big picture in terms of America's economic reckoning with the Iraq war?

Stiglitz: The big picture is that, by our most conservative estimates, this war has cost an almost unimaginable $3 trillion. A more realistic estimate, however, is closer to $5 trillion once you include all the downstream "off budget costs" of long-term veteran benefits and treatment, the costs of restoring the now depleted military to its pre-war strength, the considerable costs of actually withdrawing from Iraq and repositioning forces elsewhere in the region.

Then there are the micro costs. For example, if a solider gets killed, his family gets a $500,000 lifetime payment. That is not included in the public budget when the costs of the war are considered.

These costs are real and are not going away. You can't continue to sweep them under the rug. Like your credit card bill, the costs only grow greater if you ignore them.

Finally, anybody who says we ought to stay in Iraq for even another four years, no less the next 100 years, as John McCain has suggested, has to honestly tell the American people how they are going to pay the $12 billion-a-month bill. Where are we going to come up with another $1.2 trillion? And is that going to make America more secure?

Let's get out sooner rather than later. Above all, let's stop fantasizing. It's those fantasies that got us in trouble.

Gardels: In your view, is this economic mess a result of the neo-con fantasy or a conscious cover-up by the Bush administration to hide the costs from the American public?
Stiglitz: Both. It was a neo-con fantasy that we'd be greeted with garlands. We'd only be responsible for cleaning up the rose petals. Iraqi oil would pay for everything else.

It was also a deliberate attempt to hide the costs from the American people. How else could you justify not providing the American troops with the equipment they need? How else could you justify not giving the Veterans (Benefits) Administration what they need to treat the disabilities of our heroic soldiers who have been both physically and psychologically maimed by this war? That can only be interpreted as a deliberate attempt to hide the real costs of war -- at the expense of weakening our armed forces, which have been debilitated. The Bush administration has put short-run political advantage ahead of the security of the country.

Gardels: The economic costs have now come back to undermine the whole post-9/11 security effort. When John McCain says he's not interested in and doesn't understand the economic aspect of things, and only knows about how to keep America safe, what does that say about his leadership capability?

Stiglitz: If he doesn't understand the economy, he doesn't understand security. If we had infinite resources, we might be able to have perfect security. But America, like every other country, has resource constraints. That means you need to be smart -- that is, economic -- about the money we spend. If you weaken the American economy, you won't be able to find the resources you need for security. The two cannot be separated.

Larry said...

This guys a phony Jim:

John McCain enjoys a fawning press and a maverick reputation. He likes to describe himself as a conservative populist. Straight talk is his boast. But when it comes to the economy, he's peddling the same poisonous brew that is sapping this country's strength. That is why even though John McCain is a a decent man, the campaign this fall will be ugly and mean. McCain couldn't survive a straight up policy debate. A good example is the Wall Street Journal's recent analysis of McCain plans on taxes and spending.

Bush racked up over $3 trillion in debt over the past seven years. He largely squandered the money on the war in Iraq and tax cuts for the wealthy, while starving vital investments here at home in everything from levees to modern schools.

McCain promises even more of the same. The senator now says he's not only for making the Bush tax cuts permanent -- at the cost of $3 trillion over the next decade -- he wants additional corporate and top end tax cuts -- slashing corporate taxes, eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax. Relying on campaign figures, the Wall Street Journal estimates McCain's new promises on tax cuts total about $400 billion a year (This doesn't count McCain's musing about tax reform, looking to make the tax code "fairer and flatter," which can only mean lowering taxes on the top and raising them on middle income workers.)

McCain isn't talking about a short term stimulus to get the economy going. He's talking about permanent change. And the tax cuts the senator is pushing -- focused on corporations and the more affluent -- are the least efficient ways to give the economy a boost.

How will he pay for this? McCain loudly censors Bush and Republicans for spending like drunken sailors. But McCain is less forthcoming about what he would cut. He'd keep pumping the $10 billion a month into the war in Iraq, and spend more expanding and rebuilding the military. He won't get it out of entitlements. He says he's still committed to privatizing Social Security along the Bush model, which would have added a staggering $17.5 trillion in debt by 2050 (essentially increasing US total debt by 50%).

What would he cut? McCain vows to veto every congressional earmark that comes his way. What a relief. But earmarks only totaled about $18 billion last year. McCain also points to a list of programs -- largely for the vulnerable -- that Bush thinks should be eliminated. Those too total about $18 billion a year. With Bush's annual budget deficit at $400 billion and rising, and McCain vowing to add another $400 billion in new tax cuts a year, this is a dodge, not an answer. On taxes and spending, as on trade and regulation and war, he is offering only Bush redux.

That's why the coming election campaign will be down and dirty. Forget about Obama's new spirit. Republicans have no choice but to demonize their opponents. McCain can't afford to have a straight policy debate. With Americans suffering recession, costly occupation abroad, stagnant wages, pervasive corporate corruption, homes plummeting in value, more of the same isn't exactly a winning formula.

Brother Tim said...

BushCo has to have a boogeyman, in fact several boogeymen. Chavez is just filling Saddam's place. Personally, I like Hugo, we have a lot in common......a strong dislike of Bush.

an average patriot said...

We're you referring to South America or the fact that Bush is singlehandedly responsible for skyrocketing oil costs, the weakening dollar,out of control world chaos, and funding the Chinese so they can defeat us militarily?

an average patriot said...

I will guarantee you that when the hidden costs are uncovered you can double that $3 trillion figure.
Like the idiot McCain wants to follow he is absolutely a phony. Despite what he says you can see the truth all over his face. Like Bush he reads like a book which makes it all the more frustrating and some believe the crap to all our demise.

an average patriot said...

I almost forgot to tell you wherever I saw it that I liked your comment about progressive Patriots sticking together.
I am sure you have listened to Chavey's rants about Bush in Iran and the UN. I have written on it extensively.
I agree with what he says about Bush of course but the chief idiot is in control of our Country and it sickens me to watch Bush flush us down the tube while we are powerless to stop it and just have to watch!

Candace said...

"... there are many scenarios coming to fruition right now around the world in time for Bush to justify canceling elections and declaring Martial Law if McCain doesn't get in to continue the rights mis-agenda."

Exactly! But I don't think it'll depend on McCain's success or not (Bush hates McCain; yes I know, he endorsed McCain today, but whatever.) I think Bu$hCo wants to retain power. The scary thing is that he can declare martial law, and now, thanks to executive signing statements, he can do that and there is NO RECOURSE left to us to stop him. None. Not Congress, not even the Judicial Branch can override it. This is unbelievable. I can't imagine that he'll leave this kind of power in place for future (possibly Democratic) presidents. Bear in mind, when I say "he" I mean Cheney and the other power brokers behind Bush, because Bush is too stupid to be anything other than a puppet...

an average patriot said...

you're entirely right! Uniting with McCain will give the illusion that this is a Democracy and everything is okay but BS!
Bush is letting the excuses pile up and he or his successor can take total control of us then continue with these Forever Wars.you are again right.
Something has to happen because the awesome powers Bush amassed will not be allowed in Democrat's hands.
Cheney is the real decider and Bush is the elected flunky cheerleader to push the agenda through of whoever are the real powers behind this still just developing mess. You're pretty on the ball by the way!