Childrens' Names

Econo-Girl usually rants about some obscure foreign policy topic, which explains why her most popular post is about her dog's leg getting broken.

On a different topic, people who name their children names like "Shithead" and "Fonda Cox" should be reported for child abuse. A friend noted that in Germany, they won't let you do that to a kid. They shouldn't here, either.

What do you think it will do to a child? I guess that's the intent on some level, to trash your kid before they have a chance. And even if it was an immature stunt, that child is growing up with you every day, and every day you are calling them "Shithead." That is continued abuse.

People like that should be targeted and humiliated. Like they are doing to their own child.


U.S. War With Iran: Watch It, Ahmadinejad!

Look Ahmadinejad, I know you are just thrilled to think that the U.S. isn't going to invade Iran right now. But don't push it too far. Your Foreign Minister was gloating the other day about how the U.S. taxpayer won't tolerate a war with Iran. Well, that's for right now. Never overestimate the American public. Or any public, for that matter.

Nuclear Iran: Cheney's Empty Threats

War with Iran has been averted. Thank God.

Now the Iranians are acting up with their usual attitude since they know we aren't really going to attack them. How do we know this? A quote from Scotland on Sunday:

"Responding to Cheney's comments, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said the US was not in a position to take military action against it and urged Washington and its allies to engage in dialogue.

"We do not see America in a position to impose another crisis on its tax payers by starting another war in the region," Mottaki said."

So when Vice President Cheney tells the world that "all options are on the table" he really isn't telling the truth. The U.S. doesn't have the option of military action in Iran.

A New Yorker article claims that the U.S. is increasing covert operations into Iran in a way that could spark a war. That is possible. It would be a way of getting us into a war with Iran while the Administration blames Iran for the whole thing. It would be typical of them.

Girl Lost in Poker Bet

Another appalling example of how women are treated in Pakistan. A girl's father promised her instead of money when he lost a poker game. And those tribal elders are, of course, telling the family that they have to give the girl over.

Now the father is long dead and the winner of the bet, her uncle, wants to force the girl to marry his son. Reuters published a photo of the 17-year-old crying. It's really sad. She should be laughing at these idiots instead. Like, "What? Marry that joker! Ha!" The fact that she is instead crying shows how real the chances are of her getting handed over.


Note to Britney Spears

Hang in there. You are talented and a lot of people care about you.

Don't listen to the idiots, lay low for a while, and get your head together. Worry about everything else later. The media machine will find somebody else to digest soon enough.


Iran and Nuclear Weapons: What Happened?

A few short days ago, Ahmadinejad was willing to negotiate about nuclear issues. Now he spits in the eyes of the United Nations again. With hope and baited breath, the western press adds a few paragraphs about dissent on the issue within Iran. What has happened?

From Econo-Girl's perspective, Britain's decision to withdraw troops from Iraq means that Bush will not get his little war with Iran. And of course, as soon as a loud-mouthed bully gets a little breathing room, he starts being obnoxious again, like he never was scared before. But scared he was.

And doubtless Admadinejad was a little jealous of all the stuff North Korea got for being a little cooperative. He wants some toys, too. But this entire episode demonstrates clearly that Ahmadinejad is not insane, and that he doesn't really want a war. So he's not stupid, either.


Habeas Corpus and Guantanamo Bay

Today we saw the absence of habeas corpus in action. By removing the right of habeas corpus from prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Congress has made sure there is no way for U.S. courts to review the legitimacy of their detention.

Wow! Destroying the right of habeas corpus! That's one for the history books all right. But no one will be applauding in five years about what you've done. It will be a source of eternal shame and cause of apologies.

Of course, the Congresspeople involved will just blame Bush et. al. like they do now about Iraq. Where's a good spine when you need one?

Note to Chris Mathews

Chris, you mentioned the other day that the term "homeland" is disturbing to you for some undefinable reason.

Perhaps the reason is that it is eerily similar to Hitler's phrasing of "fatherland." And listen to the context of how Bush uses the term. No wonder you are uncomfortable with it.

India and Pakistan and Peace

Isn't it great when two major powers in Eurasia decide that they are going to have peace whether the crazies want it or not? That's what India and Pakistan did when they decided to proceed with peace talks despite the recent train bombings.

The implication is that peace will bring united interests, both economic and political. As a unified block, Indo-Pak will have much more power on the global stage. They are smart people and know that. But the Putin reference to India, and what Econo-Girl calls Indo-Pak, is a little misguided. The interests of Russia are not the same as Brazil and Indo-Pak and China. The share stunning growth and that's it.


Munich Security Conference: Putin on Poverty Pimps

Putin, in his speech at the Munich Security Conference, mentioned poverty as a security threat. He noted that often the assistance offered to Third World nations is designed to promote the businesses of the donor nation.

"And let’s say things as they are – one hand distributes charitable help and the other hand not only preserves economic backwardness but also reaps the profits thereof. The increasing social tension in depressed regions inevitably results in the growth of radicalism, extremism, feeds terrorism and local conflicts."

Econo-Girl is not an expert on international aid, but these claims would bear looking into.

U.S. War with Iran - We've Got To Stop This War!

It wouldn't be so scary if President Bush listened to people. Even once in a while. One gets the feeling he is acting off of a script he wrote years ago.

Looking to George Bush's example, if I ever think God wanted me to be President, I'd go straight to the psych ward.

Retired generals are refuting Bush claims of Iranian involvement in the Iraq insurgency. Econo-Girl herself was suspicious when all of the intelligence community agreed. Believe me, there is nothing more suspicious than the entire U.S. intelligence community agreeing on something.

It's not just Bush's lying. We can expect that from politicians. It's the cynical use of the same old formula: repeat it often enough, and fake the evidence. I don't think it will work this time.


US War with Iran - Pretext

One gets the feeling that the entire idea of attacking Iraq was a pretext to attack Iran. Econo-Girl would urge somebody to talk sense into the head of our President, but is afraid it would only get them arrested.

Bush will use al Sadr's presence in Iran as a pretext to start a war with them. Watch for a media build-up on the evils of al Sadr. Already Econo-Girl has seen him compared to Osama bin Laden.

The only chance to escape the impending debacle is for Iran to talk to Germany, and get Germany to talk to Israel and Britain about approaching Bush about not doing this.

People who are comparing the rhetoric about Iraq to what is being said by the President about Iran are correct. We live in dangerous times.


Munich Security Conference: Putin on Unilateralism

Let's discuss Putin's remarks on unilateralism and democracy at the Munich Security Conference.

Putin maintains that the unipolar world imagined after the end of the Cold War has not happened. He refers to "unipolar" as anti-democratic and unworkable.

"[I]t refers to one type of situation, namely one centre of authority, one centre of force, one centre of decision-making. ... And this certainly has nothing in common with democracy. Because, as you know, democracy is the power of the majority in light of the interests and opinions of the minority." Putin said.

Putin then turns to the results of the "unipolar model." "Unilateral and frequently illegitimate actions" "even more are dying than before" "wars as well as local and regional conflicts have not diminished" "almost uncontained hyper use of force – military force – in international relations"

"As a result we do not have sufficient strength to find a comprehensive solution to any one of these conflicts. Finding a political settlement also becomes impossible." As a result "no one feels safe."

Let Econo-Girl pause here for a moment and mention that no one felt safe with a bi-polar world either. Fear of nuclear incineration did nothing to calm the people of the world. The Cold War didn't reduce local wars either. Putin is not calling to our minds the graces of a bi-polar world, but let's remember that he is criticizing the global status quo since World War II. The situation of which he complains was not created in 1989.

Putin speaks of terrorism taking on a global character under unilateralism. He forgets the Internet and its communicative role in that. Communication is an essential part of terrorism. The communication revolution also changed terrorism dramatically.

Continuing, Putin mentions Brazil, India, China and Russia as economic and political powerhouses of the future based on growing GDP. He points to that as another reason to expand past unilateralism.

On the use of force:

"The use of force can only be considered legitimate if the decision is sanctioned by the UN. And we do not need to substitute NATO or the EU for the UN. When the UN will truly unite the forces of the international community and can really react to events in various countries, when we will leave behind this disdain for international law, then the situation will be able to change."

Here, the use of force is advocated by Putin only with United Nations' sanction. Apparently, the Italian Defence Minister included NATO in that group, which Putin really didn't like.

In this section of the speech, Putin mentions horrors within countries and how this cannot be tolerated either. But he did not include the murder of reporters in Russia as rising to a level of enough importance to even address. Interesting. Supposing the United Nations decided to vote on that one, eh?

More to come. Putin had great stuff to say on the corruption of anti-poverty groups.


Atomic Israel: Putin Speaks

Putin demonstrated for the world the role Russia could play in resolving global conflicts by pressuring Iran into becoming more agreeable to compromise regarding its nuclear program. And it worked.

Econo-Girl has done hours of research to find the best summation of Putin's speech to the security conference in Munich. Click on the title to this post to see it. This blog will focus on what Putin said at the Munich Security Conference and what he meant by it.

Today, we are going to look at Putin's message to Iran.

He stated that Russia has been minimally cooperating with Iran militarily so as not to have them feel isolated. But Putin claimed that nuclear materials in Iran are coming from Europe and Asia, not Russia. He mentioned that while the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. made an agreement to destroy short and medium range missiles, countries including North and South Korea, Israel and Iran did not. New agreements need to be made to face this reality.

Putin also remarked that Iran should be more responsive to the IAEA.

And then guess what? Iran signaled that the fight over their nuclear program could be resolved by dialog.

Russia is giving Iran military support. And when Putin gets up in a major international security conference and mentions that Iran should cooperate more with international inspectors, Iran listens.

The timing of Iran's willingness to compromise on its nuclear program cannot be dismissed as mere coincidence. Think about it. For a few years Europe and the U.S. have been cajoling Iran, threatening Iran, nagging Iran to stop enriching uranium. Now they are willing to talk about it. That's a big step forward, and a step at least a little related to Putin's speech.

It is important that Putin mentions this point in a speech that highly criticizes U.S. unilateralism. Putin demonstrated that by Russia's participation in the pressure on Iran, the level of Iranian cooperation changes. He shows the world, if they care to look, how much could be accomplished if Russia was brought to the table as a partner.

The response of the U.S. Secretary of Defense Gates was a dismissive snort mocking the cold war. Of course what is said and what is believed are two different things. But it would be a mistake not to listen to Putin now.

After that, he addresses a series of issues that could be topics for further global cooperation: nuclear energy, poverty and corruption related to it, international law, genocide and nuclear disarmament.

Econo-Girl will try to address each issue in its turn.

Compare the Two Stories

My God, Econo-Girl hasn't been this surprised since Pravda called U.S. intervention in Kosovo "unwarranted."

In doing research on Putin's speech before the 43rd Munich Security Conference, Econo-Girl has found three great articles, all linked on Google News. The nature of what happened at that conference is important enough to warrant several posts.

From Xinhua's China View, (http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-02/10/content_5724866.htm), a direct reporting of Putin's remarks on the effects of unbridled U.S. military aggression on the insecurity level of the world.

Excerpt: "We are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of force in international relations ... the United States has overstepped its national borders in every way," said Putin at a high-profile security conference in southern German city of Munich.

"The legitimate use of force can only be done by the United Nations, which cannot be replaced by EU or NATO," he said."

Putin went on to say the insecurity caused by U.S. use of force leads other nations to want nuclear weapons. The content of Putin's speech will be addressed in other posts.

Now look at another article on the same conference: http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L10161072.htm. You will notice that Putin is not mentioned at all. The stated purpose of this newswire is to "alert humanitarians to emergencies." The writer talks about how diplomats are whispering in hallways about offering incentives to Iran to behave itself. A few blunt threats did that just fine before the conference was over.

If humanitarian emergencies is your focus, why would you ignore Putin's insight on global destabilization? Econo-Girl is no Putin fan, but he raises some very interesting points that are very much worth discussing.

The People's Daily Online (http://english.people.com.cn/200702/11/eng20070211_349165.html) quotes Putin as saying,

' "We should not corner Iran into a hostile environment," Putin said at a high-profile security conference held in the southern German city of Munich.

There is no evidence, after all, that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, he said.'

If you are writing an article about diplomats drafting incentives to get Iran to stop its nuclear program, wouldn't a mention of the above comment be fitting?

The comparison of news articles from various news outlets is an analysis all its own. Thank God for the Internet and ready access to the People's Daily.


Atomic Israel: Iran, Iraq and War

The question isn't "Is Iran Supporting the Iraq Insurgency?" It's the kind of crap they would do, and Econo-Girl has no information to say they aren't. The question is "Why is the U.S. advertising this?"

The U.S. could be setting the stage for a real confrontation with Iran to let them know their rhetoric against Israel needs to calm down a few notches. Reminding them of what a real problem could look like in the headlines of the world's leading newspapers is a great way to get it across.

Or maybe the Administration has been planning a war with Iran all along. All the intelligence agencies agree, and that's suspicious right off the bat. The logic expressed in the New York Times article is something like "We were wrong before and we admit that. So you got to believe us now." OK, so you finally admitted the obvious when it was impossible to do anything else. That doesn't give you credibility.

One thing is certain: a lot of this bandying of headlines could stop if we would just have some kind of dialog with Iran directly. Remember, you don't have to be able to look into someone's eyes and declare you can do business with this man, to do business with this man. You just need to get over yourself.

See "Deadliest Bomb in Iraq Is Made by Iran, U.S. Says " today in the New York Times.


A Promise of Terror?

Here we go again, only this time Iran is saying it. The message is: Iran will fight back with terror attacks if its nuclear program is attacked.

What Iran is missing in their analysis is that they will no longer exist. They will have nothing to strike back with, or for. What they will be counting on is expats getting angry and doing the suicide bombing thing on their behalf. And that may happen. But Iran will no longer exist. The land itself will be a wasteland.

And in the end, continued existence is the point.


Atomic Israel: Olmert Speaks

Olmert is now assuring the world and the Israelis that nuclear measures will not be needed in checking Iran's nuclear ambitions. Essentially dismissing Ahmadinejad as a blowhard, he calls the Iranian leader's atomic claims dubious. Certainly there is a track record to back that up. Ahmadinejad tops Econo-Girl's list of obnoxious loudmouths.

Econo-Girl's opinion is that Olmert is signaling an out for Iran and trying to put a lid on the crazies in the U.S. who are pushing for a nuclear showdown. It's great the way people always want somebody else to be blown up.

Here's what their analysis lacks: in WWII, we were the ONLY ONES WITH A NUCLEAR WEAPON. Now, many nations have them. So the hothead deciding to use one will be destroyed themselves. That makes the North Korean nuclear threat far more serious than the Iranian one. The one thing the Iranians don't have is a suicidal cult of personality. Beneath the rhetoric, they can be negotiated with.

Click on the title to this post to see the article Econo-Girl is referring to.


I Just Bet You're Proud of Yourselves, Aren't You?

Let's ask everybody 'who wants to go to prison?' No one? Well then, nothing happened. Wasn't that easy? You could have sent me a check and gotten the same answer.

The gentle winds of inevitability whisper in little CC's ears. The signoff sheet will be a list of Who's Going To Have Their Careers Destroyed. Not now, but soon. And it won't even be for anything. Certainly not something you could share with your grandchildren with pride. Filial loyalty only goes so far. That's what they didn't tell you when you were eighteen.


Send Armitage to Prison!

Econo-Girl is still infuriated with Richard Armitage. That big-mouthed jerk is not even losing his clearance. Any person with self-respect would have resigned immediately after realizing his mistake.

Armitage's class and political connections are protecting him from the natural consequences of his actions. What is the FBI waiting for?

One Australian, One Detention Camp

Click on the title to this post to see the Chinese interpretation of the Australian in Gitmo. Australia wants its citizen to be tried by a certain date or to be released from Guantanamo. The U.S. is now saying it won't meet the deadline.

The Chinese news outlet Xinhua is calling it an American "disregard" of Australia's request. That terminology shows how our actions regarding Guantanamo Bay are hurting our image abroad and our ability to negotiate with other nations.


Atomic Israel: Chirac Speaks

Jacques Chirac was chatting with reporters when commenting that Iran would be leveled if they used a nuclear weapon. So the world does not need to fear Iran's nuclear capability. They need to worry about Syria and Saudi Arabia.

Chirac chased reporters after the interview to tell them the comment was off-the-record. Econo-Girl is not entirely convinced that is so. Was it instead another balloon being floated in the international press warning of retaliation against Iran's nuclear moves? That's what Econo-Girl thought when she heard it. And she is not the only one, it seems.

The Crisis Action coalition in Great Britain now warns against the U.S. or Great Britain striking against Iran before trying diplomacy. Well, we all know how well diplomacy has worked with Iran in the past.

"The analysts said it would also create an al-Qaida backlash of terror attacks in the invading countries and retaliation by oil-producing countries." Click on the title to this post for the full story.

An al-Qaida backlash of terror attacks? Are we really going to alter our foreign policies based on such gangster threats? Are we going to cede loss of control of our own country such that we will be swayed by the mention of a terror attack? If we did, the September 11 bombers would have been successful. Let's make them fail instead.


Putin on Litvinenko

"The president said Russian authorities would have no reason to kill Litvinenko, portraying him as a small fry who had no access to secrets during his service. "

That's not why he was killed, Vladimir. He was killed because he criticized you.

See the full article by clicking on the title to this post.

'No Space Race' Claims U.S. State Department

Our U.S. State Department is deeply concerned about television viewing options here in the United States. Alternatively, they are a little worried about the Chinese getting real about the militarization of space.

"Oh, let's not endanger our astronauts or add to pollution and debris orbiting the Earth," Tom Casey of the State Department, in effect, cries. Like that's the problem. "Let's not endanger our way of television viewing." Or, let's pretend that all those millions of NASA dollars were for the sake of science, knowledge and humanity. Not as setting the stage for future military domination.

On the other hand, having just gotten out of the Cold War, maybe our leaders aren't interested in everyone in the States wanting to know about the problems of our space program.

In the U.S. bid for military domination through space technology, we are bumping into other countries intent on doing the same thing. Like China. You know, the people who blew up that satellite the other day?

So maybe space pollution isn't the real issue here.