Sunday, July 27, 2008

Lets see if this leads monday morning

Analysis: US Winning War That Seemed Lost
July 27, 2008Associated Press

BAGHDAD - The United States is now winning the war that two years ago seemed lost. Limited, sometimes sharp fighting and periodic terrorist bombings in Iraq are likely to continue, possibly for years. But the Iraqi government and the U.S. now are able to shift focus from mainly combat to mainly building the fragile beginnings of peace - a transition that many found almost unthinkable as recently as one year ago.
Despite the occasional bursts of violence, Iraq has reached the point where the insurgents, who once controlled whole cities, no longer have the clout to threaten the viability of the central government.
That does not mean the war has ended or that U.S. troops have no role in Iraq. It means the combat phase finally is ending, years past the time when President Bush optimistically declared it had. The new phase focuses on training the Iraqi army and police, restraining the flow of illicit weaponry from Iran, supporting closer links between Baghdad and local governments, pushing the integration of former insurgents into legitimate government jobs and assisting in rebuilding the economy.
Scattered battles go on, especially against al-Qaida holdouts north of Baghdad. But organized resistance, with the steady drumbeat of bombings, kidnappings, assassinations and ambushes that once rocked the capital daily, has all but ceased.
This amounts to more than a lull in the violence. It reflects a fundamental shift in the outlook for the Sunni minority, which held power under Saddam Hussein. They launched the insurgency five years ago. They now are either sidelined or have switched sides to cooperate with the Americans in return for money and political support.
Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, told The Associated Press this past week there are early indications that senior leaders of al-Qaida may be considering shifting their main focus from Iraq to the war in Afghanistan.
Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, told the AP on Thursday that the insurgency as a whole has withered to the point where it is no longer a threat to Iraq's future.
"Very clearly, the insurgency is in no position to overthrow the government or, really, even to challenge it," Crocker said. "It's actually almost in no position to try to confront it. By and large, what's left of the insurgency is just trying to hang on."
Shiite militias, notably the Mahdi Army of radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, have lost their power bases in Baghdad, Basra and other major cities. An important step was the routing of Shiite extremists in the Sadr City slums of eastern Baghdad this spring - now a quiet though not fully secure district.
Al-Sadr and top lieutenants are now in Iran. Still talking of a comeback, they are facing major obstacles, including a loss of support among a Shiite population weary of war and no longer as terrified of Sunni extremists as they were two years ago.
Despite the favorable signs, U.S. commanders are leery of proclaiming victory or promising that the calm will last.
The premature declaration by the Bush administration of "Mission Accomplished" in May 2003 convinced commanders that the best public relations strategy is to promise little, and couple all good news with the warning that "security is fragile" and that the improvements, while encouraging, are "not irreversible."
Iraq still faces a mountain of problems: sectarian rivalries, power struggles within the Sunni and Shiite communities, Kurdish-Arab tensions, corruption. Any one of those could rekindle widespread fighting.
But the underlying dynamics in Iraqi society that blew up the U.S. military's hopes for an early exit, shortly after the fall of Baghdad in April 2003, have changed in important ways in recent months.
Systematic sectarian killings have all but ended in the capital, in large part because of tight security and a strategy of walling off neighborhoods purged of minorities in 2006.
That has helped establish a sense of normalcy in the streets of the capital. People are expressing a new confidence in their own security forces, which in turn are exhibiting a newfound assertiveness with the insurgency largely in retreat.
Statistics show violence at a four-year low. The monthly American death toll appears to be at its lowest of the war - four killed in action so far this month as of Friday, compared with 66 in July a year ago. From a daily average of 160 insurgent attacks in July 2007, the average has plummeted to about two dozen a day this month. On Wednesday the nationwide total was 13.
Beyond that, there is something in the air in Iraq this summer.
In Baghdad, parks are filled every weekend with families playing and picnicking with their children. That was unthinkable only a year ago, when the first, barely visible signs of a turnaround emerged.
Now a moment has arrived for the Iraqis to try to take those positive threads and weave them into a lasting stability.
The questions facing both Americans and Iraqis are: What kinds of help will the country need from the U.S. military, and for how long? The questions will take on greater importance as the U.S. presidential election nears, with one candidate pledging a troop withdrawal and the other insisting on staying.
Iraqi authorities have grown dependent on the U.S. military after more than five years of war. While they are aiming for full sovereignty with no foreign troops on their soil, they do not want to rush. In a similar sense, the Americans fear that after losing more than 4,100 troops, the sacrifice could be squandered.
U.S. commanders say a substantial American military presence will be needed beyond 2009. But judging from the security gains that have been sustained over the first half of this year - as the Pentagon withdrew five Army brigades sent as reinforcements in 2007 - the remaining troops could be used as peacekeepers more than combatants.
As a measure of the transitioning U.S. role, Maj. Gen. Jeffery Hammond says that when he took command of American forces in the Baghdad area about seven months ago he was spending 80 percent of his time working on combat-related matters and about 20 percent on what the military calls "nonkinetic" issues, such as supporting the development of Iraqi government institutions and humanitarian aid.
Now Hammond estimates those percentage have been almost reversed. For several hours one recent day, for example, Hammond consulted on water projects with a Sunni sheik in the Radwaniyah area of southwest Baghdad, then spent time with an Iraqi physician/entrepreneur in the Dora district of southern Baghdad - an area, now calm, that in early 2007 was one of the capital's most violent zones.
"We're getting close to something that looks like an end to mass violence in Iraq," says Stephen Biddle, an analyst at the Council of Foreign Relations who has advised Petraeus on war strategy. Biddle is not ready to say it's over, but he sees the U.S. mission shifting from fighting the insurgents to keeping the peace.
Although Sunni and Shiite extremists are still around, they have surrendered the initiative and have lost the support of many ordinary Iraqis. That can be traced to an altered U.S. approach to countering the insurgency - a Petraeus-driven move to take more U.S. troops off their big bases and put them in Baghdad neighborhoods where they mixed with ordinary Iraqis and built a new level of trust.
Army Col. Tom James, a brigade commander who is on his third combat tour in Iraq, explains the new calm this way:
"We've put out the forest fire. Now we're dealing with pop-up fires."
It's not the end of fighting. It looks like the beginning of a perilous peace.
Maj. Gen. Ali Hadi Hussein al-Yaseri, the chief of patrol police in the capital, sees the changes.
"Even eight months ago, Baghdad was not today's Baghdad," he says.
© Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Friday, July 25, 2008

All hail the Christ child

July 25, 2008

He ventured forth to bring light to the world

The anointed one's pilgrimage to the Holy Land is a miracle in action - and a blessing to all his faithful followers

And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness.

The Child was blessed in looks and intellect. Scion of a simple family, offspring of a miraculous union, grandson of a typical white person and an African peasant. And yea, as he grew, the Child walked in the path of righteousness, with only the occasional detour into the odd weed and a little blow.

When he was twelve years old, they found him in the temple in the City of Chicago, arguing the finer points of community organisation with the Prophet Jeremiah and the Elders. And the Elders were astonished at what they heard and said among themselves: “Verily, who is this Child that he opens our hearts and minds to the audacity of hope?”

In the great Battles of Caucus and Primary he smote the conniving Hillary, wife of the deposed King Bill the Priapic and their barbarian hordes of Working Class Whites.

And so it was, in the fullness of time, before the harvest month of the appointed year, the Child ventured forth - for the first time - to bring the light unto all the world.

He travelled fleet of foot and light of camel, with a small retinue that consisted only of his loyal disciples from the tribe of the Media. He ventured first to the land of the Hindu Kush, where the

Taleban had harboured the viper of al-Qaeda in their bosom, raining terror on all the world.

And the Child spake and the tribes of Nato immediately loosed the Caveats that had previously bound them. And in the great battle that ensued the forces of the light were triumphant. For as long as the Child stood with his arms raised aloft, the enemy suffered great blows and the threat of terror was no more.

From there he went forth to Mesopotamia where he was received by the great ruler al-Maliki, and al-Maliki spake unto him and blessed his Sixteen Month Troop Withdrawal Plan even as the imperial warrior Petraeus tried to destroy it.

And lo, in Mesopotamia, a miracle occurred. Even though the Great Surge of Armour that the evil Bush had ordered had been a terrible mistake, a waste of vital military resources and doomed to end in disaster, the Child's very presence suddenly brought forth a great victory for the forces of the light.

And the Persians, who saw all this and were greatly fearful, longed to speak with the Child and saw that the Child was the bringer of peace. At the mention of his name they quickly laid aside their intrigues and beat their uranium swords into civil nuclear energy ploughshares.

From there the Child went up to the city of Jerusalem, and entered through the gate seated on an ass. The crowds of network anchors who had followed him from afar cheered “Hosanna” and waved great palm fronds and strewed them at his feet.

In Jerusalem and in surrounding Palestine, the Child spake to the Hebrews and the Arabs, as the Scripture had foretold. And in an instant, the lion lay down with the lamb, and the Israelites and Ishmaelites ended their long enmity and lived for ever after in peace.

As word spread throughout the land about the Child's wondrous works, peoples from all over flocked to hear him; Hittites and Abbasids; Obamacons and McCainiacs; Cameroonians and Blairites.

And they told of strange and wondrous things that greeted the news of the Child's journey. Around the world, global temperatures began to decline, and the ocean levels fell and the great warming was over.

The Great Prophet Algore of Nobel and Oscar, who many had believed was the anointed one, smiled and told his followers that the Child was the one generations had been waiting for.

And there were other wonderful signs. In the city of the Street at the Wall, spreads on interbank interest rates dropped like manna from Heaven and rates on credit default swaps fell to the ground as dead birds from the almond tree, and the people who had lived in foreclosure were able to borrow again.

Black gold gushed from the ground at prices well below $140 per barrel. In hospitals across the land the sick were cured even though they were uninsured. And all because the Child had pronounced it.

And this is the testimony of one who speaks the truth and bears witness to the truth so that you might believe. And he knows it is the truth for he saw it all on CNN and the BBC and in the pages of The New York Times.

Then the Child ventured forth from Israel and Palestine and stepped onto the shores of the Old Continent. In the land of Queen Angela of Merkel, vast multitudes gathered to hear his voice, and he preached to them at length.

But when he had finished speaking his disciples told him the crowd was hungry, for they had had nothing to eat all the hours they had waited for him.

And so the Child told his disciples to fetch some food but all they had was five loaves and a couple of frankfurters. So he took the bread and the frankfurters and blessed them and told his disciples to feed the multitudes. And when all had eaten their fill, the scraps filled twelve baskets.

Thence he travelled west to Mount Sarkozy. Even the beauteous Princess Carla of the tribe of the Bruni was struck by awe and she was great in love with the Child, but he was tempted not.

On the Seventh Day he walked across the Channel of the Angles to the ancient land of the hooligans. There he was welcomed with open arms by the once great prophet Blair and his successor, Gordon the Leper, and his successor, David the Golden One.

And suddenly, with the men appeared the archangel Gabriel and the whole host of the heavenly choir, ranks of cherubim and seraphim, all praising God and singing: “Yes, We Can.”

The link

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Instant favorite

America Must Not Allow Me to Fail
Insolvency in the financial sector is threatening America's economic future. Blogger / economist / consumption expert Dave Burge explains why the Fed must act now to stabilize our most critical financial institutions, such as Dave Burge
America's economic engine: Dave and friends
When it comes to bad economic news, "when it rains it pours." For instance, after the latest dismal national inflation and employment numbers were released last week, I received another repossession notice from Coralville Yamaha. In order to protect my family and my beloved dirt bikes from the approaching financial storm, I invited my colleagues Chuck and Randy over to help me torch the VIN numbers off the frames.
Long story short, acetylene torches, weed, and Jager shots are not a good mix. Later that night when we were waiting in the emergency room, the CNN guy on the TV started talking about the various financial problems at Fannie Mae. I was shocked and worried when I heard this, but I though, hey, there's always Russell Stover or Whitman samplers. But it turns out that Fannie Mae not only makes delicious chocolate gift boxes, they are the largest consumer home lender in America!
The TV guy also said that the government would have to step in with money to save Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Like many of you, my first thought was, "why the hell does that guy need money? Doesn't he have a sitcom on UPN?" But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that our economy is a complex web of interdependent players, and if one is allowed to stumble it will eventually result in a "domino effect," causing our entire economy to crash. For example if Freddie Mac fails, he will be followed by Tyler Perry, then Steve Harvey, then Cedric the Entertainer, and before you know it the whole Def Comedy Jam tour has been canceled.
It's useful to think of our current economic situation as a spirited game of nude Twister, with Fannie Mae as an extremely fat drunk chick. One unanticipated "Left Foot Blue" spin could mean a trip to the emergency room for all of us, not to mention uncomfortable explanations for our various wives. It is critical that Congress makes sure that Fannie Mae gets the additional "do over" spins necessary to keep her from crushing us on the vinyl.
I know what you're saying -- "who invited the fat chick to the Twister party?" Certainly, all of us (with the possible exception of Randy) wish she wasn't here. But it's important to remember that fat chicks are often an important source of party supplies, and we must take the good with the bad. In the same way, Fannie Mae supplies the critical financial weed and beer to keep our national economic party going.
The numbers are complex, but let me boil it down for the economic layperson. Fannie Mae is a government company type thing that has a large pile of money, which I will call "A". The first thing it does is create $20 million bonuses for high performance executives like Franklin Raines, James Johnson and Jamie Gorelick, which I will call "B." Next, it allocates an amount "C" to lobbyists to make sure important Congressmen always get a thoughtful holiday card from Fannie Mae. After subtracting B and C from A, they are left with D, which is lent to homebuyers. These homebuyers then pay back the amount E, which, when subtracted from D, leaves F, the amount Congress has to come up with. In order to keep this important financial system humming along at peak efficiency, it is necessary that you, the taxpayer, are F'ed.
Clearly, in order to avoid a national economic catastrophe, Congress must act now to keep Fannie Mae afloat. But this only addresses part of a greater threat arising from looming financial instability in what I like to call the "Dave Sector." As some of you know, in the last few months I have fallen victim to the subprime mortgage crisis and FEMA's crappy Iowa flood prize packages. Without an immediate infusion of federal cash, Dave will be bunking with Fannie and Freddie at the bankruptcy rehab clinic, and the consequences are almost too terrible to contemplate.
The warning signs are already dire. Every week I am faced with a fresh load of overdue warnings and repossession notices to drag to curbside recycle. In order to avoid harassment by other creditors -- especially Tiny Munson --I have been forced to avoid Happy Hour at dozens of area taverns, depriving the Iowa retail alcohol beverage sector of an important source of revenue and accounts receivable. These hurting tavern owners also face the loss of other customers, who will drift off without me around to entertain them with my famous Happy Hour antics.
But it's not just innocent bar waitresses that face potential disaster. If left unchecked, the recent increase in repo man activity around my house will flood the market with cheap secondhand dirt bikes and big screen TVs, further weakening the electronic and transportation industries. In the Dave Doomsday scenario, foreclosure will saddle the wobbly mortgage industry with yet another completely unsellable house. And, I might mention, I'll have to move somewhere -- maybe even next door to you.
Take a minute to reflect about the alternatives: (A) a slightly higher April tax bill, or (B) total economic meltdown, American streets filled with angry unemployed bartenders and stereo salesmen, and Dave Burge's van pulling up your driveway. I realize the choice is unpleasant, but if we all act now we can make sure the pain is shared equitably. Call your local Congressional Office and tell them you support my draft proposal for H.R. 7802, the Dave Burge Recovery Act of 2008. Together, we can stop the economic displacement of me and my dirt bikes.
Oh, and Jamie Gorelick? Call me, babe.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

More amazing news from Iraq

Leader Of Sunni Awakening Offers To Send Forces To Afghanistan - To Fight Bin Laden
June 9th, 2008 Posted By Lftbhndagn.

Sheik Ahmed Fateh Khan al-Rishawi at his home near Camp Ramadi on April 14, 2007
Iraqi Sheik Offers To Take Fight to Bin LadenHero of Anbar Would Stir a Revolt in Afghanistan
The New York SunJune 9, 2008
In an interview, Sheik Ahmad al-Rishawi told The New York Sun that in April he prepared a 47-page study on Afghanistan and its tribes for the deputy chief of mission at the American embassy in Kabul, Christopher Dell. When asked if he would send military advisers to Afghanistan to assist American troops fighting there, he said: “I have no problem with this; if they ask me, I will do it.”
The success of the Anbari tribal rebellion known as the awakening spurred Multinational Forces Iraq to try to emulate the model throughout Iraq, including with the predominately Shiite tribes in the south of the country. Today, the tribe-based militias formed to protect Anbaris from Al Qaeda are forming a political alliance poised to unseat the confessional Sunni parties currently in parliament in the provincial elections scheduled for the fall and the federal ones scheduled for 2009.
During his nomination hearing for taking over the regional military post known as Central Command, General David Petraeus said one of the first things he would do would be to travel to Pakistan to discuss the current strategy of the government in dealing with Al Qaeda’s safe haven in the Pashtun border provinces. A possible strategy for defeating Al Qaeda would be an effort there along the lines of the Anbar awakening to win over the tribes that offer Osama bin Laden’s group protection and safe haven.
“Al Qaeda is an ideology,” Sheik Ahmad said. “We can defeat them inside Iraq and we can defeat them in any country.” The tribal leader arrived in Washington last week. All of his meetings, including an audience with President Bush, have been closed to the public, in part because the Anbari sheiks, while likely to win future electoral contests, are not themselves part of Iraq’s elected government.
Of his meeting with Mr. Bush, Sheik Ahmad said he was impressed. “He is a brave man. He is also a wise man. He is taking care of the country’s future, the United States’ future. He is also taking care of the Iraqi people, the ordinary people in Iraq. He wants to accomplish success in Iraq.”
When Sheik Ahmad’s brother, Sheik Sattar, met with Mr. Bush in Anbar last fall, he told the president that he dedicated his victory over Al Qaeda to the victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001. On September 13, 2007, Sheik Sattar was assassinated by an improvised explosive device. Since then, his brother Sheik Ahmad has led the awakening movement.
Sheik Ahmad said he wanted Hollywood to make a movie about the life story of his brother, who was so revered after his murder that Iraq’s interior minister dedicated a statue to him on the road from Baghdad to Anbar.
In his home province in Iraq, Sheik Ahmad’s public addresses are preceded by two bugle players and an announcer proclaiming him as the “conqueror of Al Qaeda,” and “friend of General Petraeus,” among other formal titles. In Washington, however, he and his entourage stayed at the Hilton Hotel and were driven to meetings in a small bus. When this reporter first met him he was carrying a dog-eared paperback copy of Bob Woodward’s “Plan of Attack.”
In Washington, Sheik Ahmad also met with some members of Congress. He said he told them that American soldiers should stay in Iraq for at least as long as it takes to rebuild Iraq’s national army. The Democratic majority in Congress has tried and failed to mandate deadlines for the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq regardless of conditions on the ground.
“We have to rebuild a national Iraqi army, not built on sects, but the same way they built up the Anbar police,” he said. “They must be well-armed, so they will be able to protect the country and all the American interests in the area. We also have to make a friendship treaty based on mutual respect between the two parties, and then the United States will be able to withdraw from Iraq, if they wish, and we will succeed in Iraq the same way America succeeded in Japan and Germany.”
The Anbari sheik offered no comment on the details of the current negotiations on the American troop presence in Iraq between Prime Minister al-Maliki and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, saying he was not involved in the negotiations. But he also said he favored such a status-of-forces agreement. “With a diplomatic understanding we will be able to solve all the problems. We fully trust the Americans. We know the United States never in its history occupied a country. On the contrary, they were occupied and they were able to fight the occupier,” he said, referring to the American rebellion against the British in 1776.
The sheik said he was leaving for Chicago in part to meet with agriculture experts in the hopes of learning new farming techniques for Western Iraq. He said he would like to meet Senator Obama though he has not asked for a meeting. He also said he would like to meet Mr. Obama’s rival for the 2008 presidential election, Senator McCain.
“I would love to see both of them, McCain and Obama,” the sheik said. “I have not asked though. If there is a possibility or opportunity I would love to see them. I know that both parties are really busy with the election now. That is why I have not asked for this.”

The best Israel/palestinian post ever

This is the best defence of Israel and rebuttla of the poor Palestians that I have ever read. I read this years ago and it is actually written for a troll that was trying to stir up trouble over on LGF

#7 Leesider
Congratulations. You are the first to receive the memo:

This is an automated reply from the Bullshit Detector at Little Green Footballs.Your recent post contained troll-like characteristics which resembles the type of message sent by spoiled ISM members on summer holiday, college students who have recently inhaled Noam Chomsky’s foul rantings, Adam Shapiro wannabes, Nazi sympathizers, or genuine Koranimals.

In order to prevent another thread being hijacked, and to send your message to the appropriate department for response (FOAD, GAZE, Go Away Gordon, or The Bus To Rachel Corrie’s Tomb Is Leaving - Be Sure You’re Under It), kindly reply to the following questions:

1. Are you aware that the Disputed Territories never belonged to the “Palestinians” and only came into Israeli possession as a result of the 1967 six day war in which Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon all massed forces at Israel’s border in order to “push the Jews into the sea”. The Arabs lost and Israel took control of the land. Do you agree that if the Koranimals don’t want to lose territory to Israel, then they shouldn’t start wars? Do you agree that there is justice that Israel, who as far back as 1948 has always sought peace with her far larger neighbors, should live in prosperity - making the desert bloom - while the residents of 19 adjacent Arab countries who are blessed with far more land as well as oil wealth live in their own feces?

2. Did you know that the “Palestinians” could have had their own country as far back as 1948 had they accepted the UN sponsored partition plan which gave Israel AND the Palestinians a countries of their own on land which Jews had lived on for thousands of years before Mohammed ever had a wet dream about virgins? The Arabs rejected the UN offer and went to war with the infant Israeli nation. The Arabs lost and have been whining about it ever since. Do you agree this is like a murderer who kills his parents and asks for special treatment since he is now an orphan?

3. Can you tell us ANY Arab country which offers Jews the right to be citizens, vote, own property, businesses, be a part of the government or have ANY of the rights which Israeli Arabs enjoy? Any Arab country which gives those rights to Christians? How about to other Arabs? Wouldn’t you just LOVE to be a citizen of Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iran, or Syria?

4. Since as many Jews (approximately 850,000) were kicked out of Arab countries as were Arabs who left present day Israel (despite being literally begged to stay), why should Arabs be permitted to return to Israel if Jews aren’t allowed to set foot in Arab countries? Can you explain why Arabs can worship freely in Israel but Jews would certainly be hung from street lamps after having their intestines devoured by an Arab mob if they so much as entered an Arab country?

5. Israel resettled and absorbed all of the Jews from Arab countries who wished to become Israelis. Why haven’t any Arab countries offered to resettle Arabs who were displaced from Israel, leaving them to rot for 60 years in squalid refugee camps? And why are those refugee camps still there? Could it be that the billions of dollars that the UNWRA has sent there goes to terrorist groups like Hamas, Islamic Jihad, El Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, or Hezbollah? How did Yassir Arafat achieve his $300 million in wealth? Why aren’t these funds distributed for humanitarian use?

6. Did you know that the Arabs in the disputed territories (conquered by Israel in the 1967 war which was started by Arabs) and who are not Israelis already have two countries right now? And that they are called Egypt and Jordan?

7. If your complaint is about the security fence which Israel is finally building in the Disputed Territories, are you aware that it is built solely to keep the “brave” Arab terrorists out so that they can no longer self detonate on busses, in dining halls or pizzerias and kill Jewish grandmothers and schoolchildren? Why are the Arabs so brave when they target unarmed civilians but even when they outnumber their opponents they get their sandy asses kicked all the way to Mecca when they are faced with Jewish soldiers? Why do Arab soldiers make the French look like super heroes?

8. Please explain why you are so concerned about Arabs, who possess 99% of the land in this region and are in control of the world’s greatest natural resource, which literally flows out of the ground? Can’t their brother muslims offer some of the surplus land and nature’s riches to the “Palestinians”? Or is it true that Arabs are willing to die right down to the last “Palestinian”?

9. Why do you not exhibit the same level of concern for say, people in Saudi Arabia who are beheaded, subject to amputation, stoning, honor killing etc.? What about women who are denied any semblance of basic civil rights, including the right not to be treated as property for the entertainment and abuse of her father, brothers, or husbands? What about the Muslims in Sudan and Egypt who are still enslaved, or the women there whose genitalia are barbarically cut off? How about the oppression of Shiites by Sunnis, the gassing of the Kurds by Iraq, or the massacre of “Palestinians” by Jordan (Black September)? Why doesn’t this concern you?

10. Did you ever stop to wonder how much better off everyone in the region would be if Arabs stopped trying to kill Jews and destroy Israel? What would happen if the Israelis gave up their weapons and disarmed? Would they live to see the next day? But what would happen if the Arabs completely disarmed? You know the answer: They would all be AT PEACE! And if there is no war to rile them up, the Arabs would be forced to look at their own repressive, pre-medieval societies. Why would they want to do that when there are Jews to kill?

11. Have you heard “People who define themselves primarily by what they hate, rather than who they love, are doomed to failure and misery”? Can you see the parallels to the Arabs, who are blessed with land and oil, but still gladly train their children to kill themselves in order to kill Jews? Have you heard Golda Meir’s words to the effect of “There will be peace when the Arabs love their children more than they hate ours”? Why do the Arabs hate so much?

Please state your answers to the questions listed above. If you need assistance or require additional study, then please refer to the following links:

History of the Middle East Conflict:[Link:]

Thousands of women killed for honor: [Link:]

Muslims lament Israel’s existence:[Link:]

Disputed Territories – Forgotten Facts[Link:]

The size of Israel compared to neighboring countries in the region[Link:]

Jews expelled from Arab Countries[Link:]

One Million Jews flee Arab countries – why no right of return for them?[Link:]

Middle East Facts[Link:]

Middle East Truth[Link:]

Larry Miller on Hypocrisy[Link:]

Please respond to the items listed above. Based on your answers a thoughtful reply or instruction to FOAD will be provided.

Thank you for writing to Little Green Footballs.
Troll Early Warning Detection Team

Gas prices explained

This article is in response to the "Let's All Boycott Exxon and Mobil Gas Station's" email which I receive fairly regularly.I love when I get this email, because I get to again remind myself and others of how gas prices are set.Let me clarify with this article, which I'll call "Peak Oil: The Story Behind Gas Prices".

#1 Not buying gas from an Exxon or Mobil station doesn't impact Exxon Corporation or Mobil Corporation, since they sell their gasoline to whichever distributor need it, no matter if it ends up at a BP or a Crystal Flash or Bob's Cheap Gas. The only person that boycotting a station hurts is the owner or franchisee of that particular station, their family, and probably their employees. They feed their family because of the Coke's and snacks we buy in their stores. They are lucky to make a dime on each gallon they sell.

#2 Long term gasoline prices are NOT set by oil companies. They are set at auction by bidding on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gasoline is purchased months in advance using "futures contracts", which can be bought for next month, two months from now, or even years from now. The "futures contracts" for the current month, as it gets close to completion, are traded, just like stocks on the stock market. The contracts go up and down in price based on the demand for them. The final price for that "futures contract" determines the "spot price", which is the price that very moment, which in turn determines the price the distributor sets. The service station gets the word once a day from the distributor, usually around 4 p.m. afternoon, as to the price at which they should retail.

#3 At auction, the price has been bid up over the past five years because of increasing demand. There are more uses for oil products all around the world, and more users everyday. More cars in the US, China, Russia, India, etc. More products being made and shipped to us. The more demand, the higher the price.

#4 The reason gasoline prices weren't rising through the 80's and 90's was because oil supply or oil production increased at about the same annual rate as demand (about 1.5% per year).

#5 Oil production stopped increasing in 2004. Global daily production is has been basically fixed at 84.5 million barrels per day since then. While demand is rising, and yet supply is not, price will go up, because this is a bidding auction or a free market.

#6 If oil production continues at this 84.5 mbpd level, expect gas prices to double every four years. That means that gasoline would be 10 USD per gallon within 7 years. Oil prices would be to 1,000 USD per barrel within 10 years.

#7 If we have a worldwide recession, which decreases worldwide demand for oil AND oil producting nations/countries are able to, and also decide to, maintain the 84.5 million barrel per day production level, THEN we MIGHT see gasoline and oil prices decline.

#8 Worldwide oil production is probably fixed at 84.5 mbpd because we are at the MAXIMUM global oil extraction rate. This is known as global peak oil production or simply "peak oil".

#9 Once it becomes impossible to continue extraction at the incredibly high rate of 84.5 mbpd, oil production will fall, every year, forever. This means rapidly rising prices (much more so than now) and/or severe global economic recession, or more likely, a string of ever worsening recessions, that continue for a few generations.

#10 It is unclear how much longer the oil producers can maintain 84.5 mbpd. I hope it is for a long time, but production may begin to fall as early as this year. The rate that production falls will determine how fast prices rise, and how severe the shock is to the global economy.In summary, gasoline prices are determined by the free market of supply and demand. They are rising because of a fixed oil supply in a market of increasing demand for oil. Supply may be at the all time maximum, and may begin to decrease, which will in turn, accelerate the increase in the price. This is bad news for the global economy because, like fresh water, oil is a "master resource", upon which all economic activity depends......

Note: The 84.5 million barrels per day figure is based on averaging out 12-months of oil production data from the USA's Department of Energy's "Energy Information Agency" (EIA). I've seen other daily production numbers tossed around online and in the press, but I think the EIA data is fairly reliable, and the trends shown there are probably the same for any other dataset. In any event, the exact numbers are not of great practical importance, instead, of interest are the rate of change of these numbers.