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New translation, the Magna Carta

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“if they [iraqis] can't understand him, they think he knows something” - realities in iraq

A good and long item by Lawrence F. Kaplan.

“...Later, asked if the prime minister offered this line of conversation for the benefit of a visiting American, a source close to Jafari responds, "No, this is how he talks in public. No one understands what he is talking about. But Iraqis--they like this. If they can't understand him, they think he knows something." Indeed, Jafari has become well-known for delivering inscrutable speeches that wander from Western philosophy to Arab literature and back again, leaving even seasoned translators perplexed. The confusion extends to his deliberations with the Americans. "Today, with our current government," Jafari tells me, "we tell the MNF [multinational forces] when to go. ... The MNF wait for our orders." Yet, when pressed on his relationship with coalition forces, Jafari sounds a more humble--and increasingly familiar--note. "If they leave today," he says, "we would be defeated."

“Having melted into a once-hostile population center, the Americans have become an essential part of the landscape here--their own tribe, in effect. Seen from a helicopter roaring above Nineveh province, telephone wires provide the only evidence of modernity among the ancient forts, castles, and clay huts that dot the plain below. In this primitive universe, it's easy to confuse the door gunners, their aviation helmets emblazoned with Superman logos (the "S" actually stands for their unit, Stetson Troop), with actual supermen. Which many Iraqis do: Wedged between tribes of Sunnis Arabs, Turkomen, Shia, and Kurds, a regal and persecuted people--the Yazidis--call Nineveh province home. The Yazidis, who, among other things, don't wear blue, don't eat lettuce, and take a somewhat nuanced view of Satan (their Muslim neighbors have accused them, falsely, of being devil worshippers), initially confused the arrival of the Americans with the Second Coming. An officer at the forward operating base in Sinjar elaborates: "They think that, um, we're Jesus." ”

“In an Army that has spent three years launching big-unit sweeps, relying heavily on firepower and otherwise heeding ground commander Lieutenant General Thomas Metz's admonition not to "put much energy into trying the old saying 'win hearts and minds,'" 3rd ACR has done exactly the reverse. Yet, rather than duplicate the Tall Afar operation in towns and cities across Iraq, the White House's "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq" declares, "Our forces will increasingly move out of the cities ... and conduct fewer patrols and convoy missions." The administration intends to draw down troop levels to 100,000 by the end of the year, with the pullback already well underway as U.S. forces surrender large swaths of the countryside and hunker down in their bases. The plan infuriates many officers, who can only say privately what noncommissioned officers say openly. "In order to fix the situation here," Sabre Squadron's Sergeant José Chavez says, "we need at least 180,000 troops." Iraq, however, will soon have about half that. An effective counterinsurgency strategy may require time and patience. But the war's architects have run out of both.”

“ He wields a similar power, having, as the colonel points out, "convinced his people not to fight us and be peaceful." The sheik presents Armstrong with a list of detainees he wants released and asks about a paving project the Americans have promised. The local mayor, it seems, has embezzled the funds, and Al Yawar would like the Americans to supervise the project more closely. More than that, he would like assurances the Americans will stay. "The government is not listening to the Sunnis," he explains. The Iraqi army, in particular, incenses him. "They hit and kick people. They are not from this region." By contrast, "The Americans--they are in the middle. They are on neither side. This is why we trust them. But, if the Americans leave, who will I talk to?" ”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0602.php#kaplan_280206

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why venezuela doesn’t matter

“In reality, Chavez's ability to challenge the United States is severely limited. The occasional threat to cut off oil exports to the United States is fairly meaningless, in spite of conversations with the Chinese and others about creating alternative markets. The United States is the nearest major market for Venezuela. The Venezuelans could absorb the transportation costs involved in selling to China or Europe, but the producers currently supplying those countries then could be expected to shift their own exports to fill the void in the United States. Under any circumstances, Venezuela could not survive very long without exporting oil. Symbolizing the entire reality is the fact that Chavez's government still controls Citgo and isn't selling it, and the U.S. government isn't trying to slam controls onto Citgo.

“Washington ultimately doesn't care what Chavez does so long as he continues to ship oil to the United States. From the American point of view, Chavez -- like Castro -- is simply a nuisance, not a serious threat. Latin American countries in general are of interest to Washington, in a strategic sense, only when they are being used by a major outside power that threatens the United States or its interests. The entire Monroe Doctrine was built around that principle.

“There was a fear at one point that Nazi U-boats would have access to Cuba. And when Castro took power in Cuba, it mattered, because it gave the Soviets a base of operations there. What happened in Nicaragua or Chile mattered to the United States because it might create opportunities the Soviets could exploit. Nazis in Argentina prior to 1945 mattered to the United States; Nazis in Argentina after 1945 did not. Cuba before 1991 mattered; after 1991, it did not. And apart from oil, Venezuela does not matter now to the United States.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0602.php#venezuela_280206

the state of the nation - uk style

“The State now has three divisions;
i) direct employees (6.8 million or 18% of the electorate)
ii) welfare dependants (4.5 million or 11% of the electorate)
iii) pensioners (10.5 million or 26% of the electorate)

“A total of 21.8 million people or 55% of the voting population is now dependant on the government for some kind of assistance.”

As Samizdata says, “the state simply bribes people to vote for a bigger state by making them dependents.”

related material
introduction to franchise discussion documents

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0602.php#state_support_270206

uae buyout of p&o, why do we care? by the auroran sunset

The US government has given approval for a UAE state-owned company to buy P&O. P&O owns some US ports, though the us government runs port security. The UAE is a unequivocal US ally in the fight against jihadi nuisances. The UAE is far and away the biggest financial centre in the muslim world, no doubt due to the relatively open and tolerant nature of its society. It also happens to be a largely muslim and arab country. That last is apparently sufficient reason for many - right from moonbat left through to fundie right - to take exception to the deal and the US government’s acquiescence to the deal. I’ve yet to see any sort of case for the panic.

Frank J takes on the mantle of “President Khalifa bin Zayid al-Nuhayyan of the United Arab Emirates” and explains why there is no need to get all het up about this deal:

“Yes, I cheered for a moment at the deaths of so many infidels... until I remembered how much business we do in New York! My country has a huge per capita income, but it's honestly not the most solid in the world. Implications of us involved in terrorism could knock us over the edge, and, if you took a poll of our citizens, you'd see a near majority consider economic stability more important than mass murder. As much as I want you all to die, we have our own housing bubble to worry about over here. Do any of you understand that? Sometimes I think I'd have to use a pipe bomb to get through your thick skulls.

“And honestly, how many of you knew your ports weren't owned by Americans before all this? I swear, if any of you raise your hands, I'll cut them off. None of you knew anything about the ports until the talking heads and harlots jumped on this issue, and suddenly all of you are like, "Oh no! The Arabs are going to run our ports and they want to kill us all!" Hell yes, we want to kill you all, but it's not like we could fit that in our business plan. Have any of you looked at our business plan? Of course not. Holy Allah, I so want to strangle you all!

“All I want you stupid infidels to understand is that this deal is all business. All thing being equal, I would stab you all repeatedly and then behead you, but that is not a money making venture.”

This article effectively demolishes what little argument, other than “they’re not white”, the panic-mongers are providing. There may yet be real problems with this deal, although I would expect such problems, even if they exist, to be dwarfed by things like the inevitable incompetence of the government ‘run’ security:

“At least one of the ports where DP World is set to operate, Baltimore, has been dogged by security shortcomings for years. A Baltimore Sun investigation in June 2005 revealed that the port's fiber-optic alarm system on the perimeter fence malfunctioned and was usually switched off, and that port police were so understaffed that their patrol boats often dry-docked because there was no one to operate them. The newspaper also found that a pair of "video cameras" guarding the entrance to one important marine terminal were actually blocks of wood on poles.

“Last summer, a tour of the port, the nation's eighth largest, revealed gaps in perimeter fences, unattended gates, surveillances systems that didn't work and insufficient police patrols on land and sea.”

One could almost suspect that the sudden focus on this non-issue is a deliberate attempt to distract from the real security problems that are not being dealt with.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0602.php#us_ports_240206

be careful what you wish for

“If the most liberal and tolerant states in Europe such as Holland and Denmark have the most problems with Islamic radicals, then what does that say about the continent as a whole? Why were not the calculating jihadists singling out a more unapologetic Catholic Poland that has larger contingents in Iraq and is far prouder of its Christian roots?

“Do the Europeans sense that the more open, free-wheeling and non-judgmental the culture, the more it is hated by the jihadists?[...] ”

“ Because of slated troop withdrawals from European bases, and a new American weariness with the old anti-Americanism, some Europeans are beginning to recoil at the idea that they might well be on their own - and in a war against fanatical enemies that they have appeased and without rational friends that they have estranged.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0602.php#hanson_210206

the french coming right off the fence over iran

French foreign minister says iran is trying to build nuclear bomb

“ "No civilian nuclear programme can explain the Iranian nuclear programme. So it is a clandestine Iranian military nuclear programme," Douste-Blazy [French foreign minister] told France 2 television.”

marker at abelard.org

Previously [20 Jan 2006], French president Chirac:

“President Jacques Chirac said Thursday that France was prepared to launch a nuclear strike against any country that sponsors a terrorist attack against French interests. He said his country's nuclear arsenal had been reconfigured to include the ability to make a tactical strike in retaliation for terrorism.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0602.php#France_iran_180206

it just slipped out during debate

Who is running Britain while Bliar sleeps?
Why are we paying prison governors?

“Some prisons sacked their imams after they were discovered to be distributing extremist literature to young inmates.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0602.php#uk_prison_policy_170206

while bliar tries to shut down free speech in britain - chinese strive to open it up

How to ruin a country - get socialist government.

“The heat over China's media censorship was turned up Tuesday after a baker's dozen of senior Chinese officials warned that preventing freedom of expression would "sow the seeds of disaster for political and social transition.”

From the socialist Communist Party of China:

“In a statement, officials said the article had "seriously contradicted news propaganda discipline; seriously damaged the national feelings of the Chinese people ... and it created a bad social influence".”

marker at abelard.org

Ho ho ho....

“He also said that only a "very few" foreign websites were blocked, and that was mostly because they contained pornography or terrorist information.

“The BBC News website continues to be blocked in China.”

“The number of internet users in China has surged from 620,000 in 1997 to 110 million. It is estimated that there are between 5m and 10m blogs. Censors say they have had to change tactics.

“ "It is becoming more difficult to block and monitor web traffic so we need to switch to guidance," said an official responsible for internet surveillance. "Strict management didn't work. It is like trying to control a flood. Guiding is more effective than blocking."

“Even with an estimated 30,000 internet police, he said it was difficult to monitor bulletin boards. "The technology hasn't reached a level that will allow us to control them. And we must also consider the trend of democratisation, which cannot be stopped," he said.”

related material
magnacartaplus - a watch on attempts by governments to reduce or interfere with civil liberties and freedoms

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0602.php#free_speech_160206

on weak (uk) government

The British police are showing they will not defend the society.
So why pay them? Where is their legitimacy?

The British government makes excuses. Why pay them?

A weak government with no respect for law, or even for the enforcing of law, allows a vacuum of power to form.

The British government is starting to use a pretence of law to undermine the law.

People call publicly for murder, and the police protect them.
People call publicly for murder and the government makes illegitimate ‘laws’ to enforce the demands of the murderers.
A person defends themselves against the violent, and the police charge them with violence.

Britain no longer has legitimate government or legitimate law.

For a decade, I have been warning of the breakdown of law and the corruption of the British government.
This abnegation of responsibility is the inevitable result of the corruption.

A million shuffle for appeasement of Madsam, while every week the government strains to codify further measures for appeasement.

And the salt of the earth are surprised that this encourages the bullies, encourages the criminals and encourages the jihadis.

related material
on citizenship, voting systems and franchise
introduction to franchise discussion documents
magnacartaplus - a watch on attempts by governments to reduce or interfere with civil liberties and freedoms

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0602.php#weak_government_150206
 

alleged murder evidence claimed on hamza - flunkit: the responsible statesman

What a great leader is Mister Flunkit [David Blunkett].

Britain’s current political ‘leaders’ do not order the police to arrest a criminal. Instead, they do as the police tell them.

“Mr Blunkett is understood to have told the police, security chiefs and the CPS that they would have political backing if they raided the mosque and arrested Abu Hamza. The revelation that Britain had detailed evidence alleging Abu Hamza's direct involvement in terrorist kidnapping and murder, but was prevented from using it, will reignite the debate on intercept evidence. The Times has also been told that Mr Blunkett argued strongly for such evidence to be used in serious cases but was again rebuffed by the security services.” [Quoted from timesonline.co.uk]

“Please, mister”, says Flunkit.“The police told me it were dangerous to arrest criminals.”

“Last night David Blunkett, the former Home Secretary, suggested that the police, MI5 and the CPS could have acted earlier to seize the cleric. He claimed that they rejected his warnings because they feared it would trigger a race crisis.”

“So I let them chase motorists instead,” says Flunkit.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0602.php#hamza_110206
 

yet again oldnewoldlabour talks freedom and delivers statism - the scorpion and the fox

Once long ago in the vast lands of the desert, there was a great and wide river that had to be crossed by animals seeking food and water in other parts of the desert. One day, Fox wanted to cross the river so he could his travels. As he stood contemplating the best way to cross the river safely, Fox’s life-long enemy Scorpion came up and began to talk to Fox.

“Fox, when I was walking along the river bank looking for food, I noticed a particularly easy place to cross the river where the water is not so deep and not so swift. I would like to cross over myself also, but because I am so small it would be impossible. Would you be willing to take me across, if I show you this crossing place?” asked Scorpion.

“Why should I take you across? We are life-long enemies, how could I possibly trust that you will not sting me as we cross?” asked Fox.

“Why would I sting you? If I stung you, you would drown and then both of us would die,” replied Scorpion.

Fox thought this over for a bit, while carefully watching Scorpion with a distrustful eye. Eventually Fox said, “Show me where the place is and I will take you across.”

“Put me on your back and then I will show you. Otherwise, you may jump in the river and leave me behind once I’ve shown you,” replied Scorpion.

Fox thought this over for a bit, while continuing to watch Scorpion distrustfully. Then Fox walked over to Scorpion and allowed him to climb onto his back. Scorpion directed Fox to where the river was not so deep, nor so swift, in all a safer place to cross over. Fox swam across the river, but as he reached the middle, he felt a sharp stinging sensation on his back. He realised he had been stung by Scorpion. Fox cried out, “How could you sting me? We shall both now drown.”

Scorpion replied, “I cannot help myself, lying and stinging is in my nature.”[*]

From the very beginning, Tony Bliar ‘promised’ ‘freedom of information’ to UK citizens, but delivered an act to restrict information while calling it a ‘freedom of information’ act.

Eight years later, for months, he has been ‘promising’ more freedom and control to parents and schools. Naturally, Bliar is, as ever, going back on his word and intends to tie schools even further to government edict.

Same old Labour, same old lies, same old control freaks, same old meddling. Nothing changes, socialism is what it is and only the packaging has changed. Strange that so few examine the contents.

“His Education Bill has been so emasculated that it has had a sex change. Once it was supposed to ensure that every school would - like the London Oratory where Mr Blair's children went - be able to select the best pupils from across a wide geographical area. Now it will have the opposite effect. Schools such as the Oratory which have a covert screening policy will be subject to the selection police. Leo could receive a worse education than his brothers and sisters (unless he follows David Cameron to Eton). Mr Blair might as well give up looking for a legacy.” [Quoted from telegraph.co.uk]

Missis Sawkins goes down the supermarket and buys a packet of cornflakes. When she gets home, she finds the contents more appropriate as part of a dung heap. What is amazing is that next week, she goes right back and buys another packet from the same manufacturer .... and keeps going back, and back, for eight years, repeating her behaviour.

There is a deep malfunctioning in Western culture when people continue to believe the label on the packet, despite the unsalubrious nature of the contents. Such is a culture so detached that it attends to words and ignores reality.

related material
Laying the foundations for sound education

 

note on fox and scorpion story
There are other endings to this story:

  • The scorpion says, “I am a socialist, it is in my nature to steal, better you are made destitute than I am made better off”.
  • The scorpion says, “Better I should die than my enemy should live.”

It is said that this tale emanated from the Middle East!

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0602.php#scorpion_fox_090206
the real story behind the cartoons now coming from jihadi-land

What is interesting is not the non-story that the media and other lefties are attempting to divise over cartoons, but the real story. The real story is that the jihadis are trying to drum up a diversion from their own disgraceful activities.

the real story
The real story concerning the innocuous moh cartoons is the rioting and over-reaction by jihadis, not the innocuous cartoons themselves. The real story is that the jihadis are attempting to push into people’s faces alleged ‘cartoons’ that have no serious context.

These are mere attempts to get reactions. The Iranian newspaper proposing to publish has apparently referred to his action as “deliberately inflammatory”. Naturally, no Iranian newspaper would dare to do this without the full collusion and probable encouragement of the Tehran dictatorship.

The cartoon publishers are purposefully struggling to be offensive. There is no attempt at humour, satire or even sane comment. The, doubtless silly, ‘cartoons’ are clearly directed more at pathetic attempts at vengeance than any form of humour.

But this is not some new action, the anti-semitism, the flag burning and government attempts to whip up hatred of the West is of long standing. It is most certainly not a reaction to ‘offence’ from a few innocuous cartoons. It is business as usual.

So there is all this fuss over a few cartoons in newspapers, when the West starts laughing at the idiocy of jihadis, laughing at their suicide bombers, laughing at their posturing hatred and emotionalism.

western response to threat and attack vs. jihadi mis-judgement
Doubtless, this is not quite the sort of reaction the medieval killers, assorted lunatics and head choppers hoped to evoke. Had they studied the history of the free West, the jihadis would have seen just the same satirical and humourous reaction to the lunatics of national socialism, during the course of the free West dealing with other supremacist lunatics who imagined to take over the world. And this mocking reaction came as the West set out to crush the most fearsome army ever assembled.

I do not think the jihadis are showing very good judgement in attacking the West, from which all their benefits of modern civilisation are flowing. Sticking their fingers in a wasps’ nest is not optimal behaviour for a few backward theocracies and repressive socialist dictatorships.

Westerners do not much like jihadis killing hundreds or thousands of their own people. They don’t even care much for the barbaric practices in some of the areas of the world where jihadis hang out.

Can we imagine that jihadis really hope or expect to see joooooze and christianists rioting on the streets, attacking the national territory of other states in the shape of foreign embassies and burning them down, or flying aeroplanes into their mosques, or blowing themselves up in Middle Eastern market places?

And all on account of a few silly cartoons from a few short-sighted medieval lunatics.

previous attacks against democracy and freedom
Hitler also believed his dishonesty and attempts at conquest would go well. He likewise judged the west as ‘decadent’. I suggest the jihadis take dire warning from the fate of that historic lunatic. Perhaps they might even take dire warning from the fate of the lunatic of Baghdad, or take warning from the fate of the taliban destroyers of culture in Afghan? A warning that it is not safe to rile the most advanced cultures on earth.

In the 1920s and 30s, Hitler may not have managed to install millions of his followers in foreign countries (as has now occured widely with jihadis), but in both the USA and Britain of that era there were large numbers of people of German extraction who were considered a threat to the nations concerned. In the United States, Henry Ford had a nest of nazi sympathisers in his organisation, while German-American pro-nazi organisations (bunds) and the likes worked to keep the USA out of Adolf’s intended path. The influence of people like Ford and Joseph Kennedy in the US, and Northcliffe and Chamberlain in the UK were hardly beneficial to the freedom aspirations of Western interests.

In the UK, there was a very considerable constituency for appeasement and many who would not hear a word against that nice Mister Hitler. The Northcliffe newspapers (primarily the Daily Wail) were very pro-Hitler until it became ill-advised.

Considerable numbers were interned for various reasons during the WWII conflict: in the USA the internment of those of Japanese extraction became an early cause celebre of ‘victimhood’.

There was also a great deal of collaboration in France, and there were considerable problems concerning some Irish sympathisers with the German attack on Britain.

the current fifth column
I am uncertain just what the proportion of fellow travellers the jihadis have within the general Islamic population in Western countries. It is essential that this is probed; it is vital home security data. Without that data, rational planning is near to impossible.

Hence, the incredible irresponsibility of the fossil press in not doing their duty of publication, while politicians desperately attempt to sweep these serious and genuine questions under the carpet.

related material
why it is essential that jihadis be mocked and offended

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0602.php#real_story_090206

string of lying us presidents increasingly puts western security at risk

“ [...] Every president since Jimmy Carter has vowed an end to America's foreign oil addiction. Maybe Carter meant it. He sounded clear enough. In 1979 Carter declared that "beginning this moment, this nation will never use more foreign oil than we did in 1977 - never". I'm not sure if he stamped his foot at the time.

“Carter vowed to end dependence on foreign energy by 1990. He was not alone. Ron Bailey, a libertarian writer, pointed out last week that even Nixon had promised energy independence - by 1980. Ford moved the date back to 1985. Carter's 1990 was just another kick of the can down the road. The second Bush has just promised 75% independence by 2025. Some kick. Some can. Last year, in the same address, he vowed to put men on Mars. Here's my bold prediction: there will be Americans on Mars before there will be no Middle Eastern oil in the American economy.

“Almost as soon as the speech was made, the administration scrambled to reassure its Saudi friends/enemies/evil-doers/clients that the president didn't really mean it. That whole Middle East oil reference was "purely an example", Samuel Bodman, the energy secretary, explained.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0602.php#us_presidents_070206

on the modernisation of the middle east

The difficulty of communications between Islam and the West continues to develop, neither area being very trusting of the other.

This is aggravated for the West by the Islamic notion of takkiya, a view that it is legitimate to lie in pursuit of the interests of Islam, and by a history of conquest by the more advanced Western nations, who even give support for illegitimate rulers.

The lunatic in Iran says the Middle Ages are over, meanwhile he presides without serious legitimacy over a medieval theocracy.

“Syria's Minister of Islamic Endowments Mohammad Ziyad al-Ayoubi, responsible for all departments looking after Sunni religious affairs, criticized the protests for turning violent.”

“In Denmark, a network of moderate Muslims condemned the attack on the Danish embassy and urged restraint.”

“EU Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini told La Repubblica it was not for the European Union to apologize.

“ "No, it's not Europe's duty, nor do I think it is the duty of (Danish) Prime Minister Rasmussen. We don't have the power to apologize in the name of the press. That would be violating the basis of freedom of the press," he said.

“Pakistan summoned diplomats from several European countries to protest at the "derogatory and blasphemous" cartoons.

“ "We reject the false pretext of freedom of press for publishing these caricatures since freedom of expression does not mean absence of any values, ethics or laws," a Foreign Ministry statement said.” [Quoted from boston.com]

Are the expressions of regret genuine? Or just more takkiya?

Meanwhile, in the West we have the mad, mentally detached socialists with their nonsense about “war for oil”. Little wonder that the Middle East grows paranoid when our own leftist press prints such nonsense.

The lunatic in Iran wants nuclear weapons as a matter of macho pride, while the West would be quite mad to allow him to get his hands on such Western weaponry.

Can the Islamic world adjust with sufficient rapidity to a free press and a free society? Naturally, the illegitimate dictators of the Middle East will be only too content to turn the frustrations of their poorly educated masses against Western bogeymen and innocuous cartoons as they attempt to cling to power.

We can only hope there are indeed sufficient good intelligent men and sufficient peaceful Muslims to assist the evolution of the Middle East toward the modern world.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0602.php#modernisation_060206

bush - state of the nation address 2006

“....The Iranian government is defying the world with its nuclear ambitions, and the nations of the world must not permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear weapons. America will continue to rally the world to confront these threats.

“Tonight, let me speak directly to the citizens of Iran: America respects you, and we respect your country. We respect your right to choose your own future and win your own freedom. And our nation hopes one day to be the closest of friends with a free and democratic Iran.”

“ Here at home, America also has a great opportunity: We will build the prosperity of our country by strengthening our economic leadership in the world.

“Our economy is healthy and vigorous, and growing faster than other major industrialized nations. In the last two-and-a-half years, America has created 4.6 million new jobs -- more than Japan and the European Union combined. Even in the face of higher energy prices and natural disasters, the American people have turned in an economic performance that is the envy of the world.

“The American economy is preeminent, but we cannot afford to be complacent. In a dynamic world economy, we are seeing new competitors, like China and India, and this creates uncertainty, which makes it easier to feed people's fears. So we're seeing some old temptations return. Protectionists want to escape competition, pretending that we can keep our high standard of living while walling off our economy. Others say that the government needs to take a larger role in directing the economy, centralizing more power in Washington and increasing taxes. We hear claims that immigrants are somehow bad for the economy -- even though this economy could not function without them. All these are forms of economic retreat, and they lead in the same direction -- toward a stagnant and second-rate economy.”

This was followed by various interesting comments on the US economy - reading of this section is recommended.

Then on to energy. This area is ropey, but the Americans are slowly adjusting to reality.

“Keeping America competitive requires affordable energy. And here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world. The best way to break this addiction is through technology. Since 2001, we have spent nearly $10 billion to develop cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable alternative energy sources -- and we are on the threshold of incredible advances.

“So tonight, I announce the Advanced Energy Initiative -- a 22-percent increase in clean-energy research -- at the Department of Energy, to push for breakthroughs in two vital areas. To change how we power our homes and offices, we will invest more in zero-emission coal-fired plants, revolutionary solar and wind technologies, and clean, safe nuclear energy....

“Breakthroughs on this and other new technologies will help us reach another great goal: to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025 [...]. ”

“ [...] Tonight I propose to train 70,000 high school teachers to lead advanced-placement courses in math and science, bring 30,000 math and science professionals to teach in classrooms, and give early help to students who struggle with math, so they have a better chance at good, high-wage jobs [...].”
[...]—
“ [...] Violent crime rates have fallen to their lowest levels since the 1970s. Welfare cases have dropped by more than half over the past decade. Drug use among youth is down 19 percent since 2001. There are fewer abortions in America than at any point in the last three decades, and the number of children born to teenage mothers has been falling for a dozen years in a row. [...] ”

Bush sounds a bit tired - not one of his best speeches, rambling, even shallow at times, but also interesting in parts.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0602.php#bush_speech_020206


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