To Save Iraq

Shi’ites exult over voting; Sunnis receive no sympathy,” by Borzou Daragahi, Washington Times, http://www.washtimes.com/world/20050201-122034-4418r.htm, 2 February 2005.

We must build a free Iraq. We have to recognize that its enemies are found with the Sunni Arabs,and that the Sunni Arabs have attempted to subver the country by boycotting. They have attempted to make it illegitimate. We cannot let them recover from their error.

Sunni Arabs yesterday appeared shocked by the large turnout of Shi’ites and Kurds in Sunday’s elections, with some anxiously looking for ways to bolster their representation in the new government that will emerge from them.

It looks like the Shia realize the danger

But many Shi’ites, triumphant after voting in high numbers in spite of terrorist threats, had a simple message for the Sunnis who stayed home: Tough luck.

Unlike some, they are not conflating an inability to vote with an attempt to destroy the vote

[The American diplomat said] Sunni turnout was better in cities like Baqouba, which have a mixed population of Sunni and Shi’ite Arabs, he said. He attributed the low turnout in mainly Sunni cities like Tikrit to “intimidation, supplemented by boycott calls,” and the absence of any obvious Sunni party or leader.

The last paragraph is doubly important. First, it shows our wrongheaded attempt to draw attention away from Sunni rejectionism. Second, it shows how no viable Sunni leader emerged.

Iraq is a fantasy country. The borders never rejected feelings on the ground, and unlike South Africa there never emerged distinctly “Iraqi” people.

The Sunni Arabs are analogous to Yugoslav Serbs or Palestinians in the West Bank. They have launched aggressive terror wars and are a danger to democracy in the greater state. Parts of Yugoslavia are now under permanent U.N. occupation. The West Bank is literally being walled off from Israel. A similar solution in Iraq is both more secure and more just than continued efforts to appease an angry and violent minority.

Save the World

What part of the European economy that is is irrelevant.,” by “Aaron,” tdaxp, http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2005/01/31/academic_honesty.html, 2 February 2005.

The study utilized a SETI@home-style aggregation of computation…,” by “Aaron,” tdaxp, http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2005/01/31/academic_honesty.html, 2 February 2005.

In two comment so interesting they demands a post as a reply, Aaron writes

“Who would we hurt by forcing Ford & brothers to increase fuel efficiency and limit emissions?”

Ford’s workers. Ford’s retirees. Dependents of ford employees. Sick people who depend on Ford’s health insurance. Any environmental trusts Ford gives too. Ford is not a healthy company (http://www.economist.com/displayStory.cfm?Story_ID=1842437 and http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=1845754). But more to the point…

The study utilized a SETI@home-style aggregation of computation to provide models for what will happen when CO2 levels double. This is not a question of “if” but “when”. The history of CO2 levels is measurable by pulling up cores of Arctic ice. If you have Excel, here is that data. A linear regression model shows the rampup and the projected date of occurrance.

Using the data you provided with the Global Policy Forum’s historic gross world product table, one gets this

medium_carbdiogrowth.jpg

But more interesting is this one

medium_carbdiogrowth1976.jpg

It helps one get a feel for the insignificant contribution of economic growth in atmospheric carbon dioxide pressure.

I think you’re right to use linear regression to model CO2. Some quick calculations show the slope is about .41% of 1959 a year. Now this is somewhat exaggerated (the Mount Pinotubo explosion threw up so much carbon dioxide and other particles into the atmosphere that this climate forcing was more profound than from the opposite anthropogenic greenhouse gases and the Simultaneous El Nino event during 1991 to 1993), but it’s about right. At the same time the World Economy has been growing at an average compounded rate of 3.33% (or “linearly regressed” to a slope of 6.13%). That’s about a factor of ten — an order of magnitude.

One of these trends is unique of all of human history. It has lifted billions out of poverty and gave billions a life that was not nasty, brutish, and short.

The other… well, it’s not clear. It’s not clear how reliable how historic CO2 measurements are. It’s not clear what the real effect of an increase in CO2 production is. The CO2 picture’s noise.

Projecting using those rates forward, from 2005 to 2100, we see CO2 pressure increasing 32.82% — about the same percentage increase as from the Revolution until now. In the same time period gross world product increases two-thousand two-hundred fifty-four percent , a twenty-two (22.5456) fold increase. Think about that for a moment — if in 2100 we spend the equivalent of twenty-one of our current global economies on a heroic carbon scrubbing expedition, or whatever, with no economic growth resulting, the world is half-again as well off as it is now and that’s just a rounding error.

I do not think we will ever get to that point. The world is becoming increasingly energy-neutral. Energy increase increases negligably with GDP growth in advanced countries, and every country is getting more advanced. As our world moves from “atoms to bits” our energy usage will naturally decrease.

And now for the moral case…

“I get your side, Dan. People want to do better financially.”

Virtually all wars occur between states where one has an annual income of less than $3,000/year. These people are desperate, and the mass death on both sides resulting from war is a good gamble for them, because otherwise they have nothing. If we can create a bountiful world, war will fade away.

We complain about the costs of medicines, but with a world twenty-two times as rich think what medicines will be created! Think of the catastrophe of famine that has never been visited upon an industrialized democracy. Think about how cost effective it will be for the rich world to mass vaccinate the needy of the world. Think of the scientific wonders we can invent with twenty-two times the investment.

It is not about “doing better financially.” It about ending want. The worldwide capitalist revolution has destroyed hunger, misery, slavery, and war where it prevails, and is rapidly wiping out sickness. Let’s end all of those things.

You say the sky is not falling. I agree. You say it is poverty that drives South American farmers to destroy the jungles. I agree. So knowing that the sky is not falling, let’s end poverty and save the world.

No Ratification Needed?

Religious Shiites claim Victory,” by Juan Cole, Informed Consent, http://www.juancole.com/2005/02/religious-shiites-claim-victory-abdul.html, 2 February 2005.

Planet Iraq, destroyed by the leviathan meteor of the United States Military, reforms around its strongest centers of gravity.

Juan Cole gives preliminary election returns from Iraq

The UIA spokesmen are saying in some provinces they got 90 percent of the vote, and believe that they will gain about half the seats in the 275-member parliament, or 138. They would have needed two-thirds, or 182 seats, to dispense with any coalition partner inside parliament in forming the next government.

The Kurds believe that they actually did better than did the list of interim prime minister Iyad Allawi, and will garner about 65 seats, or nearly a quarter. Al-Hayat reported that interim Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, a Kurd, even predicted that the Kurds would take as many as 75 seats. “This,” he said, “is what we always wanted.” The Kurds have long been marginalized in Iraqi politics.


This is the best possible outcome.

A Kurdish-UIA alliance would bring about 216 seats, giving it 78.5% of all seats. This is enough towrite a constitution without ratification by Sunni provinces. If the Kurds and UIA can agree on devolved status for Kurdistan, there is no reason they cannot ram through their reforms. The Kurds would vote for any UIA initiatives on Arab Iraq, while the UIA would support any Kurdish moves for autonomy.

If these election results hold and the Kurds and UIA ally as expected, it lays the foundation for a future worth creating. With Kurdish-UIA control of the Assembly..

  1. Kurdistan becomes a liberal democracy in the Middle East, showing Turkish Kurds independence can be won in a democratic setting, giving Turkey another sane neighbor (after Georgia’s Rose Revolution)
  2. The Shia Sphere becomes home to internal political and theological debate, and exerts a gravitational pull to detatch the Eastern Province from Saudi Arabia
  3. Making the Sunni Arab lands in Iraq the best model of how not to behave since Monty Python’s How Not To Be Seen

May Shia Iraq give oppressed Arabs everywhere hope. May free Kurdistan pave the way for freedom and democracy. And may the Sunni lands be a warning to any who launch terrorist attacks upon a free Republic.

Not Seeing the Sunni Side of Life

Iraq’s leading Sunni religious group boycotts drafting of constitution,” China View, http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-02/03/content_2541811.htm, 2 February 2005 (from UnFairWitness).

Earlier I was worried that Sunni Arab rejectionists might attempt to use the political process to hijack the Constitution.

I was wrong to give them so much credit.

The Muslim Scholars Association, the most influential Sunni religious group in Iraq, refused Wednesday to participate in drafting the country’s permanent constitution, a prior task for the National Assembly (NA) elected last Sunday.

“We cannot participate in the formulating of a constitution under the occupation,” Mohammed Bashar Fadhi, the group’s spokesman told a press conference.

“The Americans try to establish sectarianism in the constitution, and the Association would not accept division
according to the sectarian shares,” he stressed.

“We deeply believe that the constitution written under the occupation would be a reflection of the State Administration Law, which we had already totally rejected, and we would not participate in writing the constitution whatever it costs us,” he added.

Well that solves that!

Frank Kloucek on Abolition of Infanticide

Anti-Abortion Sides Split Over Legislation,” by Joe Kafka, Associated Press, http://www.yankton.net/stories/020205/news_20050202014.shtml, 2 February 2005 (from CCK).

Frank Kloucek tries again to abolish infanticide

A maverick lawmaker is pushing a bill that would ban abortions, but others are promoting increased restrictions that could preface an effort next year to end abortions in South Dakota.

Sen. Frank Kloucek, a farmer from Scotland, seeks to make abortion illegal in most instances. He is the sole sponsor of a bill that would outlaw abortions unless a woman’s life is in danger or she faces grave health risks.

Kloucek’s measure, SB198, is nearly identical to a bill that failed last year after abortion opponents split on whether it would be constitutional and Gov. Mike Rounds vetoed it for fear that existing abortion restrictions would have been jeopardized.

Although he is the only legislator to put his name on this year’s bill to outlaw abortions, Kloucek thinks others who strongly oppose abortion will vote for it. The Democratic lawmaker said the issue is black and white.

Anybody who would vote against it is certainly not pro-life and pro-family,” he said Tuesday.

The opposition comes from another wing of the life movement.

However, many members of the Legislature who oppose abortion favor a different approach. They are pinning their hopes on HB1166, which seems likely to pass because it is signed by 67 members of the 105-member Legislature.

The bill would place new requirements on doctors who do abortions. It would make them, no later than two hours before abortions, give women written information about the medical risks, emotional trauma and gestational age of the fetus; existing law requires that information to be provided at least 24 hours before an abortion.

HB1166 also would require abortion doctors to tell patients that their abortions will terminate a “living human being” and will end the constitutional relationship they have with their unborn children.

The bill also says the state has a duty to provide special protection for the rights of pregnant women.

The measure is designed to ensure that women who are thinking about abortions will more fully understand what’s at stake, said Rep. Roger Hunt, R-Brandon, prime sponsor of HB1166.

“Women are having abortions and they’re not fully informed about the mother’s relationship with the child,” he said.

Hunt and 10 of the women legislators who have added their names to the measure gathered Tuesday in the Capitol rotunda to explain their support for HB1166 and HB1233, which would establish a task force to study abortion and provide the latest medical and scientific evidence about the procedure and how it affects women.

It is very important to lay the groundwork for what we hope in the new few years will be a complete ban on abortions in South Dakota,” said Sen. Julie Bartling, D-Burke, chief co-sponsor of both bills.

Kloucek’s unimpressed

Kloucek said he prayed for guidance before finally deciding to introduce his anti-abortion bill. Despite splintering within the anti-abortion ranks, he said chances of passing his bill are good.

Here’s the irony. You’ve got one pro-life group that was against it last year and they still don’t want it. You’ve got another pro-life group that wanted it last year but don’t want it this year. They want it next year. They’re not being consistent,” Kloucek said.

Until abortions are made illegal, steadfast abortion foes in the Legislature should willingly vote every year on a bill that would ban the procedure, he said.

Even the Crazies Like Barnett

Scenario: Chechen Independence (Part 1), by John Robb, Global Guerillas, http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2005/01/scenario_cheche.html, 26 January 2005.

And now, a more direct criticism of the Chechen independence scenario sketched by John Robb, above, by”dialectic,” Global Guerillas, http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2005/02/scenario_cechen.html, 28 January 2005.

Scenario: Chechen Independence (Part 2), by John Robb, Global Guerillas, http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2005/02/scenario_cechen.html, 2 February 2005.

Commenting on a Global Guerillas article that gives advice to Chechen seperatists (by imagining a news article from the future)

The new Chechen strategy, enabled by a small percentage of the tens of thousands of Chechen exiles scattered throughout Russia, emerged with multiple attacks on the critical sections of Gazprom’s natural gas pipeline network to the north and south of Moscow. The simplicity of the attacks were alarming. Many were done merely with a propane tank. In one hour, access to 500 b cubic meters a year of output was cut off. The damage in the attacks was extensive enough to require 2 weeks of repair work.

This would have been containable, given the system’s forward storage system, if it only occured once. However, attacks continued along the hundreds of miles of vulnerable natural gas pipelines in the critical sections. This radically reduced supply. The net effect was a 70% delivery shortfall to critical European export markets and western domestic customers in the first three months of the new campaign. It couldn’t have been planned better — storage levels were are their nadir following a particularly cold winter.

It did. Putin, faced with the option of a decade of delay in Russian economic progress or Chechen independence, chose independence. A cease fire was called in October of 2005 to negotiated the referendum. It culminated in the document he was to sign today. Chechnya would be free. Global guerrillas had won.

Comes a Bizarro-Barnett comment

I think it very likely that Chechnia will attain independence from Russia, and may well do so via “System Disruptions” targeted on the Russian energy transmission network.

BUT: It won’t be as a result of Global Guerilla activity. Rather, it is overwhelmingly likely to come about because of CIA – Special Forces destabilization activities put into operation in those regions and funded by the US.

(The side bar specifically lists The Pentagon’s New Map as suggested reading, implying the poster means system perturbations).

In a follow-up article Mr. Robb comments

How the media cover “terrorism” can also provide support for global guerrillas. Direct assaults on the target population (traditional terrorism like that of the Chechen Black Widows) get the greatest coverage. It dominates the headlines and therefore will evoke the greatest defensive response from the target state. Attacks on infrastructure get much less coverage and therefore less attention. However, the impact of systems sabotage vs. traditional terrorism on markets is entirely lopsided in favor of systems sabotage. In the parlance of Blitzkrieg, traditional terrorism would be termed a Nebenpunkt (a distracting effort).

This “media effect” in combination with the vast vulnerability of a state’s critical systems architecture, provides an amazingly effective means of manufacturing indirection. As we see in Iraq, the state is in a perpetual collapse due to systems sabotage, while the vast majority of the defensive effort is put towards the defense of the political, governmental, and military targets. Large attacks against high profile symbolic targets (of traditional terrorism) provides the cover to allow systems sabotage to remain a green field — a set of targets that are always under-defended and continuously provide amazing rates of return on the violence capital invested.

I don’t know what to make of the site. It is well written and does not appear to be a parody. Sadly sometimes, blogs do make for superempowered-individuals.

Bush’s New Order of the Ages

Second Inaugural Address,” spoken by George W. Bush, 2005 Presidential Inauguration, http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,144976,00.html, 20 January 2005.

State of the Union Address,” by George W. Bush, The White House, http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/02/20050202-11.html, 2 February 2005.

State of the Union,” by Chad M. Shuldt, Clean Cut Kid, http://www.cleancutkid.com/index.php?id=247, 2 February 2005.

For a Foreign Audience,” by Jonathan H. Adler, The Corner, http://www.nationalreview.com/thecorner/05_01_30_corner-archive.asp#055181, 2 February 2005.

President Bush announces his desire to walk with Egypt and Saudia Arabia.

President Bush’s Second Inaugural Address
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
Not the Reagan Doctrine… but Better
The Reagan Doctrine
The All-Consuming Fire
Bush’s New Order of the Ages

To promote peace and stability in the broader Middle East, the United States will work with our friends in the region to fight the common threat of terror, while we encourage a higher standard of freedom. Hopeful reform is already taking hold in an arc from Morocco to Jordan to Bahrain. The government of Saudi Arabia can demonstrate its leadership in the region by expanding the role of its people in determining their future. And the great and proud nation of Egypt, which showed the way toward peace in the Middle East, can now show the way toward democracy in the Middle East.

Forcing fellow South Dakota blogger CCK to swivle from

Spreading liberty … where next … Pakistan or Saudia Arabia … something he’s all talk

to

I have to say if he can pull this shit off in Egypt and Saudia Arabia, he will have his legacy secure. We’ll have to see if he has the guts to risk our friendships there.

Bush’s comments on Iran were oddly worded. After referencing them implicitly

Our nation, working with allies and friends, has also confronted the enemy abroad, with measures that are determined, successful, and continuing. The al Qaeda terror network that attacked our country still has leaders — but many of its top commanders have been removed. There are still governments that sponsor and harbor terrorists — but their number has declined. There are still regimes seeking weapons of mass destruction — but no longer without attention and without consequence.

The meat

Today, Iran remains the world’s primary state sponsor of terror — pursuing nuclear weapons while depriving its people of the freedom they seek and deserve. We are working with European allies to make clear to the Iranian regime that it must give up its uranium enrichment program and any plutonium reprocessing, and end its support for terror. And to the Iranian people, I say tonight: As you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you.

Is this just a call for the Iranians to rise up? Or something more?

Charles Krauthammer makes the observation that much of the foreign policy part of the speech was aimed more at listeners overseas — in Riyadh, Cairo, and Tehran — than at home. He further suggested (quite provocatively) that the speech suggested that should the Iranian people rise up against the mullahs, the U.S. would be there to support them — even militarily.

Iran has a secular and educated population. It’s an Orange Revolution waiting to happen. We should not invade. But if the Iranian people rise up, and welcome us in, so much the better.

President Bush has a revolutionary belief in freedom. To quote again from his Second Inaugural

We go forward with complete confidence in the eventual triumph of freedom. Not because history runs on the wheels of inevitability; it is human choices that move events. Not because we consider ourselves a chosen nation; God moves and chooses as He wills. We have confidence because freedom is the permanent hope of mankind, the hunger in dark places, the longing of the soul. When our Founders declared a new order of the ages; when soldiers died in wave upon wave for a union based on liberty; when citizens marched in peaceful outrage under the banner “Freedom Now” – they were acting on an ancient hope that is meant to be fulfilled. History has an ebb and flow of justice, but history also has a visible direction, set by liberty and the Author of Liberty.

When the Declaration of Independence was first read in public and the Liberty Bell was sounded in celebration, a witness said, “It rang as if it meant something.” In our time it means something still. America, in this young century, proclaims liberty throughout all the world, and to all the inhabitants thereof. Renewed in our strength – tested, but not weary – we are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom.

May God bless President Bush, and may He watch over the United States of America

Atrophied Reich

Five million Germans out of work,” BBC News, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4228739.stm, 2 February 2005.

I’ve writen before on Germany’s immigration problems, Europe’s growth deficit, and the Europe’s political weaknesss when it comes to growth, but this still surprised me

Germany’s unemployment figure rose above the psychologically important level of five million last month.

On Wednesday, the German Federal Labour Agency said the jobless total had reached 5.037 million in January, which takes the jobless rate to 12.1%.

“Yes, we have effectively more than five million people unemployed,” a government minister said earlier on ZDF public television.

Unemployment has not been this high in Germany since the 1930s.

It gets worse, but at least the CDU isn’t torified

The opposition also made political capital from the figures. It said there are a further 1.5 million-2 million people on subsidised employment schemes who are, in fact, looking for real jobs.

It added that government reforms, including unpopular benefit cuts, do not go far enough.

Germany’s static economy managed to take a great economic boom and turn it into a spiraling nightmare. The absorption of the German Democratic Republic in the 1990s was a great gift to the Federal Republic. While America continuously imports workers from Mexico and other lands, Germany received an education population that spoke the language and shared a common history. What happened?

The worst unemployment since the Great Depression.

Germany’s economy is unable to adapt to reality. High barriers to entry, an overly regulated market, and powerful unions prevent sensible economic policies. For example, while offshoring in the United States helps the American economy as a whole, in Germany it is a net detriment.

And the situation only gets worse. Germany’s experiencing large immigration from Turkey, and if Turkey is admitted to the EU it will only get worse.

I have nothing against Turks, or immigration. I believe that the U.S. immigration policy is too fight, for example, and I have Turks in my family. But Germany’s government and economy are too backward to handle it. Germany is not an economy geared for growth, and the more it is watered the more it drowns.

Germany was the workhorse of the European Economy. It has 12%+ unemployment. More info at Zen Pundit.