Monday, November 24, 2008

If we make it through December

"If we make it through December"
by Merle Haggard, October 1973

If we make it through December
Everything's gonna be alright I know
It's the coldest time of winter
And I shiver when I see the falling snow

If we make it through December
Got plans to be in a warmer town come summertime
Maybe even California
If we make it through December we'll be fine

Got laid off down at the factory
And their timing's not the greatest in the world
Heaven knows I've been working hard
Wanted Christmas to be right for daddy's girl

I don't mean to hate December
It's meant to be the happy time of year
And my little girl don't understand
Why daddy can't afford no Christmas here

If we make it through December...
Merry Christmas everybody!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Israeli missiles target US Aircraft Carriers

This is not as misleading as it may at first sound. I will in fact prove that this is true. But first you must understand that the country that is aiming these missiles at US Aircraft Carriers is China. But the missiles are in fact Israeli designed cruise missiles. And in fact the Israelis got their designs from the US, so these are actually US designed cruise missiles that are being aimed at US Aircraft Carriers. Got that? Your tax dollars are being used to enable China to target US Aircraft Carriers. Now that you understand the big picture, let's break it down and provide the proof that this is true.

So let's start from the end of the story and work our way backwards. I came across this article recently while doing one of my routine Google News searches on China - "China Missile Deployment Targets U.S. Aircraft Carriers". Here's a few quotes.

China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is deploying anti-ship YJ-62A missiles along its southeast coast, with a range that can cover the entire area of Taiwan.
Shih [editor of Taiwan’s Defense International magazine] also points out that if the United States supports Taiwan with aircraft carriers if there is an outbreak of military tension in the Taiwan Strait, the YJ-62A missiles—also known as “aircraft carrier killers”—will become an important weapon in the PLA’s strategy.

Sun Kauo-hwa, national security consultant of the Taiwan National Policy Foundation, also believes that mainland China is mainly targeting U.S. aircraft carriers, rather than Taiwan. “There are quadrangular relations between the United States, China, Taiwan and Japan in the Pacific,” Sun said, “the biggest target for mainland China’s naval deployment in the Pacific is the U.S. Pacific Fleet, especially their aircraft carrier battle group.
So now we have established that China has deployed missiles along its coast that are capable of hitting any ship that happens to cross through the Taiwan Strait, and that the most likely target is the U.S. Pacific Fleet. And even more specifically the nuclear US Aircraft Carrier George Washington which is now permanently stationed in Yokosuka, Japan.

But you say, well the source of these reports are Taiwanese who have an interest in raising alarms about Chinese threats to Taiwan. What proof do they have that these missiles are targeting ships rather than targets in Taiwan itself? Well maybe this article will help - "YJ-62 Anti-Ship Cruise Missile".
The YJ-62 ASCM outperforms most Western and Russian anti-ship missiles in terms of range and warhead mass, thought it is not clear whether the missile possesses the same accuracy and anti-jamming capabilities. Nevertheless, it demonstrates China’s capability to design and develop a world-class advanced anti-ship missile.
What do you know, this is not just any ordinary missile. This is a cruise missile and it is described as a "anti-ship" cruise missile. It is also described as carrying a significantly large warhead. The kind you might need to take out a large vessel like an Aircraft Carrier. And finally I note that this sophisticated piece of military hardware was designed by China rather than having been purchased from Russia for example.

So where is the Israeli connection? Well that's coming next. Here's a rather old article from 2003 - "China's Missile Imports and Assistance From Israel".
In addition to the alleged Patriot technology transfer, Israel has allegedly supplied China with cruise missile technology, including sensitive US technology. Specifically, Israel is allegedly assisting China with the development of its YF-12A, YJ-62, and YJ-92 cruise missiles.
On 2 January 2003, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher stated that Israeli military exports to China were of concern to the United States. The following day, Israel announced that it would comply with U.S. demands and halt all contracts on the export of arms and security equipment to China. [...] According to the Associate Press, China issued a written statement in response to the Israeli announcement. In the statement, it states that, "It is China's consistent position that the development of normal military trade cooperation with Israel is a matter between the two countries."
By now you probably recognized the YJ-62 cruise missile as being the one that the Taiwanese are saying that China is using to target US Aircraft carriers. So actually this is an Israeli design, and the Israelis got their design from the US. There's also Patriot Missile technology that was transferred. No wonder that in the case of the latest anti-missile technology that is being installed on Israeli soil, the US military won't let any Israeli even touch it. But don't let that make you come to the conclusion that the US has learned its lesson with regards to our "special friend" in the Middle East. The US continues to do "joint development" with Israel. And Israel continues to engage in military trade with China. In fact in 2005 Israel was China's second largest arms supplier - second only to Russia. And in case it wasn't obvious from the quote in the article above, the Chinese attitude is that this is none of Uncle Sam's business - even if it does involve the illegal transfer of US technology to China.

And in addition to using Israel to steal US military secrets China has been stealing directly from the US as in the case of Shu Quan-Sheng, the physicist and corporate executive from Virginia arrested in September for selling American space technology to Beijing. He is now facing 25 years in prison.

Lucky for us that China doesn't have any aircraft carriers of its own to challenge the US Navy, right? Well it may not be long before that situation changes. According to this article China will have its first aircraft carrier in just 2 years - "Chinese aircraft carrier?".
In March last year, a Beijing-backed Hong Kong newspaper reported that China could have its first aircraft carrier by 2010. The Pentagon said this year that China was actively engaged in aircraft carrier research and would be able to start building one by the end of this decade.
An effective Chinese carrier could have serious implications for any conflict involving Taiwan by strengthening the mainland's ability to counter the island's air force and control its sea lanes.
Taiwanese separatism is the 'biggest threat' China currently faces, said Maj-Gen Qian [director of the Foreign Affairs Office at the Chinese Ministry of National Defence], who insisted on US dropping military support for the island.
So what's the US response to the Chinese building one or more aircraft carriers? The answer is found at the end of the article I quoted above.
Admiral Timothy Keating, head of the US Pacific Command, said in Beijing last year that China's development of a carrier should not be the cause of any unnecessary tension, and that the US would even be willing to lend a helping hand.
Why not? We already supplied them with cruise missiles to sink our carriers, why not help China to build carriers of their own? This will help with the plan to split the Pacific fifty-fifty between China and the US. With the current US budget deficit we just can't afford to patrol the whole Pacific on our own - it's a BIG ocean. Why not get China to help out? This at least is the plan proposed by the Chinese military to the US military according to this article - "US aircraft carrier keeps tabs on China".
In spring this year, a congressional hearing in the US revealed that the Chinese military had approached high-ranking US military officers with the idea of “dividing the Pacific into two spheres of influence” between Beijing and Washington, with China taking charge of the seas off Hawaii and westward.
Hey I have a better idea. We split the world into three regions called Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia. Wait. Didn't George Orwell write a book about that called Nineteen Eighty-Four?

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Uncle Barack's White House

Ralph Nader famously asked just after the elections whether Obama would be an Uncle Sam for the American People or an Uncle Tom for the Big Corporations? I would add to that list of famous uncles another one - Uncle Joe as in Joseph Stalin. Good old Ralph got me in trouble big time with his comment, as my Digg reply was to say that really Nader could have gone even further and asked whether Obama was going to be a House Negro or a Field Negro. I used the alternative spelling of Negro which ends in "-er" which got me temporarily banned from Digg.

I was going to write a nasty "Digg sucks" post on my blog but decided against it. While Digg may at times be sucky, I wouldn't say that Digg sucks as a whole. I do have major issues with the whole bury mechanism and at times it seems like the average Digg user is an uneducated adolescent, but overall Digg does have its good points. But if I could find a good alternative to Digg, I would certainly be open to exploring it. I looked at Reddit, but I just could not get into their user interface. Oh well.

Now I know that Al-Qaeda recently came out and referred to Obama as a "House Negro", but for the record - my comment came out first. Although it wasn't up on Digg for long before it was removed. My point was that the Civil Rights movement consisted of more than just the "I have a Dream" speech by Martin Luther King. It also included the famous "House Negro vs Field Negro" speech by Malcolm X.

Malcolm X had a dream too. If you look at the status of Black people today vs. the 1960's, there has been a great deal of progress for the relatively few fortunates like Barack Obama. But the majority of African-Americans are not much better off then they were when MLK gave his famous speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. What will Obama do to try to change this? Does he even have a plan? Or is he more concerned with the plight of Middle Class White America? And as Nader has mentioned numerous times Obama never even referred to Poor People in his campaign. And BTW, why does he constantly refer to Martin Luther King as The Preacher? Is he afraid to say his name in public?

Anyway, back to the Obama White House. Now, I recognize like everyone else the historic nature of the fact that he is the first African-American President of the United States. And I realize what this symbolizes to people of African descent all over the world. But minorities in the US should also realize that Obama did next to nothing during his campaign to speak out for their issues. If anything, he was slightly to the right of center on any issue touching minorities in the US.

And internationally the same thing is true. He has never made any campaign promise to come to the aid of the Palestinians for example. Yet some people still have expectations that once he takes his oath and takes up residence on Pennsylvania Avenue, that somehow this will change.

Anyone that still believes that Obama represents change is consciously (or unconsciously) ignoring the facts. Just look at the appointments he has made so far and the rumored appointments to come, and it should be obvious that Nader got it right. Obama represents the Big Corporations, not the Average Citizen.

The other thing you have to give Ralph credit for is pointing out that there really aren't two political parties in America. There is just one. Sure we have elections and periodically the party in control switches. But nothing really changes. And the two parties conspire to make sure that no 3rd party is able to share in their power.

This is really not much different from China where there is one party rule. Every once in a while the Communist Party gets together and they change the President and reshuffle the other top positions and again, nothing changes.

Now I don't believe that Obama started out as a bad guy. He has good roots as a community organizer, and early on in the primaries he seemed to represent a real alternative. To me the pivotal moment was the AIPAC convention speech. That's when I think that Obama was given a choice and he decided to make his deal with the devil. He sold his soul to become the next POTUS.

And why do I say that since this is a very strong charge? The proof to me is that after the AIPAC convention, the Jeremiah Wright attacks stopped. And that was the key issue that could have kept him from becoming President. All you have to do is go to Google Trends and type in "Jeremiah Wright" and you'll notice that the articles mentioning him just faded away after the AIPAC convention. And who knows what other dirt the bad guys had on Barack that they were ready to expose.

Against Dukakis it was Willie Horton and against Kerry it was the Swift Boat attack. Of course McCain and Palin came after him with William Ayers, but this was never a real issue and was not nearly as potent an attack as the Jeremiah Wright attack would have been. In fact McCain's advisers wanted to use Wright in the campaign but McCain declared it off limits. What I am suggesting is that McCain was taking his orders from AIPAC. That was part of the deal.

Now that Obama is the President-in-waiting, there is this tendency to personify his administration. The press keeps saying that Obama is going to do this or that after he takes office. But this is a dangerous over simplification. Obama may be the next President and he may represent the office of the President as a whole, but he can't do anything on his own. We're really talking about an Obama administration. And I'm not convinced that Obama will be the person with the most influence in terms of setting the policy.

Still Obama will be the figurehead representing the policies to the public, and this will be a very useful image for those who are truly responsible for those policies. Obama is a sympathetic figure and the public is more likely to accept unpopular decisions from him than they would from someone like Joe Biden, for example.

Which brings us back to the 3 Uncles - Sam, Tom and Joe. It is the image of Uncle Joe that most concerns me. The iconic "man of the people" who is supposed to be representing the average citizen, when really he is representing the powerful Elite. There is a danger of creating a cult of personality around Obama. It truly disturbs me that people will keep waiting for Uncle Barack to fix things at the same time that things are falling apart. And of course the thing that is falling apart the fastest is the economy, like a giant Humpty Dumpty.

The US Economy sat on a wall;
The US Economy had a great fall.
All Obama's cabinet,
And all Obama's Fed,
Couldn't bring the Economy back from the dead!
And in fact I don't believe that Humpty just fell, I believe he was pushed. And the same guilty parties responsible for this homicide are the ones that are now appointing themselves to positions of power in the "new" Obama Administration.