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Terrain Denial Sorties November 29, 2017

Posted by hslu in 美國, Economics, Islam, Middle East, Military, Muslim, Taxes, U.S. Foreign Policy, US Government.
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Have you heard of this? 

Probably not. Read on to find out more.

B-52s Are Dropping Hundreds of Dumb Bombs in Afghanistan to Literally Shape the Terrain

http://flip.it/fX0A6_

This is what U.S. is doing in Afghanistan. Basically it is a very expensive remote landscaping operation w/o using any Latinos. No wonder Trump and Republicans want more money for defense. 

Latinos can be picked up at Home Depot parking lot to do odd jobs for you at $120/day. These 500-lb bombs cost $25,00+ a piece.

Source: Quora

Here are the numbers for FY2018 defense budget:

1.   The base budget for DoD is $574.5 billion. 

2.   The Overseas Contingency Operations budget, a fancy name for fighting the ISIS, is $64.6 billion.

3.   Other agencies related to the protection of the nation is $173 billion: VA, the State Dept., Homeland security, FBI and the National Nuclear Security Administration, etc.

4.   $12 billion in OCO funds for the Homeland Security to fight ISIS.

Total for defense related budget: $824.6 billion. It is the second largest spending item after Social Security which costs tax payers ~$1 trillion.


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War With Iran and “window of opportunity” November 19, 2017

Posted by hslu in 美國, Global Affair, Middle East, Military, Muslim, U.S. Foreign Policy.
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In 1987, a Rogue U.S. Navy Admiral Schemed for War With Iran

http://flip.it/CF.F8L

I wonder what other “window of opportunities” American military has been or is contemplating with?

A tactic nuclear war with North Korea, Russia, China or Iran?

With a story like this, it goes a long way to show the entire world that America is really dangerous in dealing with other nations in the world. 

Basically, its mentality is “It is my way or highway.”

The message to the world is simply this: “Arm yourself to defend your country or be slaughtered by the United States of America when you are least expected.”

Trump and Mohammed bin Salman November 19, 2017

Posted by hslu in 石油, 美國, Energy, Global Affair, Islam, Middle East, Muslim, Obama, Taiwan, Taxes, Trump, U.S. Foreign Policy, 川普.
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Trump has unleashed the Saudi Arabia we always wanted — and feared

http://flip.it/nNbGLY

Trump’s first foreign trip after his inauguration was to Saudi Arabia. 

Why?

What did his advisors tell him? 

What would he gain by talking to Mohammed bin Salman other than undo what Obama did to the Middle East before him?

Did he really think that he can make his mark in history with peace agreements between the enemies in the Middle East?

Did he try to lend legitimacy to a young and untested Saudi prince who requested the meeting in the first place?

Did Trump believe that Saudi Arabia might be on the cusp of forming an alliance with Russia to dominate the world oil market?

Did Trump want to tell the prince in person that America will no longer insert itself in any future Middle East conflict because Saudi is a big boy who should handle itself like a grown man instead of hiding behind the U.S.?

Did Trump just want to be bold,  unpredictable and keep people guessing?

Or mabe Trump want to check out Saudi’s golden toilet?

Petro renminbi? November 14, 2017

Posted by hslu in China, 石油, 美國, Economics, Global Affair, Middle East, Oil, Russia, U.S. dollar, 中國.
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Economist Jim O’Neill explains how the dollar will lose its ‘kingpin’ status – https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/14/economist-jim-oneill-explains-how-the-dollar-will-lose-its-kingpin-status.html

It will happen and it will take less than ten years as speculated by O’neill.

One country at a time. Iran. Russia. Chinese are patient and methodical. They can wait. It is a decadeclong project for China and it started the effort a few years back already.

Saudi Arabia is the big fish but America will fight hard to keep the dollar as the trading currency for crude oil.

It will be futile for the U.S. as China is already the largest oil importer in the world. The culpit is none other than the shale oil American private companies are producing now for their short term gains. Without the growing domestic shale oil production, U.S. will still be the largest oil importer in the world. As such, there is no way that petro-dollar’s kingpin position can be challenged any time soon. 

這就是因,這就是果。有因,就有果。真有意思。

走投無路只有濫竽充數了? November 14, 2017

Posted by hslu in China, Cold War, Computer, Congress, 美國, Democracy, Economics, Islam, Middle East, Military, Obama, Politics, Taiwan, Trump, U.S. Foreign Policy, 川普, 中國.
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看來美國的募兵制已經走到盡頭了。兵不夠,烏七八糟的人都只有收下了。

大部分的美國大兵參軍,不是因為他要保護美國的國家利益,不是因為他要保護美國自由民主的理想或是要保護美國的領土完整,他們這些人參軍,是因為他們沒有辦法在社會上生存,去當兵至少還有一口飯吃吃。

美國只要是經濟不好,失業率高,募兵就沒有問題。這些人找不到事,就只有參加軍隊,混一口飯吃。如果經濟好,市場上需要勞工,就募不到兵。現在就是經濟好,找不到新兵的時候。

不過,美國在中東的兩次戰爭,也把美國的年輕人打怕了。布希,噢巴馬和川普相繼的送他們去阿富汗,伊拉克,敘利亞和 Niger,可是他們不知道為什麼打仗,不知道為什麼去死,不知道為誰的利益而戰。有些人在阿富汗打了十幾年的戰,還不知道是為了美國人打還是為了阿富汗人打。

你說,這是不是有點荒唐?不過,這就是美國的外交政策。七八十年了,都是這樣。

嗯,好像台灣也有這種找不到兵的問題。不過,台灣有點不一樣。台灣現在是徵兵制。只要男生一到十八歲,就要當兵。如今,兵有沒有什麼好當的。打中國打不過,要那麽多兵幹什麼?所以台灣現在當兵,可以去政府機關坐辦公桌,朝九晚五的,幾個月就可以了。還有,台灣要武器,買不起。想要買,美國又不買。台灣的年輕人小確幸過的遐逸的很,週末吃個海鮮吃到飽,放長假去日本關西走兩天,要他們出去曬曬太陽,做個勞力工都不願意,怎麼會去當兵呢?再說,政府給當兵的錢不夠,多給政府又沒錢,你說這不是兩難嗎?

The U.S., Iraq, the Kurds and Iran October 24, 2017

Posted by hslu in 美國, Democracy, Global Affair, Islam, Middle East, Military, Muslim, Obama, U.S. Foreign Policy, 民主.
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The United Stated has turned Iraq upside down and then shoveled the country America built into the arms of Iran.
Nice job.

The U.S. insisted that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein had WMD.

The U.S. invaded Iraq and killed Saddam Hussein. Some speculated that Hussein got himself eliminated because he traded Iraqi oil for Euro instead of the USD. The U.S. couldn’t tolerate that.

The U.S. dismantled the Iraqi army and sent all Hussein’s soldiers home.

The U.S. built a new Iraq, selected Al-Maliki the  leader of the new government, gave him a ton of American tax money and fooled the Iraqi people to vote him in as Iraq’s first prime minister.

The U.S. called the outcome the will of the Iraqi people, patted itself on the back and called it a shinning example of democracy for all Muslim countries to see.

The U.S. claimed that the democratic Iraq a trusted friend in the all important Middle East region.

The U.S. believed that the new, pro-America Iraqi government established a geopolitical equilibrium between Iran and Iraq.

The U.S. military forces were completely kicked out of Iraq by the democratic Iraqi government America built. Obama called it the will of the American people. The withdraw of American soldiers helped the insurgence of ISIS.

The U.S. wanted to get rid of Bashar al-Assad of Syria and formed a pro-America government but couldn’t decide whom to support.

The U.S. created a power vacuum in Syria, Putin saw the opportunity and established a military base in Syria. Russia has entered the Middle East and popped up al-Assad’s government.

The U.S. president’s (Obama) indecision in Syria allowed ISIS to strengthen which occupied part of Syria and a big chunk of Iraq.

The U.S. decided to go back to Iraq to clean up the mess it left behind. American special forces supplied the Iraqi army with American’s advanced weapons and trained the Iraqi army to use these weapons.

The U.S. supported the Kurdish Peshmerga forces because they knew how to fight the ISIS while Iraqi army ran in panic and fled in their humvees from the battle field.

The U.S. doesn’t want Iraqi Kurds to declare independence because it will make Turkey and Iraq mad at the U.S.

The U.S. couldn’t do anything when people in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq voted in a referendum and declared independence.

The U.S.-equipped Iraqi army decided to get rid of the Kurds and took over the Kirkuk oil field from the Kurds in a matter of two days. The Irancbacked militias helped.

The U.S. asked Iraq to disband the Iraqi militias because the fight against the IS in Iraq was almost over.

The U.S. is ignored by the Iraqi PM who called the Iran-backed militias, called Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisatio,) the “hope of Iraq and the region”.

The U.S. lost trillions of dollars and the lives of thousands of American soldiers for nothing. The Iraqi government America built became an ally of Iran. A new equilibrium has emerged in the Middle East thanks to American’s nations building efforts.

What an irony.

中國人有句話描述這個情形:賠了夫人又折兵。

你又可以說:偷雞不成蝕把米。

美國的民主政治 vs 中國的集權統治 October 18, 2017

Posted by hslu in China, 美國, Democracy, Election, Global Affair, Globlization, Health Insurance, Islam, Middle East, Military, Muslim, Obama, Obamacare, Putin, Racial Bias, Russia, Trump, U.S. Foreign Policy, 川普, 民主.
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大學好友寄來一篇有關美國民主政治和大陸集權統治的文章。看完後,想到臺灣最近坎坷的民主政治和困苦的經濟環境,忍不住感慨萬分。

中國數千年,朝代變遷,不論什麼政治體系,甚至包括一人獨裁的專制體系,那一個不是順民者昌,逆民者亡的?我時常說,能夠爲人民着想的政府,爲人民創造幸福的未來,讓人民安居樂業,社會安定的政府就是一個好的政府。

這篇文章是復旦大學中國研究研究員宋魯鄭在中國十九大開會前夕寫的。文章刊登在BBC News 中文網站上。值得一看。

Source: BBC News 中文版

http://www.bbc.com/zhongwen/simp/chinese-news-41645713

Source: BBC News 中文版

 

 

爲了給其他同學提供一些背景資料,我把美國近20年的政治變化簡短的摘要下來給他們參考。以下是我寫的摘要:

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

謝謝高教授轉來的文章。

作者對“民主政治”的優,缺點分析的十分中肯,對一意孤行的川普和逐漸被世界排斥的美國也有明確的說明。在此,我斗膽把美國二十年來在外交和內政的變化簡短的跟大家報告一下,希望對你看這一篇文章有點幫助。

 

Clinton開始,美國就跟全世界說,伊拉克的 Saddam Hussein 擁有WMD。Bush Jr. 上臺8個月後發生911事件。美國以國家安全爲理由在2011年10月入侵阿富汗,在2013年3月入侵伊拉克。(Saddam Hussein 在 2000年10月堅持以歐元,不用美元,交換伊拉克的石油可能是美國攻打伊拉克的原因之一。)Bush Jr.爲了保護美國人民和本土,把美國的外交政策推向極右派好戰的陣營。2007年3月,美國次貸危機和 2008年9月的金融危機把全世界推向經濟蕭條的深淵。美國經濟衰退,欠債累累,失業率激增。這些事在2008年11月把Obama 推上了美國總統的寶座。

 

Obama 在他執政的八年中把美國的外交和內政推向極左派的自由主義陣營裏。對外,放棄美國霸權拒絕做全球警察,從伊拉克撤軍使得ISIS崛起,對阿富汗增兵然後撤軍,打擊以色列,討好阿拉伯回教國家,對中國採取“亞太再平衡”的圍堵政策,對蘇俄兼併克里米亞採取經濟制裁卻反而把蘇俄推向中國的懷抱。對敘利亞畫下紅線卻不採取行動,攻打ISIS不盡全力反而讓蘇俄在敘利亞建立軍事基地,簽訂伊朗核武協議,對北韓核武發展束手無策,進行TPP,TPA和TTIP談判,簽巴黎氣候協議增加美國公司負擔,影響美國勞工就業市場。最後在民主黨即將失去多數黨地位前與古巴建交。對內,他上臺後不立即更有效的用財政措施來拯救美國經濟,反而用他所有的政治資本來推動醫保全民化,簽訂 Dodd-Frank法案約束金融機構,約束石油公司,徹底打擊國內煤炭產業,濫用總統的行政權力變相的大赦非法移民,給婦女免費避孕藥,提倡社區大學兩年免費就讀,提倡同性戀婚姻合法化,支持變性人的合法地位,在軍中廢除“不問不說”政策和減弱美國人擁有槍支的權力。還有,Obama這個黑人總統和他對種族問題的迴避直接和間接的挑起了美國白人警察和黑人的武力衝突,也增加了白人對黑人的歧視和打擊黑人的決心。除此之外,金融危機帶動的量化寬鬆政策導致全世界貧富極端的不均。全球化和中國的崛起也增加美國民衆,尤其是美國南方保守派白人,對美國政府,美國前途和美國自由化現況的不滿。Obama執政八年已經無可否認的把美國變成了一個社會主義的國家了。

 

這些外在的因素和希拉蕊競選的失敗把川普推入了白宮。美國民主政治,四年河東,四年河西,動盪不安。我們現在看到的亂象都是歷史了。

 

謝謝。

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

名嘴和美國政治 October 15, 2017

Posted by hslu in Congress, 美國, Democracy, Election, Globlization, Islam, Liberal Media, Middle East, Muslim, Politics, Racial Bias, Russia, Taxes, Trump, U.S. Foreign Policy, US Government, 川普.
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臺灣的政治,社會的輿論,人民的想法和朝代(中央和地方)的變遷被電視上的名嘴操縱,掌控。這些人爲他們的政治理念在電視臺的節目中大放厥詞,打擊政府,攻擊個人,企圖左右地方和中央選舉的結果。無知的百姓很容易被這些人影響,而政府的政策就被這些人綁架了。

美國一樣也有名嘴:無線電臺保守派政治論壇節目主持人(在過去,自由派的政治論壇節目幾乎沒辦法生存),電視臺新聞節目主持人,週末和夜晚新聞節目的主持人和網路上保守派,激進派和自由派的護衛者。

Steve Bannon (班農) 就是一個典型的例子。

他說話頭頭是道,口無遮攔,極會罵人。他對美國在世界上的霸權有無比堅定的信念。他堅絕反對貿易全球化,反伊朗,反蘇俄,反北韓,反中國,反歐盟,反美國的盟友用美國錢。他主張在邊界築圍牆把中南美洲的違法移民擋在牆外。他反對有些穆斯林國家的阿拉伯人來美國,厭惡共和黨中反對川普的參議員和眾議員,反對現有的共和黨體系,也強烈的反民主黨的政治立場。

他在川普的小圈圈裏位高權重,深得川普長久的信任。可是在川普進白宮以後,他跟川普的女兒,女婿和其他顧問,部長不和,最後不得以被川普解僱。可是他在無官一身輕的情況之下,威脅共和黨參,眾議員,打擊在明年美期中要競選連任的議員。

其實,他威脅現任參議院首領 McMconnell,和即將退休的參議員 Corker 的真正目的,是恐嚇其他共和黨參議員,要他們三緘其口,不可以公開批評或反對川普,要這些人爲共和黨和川普推行的稅改政策投下贊成的一票。

現在,共和黨的52個參議員中只有三,四個參議員敢對川普和共和黨的稅改提案有任何異議。他們也極有可能會投反對票。除了 Corker 和生癌症的 McCain  以外,川普還需要擔心緬因州的 Collins 和阿拉斯加的 Murkowski 參議員很可能會反對共和黨和稅改政策。

川普知道這個道理。班農當然也知道這個道理。所以,班農的責任就是儘量打擊 McConnell 和 Corker,殺一儆百,告訴其他的共和黨參議員,你們最好乖乖的通過共和黨提出來的稅改政策,不然下一個目標就是反對稅改政策的共和黨參議員了。

共和黨在美國的眾議院有壓倒的多數,許多眾議員也不敢公開反對川普,因為川普的鐵票可能高達 30%,甚至 35% 的選民。如果眾議員公開反對川普,那他們競選得連任的機會就不大了。

這是美國民主政治黑暗的一面。許多中國人,尤其是年輕的中國人,包括臺灣的年輕人在內,以為美國的民主政治是世界上至高無上,最純潔,最公平的治國標準。沒人一票多麼神聖阿! 他們那裏知道美國的民主政治實際上早就被有錢人和有特殊要求的團體綁架了。

And above all a bellicose and unpredictable Trump September 8, 2017

Posted by hslu in 美國, Global Affair, Islam, Japan, Middle East, Military, Muslim, Putin, Russia, Trump, U.S. Foreign Policy.
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The statement below by Jens Stoltenberg, the head of NATO, is true but Stoltenberg should have added bellicose Trump to the mix too.

But, Jens Soltenberg fogot to mention that the U.S., Russia, Israel, India, Parkistan and China, among others, have thousands of nuclear warheads pointing to each other at all times.

That’s a real perliferation of weapons of mass destruction indeed.

Tilletson to get fired soon? August 31, 2017

Posted by hslu in 美國, Global Affair, Middle East, Oil, Politics, Russia, Trump, U.S. Foreign Policy.
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The primary reason Tillerson was selected by Trump to be the Secretary of State is Tillerson’s personal tie with Putin. His dealing with oil producing countries in the Middle East is certainly a big plus too.

However, with potential Trump/Putin collusion investigated by multiple parties in the U.S., Tillerson’s usefulness to Trump diminishes by the day.

Tillerson has now openly distanced himself from Trump on Charlottesville tradegy. Is Tillerson looking for a way out? Is Tillerson a few tweets away from being fired by Trump soon?

I think it will be wise for Tillerson to step away from the Trump administration because Trump is a boss who knows very little about how government works and how foreign policy should be conducted. 

Trump wants to cut the State Department by 25% and it is up to its new boss, Tillerson, to do the chopping. It puts Tillerson in such an impossible position to conduct his business. Tillerson should have told Trump that this level of cutting can’t be done in one fell swoop. 

It is Trump who doesn’t get it. It’s not Tillerson.

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