Trump: Germany Owes US, NATO Vast Sums of Money

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

World

Trump: Germany Owes US, NATO Vast Sums of Money

Trump

Washington –President Donald Trump said on Saturday that Germany owed “vast sums of money” to NATO and the US, and that Berlin “should pay.”

Trump’s statements come following his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Washington.

Trump took it to twitter where he said: “Nevertheless, Germany owes vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!”

The two leaders did not show any signs of agreement on several pending issues, including NATO and defense expenditures.

During a joint press conference with Merkel, Trump complained that other NATO members have not paid their dues for years. He insisted they pay for “their fair share of the defense they receive.”

NATO countries are asked to contribute 2 percent of their GDP to the alliance’s defense spending.

Merkel said that Germany agreed on the need for “increasing expenditure” to meet the 2 percent goal.

Trump then criticized the way the media had dealt with the meeting saying on Twitter also: “Despite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS, I had a GREAT meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.”

Expenditure was not the only point of disagreement between the two. A German journalist brought up the case of wiretapping and Trump’s accusations that British Intelligence was working with Obama to spy on him.

Despite constant negations and absence of evidence, the US President continued with his allegations and even joked that Merkel had also been a victim of wiretapping.

Since his arrival at the White House, the Republican billionaire had written several controversial tweets, none of which had damaged his credibility as much as the one he wrote on March 4.

He tweeted: “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism.”

Media reports reveal each day new findings on Trump’s or his close personnel’s contacts with Russia.

Trump had repeatedly denied any affiliations to the Kremlin, but he could not control the flow of information and therefore decided to attack his predecessor.

Since then, Obama, former intelligence director James Clapper and many democratic and republican officials have denied those allegations.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions had to apologize to the UK for press secretary Sean Spicer’s allegation that the GCHQ had spied on Trump Tower for Obama. Spicer almost caused a diplomatic crisis by defending the president.

On Thursday, Spicer quoted a series of articles that discussed surveillance. He referenced comments made earlier this week on Fox News TV by Andrew Napolitano in relation to Trump’s controversial claim that wiretaps had been installed at his New York residence.

“Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command. He didn’t use the NSA, he didn’t use the CIA, he didn’t use the FBI and he didn’t use the Department of Justice. He used GCHQ,” Spicer said in the press conference.

British officials were quick to comment on Napolitano’s claims, saying they were “rubbish”.

A government source reportedly said the claim was “totally untrue and quite frankly absurd”.

It told Reuters that under British law, GCHQ “can only gather intelligence for national security purposes” and noted that a US election “clearly doesn’t meet that criteria”.

“As for as wiretapping, I guess by this past administration, at least we have something in common, perhaps,” Trump said during his press conference with Chancellor Merkel, referring to reports that the National Security Agency had tapped Merkel in 2010.

Such incidents do not reassure US Congressmen, including those in Trump’s camp. Trump promised to reveal next week new evidences that prove his allegations.

Chairman of the House intelligence committee, Devin Nunes confirmed Friday that the Justice Department had “fully complied” with the committee’s request.

He did not provide any further details.

FBI Director James Comey is set to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Monday.

The public hearing is the first of several that the intelligence committees are expected to hold on alleged Russia’s interference in the presidential election.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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Resurrection’ of Somali Pirate Attacks Feared After Tanker Shootout

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NEWSVINE.COM)

NOV 20 2016, 4:45 AM ET

‘Resurrection’ of Somali Pirate Attacks Feared After Tanker Shootout

Jubilation as Pirates Release Sailors After Four-Year Ordeal 0:59

As the chemical tanker CPO Korea passed the coast of Somalia late last month, security personnel aboard the ship noticed a blue-hulled skiff rapidly moving towards them.

Warning shots were fired by guards as the approaching vessel closed-in, only for gunfire to be swiftly returned.

Image: CPO Korea
The CPO Korea EU Navfor via Twitter

The CPO Korea immediately increased its speed and altered course before eventually breaking away without sustaining casualties, according to a report from the Office of Naval Intelligence.

A once-frequent occurrence, the suspected pirate attack — which took place 330 nautical miles off the Somali coast — was the first on a merchant vessel in the region in two and a half years.

Yet the incident led Maj. Gen. Rob Magowan, the head of the EU Naval Force (EU Navfor) in Somalia, to demand that the international community stay “vigilant.”

And a U.N. report published last month described progress made fighting piracy in the region as “fragile and reversible.”

Raising ‘Cost’ of Piracy

Much work has gone into pacifying the once-notorious waters that stretch from the Gulf of Aden, along the coast of Somalia and out into the Indian Ocean.

The multi-nation Combined Maritime Forces, NATO, EU Navfor and individual state navies have all contributed.

In Jan. 2011, 736 hostages and 32 commercial ships were being held by Somali pirates, according to the EU Navfor. By this October, those numbers had been reduced to zero.

Image: Somali pirate in 2010
An armed Somali pirate along the northeastern coast of Somalia in 2010. MOHAMED DAHIR / AFP – Getty Images

However, the U.N. notes that attacks on fishing vessels have continued. Just last month, 26 fishermen from several countries in Asia were released after being held captive in Somalia for four years.

Col. Richard Cantrill, chief of staff for EU Navfor, highlighted increased naval patrols, private security staff aboard vessels, the formation of best maritime practice guidelines and the ability to prosecute pirates captured, as key factors in closing off opportunities for piracy when he spoke to NBC News by phone.

“If you’re a pirate, what we’ve sought to do is raise the cost of you going to sea to commit an act of piracy,” Cantrill said. “If you do, you could meet a naval asset. Ultimately you might end up in prison for your crime.”

Yet some experts worry that the CPO Korea incident shows the Somali piracy issue has merely been dormant.

Cyrus Mody, assistant director of the International Maritime Bureau, noted the vast improvement in security over recent years. But he added that the “resurrection” of pirate activity was entirely possible.

“Everyone is quite concerned that the capability and capacity within the Somali pirates still exists. It is just lack of opportunity [because of the naval forces operating in the area] that is showing in the lull,” Mody said.

Image: Map showing Somalia
A map showing the location of Somalia. Google Maps

This is a point of view shared by Gerry Northwood, chief operating officer of maritime security firm MAST.

He told NBC News that the risk of piracy “is certainly there” and will remain so until economic, security and political issues within Somalia are resolved.

Although Somalia’s first freely elected government in decades came to power in 2012, the country remains beset by problems.

A recent U.N. Monitoring Group report highlighted the continuing threat of al Shabaab militants, while it said “continuing problems of corruption, mismanagement and financial constraints have compromised the effectiveness of the Somali national army.”

These factors, Northwood argues, make securing Somalia’s coastline and preventing safe anchorage for potential piracy missions extremely difficult.

On top of this, there remain challenges in offering a viable economic alternative to would-be pirates — the most junior of whom can earn as much as $30,000 per mission.

“There’s been a lot of good work with [the Somalis] and there has been progress but it’s still a very fragile state of affairs,” Northwood said.

Nowadays, piracy activity is far likelier to occur in the Gulf of Guinea, on the west coast of Africa, or in Southeast Asia. Data from the ONI states that there have been 152 incidents in the Gulf of Guinea so far in 2016 and 97 in Southeast Asian waters.

Window of Opportunity

With naval resources in the region around Somalia drawn back as incidents have decreased in recent years, it doesn’t take much foresight to envision the window of opportunity for pirates widening.

EU Navfor confirmed that while 75 percent of vessels that pass through the Gulf of Aden adhere to maritime best practice — sticking to prescribed routes and checking in with naval forces in the area — only 50 percent of them employ private security.

Northwood argues that some ship owners view the cost of security —which he says can stretch between $4,000 and $30,000 for a voyage between the Red Sea and Sri Lanka — as “a cost too far.”

Although the CPO Korea was one of the ships with well-equipped security aboard, others could potentially offer a softer target.

“The thing which we have been particularly clear about is that the sort of attack which we saw happen a couple of weeks ago was likely,” said EU Navfor’s Cantrill, who expects his organization’s mission in the area to be extended in the coming weeks. “The threat is there.”

Is President Putin Telling U.S. Politicians They Need To Grow Up, Lose Their Ego’s?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF BLOOMBERG NEWS)

Putin Says U.S. Isn’t Banana Republic, Must Get Over Itself

October 27, 2016 — 11:06 AM EDT uupdated on October 27, 2016 — 11:47 AM EDT
1477581074_Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin gives a speech at a Valdai Discussion Club meeting of political scientists in Sochi on Oct. 27.

Photographer: Mikhail Klimentyev/AFP via Getty Images

Vladimir Putin dismissed U.S. “hysteria” over alleged Russian interference in its presidential elections, saying it was impossible to influence voters’ choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

“Does anyone seriously think that Russia can influence the choice of the American people?” President Putin told the annual Valdai discussion forum of international analysts and academics in Sochi on Thursday. “Is America some kind of banana republic? America is a great power. If I’m wrong, correct me.”

Amid rising confrontation with NATO, Putin insisted that Russia isn’t planning to attack anyone and said it was a “myth” that it poses a military threat. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has outlived its usefulness, while Russia wants all nations to have equal security and isn’t striving for global domination, he said.

Putin spoke as tensions have spiraled between Russia and the U.S. over the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine and allegations that he’s seeking to sway the outcome of next month’s presidential vote. The Kremlin’s role has become one of the dominant topics in the campaign, amid U.S. charges that Russian-backed hackers were behind e-mail leaks from Democratic National Committee servers that have dogged Clinton’s campaign. She and Trump clashed over which was Putin’s “puppet’’ at last week’s debate. The Republican candidate has said repeatedly that he’ll seek good ties with Putin as president.Trump behaves “extravagantly, we all see it” though it’s not without purpose, since he represents a “significant” section of society in the U.S. “that’s tired of the elite who’ve been in power for decades,” Putin said.

It’s “complete rubbish” to say that Trump is the Kremlin’s preferred candidate, which was an idea invented by supporters of Clinton, Putin said. Russia doesn’t have a favorite candidate and is “by and large indifferent” about who wins the election because it’ll work with any U.S. president who’s prepared to offer cooperation, he said.

Complaints of Russian influence on the election are among “fictional, mythical problems that have created hysteria in the U.S — I can’t call it anything else,” Putin said. While the U.S. faces many “acute and urgent problems, from its colossal state debt to the rise of gun violence,” it appears “the elite have nothing particular to say” about them in the elections, he said.

Russia’s President Putin’s Aggression In Europe Should Worry Every Russian Citizen

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

Putin’s aggression in Europe should worry the US

Russia: The biggest issue for the next US president?

Russia: The biggest issue for the next US president? 00:40

Story highlights

  • Richard Shirreff: European security is a matter of American security
  • Putin’s aim is clear: to re-establish Russia as one of the world’s great powers, he says

Gen. Sir Richard Shirreff is a senior British army officer and former deputy supreme allied commander Europe. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN)Since the formation of NATO in 1949 the defense of Europe and the free world has depended on the absolute certainty that whatever president is occupying the White House, the United States will come to the aid of a NATO member if attacked. Any doubt about the American commitment, and the credibility of NATO’s doctrine of collective defense, is holed below the waterline.

At a time when the West faces a greater threat from a resurgent Russia since the most dangerous crises of the Cold War, NATO, more than ever, needs to stand strong, united and credible.
Russia’s invasion of Crimea and Ukraine in 2014 may have already lit the fuse that could lead to the unthinkable: nuclear war with Russia in Europe.
Consider the words and actions of President Vladimir Putin, who has described the breakup of the Soviet Union as the “greatest geo-strategic tragedy of the 20th century.” In his speech on March 18, 2014, the day Crimea was admitted into the Russian Federation, Putin majored on the threat the West posed to Russia by its continued encirclement and warned about the possibility of push back: “If you compress the spring to its limit, it will snap back hard: something you should remember,” while claiming the right to protect the interests of Russian speakers everywhere, “even if it will worsen our relations with some states.”

Who are Putin's allies?

Who are Putin’s allies?01:40
Overnight, Putin became NATO’s strategic adversary, starting a dynamic that could lead to a clash with NATO over the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia (which have significant Russian-speaking minorities).
Two years on and the threat is even greater. Indeed, the ratchet of tension clicks tighter on an almost weekly basis: Even this week we wake up to news of Russia sailing warships near the British coast in “a show of force and a show of capabilities,” according to Peter Felstead, editor of Jane’s Defence Weekly.
Unprecedented levels of military activity on the borders and in the airspace of the Baltic states, Finland and Sweden have been matched by the rapid buildup of military forces in Russia’s Western Military District on the borders of NATO.
For example, in January, Russia announced the formation and deployment of three motor rifle divisions, about 60,000 troops, along the Russian frontier with the Baltic states. And the Russians have kept themselves busy with regular so-called snap exercises to test the readiness of their military, at least one of which was based on a scenario of invasion and occupation of the Baltic states.
Putin’s strategic aim is clear: to re-establish Russia’s status as one of the world’s great powers and to dominate the former republics of the Soviet Union — imperialist intentions that might have been acceptable to great powers in the 19th century but which are an affront in 2016. If the opportunity presents itself, he may well activate long-held plans to march into the Baltic states.

Russian relations with the West at new low

Russian relations with the West at new low 02:29
To paraphrase British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s 1938 comment on Czechoslovakia, why are events in these faraway countries of which we may know little important to Americans?
First, because if Russia puts one soldier across the borders of the Baltic states it means war with NATO.
Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania have been members of NATO since 2004 and are therefore protected underArticle 5 of the Washington Treaty, the founding document of NATO, which states that an attack on one is an attack on all. A Russian attack on the Baltic states puts America at war with Russia — meaning nuclear war, because Russia integrates nuclear weapons into every aspect of its military doctrine.
And don’t think Russia would limit itself to the use of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe. Any form of nuclear release by the Russians would almost certainly precipitate nuclear retaliation by the United States, and the dreadful reality of mutually assured destruction and the end of life as we know it would follow.
Indeed, Russia is at war with America already. Russian hacking of Democratic Party email servers and, if confirmed, WikiLeaks publicizing of Clinton campaign emails to discredit the Democrats and propel Donald Trump — arguably what Putin would classify as a “useful idiot” into the White House — is classic Maskirovka — deception, aimed at undermining the intelligence and integrity of the enemy in a way that remains below the threshold of conventional warfare. In the words of Dmitri Trenin of the Carnegie Moscow Center, and a man with close connections to the Putin regime, the Kremlin has been at war since 2014.

The Iceland Summit that helped end the Cold War

The Iceland Summit that helped end the Cold War 00:59
But although the clock may be ticking close to midnight, it is not too late. Maintenance of the peace we have enjoyed in Western Europe for nearly 70 years depends on effective deterrence. The bar of risk must be raised too high for Russia to consider any opportunistic move into the Baltic states. This requires forward basing of a credible military capability in the Baltic states and eastern Poland (rather than the token presence agreed at the NATO Warsaw Summit in July).
NATO reserves able to move quickly and effectively to bolster defenses in the Baltics will send a powerful message. It also requires Canada and European members of NATO to recognize that military capabilities lost from cumulative disarmament over the past two decades must be regenerated. This means increasing defense spending, almost certainly above the 2% of gross domestic product agreed — but often not acted upon — by NATO members (less the United States, UK, Estonia and Greece).
2017 is 100th anniversary of the first occasion the United States intervened in one of Europe’s wars. The region’s security is a matter of American security, and it means continued and close engagement in Europe and a continuation of the strong leadership that America has given NATO from the start.

Turkey’s President Erdogan Blasts U.S.-Led Campaign Against Islamic State

 

While Defense Secretary Ashton Carter prepared for his trip to Turkey, a senior Iraqi general on Wednesday called on Iraqis fighting for the Islamic State to surrender as a wide-scale operation to retake Mosul entered its third day. Story.
– The Washington Times – Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter will be walking into diplomatic buzz saw Thursday when he arrives in Turkey a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched a blistering critique of the U.S.-backed campaign to oust the Islamic State group from neighboring Iraq and demanded a bigger role for Turkish military forces.

Mr. Erdogan’s remarkable outburst was the latest sign of difficulties the Obama administration faces in keeping the various members of its regional coalition pushing in the same direction in the fight to oust the Islamic State from its strongholds in Iraq and Syria and find a way to end Syria’s bloody civil war.

The Obama administration has long sought to control Turkish involvement in the Iraq fight amid fears of a clash with American-aligned Kurdish forces near Mosul, but Mr. Erdogan threatened Wednesday to take unilateral action ifTurkey’s interests were threatened by chaos spilling from the battle to reclaim Iraq’s second-largest city.

“From now on, we will not wait for problems to come knocking on our door, we will not wait until the blade is against our bone and skin, we will not wait for terrorist organizations to come and attack us,” Mr. Erdogan said in a fiery speech from his presidential palace in Ankara.

His comments prompted concern among U.S. officials already wary about a series of provocative moves by Mr. Erdogan that analysts say have been driven — at least in part — by a desire to pressure Washington into giving Turkey its way against Syrian and Iraqi Kurds. Mr. Carter’s visit will also be his first to Ankara since a failed military coup nearly ousted Mr. Erdogan and his ruling AKP party from power this summer.

While Turkey remains a major NATO ally, Mr. Erdogan raised eyebrows in the West last week when he suddenly invited Russia to bid on providing his nation with its first-ever long-range air and anti-missile defense system.

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The Pentagon declined to comment Wednesday on whether Mr. Carter will raise the issue during his visit to Turkey. But it is likely to add to the thick tension over the Kurdish issue. Turkey has long battled the separatist Kurdish PKK movement in its south and fears an independent Kurdistan across the border in Iraq will only inflame the fight.

The Obama administration has relied on Kurdish militias to fight the Islamic State in both nations, but the Erdogan government views many of them as terrorists no less threatening than the group that has held Mosul and other territory in northern Iraq and Syria for the past 2 years.

Erdogan is trying to leverage political gain, and he wants Turkish troops in northern Iraq,” said Michael Rubin, a scholar with the American Enterprise Institute and a former Pentagon official.

“He clearly wants to be in Mosul,” Mr. Rubin said Wednesday. “He wants Turkish boots on the ground so he can help determine the future of what happens there.”

Muscling the Pentagon?

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim made headlines Tuesday by claiming the country had reached an agreement with U.S. commanders to allow Turkish fighters to carry out airstrikes in Mosul against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL.

Turkish F-16 fighters based out of Incirlik Air Base, near the country’s southern border with Iraq, would execute airstrikes in Mosul under the command of the country’s military command node in Kuwait, Mr. Yildrim told the Hurriyet Daily News. The Iraqi government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has protested Turkish military actions inside its borders.

Mr. Erdogan reiterated the claim regarding Turkish air operations over Mosul, saying Baghdad “thought they could keep us out of Mosul by bothering us with the PKK and [the Islamic State].”

He said Iraqi leaders strove to “shape our future with the hands of terrorist organizations.”

U.S. defense officials told The Washington Times on Wednesday that no such agreement had been reached withAnkara on military air operations in Mosul.

“It’s not true,” one defense official said, noting there had been only one instance of Turkish aircraft entering Iraqi airspace — a surveillance drone — since the country’s forces deployed to northern Iraq.

Additionally, Russia has warned Turkish forces advancing through the Syrian border town of Jarablus to halt their advance south or risk being targeted by Russian aircraft operating in the country, the official added. Russia is allied with Syrian President Bashar Assad, a longtime adversary of Turkey.

Even if a military coordination deal included Turkey, it would require Iraq to sign off because any offer of foreign military support in the campaign against the Islamic State needs Baghdad’s approval, a second U.S. defense official told The Times.

Army Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky, commander of U.S. and coalition land forces in Iraq, said at the Pentagon on Wednesday that there were no orders directing Turkish fighters to take part in the fight for Mosul.

Roughly 300 to 400 Turkish soldiers are stationed at a small training camp outside Bashiqa, northeast of Mosul. Reports say smaller Turkish units are scattered across the city’s northern and eastern borders.

Turkish units have been training and equipping Sunni militias in the region, preparing them to defend against any threats posed by Kurdish members of the People’s Protection Unit, also known as the YPG, the armed faction of the Kurdish Workers’ Party in northern Iraq. Ankara considers the group to be on par with the Islamic State and other terrorist organizations.

U.S.-Turkish ties in the fight against the Islamic State began to fray in June, when Washington rebuffed an offer byTurkey to conduct joint operations to retake the strategically critical northern Syrian district of Manbij.

Since then, U.S. diplomats and defense officials have repeatedly tried to engage with their Turkish counterparts to quell any tensions among Washington, Baghdad and Ankara, the second defense official said.

But Pentagon officials say Mr. Erdogan’s recent tough talk is aimed less at the U.S. and Mr. Carter than at concerns over the fallout once the Islamic State is driven from Mosul. The caustic rhetoric coming out of Ankara over the past several weeks did not start “until [Mr. al-Abadi] announced the operation” to retake Mosul, one official added.

Footsie with Moscow

Turkey’s demand for a role in the Mosul fight has overshadowed its outreach toward Russia, which has generated growing concern among officials in Washington.

According to a Defense News report, Mr. Erdogan made the surprising move last week to invite Moscow to bid on a contract to provide a long-range air and anti-missile defense system for Turkey — three years after Ankara disqualified a Russian bidder.

Turkey’s pursuit of the system has been bumpy since 2013, when Ankara took bids from U.S., French and Chinese companies before selecting the China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corp. to provide the air defense architecture.

But the deal with the Chinese was suddenly canceled amid heated criticism from Washington and other NATO allies.

One American official who spoke on the condition of anonymity Wednesday said U.S. officials were warily monitoring Mr. Erdogan’s call for a Russian bid ahead of Mr. Carter’s visit.

However, the official suggested that the Obama administration thinks it is highly unlikely that the Turks will go through with deal with the Russians.

“Obviously, we were concerned three years ago when Turkey decided to try to buy an air defense system from China,” said the official. “So we walked them off of that, telling them that if they were interested in getting an air defense system that could be interoperable with NATO and linked to intelligence aspects of the NATO network, then they would have to buy a NATO system, not a Russian or Chinese system.”

While the official lamented that the Turks have “invited the Russians to bid again,” they added that “there’s a big difference between Turkey doing things for optics and actually signing contracts.”

But Turkey’s overtures toward Russia may be more than just posturing, Mr. Rubin said.

“On one hand, Erdogan is trying to leverage political gain,” he said, but Turkey appears poised to take “a turn away from NATO.”

Mr. Erdogan, he noted, went out of his way after this summer’s failed coup to fire scores of Turkish military officials “simply because they had experience working with NATO.”

In addition to Turkey, the Pentagon said, Mr. Carter will stop in the United Arab Emirates, France and Belgium to meet with “key partners in the campaign to deliver [Islamic State] a lasting defeat.” He plans a major speech on the future of NATO next week in Brussels.

Is China’s Economic Policy A Copy Of Wal-Mart’s Economic Policy?

 

When I was in college a decade ago I learned that in the U.S. that Wal-Mart, (Sam’s Club) (Lowe’s) (Walton family) had one dollar out of every nine dollars going through their hands each year according to the GDP. This is great if you are a person that holds a whole bunch of Wal-Mart stock, or is it? That would depend on if you are a person who loves this country, or if you are a person whom does not. I learned back in the mid and late 1980’s that the Wal-Mart slogan of them only selling American made products was a total lie. Back then I drove a truck for a living and when trucks going into the docks of North New Jersey to pick up loads going to Wal-Mart Distribution Centers it was a normal thing that the material we were to pick up would be staged on the docks waiting to be put onto the trailers yet we would have to wait for several hours to get it loaded. The reason was that the dock employees first had to remove all of the stickers saying where the products originated, like China, and then put on stickers saying “made in the U.S.A..” In my opinion Wal-Mart grew the way it did through lies, deceptive marketing, and fraud.

 

I really liked radio commentator Paul Harvey a lot, I really liked listening to his stories, the only trouble I had with him was that he was very naive. He used to talk about how we couldn’t have a better neighbor than when your community got a Wal-Mart store in their town. We the people and the small business people of these towns knew better. When a Wal-Mart store moved into a town pretty much all of the small store and all of the ‘Mom and Pop’ store quickly got put out of business. When this happened then the town’s people pretty much ended up having to shop at that Wal-Mart store or travel long distances to places that didn’t yet have one. Do you remember how it used to be a normal thing for a new Wal-Mart store to be built across the street from a K-Mart store and how then most of those K-Mart stores went out of business? Wal-Mart did finally quit the lies about only buying made in America products as we the people learned that we were buying items laced with poisons, they didn’t have American companies to blame it on, they had to come clean to the public about where the products really came from. In most cases it was coming from China. This poison was in may things, like baby food, pet food, and the pain on children’s toys. Many other U.S. companies are guilty of these actions as it is they whom closed their factories here in the States and Canada so that they could reap higher profit margins by using the much cheaper labor markets in Asian countries like China. If you noticed when a company moved their factories to a cheap labor market when those products showed up on store shelves here in America the prices did not go down for the consumers. The game is all about profit margins.

 

As companies here in North America put our workers on the unemployment lines destroying our own country, China started to boom. Wal-Mart had multiple half a billion dollar cargo ships (made in China) built that are too large to go through either the Panama Canal or the Suez Canal. These ships were built to sail from China to the west coast ports of North America. For Wal-Mart it is a win-win situation as they do not have to pay other companies to haul their freight for them. Just like they are phasing out their own truck drivers and started contracts with the lowest bidders, it is about maximum profits, period. Folks, when we buy products that are made in China we are putting money into the Chinese coffers and raising our dept to them. How much longer will it be until the Chinese Government calls in the loan on the 13 trillion dollars we owe them? How much longer will the dollar be the world standard-bearer? How much longer until the world currency is China’s Yuan (Renminbi (RMB))? Have you ever went around your local stores and checked where the products were made? Is it any wonder that now the U.S.Congress is trying to pass a bill making it where the people aren’t even allowed to know where the meat they buy comes from? Wal-Mart years ago got rid of the grocery packers forcing the customers to load their own groceries. Then they started putting in self checkout isles for the purpose of getting rid of the register checker employees. Last evening on the news I heard where they are now going to be replacing almost all of their office people with computers and robotics. If you have no employees you have higher profits, not lower priced products!

It is no wonder to me that as the U.S. is declining and that China’s military power along with their Leaders arrogance is increasing. Yesterday in China at the G-20 conference did you see how disgracefully and how arrogantly our President and his personnel were treated by the Chinese Government and their Officials? President Obama and those with him were treated as enemies, not as trading partners or as friends or even as someone they hoped to have as a friend someday. Yesterday the Chinese Government, (and you know damn well that their President Mr. Xi Jinping okay-ed those actions, they treated our President and the people of our Country as though He (President Obama and Us) did not deserve any courteousness. Yesterday the Chinese Government basically took a piss in the face of our President and our Nation!

 

Folks, every time you or I buy an object here in the U.S. (OR ANY PLACE THAT IS NOT IN CHINA) we are putting bullets in their guns that they will use against the U.S. and against the rest of the world. For years their policy has been to make things for the foreign markets as cheaply as possible. The ideology is simple, play on the greed of the people and companies in the open world markets. This gives work and wages to their own people while taking jobs away from other countries, closing up their factories and their industrial center capabilities. This also takes tax revenues away from other Nations making it impossible for other countries to afford to buy or build weapon systems even for self-defense. Just like with Wal-Mart ideology of putting everyone else out of business so that they rule where people can buy any product and what that price it is allowed to be, China is using that same philosophy. Pretty soon China will enforce its domain over the South China Sea and they will give Taiwan the option of surrender or be blockaded from all outside trade and revenue. They will do this as Russia weakens NATO’s resolve to their west, just like Turkey (a NATO country) is dividing NATO via courting Russia, the EU, and the U.S. concerning the Kurdish people. How many fronts are the people of the U.S. willing to go to war with? Russia believes they can break NATO and China believes that the U.S. does not have the will to go to war with them. As China makes the U.S. weaker economically, they believe they make the will of our people to go to war weaker. Unfortunately I believe that these actions will come about in less than one decade. Wal-Mart has used China well, or, is it that China has used Wal-Mart well?

Has President Erdogan Of Turkey Gotten His People Into A War With Everyone?

 

This past Wednesday a car bomb went off in the Capital of Turkey that was directed toward a passing bus of military personnel.  The death toll last I heard was at 28. On Thursday their President Mr. Erdogan was warning President Putin that (he) Turkey would hold Russia responsible for any acts of terrorism within Turkeys borders. On Friday a splinter group of a Kurdish fighting force claimed ‘credit’ for those people’s deaths. It seems that there are several different Kurdish fighting forces of which it seems President Erdogan is at war with all of them even though about 20% of the Turkish population are Kurdish. Today the Turkish Prime Minister Mr. Ahmet Davutoglu called on the U.S. for unconditional support against the Kurd’s in Turkey’s fight against terrorism. Both Turkey and the U.S. are members of NATO yet the reality is that the Kurdish people have endured heavy losses in their fight against ISIS even though Turkey and Russia have bombed their fighters. So, now a Kurdish group has unfortunately enraged at least 28 families in Turkey. Whom is it in the region that President Erdogan hasn’t ticked off? Syria, Iran, and Russia are at war with Turkey, ISIS, the Kurd’s and Shiite Islam, did I miss anyone? Sometimes it seems that President Erdogan is simply jealous of Russia’s President Putin and wants to get into a shoe-size measuring contest. Dictators, Kong size ego’s, and religion based murders can make a whole region go boom, big time. Why have war when we could all have peace, or, is it why have peace when you can have war? It is just my outside view looking in and I can only go by what I see and hear on the different news programs but it does seem that President Erdogan through his aggression policies are in the process of tearing the beautiful country of Turkey apart at her seams.

 

America In Our Rear View Mirror

Good afternoon everyone, I would like to take this moment to welcome you to “The Good Ole Days”.  For those of us who are lets say forty years or older you are probably thinking that I have fallen off of my rocker and cracked my head again. By the way, if I believed that this current time is my Good Ole Day’s then I must have had a more difficult youth than I had realised, and thanks mostly to my Dad most of the things about my early years really sucked, please pardon my language. But you know something, even with the weight of  a less than okay parent, I did have some good times when he was not around. Most of the time when I do look backwards in time into my memory I usually focuses on the few good times of those years. When you are a teenager  when you get married and you  have two kids by the age of nineteen and a busted marriage at twenty and you are in the Service (because you can’t just get up and leave and go after them), this is not a very good start into adulthood. Yet still I look back  at spots within these times and choose to pull out the good and try to keep the bad stuck in a closet. Within this title I am trying to show the reality that I find to be so sad for them. If you are a person that has a little age on on you most likely you know that the times we are living in now is a lot harder for people to survive in.

I am almost sixty years old now, when I look back on my life and on the historical events in our country and events that have happened in our world I cringe when I see the events our children are facing. I was born into a very poor but hard working family in south west Virginia, even though we moved a bit during my childhood the poor always stuck with us. Each part of the country we lived in most everything stayed the same. Most times were negative because of how my Dad was yet each place had it’s good moments, good memories. The first outside event in my life was when I was seven when President Kennedy was murdered, that was the first awakening to me that there was life outside the Blue Ridge mountains. I think that most people have that  A-Haw moment when we were young, what was yours, do you remember? Now, try to look back into your memories, try to separate the good ones and the bad ones. Do you remember the negative ones, things like the Vietnam War, political riots, Kent State, Nixon and Woodstock and the Beatles and Elvis on the Ed Sullivan Show? You see, good markers, bad markers, and horrible ones. In our lives we all have these markers, of course people have some that are the same as yours, but most people will have varying ones sometimes even when we are looking at the same event we can easily have different concepts about that event. I am going to use Kent State as an example, I think that most of us who witnessed this on our evening news programs was appalled at these shootings of these unarmed kids by the Ohio National Guard members. But there were those who felt that it was about time the Government stood up to these damn hippie commies.

When you look back into not just your own personal past but also the events you lived through, what do you see in your own personal rear view mirror? If life is set up via a generation ruler my start is the mid 50’s, so my good ole days were probably the early 70’s, and that is about all for me. After this time life got real, trying to be an adult, a Dad, a husband, difficult task when you never had a good example to learn from. Now I would like to move up to the next generation where I would like to move twenty years to pick up those people who were born in the 70’s. Everyone like I said before will have their own markers and unfortunately each generation had their heart aches and of course their own wars. This generation had the Desert Shield and Desert Storm within their young lives to contend with. When we try to look back into someone elses life it is a very difficult thing to do. We can’t perceive how people handle their own personal affairs whether when they were children, young adults, or adults with a little bit of age upon them, we’re all different. For the kids born in the 80’s or the early 90’s there was 911 and the  following wars for their generation to contend with. They as well as the rest of our country and the world had to see events like Katrina and Sandy which showed the total uncaring, crooked, lying politicians from both parties. We have witnessed Government shutdowns and constant tit for tat politics which shows us all very plainly that these politicians do not care about our Country at all, just themselves and their political Parties.

What kind of a world are we dumping on to our Kids and our Grand Kids? What kind of a world are they looking through their windshield at, will there be a civil world left for them to live in and to raise their Children in? Will our Kids and Grand Kids even have a world to look into their rear view mirror at? I am emotionally sick when I stop and get upon my knees and talk with our Creator about those loved ones that we leave behind us. Look at the stupidity going on right now between Russia, the U.S. and Nato over the situation in Crimea. Why can’t the worlds politicians just agree with letting the people of that peninsula go back to their real homeland. That is what these people want, there was no violence when the Russian troops came in and took this piece of land. As long as President Putin stops there and doesn’t try to go further into the country of UKraine and is only taking back what is rightfully part of Russia all these Nato and American politicians need to just shut up and let the people have their right to vote welcomed as the will of the people. There is absolutely no excuse for our country or any other country to go to war over this as long as Russian troops stop where they are at. I totally do not believe that President Putin wants  war but he absolutely can not back down from this current situation or he is finished as the leader of Russia. He can’t and won’t lose face like that and our so called leaders need to recognise this fact.

So, what kind of world indeed will our younger loved ones be left with? Will there be a world of peace and prosperity left for our children or are we going to totally pollute it in every possible way before our generation goes to sleep with our ancestors? It is well know by now that everything that any of us do is being monitored, it is just about to a level now even before our own personal chip are installed that if we fart in the middle of the desert someone in DC will smell it. I can only hope that our kids and grand kids can have many happy moments spent out in the open countryside without having to be scanned and approved before they leave their cubical. What will our kids say about the world we dumped in their laps? Will our kids and grandkids use our graves for a latrine?  What indeed will our kids have for happy memories that they can look back into their rearview mirror and smile about, anything?

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oldpoet56

oldpoet56

truthtroubles.wordpress.com/ Just an average man who tries to do his best at being the kind of person the Bible tells us we are all suppose to be. Not perfect, never have been, don't expect anyone else to be perfect either. Always try to be very easy going type of a person if allowed to be.

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