And I fucking LOVE how Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and other neo-con war(chicken)hawk blowhards would have you believe America is WEAK, militarily, on the world stage, due to Obama’s policies. Are you fucking kidding me? We spend hundreds of billions more dollars on “national defense” (the capability to occupy/invade/attack anyone, anywhere on the planet, by maintaining hundreds of international military bases) than any of our “enemies”. The world defense budget? The US has a 41% slice of pie. The next country, China, has 8%. The next is Russia with 4%. Where does Iran stack up in world defense spending? They’re #25.
The US kills people with remote controlled drones all over the world. Do you really think anyone thinks America is “weak”? If China flew drones over US soil and shot missiles at your friends and family, would you think of China as “weak”? Get the fuck out of here.
Iraqi oil production could double by the end of this decade, putting the country on track to become the second-biggest supplier to world markets after Saudi Arabia by the 2030s, the International Energy Agency said Tuesday.
Production could reach 6.1 million barrels per day by 2020, up from the current output of around 3 million barrels a day, and top more than 8 million barrels by 2035, the Paris-based agency said in a special edition of its World Energy Outlook.
Iraq’s ability to increase exports will have a major impact on world markets.
Such rapid growth would generate $200 billion a year of revenue for Iraq and transform the country’s economy, the IEA said.
Iraq is already the second-biggest oil producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) - having overtaken Iran, whose oil output is suffering from the impact of international sanctions.
“Developments in Iraq’s energy sector are critical for the country’s prospects and also for the health of the global economy,” said IEA chief economist Fatih Birol. “But success is not assured, and failure to achieve the anticipated increase in Iraq’s oil supply would put global oil markets on course for troubled waters.”
Iran’s faltering output is not the only source of concern for oil consuming nations. Some analysts say that Venezuela, which has the world’s largest reserves of crude oil, could see production decline further as foreign investors are deterred by Sunday’s re-election of Hugo Chavez as president.
The IEA said Iraq would need to invest $530 billion in energy infrastructure through 2035 to achieve projected levels of oil, gas and power output. Any delay to that investment would mean reduced supply to world markets and could add $15 a barrel to the price of oil by 2035.
The Iraqi government and partners such as Exxon Mobil, BP, Chevron and Total have already been working together to repair existing fields and hunt for new sources.
Oil exports make up 72% of Iraq’s economy, compared with just over 52% for Saudi Arabia.
Most of the projected growth would come from the vast oilfields of southern Iraq, ideally placed for exports to China and other fast-growing economies in Asia. The increased output would push Iraq ahead of Russia as the world’s second-largest exporter.
“This landmark study confirms the increasing importance of Iraq to the global energy system, highlighting the key role it is expected to play in meeting growing energy needs and the responsibilities it will assume as a strategic source of world oil supply,” said IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven.
“Time to invade Iraq! Oh wait…”
$535 billion to upgrade production through 2035… I wonder where they’re going to get that money?
And it’s so heart-warming that the new-and-improved “democratic” Iraqi regime is able to cooperate with western oil companies to produce and distribute its own domestic product. Who doesn’t love cooperation? Group hug!
|—||Thomas H. Naylor|
Before anyone jumps to any bold let’s-go-to-war conclusions about Iran and their alleged nuclear ambitions, I humbly submit Exhibit A: the Iraq war was jammed down our throats under the pretense of weapons of mass destruction.
Defense spending in the USA is outrageous. We are brought up to believe that sacrifice for our country is noble and heroic, and we are constantly bombarded with messages of a cruel, evil world, where terrorists desire to kill us because they’re jealous of our freedom, and malign, shadowy governments and fiery, tyrannical dictators alike plot to destroy us with weapons of mass destruction. The true state of affairs is that our government is run by corporations who use our young men and women to further their own economic gains by securing access to resources around the globe and further enhancing their positions as the imperial monopolists of Earth. We’re soothed into complacency by the many distractions afforded by a first-world “capitalistic” republic, while they brainwash us into thinking they know what is best for us. They use most of our tax dollars to fund their war machine which lines their pockets, while young men and women are marched off to die for our “national defense”. Their sacrifice is not noble, nor heroic. They are not dying to protect us. They are not dying to keep America “free”. They are dying because of greed. They are dying because of our ignorance and apathy. The American War on Terror is the greatest scam in history.
I am not going to go into a diatribe on conspiracy theories, whether or not 9/11 was an inside job, if Osama bin Laden died in 2001, etc. I’m going to look at facts. Facts like the amount of money we spend on defense in this country, all over the world, vs. what other countries spend. Facts like ~3000 people died on 9/11, which sparked our War on Terror and trillions of dollars spent on our defense. Facts like since then, we’ve lost double that number in American lives in war, while the number of civilian deaths in foreign countries is staggeringly exponential in comparison. Domestically we’re experiencing the worst economic climate since the Great Depression. Discontent is at an all-time high. Our government is committing troops to Arab nations who are clamoring for freedom, while here in America, peaceful protestors are subject to police brutality and widespread scorn and derision by the general populace spurred by the mainstream media (the mouthpiece of the establishment).
The numbers speak for themselves. Common sense does the rest. If you want to defend America, surely you want soldiers in America? Assuming 9/11 was a 100% terrorist act with no forewarning. Is it feasible that if we have American soldiers in every airport screening every single passenger and their carry-ons that 9/11 could have been avoided? Before you cry out how unrealistic that is due to time/budget constraints, look at how much time and money we spend internationally on our “defense”. Surely you would rather be safe and sacrifice a little bit of personal time to ensure your plane isn’t going to be hijacked? We are currently flying remote controlled weapons in other countries, assassinating people at will, every day. Why? What threat do they pose? Are they shooting weapons at our troops on the ground? Then bring our troops home, out of harms way. Now what? Everyone is safe and happy. If you are afraid of WMDs, then instead of spending money trying to occupy the world, invest in satellites/radars to take out projectiles (we already have all of this in place). So then what danger is posed to America from the world if we bring our troops home and ensure a global missile defense system? None. If someone inside America wants to blow something up, Big Brother will most likely find them, and if not, such is life. We will never live in a society where you will be 100% secure unless you sacrifice 100% of your personal freedom and liberty. Do you want to live in a police state? Do you want to live in Nazi Germany?
People who don’t feel safe and want to spend trillions of dollars globally to ensure our safety from terrorists are hypocrites. Your fear for your safety means you want to live, right? Do you smoke? Do you drink? Do you eat healthy and exercise daily? Do you know about all the chemicals in our water supply, all the pesticides and toxins in our food? All the industrial chemicals that leak into what you eat through toxic can linings and plastic packaging? All the antibiotic-resistant bacteria you’re consuming and encouraging to grow through non-organic industrialized food production? Chances are you don’t care about all of that, you’re content to die of cancer or heart disease, just so long as it’s not from a terrorist. As long as you can have your DVR, NFL, celebrity gossip news and a cheeseburger, you’re content.
Don’t let anyone you care about join the military. Don’t let a loved one die to secure economic gains for the people who took our country away from us. Support the troops by bringing them home. Take your money out of big banks and put it into credit unions. Do not consume mainstream media as your main source of information. Inform yourself. Educate yourself. Open your eyes and your mind and encourage those around you to do the same. Have discussions and conversations with strangers about what is happening in our country and in the world. Critically analyze everything you see, think, and hear. Challenge yourself on any beliefs you hold. Logic will prevail. Liberty, freedom, and the will of the people will prevail. Down with the state. Up with the revolution.
Budget Breakdown for 2012
Defense-related expenditure 2012 Budget request & Mandatory spendingCalculation DOD spending $707.5 billion Base budget + “Overseas Contingency Operations” FBI counter-terrorism $2.7 billion At least one-third FBI budget. International Affairs $5.6–$63.0 billion At minimum, foreign arms sales. At most, entire State budget Energy Department, defense-related $21.8 billion Veterans Affairs $70.0 billion Homeland Security $46.9 billion NASA, satellites $3.5–$8.7 billion Between 20% and 50% of NASA’s total budget Veterans pensions $54.6 billion Other defense-related mandatory spending $8.2 billion Interest on debt incurred in past wars $109.1–$431.5 billion Between 23% and 91% of total interest Total Spending $1.030–$1.415 trillion
The U.N. agency focusing on education and science voted Monday to accept a Palestinian bid for full membership, in the first vote on the matter by a part of the world body.
The vote, which required two-thirds approval by UNESCO members, passed with 107 votes in favor, 14 against, and 52 abstentions.
The vote is separate from the Palestinian bid for full membership in the United Nations. Representatives of several countries pointed out that currently that bid is being discussed by members of the U.N. Security Council.
Huge applause broke out at the meeting in Paris when the results of the vote were announced.
The vote risks the agency — the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization — losing its U.S. funding, which accounts for more than a fifth of its budget.
Some U.S. lawmakers have threatened to cut off the funding, which a spokeswoman for the U.S. Mission to UNESCO said totals $80 million a year.
The lawmakers cite U.S. law, which states that funds must be denied to any organization granting the Palestine Liberation Organization “the same standing as member states.”
It’s a good thing then that the Palestine Liberation Organization wasn’t given the same standing as member states and that PALESTINE, THE NATION, WAS FORMALLY RECOGNIZED by UNESCO, adding it to the list of OVER A HUNDRED NATIONS AROUND THE WORLD who have previously done so (as of September 2011, 127 (65.8%) of the 193 member states of the United Nations have recognized the State of Palestine - Wikipedia).
Suck it, Israel.
[Strongly recommended reading: The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy]