Marines Turn Tables on Code Pink

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Ok I’ve been fiddling with my server, WP 2.5.1 (with the new patches) and .htaccess files for hours now trying to get the gallery and pic upload features of wp to work, all to no avail.

So I might as well make this test post useful, Please stop by Zomblog to see the latest in the ongoing Code Pink vs. the Marines saga from Berkeley.

 

Test of Gallery Embed

Haystack Beach Sunset

I’ve just patched up to the beta 2.5.1 fix for the gallery, and I’m trying out a gallery embed with a few random pics.

 

Al Qaeda on the Ropes

The Khyber pass battles continue, and along with that the agit prop is continuing from all sides. There are a few things that are clear however. The first is that there aren’t many foreigner fighters, or Arab Al Qaeda, left alive in Pakistan – their numbers are thinning as is pointed out by this Asia Times article. The second is that they are beginning to run out of benefactors and supplies.

The AQ spokesmen wants to paint the tribal resistance in the Khyber pass as “US paid for” resistance, however I already pointed out in past articles that the resistance would come regardless. This is the traditional battleground between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and many wars have passed through. The tribes there have held fast against all comers and endure past all belief. There’s a long tradition in the pass, and they aren’t going to put up with much interference in their lands from AQ/Taliban and Kashmiri Jihadi forces or the army. The smack down is coming, and the US doesn’t need to pay a nickel.

Both sides are pimping Nawaz Sharif of PML-N as the great savior for peace, but really  it was under Nawaz Sharif that the Jihadi groups who slipped the leash were expanded and set loose against India. It was also under Nawaz that Pakistan had their first nuclear test, and under Nawaz that the AQ Khan network worked with Iran. (Ali’s article is good, but realize that it does have a political angle. It’s also good that he’s pointing out that these groups all change their names frequently, wearing the one that fits the occasion, political or armed.)

Now follows some analysis, this is purely my speculation and you will receive the usual warning : this is unsupported by fact, it’s pure speculation

The Taliban no longer receives funding and supplies from Pakistan, so they are desperately seeking another benefactor. They don’t care if that’s Iran, or China, or Pakistan again if they can pressure it, and they will play any part needed to gain supplies and armaments. Add that with today’s strange news regarding the kidnapped Pakistani ambassador to Afghanistan, the recent move to give AQ Khan more freedom, and you get some pretty wild probabilities. From the tape:

But his reference to having been held for 27 days suggests that the video was made more than a month ago.

“We don’t have any problems, but I suffer from health issues such as hypertension and heart pain,” the white-bearded Azizuddin said.

He urged Pakistan’s ambassadors in Iran and China, as well as the country’s Foreign Ministry, to comply with Taliban demands. He did not elaborate.

Now what is up here? Are the Taliban looking for supplies and armaments by acting as some odd middle-man in a new nuclear ring?  Are they pressuring Iran to supply them through blackmail? If so then how and why does China play into this? (Note the recent Sunni Jihad mosque bombing in Shiraz, Iran – the government in Iran has characterized it as accidental, and not terror even though SJ has claimed the terror event.)

The other potential is that both Iran and China are holding jihadi prisoners that AQ wants release of. We will have to let this play out to see what is going on. If you have any guesses as to what this means, please feel free to drop a comment.

Update:

From a more detailed story at The Nation, it appears that the demands on China and Iran are for prisoner releases. See story here.

Also note that the Khyber pass has re-opened, as I predicted the Taliban can not win there and had to make a face-saving truce before tucking tail and running.

Huffpo on Hunger

The left has begun to notice the hunger, but it took riots and multiple articles to get them there. At Huffpo Richard Walden wants to obfuscate the real issues with Global Warming — right on cue. You see, Global Warming has somehow screwed up “farmer’s intuition”…. Oh, and there’s not enough money in UN aid programs, he wants us to give more.

So there you have it – the eco-boogey man that’s driving the policy creating the current shortages and inflation is at fault, not the policy itself.

As I pointed out we already are giving more, and the shortage in aid money is due to two things: the inflation in prices, and the devalued dollar now buys less.

In articles over the past weeks I’ve spelled out what created the problem, and backed it up with proof in the form of news articles, UN reports, World Bank reports, and some pretty solid logic and history. You can choose who you wish to believe, but again I believe the main factors to be:

  1. Sustained high energy prices (transport, fertilizer, irrigation, processing.)
  2. Croplands (all, not just corn) converted to fuel
  3. Low dollar 
  4. Cold Weather and or Drought in some regions
  5. Rising Demand from India and China

Put those together and you have the perfect storm for famine in some regions.

If you lower the price of energy, some of these factors go away for they are symptiomatic of the first. Cheap abundant energy (in terms of real dollars) was a factor in the green revolution that ended famine in our lifetimes, however with energy prices at sustained highs even Norman Borlaug’s great work is not going to be enough.

So it is the last-century eco-luddites who have put us here, remove any two of the factors above and I would have nothing to write about here. The most easily fixed is the energy problem. There are untapped natural gas reserves in Alaska, there are unbuilt nuclear reactors, there are untapped reservoirs of oil off the north slope, and off shore.

Low energy in a world with 6 billion people leads to massive pollution, starvation, and unending turmoil. An abundant energy future takes care of most problems of pollution as well as hunger.

There is enough food out there right now to feed everyone – just barely, as the surplus has shrunk the past seven years as croplands converted. The problem is buying at the inflated cost that has spiked from shorter supply, higher cost to produce, and higher costs to transport.

More on the burgeoning problem at NYT. Please note that right now you are only going to see issues and problems with food in countries with bad Governance, and low energy societies. That would be spots like Haiti and Egypt as examples of the first, and most of sub-saharan Africa as well as the Eastern Islamic nations in the Sub-continent of Asia as examples of the second.