Today’s broadsheet from the FM website pressroom. There are 4 sections, all with hot news.
- Links to 4 interesting articles of news and analysis
- Quote of the Day
- News about themes from 2 posts past on the FM website
- Thought for the day (-1)
- Plus an Afterword
(I) Links to interesting news and analysis
(a) “State Tax Revenues Show Record Drop, For Second Consecutive Quarter“, Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, October 2009 — “Fiscal 2009 Also Brought Record Overall Decline of 8.2% , or $63 Billion.” See the key graphs here.
(b) “Too fearful to publicise peak oil reality“, Madeline Bunting, op-ed in The Guardian, 10 November 2009 — “The economic establishment accepts the world soon won’t be able to meet energy demands, but wants to keep quiet about it.”
(c) “Massive Defense Spending Leads to Job Loss“, Dean Baker (bio), Truthout, 11 November 2009 — The projected job loss from this increase (that we’ve had) in defense spending would be close to two million.
(d) “In Afghanistan, Taliban surpasses al-Qaeda“, Washington Post, 11 November 2009 — “Although the war in Afghanistan began as a response to al-Qaeda terrorism, there are perhaps fewer than 100 members of the group left in the country, according to a senior U.S. military intelligence official in Kabul who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The official estimated that there are 300 al-Qaeda members in the tribal areas of Pakistan, where the group is based …”
(II) Quote of the Day
“Special Operations Chiefs Quietly Sway Afghanistan Policy“, Spencer Ackerman, Washington Independent, 9 November 2009:
Two senior military officers from the shadowy world of Special Operations are playing a large and previously unreported role in shaping the Obama administration’s Afghanistan and Pakistan strategy, a move that underscores that the internal debate has moved past a rigid choice between expansive missions to provide security for Afghan civilians and narrowly tailored missions to find and kill terrorists.
Navy Vice Adm. William H. McRaven, the commander of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) at Ft. Bragg, N.C., and Vice Adm. Robert S. Harward, the deputy leader of the Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Va., are attending and informing the strategy meetings that the White House began in September to refine its approach in Afghanistan.
… Debate about a “purely counterterrorism strategy” advocated by Vice President Joseph Biden was “bounced around at one point, but that has been cast aside,” said a National Security Council staffer who attends the meetings and who asked for anonymity because the debate is still ongoing, “mostly because JSOC has said ‘We’re going to do this anyway.’ And it’s not like they’re going to be in a supporting role.
Looks they are clear whose running US foreign policy, whatever delusions Team Obama might have.
(III) Updates from posts past on the FM website
(a) “Tactical Air’s Gloomy Future“, Winslow Wheeler, Military.com, 9 November 2009 — For more about the inevitable replacement of manned aircraft by UAV’s, see:
- Stratfor: “The U.S. Air Force and the Next War”
- “Filling the skies with Assassins” by Tom Engelhardt
- America’s dominance of the sky slowly erodes – inevitable or avoidable?
(b) “Every phone call, email and internet click stored by ‘state spying’ databases“, The Telegraph, 9 November 2009 — Excerpt:
All telecoms companies and internet service providers will be required by law to keep a record of every customer’s personal communications, showing who they are contacting, when, where and which websites they are visiting.
Despite widespread opposition over Britain’s growing surveillance society, 653 public bodies will be given access to the confidential information, including police, local councils, the Financial Services Authority, the Ambulance Service, fire authorities and even prison governors.
For more information about this topic, see:
(IV) Thought for the day (-1)
One Hour’s Stour, posted at Unqualified Offerings, 11 November 2009:
Wikipedia has the short, sad story of how Armistice Day – a holiday “dedicated to the cause of world peace” – became, as of 1954, a day honoring the military as such. I regret the change. The US already had Memorial Day for military members killed in action, and Armed Forces Day began in 1950. A third military-focused holiday would already be overkill even if it wasn’t a perversion of the original meaning of November 11 remembrances. As John Quiggin reminds us today, November 11 marks the blessed if temporary end to one of the great calamities – crimes – visited on people by their leaders, and by people on each other. It is meant to be a day dedicated to hating the waste and sin of war.
While the impulse behind Veteran’s Day seems “grass roots” enough, it depended on the assent of the powerful to enact it.You can see why the government would have embraced a chance to change that holiday’s focus. As for me, I’ll exercise my personal veto. Happy Armistice Day.
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