All Praise To Barack Obama For Stiffing The War Party – Peace Is Finally Being Given A Chance – David Stockman’s Contra Corner 07-17-15

Salient to Investors:

David Stockman  writes:

  • Obama’s Keynesian policies are deplorable.
  • The Iranian nuclear deal could mark a decisive turning point in rolling back US destructive interventionism and imperial pretensions in the Middle East and the world.
  • Iran is not hell-bent on obtaining nuclear weapons as shown by the 2007 National Intelligence Estimates report – that the small-scale Iranian weapons research effort was abandoned in 2003 and never restarted – and evidenced several times since. The overwhelming evidence over more than three decades is that Iran’s primary aim has been to obtain enrichment capacity for its civilian reactors.
  • The nuclear deal’s containment machinery keeps Iran far away from anything even remotely resembling an A-bomb capability, and virtually suffocates even Iran’s civilian nuclear industry which it entitled to under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which excludes only India, Pakistan, South Sudan and Israel.
  • Israel can thank its lucky stars that Obama and Rouhani have transcended 30 years of lies and enmities on both sides in order to give peace a chance. Netanyahu fashioned the giant lie that Iran is a fount of terrorism dedicated to the destruction of Israel and other treacherous purposes. Iran is no better or worse than any other major power in the Middle East, and far less of a threat to regional peace and stability than Egypt and Saudi Arabia – the Saudis have funded more terrorists throughout the region than Iran has ever imagined.
  • US archives prove that the CIA overthrew Iran’s democratically elected government in 1953 and installed Mohammad Reza Shah to rule as a puppet on behalf of US security and oil interests.
  • Iranian support of Syria is a long-standing alliance that is rooted in the historic confessional politics of the Islamic world.
  • Assad’s Alawite regime has protected all of Syria’s minority sects, including Christians, against a majority-Sunni ethnic cleansing, which would occur if the Saudi supported rebels, led by ISIS, were to take power.
  • Yemen has been racked by civil war since the early 1970s, driven by confessional differences between the Sunni south and the Shiite north.

Read the full article at http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/all-praise-to-barrack-obama-hes-giving-peace-a-chance/?utm_source=wysija&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Mailing+List+Mid+Day+Friday

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US/Israeli/Saudi ‘Behavior’ Problems – Consortiumnews.com 07-15-15

Salient to Investors:

Robert Parry writes:

  • Iran is not the chief instigator of instability in the Mideast, but Israel, Saudi Arabia and the US. Iran is contributing to the stability of the region and at a minimum helping to avert the worst outcomes. In Iraq and Syria, Iran is supporting internationally recognized governments battling against terrorist groups.
  • Israel has frequently attacked its Arab neighbors and brutally repressing the Palestinians for almost 70 years.
  • Israel is a rogue nuclear state that has been hiding a sophisticated atomic-bomb arsenal.
  • Saudi Arabia has for generations been funding the fundamentalist Wahhabi sect of Sunni Islam, which has inspired terrorist groups from Al Qaeda to the IS. 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudis and the US is still concealing 28 pages of the congressional 9/11 inquiry regarding Saudi financing of Al Qaeda terrorists. The Saudis have participated directly and indirectly in regional wars.
  • The US has been meddling in the Middle East overtly and covertly for a very long time, including the overthrow of Iran’s elected government in 1953 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
  • Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel have been seeking another regime change in Syria that is being spearheaded by Sunni terrorist groups.
  • The larger issue for Americans is what to do with the insane political-media system that dominates Official Washington and guides the US into terrible decision-making, made ominous by its immense military power.

Read the full article at https://consortiumnews.com/2015/07/15/usisraelisaudi-behavior-problems/

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Fareed Zakaria GPS – CNN 03-29-15

Salient to Investors:

Fareed Zakaria said:

  • The pattern of Yemen’s descent into chaos is likely to repeat, possibly in more significant countries like Egypt. That pattern is repressive, secular regimes backed by the West become illegitimate, become more repressive to survive, and whose opposition becomes more extreme, religious and violent.
  • Learning how to read deeply, write compelling prose, and analyze well are essential skills in order to thrive in the world. The rapid trend away from majors like English and history and philosophy to skill-based ones closer to engineering or computer science is terribly short-sighted. How to think, read, study, write and are much more useful in the long run.
  • The genius of the American system is giving people the broad liberal education that allows people to start new companies, switch careers. The coding learned 10 years ago is obsolete today.
  • US education has never tested well against other countries – in the middle of the pack in 1964 and still in the middle of the pack. Yet the US has dominated innovation, research, new industries over the past five decades.
  • Israel is reported to have more NASDAQ listed companies than any country other than the US and China yet also does very badly on international tests, and worse than the US.
  • Israel and the US share non-hierarchical educational systems where you can challenge the professor, follow your passion, ask questions. Many high-tech people including Zuckerberg and Bezos put a lot in a liberal arts education.

Richard Haass at the Council on Foreign Relations said:

  • We are in for 30 years of religious war in the Middle East, if not more, with the US having to play a modest role managing at the margins.
  • Saudi Arabia is vulnerable because it is only a matter of time before it is challenged by the Islamic State.
  • Iraq is breaking into 3 separate countries – Iranian Shia, Kurdish, and Sunni Arab.
  • We cannot afford to live in a world where Iran has nuclear weapons and several other countries in the region follow suit.

Joseph Cirincione at Ploughshares Fund said:

  • Japan is a threshold power and can build a nuclear bomb within months.
  • US strikes on Iran would have to be weeks of hundreds of sorties, and cause a major war in the Middle East that would make the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq look like warm-up acts.
  • We cannot live in a world where Iran has nuclear weapons and several other countries in the region follow suit.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali said

  • Islam is in crisis and is decidedly not a religion of peace – it needs a reformation on the scale that Christianity had in the 16th century.
  • 70 percent of all fatalities in all conflicts involving Muslims are Muslims.
  • The strategy of let’s not call IS Islamic started in the Muslim world 3 to 5 decades ago and hasn’t worked.
  • To persuade Muslims to give up the 5 core concepts within Islam that are holding them back, the US should ideologically confront Islam with its ideas of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as it has done in the past. Theological reformation has to come from within.

Watch the video at http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/category/gps-episodes/ or read the full transcript

at http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1503/29/fzgps.01.html

Fareed Zakaria GPS – CNN 03-22-15

Fareed Zakaria said:

  • The greatest vulnerability for Israel is its legal jurisdiction over 4.5 million Arabs who have neither a state nor a vote – a situation that cannot last in a democratic society.
  • The Stockholm IPRI says Israel’s defense budget is larger than that of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon combined.
  • The UN says the US has taken in the equivalent of only .08% of its population in refugees, versus 1% for Sweden and 9% for Jordan.
  • IHS Global Defense Trade Report says the worldwide defense market rose more than 13% to a record $64 billion in 2014; Saudi Arabia overtook India as the world’s top importer and China was third.

Martin Indyk said Netanyahu has alienated just about every world leader including Israel’s closest friends Merkel and Sarkozy, by doing many things which contradict the promises that he has made them.

Elliot Abrams said the situation with Israel is the worst in a very long time because of Obama’s terrible personal attitude toward Netanyahu.

Michael Lewis said:

  • The technology is almost getting rid of Wall Street, but the resulting complexity and opacity still needs gatekeepers.
  • In the 1980s, the kind of young person who went to Wall Street changed from being one who was in the bottom of their class at Yale to one who was at the top and who can cause a lot more trouble – very bright people without a particular ambition except to be a success type.
  • Wall Street women are kept largely separate from the risk taking decisions. However, after the financial crisis, women rose to positions that were sufficiently senior that they could be plausibly blamed when things went wrong and were.

Watch the video at http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/category/gps-episodes/ or read the full transcript

at http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1503/22/fzgps.01.html

Fareed Zakaria: American innovation is in trouble – The Washington Post 01-01-15

Salient to Investors:

Fareed Zakaria writes:

  • New studies suggest that American innovation is in trouble and that the glittering examples of Facebook et al are deceptive. We are eating the seed corn and not laying the groundwork for the next great tech revolutions.
  • Silicon Valley’s roots are deeply tied to government support – most of the legendary start-ups that fueled the computer revolution got off the ground largely because the military and NASA. GPS powers the information revolution and was originally developed for the military.
  • Federal funding for basic research and technology as a percentage of GDP is at the lowest level in four decades, while real start-up cultures are emerging in Sweden, Israel, India and China, which is on track to surpass the US in R&D spending.

Robert Litan writes:

  • The rate of start-up formation in the US has dropped from almost 15% of all US companies in 1978 to 8% in 2011, while business deaths have exceeded business births for the first time in three decades.
  • Tech is now dominated by older companies. The proportion of US companies at least 16 years old rose to 34% in 2011 from 23% in 1992. Historically, older firms are more risk-averse, rigid and incrementally innovative than younger firms.
  • The US should let in more talented immigrants – who are disproportionately more likely to start new firms – reduce regulations for starting a company, increase the ease of rasing money over the Internet, and maintain near-universal health care to allow people to risk leaving established companies.

Peter Thiel at Founders Fund says we do not live in innovative times – we have Twitter instead of flying cars.

Ajay Piramal says one of the reasons the US is so successful is that it constantly criticizes itself.

Read the full article at http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/fareed-zakaria-the-need-to-renew-american-innovation/2015/01/01/b0f0d864-913b-11e4-a900-9960214d4cd7_story.html