World View: Israel/Turkey Relations Poisoned Further by Spy Revelation
- Israel / Turkey relations poisoned further by spy revelation accusation
- Saudi Arabia shocks U.N. by rejecting Security Council seat
- Obamacare insurance companies trapped in a vicious financial Catch-22
Israel / Turkey relations poisoned further by spy revelation accusation
Erdogan and Netanyahu
The mutual personal hatred between Turkey's hardline president Recep Tayyip
Erdogan and Israel's hardline Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has
been pretty apparent the last few years as Israeli-Turkish relations
have become poisonous. Tensions have been high particularly since the the deaths of nine Turkish
citizens on May 31, 2010, in a confrontation between Israel's navy and
the boat Mavi Marmara in a flotilla headed for Gaza in violation of
Israel's Gaza blockade. Israel finally apologized several months ago
(see "15-Apr-13 World View -- Turkey warns Israel against 'dirty bargaining' over flotilla compensation"), but it did little to help the relationship
between the two countries.
Now, a new accusation is threatening to worsen relations even further.
According to a report by David Ignatius in the Washington Post, at the
height of the mutual bitterness over the Mavi Marmara incident, Hakan
Fidan, the head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT),
transmitted to Iranian intelligence the identities of up to ten
Iranians who had been working with Israel's Mossad intelligence
agency. Israel believes that the disclosure by Erdogan's government
was deliberate, and that President Obama supported Erdogan.
However, Turkey is vehemently denying the charges and counter-charging that the Israelis are manufacturing accusations as a
form of "psychological warfare against the government and its
intelligence service." According to one of Erdogan's advisers,
"Ignatius' article is so incoherent. The intelligence world operates
according to agreements." Washington Post and Hurriyet (Istanbul)
Saudi Arabia shocks U.N. by rejecting Security Council seat
After spending months lobbying to get one of the nine non-permanent
seats on the United Nations Security Council, and after finally
achieving their goal when they were awarded at seat on Thursday,
Saudi Arabia shocked the U.N. diplomats by rejecting the
seat because of the U.N.'s hypocrisy. The Saudis are giving
the following reasons for the dramatic rejection:
- There have been over 100,000 deaths and several million
refugees from the fighting with Syria, and there was a horrific
chemical weapons attack on August 21, and yet the U.S. and
the U.N. have done nothing and are doing nothing to stop it.
- In particular, the Saudis are unhappy with President Obama for
several reasons, most recently his pathetic flip-flop on the Syria
issue, after setting "red lines" which he then ignored. Secretary of
State John Kerry has even said he was "pleased" with Syria's president
Bashar al-Assad for signing a chemical weapons agreement, even though
al-Assad is free to ignore the agreement with impunity.
- After World War II, the deadliest conflict in history,
the U.N. was supposed to stop wars between countries, but it's
track record is dismal.
- Because any of the five permanent members (U.S., Russia, Britain,
China, and France) can veto any attempt to stop war, as the horrific
situation in Syria has illustrated, it leaves the Security Council
handcuffed. Since 1982, the U.S. has vetoed 32 Security Council
resolutions that criticize Israel.
- It has been argued that the five permanent members of the Security
Council, who are all nuclear powers, have created an exclusive nuclear
club that predominately addresses the strategic interests and
political motives of the permanent members to the detriment of other
states. Since three of the five permanent members are European, and
four are predominantly white Western nations, the Security Council has
been described as a pillar of global apartheid.
It's very hard to disagree with the criticisms, especially after
the recent debacle over Syria, where al-Assad has been
committing genocide of innocent civilians through
heavy weapons supplied by Russia and by chemical weapons. This
is happening right before our eyes, but the U.S. is too
confused and the United Nations is too pathetic to do anything
Meanwhile, Sunni and Shia jihadists from around the world are
converging in the Mideast, particularly in Iraq and Syria, in
preparation for sectarian war which can be blamed on Russia, the U.S., and, most of all, the United Nations. Saudi Gazette and CS Monitor
Obamacare insurance companies trapped in a vicious financial Catch-22
A survey by the Wall Street Journal finds that the insurance companies
that have received insurance plan signups from the Obamacare websites
are finding that the information they're receiving is wrong. Some
spouses are shown as children, some people are shown as signing up for
multiple plans, in other cases data is missing. "Luckily," there have
only been a few signups for many insurance companies, so they're calling
the customers on the phone to verify the information that the
Obamacare website has provided.
This is giving rise to a kind of "Catch-22." In order to control
prices, the Obamacare law specifies that insurance companies are only
allowed to charge 20% of the premiums they receive to administrative
purposes. In order to make Obamacare work, millions of young, healthy
people have to sign up. But if that ever happened, then the insurance
companies would have enormous administrative costs verifying the
signup data, putting them into a huge financial squeeze.
Obviously, millions of young, healthy people are not signing up for
Obamacare, and it's very unlikely that they will. The only people who
are willing to put up with the "glitches" on the website are those who
desperately need insurance -- that is, the old and sick people. This
would destroy the entire financial model of Obamacare. (See "15-Oct-13 World View -- Aetna CEO predicts Obamacare IT failures until 2017")
Long-time readers are aware that from the day it was first proposed in
2009, I've referred to President Barack Obama's health care plan as
a proposal of economic insanity,
because it's a repeat of President Richard Nixon's wage-price
controls, which were an utter, total disaster for the economy.
Some people have written to me to complain that the comparison to
Nixon's wage-price controls is not valid because there are no price
controls in Obamacare.
I'm no expert on the details of Obamacare, but from the day it was
proposed in 2009, I heard story after story about all the different
ways that prices were going to be controlled. Insurance companies are
limited in profits, hospitals and doctors were restricted in charges,
and so forth. Some of the loudest complainers are labor unions who
are being taxed because they offer "Cadillac" plans. Whether done by
taxes or restricting prices, these are all price controls, as in the
case of Nixon's wage-price controls.
For those of you who are "liberal" and "progressive," you're the ones
who owe the world an explanation, not me.
If you're "liberal" or "progressive," then you have to believe that
Nixon's wage-price controls should have worked. They were
enthusiastically backed by labor unions and other liberals, they were
fully backed by the Nixon administration, and almost everyone thought
they'd work to reduce inflation from 2-3% down to 1% or so.
Instead, they were a disaster, and inflation rocketed to 10%. ( "5-Jul-13 World View -- Eurozone and Obamacare continue their parallel economic collapse")
If you're liberal or progressive, then you owe me and others an explanation why
that happened. This is a simple non-ideological question.
Wage-price controls were a typical liberal program, attempting to
control the markets through government regulation, and it was a
disaster. Give me and others an explanation of why this typical
liberal program was a disaster.
When you go past your ideology and understand that you have no
explanation why Nixon's wage-price controls were a catastrophe, then
you'll also understand why Obamacare is a catastrophe.
In simple economic terms:
- If you want health care prices to go down, then you need to
increase the supply of medical services -- doctors, hospitals,
devices, insurance companies, and so forth.
- The only way to increase the supply is to allow prices to find
their own levels, which means no price controls.
- Instead, Obamacare seeks to control prices, which is going to
DECREASE the supply of medical services.
- This means that the prices of medical services are going to
That's exactly what happened in the Nixon era, and it's exactly what's
Once again, forget your ideology for a moment, and go back and check
out what happened under Nixon's wage-price controls, and you'll see
the same thing happening today.
One bit of irony: Labor unions were the loudest advocates of
wage-price controls, and they were the loudest complainers when the
controls failed. Today, labor unions were the loudest advocates of
Obamacare, and today they're the loudest complainers. Go figure.
WSJ and USA Today
KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Israel, Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan,
Benjamin Netanyahu, Gaza, Mavi Marmara,
National Intelligence Organization, MIT, Hakan Fidan,
Saudi Arabia, United Nations Security Council,
Syria, Bashar al-Assad, Obamacare
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