World View: Assad Promises New Violence

World View: Assad Promises New Violence

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Syria’s Assad promises new violence in public speech
  • Brookings Institute freaks out over ‘extremism’ and fiscal cliff
  • India and Pakistan armies clash in Kashmir

Syria’s Assad promises new violence in public speech

Bashar al-Assad on TV on Sunday
Bashar al-Assad on TV on Sunday

When it was announced that Syria’s president Bashar al-Assadwould give a nationwide speech on Sunday, some people dared tohope that he would announce an end to his program of massivebloody slaughter of innocent women and children in his owncountry. Unsurprisingly, nothing of the sort happened.Here are some excerpts from his speech:

“Today we meet and suffering permeates Syrian land andthere is no place for joy in any corner of the country whilesecurity and safety are absent from its streets and alley ways.

We meet today and there are mothers who have lost their finestchildren and families who have lost their providers, children whohave been orphaned and brothers divided among the martyrs, therefugees, and the missing. …

Terrorists holding the views of al Qaeda who call themselvesjihadists are the ones running the terrorist operations here andwe are fighting them. It is not impossible to destroy them if wehave the courage. …

Whoever talks solely of a political solution only is turning ablind eye to the facts and he is either ignorant or has beenfooled into selling his people and the blood of martyrs for freeand we will not allow this.

We are now in a state of war in every sense of the word. This wartargets Syria using a handful of Syrians and manyforeigners. Thus, this is a war of defending thenation.”

There have been 60,000 deaths since the war began in March, 2011, thevast majority of them women and children. In saying that hisopponents are foreigners and terrorists, controlled by foreign powers,he’s indicating that he plans to continue massacring innocent womenand children.

Assad’s speech is another embarrassment for Lakhdar Brahimi, theUnited Nations envoy who replaced Kofi Annan, and who has been meetingfrequently with al-Assad in an attempt to convince him to agree tosome kind of political solution. Like Annan, Brahimi has been a totalfailure. Reuters and Guardian (London)

Brookings Institute freaks out over ‘extremism’ and fiscal cliff

First, by way of introduction, let me reprise the following:

  • In 2006-2007, the Brookings Institute was dead wrong about the war in Iraq. (See “Brookings Institution does a full reversal on Iraq war” from 2009.) Not only was the Brookings Institute wrong, but they were disastrously wrong, and if President Bush had followed their advice, it might well have been a disaster for Iraq. Basically, Brookings Institute made up
  • As I’ve written many, many times, economists have no clue about what’s going on. They didn’t predict, and can’t explain, the tech bubble of the 1990s, the real estate bubble, the credit bubble, the credit crunch of 2007, the collapse of 2008, they had no idea what was going to happen in 2012, and they have no idea what will happen in 2013. Alan Greenspan has said that every macroeconomic model has failed since 2007.

So with repeated failures by economists and by the Brookings Instituteitself, you’d think they’d develop a little humility. Instead, hereare some excerpts from an interview on CNN’s Reliable Sources onSunday, or Thomas Mann of Brookings Institute and Norman Ornstein ofAmerican Enterprise Institute on the subject of the fiscal cliff:

Thomas Mann: “The Republican Party is very muchtogether like a Tea Party now. Their ideological commitments havemoved far to the Right and they really have deep skepticism of thewhole notion of facts, of evidence, of science. And they’rewilling to engage in behavior that a generation ago we would havesaid is just beyond the pale, that is take the country’s publiccredit and risk a default to get their way.”

Thomas Mann: “It’s just stunning what Republicans have said andbeen willing to do that’s simply aren’t true, not in a littlefact-checking way, but in broad arguments about what America’sabout, where we’ve come from, why we have deficit problems now,what government spending does to jobs, and the like.”

Norm Ornstein: “And, you know, part of our concern is — again,it’s not ideological. But if voters don’t have a sense of who’s toblame, in a system — you know, it’s not a parliamentarysystem. If you have a party acting as a parliamentary minority,you’re going to have to find ways to hold them accountable andit’s up to the press to report the truth, not thebalance.”

It’s absolutely incredible. Instead of recognizing their repeatedrecord of failures, and saying something like, “Maybe we’re wrong, butwe believe that the Republicans are making some errors,” they claimthat they have the “facts,” they’re right about everything, and anyonewho disagrees is an extremist.

And then they say “it’s not ideological!!”

How stupid do Mann and Ornstein have to be to claim they knoweverything, despite repeated past failures by their colleagues? Notethat I’m not saying that they’re wrong and the Republicans are right.I’m saying that Mann and Ornstein don’t have the vaguest clue whatthey’re talking about, and that they’re simply making stuff up tosupport their ideology.

But this is the way people are these days. If you disagree with them,then you’re an “extremist.” If you disagree with an Obama policy, thenyou’re a “racist.” If you’re a member of the Tea Party, then you’re agiggled as they uttered the epithet. (See “Vile ‘teabagging’ jokes signal the deterioration of CNN and NBC news”)

At least Mann and Ornstein didn’t threaten any Republicans withviolence. That task regularly falls to Teamsters president JamesHoffa, who said of the Tea Partyin his introduction to the next speaker president Obama, “We are readyto march. Let’s take these sons of bitches out and give America backto an America where we belong.” And his union thugs have followed hisadvice.

As far as who’s right and who’s wrong, I would remind readers that in2005 I issued a challenge to anyone to find a web site, an analyst, ajournalist or a politician anywhere in the world with a betterpredictive record than my web site,, and noone has produced one. I set up my web ten years ago, and I’ve postedthousands of articles containing hundreds of predictions that have allturned out to be right or are trending right. None has turned out tobe wrong. That’s not because I’m particularly clever or prescient,but because in ten years the Generational Dynamics methodology hasbeen proven to be valid. Unlike the ideological rantings of moronslike Mann and Ornstein. CNN

India and Pakistan armies clash in Kashmir

Kashmir was the epicenter of the extremely bloody 1947 war betweenHindus and Muslims that followed Partition, the partitioning of theIndian subcontinent into India and Pakistan. The “Line of Control(LoC)” in Kashmir, separating the Indian-held territory from thePakistan-held territory is the site of continuing violence. The LoCwas established by the United Nations, following the Partition war, topart of it to each. The U.N. mandated that an election be held inKashmir within five years to decide which country they wanted tobelong to, but India has always blocked any such election, knowingthat it would lose in the majority Muslim population.

On Sunday, India and Pakistan armies clashed near the LoC.According to a Pakistani report:

“The Pakistani military said Indian troops had crossedthe Line of Control (LoC) and raided their Sawan Patra checkpostin Kashmir. … “Pakistan Army troops effectively responded tothe attack successfully.” Two Pakistani soldiers were criticallyinjured in the attack, one of whom later embracedmartyrdom.”

Here’s the report from India:

“Denying Pakistan army’s allegations that Indiansoldiers crossed the Line of Control (LoC) near north Kashmir’sUri area, the army on Sunday said Pakistan army resorted tounprovoked mortar shelling on two-three posts in the morning.

There was a breach of ceasefire as Pakistan resorted to mortarshelling in the morning. Our troops retaliated with small arms,”said an army spokesman.”

The clash ended with no further casualties. Dawn (Islamabad) and Hindustan Times

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