Saddam’s accurate prediction

The current issue of Vanity Fair reprints a transcript from the forthcoming The Saddam Tapes: The Inner Workings of a Tyrant’s Regime, 1978–2001.

In this conversation he muses over the US foray into Somalia in the early 1990s.

    Saddam: “If the Americans continue such politics, they are going to face major troubles. Why would anyone want to elect an American? What did he say to him to influence him? He will probably say to him that he promises to improve the economic situation. How could he improve the economic situation with American soldiers spread all over the world?

    Their economy will never improve with the expenses they spent in the Gulf and in Europe. They spent $68 billion in the Gulf, and in Europe, they spent $128 billion. If America does not withdraw its troops from all over the world, its economy could never improve. America is not in its youth phase. America is at the edge of elderliness and at the beginning phase of old age. This is nature, once you reach [inaudible]. The man might delay the deterioration; however, I cannot imagine the deterioration continuing. I mean it is impossible to give up its role of interference and influencing, and the latest foolishness made people apprehend it more and forced the blocks to move faster than before.

    If America implemented a good policy, made a political difference in the world, emphasized improving the economy, etc, America would earn more respect from the rest of the world; however, it is not afraid at all. This means it is not aware of the consequences. That might result in close relations with China, the Soviet Union and India, Japan with Asia. Germany will develop to be an industrial threat and France will overspread the world markets. It will cause a major chaos all over the world.”

    Unidentified Man: “Sir, yesterday, as Your Excellency knows, the American president stated that the first thing he needs to do is allocate funds for the American troops overseas, [inaudible]. He made such a statement yesterday at the conference.”

    Saddam: “It is impossible for him to do that in order to improve his economy. He could save a billion dollars from here, a million dollars from somewhere else, another two million from another place that could be useful, but it would not heal his wound that is so deep it cannot be healed unless he turns to the military budget.”

Manuel Buencamino

Buencamino was a weekly columnist for Today and Business Mirror. He has also written articles in other publications like Malaya, Newsbreak, "Yellow Pad" in Business World, and "Talk of the Town" in the Inquirer. He is currently with Interaksyon, the news site of TV5. MB blogged for Filipino Voices, blogs for ProPinoy and maintains a blog, Uniffors.com. Game-changers for him, as far as music goes, are Monk, Miles, Jimi, and Santana.

  • J_ag

     I asked you if you believed war was preferable to peace, Moronic question… In point of fact the U.S. is engaged in a  cold war versus Iran and a hot war versus  non-state actors.  For me everyday life is war for survival.  Moving around the country requires some projection of force to secure oneself. 

    If it produced more economic growth and technological innovation than peace. Off course it does produce more growth and technological innovation  than in peace.  I’m still waiting for you to give an unequivocal answer :  Do you believe that war is the best policy for economic and technological growth? Preparing for it has become by default the incubator for technological innovation and has historically driven productivity in peace time. The 20thy century is proof of this. 

    Are you advocating war? If necessary. W. invaded Afghanistan and had both the Taliban and Al Qaeda on the run and then he turned his attention to the oil of Iraq. On any given day there are over 50 to 100- operations being conducted all over the world by the SOG of the U.S. military.

    Obama recently ordered 100 SOG personnel to Uganda.  Their support group under South Com are in the thousands.. There is a war ongoing against non-state actors all over the world,  including the Southern Philippines. 

    What peace are you talking about?  Have you ever been to Palestine? Israel’s technological advancement is far ahead of many other major industrial economies. They have to keep innovating to fight a sworn enemy amongst their midst. Ask the people in Gaza and the West Bank. They learnt how to build their own rockets. 

    Thank God we are an archipelago otherwise the insurgents could have brought in hand held SAM’s to shoot down helicopters.   Give the NPA’s and the MILF the capability and you will see the air advantage of the military here lost. 

    Thousands have gone missing in Libya. 

    Equalizing mutual fear by achieving the equality of force. Pray tell what is political economy all about? 

    Man what kind of economics did you take up.. Home economics?  

    No wonder there is no advancement in this country.. 

    • Manuelbuencamino

      Okay Jag. Put up a war party and advocate war against Malaysia over Sabah;  war against China and the other Spratley claimants. 

      I’m sure you can convince your fellow Filipinos that war is good, that it will produce the economic growth and technological innovation that has eluded us for so long. Of course some of them will die and some of them will be maimed and some will see their properties destroyed but who said economic growth and technological innovation is free? 

      A little sacrifice for the good of all is required, right?

      “All you need is war ta-tara-tara all you need is war, war, war is all you need…”Who schooled you, Jag?

  • J_ag

    Let us look at what the father philosopher of free markets said about equalizing mutual fear through the equalization of force through free trade.  

    I wonder what he meant?  How do you equalize mutual fear? How does one establish the equality of force?  To the consciousness observer it means MAD.  I am sure MB and Gabby D. have read his Opus.  What did he mean by superiority of force? I will leave up to their fertile imaginations. 

    ” To the
    natives, however, both of the East and the West Indies, all the commercial
    benefits which can have resulted from those events have been sunk and lost in
    the dreadful misfortunes which they have occasioned.  These misfortunes, however, seem to have
    arisen rather from accident than from anything in the nature of those events
    themselves.  At the particular time when
    these discoveries were made, the superiority of force happened to be so great
    on the side of the Europeans, that they were enabled to commit with impunity
    every sort of injustice in those remote countries.  

    Hereafter, perhaps, the natives of those
    countries may grow stronger, or those of Europe may grow weaker, and the
    inhabitants of all the different quarters of the world may arrive at that
    equality of courage and force which, by inspiring mutual fear, can alone
    overawe the injustice of independent nations into some sort of respect for the
    rights of one another.  But nothing seems
    more likely to establish this equality of force than that mutual communication
    of knowledge and of all sorts of improvements which an extensive commerce from
    all countries to all countries naturally or rather necessarily, carries along
    with it.” Adam Smith…

    • GabbyD

      what is your point? omg. this passage isnt about war. what are YOU talking about???

  • J_ag

    Oh another thing MB since your economic expert is Saddam… And you flash your badge as a member of the AER.  Why can the U.S. government borrow for the short , medium and long term at real interest rates that are negative??????

    http://finance.yahoo.com/bonds;_ylt=AgHvow3wXoAiTFIyaj_3nC.7YWsA;_ylu=X3oDMTFnam1oMzkzBHBvcwMxNQRzZWMDbWFya2V0U3VtbWFyeUluZGljZXMEc2xrA3ZpZXdtb3JlYm9uZA–

    Kindly answer this question????

    • Manuelbuencamino

      Sure, that’s easy. US banks can borrow at negative rates because …oh wait…you have not answered my question…let’s finish that business before we move on Mr. Dodge and Weave.

  • J_ag

    Does preparing for war make one a war lover. No one wants wars or conflict.  But why invent handguns whose primary purse is to kill or main other men. What keeps civilization from breaking down?  The armed power of the State. 

    The best deterrent for war is preparing for one. Why is that so bad?  The history of existence is one of struggle with nature and naturally of struggles with other men. I am a realist. 

    The U.S. accidentally became a major power after Europe with its incessant wars gave us two big ones. There were wars all over in humans history but none as deadly as the last two big ones because they brought with it the increased productivity for destruction due to the introduction of industrial technology. 

    Hence the propensity for continuously upgrading these technologies which gave rise to applications for civilian uses. War is unproductive for the economy but the applications of these technologies gave rise to what has been the driver of economic productivity for civilian uses over the last century.

    I am seriously thinking also of getting a semi automatic weapon for the home as it is clear in times of crisis the state is too weak to handle security in case of a breakdown of 
    communication and power after major storms or an earthquake. Does that make me a war lover? 

    MB in case you have not noticed when you go into public places the place is loaded with private armed security men that makes sure everyone behaves. 

    Nobody in his right mind would want war but any state that does not prepare for it deserves what it gets when it happens. It would be idiotic not to prepare.  That is why we default out external security to the U.S. 

    MB your even bringing up Saddam’s prediction was idiotic. It is not the U.S. that is going bust it is Europe. 

    Of all the OECD countries the U.S. and Japan have the lowest tax rates. They have room for raising taxes. But the crazies on the right are fighting to maintain the gains of years of deregulation and stripping down the social safety nets for the working class. 

    It is a political problem.. W. cut taxes and went to war in Iraq. How could Saddam get to understand representative government and the mechanics of it. 

    Warfare is fast evolving due to the rapid evolution of digital technology. The U.S. became a reluctant empire but will not give up that mantle without a fight. A contender could be fast rising. And the U.S. is preparing for that eventuality.  Are they war freaks? 
     They are already engaged in economic warfare and in the process of containing China. 

    However men cut along the likes of Jessup became part of the mechanism whether we like it or not.  Men like MacArthur, Patton who loved the smell of napalm in the morning. It is necessary that we train men to become beasts under controlled conditions. That is why in America’s favorite pastime we love it when we see the blitz and the  long bomb employed in American football.  They dress up as gladiators and knock each other around to score points. 

    If a civil war did break out in the Philippines and MB was on the other side and we faced each other I would use all my cunning to send him to his maker before he does the same to me. Part of risk management is preparing for it. 

    But not in this country. MB and Gabby D you guys have a narrow sense of understanding.  

    http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175454/tomgram%3A_nick_turse%2C_mapping_america%27s_shadowy_drone_wars/#more http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/post/digital-deterrents-preventing-a-pearl-harbor-of-cyberspace/2010/12/20/gIQASNKyoL_blog.html

    • GabbyD

      jag, the reason we cant have a good argument is because your thoughts are all over the place, and you never respond to any counterarguments, and you repeat the same arguments over and over again. 

      again, the past was a given. the question is the future. 

      we no longer need war to innovate. thats ABUNDANTLY CLEAR. 

      and yet you keep going back to ww2. wtf?!

      • J_ag

        Gabby D you are most certainly a dumb one. 

        Convincing Bankers

        “You
        can’t take a 10-year contract from an American airline to the bank and get the
        financing that you need,” Rekoske said. “You can if you have a 10-year contract
        from the U.S. Navy.”

        The
        military’s drive to cut dependence on oil, coal and gas goes beyond biofuels.
        It’s developing wind and solar farms to power U.S. bases and expanding the use
        of renewables into combat zones such as Afghanistan, where a study last year showed one Marine is
        killed or wounded for every 50 fuel and water convoys.

        Under a
        2005 law, federal
        government facilities must
        source at least 5 percent of their electricity from renewable sources in
        2010-2012, and at least 7.5 percent afterward.

        President
        Barack Obama on Aug. 16 announced the Navy and Departments of Agriculture and
        Energy would each plow $170 million over three years into the commercial
        development of biofuels, with the aim of generating at least as much in private
        investment. The Navy aims to ramp up its biofuels use to 3 million gallons in
        2016 from 900,000 gallons next year.”

        ‘Create
        a Market’

        “The U.S. military
        is by the far the largest user in the country, so we can create a market for
        it,” Mabus said. The Navy is the “guaranteed customer” needed to get the
        industry “across the so-called valley of death from a good idea to commercial
        scale,” he said.

        The
        armed forces say they’ve been successful testing fuels produced from sources as
        diverse as animal fat, frying oils and camelina, an oil-bearing plant that’s
        relatively drought- and freeze-resistant.”

         

        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-18/animal-fat-replaces-crude-oil-in-f16s-as-biofuels-head-to-war-commodities.html

        • GabbyD

          hahaha… if ur gonna call me dumb, please do it with more creativity…

          the REASON debt can be acquired by the US military is because its a part of the US GOVERNMENT. 

          i’m the dumb one? geez…

          • J_ag

            In case you just woke up nation states have long ago monetized debt and that is what is known as fiat currency. 

            Like I said earlier intellectually when it comes to tools of modern society like fiat currency and the fractional banking system where credit/debit that doubles as money can created at will to back up productive capacities is a hared concept to wrap a small mind around… 

            For every debt there is a credit. The ultimate debtor is the people of the State. Read what is on your peso bill… Dumbkoff… 

          • GabbyD

            yey! thanks for repeating what everyone knows. i should call u captain obvious 🙂 

            but that insults the military! *see how i actually mentioned the military, and u didnt???*

        • GabbyD

          also if jag is right, post war (ww2) global growth is due to war and the military… hehehe… 

          good one jag!!! go back and re-watch a few good men… or better yet, watch star wars and root for darth vader. spoiler alert!: vader dies at the end of Jedi! (his dark side ideology, again repudiated)…

    • Manuelbuencamino

      Jag,

      The question remains the same.

      And Saddam’s predictions were proved accurate. The US is bleeding profusely from its involvement in the Middle East and Afghanistan. 

      • J_ag

        Bleeding profusely from its war costs? Unless you have been asleep the deep recession was caused by consecutive bubbles in financial markets.  

        Plus the tax cuts passed by Bush increased the deficits. U.S. debt owed to the public is 60 +% of GDP.. The rest are intergovernmental borrowings.  The basic problem in the U.S. is their projected deficits in their government funded health care program.  Hence the need for a government managed system to manage costs downward since it is the private sector that provides the services.

        By having one buyer the state costs should go down. Similar to social security where the costs of administering it are lower than private pension funds. All projections show that the debt to GDP ration over the next 20 -30 years will settle at around 70%. 

        Is military spending necessary for technological development and economic development of new products. In the context of the U.S. economy yes on certain levels. 

         I am hopeful you understand the English language… Stop trying to have an intellectual discussion when you are woefully unarmed. Macroeconomic intervention by the state operates on the simple principle of creating money out of nothing since money is simply that, non-existent. Provided you have the physical capacity in place. 

        ‘Create a Market’“The U.S. military is by the far the largest user in the country, so we can create a market for it,” Mabus said. The Navy is the “guaranteed customer” needed to get the industry “across the so-called valley of death from a good idea to commercial scale,” he said.The armed forces say they’ve been successful testing fuels produced from sources as diverse as animal fat, frying oils and camelina, an oil-bearing plant that’s relatively drought- and freeze-resistant.Major Aaron Jelinek, the lead solo pilot in the Air Force’s Thunderbirds flight demonstration team, performed aerobatics including loops, rolls and formation flying at Andrews Air Force Base inMaryland on May 20-21. It was the F-16 fighter jet’s first flight using a fuel made from the camelina plant.“I could tell no difference between flying that day when I had biofuel in my tank versus flying the day before or the day after,” Jelinek said in an interview. “It was a normal demonstration, one that we perform at 70 shows during the year and in many more practices than that, doing the exact same maneuvers and the exact same show sequence as any other day.”  Citation listed below from Bloomberg… 

  • J_ag

    Memorable lines from Col. Jessup in A Few Good Men…

    Col. Jessep: You want answers? 
    Kaffee: I think I’m entitled to. 
    Col. Jessep: *You want answers?* 
    Kaffee: *I want the truth!* 
    Col. Jessep: *You can’t handle the truth!* 
    [pauses] 
    Col. Jessep: Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to. 

    The detterrent factor of military power gives us the sense of security.   

    • GabbyD

      uh, jag…

      i dont know if you’ve seen the ENDING. 

      spoiler alert: jessup goes to jail.  his ideology is repudiated. 

      • J_ag

        Culture most especially military culture and wars are grotesques and vile. 
         You guys are really shallow. 

        Jessup is a metaphor of  men committed to do all to make sure that their job of protection is their calling above all else. 

        These type of men  command over 700 bases (all sizes) all over the world.  They keep the peace. 

        For the next 10 years the U.S. Defense budget will total $8 trillion dollars. and someone on this post said that Saddam predicted that the U.S. will not be able to sustain this.  

        You see movies and TV and you see the sanitized version of it. 

        • Manuelbuencamino

          Stop dancing around Jag. You posted all sorts of “proofs” about the blessings of war and the preparation for it on the american economy and technological innovation. I asked you if you believed war was preferable to peace, if it produced more economic growth and technological innovation than peace. I’m still waiting for you to give an unequivocal answer :  Do you believe that war is the best policy for economic and technological growth? Are you advocating war?

          • Anonymous

            Would “allotting zero-money and zero-brainpower to weapons and warmaking capabilities”  be the conclusion from the premise that “Peace is the best policy for economic and technological growth”? I think PresiNoynoy approach makes sense — putting BFF’s and trusted ones to lead/administer Pilipinas war capabilities as long as they follow “Thou Shalt Not Steal!!!” — elections and money.

            And this is additional food for thought — “Peace is the best policy” is the assertion of many dudes with direct phone-lines to Upstairs. Interestingly a few of these dudes welcome nuclear armageddon where every living thing on earth dies. (Or at least, every mammal).  Their basis is the Good Book — the Second Coming.

          • Manuelbuencamino

            Ideally all money and brain power should be devoted to human development, improving the human condition, not destroying it. 

            Only an idiot would celebrate war for its incidental technological and economic benefits to mankind. 

            Only a vacuous mind will conclude that those same technological breakthroughs would not and could not have been possible under peace-oriented conditions.

            Those who justify war as beneficial to human development need to pull their heads out of their asses.

        • GabbyD

          huh? We are the shallow ones, but YOU were the one that raised the film in the first place 🙂 hehehe…

          look, i can accept using movies as metaphors. but, you cant have it both ways!!! you cant say:

          1) in the movie, jessup is the example of the usefulness of the military

          while AT THE SAME TIME

          2) I reject the ending of that SAME MOVIE where jessup is revealed to be a fraud and traitor…

          holy revisionist history, batman! 

      • Anonymous

        The movie-ending is how most would want it to be in real life. 

        The soldiers who followed the orders went to jail, AND the mastermind was discovered then tried.  The murder mastermind was convicted and sent to jail.

        That’s one of those cocktail-party-questions (among constitutional lawyers) — why didn’t Obama let loose the USA’s Dept of Justice to at least try try to indict former Vice President Dick Cheney and his orders that let to Abu Ghraib.  “Hounding the previous administration would be counterproductive” apparently was the Obama conscience-decision.

    • Manuelbuencamino

      Jag,

      And we started out with Saddam saying that America’s military policies were going to screw their economy. And now you are quoting lines from a movie about the evils of blind patriotism. Keep your eye on the ball, Kobe.

      “The detterrent factor of military power gives us the sense of security.” Yes, like the blue blanket did for Linus Van Pelt.

      Look I’m not really interested in your favorite movie. You get a hard-on from macho patriotic talk, I get a hard-on watching fine-looking women reporting on nonsense in ANC. So just show me why war is good and peace is bad for the economy. Never mind what it does for your libido.

  • J_ag

    oooooPPSSS!!!!! MB, forgot to mention that Iraq with a population of 30M and estimated nominal GDP of $80 B will be buying F-16 jets and advanced air defense systems from the U.S. 

    They desperately need to repair their water and sewage infrastructure but Uncle needs some payback… 

    • GabbyD

      so you believe a one time sale exceeds the stream of military spending of a greater magnitude?

      • J_ag

        For all the guys like Gabby out there. Military Keynesianism has long been a part of U.S. policy. 

        High tech industries need high tech clients. The military and wars are great laboratories for American high tech manufacturing. 

        Reagan’s Star Wars program and both Iraq wars gave the U.S. the opportunity to try out high tech warfare. 

        Infra red imaging and high tech make the U.S. the most advanced country in exploration for oil, gas and other minerals. 

        Unlike the past where mid tech industries produced tanks and planes and a large labor force was needed.

        Not so for high tech industries …

        When the SOG’s went into Obama’s lair they were also broadcasting their assault live to the W.H.  The attackers have cameras on their helmets … 

        Gabby that is why it is called the military industrial complex. For the street to street  and house to house fighting they came out with infra red that could see through walls.. 

        Now airports and customs have machines that see through clothes and containers. 

        It is sad Gabby you have not kept up … 
         A lot of the modern conveniences we all enjoy came from that system. 

        • Manuelbuencamino

          Jag,

          Pornography has done more to advance internet and handy-cam technologies than any military policy, Keynesian or otherwise, ever did. 

          • Manuelbuencamino

             Jag, 

            Do you believe that war is the best policy for economic and technological growth? Are you advocating war?

        • GabbyD

          oh, yeah, all that happened.

          but here’s the thing — you dont need military bases and actual fighting to do any of the research.

          let me be more succinct — by all means, DO THE RESEARCH. no one is stopping the government/military to conduct research.

          but that doesnt mean you cannot cut back on the number of bases, soldiers, infrastructure, etc. in fact, that can allow you to DO MORE RESEARCH.

    • Manuelbuencamino

      Jag, Do you believe that war is the best policy for economic and technological growth? Are you advocating war?

      • J_ag

        A recent Nobel prize winner also got into trouble for saying that.  It is historical fact that the war finally solved the problem of the Great Depression. 

        However the analogy proved that in a time of economic crisis (this is in terms of economic context) when consumers and then business stop spending causing a spiral of demand which drives growth into negative territory only one economic agent is left to spend to prevent the spiral into deflation and eventual economic collapse. 

        The state then ramps up spending. Even if it goes into debt provided that debt translates into public investments that will pay off in the long haul. 

        Today the U.S. can borrow for 30 years at 3%. If it spend trillion in the next five years to improve its decaying infrastructure and direct subsidies for college education for people to work in the new wired economy, those investments will pay for itself.  

        Technology is a job killer and even the military today needs fewer men. The U.S. military also outsources fighting to mercenaries. The vast improvements in communication makes it possible.

        The U.S. is not a political empire but it is a commercial empire.  Just like the Romans of old their organized society built the roads and infra to support commerce. They supplied  the silver coins to facilitate trade. 

        The business of America is business…Even if it is porn…  

        • GabbyD

          that recent nobel prize winner was krugman.

          he didnt get into “trouble”. it was a joke.

          the point of that joke is: the govt needs to spend more to get out of recession quicker, but it would (tragically) take something as large as a war (with aliens!!!) to get the govt to do it.

        • Manuelbuencamino

          Jag,

          My question was, do YOU believe that war is the best policy for economic and technological growth?

          • J_ag

            Preparing for war (Deterence) and not war itself has been one of the most effective growth drivers most especially for the U.S. economy.. Please note that the mass production of steel without which you would not have modern cities and modern societies came about during the Crimean war.  That was when the Bessemer process was invented to improve and mass produce artillery pieces. 

            The same with ENIAC which was funded to improve artillery targeting. The airplane was another example. Then the forced sale of Marconi (wireless radio) to the U.S. after it was nationalized by the U.S. government during the First World War. Wireless communication becoming strategic when war itself became mechanized due to the industrialization process and a race for technological advantage became key.  The U.S. organized the War Industries Board  that standardized and regulated industrial products. The quality of armaments and to  supplies tested to insure their operability on the battlefield. Even food processing got a boost as the men in the field had to be fed. They call them field rations.  

            It is quite well known  to anyone in the textile and garment business that the quality standards used is the U.S. military AQL standards. 

            When masses of men go into battle their basic needs have to be met. Today when the U.S. military moves their consumer  culture moves with them. They invented fast food. Spam and corned beef then to the Big Mac and Pizza Hut today.

            Naturally there were and are still many abuses as when IKE WARNED OF THE MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX TOGETHER WITH THE EDUCATIONAL MILITARY COMPLEX. Intel and semiconductors would never have been invented without the U.S. defense funding at Stanford and this led to the creation of Silicon Valley. 

            West Point was created as an engineering school and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers are responsible for all waterways in the U.S. Right after 9/11 they built a temporary port for transporting steel beams to yard across the river. 

            The race to become the preeminent military power in the world has made the Defense Department the largest employer in the world. 

            Big Business- and the military have always been intertwined. I am shocked and stunned that very few people realize this as the Europeans have long complained about this fact that American Big business gets an unfair advantage from all this benefits. Hence the term Military Keynesianism. 

            MB I do not begrudge your ignorance and the probable fact that you watch ANC for the gorgeous creatures (female side) and their endowments. Most of them are downright stunning. Plus you are a government civil servant outside of the arena where the real world exists.  

          • Manuelbuencamino

            Jag,

             I guess you added up the benefits of war against the benefits of peace. And you with the vast knowledge reached the brilliant conclusion that war and the perpetual preparation for war is the best thing that happened to mankind. And peace and the perpetual quest for peace is mankind’s greatest curse.

            Well, good for you. 

            Oh by the way, you forgot to add nuclear power; rocket technology; advances in biology and chemistry; law; etc,etc. Because almost anything you can shake a stick at is a by-product of man’s quest to find better, faster, and more efficient ways to kill. 

            War is also the best means for controlling population growth. 

          • J_ag

            The basic rationale for France and Germany signing of the Coal and Steel Agreement which was the foundation of the EU was essentially to provide a venue for resolving disagreements between nation states and avoid war. 
            It is no secret that only when Germany went off the Gold standard and defaulted on Germany’s war debt and ramped up production of the German steel mills and secretly produced his Panzer divisions and airplanes which served as the catalyst for reviving the German economy. Almost eights years later Hitler started the war. From the first time man learned how to hunt with a bow and arrow he also had to learn to use the same to defend the kill from being stolen. That is why here in the Philippines where economic equality is so perverse we have to live behind walls with armed guards to protect us from the many who are poor. In reality we are all involved in a war of man vs man. My goodness did you not just learn of the fact that the man who advises the President on politics has to go around the city with an AK-47 plus keeps an M-16 and three handguns at home. These are weapons of war.  Reality sucks but let us face it existence is not all “kumbaya.” 

  • J_ag

    Will taking out Saddam benefit the U.S. economy.  Will the sacrifice of lives and dollars benefit the US economy in the long term. You betcha!!!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/14/world/middleeast/14rebuild.html

     

    http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/weekly/aairaqioil.htmWhich country has the most advanced know how for oil and gas extraction. So let us see shall we.  The two top countries in the M.E. with the largest reserves of oil and gas are in the U.S. orbit.  The U.S. will retain military bases with small components in Iraq for the long haul. The U.S. has bases in Qatar, and Bharain.  The U.S. today backstops the Iraqi military in the protection of the oil fields. Qatar which has one of the biggest deposits in the world of natural gas is firmly in the U.S. orbit. Obama recently approved very quietly the transfer of bunker busting bombs to Israel . The Israelis are the enforcers for the U.S. against Iran. I suspect when the time is right the Israeli’s will take out all the nuclear producing plants in Iran. The U.S. government just recently informed the Saudi King of a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington. Saudi’s as everyone knows are Sunni while most of Iran are Shia. Washington is making it difficult for Iran to collect on its oil shipments to both China and India. The last domino in the M.E. is Iran. Gadaffi is no more… In Iraq, Saudi Arabias, Bharain, Qatar no Arab spring revolution. 

    • Agree with J_ag. 

      In a few more years Bush Jr. will become a hero in the eyes of the American people for invading Iraq in spite the absence of  WMD and his critics will eat their words.

  • Joe America

    I have long wondered why we (Americans) keep thousands of troops in Korea and Japan. I didn’t know Saddam pondered the same thing.

    It is amazing how stupid smart people are. (Like American leaders, in some instances.)

    • Anonymous

      Actually, there is intelligence among USA politicians in regards the presence of USA troops on South Korean soil.  The USA troops on SoKo act as “tripwire”.  North Korea is very capable of a bloody “surge-the-gates”.  If North Korea does this and kills South Koreans only (and maybe few foreigners  — tourists, students, guest workers) , well….by the time the United Nations convenes and gets to vote,  Seoul would be gone along with 75 to 95% of the rest of the country.

      Now to get to Seoul, NoKor would have to annihilate battalions of USA troops.  Pilipinas may not care and Indonesia may not care but USA and England would care. North Korea understands that retaliation would be massive.  North Korea is held back under threat of destruction from USA warplanes and missiles.

      =========================
      As for US troops on Japan soil, that’s easy to explain, too.  USA provides its military umbrella over Japan soil so that Japanese politicians can quiet the militarists among the population who would really want to have enough nuke and conventional power to equal China’s (and USA’s) military strength over Asian waters.

      • Manuelbuencamino

        You think Nokor can defeat Sokor? 

      • Joe America

        I think South Korea is a big boy now and can take care of itself. It should have an agreement with the US, in big type, that the US will help defend against any attack.

        Japan is another story. I’d have to think about that. They are so culturally separate from the rest of the world they are indeed hard to predict.

  • J_ag

    The problem with the U.S. is simply this.  It is allergic to non-Europeans.  It openly acknowledged the Japanese only after this Asian country was able to bloody Uncle Sams’ nose. They had to nuclear bomb them into submission after Admiral Nimitz informed Truman that the cost of the invasion of Japan after the experience of the ferocious Kamikaze attacks during the invasion of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. 

    They (Japan) also became the first Asian country to defeat a major European country (Russia) in a major battle.  

    Look at the Vietnamese.  Love an Love ng Kano sila ngayon. 

    Pero the world loves our women… and  I do too. 

    • Joe America

      J-ag, Perhaps you have not been to large US cities like San Francisco or Los Angeles or New Yourk? European stock is a rapidly diminishing portion.

      I don’t think the US is allergic to non-Europeans. It (the collective of its leadership) does not understand them. And certainly the arrogance of success does little to their open minds.

      Humility is just a good default away . . .

      • J_ag

        Joe A. I have lived for some time on the West  and East coast of the U.S. The establishment of the U.S., mainly European lives in rich zip codes in major cities and suburbs. The top 10 % of the income level that owns 90% of the wealth of the U.S. is safe to say over 90% European. 

    • Manuelbuencamino

      “The problem with the U.S. is simply this.  It is allergic to non-Europeans.”
      Can you attribute racism to America’s allergic reaction to East Germany, Rumania, Poland, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, and the USSR? (Did I miss some other soviet bloc country?) 

      There is racism in America but its foreign policy is not guided by racism. 

      I know nuance is not your strong suit.

       

      • J_ag

        Let us see shall we. Today there is no more East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Soviet Union. The Cold War was the West vs the Soviet Union controlled bloc. It was an ideological divide. 

        Once again an historical reminder. Peruse through the writings of T. Roosevelt when he spoke of the coolie class and the rise of Japan after the Japanese defeated the Russians. 
        Also explain the immigration policies of the U.S. before Pres. Johnson where Asians, Latinos and Africans where frowned upon while immigrants from Europe  were welcome.  It was Pres. Johnson who opened up immigration to the coolie class. that T. Roosevelt mentioned other wise the Filipinos in the U.S. would remain to be the descendants of the farm workers that were brought in earlier.  The immigration act instituted by Johnson brought in the quota system for all countries regardless of race. That was in 1968. 

        Now as for the predominant Latino class the Mexicans.  The Europeans who entered Texas before the American Mexican war were illegal immigrants. The defeated Mexicans gave up the land which is now Texas, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, California and some other states. 

        Naturally the rapid rise in population of the so called coolies class of Latinos, African Americans and the incoming Asians and Africans is changing the color spectrum in the U.S. 

        Even today the basic problem America still has is the race problem which continues to  divide the country with a half black President. 

        Now getting back to using Saddam Hussein as an analyst for the so called financial woes of the U.S. Using the technology of fiat currency the U.S. may be the only country left standing whose entire foreign debt is in its own currency.

        There was this guy named John Maynard Keynes who they say invented macro economics to be used as a government policy tool. That would mean that the State could create all the currency it needed when it needed it from nothing.

        That is exactly what the U.S. government has been doing for the past four years. 

        Unfortunately for the EU there system is close to crumbling. 

        You flash your personal data with your membership in AER do you understand anything about modern economics? I understand very little but I am  still learning on a day to day.  But Saddam Hussein as a source for finance and economics??

        They found stacks of freshly printed dollar bills in his Palaces. Even he had faith in the dollar.  

        • Manuelbuencamino

          Jag,

          1. Immigration??? Foreign policy and policy towards foreigners (immigrants) are not the same thing. Nuance my boy, nuance! 

          I thought I made that very clear in my previous comment. But okay, I will restate the point in even more simple terms : Immigration=incoming/ foreign policy=outgoing.

          2. Now to the point of the post which is an EXCERPT from TAPES about to be published in book form and NOT an INTERVIEW (you don’t need nuance to see the difference, all you need is to pay attention) : 

          Was Saddam wrong? Did American military adventures of the last 30 years lead to economic prosperity? 

          3.  Finally, why are you so angry at AER? 

            

  • J_ag

    Once again MB your article is full of factual errors. The top 10 most highly indebted countries with the highest external debt to GDP does not include the U.S. They are countries in Europe which include France and Germany. Kindly note. 

    Check the facts. 

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/30308959 

    The whole world pays the U.S. for two very important public goods. Their military and their currency. Without which international trade would be extremely difficult. 

    Saddam is not a good source for financial and economic analysis. . 

    Being a part of AER is this an example of your groups  usual source of your research.  A Vanity Fair interview with Saddam Hussein.  

    Do you the relationship between the money supply and the total debt. 

    If the Eurozone is not careful   it may crumble and cause the U.S. to become even stronger. The U.S. is able to borrow for 30 years at a rate that in real terms is almost negative. 

    Is that the sign of a country that is going bust? 

    Or here is another one. Spain has a lower sovereign debt to GDP than the U.K. but may be pushed into insolvency by the higher interest rates that it pays than the U.K.

    How come this is so?  

    • J_ag

      Correction to question:

      Do you know the relationship between the money supply and the total debt?

      Apologies

    • GabbyD

      he didnt say this was AER research. YOU said that. not him. 

    • Manuelbuencamino

      I reprinted an EXCERPT from a soon to be published book called “The Saddam Tapes: The Inner Workings of a Tyrant’s Regime, 1978–2001.”

      It was not an interview with Saddam. Read carefully before you start banging away at your keyboard.

      Finally, Saddam was pointing out something obvious. The US was spending too much money on military campaigns.

      By the way, “The whole world pays the U.S. for two very important public goods. Their military and their currency.”

      Can you show show me any figures that the US profits from its military services?

      Finally, CNBC. Bwahahahaha. It is to business what Fox is to politics.

      • J_ag

        Can you show show me any figures that the US profits from its military services?
        Oh my goodness???? Does the U.S. profit from their military services.  Who lives under the protective umbrella provided by the U.S. military and the military industrial complex. 

        FYI the military budget of the U.S. comprises 50% of the U.S. discretionary spending. 

        Let us take two examples.  Boeing and the new IT companies that came about due to military spending. What about the transistors that led to research of integrated circuits.

        The U.S. Navy funded that to improve their radar capabilities. What about the first cathode tube computers called ENIAC? Boeing’s major customer is the U.S. military. 

        Thank you U.S. military for the Internet. Thank you world for the almost free loans to the U.S. since you have to use the dollar mostly for international transactions. Thank for giving us low interest rates so that we can run budget deficits for generations. 

        Barry Einreich called it the exhorbitant privilege under the U.S. dollar regime. Ask your friends in the AER..Ask them about what money reallyh is.  A belief system held by society. A social convention that even Saddam believed in so much so that he kept part of his wealth in pieces of green printed paper with the pictures of dead U.S. presidents… 

        Explain that seeming oxymoron to me MB.  

        • J_ag

          Correction. Barry Einreich should be Barry Eichengreen.

          Apologies… 

        • GabbyD

          huh? your reply makes no sense.

          does the US government make profits out of its military services? there was no real answer to be found. sigh… 

          • J_ag

            Dearest Gabby D.  Why did you change the question of MB by adding government to U.S. Small matter since the U.S. government is actually “we the people” 

            Does the expenditure of the U.S. on its military not contribute to the international  security of the world and of course the more than  U.S. 17 trillion worth of financial assets the U.S. private sector owns around the world?

            Do you honestly believe that China would not have planted its flag in all the islands in the Spratly’s if the U.S. fleet were not around? 

            I direct you to the hard facts of international trade and fiance. The country with largest current account deficit on this planet is the U.S.  It always runs trade deficits. 

            Tell me how it pays for its imports? What do the other countries receive from the U.S. in payment for goods and services? 

            Their payment consists of  ledger entry in their bank of units of account called the U.S. dollar. If they want to get it in cash they can do so and the U.S. will happily print paper in green ink and send it to the exporting countries. 

            Now what is the intrinsic value of that paper? Why do people around the world cherish to get this piece of paper?  
             
            Why do the Arabs insist on pricing their oil in this currency.   The U.S. can buy oil from the world markets in exchange for paper printed green. 

            Today even with the ongoing economic contraction in the U.S. the U.S. government can borrow from the world at 3% for 30 years the same money that they created to pay for their imports. They created so much of it and countries all over the world including the Philippines send goods to the U.S. and then turn around and lend the same money to Uncle Sam for 3% for 30 years while our government here pays over 7% for borrowing the same dollars and or pesos. 

            Does the U.S. gain or lose from that privilege? Why do you think a great deal of people on this planet including despots and criminals would prefer to keep their assets in U.S. dollars if not for the security and stability provided for by the U.S. military machine????

            Look at China. They have amassed trillions of it but if they try to dump their dollars it would cause their currency to rise faster and force a deep contraction in their economy.  Also who would buy the hoard? Martians?????  

            Sorry Gabby D but you are like a child trying to figure out this world made confusing by your inability to think. 

          • GabbyD

            oh you misinterpret me. 

            i think the US provides a benefit for OTHERS when it spends on its military. thats obvious.

            the KEY QUESTION is: is it cost effective for the US people? 

            see, thats the problem with public goods — free riding. 

            no doubt it benefits someone. but do the benefits accrue proportionately to the spender? NOT if there is free riding.

            (i thought you knew that, considering you were the one who mentioned “public goods”)

        • Manuelbuencamino

          You are right Jag. Military research has some civilian uses. 

          But I was asking how US military adventures for the period covered by Saddam’s  observation have improved the American economy, specially for the Americans who lived and are living through the period? Are Americans today supposed to look at those military adventures as an investment?

          pieces of green printed paper with the pictures of dead U.S. presidents are a lot lighter than gold and silver coins and pukka shells.

          But to correct your impression of an oxymoron: possession of dollars does not necessarily mean faith in the dollar or the US economy. Saddam was getting paid in dollars for his oil and the dollar was doing well at the time…maybe now he would be holding another currency or a basket of currencies … and laughing at China for putting all their eggs in the dollar and are now worrying how the hell to get out of it. There is a difference between faith and common sense. Who knows maybe we will be using renmimbis soon or euros even if the europeans ever get around to creating a central bank…currencies come and go.

          • Anonymous

            It is some semblance of brilliance that the US military is a prime source of research dollars.  Automatically, the USA own the results which US government can choose to distribute royalty-free (e.g.  TCP/IP  from Arpanet)  or put tight controls on the results (e.g. military-grade video-games).

            Pilipinas should do similar — Pilipinas should provide seed-money to Pilipinas colleges/Universities  so Pilipinas can not only motivate Pilipinas University professors/students to invent  but Pilipinas can also monetize the intellectual capabilities of Pilipinas professors/students when they hit  paydirt.    This really can’t be that hard — surely, there are some still-to-be-discovered chemicals/medicine in Pilipinas rainforests.

  • GabbyD

    expenses in europe? what does he mean?

    • Manuelbuencamino

      I think he was referring to expenses in NATO, the military bases in Germany and Turkey, and the intervention in the balkans