Been busy the lase couple of days, but I wanted to make note of a few stories which caught my curiousity and I would recommend reading.
At the top of that list is a story by Thomas Smith, Jr. over at Human Events regarding the state of our department of defense. It is the first in a series which notes that a our military force is being slowly degraded. Not just because of the conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, but because of the lack of spending compared to our GDP. TheÂ pull lineÂ thought? Many of our international foe are taking notice while they spend two to three times as muchÂ (within theirÂ GDP)Â as we do without conflicts. The situation is so bad that Canada is now flying air patrol for Norad over our F-15C fleet which is grounded.
I do not put full blame on the Clinton administration for the situation. How can we with Bush (who is prodefense) in charge for the past eight years? The truth is that McCain appears to be correct in not just how Rumsfeld hurt the war effort in Iraq, but in his modernization plans. We will need to wait and see what happens long term. One thing is for certain. Either one of the Democrats in the race will seek to gut our forces further at a time when we need to upgrade and rely on them the most.
Then there is this interesting little video manufactured by Iran’s intellegence department which begs people to snitch on their own people (including your own family members). The video starts off with a weird depiction of John McCain as President of the United States (do they know something we dont? lol) and then transitions to a live action type film.
The video is straight out of Orwell’s 1984 and the tactics used by all sorts of dictators including the former Soviet Union. We should take note of this type of propaganda for our own good. Hat tip goes to NRO campaign spot.
In other unrelated - but very important - news, Venezuela says they are halting oil sales to Exxon Mobile due to the company’s actions in trying to freeze assets in courts taken by Chavez in his effort to nationalize the industry.
Venezuela is the United State’s fourth largest importer - and we are their number one customer. It will be interesting if Chavez tries to cut off oil completely to the United States (that would include Citgo stations I believe) or simply just try and hold out Exxon Mobile and sell the oil from that field to other companies.
Oddly enough, at this hour oil is down almost a dollar (it is being traded at $92.00 a barrel - still EXTREMELY high for this time of year). In either circumstance people should be aware of the situation.