Posts Tagged ‘EU’

As Greece Votes Itself Into Collapse, It Is Following The Same Wicked Stupidity That American Voters Followed In Electing Obama

July 7, 2015

I’ve pointed this out before: there is NOTHING more dangerous than the right to vote when a people becomes sufficiently depraved.  Democrats tell us that we should round-file the 2nd-Amendment-guaranteed right of the people to keep and bear arms even as they tell us that ANY ATTEMPT WHATSOEVER to prevent criminals and illegal immigrants and dead people from voting is “unconstitutional.”

I pointed out the fact that the NAZI Party was elected by the same big-government worshiping socialist fascists who elected Obama twice.

If you put a gun in the hands of a wicked fool, whatever he does with that gun, he will pay the consequences for his foolishness.  At least, if decent people are allowed to also keep and bear arms so they can put an end to that wicked fool.  But let a wicked fool vote, and he can do so over and over again with impunity and never be held accountable.

In Greece – rather obviously a nation filled with wicked fools – we just saw the results of a vote.  It’s kind of interesting.  In the Lost Angeles Slimes we have the following account.  Allow me to post what I believe is the true gist by selecting a few passages and discussing that.  At the very bottom of the article I will have the entire LA Times article available:

In a surprising 61% to 39% result, Greeks said “no” in a referendum on a rescue package that would have kept their debt-ridden country afloat but subjected it to additional austerity measures.

The landslide delivered a sharp rebuke to European Union leaders who had warned that the plebiscite was, in effect, a vote on whether Greece wanted to remain a member of the Eurozone, the group of 19 nations that share the euro currency.

[…]

Jubilant crowds of “no” voters thronged Athens’ main square into the early hours of Monday to celebrate what they said was a chance for Greece to reassert itself and achieve a better deal from creditors. Motorists honked their horns, and triumphant chants of “Oxi! Oxi! Oxi!” — “No! No! No!” in Greek — rose in the balmy Mediterranean air.

But there were already signs of a backlash from angry European officials that could make any new bailout agreement even more difficult. If a deal is not struck quickly, Athens could find itself broke, forcing it to default on its debts and triggering a slide out of the Eurozone.

The left-wing government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, which campaigned for a “no” victory, had “demolished the last bridge on which Europe and Greece could approach a compromise,” Sigmar Gabriel, the German economy minister, told the Tagesspiegel newspaper.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the leader of the Eurozone’s finance ministers, described the poll result as “very regrettable for the future of Greece. For recovery of the Greek economy, difficult measures and reforms are inevitable.”

[…]

Tsipras also said the referendum result had given him a mandate to press international lenders — mostly other Eurozone countries — for a “sustainable” bailout package for the Greek government that would address its staggering debt load and free the country “from the vicious cycle of austerity.”

The Greek economy has contracted by a breathtaking 25% since Athens began accepting emergency loans in exchange for brutal spending cuts in 2010. Tsipras’ radical-left Syriza party swept to power in January on an aggressive anti-austerity platform, setting up the current standoff with Greece’s creditors.

He said Athens was prepared to return to the negotiating table immediately. But with relations at an all-time low, it was unclear whether any of Greece’s European partners would show up and, even if so, whether an agreement could be hashed out before the Greek government runs out of money.

A major debt to the European Central Bank falls due July 20. If Athens fails to pay — as it already did with a loan from the International Monetary Fund last week — and bank coffers are empty, Greece could be forced to introduce a parallel currency and eventually quit the Eurozone.

[…]

Before the ballots were cast, a parade of European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, said they would interpret a win for the “no” side as an expression of Greece’s desire to quit using the euro.

But Tsipras insisted that the vote “did not answer the question ‘in or out of the euro.’ That question must be removed definitively from the discussion.”

Polls consistently show that an overwhelming majority of Greeks want their country to remain in the Eurozone and, by extension, the 28-nation European Union.

Let’s understand some basic facts: Greece owes – and promised to repay when it borrowed – $270 BILLION.  To be extravagantly wasted on a tiny nation of 10,775,557 people.  That massive government borrowing allowed Greek government to provide benefits that far and vastly exceeded the country’s ability to pay for its largesse.  And as Margaret Thatcher once famously put it, “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”  It’s like that saying, “Your mouth is writing checks that your ass can’t cash.”  Greek socialists, like ALL socialists EVERYWHERE (especially here in the U.S.), want to live high on the hog and force somebody else to keep paying the tab.  And so when the check comes due for that fancy meal in the high price resort, they angrily refuse to pay the tab they racked up.

The European Union is saying, “You’ve got to pay for this.”  And the Greek socialist liberal progressives are like, “oh, hell no.”  And a major problem now is that if Greece can weasel out of its debt with some stupid vote, then why can’t the OTHER P.I.G.S.?  Why can’t Portugal weasel out of its debt that they compiled with the same insanely wicked socialism Obama and the Democrat Party preach here?  Why can’t Ireland weasel out of its debt?  Why can’t Spain say bye-bye to its debt payments?  If the EU allows Greece out of its debt, the entire system will necessarily massively collapse.

These are simply facts.  And facts ought to matter.  The European Union simply cannot possibly allow Greece to do what Greece insists on doing without basically cutting the throats of every single person in every single member-state of the European Union that would go broke paying for Greece’s AND therefore Portugal’s AND therefore Ireland’s AND therefore Spain’s massive self-inflicted debt addiction.  Which again is no different from the debt-addiction of Barack Hussein Obama and every single member of the just-as-socialist Democrat Party machine.

But liberal progressives, and let’s just call them what the hell they are – socialists – are pathologically immune to facts or reality or consequences.

So how did the EU view this referendum (emphasis on “dumb”)?  Another article says it all in two sentences:

Tsipras dismissed harsh criticism from other European countries on his decision.

“The referendum will take place as scheduled, next Sunday, whether our partners want it or not,” he said.

Allowing this to go to the people was an act of insanity and demagoguery, not an act of leadership.  But demagogic delusion with a complete abandonment of true moral leadership is the heart and soul of leftism.

So you have the leftist Greek prime minister just flat-out flagrantly campaigning on a completely altered state of reality.  You have this leftist turd Alexis Tsipras – or as I prefer to call him, the Greek Obama – making the most insane promises in the history of the world.  And like the American Obama, the Greek Obama is leading his nation and his people straight to a very painful hell.

Just like the United States is headed straight to a very painful hell.

When Obama deceitfully campaigned for president, he told a lot of the same kind of sick lies and made the same sort of delusional fool promises.

Obama promised a “reset in relations” with Russia.  He said a weak America that would not pose a threat to Russia would be the foundation for this reset, and that Russia would obviously respond to the fact that America was no longer any kind of a threat to Russia with love and a determination to disarm and become weak in response.  He said the same thing in relationship to Iran and that nation’s steadfast determination to possess nuclear weapons with the ballistic missile capability to deliver those missiles at both the little satan Israel and the great satan America.  He said the same thing in relationship to the “war on terror” which he renamed “the overseas contingency operation” to broadcast how minimal it would be under his regime.  He promised us that the only reason our enemies hated us was because we were too strong and too dominant and pushed our weight around too much.

History has already proven what an abject fool Obama was in every sense of the word in terms of his foreign policy.

In the same way, on the domestic front, Obama made all kinds of fool promises about his giganotosaurus-government stimulus package.  Obama demanded – and got – a $3.27 TRILLION stimulus that he promised would fire up the engine of American growth.  Over and over and over again, Obama promised his stimulus would create “shovel-ready jobs.”  History proves that it in actual fact did the precise opposite.  Ultimately Obama actually admitted that:

Shovel-ready was not as … uh .. shovel-ready as we expected.”

Obama’s promise to pay back the $3.3 trillion he demagogued America into putting on its credit card bill is as good as Greece’s promise to pay that $270 billion they wanted but just didn’t want to actually pay back.

Greece’s $270 billion of other people’s money worked just as well for them as Obama’s $3.3 trillion in other people’s money worked for us.  It didn’t.

We now have a Great Depression level of actual unemployment that isn’t counted as month after month, basically TWICE as many people abandon hope of getting a job and drop out of the rigged-statistical-shenanigan that is our “unemployment rate calculation” for everyone that actually gets a damn job.  Just as Obama has created only one job for every two immigrants he allowed to flood into this country:

  A record 93,626,000 Americans have stopped looking for work in an economy that managed to create only one job for every two immigrants the government let in from 2000 to 2014.

But what the hell: just keeping making those, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor and if you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan” promises, you lying turd.  What we have now is an ObamaCare failed system – characterized by the five billion dollars that couldn’t even build a successful damned website – that is a true socialist-fascist crony capitalist system that enriched the giant insurance companies at the expense of millions of Americans.  Which is why that LA Times article titled “Obamacare cash fuels healthcare merger mania” begins by pointing out:

A gusher of Obamacare money is fueling a merger frenzy in U.S. healthcare.

The latest jolt came Thursday when Woodland Hills insurer Health Net Inc. agreed to be bought by Medicaid insurer Centene Corp. for $6.8 billion.

And more billion-dollar deals are in the works as health insurers, hospitals and drug companies bulk up in size so they can seize on government spending in Obamacare exchanges, state Medicaid programs and Medicare Advantage for the baby boomers.

Riding high on Wall Street and flush with cash, big health insurers in particular have been on the prowl for deals. Atop the shopping list are companies that boost their government business.

“The Affordable Care Act is really driving this merger mania,” said Gerald Kominski, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. “There are billions of dollars pouring into the system, and it’s money to buy insurance.”

These giant companies, both big pharma and the giant insurers, supported Obama, and paved the way toward his never-seen-in-all-human-history more than two billion-dollar campaign warchest that he used to destroy all political opposition.  And now they’re really going to let us have it, points out CNN.

Everything about Obama and his supporters and his political party -EVERYTHING – is based on and built upon LIES.

The same kind of lies based on the same flagrant disregard for reality and the consequences of reality ignored that we’re seeing unfold in Greece.

Just thought I’d point that out to you as you watch Greece crash and realize it’s a preview for what Obama has done to America.

Here is the entire LA Times article on the Greek ‘no’ vote:

In landslide 61% to 39% vote, Greece says ‘no’ to bailout deal
By Henry Chu  contact the reporter
July 5, 2015, 7:50 PM |reporting from Athens

The resounding rejection of an international bailout deal by voters in Greece raised fears Sunday of the collapse of the country’s banking system, a catastrophic government default, an eventual exit from the euro and potential social unrest.

In a surprising 61% to 39% result, Greeks said “no” in a referendum on a rescue package that would have kept their debt-ridden country afloat but subjected it to additional austerity measures.

The landslide delivered a sharp rebuke to European Union leaders who had warned that the plebiscite was, in effect, a vote on whether Greece wanted to remain a member of the Eurozone, the group of 19 nations that share the euro currency.

The EU is now confronted with one of the gravest challenges to its mission of “ever closer union” between member states.

Jubilant crowds of “no” voters thronged Athens’ main square into the early hours of Monday to celebrate what they said was a chance for Greece to reassert itself and achieve a better deal from creditors. Motorists honked their horns, and triumphant chants of “Oxi! Oxi! Oxi!” — “No! No! No!” in Greek — rose in the balmy Mediterranean air.

But there were already signs of a backlash from angry European officials that could make any new bailout agreement even more difficult. If a deal is not struck quickly, Athens could find itself broke, forcing it to default on its debts and triggering a slide out of the Eurozone.

The left-wing government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, which campaigned for a “no” victory, had “demolished the last bridge on which Europe and Greece could approach a compromise,” Sigmar Gabriel, the German economy minister, told the Tagesspiegel newspaper.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the leader of the Eurozone’s finance ministers, described the poll result as “very regrettable for the future of Greece. For recovery of the Greek economy, difficult measures and reforms are inevitable.”

An emergency summit of Eurozone leaders is to be held Tuesday.

More urgently, officials at the European Central Bank are to meet Monday to review the emergency aid that has propped up Greece’s nearly depleted financial system for the last few months.

If the European Central Bank decides to cut off that lifeline or make it costlier, Greek banks are likely to run out of cash within days. Business would grind to a halt, shops could run short of basic supplies and increasingly agitated residents could find it hard to buy fuel and medicine.

Greek banks have been closed since June 29 on order of the government, and customers limited to about $67 a day in ATM withdrawals. Officials insist that the banks will reopen Tuesday, but analysts doubt this can happen unless the European Central Bank maintains or increases its assistance.

“Our immediate priority is the rapid restoration of the functioning of our banking system and the restoration of our economic stability,” Tsipras said in a nationally televised address Sunday night. “I am certain that the ECB fully understands not only the general economic situation but also the humanitarian dimension which the crisis has taken in the country.”

Tsipras also said the referendum result had given him a mandate to press international lenders — mostly other Eurozone countries — for a “sustainable” bailout package for the Greek government that would address its staggering debt load and free the country “from the vicious cycle of austerity.”

The Greek economy has contracted by a breathtaking 25% since Athens began accepting emergency loans in exchange for brutal spending cuts in 2010. Tsipras’ radical-left Syriza party swept to power in January on an aggressive anti-austerity platform, setting up the current standoff with Greece’s creditors.

He said Athens was prepared to return to the negotiating table immediately. But with relations at an all-time low, it was unclear whether any of Greece’s European partners would show up and, even if so, whether an agreement could be hashed out before the Greek government runs out of money.

A major debt to the European Central Bank falls due July 20. If Athens fails to pay — as it already did with a loan from the International Monetary Fund last week — and bank coffers are empty, Greece could be forced to introduce a parallel currency and eventually quit the Eurozone.

Financial analysts say that this is not a threat in the next few days, but warn that the probability of a “Grexit” down the line has increased considerably because of Sunday’s vote.

Before the ballots were cast, a parade of European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, said they would interpret a win for the “no” side as an expression of Greece’s desire to quit using the euro.

But Tsipras insisted that the vote “did not answer the question ‘in or out of the euro.’ That question must be removed definitively from the discussion.”

Polls consistently show that an overwhelming majority of Greeks want their country to remain in the Eurozone and, by extension, the 28-nation European Union.

Merkel and other European leaders must now ponder whether to let Greece go bust and drop out of the Eurozone or whether such a course would inflict irreparable damage to the credibility of the euro and to the project of greater European unity. The Greek debt crisis is the severest test the euro has faced since it was introduced more than a decade ago.

To try to entice his Eurozone partners back to the bargaining table, Tsipras is apparently considering shuffling his negotiating team to include a broader spectrum of members. Several European officials have said openly that they no longer trust Tsipras or his Syriza party; a Greek delegation with some members drawn from other parties could be more palatable.

“That will show that Greece does not want a conflict,” said political commentator George Papageorgiou. “If there is a consensual approach from the Greek part, that could facilitate a consensual approach from the other part.”

Dijsselbloem, the Eurozone finance ministers’ chief, said the first move was Athens’. “We will now wait for the initiatives of the Greek authorities,” he said.

The size of the victory for the “no” campaign came as a surprise both inside and outside Greece after a flurry of opinion polls showed voters to be split down the middle. Bitter disagreement over the significance and possible effect of the plebiscite cleaved living rooms and workplaces across the country.

Just over 62% of the country’s 9.9 million voters cast a ballot, easily surpassing the mandatory threshold of 40% for a referendum to be considered valid.

Surveys suggested that young people voted “no” in droves. Many agreed with Tsipras’ contention that the bailout proposals on offer from Greece’s lenders demanded too much austerity on top of years of brutal spending cuts and would hit the poor and elderly disproportionately hard.

“These measures would worsen the situation,” said teacher Paula Andriotaki, 33, after casting her vote in a local school on a bright and warm afternoon. “We try to see light, but we get worse and worse.”

“Yes” supporters had urged Greeks to join them in order to guarantee Athens’ continued place in the Eurozone. They said that membership in the wider European Union could also be at risk and that Greece could not afford to be isolated.

A 40-year-old man named Giorgos, who declined to give his surname, blamed Tsipras for passing the buck.

“I would have preferred the referendum not to have happened,” he said. “I believe it is a political alibi. We are being asked to take a decision that should have been taken by someone else.”

The ballot paper was the subject of some criticism, because the question it asked was wordy and couched in jargon and the check box for “no” was above that for “yes.”

Moreover, the bailout deal referred to was technically moot. The offer from Greece’s creditors expired Tuesday night, after talks with Athens collapsed over Tsipras’ surprise decision to call a referendum. Creditors say that negotiations on a new agreement must start from scratch.

Because of the convoluted ballot question, and the conflicting claims of whether the real issue at stake was the future of Greece as a member of the Eurozone, many Greeks complained of confusion over just what was being asked of them.

“I don’t know what result I would like to see,” said a 19-year-old voter named Dimitris, who was still undecided as he prepared to enter a voting booth. “It would be a disaster to leave the euro, but it would also be disastrous to accept more austerity measures. ‘Yes’ is a bad choice, but ‘no’ is also suicidal.”

Sunday’s referendum was Greece’s first in 41 years. In 1974, Greeks were asked to decide whether their country should retain its monarchy.

The answer then: also a resounding “no.”

Special correspondent Pavlos Zafiropoulos contributed to this report.

One of the things that the left loves to do is hang all the consequences of “austerity” on the heads of conservatives.  On their view, the crisis has NOTHING to do with the $270 billion they borrowed in Greece and now refuse to repay; it’s because of “austerity” that the economy has collapsed.

Every leftist is a morally sick individual who essentially whines, “I want a mansion and a yacht, and if you don’t give them to me, it’s your fault I’m poor.”

And then there are the lies from the liars: at the heart of the “austerity” that the European Union is imposing on Greece is the demand for Greece to raise taxes.  HOW MANY CONSERVATIVES DO YOU HEAR CALLING FOR TAX HIKES????  This has NOTHING to do with conservatives, either the sick and diseased and insane borrowing or the attempts of the lenders to get their fool money back.  Rather, this is socialists European Union liberals trying to get their money back from socialist Greek liberals who are crazier than they are.

Conservatives call for LOW TAXES because LOWERING TAX RATES PRODUCES MORE REVENUES.

It’s like I have always said:

Tax Cuts INCREASE Revenues; They Have ALWAYS Increased Revenues

Please keep in mind that true conservatives like myself write articles such as this one that is particularly relevant given what is happening right now in Europe:

If Raising Taxes Would Get America Out Of Trouble, WHY IS THE EURO ZONE IN SUCH DEEP SH!T???

So from now on, any fool who blames Republicans or conservatives for failed “austerity” seriously needs to get a punch in the mouth.

What we are seeing in Greece is nothing more than the abject failure of socialism to deal with the crisis created by socialism.  Which is of course hardly surprising to anyone who is capable of thinking.

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When America Goes To Hell, Rest Assured It Will Be Leftists Resorting To Violence, Too

May 7, 2010

Let’s see.  Union workers, students, anarchists.  Liberals, liberals, liberals.  Check, check, check.

You should seriously pay attention to what’s happening in Greece, because it’s coming here next.  And the same leftists that are rioting there will be rioting here.  Because that’s just the kind of vermin that leftists are, quite frankly.

The only difference is that there will be no EU to bail us out.  When Obama’s massive debts implode us, there will be no one to save us.

MAY 5, 2010
Europe Crisis Deepens as Chaos Grips Greece
By SEBASTIAN MOFFETT And ALKMAN GRANITSAS

Demonstrators smashed shop windows, overturned garbage bins and set fire to at least two businesses.

ATHENS—Greece’s fiscal crisis took a new turn to violence Wednesday when three people died in a firebomb attack amid a paralyzing national strike, while governments from Spain to the U.S. took steps to prevent the widening financial damage from hitting their own economies.

U.S. Treasury officials have been quietly urging their European and International Monetary Fund counterparts to put together a Greek rescue plan more quickly to contain the damage, it emerged Wednesday, as U.S. policy makers worry the continent’s problems could undermine a U.S. recovery much as U.S. housing woes hammered Europe in 2008.

In Spain, rival political leaders came together Wednesday with an agreement that aims to shore up shaky savings banks by the end of next month. Banks in France and Germany, which are among Greece’s top creditors, pledged to support a Greek bailout by continuing to lend to the country. Investors, meanwhile, are pouring money into bonds of countries seen as less exposed to the crisis, from Russia to Egypt.

Anxiety over the euro-zone economies sent the euro down to about 1.29 to the dollar, its lowest level in more than a year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell for the second straight day, losing 58.65 points, or 0.54%, to close at 10868.12.

Greece’s 24-hour nationwide general strike brought much of the country to a standstill, closing government offices and halting flights, trains and ferries.

At the same time, tens of thousands of protesters marched through Athens in the largest and most violent protests since the country’s budget crisis began last fall. Angry youths rampaged through the center of Athens, torching several businesses and vehicles and smashing shop windows. Protesters and police clashed in front of parliament and fought running street battles around the city.

Witnesses said hooded protesters smashed the front window of Marfin Bank in central Athens and hurled a Molotov cocktail inside. The three victims died from asphyxiation from smoke inhalation, the Athens coroner’s office said. Four others were seriously injured there, fire department officials said.
Europe’s Debt Crisis

A police spokesman said eight fires in Athens office buildings and bank buildings had been brought under control.

Later Wednesday, black smoke billowed from fires on one of Athens’s main shopping streets. Glass shards and smoldering garbage littered the sidewalks.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou condemned the violence. “Everyone has the right to protest,” he said in a statement to parliament. “But no one has the right to violence and especially violence that leads to the death of our compatriots.”

Wednesday’s protests were sparked by Greece’s weekend agreement to adopt austerity measures in exchange for a €110 billion ($143 billion) bailout loan from the European Union and the IMF. Unions challenged Greece’s parliament, which could consider the measures as soon as Thursday, to vote them down.

The general strike marks the broadest challenge to date to the government of Mr. Papandreou, which is pressed to pass the austerity legislation to unlock bailout funds to meet a debt payment later this month that it otherwise couldn’t meet.

The protests also brought out many Greeks who were resigned to belt-tightening. Their unhappiness at the cuts was matched with rancor toward a generation of politicians who they say spurred the crisis with decades of corruption, kickbacks and accounting legerdemain aimed at obscuring to the EU the true level of Greece’s annual deficits.

“For 30 years the Greek people have been held hostage,” said Periandros Athanassakis, 48, a garbage collector in Piraeus, the port near Athens. “Those who stole the money should pay.”

Some officials saw in Wednesday’s protests the seeds of broader discontent. “We may have an uprising in the making,” one senior Greek official said.

Greeks generally don’t blame Mr. Papandreou for the country’s problems, however, saying he inherited them from predecessors. It was his administration, elected in October, that announced the government’s budget deficit for 2009 would be equivalent around 13% of gross domestic product, compared with the 6% claimed by the previous administration.

Mr. Papandreou’s approval ratings are higher than those of the leader of the main opposition party.

Analysts also said the shock of Wednesday’s deaths could nudge Greece’s fractious political parties toward closer cooperation in dealing with the crisis and making it easier to pass reforms.

“This changes the political scene,” said George Sefertzis, an independent political commentator with the Athens consultancy Evresis. “There is no doubt that the deaths ease some of the political pressure.”

Under terms of the bailout deal, Greece’s government has announced a €30 billion package that will slash public-sector wages, cut pensions, freeze public- and private-sector pay, liberalize Greece’s labor laws and raise some taxes.

In Berlin on Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel called on parliament to approve Germany’s contribution of €22.4 billion in loans to Greece. German public opinion opposes a Greek bailout but Ms. Merkel said it was essential. “Europe stands at a crossroad,” she said. “With us, with Germany, there can and will be a decision which lives up to the political, historical situation.”

In Greece’s northern city of Thessaloniki, there were reports of violence as police clashed with demonstrators who were attacking shop fronts amid a rally that drew at least 20,000 protesters to the streets.

Police officials estimated there were 20,000 protesters in Athens. Union officials said union-affiliated protesters alone totaled more than 60,000. Others put the number higher still. “This rally was double the size of the largest rally that has ever been held in Greece,” said Spyros Papaspyros, president of Adedy, a civil-service umbrella union. “If the government doesn’t listen, there will be more strike action next week.”

The day’s general strike, the year’s third, shut ministries and public offices. State hospitals and public utilities operated with skeleton staff. Shopkeepers joined the strike at midday, while journalists, bank workers, teachers, court workers, lawyers and doctors also walked off the job.

Many Greeks taking part in the demonstration saw little alternative than to accept the government measures and brace for a long, deep recession.

“I don’t expect the measures to be withdrawn,” said Pericles Papapetrou, 61, an architect and engineer who used to be mayor of the town of Elefsina. But, he said, the measures “could lead to extreme situations, such as an increase in crime, and also to an explosion of young people with no future.”

Artemis Batzak Panayou, a cleaning lady working for a local government, saw her €1,200 monthly salary, on which she supports three children, cut by €250 at the beginning of the year. She believes it will fall further. “There is no way to survive on the daily wages in the public sector,” she said, adding: “Greece won’t be fixed until all the crooks are removed from government.”
—Costas Paris and Nick Skrekas contributed to this article.

Right now, as we speak, we’ve got union firefighters are quite likely burning down a rash of buildings to “protest” that they aren’t getting more benefits than the outrageous benefits they’re already getting.

We’ve certainly already seen outright violence erupting at anti-Arizona law protest events.  And the Arizona law isn’t even in effect yet.

You watch.  The actual violence has nearly always come from the left in this country.  And it will surely be the case again.

The other thing that was interesting today is that the primary reason for our massive stock slide (and the double-digit slide on six of the last seven trading days) is Greece.  And Greece is crashing because it is a liberal socialist economy that imploded due to the same policies Obama is trying to bring to our shores now.

Which is to say that what will happen soon in America is that America will fail due to liberalism, and then liberals will violently riot in the streets.

The Dirty Secret About Our Unemployment Rate

January 9, 2010

First of all, did Obama’s stimulus create jobs and help the economy?  I put it this way the other day, while writing an article about how ObamaCare amounts to a profoundly dishonest and secretive scheme to hijack one-sixth of the economy:

It’s rather like the stimulus.  Obama fearmongered the economy to get his $3.27 trillion stimulus-porkulus through Congress.  Obama falsely promised that unemployment wouldn’t go above 8% if it passed.  The legislation was raced through so quickly that no one could have even possibly read it.  Obama has said it was a success, citing the never-before-in-history-seen category of “created or saved jobs.”  But even then, he had to resort to a series of galling lies to sell his giant failed stimulus.  Not only were jobs created out of thin air (Obama claimed that a single lawnmower created 50 jobs through his website!!!) to fraudulently make a failed stimulus appear successful, but phantom congressional districts and even zip codes that don’t exist began to collect huge sums of stimulus money.  Meanwhile, the thoroughly dishonest Obama administration transformed their stimulus into a gigantic Democrat slush fund, with double the money going to Democrat districts and with no regard to unemployment.

The answer is readily obvious.  No, the stimulus didn’t help the economy.  As a solid plurality of Americans now rightly believe, the stimulus HURT the economy.

And they are right.  What we find out when we look at the economies of countries that either had or did not have stimulus packages is that the countries with huge stimulus packages (like the U.S.) had much more unemployment than the countries that didn’t:

As President Obama and other Democrats have correctly pointed out many times, this has been a worldwide recession. But if Summers and Biden are right in their assessment of the stimulus measures, one would think that the U.S. economy should be recovering better the many other countries, countries not wise enough to follow Obama’s lead of an extraordinary $787 billion increase in government spending.  It is also particularly timely to evaluate the spending since Christina Romer, the chairwoman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, told Congress today that the stimulus had already had most of its impact on the economy. […]

But it is not just Canada where the unemployed are faring better. Other countries, too, decided against a massive stimulus plan. In March, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel nodding in agreement at his side, French President Nicolas Sarkozy declared: “the problem is not about spending more.” Later that month, the president of the European Union, Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek of the Czech Republic, castigated the Obama administration’s deficit spending and bank bailouts as “a road to hell.” The Washington Post wrote that there was a “fundamental divide that persists between the United States and many European countries over the best way to respond to the global financial crisis.”

The unemployment rate in the European Union was higher than in the United States to begin with even before the Obama administration’s spending. By January, the EU unemployment rate stood at 8.5 percent — almost a whole percentage point higher than ours.  So what has happened since the big U.S. stimulus spending spree was passed? We more than caught up with the EU’s high unemployment rate.  By August, the last month data is available for the EU, the U.S.’s unemployment rate slightly exceeded the EU’s — 9.7 versus 9.6 percent.

Germany has particularly been out front resisting the call for more public spending.  Yet, from January through September, the German unemployment rate only rose slightly, from 7.9 to 8.2 percent.

Data on unemployment rates from 27 countries from Japan and South Korea to Brazil and other South American countries to Europe shows that from January to August display the same consistent pattern.  Even in the EU it isn’t just a few countries that are driving the relatively small increase they have experienced.  The U.S. had a larger increase in unemployment than 22 countries — that is, 81 percent of the countries had a smaller increase in unemployment this year than the United States. Unemployment in some major countries such as Brazil and Russia has actually fallen since January (see Table here).  Other countries, from France to Mexico to Australia to Switzerland, have seen unemployment increase by only about half the amount of the U.S. rate. Indeed, the average increase in unemployment for the 27 countries is slightly less than half the US increase.

The article should be read in its entirety to see just how powerful the evidence is that the stimulus failed.

In other words, to the extent that there has been any improvement in the economy, it has been in spite of – and VERY CLEARLY NOT because of – the stimulus.

And one of the most frightening things we have in the wake of the failed Obama stimulus is shockingly high unemployment levels.  The Obama White House said that if Obama’s stimulus wasn’t passed unemployment would rise to 9% (it was 7.6% when Obama took office; and the Obama White house said it would remain under 8% if the stimulus was passed).  But it didn’t, did it?

Thus we come to Obama’s dirty little secret of unemployment:

Unemployment: The Dirty Little Secret Everyone’s Ignoring

By John Lott – FOXNews.com

The problem of people getting discouraged and giving up looking for work is ballooning.

The unemployment rate might be stuck at 10 percent, but the more detailed numbers in the Department of Labor’s Household survey data paint a more dire picture. The number of people with a job fell by 589,000 in December. Even worse, the number of people not in the labor force grew by an astounding 843,000 during just the last month. The Household survey data is what is used to measure the unemployment rate.

To get an idea of the size of this increase in the number of people not in the labor force, since February, when the stimulus package was passed, I repeat, the number of people not in the labor force has grown by 3.2 million. But the number for December represents 26 percent of the entire increase over that period of time. The problem of people getting discouraged and giving up looking for work is ballooning. Of course, they have had good reasons to be discouraged. Similarly since February, the total number of people employed has fallen by 4 million.

In September, Larry Summers, President Obama’s top economic adviser, claimed: “We have walked a substantial distance back from the economic abyss and are on the path toward economic recovery. Most importantly, we have seen a substantial change in the trend of job loss.” Christina Romer, the chair of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, made a similar statement today. While conceding that the December numbers were a “slight setback,” she argued: “In a broad sense the trend toward moderating job loss is continuing, consistent with the gradual labor market stabilization we have been seeing over the last several months.”

The growth in the U.S. unemployment rate has continued to outpace the rest of the world. Since February, the average unemployment rate for the European Union has grown by 1.2 percentage points. By contrast, the US unemployment rate has grown by 1.9 percentage points — a 58 percent greater increase. Nor does the rate look particularly strong compared to what economists were predicting at the beginning of the year. Back in mid-January, business economists and forecasters surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected the December unemployment rate to be at 8.6 percent.

Unemployment should start to improve, but the numbers indicate that the improvement in unemployment that economists and forecasters were predicting has occurred much more slowly than was expected at the beginning of 2009. By moving huge amounts of money from one industry to another, the stimulus as well as all the regulatory changes have caused a lot of churning in the labor market — movement of people from one job to another than has caused temporary unemployment. Unfortunately, the huge number of people who have withdrawn from the labor force represent a big hangover that will make reducing unemployment a slow process.

The “unexpected” (the lamestream media always naively expects good news when Democrats are in charge) and disappointing December job numbers released yesterday have more economists worrying about a double-dip recession.  We lost jobs even during the Christmas temp hiring frenzy, which will force the federal reserve to keep interest rates artificially low, which will have a negative impact on our economy down the road.

Obama could care less about the millions of workers who have despaired of finding a job to the point where they don’t even bother to look for work any more, because those people fall off out of the measurement categories.  If you consider them, unemployment is now at 17.3%.

Let me introduce you to an economist who – unlike so many others – was correct in her prediction of the economic meltdown: Meredith Whitney.

Unemployment is likely to rise to 13 percent or higher and will weigh on the economy for several years, countering government efforts to stabilize the banking industry, analyst Meredith Whitney told CNBC. […]

“We underestimate how much the whole economy is dependent on the mortgage industry, and that has to change,” Whitney said. “This is what happens when you delay the inevitable. We’re buying time here, but we’re not restructuring the economy.”

Not only has Obama failed to improve the mortgage industry, but what he has done has actually made the system WORSE, even according to the left.  I mean, even the New York Times has said Obama’s solutions are adding to the housing woes.  The first paragraph of their article said:

The Obama administration’s $75 billion program to protect homeowners from foreclosure has been widely pronounced a disappointment, and some economists and real estate experts now contend it has done more harm than good.

To serve as an ironic reminder of Obama’s message of “hope and change,” here’s a recent Business Insider article entitled, “How Obama’s Mortgage Modifications Are Making Things Worse By Giving Desperate Homeowners A False Sense Of Hope.”

Well, Obama promised hope.  If you were dumb enough to believe his promises had any reality, then doom on you.

And it isn’t any better for residential mortgages:

(June 9) – Commercial real estate mortgage defaults are at a 15-year high and will more than double by the end of 2010, according to a new report from research firm Real Estate Econometrics (REE).

And again:

NEW YORK, Jan 7 (Reuters) – U.S. commercial mortgage-backed bond defaults may more than double this year as the economic recession hurts office building, retail store and multifamily housing assets, Fitch Ratings said on Wednesday.

It was the mortgage industry – imploded by Democrats – that caused the economic implosion of 2008.  And our failure-in-chief hasn’t done a damned thing to make that industry better.  All he’s given, characteristic of his entire presidency, is false hope.

And now we’re looking at a double dip for the housing and mortgage industries, as well.

One day, years from now, an honest Obama administration official (if there is one) will be saying something similar to FDR’s Treasury Secretary:

“We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong… somebody else can have my job. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises… I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started… And an enormous debt to boot!” – Henry Morganthau, FDR’s Treasury Secretary, May 1939

In April 1939, six years after FDR rolled out his failed New Deal, unemployment was still at 20.7%.

We are now only 3.4 percentage points away from Treasury Secretary Henry Morganthau’s moment of clarity.

Obama Enraging Enemies And Alienating Allies

May 27, 2009

Remember how the left kept screeching that Bush had alienated our allies and enraged our enemies? Remember how they said that Barack Obama would make the world love us again? Well, the Democrats get to wear their soiled underwear over their own heads, now. Because now we get to see on a nearly daily basis just how truly full of pure partisan garbage they have been for years.

N. Korea Says It Conducted 2nd Nuclear Test

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea announced Monday that it successfully carried out a second underground nuclear test, less than two months after launching a rocket widely believed to be a test of its long-range missile technology.

North Korea, incensed by U.N. Security Council condemnation of its April 5 rocket launch, had warned last month that it would restart it rogue nuclear program, conduct a second atomic test as a follow-up to its first one in 2006, and carry out long-range missile tests.

And North Korea just test-fired a missile. “The Yonhap news agency report Monday comes just hours after the communist nation declared that it successfully conducted a nuclear test.”

And what is North Korea saying today?

N. Korea threatens to attack US, S. Korea warships

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korea threatened military action Wednesday against U.S. and South Korean warships plying the waters near the Koreas’ disputed maritime border, raising the specter of a naval clash just days after the regime’s underground nuclear test.

Pyongyang, reacting angrily to Seoul’s decision to join an international program to intercept ships suspected of aiding nuclear proliferation, called the move tantamount to a declaration of war.

But, but, but we’ve got OBAMA now. And the world is supposed to be wonderful again. Maybe Kim Jong-Il hasn’t heard that we’ve got Obama now?!?!

Obama did his “no preconditions appeasement offer” to Iran. And Iran responded by testing ballistic missiles in what is widely regarded as an open act of contempt and defiance of the United States.

We learned in March of this year that Iran can make 50 nukes with the material they’ve produced so far.

Iranian forces recently crossed into Iraq to launch attacks on Iraqi Kurds. In open defiance of the United States.

Obama wants to dialogue ad infinitum while “Iran vows to continue [it’s] nuclear program.”

And how is Obama responding to this Iranian resolve? Headline: “U.S. may cede to Iran’s nuclear ambitions.”

Israel – an alienated ally of the United States – is well aware that it has been betrayed by Barack Obama. And when Israel attacks Iran’s nuclear program – and it will – that will be a crisis that Barack Obama will have caused due to his own weakness and lack of resolve.

And the whole planet will erupt into “enraged enemies” and “alienated allies.”

As an additional plus of Obama’s weakness, the net result of an Iranian nuclear program will be that Sunni Muslim countries – who have worried over Shiite Iran’s nuclear ambitions – will develop their own nuclear weapons programs.

I’ve been SAYING that an Obama administration would allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons ALL ALONG. Back in April of last year, in urging support for McCain over either Obama or Clinton, I wrote:

A President John McCain can assure the Iranians, “We attacked Iraq when we believed they represented a threat to us, and we will do the same to you. You seriously might want to rethink your plans.” A President John McCain can say to Sunni Arab states such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, “We have stood by Iraq even when it was difficult, and we will do the same for you. You don’t need those weapons; the United States will be there for you.”

And Obama, who can’t say ANY of that, is already blinking.

But let’s leave the unpleasant future that will be caused by Barack Obama and continue our present tour of enraged enemies and alienated allies under his current rule.

Russia just warned Ukraine and Georgia (remember Obama’s pathetic and appeasing message to Russia following its invasion of Georgia?) over moving toward the West by joing NATO. They won’t stand for it. And they clearly aren’t even the least bit afraid of any American response.

Russia took Obama’s measure back in August 8, 2008. And they know his response will be to shrink back and conceal himself behind meaningless “citizen of the world”-speak that will enable Russia to do whatever it wants.

CNN reported on April 30th that “Terror attacks have spiked dramatically in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

And, goodness gracious, Pakistan and its 100 nuclear weapons are in very real danger of falling into the hands of the Taliban. A top adviser to the US Central Command has warned of the very real possibility of Pakistan collapsing within six months.

Well, that aint good. Wasn’t Obama supposed to make all our problems go away as he overcame all of Bush’s evilness with his magnificent wonderfulness?

Obama failed to win any support from European allies in Afghanistan, something he and his liberal allies repeatedly criticized Bush for failing to deliver as they promised that they would. The U.S. in Afghanistan is as much on its own as it ever was under Bush.

And so, while Obama sits atop the throne, the “security situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating” under his rule. The U.N. says “Human rights in Afghanistan are worsening, marked by setbacks for women, attacks on freedoms and seeming impunity for perpetrators.”

Obama has called for the same sort of surge strategy in Afghanistan (see also here) that he himself personally demonized Bush for pursuing in Iraq.

Reporters in Iraq note “a dramatic increase in spectacular attacks against Iraqi civilians and increasing attacks against occupation forces” by al-Qaeda.

We are facing a growing problem with pirates off the coast of Africa. And Obama is facing a particularly significant threat from Sudan and its dictator, Omar al-Bashir.

Clearly, our enemies haven’t become our friends. Not even a little bit. In fact, they are more hostile and more aggressive than ever. Not that the propagandist media that spent years writing about how Bush creating unrest all over the world would ever point that out.

How about our friends and allies? Surely they love us more, now that Obama is president. Surely the days of alienation are over, right? RIGHT?

Not so much.

You remember me telling you that the EU isn’t giving Obama any help in Afghanistan? Well, they’re not giving Obama any help in closing down Gitmo, either. As much as they like to rail against America for the evils of Gitmo, they won’t take their own people back which would enable us to close it down. Just like they wouldn’t under Bush. And the same countries that won’t take their Gitmo detainees are using our other terrorist detention facility in Bagram as their reason.

That’s not very helpful. I feel alienation.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy basically thinks Obama is a turd, calling his policies “‘utterly immature’ and comprised of ‘formulations empty of all content.’” That rather sounds like a heaping dose of alienation talking, to me.

The EU president called Obama’s stimulus spending “the road to hell.” Mirek Topolanek further said that President Barack Obama’s massive stimulus package and banking bailout “will undermine the stability of the global financial market.” The ABC News article already cited reports on “simmering European differences with Washington.”

Doesn’t that kind of sound like “alienation”? Doesn’t it?

Obama had previously ignited fear of a trade war with Europe with his “buy American” policy. The EU trade commissioner warned Obama that Europe would fight back. Obama also ignited the threat of a trade war with our third largest trade partner, Mexico, after he tried to renege on a trade deal in order to reward US unions.

Obama also inspired a great deal of British outrage toward America when he casually snubbed Prime Minister Gordon Brown and insulted our greatest ally.

Obama then proceeded to insult and undermine our relationship with our second greatest ally, Israel, with an inexcusable gesture of cold indifference for a top Israeli general.

Perhaps liberals believe that Obama’s disgrace America tour was a step in the right direction. I think he made a fool out of himself and undermined the prestige and respect of the once-great United States of America.

Russia and China have similarly sounded, well, VERY ALIENATED toward Obama and his policies.

Russia has warned Obama about what they view as his ruinous socialist policies.

Russian Prime Minister Vladamir Putin has said the US should take a lesson from the pages of Russian history and not exercise “excessive intervention in economic activity and blind faith in the state’s omnipotence”.

“In the 20th century, the Soviet Union made the state’s role absolute,” Putin said during a speech at the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “In the long run, this made the Soviet economy totally uncompetitive. This lesson cost us dearly. I am sure nobody wants to see it repeated.”

Luo Ping, Director-general for the China Banking Regulatory Commission, is on record saying, “We want some kind of a guarantee that your money is going to be worth something if you keep spending so much over there and devalue not only your currency but the currencies throughout the world.” He went on to say, “We hate you guys. Once you start issuing $1 trillion, $2 trillion, or more dollars, we know the dollar is going to depreciate.”

And, yeah. Don’t think I didn’t notice from the above link that the mainstream media truly doesn’t want us to know what China thinks about the ruinous course we are pursuing under Obama.

And all the while, we’re warned that “an economic storm with China is still coming for Obama.” In other words, in terms of alienation with China, you aint seen nothin’ yet.

Pardon me for pointing this out, but I’m just not feeling the love.

The same propaganda machine that undercut and undermined President Bush at every imaginable turn is going well out of its way to avoid reporting on just how much damage Barack Obama has done on the international front. They who routinely blamed Bush for everything won’t blame Obama for anything.

Whether liberals are honest about it or not, Obama has been a gigantic dud in terms of the glorious promise of overcoming all the bitterness in the world that Bush supposedly created. For one thing, Obama hasn’t actually “overcome” anything of the sort; for another, he has created a great deal of international bitterness all by himself.

Looming War In Eastern Europe: Deja Vu All Over Again

August 15, 2008

For the historically literate, the picture of Eastern Europe today is disturbingly reminiscent of the view circa 1939. That was the year that Nazi Germany – having provided pseudo-justifications based on staged provocations – invaded first Czechoslovakia and then Poland. Throughout the entire period leading up to these military invasions, the Western world weakly stood by and did nothing but “dialogue.”

As hundreds of Russian tanks poured into his country, CNN reporter Susan Malveaux asked Georgian President Saakashvili:

MALVEAUX: Have you reached out to them? Do you feel there’s any room for negotiation or at least to begin a dialogue or discussions?

The problem has been that Russia has done its “negotiating” with tanks.

The UK Telgraph runs a story by Josh Bolton the editors titled, “The US fiddled while Georgia burned.” And this is undoubtedly true (as Bolton himself acknowledges). But at least the US’ “fiddling” involved doing something (in the sense of trying to get Georgia admitted to NATO, which would have circumvented this entire sad affair). Europe stood by and did absolutely nothing while Georgia burned.  And the so-called “cease fire agreement” that France proffered essentially allows Russia to remain in Georgian territory for as long as they like.  Many believe that the presence of Russian forces only a few miles from the Georgian capital is a naked attempt to topple the democratic government.

Just as with Iraq, European intransigence to sound diplomatic policy led to war. By refusing to accept the United States’ demand to require meaningful weapons inspections on Iraq, the U.N. in general and France and Russia in particular took every option but open war off the table for America. And by refusing to allow the U.S.-backed Georgian bid to join NATO, our European “allies” left a democratic and pro-Western former Soviet State vulnerable to precisely the sort of attack that totalitarian Russia launched.

Josh Bolton describes the European diplomatic initiative in shades of the infamous Munich Agreement:

The European Union took the lead in diplomacy, with results approaching Neville Chamberlain’s moment in the spotlight at Munich: a ceasefire that failed to mention Georgia’s territorial integrity, and that all but gave Russia permission to continue its military operations as a “peacekeeping” force anywhere in Georgia. More troubling, over the long term, was that the EU saw its task as being mediator – its favourite role in the world – between Georgia and Russia, rather than an advocate for the victim of aggression.

After Neville Chamberlain returned from signing the infamous agreement with Hitler, and appeasing an evil tyrant in the name of “peace in our time,” an embittered Winston Churchill observed:

“You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war.”

Josh Bolton believes that “the extent of the wreckage [of Georgia] reaches far beyond that small country.” He goes on to write:

The West, collectively, failed in this crisis. Georgia wasted its dime making that famous 3am telephone call to the White House, the one Hillary Clinton referred to in a campaign ad questioning Barack Obama’s fitness for the Presidency. Moreover, the blood on the Bear’s claws did not go unobserved in other states that were once part of the Soviet Union. Russia demonstrated unambiguously that it could have marched directly to Tbilisi and installed a puppet government before any Western leader was able to turn away from the Olympic Games. It could, presumably, do the same to them.

Fear was one reaction Russia wanted to provoke, and fear it has achieved, not just in the “Near Abroad” but in the capitals of Western Europe as well. But its main objective was hegemony, a hegemony it demonstrated by pledging to reconstruct Tskhinvali, the capital of its once and no-longer-future possession, South Ossetia. The contrast is stark: a real demonstration of using sticks and carrots, the kind that American and European diplomats only talk about. Moreover, Russia is now within an eyelash of dominating the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, the only route out of the Caspian Sea region not now controlled by either Russia or Iran. Losing this would be dramatically unhelpful if we hope for continued reductions in global petroleum prices, and energy independence from unfriendly, or potentially unfriendly, states.

It profits us little to blame Georgia for “provoking” the Russian attack. Nor is it becoming of the United States to have anonymous officials from its State Department telling reporters, as they did earlier this week, that they had warned Georgia not to provoke Russia. This confrontation is not about who violated the Marquess of Queensbury rules in South Ossetia, where ethnic violence has been a fact of life since the break-up of the Soviet Union on December 31, 1991 – and, indeed, long before. Instead, we are facing the much larger issue of how Russia plans to behave in international affairs for decades to come. Whether Mikhail Saakashvili “provoked” the Russians on August 8, or September 8, or whenever, this rape was well-planned and clearly coming, given Georgia’s manifest unwillingness to be “Finlandized” – the Cold War term for effectively losing your foreign-policy independence.

And now we are already beginning to see not only “how Russia plans to behave in international affairs for decades to come”, but right in the here and now.

In a statement about Poland that ought to send shivers up the spine of any thinking human being, a top Russian general added to the rhetoric of President Dmitry Medveded:

Only 24 hours after the weapons agreement was signed Russia’s deputy chief of staff warned Poland “is exposing itself to a strike 100 per cent”.

General Anatoly Nogovitsyn said that any new US assets in Europe could come under Russian nuclear attack with his forces targeting “the allies of countries having nuclear weapons”.

He told Russia’s Interfax news agency: “By hosting these, Poland is making itself a target. This is 100 per cent certain. It becomes a target for attack. Such targets are destroyed as a first priority.”

Russia’s nuclear rhetoric marks an intense new phase in the war of words over Georgia. The Caucasus conflict has spiralled into a Cold War style confrontation between Moscow and Washington in less than a week.

The stand off between the two cold War powers was underlined by Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, who dismissed US claims that the silo is a deterrent against ‘rogue states’ like Iran as “a fairy tale”. He told reporters at the Black Sea resort of Sochi: “The deployment of new missile defence facilities in Europe is aimed against the Russian Federation.”

Poland and a few other former Soviet Republicans who do not want to become future Russian republics are moving toward official relationships with the United States and Western alliances such as NATO. We must stop attempting to appease rogue and tyrant states for the sake of going along to get along in the short term and clearly and strongly back Western-leaning democratic states.

Again, Bolton is right on target:

Europe’s rejection this spring of President Bush’s proposal to start Ukraine and Georgia towards Nato membership was the real provocation to Russia, because it exposed Western weakness and timidity. As long as that perception exists in Moscow, the risk to other former Soviet territories – and in precarious regions such as the Middle East – will remain.

Obviously, not all former Soviet states are as critical to Nato as Ukraine, because of its size and strategic location, or Georgia, because of its importance to our access to the Caspian Basin’s oil and natural gas reserves. Moreover, not all of them meet fundamental Nato prerequisites. But we must now review our relationship with all of them. This, in effect, Nato failed to do after the Orange and Rose Revolutions, leaving us in our present untenable position.

By its actions in Georgia, Russia has made clear that its long-range objective is to fill that “gap” if we do not. That, as Western leaders like to say, is “unacceptable”. Accordingly, we should have a foreign-minister-level meeting of Nato to reverse the spring capitulation at Bucharest, and to decide that Georgia and Ukraine will be Nato’s next members. By drawing the line clearly, we are not provoking Russia, but doing just the opposite: letting them know that aggressive behaviour will result in costs that they will not want to bear, thus stabilising a critical seam between Russia and the West. In effect, we have already done this successfully with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Diplomacy is always worth pursuing. But diplomacy that is not backed with power and the willingness to use it is meaningless, and will always be recognized as such by tyrants and terrorists.

As we look at Russian totalitarian imperialism in Eastern Europe, and contemplate the looming menace of a nuclear-weapons-armed Iran, we must realize that much of the world is in the same mindset that the world was in in 1938. Only by recognizing that we must stand strongly against such developments will we be able to avoid the next catastrophic global harvest of death.

This is as certain as the fact that World War III follows World War II.