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The State of the World
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With summer at its peak and many people around the world off enjoying themselves at beaches, in the mountains or on lakes, I thought it might be a good time to look at the state of world affairs.  I warn you however – this will not be a pretty thing. 

Over here in the United States, as I write this column, the US Senate and the US House of Representatives are debating something most countries do not have – a debt ceiling (besides the US, only Denmark has a debt ceiling).  The debt ceiling, to keep it simple, is the government’s borrowing authority.  Because the US spends more than it receives in tax revenues each month (how long can you do that as a family or business without going broke?), it must borrow. If the Government fails to increase our borrowing authority, we might default on our loans by failing to pay the monthly interest due to those who own that debt (like the Chinese).  While they will most likely come to an agreement the main issue – our debt, all 14.5 trillion dollars of it – is not being addressed.  And that is the main issue. 

Over in Europe the sovereign debt crisis triggered by our Greek friends last year is in full swing.  Despite two bailouts in one year (something the EU forbade but now, apparently, that doesn’t matter), Greece is not going to make it.  It is already in ‘selective default’ and I promise you, it will completely default.  Spain, Italy and Ireland are all at risk with both their debt and rising borrowing costs. The Germans are tired of bailing out their profligate fellow EU members and the Finns and others are not far behind.  It is only a matter of time before the Euro implodes.  And the EU may follow next. 

Moving on Turkey, much of that country’s senior military leadership has resigned over a tangle with the Islamist prime minister.  The New York Times called it “an unprecedented moment in modern Turkey’s history.” The military of Turkey, of course, is keeper of its secular nature.  And not a word from NATO as to this. 

And how about the so-called Arab Spring?  Seen that in the news lately?  No, because it is not going well.  Syria and Egypt are extremely unstable at this point with the Islamic hardliners looking like they may take the upper hand in Egypt.  Not to mention Yemen.  Jordan might be slightly better off, along with Saudi Arabia, but there is still great potential there for trouble.  The rebels in Libya are divided and Gaddafi, despite all of NATO’s bombs, is still in power (it was a bad idea for NATO to get involved in the first place – we have no business being there).  And the bottom line, of course, is that it will all end badly.  The so-called Arab Spring will not result in so-called Jeffersonian democracy but will result in some sort of theocracy, Sharia Law or a Wahhabi-style government with Islamic fundamentalists in charge.  I promise you this. 

Over in Afghanistan we continue to have US and coalition troops killed.   The government of Hamid Karzai is completely unstable and in fact, cannot be relied on.  Afghanistan will never be stable.  Pakistan too, remains highly unstable and is, in fact, one of the most dangerous places on earth. 

In Iran, the madmen that run that country continue to impose their view of Islam and work toward building nuclear weapons (ditto on North Korea, minus the Islam part).  And the world stands by and watches them. And don’t forget Iraq.  According to the UK’s Daily Mail, “U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart W. Bowen Jr, who wrote the report, concluded by saying: ‘Iraq remains an extraordinarily dangerous place to work.’” 

In Somalia, there is a man-made famine going on because of a militant Islamic group – al-Shabab. According to Newsweek, “Its stated aim is to overthrow the government and impose its strict version of Islam.”  In the meantime, millions of innocent people are starving to death and al-Shabab has killed scores of relief workers. 

Even Norway is immune to what is going on.  Our Norwegian friends have lost their innocence due to a madman who killed innocents because of his misguided belief that killing innocent people is the way to make a statement.  He will, of course, rot in Hell.  

All of this plus the continuing cultural decline and natural disasters that plague our planet –  droughts, earthquakes, hurricanes and cyclones, famine, tsunamis, volcanoes, tornadoes – you name it.  Not to mention what is happening in Russia, Georgia, Mexico, Africa, Indonesia, Venezuela, Cuba….the list goes on.   

What have I missed?  Ah yes, Israel and Palestine, the center of the world and history (and I do mean that).  Palestine has vowed to declare unilateral independence at the United Nations General Assembly next month, an act that will help no one but will only complicate matters. 

I apologize for interrupting your pleasant summer with this dose of reality but while politicians and many in the media and certain think-tanks might be talking of peace, sweetness and light eternal, it is best if you see things the way they really are.

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Jason Miko
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