Being taken as
a POW does not make one a hero. Please note that is not a shameful thing and
is frequently unavoidable. But your having been a POW usually means that you
had some bad luck with a SAM or a torpedo or something. Period. A soldier's
duty is to avoid capture if at all possible.
In the British
military, they stop your pay when you are taken POW. That may sound cruel but,
as they figure it, you are being paid to fight, not sit in a POW camp.
Yes, the Hanoi
Hilton was a nasty place – and I do not doubt that those men suffered. And
I despise the then and present Vietnamese Communists. But now let me pose another
question: an American Navy officer or Air Force officer takes an oath to defend
the Constitution. Was anything about the Vietnam War in harmony with
the Constitution? It seems to me that they put promotions, PX privileges, and
VA benefits above nation, Constitution, and honor. In other words, they saluted
and obeyed LBJ and MacNamara when the proper action would have been resignation
of commission under protest.
~ Matt Erickson
the Price of Oil?
me to comment on a few things Charles Peña said in his article "Whither the
Price of Oil?"
price and supply of oil is dictated by the market."
This is partially
true at best. OPEC can influence the price of oil by increasing or decreasing
the amount of oil it sells. When supplies are tight, adding or subtracting as
little as two hundred thousand barrels a day will have a significant impact
members themselves have an incentive to cheat by increasing production…"
This is only true
of certain OPEC countries under certain conditions. Those members with small
populations and large current account surpluses have little incentive to cheat.
Most other OPEC nations are currently producing as much as their fields can
countries have an incentive to increase supply to increase their revenues."
In the short
term it is virtually impossible for non-OPEC producers to make significant
increases in production. New fields take a long time to bring on line. Non-OPEC
producers never withhold supply in anticipation of higher prices. The time
value of money dictates that, in economic terms, if a barrel of oil is not
produced today, it will never be produced. Here's why: Assume an average oil
field has a life of 20 years, employing a discount
rate of 15 percent p.a. the present value of a barrel of oil held off the
market today and produced 20 years from now is virtually nil.
~ Susan Dakss
Feith's War and Decision: Life in a Neocon's Parallel Universe
was a failure in Afghanistan? I doubt it. It was a Hellenized nation called
Bactria for another 200+ years after Alexander.
~ Robert Somerville
of course, but Alexander never conquered Afghanistan militarily and had to
resort to transplanting Greeks from Greece to Bactria. I don't think America
intends to do that – and in the end it didn't work anyway. My point was that
Alexander faced the same problems we face in Afghanistan and could not solve
them even with a settlement colony. A very interesting book on this reality
is Frank L. Holt's Into
the Land of Bones, which is in Borders in paperback. I should have
been clearer, and I appreciate your comment.
the economic policies of G17 (Serbian G17). What exact economic policies have
they implemented and have they been successful at all? Are the policies that
they have implemented similar to those "pro-Western reforms" implemented
in Russia during the 1990s with disastrous results? Similar to Jeffrey Sachs'
economic policies? Policies that resulted in the impoverishment of millions
of Russians and perhaps the premature deaths of approximately one million? Can
you send me some good info or links on the Serbian government's economic policy?
~ Nicholas Stabinski
yes – the G17 runs the same sort of racket as Sachs and his crew ran in
Russia. Only exception is that Sachs at least tried to set up local tycoons,
whereas G17 is mostly selling Serbia off to foreigners directly.
Most of the detailed
criticism of G17 and its policies can be found on the Left (Counterpunch,
Emperor's Clothes, etc.). Mike
Bozinovich of Serbianna.com also
has a lot of economic analysis on his blog there. I'm not an economist – but
one doesn't have to be in order to realize that selling of government property
(which was seized from individuals at some point or another; Serbia still hasn't
given restitution to victims of Communist confiscation from 1944 onward!) to
foreigners for pennies on the dollar, then "investing" those pennies into welfare
payments, isn't a winning strategy.