Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Highest inflation cases in history
In a new paper published by the Cato Institute, economics professor Steve Hanke lists the all-time worst episodes of hyperinflation:
Note that Hungary’s daily inflation rate was ten times greater than that in Weimar Germany, and prices doubled almost six times faster in Hungary than in the Weimar Republic.
Life in Weimar Germany was extremely difficult. But Hungary in 1946 was a lot worse.
Monday, May 2, 2011
Osama Bin Laden puzzle
The world has changed considerably since 2001 and US enemies are no longer terrorists but real countries with governments and armies, Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden have outlived their usefulness as symbolic villains, if the 9/11 events were essential to turn around public opinion on foreign intervention and to obtain enforcement of authocratic laws, the time is approaching for major events to be unleashed in which Al Qaeda and Jihadist from all over the world have no place to be, they could still find their usefulness here and there when some major attack will be staged to rally the population into war but they are no longer the key actors, the conflict is back to the large scale scenario of warring countries and armies and the death of Osama Bin Laden could well be the prelude to the end of the era of terror.
What is surprising of all this story as in a classical slapstick comedy is the return of a long forgotten character on the scene and the sudden commotion for someone who was forgotten and missing for almost 10 years. Even more interesting is the dumping of his body into the sea, quite an unusual treatment for the biggest villain in American history I would actually have considered to bring him as a trophy in the United States and run him all over for propaganda purpouses well unless the body was for some reason unpresentable to the public.
It has always been surprising how Bin Laden has had the ability to appear always at the eve of a major election or event to provide the american media and their spectators with a convenient scapegoat.
Even more suprising is how many persons talked publicly during this decade of how he was supposed to be dead, I just picked some of the most influential:
– On December 26, 2001, Fox News, citing a Pakistan Observer story, reported that the Afghan Taliban had pronounced Bin Laden dead and buried him in an unmarked grave.
– On January 18, 2002, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf announced: “I think now, frankly, he is dead.”
– On July 17, 2002, the then-head of counterterrorism at the FBI, Dale Watson, told a conference of law enforcement officials that “I personally think he [Bin Laden] is probably not with us anymore.”
– In October 2002, Afghan President Hamid Karzai told CNN that “I would come to believe that [Bin Laden] probably is dead.
– On November 2, 2007, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto told Al-Jazeera’s David Frost that Omar Sheikh had killed Osama Bin Laden.
– In May 2009, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari confirmed that his “counterparts in the American intelligence agencies” hadn’t heard anything from Bin Laden in seven years and confirmed “I don’t think he’s alive.”
Musharraf, the President of Pakistan said by accident three months ago that bin Laden was dead.
On a different note though in 2003, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told Fox News Channel analyst Morton Kondracke she suspected Bush knew the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden and was waiting for the most politically expedient moment to announce his capture.
And if former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had the nerve to tell us this on public television well we would better to start figuring out what is the real reason and why now.
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Monday, May 2, 2011
Osama Bin Laden death and Israel war game scenarios
The Pentagon released few hours ago a 5 page powerpoint presentation showing exclusive details of the Abbottabad compound where bin Laden was supposedly killed.
Quite interesting today is also the narration of the event provided by the Iranian Fars News:
TEHRAN (FNA)- The US has killed the Al-Qaeda leader, Osama Bin Laden, in a bid to prevent any possible leakage of intelligence and information about the US-Al-Qaeda joint terrorist operations, a senior Iranian legislator underscored on Monday.
“The West was fully satisfied with bin Laden’s performance during the past years and today… it was obliged to kill him to prevent possible leakage of the priceless intelligence that he had,” member of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Javad Jahangirzadeh told FNA on Monday.
He mentioned that the West seeks to rebuild its damaged face in the international community, and reiterated that Bin Laden’s survival could endanger the interests of the western countries and disclose their past and future clandestine operations.
Jahangirzadeh warned the world countries that the West has hatched a new plot to find new pretexts for invading and occupying the Muslim countries.
Obama announced on Sunday that bin Laden was killed in a US operation in Pakistan.
Obama said he had directed helicopter-borne US armed forces to launch an attack against a heavily fortified compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan on Sunday acting on a lead that first emerged last August.
“A small team of Americans… killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body,” Obama said.
Senior US officials said that in addition to bin Laden, three adult males died in the raid, two who were believed to be couriers for the Al-Qaeda leader, and one who was said to be one of his adult sons.
And It appears that Iranian television is getting quite anxious for a possible escalation of the conflict in the Middle East:
A considerable number of Israeli warplanes were seen at al-Asad base in Iraq, reported a source close to prominent Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sader’s group.
The aircraft reportedly included F-15, F-16, F-18, F-22, and KC-10 jet fighters.
The warplanes carried out their week-long exercises at nights, the same source added.
The drills were reportedly aimed at preparing to strike Iran’s air defense systems, disrupt Iran’s radars and attack targets deep inside Iran.
Iraqi officials had not been notified of the exercises, which were conducted in collaboration with the US military.
The United States maintains numerous bases in Iraq, and the Baghdad government is not involved in any of the military deployments taking place there.
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