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Time to Cruise…. Back Blogging Jan 30

January 12th, 2018 · 4 Comments

“I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by”
John Masefield.
I agree….. so I’m off to enjoy the Caribbean.
Back blogging  Monday Jan 30

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Donald Trump DOES Have a Point On Foreign Aid

January 8th, 2018 · 27 Comments

I’m no fan of US President Donald Trump: I believe he IS an emotionally unstable, ignorant, crude, rude moron.

I mourn for America in terms of the damage and even destruction he and his gang of henchman are wreaking on the US in terms of eliminating water and air pollution regulations and controls,  removing bank/financial controls aimed at preventing another mortgage disaster or fraudulent investments crisis,  the decline in education funding and standards, dialing back health care protection for the middle class and the poor … even children, as well as making race relations, poverty even worse …   while giving huge tax cuts to the very rich and huge corporations … adding another trillion, five hundred million dollars … or more … to the debt their kids and grandkids and great grandkids will have to pay off.

Disgraceful. Disgusting. Inexcusable.

BUT there is ONE area that I am sympathetic … and quite supportive of Trump as he careens through his term in office mostly like a bull in a China shop … and that’s his calling out several nations and the United Nations for their hypocrisy and failures to meet or live up to even basic standards of responsibility and integrity … while pocketing BILLIONS of dollars in US  (and OTHER countries’) foreign aid.

Canada and Prime Minister Trudeau should speak up as well … and not just leave it to Trump  and the US to start speaking TRUTH to the reality of how much our foreign aid is wasted, side-tracked and just plain stolen from those it is intended to help.

Here are some key areas where … as much as you may hate to admit it …Trump has made very valid points:

NATO: Since it was established by 12 nations (including Canada) following the Second World War, NATO has grown to 28 members …. but only a very FEW of them pay THEIR SHARE of NATO operating expenses … set in 2014 as 2%  of a country’s GDP.

The US has … for decades …  paid more than its fair share: in 2016, it contributed 22% of the annual NATO bill… equal to 3.6% of its GDP.  Why??

Despite an expandingly aggressive Russia, whose military has invaded/seized the Crimea, Ossetia, Eastern Ukraine,  only Greece, Estonia, Britain and Poland and the US  …of the 28 member countries … have paid their allotted fair share of the bill to defend themselves.

Canada’s defence spending is among the BOTTOM THIRD of the NATO nations … at 1.3% of GDP … despite Russia’s growing activities/claims to Canada’s oil-rich Artic territory and waters…  Canada no doubt counting on NATO …ie the US …to defend us. Why??

UNITED NATIONS: What a HUGELY EXPENSIVE farce the General Assembly and several UN agencies have become … set up originally as a venue for dialogue and co-operation … but now far too many of its 193 nation members are little more than corrupt political and financial sellouts to dictators, oil money and even promoters of religious, ethnic  bigotry . And far too willing to turn a blind eye to the worst human rights offenders …  REAL  genocidal regimes … while millions have been enslaved, starved and even murdered.

And the cost of the UN? A whopping $2.7 BILLION U.S. a year … for its OPERATING budget alone  (peace-keeping etc. by nation contributors extra).

Let’s keep it real: Much of the current UN could/should be disbanded …  an enormous wasteful bureaucracy with ineffective or even totally discredited agencies. Only the Security Council and a very FEW of the UN’s agencies should be retained (International Civil Aviation Organization, Peacekeeping forces, World Health Organization, World Court and a totally revamped UNESCO).

And under the current formula, the US assessment is now $610 million a year ….a whopping 22% of the UN’s budget ….BY far the LARGEST. Why??

FYI…China’s assessment is only 7.9% ($220 Million US in 2017);  Russia 3.1% ($85.7 Million) and Canada 2.9%  ($73.6 Million). You can read the whole list here: http://undocs.org/en/ST/ADM/SER.B/955

And what do we get for all that funding?

The UN “Human Rights” Council is in total disgrace; the UNWRA organization is overwhelming slanted to Palestinian assistance … even aiding, abetting and supporting the Hamas terrorist regime in Gaza  … while millions of much more needy, suffering peoples in Africa, Asia get only a pittance of help.

And what does the US get in return for its unparalleled aid?  Burning US flags, shouts of Death to America …and invective/attacks directed at American civilians and even tourists.

PALESTINIANS: Not a SINGLE move by the Palestinians in TEN years to get back to serious negotiations with Israel to secure a peace agreement based on a two-state solution….despite repeated gestures by Israel, including withdrawal of all Israelis from Gaza, withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon and release of thousands of Palestinian militants/criminals…in efforts to encourage peace negotiations to going again.

What actual moves/concessions have the Palestinians made to get negotiations back on track? None! Nothing!

Instead, Palestinian leaders have actually allowed the continued teaching of hate in their schools, celebrated terrorists who murdered civilians, financially rewarded their families and INCITED violence  …. while collecting $600 Million a year from US taxpayers in “aid” … as US Presidents are burned in effigy and the American flag gets torched in their streets. While they line their own pockets. Some thanks!

Maybe Trump’s threatened cut of $285 million in aid to the Palestinians will finally convince them to step up to the negotiating table. And if not …cut them off.

PAKISTAN: It’s about time the WORLD …or at the civilized nations with backbones … call out Pakistan for the duplicitous state it has become: speaking of peace and security and co-operation … while turning a blind eye, hiding and even aiding terrorist groups at the same time.

Since 2002, the US alone (not to mention other Western nations including Canada) have handed Pakistani governments almost $34 BILLION in foreign development aid and security assistance.

Hints that MUCH was awry came well before Osama Bin Laden was found hiding for years in an obviously well fortified and defended compound close to a Pakistani military base. and no one knew?  Really?

Now we also know Pakistan has backed/supported/given safe haven terrorist groups that are active in Afghanistan, Kashmir, India.  Pakistan’s “security” forces have also aided the Haqqani/Taliban network who have targeted/killed Americans in Afghanistan and have been behind several of the major terrorist attacks in Afghan cities.

All the while the Pakistani government has been getting/taking $1.3 BILLION a year from the US in military aid.  Why??

Who really could blame Trump for cutting that off … at least until Pakistan comes clean, “restructures” its operations … and moral compass!

As I said ..I’m not a big fan of Trump on many issues, but it IS refreshing to see a world leader calling out those who make promises,  take billions with one hand and do little to meet their obligations … or even worse aid and support those who would enslave/kill us if they could.

What Trump is doing …or at least trying to do …is reverse the weak, spineless record of President Barick Obama in dealing with these villains who milked the US of Billions …and did little or nothing to attack terrorism, defeat corruption or resolve the core causes of their own misery.

Too bad Trudeau doesn’t have the backbone to speak/stand up as well.

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: You can get First Alerts of all new postings on this Blog by following @harveyoberfeld on Twitter.)

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