Donald Rumsfeld

Chemical weapons? Oh how convenient. Lighting does strike twice

The whole debacle surrounding chemical weapons (Weapons of Mass Destruction) that were used as the justification for the USA, UK and its allies to roll all over Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and then subsequently not actually finding any (they were all moved into Syria, just in time!), has been central to the criticism.

Tony Blair is still considered a war criminal by many for this, with many people thinking it was nothing but deception with the help of a compliant media to get the fear factor going.  The fear subsequently drove public approval for the invasion of Iraq.

So call me a conspiracy theorist if you must, but this is just a little too convenient

ISIS controls a vast compound in Iraq containing 2,500 rusting chemical weapons rockets, according to the Iraqi government.

The site was bombed by the US during the 1991 Gulf War, but the munitions there were only partially destroyed, according to the UN – then left to Iraq to take care of.

However, Iraqi officials wrote to the United Nations this summer claiming that abandoned weapons containing the lethal nerve agent Sarin are still in the ruins of the Muthanna State Establishment, which made chemical weapons in the 1980s and early 1990s, and that this is now in the hands of the violent jihadists.

They warned that they had watched equipment there being looted on CCTV.

Ok, they never found chemical weapons, but now we have a factory?  And partially destroyed munitions?  And… oh I give up.  REALLY?

This is the “evidence”.

1413370862063_Image_galleryImage_Al_Muthanna_Chemical_Weap

Anyone can draw boxes on a map.  This is apparently what ISIS have taken over and “looted” the chemical ordinance from: Read more »

An economic lesson for Labour they seem to have forgotten

The Labour party wants to raise taxes, add in the Greens tax increases and their fondness for keynesian stimulus spending, you really wonder if they understand basic economics.

You simply cannot tax a nation to prosperity.

Who better to explain the Laffer Curve than the guy who it named after, Arthur Laffer:

The IEA was delighted to host renowned economist Dr Arthur Laffer on 27th June. He was in the UK advocating lower and flatter taxes as the key to economic growth. He suggests high tax rates alter people’s behaviour and act as a disincentive to work.

Laffer Curve from Institute of Economic Affairs on Vimeo.

Read more »

This will be handy for Matt McCarten

Foreign Policy has an article on “How to Justify Any Policy, No Matter How Bad It Might Be“.

This will be real handy for Matt McCarten as he deals with the two David Cunliffe’s, the one who tells business in private he will be moderate, and the very public lurching left David Cunliffe.

I think they may well have interviewed Winston Peters for some of these techniques.

Whatever your circumstances might be, here’s a simple 10-step program for excusing bad behavior. (It may also come in handy in your personal life, if you’re not good at resisting temptation or making sound decisions.)

Step 1: “It’s a lie. It never happened.”

When accused of bad behavior, the first instinct of many politicians (or their supporters) is denial. Bill Clinton told us he “never had sex” with “that woman” (Monica Lewinsky), and the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria at first denied that chemical weapons had even been used. Similarly, when Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked him about the NSA’s domestic surveillance activities, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s first response was to deny it was happening, a lie he later described as the “least untruthful” statement he felt he could make. Step 1 is tempting for an obvious reason: When a bald-faced lie works, the problem goes away.

Step 2: Blame someone else.

If you can’t hide what happened, blame it on someone else. This line of defense has at least two variants. The first option is to acknowledge that wrongdoing occurred, but pin the blame on one’s opponents. Once the use of chemical weapons was confirmed in Syria, for example, Assad’s defenders tried to pin the blame on the regime’s opponents. Similarly, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan now seems to think any criticism of his government or domestic political setback is the result of some sort of foreign conspiracy.

The second variation is to admit that somebody did something wrong, but pin the blame on subordinates. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie claims he knew nothing — “Nothing!” — about Bridgegate, while George W. Bush administration officials claimed that the abuses at Abu Ghraib were just unauthorized acts by low-level enlisted personnel. If you successfully make someone else the fall guy, the people at the top can skate away scot-free.  Read more »