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Bush was the biggest crony capitalist pig in history.  He tried to completely privatize the support, Halliburton being just the tip of the iceberg.  The worst of the lot was Blackwater USA, the company that allowed its employees to indiscriminately shoot Iraqi civilians, ask questions later.  Not only was BUSA a crony, it was headed by a fundamentalist Christian who saw the war as the Last Crusade.  For a more or less complete list of all the US companies involved go to:

http://www.brussellstribunal.org/SecurityCompanies.htm

I googled on Blackwater and it's now the rather nice sounding "Academi".    Makes me think they're walking around in sweater vests and corduroy jackets with suede elbow patches.  Instead of being a mercenary army.  According to the wikipedia article, they've been sued for alleged weapons smuggling, money laundering, tax evasion, child prostitution, illegal drug use and destruction of evidence.  I doubt that Bush was the biggest crony guy in history, but I do think he - and Cheney - are corrupt, big time.

The head of Blackwater taunted his religious credentials.  That was disgusting enough.

It's all about the oil.  The oil.  The almighty, ever-loving oil.  If the middle east was just a sandheap with a bunch of contentious folks rattling their sabers at each other over date palms, oases, and camel herds, would the US give a rat's ass?  Would anybody?  The "OHMYGOD THEY MIGHT HAVE NUKES!!!" trope is bull-shittier than anything that ever came out of a cow's ass.  North Korea has nukes....but no oil.  No oil=no invasion.  India - nukes.  No oil, though. Iraq was all about GWB upstaging his daddy and getting Saddam (and the oil); lying about 9/11 and WMD was how he got his way. This whole nuke thing is just another smokescreen.  Sure, I may be oversimplifying a bit, but if oil isn't a huge-ass part of this Iran crap, then I don't know shit.  Oil, and the fact that they're Muslim.  That too.

Also, I think that some Repubs seem to have the idea that war is the way out of recession because they equate WWII with the end of the Depression.  Like, that's their idea on how to create new jobs and boost the economy.  Seriously stupid, especially with the fact that we've bled ourselves dry in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Yeah I so agree! Too much spending in military!

According to the chart, which country would you prefer to live in?  I like Sweden's extremely low figure, I could adjust to a "less safe" country quite easily

The former head of Israel's Massad has stated that attacking Iran would be completely stupid act.

I agree.  I guess we're back to hoping they'll blow themselves up.

I saw that interview on TV, Jim.  Lotsa people in Israel do not want such action.  There are plenty of sane people in Israel.  Unfortunately, Ahmadinejad is insane.

I will say this: if the US losses it's military superiority- a power vacuum will emerge = behold, ww3... that said, attacking Iran could also trigger ww3.

But I am sure Iran's apocalyptic theocracy is trying to acquire nuclear weapons- so leaving them alone probably = ww3 and glass terrain.

That's one possible scenario.  Another possibility is a bi-polar world (such as we had during the Cold War) of two roughly comparable, where threat of mutually assured destruction keeps the peace.  One explanation for the flare-ups of regional warfare and violence is the lack of two superpowers keeping the secondary powers under control within their respective umbrellas.

Another possibility is an Orwellian-type (1984) three-party semi-war semi-peace, where at any given time, two out of three superpowers are at war.  Not a pretty sight, but this too avoids a WWIII scenario.

The worst case is when a formerly secondary power, long seething from perceived disrespect and status unbefitting its latent potential, pursues a course of belligerence while the other great powers stand idly by.  That is what got us into the first two world wars.  That comes close to the apocalyptic nuclear Iran scenario, with two crucial differences: (1) Iran is almost universally hated, and (2) Iran lacks the technological and scientific sophistication necessary to become a great power.  Before starting the two world wars, Germany was widely admired, and one of the leading scientific nations.  However monstrous its ideology, it possessed the resources and the reputation to attempt achievement of first-power status through military conquest.  Iran does not.

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