Monday, December 26, 2011

An Exchange Between Kotzabasis and Professor Varoufakis on the Merits and Demerits of Capitalism

The following exchange between me and Professor of  Economics Yanis Varoufakis at Athens University took place on his blog about the capitalist system under the post:
Ending 2011with a fable for our times-December 24, 2011
December 24, 2011 at 03:14 #
Kotzabasis says,

Is Amartya Sen’s absolute prosperity and relative inequality of the capitalist system vulgarly to be replaced by Yanis Varoufakis’s “despicable inequality?”

Professor Varoufakis distorts and defames the whole history of the dynamism of entrepreneurial capitalist wealth that shot up the standard of living of the masses to “Himalayan” heights. To claim that capitalist “wealth …needs poverty to flourish,” is just an ornamental academic trapping empty of history and fugitive from serious thought. Capitalism, like everything else in life, was never meant to be “stable” but a process of Schumpeterian “creative destruction.” But this can only be understood and accepted by realists and not by heroic ideologues, like Professor Varoufakis.

Professor Varoufakis says,
    • December 24, 2011 at 15:32 #
It is always good to encounter intransigent Panglossian views in the post-2008 world. There is something touching about undying faith, even when of the toxic variety.

  1. December 25, 2011 at 01:48 #
Kotzabasis says,

Professor Varoufakis

Are capitalist entrepreneurial creativity, wealth, and prosperity based on “intransigent” “Panglossian” naivety? And is the history of capitalism to be truncated and concentrated naively and un- imaginatively between 2008 and 2011 for you to make your uninspiring and toxic argument?

Professor Varoufakis says,
December 25, 2011 at 11:56 #
No, capitalism’s wonders have nothing to do with Panglossian naïveté. But your determination to portray it as the best of all possible systems exudes it. As for my assessment of capitalism, and your claim that I truncate the latter’s history to a period around 2008, feel free to judge it. But only after you acquaint yourself with it. (For had you read it, eg either of my last two books, you would have realized that I truncate nothing. And that I go to great lengths to analyse capitalism’s contradictions, something that entails a celebration of its achievements as well as an exposition of its failures.) Till you are prepared to become acquainted with what I am really saying, before you attack it, I shall treat you as no more than a minor Panglossian.

Kotzabasis says,

December 26, 2011 at 02:46 #
Professor Varoufakis

Thank you for your advice how to overcome my “minor Panglossian” status. But unfortunately for me I’m bound to retain it, as your crass defamation of capitalism in your POST, hardly incentivized me, to use a term of your “little man” John Howard, to read your books and be acquainted with your thoughts. And indeed, my preference is to be “treated… as a minor Panglossian” than go through the treat to major on your ‘Pandistortions’ and jaundiced strictures on capitalism.

But to come to the gist of the matter in hand, my riposte to you was not to either of your two books, which, as I imply above I have not read. My reply was specifically to your post where you wistfully and wrongfully write, “Should we dare to hope of a new era in which WEALTH NO LONGER NEEDS POVERTY TO FLOURISH,” and of the illusion that “capitalism can be stable” and where you vulgarly and gracelessly contend that capitalism creates “DESPICABLE INEQUALITY,” and in your reply to my first post where you refer to the “post-2008 world.” It might well be that these ‘populist flourishes’ had not meant to be of any intellectual seriousness and their only aim was na deleazei ( to allure) and enthuse the ignorant to rush and become volunteer workers to your construction of your ‘matchsticks’ good society, as a replacement to the infernal deeds of capitalist society. But could one do this at the cost of one’s intellectual integrity?

And it is most surprising that the Gargantuan, indeed, Cyclopean efforts that you have put in your Modest Proposal(MP)—although one must note that Cyclopean efforts without a Ulysses are fated to be wasted efforts—have the aim to save Europe, a system that according to you produces genetically “despicable inequality.” Fortunately, however, for those condemned to this despicable inequality, but unfortunately for you, Andreas Koutras’s fatal Jovian bolts demolished to ashes the MP, from which no contriving number of revisions to it will give rise to a Phoenix solution that will salvage the European Union from its peril.

Lastly, to state that “to analyse capitalism’s contradictions… entails a celebration of its achievements as well as an exposition of its failures,” is to state the obvious.

Professor Varoufakis says,

December 27, 2011 at 04:33 #
Impressed by your dedication to keep knocking down my (according to you) already demolished, and perpetually ridiculous, arguments, as well as by the amount of time you dedicate to a blog (mine) which you consider unworthy, I shall continue to post your comments. Carry on Sir!

Kotzabasis says,

Professor Varoufakis

With your Kazantzakian character I could never imagine that you would not post my comments.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Periclean Dimensions of Antonis Samaras as the Future Prime Minister of Greece

By Con George-Kotzabasis—December 10, 2011

We have forced every sea and land to be the highway of our daring. Pericles

In the present storm-laden dark sky of Greece, a glittering new star has made its appearance which like a beacon of the sky is attempting to navigate the battered ship of Greece into calmer waters and save it from shipwreck. This new star is the leader of the Opposition of the New Democracy Party, Antonis Samaras, who since he has become its leader two years ago, has displayed unprecedented qualities of leadership and economic and political insight and daring, in this critical economic situation that Greece traverses, that only a statesman of Periclean dimensions could exhibit.

The criticism of Samaras from early on as leader of the Opposition of the Papandreou government, which he has depicted as amateurish and inept, has been totally justified. His early warnings that the policies of the socialist government of Papandreou were wrong and the torrent of taxes that the latter rained upon the middle classes would be disastrous for the economy. In October 2009, when Papandreou began his premiership, public debt was 298 billion euros, 125% of GDP. Today it has reached the whopping amount of 360 billion euros, 165% of GDP. Gross National Product in 2009 was 238 billion and presently has shrunk to 218 billion. According to OECD estimates it will decrease even more by 6% in the near future and unemployment will increase to 18.55%, affecting tragically younger people.

Further, Samaras predicted that the first EU Memorandum that imposed draconian austerity measures on Greece would neither decrease the budget nor would it put the economy on a track of recovery. As an economist he cogently argued that in conditions of deep recession austerity measures would exacerbate the economic crisis not dampen it. He was severely criticized and reprimanded when the New Democracy Party voted in parliament against the extreme austerity measures. Moreover, he had the moral strength and political insight not to be tempted to fall to the seductive calls of Papandreou to participate in a unity government to deal with the national crisis. Samaras gave as his strong reasons that since the PASOK Government was refusing to change its economic policies, that followed the blueprint formulated in the European Memorandum without attempting to modify it in certain crucial parts that could deter the further weakening of the economy, and which had failed the country, he, and his party, would not take part in a coalition government merely for the purpose of being an “accomplice” to these flagrantly wrong policies.

Samaras made a series of proposals that he encapsulated in his “Restart of Greece” by which the country could avoid the shoals that would cause its economic sinking. Last May in his Zappeio II Proposal the Leader of the Opposition presented a number of policies that could put Greece on the road of economic recovery and its corollary, the ability to pay off its debts. His restart programme would necessitate a “shock treatment” but with positive results. (a) A severe cut in public spending and on pensions, only above the level 700 euros. (b) A reduction of taxes on household income and businesses and a decrease in VAT in all sectors of the economy particularly in tourism which is pivotal to the Greek economy. (c) The abolition of all means test for the acquisition of a house and on capital repatriation so to inject money in the financial system. (d) The legalization of all buildings constructed without permits-there are more than a million-which will bring substantial increases in state revenue. (e) The state is to pay off all its debts to private individuals thus increasing market liquidity. And banks to commit to the real economy 20% to 30% of the guarantees they receive. This will further increase liquidity in the market and be an incentive to stop capital flight. (f) The state must not make any cuts to the Public Investment Programme with its high multiplier effect that is a powerful instrument to combat recession. (g) The acceleration of denationalization of public owned entities, which the Papandreou government was slow to implement, and the stimulation of the development of property which is the economic engine of the country. All these relief measures will increase state revenue and the Restart programme will balance the budget within just over three years, and start paying off Greece’s debt.

This daring Restart programme is not an abstraction and Samaras is quite aware that to concretize it he has to convince the lenders of Greece, i.e. the EU, of the urgent necessity of making changes to the present economic policies that clearly have failed, if the goals of the Memorandum of 26th of October, to which he is irrevocably committed, are to be achieved. This task of convincing Greece’s European partners of a change in tack has been eased, as High German officials admit now that the initial programme was wrong.

Finally, Samaras warns (not exactly in the following words) that this contagion that is threatening to engulf the European continent is not only economic and political but also social, and could lead to an explosion of European Spring protests that could not be contained and could transform radically the political landscape of the continent by the reappearance of the infernal star of the swastika in the political constellation of Europe.

But History has shown repeatedly nations at moments of great dangers, produce great and illustrious leaders that saves them at the eleventh hour from destruction and obliteration. From Themistocles to Charles Martel to Winston Churchill, the invasions of barbarians and dictators were defeated by the sagacity, imagination, and moral strength of exceptional leadership. Antonis Samaras from his words and deeds without any doubt belongs to this lineage of leadership. Greece facing the abyss of economic bankruptcy, poverty, and mob rule with the dangers that are historically inherent in such combination, i.e. the resurgence of fascism, has a unique leader in Antonis Samaras that could prevent this stupendous threat from consummating which would consign the country into the doleful state of penury and into the captivity of dictatorial regimes.            

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Fallibility of Technocrats no Reason to Debunk them

By Con George-Kotzabasis

“We work in the dark—we do what we can—we give what we have.” Henry James

Science has been built on a “mountain” of errors. No correct policy has arisen—like Athena out of Zeus’ head—from an immaculate conception but from a compilation of corrected mistakes. The task of a wise, imaginative, and intrepid technocrat is not to despair before mistakes, like professor Yanis Varoufakis, and be pessimistic about the future, but to overcome them. This is the task and challenge of both Mario Monti and Lucas Papademos as premiers of Italy and Greece respectively, whom both professor Varoufakis disparages, as well as, in the case of Greece, of the statesman, Antonis Samaras. But obviously, it is not the task that can be consummated by professor Varoufakis. Although one must admit that in his Modest Proposal, with Jonathan Swift's title, co-authored with Stuart Holland, surprisingly, he takes a positive and optimistic view how to resolve the European crisis.  


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How to Overcome the Impasse of the Written Pledge Demanded by the EU from Greece's Major Politicians

By Con George-Kotzabasis—November 23, 20011

The following proposal was sent to the leader of the Greek Opposition Antonis Samaras on 11-23-2011.

Dear Mr Samaras,

The following proposal might overcome the impasse of the signed guarantee without Greece losing its dignity and amour propre

The German politicians, like the Minister of Finance Wolfgang Schauble, who illogically and doltishly insist and persist in their demand that the leader of the Greek Opposition, Antonis Samaras, sign the Memorandum of the 26th of October as a condition of releasing the sixth packet of financial assistance to Greece, can be likened as an intellectually unguided German torpedo that sunk the Lusitania of Greek dignity and respect that are embodied in the democratic constitution and parliamentary institutions of the country. It was to the latter institutions and to the interim transitory government led by Lucas Papademos that the leader of the Opposition had made an explicit, unequivocal, and unconditional commitment to accept and implement (Subject to some modifications in regard to its implementation.) all the obligations emanating from the Memorandum. Therefore one is nonplussed with this EU demand for a written pledge by the leaders of the three major parties when all of them accepted all the conditions of the Memorandum unequivocally and unconditionally in Parliament and by giving their vote of confidence to the Interim Government of Lucas Papademos who was to initiate the implementation of the decisions of the 26th of October.

Surely the Germans are not so stupid, or they could be, as to disregard this essential and irremovable commitment the major parties made to the conditions of the Memorandum and demand in its place a formalistic signature. One therefore cannot avoid the suspicion that there might be a hidden agenda behind this ostensibly doltish demand, i.e. the “Sarajevo assassination” of Greece by the Germans, its ousting from the Eurozone by forcing Greece to default and to depart from the European Union. The leader of the Opposition must eschew from falling into this trap, if indeed, such a trap is set in the wings by the leaders of the European Union. But the “assassination of Greece” from the Eurozone could trigger an internecine economic war in Europe that could not be contained, as the sires of such a sinister plan might have hoped, and would lead both to the destruction of the euro and the European Union. Thus it is incumbent on Antonis Samaras’ statesmanship to be not only the saviour of Greece but also the saviour of Europe. This could be accomplished by the following stratagem. The leader of the Opposition giving a written guarantee of the acceptance of all the conditions of the Memorandum as demanded by the troika, but not sending it to the leaders of the European Union but sending it to the Greek Prime Minister, Lucas Papademos. And the latter will convey to the European leaders the consummation of the signed guarantee by the major parties that the former demanded as the sine qua non for the release of the sixth instalment. Hence, the consignment of the written guarantee within the precincts of the Papademos Government will shun any genuflection on the part of Greece toward Europe that would stigmatize and slur the dignity and amour propre of Greece.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Radical Liberals Condemn and Disparage Technocrats

The following exchange took place between an American radical liberal and me on the appointment of the two technocrats Mario Monti and Lucas Papademos as prime ministers of Italy and Greece.
Bruce Wilder says,
You seem to have lost the essential premise: the “looming economic catastrophe” is largely the creation of the technocrats, and “all the misery that implies” has been embraced by the technocrats with all the enthusiasm an 18th century physician had for purgatives and bleeding.

Con George-Kotzabasis says,

Bruce Wilder, your “essential premise” walks on crutches. In a physical crisis in which you might lose your leg you don’t stop from going to a surgeon just because there are bad surgeons about. To label all surgeons (technocrats) as incompetent and refuse to go under their knife is to lose your leg. That is why your argument, factually and intellectually, waddles on crutches.

Bruce Wilder says, 11.13.11 at 6:09 pm
Con George-Kotzabasis @ 105
If your life was threatened by a growing cancer, affecting your lungs or your kidneys, and you went to a surgeon, and the surgeon said, “To save your cancer, I recommend amputation of your leg,” I would hope you would run from the room, with your legs still intact.
These particular neo-liberal technocrats are just these sorts of mad incompetents, prescribing senseless maiming in place of a treatment plan. There are, apparently, no politicians available, to stand up and veto the insanity, “brave” and “charismatic” or otherwise.
The corruption and incompetence of the politicians—indeed, the whole polity—in Greece and Italy—played nearly as critical a part in the epidemiology of crisis as the neoliberal technocrats. It is worth remembering that the popular support for the European project has often rested on the hope of improving the quality of governance and institutions. For all the grousing over the minutiae of Brussels and the trivia of Strasbourg, the hope of European Union was always to promote high-minded, principled liberal institutions as a prophylaxis against authoritarianism and populist corruption. This was, I suspect, always a very big part of the appeal of the euro: German monetary policy for the South, an internationally respected currency immune to runaway inflations, etc. The Italians, as I recall, embraced the euro ahead of every other country; they were overjoyed to be rid of the lira, the joke currency of Europe, so inflated in value that coins were impractical—phone booths required a special token and street vendors gave candies in place of change. The euro is very popular in Greece as well, and I suspect that that popularity, as much as the fecklessness of politicians, is a factor in preventing Greece from taking the obvious step of unilaterally embracing default in abandonment of the euro. (Purely from a technocratic point-of-view, the equivalent of a competent surgeon would be a technocrat doing the preparations in secret, which would make a unilateral return to the drachma feasible. That’s the “right” thing to do for Greece, from a “technical” standpoint and from the standpoint of protecting Greece from the “amputation” of privatisation and a prolonged deflation. An efficient calculating machine would have been crystal clear from the outset that, on the numbers alone, Greek default was inevitable; delay could only prolong and intensify the suffering.)
The Big Picture, here, may well be that economic and institutional centralization has found its limits, at least for the moment. Certainly, the neoliberal architectural principles employed over the last 25 years are a bust. Are we so stupid that neofascism must follow? Many would say that authoritarianism was always an implied part of the neoliberal agenda.
Con George-Kotzabasis 11.14.11 at 2:10 am
Bruce Wilder
In serious discussion it is wise to enter it carrying a sieve in one’s hands to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Your crystal clear “efficient calculating machine” that would implement your proposal of default, would be no other than a wise, brave, imaginative, and humane TECHNOCRAT. So what exactly you have against technocrats? They are OK if they adopt your plan and only transported to Hades in toto for their mortal sins, if they don’t! Default was and is always an option. The distinguished economist Deepak Lal and exponent of the Austrian School of economics, long ago suggested such a schema. Lucas Papademos and Mario Monti both presumably have this option in their arsenal to be used as a last resort if everything else fails. But before they use this ‘nuclear’ option, they must try, and be given the right by all objective analysts and commentators, to resolve this economic crisis by ‘conventional’ means that could avoid a default which would open a big hole in their countries GDP and throw their people into pauperization for decades to come.
Bruce Wilder says, 11.14.11 at 2:37 am
Instead of “support the troops”, we are now asked to support the neo-liberal technocrats.
Con George-Kotzabasis, are we to take no account of the part the technocrats played in “designing” the euro? Are we to take no account of the failure of the ECB to carry out bank supervision or to regulate derivatives? It is a little late in the progress of neoliberal disaster capitalism to be attributing good faith, let alone expertise, to these bozos.

Friday, November 4, 2011

In Greece Political Midgets on a High Wire Act

By Con George-Kotzabasis—November 02, 2011-11-02
Political midgets, a la Papandreou, have chosen to take the risk of the high wire act by this proposal of the referendum. Hoping that the people will vote for the lesser of two evils, i.e., accepting the debt deal as formulated in Brussels last week and rejecting default and departure from the euro zone. At a time when strong leadership is a prerequisite for diminishing the crisis that Greece is facing, Papandreou abdicates his own and passes it to the people through this future referendum. It’s as if the polloi had somehow a better knowledge and understanding of the critical dimensions of the economic situation and could provide a better solution to the crisis than the expertise of the economically and politically savvy.
Once again politicians, who are more concerned of holding power than of the future of their own country, are ready to prostrate themselves before and pay homage to the idol of the Demos. Papandreou facing in Parliament a no-confidence vote and the ousting of his government promptly announced a referendum that would decide the future of the country, hoping that this would allay the anger and opposition of the people against the austerity measures, imposed by the EU, and at the same time put an end to the disarray within his own government that itself stems from the revolt of the people. It’s clever politicking to avoid defeat and save for him the prime ministership. But he is doing this at the expense of the future well being of the country, as it would take years for Greece to recover from the shock of a default if the electorate voted for it, which is highly likely. This is no less than the revisiting of the ‘sinful’ genius of his pere who himself was the preeminent progenitor of the economic ills that Greece is presently plagued with. The fils merely continues , like father like son, the ‘sins’ of his sire in a more acute form and projects them into the future.
World Bank president, Robert Zoellick said that “if voters reject the plan, it’s going to be a mess.” Economists claim that the immediate effects of a default would probably be a 20 percent to 30 percent drop in domestic demand and a fall of 5 to 10 percent of domestic product. Evangelos Venizelos, the Finance Minister, and his deputy broke ranks and opposed the referendum, saying it would jeopardize Greek membership in the euro zone. Ilias Nicolakopoulos, professor of political science and close to the governing socialist party, stated that a “referendum would put the country in danger of blowing everything up.” In contrast, Henry Ergas writing in The Australian, on November 3, 2011, “Greek Vote a Banana Republic Moment,” praises Papandreou for having the “balls” to propose the referendum, and compares him to the gutsy warning of Paul Keating’s “Banana Republic.” He says, that “to call a referendum on the austerity program is hardly irrational. But he adds the caveat, “true, it is a gamble, and a risky one.” Nonetheless, “the best hope of what comes next must lie in securing a genuine popular mandate.”
Regrettably, however, Papandreou’s proposal of a referendum does not rise from his “balls” but from his impotence. Unable to lead and convince the country, as a weak leader, to accept the inevitable “scenario, Greece must face a lengthy period of austerity and structural reform,” Papandreou passes this leadership to the impassioned people to decide whether to accept or not this scenario. Professor Ergas’ quote of Sophocles, “truth is always the strongest argument,” though generally accurate, is misplaced in the context of a long corrupt electorate that the fiscal profligacy of past governments accustomed it to indulge in ‘free suntans’ in sunny Greece. In such circumstances, the only truth that this pampered electorate will accept is the continuation of these free suntans at public expense. And that is why they will vote NO to austerity measures and thus turn the referendum into an ogre for the future economy of Greece.
Fortunately the proposed referendum like the balloon it was fizzled out within twenty four hours. Under external and internal pressure Papandreou reneged his proposal and withdrew it. Tonight (November 4, 2011), he places his fate on the lap of the god, parliament, on a confidence vote. Even if he survives by the smallest margin his prime ministership is foreclosed.      


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Will America Rise from its "Comatose" State?

I’m republishing the following post, that was written on October 3, 2008,  for the readers of this blog.
By Con George-Kotzabasis
A reply to a very clever American Open Salon
The Global Credit Crunch and the Crisis of Legitimacy-September 30, 2008
By RCMoya612

RCMoya, after your excellent and resplendent analysis I feel, if I captiously quibble about few points, like a bat squeaking in the dark. First, inequality might have “continued its forward march” but I would argue that it did so on a higher level of general economic prosperity in America following the up till now unassailable historical paradigm of capitalism and free markets that has made the poor ‘richer’ in relative terms, as the distinguished economist Amartya Sen has contended.
Secondly, America’s “hectoring and ignoring” has its counterpart in Europe and in other continents whose countries were strong allies of the US during the Cold War but with the collapse of the Soviet Union have reappropriated their independence both geopolitically and culturally and expressing this in their own hectoring and ignoring against America, thus continuing the irreversible law of the political and cultural competition of nation-states.
Thirdly, I would argue that as long as America continues to be the centripetal force attracting the “best and the brightest” to its shores and not stifling the Schumpeterian spirit of entrepreneurship and “creative destruction”, it will be able to rise again even from the ashes of a comatose state and will continue to be in the foreseeable future the paramount power in world affairs.
And fourthly, the rejection by Congress of the funding plan that would have a better chance than none to prevent the economy from collapsing was inevitable in the present political climate where reason cannot compete with populist emotionalism and when a swirl of weak politicians, like Nancy Pelosi, and, indeed, Barak Obama, are its ‘slaves’.  Only by cleaning out these wimp politicians from positions of power will the political narrative reassert its strength and legitimacy.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Danger of Political Tyros Handling War Strategy

I'm republishing this short piece for the readers of this blog.

A short reply by Con George-Kotzabasis on:

Clinton’s Statement on Kyl-Lieberman Resolution

Like the two eminent commentators of the New York Times  Paul Krugman and Frank Rich, respectable in their own professions as an economist and art critic respectably, and a bevy of politicians like Nancy Pelosi and John Reid, not so respectable because of their populist stunt, all of them being  novices par excellence in the affairs of war who have attempted to pass judgment on the war in Iraq and cashier its victory despite evidence to the contrary, we now have another “tired less” tyro joining them in war strategy, the scholar and blogger Steven Clemons of the Washington Note. The latter indirectly rebukes Senator Clinton for her support and vote of the Kyl Lieberman resolution that designates the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization, fearing that this will allow Bush to manipulate this resolution and use it to attack Iran.

He calls therefore on Senator Clinton to exercise “leadership in passing an explicit Senate resolution forbidding Bush from taking action against Iran without clear advice and consent from Congress”. But such action is not a declaration of war against Iran needing the authorization of Congress. It’s a strategic force de frappe on the part of the US against Iran in which the elements of secrecy and surprise are pivotal and decisive in the success of such an attack. Therefore Clemons’ call is strategically oxymoronic.     

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Diplomatic Peregrinations in the Holy Land of a Lacklustre Strategist

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The “lion” appointed by President Obama to the office of Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta, who purportedly is defending America and the West from deadly foes, in his latest visit to the Middle East is advising Israel, from his Olympian heights, ‘to take risks for peace.’ This advice, however, is redundant, superfluous, and otiose and Prime Minister Netanyahu has every reason to reject and oppugn such crass “displaced” advice. Israel had already taken risks in the past with no benefit accruing to it, least of all peace. It had withdrawn from Gaza and re-settled its citizens within the borders of Israel with the result that Gaza was taken over by the terrorist organization Hamas and Israel had to defend itself from a rain of rockets fired by the militants of Hamas; and it had likewise withdrawn from South Lebanon only for the latter to be taken over by the other blade of the terrorist scissors Hesbollah, that also started firing rockets against Israel forcing the latter to invade South Lebanon to protect its citizens from being killed. Israel had taken all these risks for peace. But what did it get in return, a deluge of rockets. What other risks Secretary Panetta has in mind for Israel that would bring the up till now eluding peace to the Middle East? For the Israelis to wait until Hamas and Hesbollah load the tips of their rockets with nuclear devices supplied in the near future by Iran? And what precautions and preventive measures the U.S. is taking to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons?

The answer to these questions lies in the further advice that the Secretary of Defence is giving to Israel. He tells it not to take “lone” action against Iran in its threat to develop nuclear weapons. Preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear arsenal, he says, is the responsibility of major nations taking concerted diplomatic action. But this is a “Looney” policy that the Secretary is recommending to the Israelis. It has been tried so many times in the past and it has failed resoundingly. The Islamist regime is not going to change course in its determination to possess nuclear weapons by a truckload of diplomatic carrots but only by an “armada” of bristling porcupines that will pierce its thick skin. Diplomacy can succeed with the Iranian regime only if it is accompanied by the explicit threat of arms.

Leon Panetta has the sinews of a lamb disguised under the skin of a lion. His peregrinating debut in the Holy Land and his attempt to bring, as the “envoy” of the also weak President Obama, Palestinians and Israelis to the negotiating table will prove to be an abject failure, like all the previous efforts of his predecessor Senator Mitchell, also appointed by Obama. As we have predicted, the Obama presidency is a circus of underperforming political tyros, both in the international and domestic arena and more and more Americans are realizing this and are becoming disenchanted with Obama’s performance. The “sprightly colt”, who won the race to the White House with overwhelming support only two and a half years ago, is presently underwhelmed and is conceding to be the underdog in the 2012 elections. (See Obama’s interview with George Stefanopoulos on the ABC.)    


Monday, September 26, 2011

Letter Sent to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

I'm republishing this letter for the readers of this new blog.

July 13 2004
Donald H. Rumsfeld Secretary of Defence
1000 Defence Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1000

Dear Mr Secretary,

The enclosed document has been sent by e-mail both to the President and vice-President, as well as to the American Embassy in Australia, in late August 2003. For obvious reasons, it has not been sent to any of the media outlets for publication. Now however, it will be publicised in a book of mine titled, 'Unveiling The War Against Terror' and its subtitle, 'Fight Right War Or Lose The Right To Exist' in the middle of next August in Melbourne.

As you can see, the axiom of my proposal is that the Iraqi people should be the major equity holders in the profits of oil. In my humble opinion, this will engender three strategic outcomes favourable to your position. A. It will confer unassailable legitimacy to the Interim Government in Iraq. B. It will lead to the total isolation of the terrorist insurgents, and hence facilitate their complete defeat, which will have devastating effects on the global terrorists. And C., it will provide a historical paradigm to all the countries, and their peoples, in the Middle East and Africa which are endowed with resources of oil, to imitate the Iraqi Government.

Furthermore, it will implant the democratic ethos among their peoples, as the latter will witness that it was a democratic government in Iraq which has made its people the major owners of its primary wealth.
Hence, with one strategic fell swoop you will augment your chances of achieving your strategic goals in the region, as well as expediting the defeat of global terror.

For sure, there are some risks involved in this paradigm, especially for Saudi Arabia, as it may lead to the destabilization of the current regime there due to the political turmoil it could generate, and the exploitation of the latter by Muslim fundamentalists. But the U.S. government could take the necessary and preventive measures for all kinds of inimical eventualities foreseeable that could emanate from the implementation of this democratic paradigm.

Yours respectfully,

Con George-Kotzabasis

Friday, September 16, 2011

Will Greece Leave the Eurozone?

By Con George-Kotzabasis

In any crisis of serious proportions consensus between the major political parties is the sine qua non for its resolution. This certainly applies presently in Greece. But the dimensions of the crisis are so Gulliverian that only a titanic struggle of will and resolution by its politicians, guided by wisdom, will at least diminish the scale of the crisis. Regrettably, however, there is a dearth of politicians in Greece of the status of Gulliver and an abundance of Lilliputians. Therefore, a different consensus is materializing among eminent economists, that Greece perforce will have to traverse a different course than that imposed by the ECB and IMF.

Deepak Lal, a former president of the Mont Pelerine Society and a prominent exponent of the Austrian school of economics, predicts a Greek default and an exit from the Euro. To avoid a Greek debt default that would lead to a Eurozone banking crisis, a stabilization program has been imposed on Greece by the ECB and IMF. But unlike other similar stabilization programs, Lal argues, two vital elements are missing: a large devaluation and a restructuring of the country’s debt. “The former is precluded by the fixed exchange rate of the Euro, the latter by the external holdings of Greek sovereign debt by European banks.” The alternative program therefore is to impose a large internal devaluation instigating a precipitous fall in domestic wages and prices through a massive deflation. It is impossible however to believe that Greek politics will allow the country to follow such a course, especially when Greece is likely to be left with a debt-GDP ratio of 150%. Hence, Deepak Lal predicts that a Greek default and an exit from the Euro is the most likely path that Greece will follow.

Monday, September 5, 2011

High Court's Decision:Triumph of Legal Activism at the Cost of Australia

By Con George-Kotzabasis
Lawyers spend a great deal of their time shovelling smoke. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

The High Court’s decision that the Gillard Government’s deportation of asylum seekers to Malaysia is unlawful is a devastating blow to Labour’s immigration policy and a lethal hit on Australian border protection. It’s ostensibly clear that a majority of the honourable justices of the court are not immune to the deadly pestilential virus of legal activism whose source has been a number of admirable but impractical human rights enactments by the United Nations  which can only be implemented by the abrogation of the national sovereignty of nations. But in the context of judicial activism the immigration policy of Labour would stand its trial before judges who already had the sentence of death in their pockets. The majority of the justices argued that Malaysia not being a signatory of the UN Convention to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol is not legally obliged to protect refugees and therefore is not a suitable country to deport refugees. Moreover, according to refugee advocate Julian Burnside, QC, the justices reminded the government that “Australia is signatory to a number of human rights conventions” and is legally bound to abide by them. However, “Commonwealth Solicitor–General Stephen Gageler argued that the government could lawfully declare Malaysia a safe third country even though it had no domestic nor international legal obligations to protect asylum seekers.” But while lawyers may ‘shovel smoke’ at each other on this issue, the repercussions of the High Court’s decision on immigration policy and border protection are of a serious nature and may cause great harm to Australia.
Zabiullah Ahmadi, an Afghan who lives in Kuala Lumpur, predicts than “within weeks there will be lots of boats...many people have been waiting to see this decision.” Hence, the High Court’s decision will encourage asylum seekers to risk their lives in unseaworthy boats with the hope of reaching the shores of Australia which to many of them, in the context of this decision, has become the refugees nirvana. Another refugee observer, Abdul Rahma, a leader of the Rohingga Community in Malaysia, said, the “Australia-Malaysia deal has been a useful bulwark to stop the tide of asylum seekers risking their lives travelling to Australia. Now they would return to the boats.” With the great probability therefore of an increase in boat smuggling and the attached physical and psychological risks that asylum seekers will have to take, the judges of the High Court have unwittingly, and must I add, foolishly, become accessories before the fact of this great danger to the lives of refugees on board of unseaworthy vessels. Furthermore, the honourable justices by ‘signing on’ the UN Convention on refugees, they have written off the long term interests of Australia in regard to its immigration policy that is of such paramount importance to its future balanced demographic mix. A mix that will not threaten its Western based values and the harmony of its democratic society  as it has on many European countries due to an unwise and completely flawed immigration policy that so acrimoniously and precariously has divided the indigenous population and immigrants, as exemplified by the massacre in Norway and the riots in the cities of Britain.
But one must be reminded that the decision of the High Court is a direct outcome of the foolish dismantling by the former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of the successful “Pacific Solution” of Howard’s government that in fact had stopped the refugee boats coming to the shores of Australia. And the serially incompetent and politically effete Julia Gillard who succeeded him to the Lodge had to pick up this can of worms, i.e., this confused new Labour policy that was kicked by Rudd to his successor with his ousting from the Lodge.
In the context of the decision of the High Court the Gillard government has no alternative other than to change by legislation the immigration laws. And it is good to see that in this task to protect the borders of Australia, the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has stated that the Liberal/National Coalition would support such legislation if the Government would consider Nauru as an offshore refugee centre. It is imperative that this offshore solution must not be replaced by the cretinous stupid proposal of the Greens and their sundry ‘paramours’ of human rights lawyers and refugee advocates that asylum seekers should be held in onshore centres such as on Christmas Island. Such a short sighted harebrained proposal would lead to a stampede of smuggler’s boats hitting the shores of Australia and would be an incentive for ruffians of all kinds to continue entering in greater numbers such a lucrative business.
Finally, the High Court’s decision is a portentous illustration of what is in store for nations who injudiciously and facilely sign international conventions without considering the serious and injurious repercussions such covenants could have on national sovereignty. No wise political leadership would be ‘outsourcing’ the sovereignty of one’s nation.                 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Defection of Gaddafi's Foreign Minister Presages the Collapse of the Regime

The following short piece that was written on April 1, 2011, predicted the present collapse of the Gaddafi regime.

NATO in Libya Fraught with Peril April 01, 2011
By Sean Kay The Washington Note

A short reply by Con George-Kotzabasis

Sean Kay’s NATO in Libya Fraught with Peril, is politically inept and has already been overcome by events. As we had predicted, the end result of a decisive military intervention by Western powers would be to bring the collapse of the Gaddafi regime. Now the degringolade of the regime is imminent. This is clearly foreshadowed by the defection of foreign minister Moussa Koussa, a close collaborator of Gaddafi and a former director of Libyan Intelligence to boot, that sets the example for other high officials of the regime to follow.

Who would be a better qualified person than a former director of Intelligence to read correctly the vibes and disposition of the Libyan people toward the regime, and more importantly, the latter’s inability to suppress the bouleversement against it, and hence induce Mr. Koussa, for these reasons, to abandon the doomed sinking ship of Gaddafi?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Which Record is Worse Market Failure or State Failure?

By Con George-Kotzabasis

Those who so lackadaisically, ignorantly, and one-sidedly, like the liberal ‘questions’, dismiss the efficiency and effectiveness of the “free market” that since its origins and rise has increased by leaps and bounds the standard of living of the masses, according to the Indian economist Amartya Sen, should consider the following: if someone objectively and impartially contrasted historically “market failure” with “state failure” the latter would outweigh the former by tons. A recent egregious example of state failure is President Obama’s spending of a trillion dollars to create jobs. Not to mention the historical example of the failure of the Soviet Union, with its inherently command dirigiste policies, which economists of the stature of Ludwig von Mises had predicted all along.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Technology Despite its Discontents Opens the Door to Prosperity

By Con George-Kotzabasis

You place important questions in your post. Indeed, technology is an important, if not the most important, “driving force” to globalization, and whilst it unites the world on an economic and a scientific level it simultaneously sunders it on a geopolitical level as a result of the different strategic interests of the major players on the global chessboard.

Globalization however is no longer a choice as it has become virtually an elemental force and those who resist it are bound to suffer its inevitable tragic consequences. Also, whilst many governments that are aware of the problems posed by globalization will “work together”, as I adumbrated above, some will not. But those that will cooperate and deliver political stability and economic prosperity will have the majority of the world’s peoples on their side.

I like your opening with caterpillars and butterflies which concisely illustrates the evolutionary development of all things, and in whose development “creativity” plays the primary role.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Obama Doctrine of Leading from Behind Leads to the Destruction of America's Preponderance

History teaches that weakness is provocative. Time and again weakness has invited adventures which strength might well have deterred. Donald Rumsfeld

By Con George-Kotzabasis—July 10, 2011

One of Obama’s advisers described oxymoronically the actions of the president in Libya as “leading from behind.” At a historic moment for the people of North Africa and the Middle East when the winds of change are sweeping away a caste of authoritarian regimes, the USA under President Obama, has chosen not to be the avant-garde promoter and backer of this change but its rearguard.

Not since Rome was saved by the cackling of the geese from a barbaric invasion has there been a great event happening as an outcome of a humdrum ‘insignificant’ action. But in Tunisia, in February 2011, a street vendor would save the Arab peoples from the rapacious and brutal clutches of a conglomeration of despotic leaders. In such graphic terms historians write about the fates of people: the catalysts of great events are often the most ordinary of people; and the abortionists and ‘stiflers’ of great events are often those who have power but who are too timorous and abhor to use it due to their  Lilliputian leadership. Hence, we see the ‘abortionist’ Obama contra Bouazizi, the Tunisian street vendor who by self-immolating himself in protest against the officials of a corrupt regime sparked the Arab revolt. President Obama as the leader of the most powerful nation of the world that is engaged in war with a mortal enemy, as Commander-in-Chief, instead of decisively helping and making sure that the Arab revolt against their oppressors succeeds, timidly decides, on so called pragmatic grounds, not to commit the necessary resources for such strategic, grandiose, and humane goal.

Furthermore, Obama’s strategic shift to “remove 10,000 of our troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year, and we will bring home a total of 33,000 troops by next summer,” irrespective of conditions on the ground, which was his previous position, and not heeding and rejecting all his military commanders, from Admiral Mike Mullen to General David Petraeus, who cautioned him that an unconditional withdrawal from the country could imperil all the advantages that the Coalition had won over the Taliban with last year’s military surge, and indeed, could increase the danger to the remaining U.S. and allied forces and hence augment the number of casualties among them. President Obama, however, who presumably is deeply concerned about American lives lost in the war, totally disregarded this pre-cautionary and prudent advice coming from his top commanders and stuck doggedly to his schedule of withdrawal, which proved as some commentators said, his pulling out the troops had more to do with his prospects of being re-elected as president in 2012 than with the strategic and security interests of the United States.  The sage commentator of the Washington Post, Charles Krauthammer poses the question: so why the choice of the end of summer 2012. The budget savings are trivial but the increased risk of mission failure in Afghanistan is great. The obvious answer is that domestic political considerations motivated President Obama to adopt this profoundly flawed strategy that will embolden its fanatic enemies to open new fields of battles against the U.S., and indeed attack it once again directly. Thus President Obama by disengaging from his implacable and irreconcilable foe externally he will be ‘inviting’ this sinister and deadly enemy to attack America internally.  

Afghanistan Remains Pivotal In The War Against Global Terror

The commanders on the ground aimed to consolidating the gains in southern Afghanistan and begin the major operations to secure the east, as their campaign plan had envisioned. With the announced ill-conceived withdrawal that will now be impossible. Moreover, as the outgoing Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen has warned, Obama’s decision will increase the risks to the troops and increase the chance that the mission will not succeed.

The Ivy League law professor, combined with the simplistic tasks of community organizer, who by the mere hateful animus a majority of Americans had against the Bush administration, and by association against Republicans, was pushed into the White House without anyone being genuinely concerned to scrutinize his political astuteness, mettle, experience , and ability to become  the Commander-in- Chief  in these most dangerous of times, does not comprehend the high stakes involved in a pre-mature withdrawal of U.S. forces from the battlefield of Afghanistan. He is incapable of seeing or unwilling to face the stark reality that America perforce after 9/11 put the flower of its youth in the frontlines of Afghanistan and Iraq for the purpose of defeating a dangerous and irreconcilable enemy, who would continuously threaten the security and well being of Americans until the day when he was totally disabled and beaten. Does the President seriously contemplate that by withdrawing his troops from Afghanistan, pulling them out of harm’s way, as he puts it, he will not be harming inevitably the vital geopolitical interests of the United States and the security and economic interests of its own people? Does he sincerely believe that by the cessation of U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan against the Taliban and the ‘compound’ of Islamist fanatics that are concentrated in the Pak/Afghan region, he will not confronting them again in the near future in the same areas or in other Muslim countries, and indeed, within the heartland of America itself, and that like King Canute he will stop the tidal wave of fanatic terrorism from advancing to the shores of America, especially when the withdrawal will be seen by the combatants of Islam as a decisive defeat, like the Soviet’s, of  the American Satan? Does he not understand the Rumsfeldian principle that “weakness is provocative?”

No serious political thinker sees the war against Islamist extremists as a mistake or as an exercise of American expansion and domination. On the contrary, it is seen as a rational and urgent pre-emptive defensive response to the greatest threat that Western civilization will be facing in the twentieth-first century with the possible coupling of terrorists with rogue states armed with weapons of mass destruction. And by its nature, this will be a long war that cannot be shortened by Obamanesque makeshift political contrivances that will satisfy the polloi, and by attitudinal changes toward this fanatical implacable foe.  The war can only be shortened, as was shown in Iraq, only when the enemy realizes that he is confronting an unflappable determined opponent who demonstrates his willingness to use his firepower relentlessly and remorselessly against him. It is by instilling the terror of annihilation into the hearts and minds of the terrorists that one can decisively subdue them.

The politically diffident and strategically un-savvy and poll-driven Obama is incapable of carrying on his politically rickety feet the heavy weight of statesmanship on his shoulders and thus protect America and the civilized world from the future ravages that the Islamist witches are concocting against the ‘infidels’. His rearguard presidency of “leading from behind,” saps the political oak of America of all its strength and makes it defenseless against the winds that are stirred up by Allah’s holy warriors. Obama’s unwillingness to engage the Gorgon of terror and its sponsors whenever and wherever it raises its head and cut it off, makes his presidency alien to the greatest danger the world is facing while at the same time enervates America’s preponderance in world affairs.  Only the removal of this totally inept and weak president will once again strengthen the United States against this infernal foe who threatens civilized life on a universal scale; only a new president with the daring and vitality of a Perseus to cut off the Gorgon’s head will rescue the ‘unbelievers’ from being decapitated by the scimitar of fanatic Islam.

I rest on my oars:your turn now...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Euthanasia of the Presidency under Obama

By Con George-Kotzabasis
President Obama is placing the vibrant presidency of the most powerful nation in the world in the hands of the practitioners of euthanasia as if America were in the agony of its death throes. Cynical about America’s global political and military power; cynical about its ability to win the war against its deadly and irreconcilable enemy; cynical about its peoples’ steadfastness and determination to wage war against the fanatical hordes of Islam that threaten America’s heartland; cynical of its European allies’ resolution--under indomitable and sagacious US leadership--to fight the same war; and cynical of the capacity of the best professionally trained armed forces in the world, i.e., the American, to defeat an impromptu organized group of terrorists, who bereft of cool strategic nous in comparison to its ‘infidel’ opponents, are impulsively fighting the Great Satan and all the other little Satans of  the West  with the fanatical cry of Allahu Akbar,  President Obama has chosen, due to this inveterate cynicism and to his guileful and odious politics as we shall  see further down, most imprudently strategically and politically and sans amour propre to retreat from the battlefield, with macabre geopolitical consequences for America’s prestige as a superpower, and take cover behind a no longer fortress America.
As we predicted early in 2009, during the long gestation of the president’s ‘new strategy’ for Afghanistan which under the pretence of giving serious consideration to the request of his senior commander in Afghanistan General McChrystal to increase the troops by 40,000, he dithered his decision not however for the purpose of how to win the war but for the purpose of weighing the political costs that would accrue to him if he had accepted the advice of his general. And when finally he made his decision, he increased the troops by 30,000 while handing to his National Security team a memo setting the strict terms that this increase included the July 2011 start date for a US troop withdrawal. Hence, Obama as Commander-in-Chief, whilst his brave soldiers and astute generals were spilling their blood in the rugged terrain of Afghanistan fighting the Taliban with the aim of defeating them, all he was thinking about were the political costs that would bear upon him as a result of his apparent greater involvement in the unpopular war. So Obama’s ‘serious’ and long deliberations before he made his decision had nothing to do with a new strategy, emanating from his status as Commander-in-Chief, to defeat the Taliban but had everything to do with his status as political shyster who was only concerned about his polls.
The increase of troops by 30,000 was strategically meaningless as it had not the aim of defeating the enemy since it merely served Obama’s political rationale of not seeming to be weak on war while at the same time placating the anti-war crowd by announcing the withdrawal of all US forces from Afghanistan. What strategist of any substance would increase his forces in the field of battle only to withdraw them without inflicting upon his enemy a mortal blow? And what kind of leader would place an increased number of his soldiers in danger and continue a war that he thinks is unwinnable when his main purpose was to withdraw them from such war, why would he have increased them in the first place if he was planning to withdraw them if not for his concealed ill-design to dupe the American people, to present himself as both a war president and a peaceful one? In reality of course, Obama is neither of these but a political Shylock who demands his pound of flesh from his troops fighting in Afghanistan in order to play his despicable politics at home so he can placate both those Americans who support the war and those who are against it.
From Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, Charles Martel, to Napoleon all strategies had a clear and unique goal, to defeat the foe. Only President Obama, who as the most repulsive of political manipulators is wantonly sacrificing the interests of the nation to his own narrow political interests, is disgracefully and timorously traducing this irreversible principle of war and turning himself into a cartoonist mockery as Commander-in-Chief of a great nation.
Afghanistan during Obama’s political campaign was a “war of necessity” that was neglected by President Bush and a war that must be won. But according to Bob Woodward’s new book titled Obama’s Wars, this is no longer so. Obama is quoted as saying, “This needs to be a plan about how we are going to handed it off and get out of Afghanistan.” And the outcome of the policy review and its long deliberations was the offspring of “political considerations,” according to a State Department official. Obama himself reportedly said to Senator Lindsey Graham, “I can’t lose the whole Democratic Party” on the issue of Afghanistan. General Petraeus felt so affronted by White House demands for an exit strategy at all costs that he told his aids, “They are f...king with the wrong guy.” Another senior general said that the announcement of the withdrawal by President Obama, gave “sustenance to the Taliban.” Moreover, the policy review has engendered serious divisions within the Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Security Council, and the Defense Department and between American and Afghan officials. Jim Jones, the National Security adviser, calls the ‘bosom’ advisers of Obama, David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel variously as the “mafia” the “campaign set” and the “politburo.” And General Petraeus has dubbed Axelrod as the spin artist in residence, and I would add the spin-master who can win elections and lose wars. 
These revelations of Bob Woodward are toxic to Obama’s presidency and threaten to unleash a spate of resignations of top echelons of the Administration. In short, the presidency at this critical moment of national security and war is in a state of disarray. And no matter how he is going to re-arrange the musical chairs of his sinking presidency after losing the better performers, the future ones that will occupy them will be the worst performers that he could get. No one of sterling qualities, of the best and the brightest, will have an inkling to join an intellectually, politically, morally, and strategically bankrupt administration and be branded everlastingly with such an ignominiously failed presidency. Obama by debasing the political currency of a great nation will become the victim of Gresham’s Law. The bad and base currency of circulating officials that will bid for the positions of the Administration will drive the good and golden currency of officials out of circulation for these posts. Hence Obama’s future administration will be filled by political parvenus, professional opportunists, and Cagliostro like political impostors and all ‘playing their tunes’ under the conductors of spin. Such an outcome will seriously undermine America’s prestige and éclat as a superpower. It will momentously endanger the vital interests of the nation and its security by enticing its mortal enemies to attack it, as they see that the rudder of America in the rough seas of the world is in the hands of an incompetent and weak president. The question is whether Americans will allow this to happen and whether they will have the intelligence and courage to use all means to stop it and put an end to Obama’s Directorate of social democracy and to stop at the eleventh hour the euthanasia of the presidency.
I rest on my oars: Your turn now     

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Homegrown Terror Copycats Baghdad

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The latest attempts in London, Glasgow, and New York by home grown terrorists to strike innocent civilians and kill them in their hundreds that failed only because of the clumsiness of the terrorists, despite their godly-inspired guidance, are a dress rehearsal of the mise en scene that home-grown terror is staging for the cities of Western civilization. The car bombs of Baghdad that are being such successful deadly instruments in killing hundreds of civilians at a time, are now being imported into the shopping and leisure malls of the West by the western Muslim ensconced terrorists. This will be the greatest danger that city commuters will be facing in the very near future by the suicidal fanatics who while burning alive will still call “Allah, Allah”, during the execution of their murderous deeds.

The use of car bombs is not only effective in inflicting widespread carnage, but is also economically cheaper and most of all harder to detect. And because of the greater difficulties that terrorists are encountering in hijacking aircraft as a result of the greater security in airports, they will opt therefore for the car bombs and bomb belts that are by far more elusive in being identified as such, and hence, “leapfrog” this greater security that has been set up by governments in Western countries.

It’s therefore for the above three reasons, that we will be seeing home grown terror bringing the meme of Baghdad on western streets and spreading death and havoc in the metropolises of  Europe, America, and Australasia.