Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don’t have for something they don’t need

In news of the strange, U.S. Warns About Canadian Spy Coins

The U.S. report doesn’t suggest who might be tracking American defense contractors or why. It also doesn’t describe how the Pentagon discovered the ruse, how the transmitters might function or even which Canadian currency contained them.

Further details were secret, according to the U.S. Defense Security Service, which issued the warning to the Pentagon’s classified contractors. The government insists the incidents happened, and the risk was genuine.

“What’s in the report is true,” said Martha Deutscher, a spokeswoman for the security service. “This is indeed a sanitized version, which leaves a lot of questions.”

Top suspects, according to outside experts: China, Russia or even France – all said to actively run espionage operations inside Canada with enough sophistication to produce such technology.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service said it knew nothing about the coins.

And no this is not from some right-wing paranoid web site it is from

Credit where it is do, Devastating Criticism on Iraq by Both Parties

Perhaps surprisingly, the language changed little when it was the Republicans’ turn. “You’ve clearly heard the skepticism that has been expressed this morning by so many of my colleagues, and for good reason,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Senator George V. Voinovich of Ohio, noting that he previously went along with the president and “bought into his dream,” demanded the administration “do a much better job” of explaining its strategy. A smattering of applause erupted when Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska warned that Mr. Bush’s new plan would be “the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam, if it’s carried out.”

The only thing about Republicans, including Chuck Hagel is that talk is cheap. If it comes to a showdown will Murkowski, Voinovich, Hagel and other what passes for moderate conservatives put their votes where their mouths are.

The Real Disaster

President Bush told Americans last night that failure in Iraq would be a disaster. The disaster is Mr. Bush’s war, and he has already failed. Last night was his chance to stop offering more fog and be honest with the nation, and he did not take it.

Americans needed to hear a clear plan to extricate United States troops from the disaster that Mr. Bush created. What they got was more gauzy talk of victory in the war on terrorism and of creating a “young democracy” in Iraq. In other words, a way for this president to run out the clock and leave his mess for the next one.

These are the questions that every American should be asking; after three years of turning corners where some ill defined victory was around every one of those corners why didn’t he acknowledge then he didn’t have things under control and why should the American people trust him to suddenly turn a civil war around. A civil war that he let spiral out of control with his first plan. The advertising campaign was very successful – Iraq, al-Queda, 9-11 and national security were all tied together, if you questioned any part of it you were pro-terrorists. There was and still is no room for honest disagreement over policy, you’re either pro whatever new and improved snake oil Bush is selling this week or you’re pro failure. How many times does Bush have to fail before American says no more.

Baghdad, Bush Policy Is Met With Resentment

“The plan can be developed according to the needs,” Mr. Dabbagh said. Then he added tartly, “What is suitable for our conditions in Iraq is what we decide, not what others decide for us.”

The spokesman’s remarks, and a similarly dyspeptic tone that was adopted by Shiite politicians with close ties to Mr. Maliki, pointed to the double-bind Mr. Bush finds himself in. Faced with low levels of public support for his new military push and a Democratic leadership in Congress that has said it will fight him over it, he also confronts the uncomfortable prospect of foot-dragging in Baghdad over the troop increases and the benchmarks he has set for the Iraqis.

While senior officials in Washington have presented the new war plan as an American adaptation of proposals that were first put to Mr. Bush by Mr. Maliki when the two men met in the Jordanian capital of Amman in November, the picture that is emerging in Baghdad is quite different. What Mr. Maliki wanted, his officials say, was in at least one crucial respect the opposite of what Mr. Bush decided: a lowering of the American profile in the war, not the increase Mr. Bush has ordered.

Bush and the warbloggers are always telling us what the Iraqis want and nothing has changed the Iraqis never want what the Right says they do.

New China. New crisis

China is the new factor in global politics and economics, and its rulers and people know it. It now has more than $1 trillion of foreign exchange reserves, the world’s largest. It is the single most important financier of the United States’ enormous trade deficit. It is the world’s second largest importer of oil. Before 2010, it will be the world’s largest exporter of goods. It is, comfortably, the world’s second largest military power. Last year, the Pentagon’s four-yearly defence review stated that China is the power most likely to ‘field disruptive military technologies that could over time offset traditional US military advantages’. A new great power is in the making, but one whose pursuit of its self-interest takes the amorality of power to a new plane. It is not just the Chinese who should be concerned about its institutional and moral failings; all of us should be.

This same warning could be applied to the neocons of the American Right, “but one whose pursuit of its self-interest takes the amorality of power to a new plane.”

“Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don’t have for something they don’t need” – Will Rogers