Daily Archives: November 17, 2017

Climate Change and Water Woes Drove ISIS Recruiting in Iraq

National Geographic has the story Climate Change and Water Woes Drove ISIS Recruiting in Iraq.

Across rural Iraq and Syria, farmers, officials, and village elders tell similar stories of desperate farmhands swapping backhoes for assault rifles. Already battered by decades of shoddy environmental policies, which had hobbled agriculture and impoverished its dependents, these men were in no state to navigate the extra challenges of climate change. And so when ISIS came along, propelled in large part by sectarian grievances and religious fanaticism, many of the most environmentally damaged Sunni Arab villages quickly emerged as some of the deep-pocketed jihadists’ foremost recruiting grounds.

Not only is this a lesson in how we should change our policy in the middle-east, but it is a lesson for policy in our own country. Perhaps one of the few things missing for repeating the depression of the 1930s is the dust bowl that affected farmers so severely. Ignoring climate change could be the final step in repeating our depression history.

There are so many lessons in this article besides the ones mentioned above. There is also the story of the cost of doing additional direct environmental damage over and above climate change. Indiscriminately damming rivers and spilling oil from pipelines come to mind.

The Democrats Used to Love Russian Oligarchs

Truthdig has the article The Democrats Used to Love Russian Oligarchs.

The Democrats were there at the birth of the Russian mafia-oligarchy, clucking and cooing like godmothers. Bill Clinton and platoons of Wall Street advisors guided the dissolution of the Russian state and redistribution of public assets among the new class of gangster-owners. They openly backed the drunken quisling Boris Yeltsin for president in 1996, and were assured by the nouveau gangster capitalist class of continued subservience to Washington. To this day, the U.S. government (and the New York Times) treats fallen Russian oligarchs like political prisoners, and exiled mafia as allies, and has installed an oligarch-run regime in Ukraine. They hate Putin because he “tamed” the most unpatriotic elements of Russian oligarchy, and put his country on an independent international path.

This is the part of adopting some capitalism by Russia and China that I find the saddest. If they had to recognize the value of some capitalism in their economic systems, why did they have to include the adoption of the worst parts of capitalism?

Yes, Putin’s worst crime as far as the Clintons are concerned may be his trying to reign in these new Russian oligarchs. I am not saying that Putin is perfect, but I did understand the logic of trying to undo what some of these Russian oligarchs did.

Hence, another reason to dislike the Clintons for favoring oligarchs all over the world instead of the regular people of the world.