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Trump Card (2020) Beating Socialism, Corruption and The Deep State

The Copenhagen Shakedown – WSJ.com

The Copenhagen Shakedown – WSJ.com.

The U.N. climate-change conference in Copenhagen was supposed to be the moment when the world came together to save us from an excess of carbon dioxide. Like all such confabs, it’s coming down instead to cold, hard cash.

On Monday, the so-called G-77—in effect, the Third World—walked out of the talks for several hours in protest of the unwillingness, as they saw it, of rich countries to foot the bill for averting or mitigating climate catastrophe in the developing world. The negotiations have since resumed, but with the most difficult questions set aside and expectations lower than ever.

More than anything else, Monday’s walkout revealed the real reason that the developing world is in Copenhagen in the first place: They see climate change as a potential foreign-aid bonanza, and they are at the table to leverage the West’s environmental angst into massive transfers of wealth.

OpinionJournal Related Articles:

•Review and Outlook: The Copenhagen Concoction
•Review and Outlook:Global Warming Revolt
•Review and Outlook:Copenhagen’s Collapse

In theory, the money is supposed to help poor countries pay for their transition to a carbon-neutral future. But the developed world has been pouring trillions of dollars into development aid in various forms for decades, with little to show for it. The reasons are well-known: Corruption, political oppression, government control of the economy and the absence of rule of law combine to keep poor countries poor. And those factors also ensure that most aid is squandered or skimmed off the top.Recasting foreign aid as “climate mitigation” won’t change any of that.

Still, Copenhagen’s fixation on who pays for these huge wealth transfers is instructive because it lays bare the myth that greening the global economy is a cost-free exercise. The G-77 scoffed at a European offer of €7.2 billion ($10 billion) over three years. Instead, the Sudanese chairman of the group, Lumumba Stanislaus Di-Aping, suggested in an interview with Mother Jones magazine that something on the order of a trillion dollars, or more, would be appropriate.

“The world’s scientists and policy decision makers have publicly stated that this is the greatest risk humanity has ever faced,” says Mr. Di-Aping. “Now if that’s the case, it’s very strange that $10 billion is considered adequate financing.” Mr. Di-Aping deserves credit for taking the climate alarmists on their own terms and drawing consistent conclusions.

Dennis Meadows, one of the authors of the Malthusian 1972 classic “The Limits to Growth,” also served up some climate honesty in a recent interview with Der Spiegel. “I lived long enough in a country like Afghanistan to know that I don’t want us to have to live like that in the future. But we have to learn to live a life that allows for fulfillment and development, with the CO2 emissions of Afghanistan.” Mr. Meadows’s chilling corollary: “If you want everyone to have the full potential of mobility, adequate food and self-development, then . . . one or two billion” people is about all the population the planet can sustain.

Given that the world’s population is now about 6.8 billion people, that’s not likely to happen. Nor is the developed world about to reinvent itself as a greener version of Afghanistan, much less fork over trillions of dollars to avert the supposed catastrophe it has done so much to trumpet. If the summit at Copenhagen achieves nothing else but to expose the disconnect between climate alarm and climate “solutions,” it may even be worth it.

Printed in The Wall Street Journal, page A26

Afghanistan's defense minister warns against U.S. pullback – Los Angeles Times

Afghanistan’s defense minister warns against U.S. pullback

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U.S. troops patrol in Tupak, Afghanistan. Washington officials have talked of lowering expectations in the war.

Abdul Rahim Wardak says the Obama administration’s recent comments of lowered goals have Kabul worried that Afghanistan’s civilian government could fall to the Taliban.

By Peter Spiegel

February 27, 2009

Reporting from Washington — Afghanistan’s defense minister warned Thursday that the Obama administration’s proposed changes in U.S. war strategy risk undermining Kabul’s civilian government because they appear to scale back U.S. goals in the country.

Abdul Rahim Wardak said he was troubled by recent comments from senior U.S. officials that they were “lowering expectations” in Afghanistan in order to set more “obtainable goals,” saying such language recalls memories of the U.S. desertion of Afghanistan after the Soviet Union pulled out in 1989.

“Changing course, adopting a new strategy of containment or dropping the idea of a strong central government will be falling into the trap the enemy has laid, helping them to achieve their evil objectives,” Wardak said in a speech at a Washington think tank before meetings with U.S. diplomatic and military officials.

Wardak’s comments were among the strongest from an Afghan leader since President Obama announced that he was ordering a revamp of the U.S. military strategy in Afghanistan. They appeared to be aimed at Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who in recent weeks has said U.S. strategy would be to scale back objectives there.

In congressional testimony and news conferences, Gates has said the U.S. should focus on helping the provincial governments, rather than the central government, and narrow its mission to blocking terrorist havens from redeveloping in the nation.

“My own personal view is that our primary goal is to prevent Afghanistan from being used as a base for terrorists and extremists to attack the U.S. and our allies,” Gates told the Senate last month. “Whatever else we need to do flows from that objective.”

Gates is not alone, however. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have indicated frustration with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who has been accused of failing to stamp out corruption and extend public services.

The growing tensions came amid a weeklong visit to Washington by senior Afghan and Pakistani officials for meetings on regional strategy with the new administration.

After a session with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Afghan Foreign Minister Rangeen Dadfar Spanta struck a more conciliatory tone, thanking Obama for making a “personal commitment” to Afghanistan.

But Wardak, a former mujahedin commander who is widely respected in Western milita

via Afghanistan’s defense minister warns against U.S. pullback – Los Angeles Times.