Sunday, September 21, 2014

Suspicions Run Deep in Iraq That C.I.A. and the Islamic State Are United

BAGHDAD — The United States has conducted an escalating campaign of deadly airstrikes against the extremists of the Islamic State for more than a month. But that appears to have done little to tamp down the conspiracy theories still circulating from the streets of Baghdad to the highest levels of Iraqi government that the C.I.A. is secretly behind the same extremists that it is now attacking.

“We know about who made Daesh,” said Bahaa al-Araji, a deputy prime minister, using an Arabic shorthand for the Islamic State on Saturday at a demonstration called by the Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr to warn against the possible deployment of American ground troops. Mr. Sadr publicly blamed the C.I.A. for creating the Islamic State in a speech last week, and interviews suggested that most of the few thousand people at the demonstration, including dozens of members of Parliament, subscribed to the same theory. (Mr. Sadr is considered close to Iran, and the theory is popular there as well.)

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/21/world/middleeast/suspicions-run-deep-in-iraq-that-cia-and-the-islamic-state-are-united.html?action=click&contentCollection=Opinion&region=Footer&module=TopNews&pgtype=Blogs

The New Conservative Love Affair With Canada

You may remember your liberal friends threatening to move to Canada after George W. Bush was re-elected. But something surprising has happened in the last few years: Conservatives have fallen in love with Canada. The conservative journalist John Fund wrote in National Review this month that Canada is becoming “more American than America.” That’s the same John Fund who wrote a 1995 Wall Street Journal staff editorial calling Canada “an honorary member of the third world.” A lot can change in two decades.

In August, when Burger King announced its intention to acquire the Canadian coffee-and-doughnuts chain Tim Hortons and reincorporate up north, The Journal editorialized that the United States should focus on copying Canada’s attractive corporate tax policies, not on holding American companies captive. “Canada has become a far more business-friendly tax jurisdiction than the U.S.,” America’s leading conservative editorial page wrote. “The Burger King deal also signals the continuing success of Canada’s historic move toward open markets and economic growth.”

The libertarians Chris Edwards and Amity Shlaes (and Mr. Fund) have urged the United States to copy Canada’s tax-free savings accounts, which are substantially more flexible than I.R.A.s. Wonky conservative skeptics of comprehensive immigration reform, such as David Frum and Reihan Salam, like to point to Canada’s “points system,” which favors high-skilled immigrants and discourages family-based chain migration, as a model to imitate. All sorts of Republican politicians talk about Canada as a reliable partner for fossil-fuel-based energy, eager to extract oil from its tar sands and ship it to us through the Keystone pipeline if only we would let them.


How Qatar is funding the rise of Islamist extremists

The fabulously wealthy Gulf state, which owns an array of London landmarks and claims to be one of our best friends in the Middle East, is a prime sponsor of violent Islamists

Few outsiders have noticed, but radical Islamists now control Libya's capital. These militias stormed Tripoli last month, forcing the official government to flee and hastening the country's collapse into a failed state.
Moreover, the new overlords of Tripoli are allies of Ansar al-Sharia, a brutal jihadist movement suspected of killing America's then ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and of trying to murder his British counterpart, Sir Dominic Asquith.
Barely three years after Britain helped to free Libya from Col Gaddafi's tyranny, anti-Western radicals hold sway. How could Britain's goal of a stable and friendly Libya have been thwarted so completely?
Step forward a fabulously wealthy Gulf state that owns an array of London landmarks and claims to be one of our best friends in the Middle East.
Qatar, the owner of Harrods, has dispatched cargo planes laden with weapons to the victorious Islamist coalition, styling itself "Libya Dawn".

If you said shares of BABA, you'd be wrong. According to the Telegraph, the exodus out of paper wealth and into hard assets is reaching a fever pitch as the "super-rich are looking to protect their wealth through buying record numbers of "Italian job" style gold bars, according to bullion experts." The numbers cited by the paper are impressive: the number of 12.5kg gold bars being bought by wealthy customers has increased 243% so far this year, when compared to the same period last year, said Rob Halliday-Stein founder of BullionByPost. "These gold bars are usually stored in the vaults of central banks and are the same ones you see in the film 'The Italian Job'," added David Cousins, bullion executive from London based ATS Bullion.