Archive for the Foreign Policy Category

Seriously Sizing Up Syria Seizing Up (October 12, 2015)

Posted in Afghanistan, Bush, Climate, Dollar - World's Reserve Currency, Foreign Policy, Global Climate Change, Global Warming, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, Newspapers, Russia, Sports, Syria, Vietnam, War on October 12, 2015 by e-commentary.org

. . .

7          “They could make it easier if they wore jerseys with numbers.”

8          “The good folks could sport odd numbers and the bad folks could sport even numbers on their uniforms.”

7          “Or the good folks could use even numbers and the bad folks could use odd numbers.  Or use different defining colors.  Or stitch the sponsor of the team on the back of the jersey.”

8          “During the Southeast Asian War Games conducted in ‘nam, a ‘Stars and Stripes’ newspaper cartoon depicted two identical individuals in pajamas and flip flops – one described as ‘Friend’ and one described as ‘Enemy’.”

7          “Nothing changes.  Discerning one’s friends and one’s enemies among those wearing towels and sandals is vexing.”

8          “The great feud between the Shia and the Sunni seems akin to the great feud between the Hatfields and McCoys.  No one was right and no one really knew what they were fighting for and no one really knew why they were fighting.”

7          “The reality is that the enemy of my enemy is not my friend, the enemy of my enemy is my enemy.”

. . .

7          “Most folks are more comfortable with what the nerdy folks describe as a ‘Manichean’ division into good and bad, or right and wrong, or us and them.  International relations are described as a balance of power and depicted with a scale.  A pint of water on one side can be balanced with a pound of whatever on the other side.  Yet international relations are more akin to multiple Calder mobiles strung and hung together.  Tug on one string and everything tips out of balance.  The unprovoked invasion of Iraq by then President Cheney and Vice President Bush in 2003 was the great tug that triggered the imbalance accelerating today.”

8          “Toss a rock in the pond and watch the concentric circles and the eccentric responses.  The lack of water in Syria and other places is fueling the fury.  A drought of water leads to a drought of hope.  The world is transitioning from wars over oil to wars over water.”

7          “And wars over currency.  Everything is out of balance.”

8          “Seems that global climate change is bringing about global change.”

. . .

8          “For the U.S., ‘Iraq’ is Arabic for ‘Vietnam’.  For Russia, ‘Syria’ may be Arabic for ‘Afghanistan’.”

7          “‘Waterloo’ is French for ‘Waterloo’.”

8          “Or Esperanto for ‘quagmire’.”

. . .

7          “We make decisions with limited information.  Look at who is for and who is against going to war.  Former General Wesley Clark suggests that the United States seeks to take out Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.  The Neo-conservatives in America want the United States to be mired in constant war everywhere on the planet all the time.  They keep getting us in trouble.”

8          “The bad folks.  Do they have even or odd numbers?  What color are their uniforms?”

. . .

7          “Much of the fighting is a prolonged currency war between the United States and many other countries.  The United States is slowly losing the franchise on the world’s reserve currency.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at World’s Reserve Currency War I = Cold War 2.0 = WW III (?) (September 8, 2014) and Le Dollar – World’s Reserve Currency? (November 28, 2011).]

Bumper sticker of the week:

Are they doing the watusi when they should be doing the hokey pokey?

Venturing A Few Unfounded And Unwarranted Predictions (July 13, 2015)

Posted in "L" Shaped Economy, Bankruptcy, Banks and Banking System, Collapse, Depression, Elections, Foreign Policy, Gold, Gold Standard, Kleptocracy, Money, Pensions, Quantitative Easing, Recession, SDR - Special Drawing Rights, Security State, Silver, Silver Standard, Supernova Dollar, Zero Interest Rate Policy on July 13, 2015 by e-commentary.org

. . .

3          “Pensions will be even more problematic.”

4          “When the stock markets reset catastrophically, pensions will need to be reset correspondingly.”

3          “We will need to muster the collective intellect and imagination to craft a provision allowing states to file bankruptcy.”

. . .

3          “Interest rates cannot be allowed to rise and will not be allowed to rise beyond a nominal .25 percent.  Any greater rise would result in devastating financial and economic consequences.  Some nominal rise will be imposed to proclaim that interest rates can indeed rise above zero without negative consequence.  Those citizens who planned to fund a retirement with interest-bearing instruments have been sacrificed and will continue to be sacrificed without even a vote or even a debate on the policy.”

4          “Sacrifices have to be made.  Few folks are concerned or even aware that the Federal Reserve rather than the market sets interest rates.  The way I see it the Petrodollar will continue to rise as other currencies decline and those with the wherewithal seek the safety of the Petrodollar.  At this time.  The Petrodollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency and fundamentally weak foreign economies are a double magnet for money.  When the world establishes its own world currency such as a system of Special Drawing Rights (SDR) and circumvents the Petrodollar, the Petrodollar will explode and decline precipitously in value.  As I describe it, the ‘Supernova Dollar.’  The last American export – the Petrodollar and resulting inflation – will not be imported by the world.”

3          “Along those lines, the physical dollar will disappear from circulation in the United States before it disappears from the world stage.  The U.S. government and large corporations are slowly discouraging and will ultimately outlaw the use of dollars as ‘legal tender’ and as a medium of exchange.  Possession of gold and silver bullion by private citizens also will be outlawed.  The government will outsource to large corporations the issuance and control of the Universal Electronic Benefit Transfer (UEBT) cards to its subjects.  Current credit and debit cards will be re-purposed seamlessly.  The IRS will send a statement each year or even each month dictating one’s tax obligation and deducting the amount owed directly from one’s government controlled account.  As a consequence, everyone’s inclinations, transactions, and movements will be monitored and manipulated as necessary.”

4          “On the other hand, possession of gold and silver in any form by foreign citizens and governments will be the law and settled practice.  The West has readily abandoned gold and silver to an East that has eagerly absorbed the precious metals at rates that have been manipulated down by the West.  And gold and silver will be a component of the Special Drawing Rights.”

3          “The West will no longer be able to use paper and electronic transactions to manipulate the prices of physical gold and silver.”

4          “If the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) system and the Petrodollar are circumvented, the West will be less able to use paper and electronic transactions to manipulate prices.”

. . .

3          “The nations in the oil-producing regions will not fight over the oil they have but over the water they do not have with far less involvement of and intervention by the United States.”

4          “Nation-States will also disappear as thriving and functioning communities and be replaced by Corporation-States that dictate policy.  The United States Congress took the lead and sold out to become the ‘Citigroup-Congress’ recently.  More than just naming rights are involved.  Current nations are just entities that can be manipulated and maneuvered to go to war with each other when necessary.”

3          “Along those lines, shares in United States Senators will be sold more openly akin to shares in corporations.  The news will announce that shares in ‘Senator Larry Jenkins, Inc.’ are up 3.1 percent today on news that he will sell his vote for the Big Project.  The John Roberts Supreme Court has endorsed the two-step business plan.  If you pay a politician directly for a vote, you are in trouble; if you pay an intermediary that pays a politician for a vote, you are blessed.”

4          “Notions of freely-established supply and demand for goods, services and commodities will yield to quotas per subject each month.  Without functioning markets and with regular and systematic market manipulation and intervention, notions of inflation and deflation will be antiquated.  World population will continue to grow and resources will continue to be more precious which under the old paradigm would fuel inflation.  However, people will simply do without.”

3          “Along those lines, capitalism is a system that socializes the costs of activities and privatizes the profits.  The end stage is the emergence of a very small cabal who control all resources and allow the subjects access to just enough resources to subsist in a police state that throttles any debate or dissent.”

4           “The treatment of Cyprus and Greece are intermediate stages in the process.”

3          “The future is not unpredictable.”

. . .

[See the efforts to eliminate cash at http://betterthancash.org/.%5D

[See the e-commentary at Monitoring The Masses: The Card And The Chip (January 12, 2015).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

If you do predict a definite event, do not pick a definite date.  If you do pick a definite date, do not predict a definite event.  Unless you want to.

In the past, if you could predict the future accurately, you could make a fortune.  In the present, you can predict the future astutely, but you cannot do much to protect your fortune or your future.  Even if you want to.

“The best way to predict your future is to help create it.”  Attributed to Abraham Lincoln

There are few warning signs on the off ramp down the road to serfdom.

What about global climate change?

Trans-Pacific Partnership / United Nations Convention On The Law Of The Sea (May 25, 2015)

Posted in Clinton, Foreign Policy, International Finance, Kleptocracy, O'Bama, Politics, Presidency, Trade on May 25, 2015 by e-commentary.org

. . .

5          “The United Nations Convention On The Law Of The Sea (UNCLOS) cedes minimal U.S. authority to international institutions; the Republicans vehemently oppose the treaty.  The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) concedes substantial U.S. sovereignty to international corporations; the Republicans ecstatically support the treaty.”

6          “Go figure.  If O’Bama supports something, the Republicans hate it.  If O’Bama opposes something, the Republicans love it.  O’Bama supports the TPP, the Republicans love it.  What is up?”

5          “What is up?  O’Bama is not allowing anyone other than a few Senators to review the language of the legislation.  That is surreal.”

6          “And perverse and undemocratic.  If the Republicans had pulled that stunt, they would have gotten hammered.”

5          “At the end of his administration, Clinton capitulated to the Republicans and signed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLBA), the legislation that repealed part of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 and has led to reckless financial speculation.  The damage done by DOMA has been undone, but the damage done by GLBA will undo America.”

6          “O’Bama may be the first President in American history to switch political parties while in office.”

5          “Other than Clinton.  They will still hate O’Bama because he remains Black.”

6          “Historians so inclined will be able to uncover the critique of a few prophets with honor who chronicled the dismantling of America in real time.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

“A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within.  The essential causes of Rome’s decline lay in her people, her morals, her class struggle, her failing trade, her bureaucratic despotism, her stifling taxes, her consuming wars.” Will Durant

George Carlin was right

AIIB: China: 1; U.S.A.: 0? (April 6, 2015)

Posted in AIIB, Banks and Banking System, China, Dollar - World's Reserve Currency, Foreign Policy, International Finance, Money, SDR - Special Drawing Rights, Sports, Supernova Dollar on April 6, 2015 by e-commentary.org

. . .

A          “International March Madness, I say.  Tracking the bracket was an all-consuming delight.  Looks like the final score is a soccer score which is appropriate for an international vote after weeks of intense hardball lobbying.  But not as close as the likely score on the hardwood tonight.”

B          “1 to 0 is a soccer score, 40 to 0 is not a soccer score or a basketball score or a hardball score, it is a resounding shutout.  The Chinese AIIB Selection Committee is still selecting the Final Forty.  They say the Prospective Founding Members are in Division I and the Regular Members are in Division II.”

A          “The first plebiscite on a nation by other nations in history.  The world is weary of American hegemony.”

B          “And arrogance and dominance.”

A          “The vote was not an anonymous voice vote, the world spoke with one voice.  The roll call is deafening.”

B          “The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) do not say ‘American Bank’.  The Asian Development Bank (ADB) does not say ‘Japan Bank’.  The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) does not say ‘Chinese Bank’.  But it is clear what they say.”

A          “A pound to the penny that Great Britain and the City of London know a great deal and are quickly angling to be the player settling international accounts in lieu of the U.S.-dominated SWIFT.  The ‘special relationship’ between the U.S. and Great Britain is . . . so special.”

B          “Germany, France and Italy joined Britain and joined.  The ANZUS countries of Australia and New Zealand.  The Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark.”

A          “Belgium of the BeNeLux countries did not submit an application although the Netherlands and Luxembourg did.”

B          “The three neutral ‘S’ countries during World War II including Sweden, Spain and the world’s banker Switzerland.”

A          “The BRICS including Brazil, Russia, India and perforce China, yet not South Africa apparently.”

B          “South Korea is on board but North Korea is jettisoned.”

A          “Vietnam and Iran and Saudi Arabia but not Afghanistan.”

B          “The PIiIGS are coming around including Portugal, Italy as noted, Iceland, possibly Ireland in the near future, and of course as noted Spain.  Greece is preoccupied.”

A          “Taiwan.  Taiwan.  China’s enemy is China’s friend.”

B          “Hong Kong.  Even Hong Kong.  China’s other enemy is China’s friend.”

A          “Tibet.  Still not free.”

B          “Israel.  Even Israel.  Oddly Israel.  America’s friend is America’s adversary China’s friend.”

A          “They say the enemy of my enemy is my friend.  Is it commutative?  The friend of my enemy is my enemy . . . or my friend?”

B          “A friend without benefits who get benefits?  It gets complicated.  Canada and Japan deciding not to join are revealing.”

A          “In contemporary culture, we are asked to ‘friend’ someone.  Nations have interests not friends.  Perhaps the United States needs to ask for other nations to ‘interest’ the U.S.”

B          “But they are interested in other national interests.”

A          “The Republicans in the U.S. oppose the 2010 IMF Quota and Governance Reforms and resist efforts to develop the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) to substitute as the world’s reserve currency in lieu of the U.S. petrodollar.  The AIIB will also settle accounts using something other than the SWIFT, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, another institution dominated by the United States.  The world is developing a workaround and trying to quarantine the toxins in the current financial system.”

B          “The world is seeking free, fair and honest financial settlements.”

A          “The U.S. thought it could take their ball and go home, but instead of the world blowing up, the world blew up another ball.”

. . .

A          “Remember when we noted the ‘three principle products’ of a country in school.  In the past, the U.S. exported the Marshall Plan, the Berlin Airlift, and the Peace Corps.  Today, the United States exports phony dollars, toxic inflation and endless wars.”

B          “Many countries just are not interested in participating in the American Dream any longer.  However, the vote is less one of disdain for the U.S. than fear if the current contagion is not corralled.”

. . .

A          “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”

B          “And the U.S. did not join.”

A          “The percolating world instability will lead to money flowing into the dollar for some time until the world refuses to import American dollars and American inflation and dooms the dollar.  The Supernova dollar.  The big bet is predicting the peak.”

B          “China is positioned to buy gold priced artificially low by the West and then revalue the gold and demand that the yellow stuff be included in the SDR, directly or indirectly.”

. . .

A          “I am betting dollars to doughnuts the Chinese will display the same arrogance and dominance in operating their racket.”

B          “The same incompetence and decadence.  The same new, same new, as they say.”

. . .

A          “And the changes will not even be understood by Americans even after the full force of the changes washed ashore.  Except when they go to buy a plasma tv and scope out the sticker.”

. . .

[See some background discussion at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asian_Infrastructure_Investment_Bank and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_for_Worldwide_Interbank_Financial_Telecommunication.%5D

Bumper stickers of the week:

The central message of the Twentieth Century is that it is easier to take by investment than by invasion.  Neither “I” in AIIB stands for ‘Invasion’.  The United States still embraces the old paradigm of “bomb and kill and kill and bomb.”  Diplomacy is war carried on by other means.

Copies of the debate in each country discussing whether to join the AIIB are a rich trove of insight.

Gas / Au / Ag / Cu: The Great Commodity / Currency Wars: What’s Up? What’s Down? What’s Really Up? What’s Going Down? (November 17, 2014)

Posted in "Fiat ______", Carbon Surcharge & Dividend, China, Debt/Deficits, Dollar - World's Reserve Currency, Football, Foreign Policy, Gold Standard, Middle East, Money, Peak Oil, Russia, Silver Standard on November 17, 2014 by e-commentary.org

. . .

E1          “Today’s high-tech town criers, LED scoreboards broadcast the news from every street and street corner.  They proclaim that gas prices are down, gas prices are down, gas prices are down.  The most public and publicized scores in our economy are even more prominent than football scores.”

E2          “Is supply up because Saudi Arabia has strategically increased the supply?  Is demand down because the world is in recession?  What’s really up?  What’s really going down?”

E1          “What’s real?  The great trifecta is at play.  Saudi Arabia is advancing American political interests by undercutting Russian oil sales while also underpricing American fracking operators and undermining Iranian producers.  Prices now below about $80 a barrel undermine American competitors who are fracking the production of oil at a cost of typically $85 a barrel.  An American operator who cannot compete and goes down will not later reenter the market.  Saudi Arabia can effortlessly constrict supply and drive up the price.”

E2          “The Republicans will provide tax benefits and government subsidies for the frackers and increase the national debt.”

E1          “That’s for real.  If Russia and Russians can endure the very real impact of the sanctions and continue to circumvent the use of the dollar, they may end up prevailing in the ‘Cold Currency War.’  The public scoreboards provide daily clues to developments on the international battlefield.”

. . .

E2          “Now when the price of oil is down is the time to adopt a carbon premium and dividend program.”

E1          “Never happen.”

E2          “Nothing will happen until it is too late.”

E1          “Not when gas mongering SUVs are flying off the shelves.”

. . .

E2          “The PM markets for elements 79 and 47 are distorted.  Now that the physical quantities of Au and Ag are so tiny in comparison to the exploding paper market, the spot price is another illusion.  Sellers of physical quantities are setting prices that exceed the former ‘spot price plus markup’ formula to reflect the limited physical supply.  However, no generally accepted ‘physical spot price’ has emerged.  In a world of fraud, illusion and dishonesty, the ‘market price’ is not the ‘market price’ and another ‘market price’ must be concocted to provide realistic information.”

E1          “The market is unreal.  However, it is hard to fix the metals market when the metals market is fixed.  Information is sketchy, incomplete and possibly inaccurate.  China, Russia, India, Brazil and other governments and the Chinese, Russians, Indians, Brazilians and other citizens are amassing massive amounts of physical gold.  Manipulating the acquisition price of physical gold lower via machinations in the paper market facilitates the transfer of physical gold to folks who are not always happy with us.”

E2          “That may be the most counter-productive policy in recent memory.  Some countries are rallying around gold to provide a counterpoise to the dollar.”

E1          “That is surreal.”

. . .

E2          “Morgans were minted from 1878 to 1904.  Peace dollars from 1921 to 1935.  Even among those who are not interested in the numismatic value of a coin, the premium for George T. Morgan’s creation is more than the premium for Peace dollars.”

E1          “A hint of aesthetic sensibility among the junk metal set.  Morgans may have been minted again in 1921.”

E2          “One fellow said that he maintains 70 percent of his precious metals inventory in silver to serve as a medium of exchange and 30 percent in gold to serve as a store of value and secondary medium of exchange.  However, the dollar is still the unit of account.  Wonder what he knows.”

E1          “Metals perforce do not pay interest, yet when banks start charging interest to hold funds, metals become the non-interest burdened asset.  What percentage of his assets are in metals?  And why?”

. . .

E1          “The ISIS or ISIL or Islamic State or whatever is proposing to issue their own currency by minting real gold dinars and real silver dirhams.”

E2          “The IS is also in the business of selling oil on the black market at reduced prices which lowers the world price.  Another factor in the analysis.”

E1          “And the scoreboard up ahead proclaims: ‘Unleaded – 3 dinars and 99 dirhams per liter; Diesel – 4 dinars and 49 dirhams per liter.  Free oil check and window washing.’”

E2          “A mecca for the gold bugs.”

E1          “‘27 inch flat screens from China for 99 dinars.’”

E2          “If gold is denominated in dollars, the dollar is king.  If gold is denominated in gold, then gold is king.”

E1          “Aren’t they obligated to field a football team first?”

. . .

E1          “If I couldn’t make light of it, it would get too heavy.”

. . .

[See the related e-commentary earlier this year at “Texas Votes To Secede From U.S. And Join Mexico; Russia Blows Up World In Response (March 17, 2014)“, “NATO: Nations Aggressively Taking Over (March 31, 2014)“, “Distrust But Verify (July 21, 2014)” and “World’s Reserve Currency War I = Cold War 2.0 = WW III (?) (September 8, 2014).”  See also the background e-commentary at “The Silver Standard: The Value Of (Sort Of) Real Money (July 15, 2013)“, ““Fiat Gold” / Fool’s Gold (May 2, 2011)” and “Is The Gold Standard Really The Gold Standard? (January 18, 2010).”

Bumper stickers of the week:

He who has the dollars has made the rules; he who has the gold will make the rules.

Folks (and governments) will use Fe and Pb to acquire and protect Au and Ag.

We seek stasis, we get entropy.

Distrust But Verify (July 21, 2014)

Posted in Afghanistan, Foreign Policy, Iran, Journalism, Middle East, Military, Newspapers, Press/Media, Russia on July 21, 2014 by e-commentary.org

. . .

1          “Somewhat ironic that it is a rhyme from a Russian proverb made famous by Reagan.”

2          “Is it irenic?  I phrase it ‘distrust and verify’ because we have a civic duty to do our own research.”

1          “America is demonizing Putin, ostracizing Russia, antagonizing unknown forces, and militarizing the world.  Triggering World War III on the hundredth anniversary of World War I is not a righteous aspiration.”

2          “The phrase does not apply just to the misrepresentations of Putin and Russia foisted on the public today by those in power in the West.  When it comes to the Middle East and most matters of international affairs, it is also ‘reader beware’ in a world of pap, pablum and propaganda.”

1          “Who knows what is really going on in the Middle East or Gaza.  The ‘One Hundred Plus Years War’ is going strong and may go on until one people is wiped out.  And the apologists and propagandists pass themselves off as analysts and pundits.  Too many newspaper columnists and television personalities are just ideological blowhards.”

2          “So many graduates of the Edward L. Bernays School of Disinformation.  The truth is so elusive, because advancing the untruth is so often in the economic interests of the wealthy and the well connected.”

. . .

1          “Those who want America to go to war today are the ones who started the failed and failing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan yesterday.”

2          “The only thing you can say with a high degree of confidence is that those who want America to go to war are clearly not seeking to advance America’s best interests.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

Distrust But Verify

Distrust And Verify

“All Governments Lie” I. F. Stone

Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb [pick a place, any place], bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb [insert the place].

Iraq: Right On Track (June 16, 2014)

Posted in Awards / Incentives, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Journalism, Newspapers, Peace Prize Nobel, Press/Media, Song Reference, Syria, Terrorism on June 16, 2014 by e-commentary.org

. . .

1          “Iraq is the slow-moving car crash that has been careening into the ditch for over two dozen years.”

2          “The nightmare does not go away even when the sun returns.  The nightmare has not been on the horizon for years because it was no longer novel or sexy.”

1          “Now it is returning to our screens and the Neo-Con propaganda machine is flooding the conventional media with misinformation.  The Truth is a casualty again.”

2          “The Press was at its zenith in 1973 during Watergate and at its nadir in 2003 during the cheerleading up to the unwarranted war.”

. . .

2          “The Bush Administration undertook an unprovoked and illegal attack on Iraq in March of 2003 at the urging of the Neo-Cons.”

1          “And ‘Another three trillion down the drain’ turned out to be painfully prescient.  And then Stiglitz provided the footnotes.”

2          “Three trillion dollars was a conservative estimate.”

. . .

1          “The ‘Surge’ in Iraq was nothing more than short-term bribes to local war lords that was doomed to fail when the funds ran out.  The funds ran out and the scheme ceased.  The few additional troops were nothing more than paymasters and traffic cops.”

2          “Every five years, the Nobel and Pulitzer people should give a special award for Truth.  That fact is lost in the fog.  A second surge is just as futile.”

. . .

1          “The Neo-Cons are back on the warpath and urging a second surge.  Someone with one of the conventional media outlets should investigate how many of the Neo-Cons’ sons or daughters have enlisted in the last dozen years.”

2          “The Neo-Cons themselves are cowards, draft dodgers and chicken hawks.  And they are too busy investing in war stocks.”

1          “The Neo-Cons or some conventional media mouth pieces?”

. . .

[Some citizens are interested in presenting eco-nomics as a counterpoise to e-con-omics.  http://www.resilience.org/stories/2014-05-29/rewriting-economics-what-is-taught-matters.%5D

Bumper stickers of the week:

Gods don’t kill people.  People with Gods kill people.

“Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics, And the Catholics hate the Protestants . . . .”  Tom Lehrer, “National Brotherhood Week.”  “Oh, the Sunnis hate the . . . .”

“Iraq” is Arabic for “Vietnam.”