New Tape: Al Qaeda No. 2 Wants 200,000-300,000 U.S. Dead in Iraq

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=3143623

New Tape: Al Qaeda No. 2 Wants 200,000-300,000 U.S. Dead in Iraq
Ayman al-Zawahiri Says Al Qaeda Wants to Spill More U.S. Blood Before America Withdraws
Mocks Recent U.S. Legislation for Troop Withdrawal...

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YAWN.

When have al-Qaeda leaders NOT produced this type of bombastic, "death-to-infidels," rhetoric?

I think we would be better off by not giving these idiots so much media attention. Fanatics will still carry out violence against innocents, but groups like al-Qaeda feed off of the coverage they get.

Besides, al-Qaeda's Iraqi units are pathetic in comparison with some of the sectarian militias who are attacking each other and producing most of the violence.

Mike is right Al Qaeda in Iraq enjoys very little support from Iraqis. Many of the other groups are more powerful and influential.

This is where this has differed from many of the past counterinsurgencies that Pentagon studied in 2004/5. Normal insurgencies are basically rebels vs the establishment. Iraq has had rebel groups as numberous as in the 40's fighting the establishment plus one another.

Oddly enough this actually could mean success for the Iraqi gov't because eventually every single Iraqi will eventually have to pick a side. In the past the one that has the strongest chance of winning normally gains the most supporters at the end. Iraqis would be faced with choosing between the current govt or group A or group B or group C or group D. Suddenly the government's chances look better.

Of course this is hypothetical in terms. Normally I try to deal in facts and not scenarios. Personally I feel even if we were to withdrawl most of our fighting forces the Iraqi gov't would eventually succeed with financial and logistical backing. Similar to Germany in the late 1940's early 50's.

MikeyA

MikeyA

BUSH wants 200,000 to 300,000 Al Qaeda Dead!!!

He's content he's brought seeds of democracy and freedom to over 45 Million men, women, and children.

Thwarted evey Terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 911.

Basking with DOW 13,000 and best bull run in 80 years with unemployment below 4.6%.

Prevented major recessions during Internet Bubble, Major Terrorist Attacks, WAR, Heavy Natural Disasters, Large Corporate Scandals, Disruptions to both Oil Prodcution and Refinement, and 24 / 7 media attacks.

Shrank budget deficits every year for the last 4 years.

Invested the most out of any President in Hydrogen Fuel Technology, Ethanol Flex-Fuel, Wind, and Solar Energy. Ditto with Aids research and global relief.

Built foundation of Missle Sheild to protect future Americans from rougue nations such as North Korea and Iran. Exported Missle Shield Technology to European and Japan Allies.

Media and residents of Toledo and Michigan only ones unhappy.

States he's happy he's finally found his Veto pen and believes Sykes is an educational terrorist!! Looks forward to relax in Al Gore's Global warming and visit Club Gitmo.

Sees newspapers companies as one of the biggest polluters and abusers of natural resources, suggest Americans save trees and paper factory pollutants by going online for their local, state, national and global news.

And yes, thinks Hillary does have extremely large ankles and man hands.

The Chicago Fed has a decent explanation here: http://www.chicagofed.org/consumer_information/strong_dollar_weak_dollar...

Weakening Dollar Advantages

* U.S. firms find it easier to sell goods in foreign markets.
* U.S. firms find less competitive pressure to keep prices low.
* More foreign tourists can afford to visit the U.S.
* U.S. capital markets become more attractive to foreign investors.

Disadvantages

* Consumers face higher prices on foreign products/services.
* Higher prices on foreign products contribute to higher cost-of-living.
* U.S. consumers find traveling abroad more costly.
* Harder for U.S. firms and investors to expand into foreign markets.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

Shane, you had typed "Uhh... The weak dollar has nothing to do with China."

The weak dollar is used to stimulate the export environment and slow the purchase of foreign (Chinese) goods in America.

A weak dollar stimulates foreign investment (Chinese) in capital markets in the US.

The United States uses a weak dollar to inhibit US citizens from traveling abroad, while stimulating foreign travelers to visit and realize the associated revenue from that travel.

We have a pesky little thing called a trade agreement with China. A weak dollar is about the only voice we have right now.

Yes, it is economics 101 and the weak dollar in the United States at this time is primarily in response to the China trade imbalance.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

Mike is right Al Qaeda in Iraq enjoys very little support from Iraqis. Many of the other groups are more powerful and influential.

Guess the administration braintrust never got the memo. Or they did, and they still want to lie about it.

But what so many people who read off the GOP talking-points don't understand is that a good BUSINESS economy does not a "GOOD ECONOMY" make.

A 13000 Dow means very little to the average American whose exposure to the markets, if any, is often limited to mutual funds and meager stock holdings.

And the Markets are up because corporate earnings are up. While there is no single reason for this, I postulate that it's primarily due to 1>Huge increases in productivity and 2>A horribly weak dollar.

Productivity
Since 1980, productivity has rocketed upwards. As a software developer, I might be a bit biased, but I'd say that a HUGE portion of this producitivy increase has been due to IT advances. Email. Internet. Corporate networks. Custom software applications to automate business processes. These tools have increased the throughput of an average employee. Yet, wage growth, adjust downward for inflation, has been all but NON-EXISTENT since the 1970s.

Weak Dollar.
The Bush administration has never officially acknowledged that they have a weak-dollar monetary policy, but it's abundently clear to everyone else in the country. The weak dollar is excellent for any American that happens to be selling goods overseas, but it sucks for the rest of us.

One look at the Consumer Confidence Index (currently near a 52-week low) tells the story. The average American just doesn't feel secure in the economic prospects of this economy.

Yes, of course. This is Economics 101.

But that doesn't change the fact that this has nothing (at all) to do with China.

Were you just posting this for your own benefit or did you have a point?

Once again, I have to assume that you either don't read what I write or you're just trying so hard to prove me wrong that you fail to accept that I might just know what I'm talking about...

I'll say it again: The weak dollar has NOTHING TO DO WITH CHINA.

Just like I wrote two posts ago: The Yuan is pegged to the dollar. So if the dollar loses value, the Yuan loses value with it. Likewise if the dollar gains value. Thus, a weak dollar does not affect the trade deficit we have with China. Not too long ago they started including other currencies in the index they use to value the Yuan, but the net effect has been the same. The value of a Yuan has stayed consistent with the value of the dollar.

...I literally have to post everything twice when I'm talking to you. I'm just going to preempt this from now on by posting an immediate follow-up message every time I post something...

It's a little more complicated than that. While AQiI does have very little support they are the most hostile to the U.S. While groups like Al Sadr's militant Shiites have shown at times a willingness to work with the government.

There are also small splinter groups who want to impose their own radical government. These range from Messianic Shiites who hate other Shiites as well as Sunni's and Kurds all the way to Shiites who want to impose Shria law.

The American media focuses on AQiI because a. the American public has a short attention span b. it's an easy name to follow because of name recognition c. they post on a global scale like with the message the original post of this thread is based on and d. very few understand much or even know of the other groups.

The situation there would be like America if we faced a rebellion from Christians. Most notable would probably be the Catholics because they have visible leadership and are easily recognized globally. Then you'd have Anglican. Baptists (split into First and Southern) all fighting each other with a different view of how the country should be run.

But the above scenario doesn't happen because most wouldn't see any of the sects as able to be victorious. Such a national realization has yet to be realized in Iraq but we've got 200 years of realative stability to build on.

MikeyA

MikeyA

History states residents of Toledo and Michigan, the Media, and ShaneH never happy with Success.

ShaneH - Think average American exposure under DOW 13,000 means little, try reporting to work with a DOW 7,500 boss. I'd bet every employee and union member left will finally understand how to read a P&L statement.

I think a weak dollar makes us competitive in selling in the global marketplace. When you sell something GLOBALLY, that means you produce something. Imagine what the trade deficits would look like if we pursued a strong dollar policy.

Lastly, money is made on share price. I wonder how accurate the Consumer Confidence Index has been as a prevailing indicator. My quesss, it hasn't done well over time when placed on top of actual market data. Money talks, surveys walk. Again, most people can't handle optism nor communicate it in a survey.

Shane this is just a question it's not an attack I just would like to get your insight.

You are complaining about the losses we incur with a weak dollar. However, Japan experienced a very similar weakening of their Yen when they really began expanding into American markets in the 80's. Despite this Japan was able to firmly establish itself as one of the top world markets where it remains today.

In your view how would our current situation be any different?

MikeyA

MikeyA

It seems like you still don't get it.

Yes, of course, a prosperous economy keeps Americans WORKING, but it hasn't been much help in keeping Americans PROSPEROUS.

I think it's funny, there's a class of Americans -- the wealthy, controllers-of-capital, business owners, etc, -- that claim they "build the wealth" and they cry and cry and cry when the government takes their money in taxes and such. It just isn't fair! They claim that the money in their hands will do more because they spend it in a way that helps the economy.

And at the same time, the workers, the REAL "builders of wealth," are working and toiling away producing far more value than their compensation would suggest, getting merit raises barely large enough to keep up with inflation, and the entities just crying about the government refuse to kick an appropriate share of that money back down to the PROFIT CENTERS of the company.

Instead, that money is used to line to pockets of executives (the avg CEO earns 400ish times their avg employee, 25 years ago it was 30 times, if I recall the numbers correctly), and investors.

This isn't just some crackpot theory of mine. The nations wealth is held by the smallest minority of Americans of any time since the 1920s. Healthcare and Energy costs are skyrocketing. Increases in productivity are lining the pockets of Companies who are, at the same time, divesting themselves of larger and larger shares of employee Healthcare and Retirement costs.

And while the weak dollar certainly helps these companies make their owners, executives, and investors rich, it doesn't do much to help the American who would like to buy foreign goods or, especially, travel outside the US.

The economy is a well oiled money printing machine if you're lucky enough to be in the top 10% and a perfectly fine status quo if you're in the 50% of Americans who thinks they'll one day be in the top 10%, but it's not this marvel of American success that you make it out to be.

ShaneH Perhaps you should move to Europe, my global funds are skyrocketing. Suggest France for you with their 35 hour work weeks.

In reality, try running the math on how much $4000 dollars saved per year ($76 per week) in an index fund would generate over a period for someone starting at 25, 35, 45 til they retire at 65. Depending on lower tax brackets, the Feds will give you almost 10% contribution in the amount of refund each year for you to re-invest in next year's traditional IRA contribution. Free money!

With 9% historical returns and refunds re-invested at the age of 65, the:

25 year old - $1,452,042
35 year old - $601,569
45 year old - $232,186

"Compound interest is truley the 8th wonder of the world" - Albert Einstein.

Not bad for having something on top of your company match 401K. Roth IRAs offer even better tax advantages come retirement time.

Anyway, most people continue to bitch about things they can't control, it's time they start doing things they can control. $76 bucks per week is a lot easier when you buy beer and food from the grocery store vs. the bars and restaurants - same goes to reducing your cable stations from 272 channels down to 30, buying used car vs. new car, $4 a pack for smokes, etc...

If you can't afford the $76 bucks (probably around $68 with Fed returns) per week, then get a second job cutting grass, deliver pizzas, waiting tables 2 nights a week, OR work at bar a few nights a week and drink for free, etc...

Bonus round - use a www.ETrade.com account and once you're over $50K no more ATM fees ever at any ATM, $100K and now you get Mortgage breaks, etc... Easiest funds to invest are probably www.Vanguard.com with their cheapest expense ratios (these guys tend to beat most money managers over time because how they managed their no load funds) or you can go to www.money.com and see the top 70 funds and their asset allocator calculator that CNN and Money magazine recommends under their Personal finance section. The world's your oyster.

It's amazing how many dumbass people don't bother to learn how to be millionaires by learning how to automate their financial health and pay themselves first. More remarkable is how many don't even take the free money company match on their 401Ks. When you have a family, it's amazing how many moms and dads don't have term life insurance and a living trust (including simple will, medical power of attorney, power of attourney, and living will - you can get all for about $1200 one time fee from an estate lawyer) to protect their kids or enroll $50 bucks a month for a college fund when each kid is born into a 529b or straight up investment fund.

ShaneH, you're a smart guy. I know you can make a million bucks sooner rather than later. My personal favorite is www.fool.com and using the hidden gems on my outside investments - return is awesome and so is the newsletter. By the way I don't work for any financial company, I just like making my own money.

You're only looking at the negative aspects of a weak dollar. The weak dollar has helped the American economy out in many ways. For example, exports to China have been increasing faster than imports from China the last several months. Europeans coming to the US for a visit is at all-time highs meaning we get a lot of their money. A weak dollar directly benefits millions of American workers making any number of goods because their company now has a larger market. A larger market means more money, more money means better security, better security means more jobs and higher pay. It also stimulates Americans to buy American produced good. You said it yourself: it doesn't do much to help the American who would like to buy foreign goods. If they don't buy foreign goods then guess what they buy.

If you look at the numbers of the economy you'll find an economy that is almost as strong as the strongest periods in the late 90s. If you look at job creation, wage increases, inflation, home ownership, unemployment, and other indices you'll see there isn't much difference.

I'm not whining about my own inability to make ends meet. I'm educated, have a great job, and make much, much more than the median income.

That doesn't mean that the deck is not stacked against the average-joe. You're saying that we should be glad that business fucks the little guy, because when the business makes profits, and that means good news on walls treet, which means if you save, in forty years you might just be a millionaire, to hell with how much a million dollars actually will BUY YOU in forty years.

Meanwhile, a CEO who is now making 400x the average worker, makes that 40-year savings in a SINGLE MONTH. Yes, CEOs are skilled workers. Yes, they should be paid more. But explain to me why 30 years ago the average ceo make 30ish times more than a worker, and now it's 400x.

Business sticks it to the underprivileged and then they cry and cry and cry about how regulation and taxes and smoking bans are hurting them.

Well, cry me a river...

"The weak dollar has helped the American economy out in many ways. For example, exports to China have been increasing faster than imports from China the last several months."

Uhh... The weak dollar has nothing to do with China.

The Yuan is pegged very closely to the dollar. So the price of American goods in China, and Chinese goods in America remain pretty constant.

This is the number one economic-beef I have with China, and it's the reason our trade deficits are so bad. In reality, their bullish economy would push up the value of the Yuan in comparison with the dollar, closing our trade deficit. But they understandably don't want that to happen.

I hope someday you get to own your own business, employ more than 25 employees, and work a few global markets. Enjoy the rio grande!

Actually, I do technically own my own business. I'm my only employee, and it's consulting, meaning no physical office, but I still have all the joys of figuring out how to pay for incredibly expensive health insurance, my own share of Fica, etc.

And much like my charitable giving, I put my money where my mouth is.

Way to go! Best Success, hope you'll grow and expand to employ others! That's where the fun really begins!!

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