Afghanistan: Memo to the White House

Here is what I would like to see:

1) Only 1000 advisers in the field

2) All other U.S. soldiers based at Bagram Air Base (BAB)

3) Unmanned drones and air-strikes flown from BAB and offshore in the Arabian Sea

That is it. Nothing else. The Afghanistan government is just using the U.S. as an ATM cash dispenser. Like a crack addict, they want our money, and they laugh at us behind closed doors.

Take that $35 billion it would take to add 35k troops (estimated to be $1 million per-soldier per-year) and give loans, tax credits, and grants to small businesses instead.

Reduce, not expand our presence in Afghanistan.

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Financial War Crimes

There has been a lot of talk lately about how wars in the future will be done through technology and financial manipulation. The way to really hurt a country like the United States will be to attack the electric grid through the Internet or hack into a major bank and alter the data long enough to cause massive destruction. There has also been talk that maybe the attack will come in a "legal" way by a major foreign central bank taking advantage of America's ever larger budget deficit. What if China converted all the U.S. Bonds they are holding into crude oil tomorrow? It wouldn't be pretty.

Bullets don't have to fly to hurt another country.

Warren Buffett was on The Charlie Rose show on Friday (2009-11-13) and said that he 'regretted that people that perpetrated the recent financial disaster weren't made to feel more pain than the U. S. Government imposed.' The executives and directors and even bond holders of places like AIG, CitiGroup, Merrill Lynch & Bank of America, etc., should have received a lot more pain than they did.

Sheila Bair, head of the FDIC, said the same thing on The Newshour with Jim Lehrer on the same night. I have heard the same regret by other politicians and economist recently.

These experts regret that Henry Paulson, Timothy Geithner, and Ben Bernanke didn't make them lose more of the gains they had received over the prior half-dozen years.

Who says we have to live with regret? Who says we can't now go back and let them feel some pain?

If we can prosecute war crimes years, or even decades, after they are committed, then why can't we do the same for financial crimes? If the Mossad can pursue Nazi's for years after the end of World War II and the Holocaust, then I say we can go back and go after the these "bright" individuals that did reckless things and nearly drove us to destruction. What these guys did was a financial war crime.

I say that Congress form a financial version of the Mossad and we take back any money these guys made over the last five to ten years. I say we go back to guys like:
...And take away all their money. We can leave them with $100,000 a year for the rest of their lives, but the rest belongs to either the taxpayers or the small shareholders.

Of course maybe all this talk is just that, 'talk.' And people like Bair and Buffett can say one thing knowing full-well that there is not enough anger in the people or political willpower in the District of Columbia to actually step up and do anything about it. We can say we wish it would have been different without actually inflecting any pain on these campaign contributors and lobby backers.

Things would surely be different if these fat cats weren't allowed to give these contribution and fund these PACs and lobbyist.

But, if what people like Buffett and Bair really say is true, then I see no reason that we can't go back now and inflict that pain to those managers, directors, and bondholders now. Go back and get these people that perpetuated these financial war crimes against the voters, taxpayers, and the little guy. We need a financial Simon Wiesenthal to come to our rescue.

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