Capitalism destroyed 45% of the world’s wealth in 1.5 years
On March 10 2009 the CEO of the private equity company Blackstone Group LP (BX.N) Stephen Schwarzman said that up to 45 percent of the world's wealth has been destroyed by the global credit crisis. "Between 40 and 45 percent of the world's wealth has been destroyed in little less than a year and a half," Schwarzman told an audience at the Japan Society. "This is absolutely unprecedented in our lifetime." But instead of putting the blame on the fundamentals of the capitalist system for the destruction of wealth, Schwarzman blamed credit rating agencies for the current crisis. What's pretty clear is that, if you were looking for one culprit out of the many, many, many culprits, you have to point your finger at the rating agencies," he said.
Britain to check for extremism in Muslim schools
Britain’s education watchdog, Ofsted is to check that schools are promoting tolerance for other cultures, in a survey of independent faith schools in England. Last month, a think tank claimed some Muslim schools were allowing pupils to be influenced by extremist values. UK’s Schools Secretary Mr Ed Balls has asked Ofsted to carry out a survey in a small number of independent faith schools to investigate how they support the "spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils". "Some concerns have been raised recently about practice in a small minority of independent faith schools and whether they are effectively preparing pupils for life in wider British society," said Mr Balls. The survey will consider the "ethos and values" of the schools and the influences on pupils through the curriculum, activities outside lessons and links with other organisations.
Vatican promotes Islamic economics as a cure to the Western Capitalist System
The Vatican's official newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, recently published an article titled "Islamic finance proposals and ideas for the West in crisis," prepared by Italian economists Loretta Napoleoni and Claudia Segre, in which it was suggested that the basic rules of Islamic finance could relieve suffering markets and particularly international financial systems. Noting that Islam prohibits "riba," and argued that “sukuk bonds," securities that comply with Islamic law, may be an alternative to interest. The article stressed that sukuk bonds are always real investments and never speculative. The article said that in this atmosphere of crisis banks should take Muslims as an example and that the Islamic finance system may pave the way for the establishment of new rules in the Western world. The Vatican has suggested that the current capitalist system has failed. Pope Benedict XVI recently harshly criticized the capitalist system and the greediness of bank owners in the West.
Iran’s collusion with the US to stabilize Afghanistan revealed
This week Senator Jim Webb, a Virginia Democrat who also served as Secretary of the Navy under President Ronald Reagan, revealed at a special hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee that NATO cargo shipment passed through Iran en-route to Afghanistan. Most likely the shipments pass through the Iranian port of Chabahar, on the Arabian Sea, via a new road recently completed by India in western Afghanistan. However, despite official Iranian denials there are increasing signs that the US not only wants to normalize its relationship with Iran, but also wants to increase Iranian involvement in Afghanistan. In an interview in February with The Associated Press, General Craddock said NATO would not oppose individual member nations’ making deals with Iran to supply their forces in Afghanistan. “Those would be national decisions,” he said. “NATO should act in a manner that is consistent with their national interest and with their ability to resupply their forces. I think it is purely up to them.” And just last week, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton week proposed a conference on Afghanistan that would include Iran.
FATA is the Central Nervous system for future attacks
This week during a hearing on current and future worldwide threats to the national security of the United States, Senator Evan Bayh, and an Indiana Democrat said,” The central nervous system for the planning (of an attack on the US soil) would emanate from Fata.” In response, director of US National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair said, ”Yes Sir.” During the meeting Lt. Gen. Michael Maples, director, US Defence Intelligence Agency, noted that while ‘strategic rivalry’ with India drove Pakistan’s defence strategy, al Qaeda was using Fata to recruit and train operatives, plan and prepare regional and transnational attacks, disseminate propaganda and obtain equipment and supplies. Gen. Maples warned that while Pakistan has taken important steps to safeguard its nuclear weapons, ‘vulnerabilities still exist.’ Gen. Maples also revealed that Taliban are operating openly in Quetta. He said, “the Quetta shura is operating openly in Quetta.”
US-China relations at an eight year low
The United States accused China of harassing a U.S. naval survey ship in international waters off a Hainan island, a key strategic base from which China projects military power in the South China Sea. National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair said Chinese policies "seem to be in a more military, aggressive“stance. "That is a trend that we are seeing, “he told the Senate Armed Services committee. It was still unclear, he said, whether China was using its growing military power "for good or pushing people around. “ His comments came a day after the United States accused China of harassing a U.S. naval survey ship, the USNS Impeccable, in international waters off a Hainan island, a key strategic base from which China projects military power in the South China Sea. Blair called the incident "the most serious“ since a Chinese military plane collided with a U.S. electronic surveillance plane also off Hainan in April 2001, the early months of former President George W. Bush's presidency. The comments indicate that China policy under Obama is unlikely to substantially deviate from the one practiced by Bush. China along with Russia still remains America’s principal enemy.