Yesterday, former top US central banker Alan Greenspan, a very respected public official, said: “I’m saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows — the Iraq war is largely about oil.”
Dale Bumpers, former US Senator from Arkansas, defended President Bill Clinton when he was on trial. He said, memorably: “H.L. Mencken said one time, ‘When you hear somebody say, This is not about money, it’s about money.’ And when you hear somebody say, ‘This is not about sex,’ it’s about sex.”
Bumpers might say today: When you hear somebody say the war in Iraq is not about oil, it’s about oil.
And Greenspan was absolutely right. Everyone knows that so many US trops and so much US money would not be deployed in Iraq if it weren’t in the middle of the oil reserves of the world and if Iraq itself didn’t have so much oil. It’s ridiculous to argue otherwise. Yet, this admission is causing a major recalc in US political discourse. Had Greenspan said something so obviously true in 2003 or 2004, we might have avoided this national catastrophe. And I think this says more about us, and our desire to be misled, to have our lives simplified, to delegate our intellectual existence.
Yes, our troops are there because of the oil. Don’t doubt it.
Postscript: The Bumpers speech is worth watching again, for its eloquence and simplicity. It wasn’t so long ago that we rose to this level of discourse.
Seth of the Obstructionist: “There’s still some people in this country who, alas, still believe in it’s values.”
TimesSelect goes onto the scrap heap tomorrow night. Now I’ll be able to read Frank Rich and Paul Krugman once again.
I have a new Jotit site. Simple but well thought-out.
I didn’t know there is a bill before Congress to impeach VP Cheney.
Okay I didn’t like the ending, but I’m glad the Sopranos won the Emmy in its final season.
Following up on yesterday’s piece about Demo-like conferences.
Eric Norlin proposes that the economics are still out of whack. The people providing the value, the people attending the show, should get in for free. The demoers should pay. He has a point. In my HyperCamp proposal, that is how it works. The premise is that in 2007 everyone who attends is as much press as anyone else (everyone’s a blogger) so what’s the justification for some people getting in as press (i.e. free of charge) and others paying $2500.
Richard Wolpert: Crunch Crunch.
Valleywag says JC is really Willy Wonka.
Paul Boutin has a list of the companies demoing at TC40.
The unofficial back-channel for the TC40 conference.
JS Pepper’s photos from TechCrunch 40.
Frank Gruber’s photos from TC40.
Too bad they don’t have a live video stream from the conf.
Wait a minute — justin.tv has a stream:
Bad news, they turned off the video and audio in the afternoon, so we can’t catch the demos from remote. We had an interesting discussion going on the IRC about the stuff going on in the morning, but it’s not happening in the afternoon. Sorry, we did the best we could.
Yesterday, I asked how an ordinary American investor could hedge against weakness in the dollar. To clarify, I wasn’t thinking of converting stocks or bonds, it’s just a question of what currency I keep my cash in.
Anyway, this is something that a fair number of Scripting News readers know something about, and lots of great advice came back in short order. A summary follows.
1. ETFs are stocks traded on the NYSE that track various currencies.
2. HSBC and Everbank have multiple-currency accounts. But watch out for commissions every time you convert from one currency to another. They could wipe out all the gains you may have from holding assets in one currency vs another.
3. Becoming a currency trader may not actually be so hard, and you get the best rates on currency exchange.
4. Paypal lets you store value in a variety of currencies.
Thanks everyone for the excellent info!