Monday, February 26, 2007

What is this man saying?

The Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warned today, that the American economy might slip into recession by year's end.

This conclusion came after considering the cycles of recent periods of growth and recessions.

The U.S. economy has been expanding since 2001, but there are several clouds in the horizon.

Greenspan mentioned the stabilization of profit margins, as an early sign of the beginning of the end for the economic cycle.

The increasing American budget deficit was mentioned as well.

The former Chairman, denied an "economic spillover effect" from the declining housing market.

The National Association for Business Economics predict economic growth of 2.7 percent this year, the lowest since 2002.
And they believe that the housing construction will plunge by 14.9 percent this year.

If there is a recession it will be a nasty one ,because consumers now face high energy prices, negative savings and high levels of debt.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Another view of the WAR

Film by Sean Smith, who followed the 101st Division of the US army in Iraq for six weeks.
A very grim picture of the efforts by the US Army trying to make Iraqis take control of their own country.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Radio Personalities

I found these in a Blog of my Russian friends.
Original Advertising for the Greek Radio G92 GAlaxy FM.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Army of Shadows

While the debate about the increase of troops in Iraq still going on in the Senate for a second week in a row, another hearing is been held at the House.
This hearing was created to investigate private security firms in Iraq.

On this hearing, family members of the PMC (private military contractors) employed by Blackwater USA, killed in the 2004 ambush in Falluja, west of Baghdad, complained about the failure of the company to provide their relatives with adequate gear and weaponry.

Private contractors are not mercenaries in the traditional sense, since they are not used in combat operations.
Many of them are veterans of US armed forces, and they perform noncombatant duties normally carried by US Army troops, but they are paid 2 to 5 times more (depending on the risk) than regular soldiers.

Basically they provide security and protection.
These contractors are the second largest army in Iraq, after the US Army and Marines.
The Pentagon estimates the amount of contractors in Iraq in around 100.000.

The largest security contractors, Blackwater USA and Dynacorp have deployed more then 1.000 private soldiers in Iraq.
Blackwater USA also has a fleet of 25 planes and helicopters operating in Iraq, under its aviation affiliate, Presidential Airways.
Recently one of these helicopters was shot down in Baghdad, killing five civilian contractors.

L3 Communications have 7.000 employees working in over a dozen of contracts in Iraq.

Backwater alone has won $505 million in publicly identifiable federal contracts since 2000.

Just to understand the magnitude of these private armies, you have to contemplate the ratio of private contractors compared to the regular Army.
During the first Gulf war 08/90-02/91, the ratio of private contractors to troops was 1 to 60; in the current war, it's 1 to 3.

These contractors are not only Americans, but from other countries like Germany, South African, Great Britain, Philippines, Colombia, Chile etc.
Of course, people from some countries get paid less than others.

With their presence, the amount of foreign forces in Iraq reached more that 250.000.
Meantime the war still raging, and we still paying for it…

Monday, February 5, 2007

Complex Personalities

Always worried trying to understand those complex political personalities?
No problems, the publishers of the newspaper MILENIO, from Mexico, have the solution.


United States



Many thanks to the friends of Milenio Newspaper from Mexico.

Find Newspaper here : MILENIO-MEXICO.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Brave Journalist

I just finished watching the report called “Iraq: The Hidden Wars” on Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN.
Excellent report put together by the brave and accurate reporter from CNN, Michael Ware.

Michael Ware is a war correspondent for CNN in Baghdad; his reports are clearly identifiable, because of his Australian accent.Michael joined CNN on May of 2006, after 5 years with Time magazine.

On these days of 24 /7 news, very seldom we find a reporter capable to explain with detail what he is talking about, mostly settle on providing the shock effect necessary to grab your attention.

His determination to “get the story straight” has put him in very dangerous circumstances, with clear risk of his life; like the occasion when members of al-Qaeda, captured him at gunpoint in 2004, during the battles for Haifa Street in Baghdad.

Previously, he spent time with members of the Taliban in Afghanistan, covering the conflict.

Since the beginning of the war, 93 members of the press have died, this fact alone should bring in perspective the dangers that these reporters face every day.

Michael, with his accuracy and eye-opening insights of the conflict, provides the viewer with the real picture of this bloody nightmare called Iraq War.

I strongly suggest watching his reports and especially the one mentioned above, to get a real understanding of this conflict. Good onya, Mate!!!

The Decider