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Taking Sides?

I haven’t commented much on the Syrian civil war, or as it seems to be playing out, Hezbollah v al Qaeda.

Once again though, I see that the USA and the UK look like they are going to become involved in a foreign war with no clear strategy or plan.

Thank goodness that we have Tony Blair the Middle East Peace Envoy acting on behalf of ‘The Quartet’ (The USA, Russia, The EU and the UN). Surely he will make everyone see sense?

bliar

Mind you, maybe we should listen to Tony who has such an impeccable record of involving himself others in military conflicts on a completely false pretext with no real plan an ethical basis on sound intelligence and with a clear strategy.

Now correct me if I’m wrong here because I am a simple soul.

Didn’t the West intervene in Afghanistan as a direct result of the 9/11 attacks, planned and orchestrated by al Qaeda?

Wasn’t this also a reason put forward (as well as the bogus ‘weapons of mass destruction’ excuse) for bombing Iraq and killing thousands of civilians?

al Qaeda were indeed the baddies. They were the enemy of freedom and democracy and had to be defeated at all costs.

Jump forward a decade and now we have Blair, Bill Clinton and John McCain urging Obama and co to arm al Qaeda!

As a free bonus in all of this we get an instant plunge back into the freezer for Cold War II as Russia are funding the Syrian government.

Maybe if Bin Laden was still alive he’d have made the Queen’s birthday honours list?

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Twitts

This is a graph of yesterday’s financial market trading in the USA as monitored by the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index.

djind

You’ll notice that just after 1:00 pm there was an almighty drop which lasted a few minutes. By about quarter to four things had recovered pretty much on to an even keel.

The reason for the drop was, quite incredibly, the hacking of Associated Press’s Twitter account, which announced that President Obama had been hurt in a series of explosions in the White House.

The Twits at Sadler's Wells

Roald Dhal’s ‘The Twits’ – Not the New York Stock Exchange.

The following is from the Washington Post:

The swift reaction demonstrates once more how vulnerable the markets have become to technological glitches. The bombing in Boston last week and the harrowing manhunt that ensued probably hastened the response from an already jittery investing public.

The tweet popped up on traders’ screens shortly after 1 p.m. The AP used social media, its Web site and its corporate blog to announce that its Twitter account had been hacked. The company said it was investigating the matter with Twitter, and the White House weighed in to calm nerves.

“The president is fine,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said. “I was just with him.”

But in the investing world, where super-high-speed computer trades dominate the market, the reassurances did not come quickly enough to prevent momentary chaos. The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 100 points between 1:08 p.m. and 1:10 pm.

“And it wasn’t just the stock market. It was the bond market and commodity market and everything,” said Joseph Saluzzi, co-head of the equity-trading firm Themis Trading. “The event was done before humans could even process it.”

Saluzzi said he saw the post immediately, because he keeps an eye on Twitter for the entire trading day to learn about any potentially market-moving events. Market experts say such close tracking of social media has become the norm in trading.

“Firms are looking for information wherever they can find it,” said Larry Tabb, chief executive of Tabb Group, a financial research and consulting firm. ”They’re analyzing real time news feeds, scanning the Web and mining Twitter feeds. . . . They price news.”

But increasingly, the method has backfired. During a one-week stretch in February, hackers infiltrated the Twitter accounts of Burger King and Jeep, spreading false posts that each company had been sold to a rival.

A string of such corporate Twitter hacks in recent months prompted traders at Jones Trading Institutional Services to sit tight when they spotted the AP tweet on Tuesday, said Tom Carter, a managing director in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

The traders in Carter’s office, who stay connected with the firm’s other offices via a loudspeaker they call “the hoot,” were immediately suspicious.

“Someone said over the hoot that there’s a Twitter report about explosions at the White House,” Carter said. “We had a desk analyst and he told us to just wait. We watched the stock drop, then it stopped, and then it started bouncing around and it popped straight back up again.”

The FBI is investigating the matter, said FBI spokeswoman Jenny Shearer.

The financial markets. Just like a big bookies’ shop with the same excitable, fearful, superstitious reaction to events that punters tend to indulge in, in such environments. And it would seem with computers in control of that excitement, fear and superstition so that it can be executed with precision.

The financial well-being and decisions of the planet -its nations and their institutions, companies and citizens is predicated on such nonsense.

There surely has to be a better way.

At last! – Some sanity and sense brought to Maggie’s passing by The Third Eagle of the Apocalypse……..

Oh wait……

Obamapot

Philip H Gordon, the USA Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, said starkly during a visit to London to meet ministers yesterday.

“We have a growing relationship with the EU as an institution, which has an increasing voice in the world, and we want to see a strong British voice in that EU. That is in America’s interests. We welcome an outward-looking EU with Britain in it.”

I am reminded of Tom Waits saying a few years ago that the USA doesn’t have friends, it only has interests.

Special relationship my arse.

Makes you think……

 

It’s Obama!

Cassetteboy v Obama v Romney