Closing Thought–28Dec17

We all remember Qaddafi….the leader of Libya……hated by Reagan and Bush 1, tolerated by Clinton then embraced by Bush2 and finally killed by Obama…..since his death Libya has been a bloody mess….factions fighting factions, tribes fighting tribes, and ISIS showing its ugly head….I give you this quick historical sketch because Libya will soon be holding a presidential election and there may be a Qaddafi on the ballot…….

The son of late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam, is planning to run in the 2018 presidential elections.

Libyan tribal chief Basem al-Hashimi al-Soul confirmed the candidacy of Saif al-Islam on Sunday (17 December)

“Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the former Libyan president, enjoys the support of major tribes in Libya so he can run for the upcoming presidential elections due in 2018,” Soul told Egypt Today.

Just a little something to fill the dead air….

Tomorrow is another day and I will be here with more stuff…..chuq

A World War Two ‘What If’

From time to time I will write a ‘what if’ post about some historical event…..I even find others that think about history in a ‘what if’ frame of mind…..

I read a ‘what if’ in “The National Interest” there’s is a WW2 ‘what if’…..I thought that since I had been neglectful with my history posts I would post this…..

What if Germany had never declared war on the United States during World War II?

Scholars and analysts have long wondered whether this represented one of the great “what-ifs” of World War II; could the Germans have kept the United States out of the war, or at least undercut popular support for fighting in the European Theater, by declining to join the Japanese offensive?

These ‘what if’ posts are just fun to imagine what would have changed if anything, if events had taken a different path.

Can You Say WMDs?

Do you remember the WMDs from the 1990’s and more recently in 2003 before the invasion and occupation of Iraq?

I have written about the rhetoric surrounding the situation with North Korea….but so you do not have to remember that I will give you the link……

Well it has gotten a little louder with this batch of defectors……..

Blood tests on at least one of the North Korean soldiers that defected to the South this year have detected something extremely concerning, according to a South Korean TV channel. Channel A, citing an unnamed South Korean military source, says anthrax antibodies were detected in the soldier, suggesting Pyongyang could be ramping up its biological weapon capabilities, UPI reports. According to Channel A, South Korean authorities have confirmed that the soldier is immune to the deadly bacterium, though it’s not clear whether his immunity comes from vaccination or exposure.

Anthrax can kill within 24 hours if people are not vaccinated, the International Business Times notes, and the South Korean military says its anthrax vaccine will not be ready until the end of 2019. The news adds to concerns about possible biological attacks: The White House released a report last week that said Pyongyang had spent “hundreds of millions of dollars on nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons that could threaten our homeland,” and Japan’s Asahi newspaper recently reported that North Korea has been trying to find ways for anthrax to survive the high temperatures that intercontinental ballistic missiles experience.

The nuke thing was not enough now they are developing biological weapons as well……stir that pot……those damn drums are getting louder.

More On Bitcoin

Bitcoin has made the news in a big way….I even did a post recently trying to help my readers understand just what Bitcoin is and how it works……

The Bitcoin craze gets crazier….

It had to happen sooner or later.

Digital cryptocurrencies have been on a rocket ride in 2017. The most famous, bitcoin, rose from under $1,000 at the start of the year to $5,000 in October. Then it blasted off to nearly $20,000 per bitcoin by mid-December. Other cryptocurrencies were carried along by the craze.

The thing is, it’s always been hard to identify a “there” there. Digital cryptocurrencies like bitcoin aren’t very good mediums of exchange or stores of value. Nothing seems to be fueling the price rise other than, well, excitement over the price rise.

Bitcoin is making in roads in the shadowy world of terrorism……it is a grand way to launder money but can it be used to finance terrorist networks?

Signs are increasing that jihadist groups are looking to capitalize on the rising value of bitcoin, as massive price increases for the cryptocurrency in recent months garner growing public attention. Cold, hard, untraceable cash remains their preferred medium for transmitting funds, but new online activity shows that some jihadist groups are soliciting bitcoins, which can be acquired and spent without any government or banking intermediary.

Terrorist networks cannot easily transact in the formal banking system, so they often employ innovative methods to gain resources. Multiple media outlets that promote al-Qaida or Islamic State (IS) propaganda have asked supporters in recent weeks to send funds to specific bitcoin addresses. In some cases, these have been Salafi Jihadist news websites purportedly seeking donations for site maintenance. But one campaign–still live as of Dec.20–asks for funds to support fighters in Syria.

Just another aspect of terrorism that must be monitored……but with the turmoil in DC are our Intel agencies capable of watching everything they need to watch?

What will be the future of the Bitcoin craze?

This is a financial bubble….kinda like the tech stocks in the 90’s……