Tuesday, December 12, 2006

International Intelligence

Here is a story that should chill you to the bone as a global investor: Watch for the outcome as Shell is forced by the Russian government relinquish its share of the world's biggest liquefied gas project.

What does this say about the Kremlin's willingness to use the country's natural resources as a political weapon?

You can only imagine the pressure Moscow put on Royal Dutch Shell to cut its stake in the Sakhalin-2 gas pipeline in eastern Russia in favor of the state-owned energy group Gazprom.

Obviously, Russia is not above poisoning its relationships with multi-national companies, as well as dissident ex-spies.

The new chairman of the Intelligence Committee does not have a basic working knowledge of the players in the Middle East conflict…

Rep. Silvestre Reyes of Texas, chosen by incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to head the Intelligence Committee, is showing a shocking level of ignorance on basic questions about al Qaeda and Hezbollah

When asked whether al Qaeda is one or the other of the two major branches of Islam -- Sunni or Shiite -- Reyes said "they are probably both," then ventured, "predominantly -- probably Shiite."

(Buzzer) Nope.

Al Qaeda was founded by Osama bin Laden as a Sunni organization and views Shiites as heretics.

Sen. Reyes could also not answer questions about Hezbollah, a Shiite group on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations that is based in Southern Lebanon.

Would you not expect the Commissioner of Baseball to know the difference between the Rangers and the Astro's? Why not the same, basic level of working knowledge about the terrorism game, as head of the Intelligence Oversight Committee?

How can you have the respect of the people you work with…or how effective can you be in providing leadership without a working knowledge of not just the basics, but also the myriad nuances of the international terrorism players?

Those of you who were dissatisfied with the performance of the Republican leadership in Congress…and wanted change:
Gotta be careful what you ask for.

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