NO PROPHET……..JUST A THINKER - Joseph M. Cachia

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There is no expedient to which a man will not go to avoid the labour of thinking.” Thomas A. Edison
So, let's try to read some 'writings on the wall'.

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Any bets that the General Election will take place well before the end of this year?

Accusations of manipulating the country into an election frenzy are being hurled all around like leaves in autumn.
"Will the Prime Minister call an election for late November, should Malta be cleared by mid-year to adopt the euro on January 1, 2008?", asked Lino Spiteri. In a sly artful way, he predicted the answer. Of course!! In the first sentence of his last paragraph of his article he states; "Should Labour win the election in a post-euro scenario of galloping prices......" And who would ever dream of holding an election following 'a post-euro scenario of galloping prices'? The Nationalist Party is more shrewd than that!

On January 14, 2007, Tonio Fenech, Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Finance, was quoted as saying that "By the end of 2006, foreign investment is expected to exceed Lm 500 millions." It would be interesting to know if this figure had been reached and if in it is included the selling of Malta and its family silver! Does he expect any revival of our economic situation, once all our heirloom has been sold? I'm sure he's not betting on it and he knows that the earlier the chance of a premature election, the better. Before things get worse!
The NP government knows well enough what's coming - and it's definitely not for the better. Eddie Fenech Adami knew it and he quickly made way. There is no time to lose . If the NP still enjoys any credit (very doubtful), it would do well to work on it early before it's totally lost.

Folks who had earlier believed the promises of benevolences and advantages of Malta's entry into the European Union and unwittingly voted in favour, have long since been asking; 'Where are the jobs?', 'Why so much unemployment?' and 'Why such increases in the cost of living?' The government knows very well that things are not going to ameliorate but rather to worsen. So, why should it go to the risk of staking an election in a still worse situation?

Does anyone think that the changeover to the euro would not bring additional hardships to both businessmen and consumers? If so, better think again. Anyhow, the burden will start to afflict us after the election.
Do you believe that the Prime Minister will not call an election till after the Maltese lira would be replaced by the euro, with all its negative effects of inflation and conceivable devaluation?

Then there is the issue of the divorce law, especially concerning EU citizens seeking divorce in the Maltese courts. Recently, Malta was labelled as a 16th century country in that it's the only country in the EU that does not have any divorce legislation. How many believe that this will continue to last? Yes, definitely up to election time! Anyhow, it is understood that the EU will not conclude this issue before long. This makes it more imperative for an early election so as not to lose the votes of the anti-divorcists and also lose favour with the church.
And the latest gamble! Smart City !! A project said to create 5,600 jobs over eight years, amounting to an average of 700 employments yearly. Again another promise - and you can say on the eve of a general election. What a boost for the Party! Will this evaporate like the declaration of hundreds of jobs promised on the Cottonera Waterfront project? Anyhow, it would have served its purpose.

Maybe the Prime Minister thinks that he could keep the people guessing but good thinkers will not miss the signs.

Hurry up, Mr. Prime Minister. Time is running out!!

.....AND AWAY

Who will attack Iran , the US or Israel ? You guessed it, Israel !

A recent report in one of Britain 's leading newspaper, 'The Sunday Times', claimed that Israel was making preparations for a conventional attack on Iran to destroy its uranium enrichment facilities. It stated that the Israeli Air Force has been making practice runs far out into the Mediterranean . Although denied by Israel , such reports could not be just sheer nonsense. US Vice-President Dick Cheney has for long been saying that "perhaps Israel will one day act on their own", maybe in view of the constant prodding by Israel, especially by the AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) in the United States.

Definitely, this is more likely as the US is not in a position, both militarily and politically, to engage itself in such a new war. Spokesman for the US National Security Council, Gordon Johndroe, said that action would be taken only inside Iraq , not across the border, while Secretary of Defence, Robert Gates, also stated that the United States had no intention of going into Iranian territory. Who is going then? So the US administration would be delegating the attack on Iran to the Israelis!

The threat of a US strike on Iran is all propaganda and the media mission is to create outrage in the world against Iran . The US media group is beginning to release stories to sell a strike against Iran . Moreover, Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, also has called the possibility of an Iranian nuclear bomb as an "existential threat" that cannot be tolerated.

Although Israel would find itself on the front-line of this madness, US support would not be lacking. The recent deployment of two aircraft-carrier strike groups and Patriot air defence systems would be useful to deter or defend against any retaliatory action on Israel . So, Israel would attack Teheran and the US will come to its aid and further destabilize the Middle East . As Senator Hilary Clinton prattled during her visit to Israel in December, 2005: "It became even more clear how important it is for the United States to stand with Israel ."

Most assume that the planned US military surge in Iraq fits a scenario for attacking Iran 's nuclear facilities. Rather, with the support of the two aircraft-carrier groups poised off Iran 's coastline, these would undoubtedly serve as support for Israeli air-strikes against Iran .

It is no speculation that this escalation doesn't involve Iran . I mean, who would be so stupid as to throw more troops in Iraq ? Note the oxymoron: 'Let's send more troops to Iraq , so we can pull our troops out of Iraq .' But all this points to these lines in Bush's speech: " I recently ordered the deployment of an additional carrier strike group to the region. We will expand intelligence sharing - and display air defence systems to reassure our friends and allies."

As Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, is under mounting pressure from Likud and other right-wing parties in the Knesset, a daring Israeli air-strike against Iran could salvage his reputation. Besides, Olmert has left himself little manoeuvering room, since he has labelled Iran 's alleged development of a nuclear bomb an 'existential threat' to Israel.

The American people might also be more sympathetic to Israel lashing out to protect its survival than to Bush entangling the United States in another Middle East War.

So, if the Bush-Olmert duo has any hope of accomplishing the neo-conservative remaking of the Middle East time is running out. Something dramatic must happen soon.

That something would possibly mean a rush to Armageddon!!
Email:  jmcachia@maltanet.net

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