Categories: Editorial, OpinionWhen the president suggested that he could envision a limited nuclear war with our communist adversary, critics were “horrified” and “appalled” while the regime called his remarks “dangerous madness.” This does not mean nuclear war.If North Korea persists in testing, it could involve a targeted military strike taking out Pyongyang’s ballistic missile and nuclear facilities. To the contrary, it was part of an intentional campaign designed to get North Korea to understand that Trump, unlike his predecessors, is willing to use force to stop Pyongyang from threatening American cities. For decades, the North Koreans have believed that they are untouchable because they can incinerate Seoul with conventional weapons.Now, they are on a crash course to develop and deploy the capability to incinerate U.S. cities with nuclear weapons.They think the pursuit of these weapons is making them even safer.Trump is trying to convince them that the opposite is true.The best chance to prevent such a use of force is if North Korea receives and believes this message.So we’d all better hope that Trump succeeds. Furthermore, as my American Enterprise Institute colleague Oriana Skylar Mastro recently pointed out, “Kim understands that a second Korean War would end with his demise, and therefore he has incentives to avoid such escalation.“Assuming Kim is rational then, it is possible that the United States could conduct a limited surgical strike and North Korea’s response would be minimal.”Trump’s tweets are intended to prevent us from getting to that point.They are not only entirely rational but also strategically smart.Let’s hope his critics keep questioning his sanity, because it can only help convince Kim that Trump is serious.Marc A. Thiessen is a columnist with The Washington Post who writes from a conservative perspective. He is the former chief speechwriter for President George W. Bush.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census On “Fox News Sunday,” CIA Director Mike Pompeo underscored Trump’s message, declaring that “We want the regime to understand that, unlike before, we are intent on resolving this and it is our firm conviction that resolving this diplomatically is the correct answer but that this administration is prepared to do what it takes to assure that people in Los Angeles, in Denver, in New York are not held at risk from Kim Jong Un having a nuclear weapon.”All those in the perpetual outrage machine who are calling Trump a “madman” for his tweet are also inadvertently helping him send that message to Pyongyang — just as Reagan’s critics helped convince Moscow that he was a madman.Are Trump’s threats of military action a bluff? No.As national security adviser H.R. McMaster recently explained, Trump is “not going to allow this murderous, rogue regime to threaten the United States with the most destructive weapons on the planet.”Trump tweeted in August: Two years later, Margaret Thatcher shared intelligence from KGB Colonel Oleg Gordievsky (who was working for the British) that Russian officials were increasingly convinced Reagan was getting ready for a nuclear first strike and was running drills to prepare for it.Indeed, NATO did carry out an exercise for a nuclear exchange — “Able Archer 83” — which included planes taxiing onto runways with realistic dummy nuclear warheads.Again, Reagan did not disabuse the Soviets of the notion.Quite the opposite: The next year he joked when testing his microphone before his weekly radio address “We begin bombing in five minutes.”The belief of Soviet leaders that Reagan might just be crazy enough to push the nuclear button constrained Soviet behavior and helped make possible a peaceful end to the Cold War.Now Trump is trying to send a similar message to the North Korean regime.His recent tweet telling Pyongyang that his nuclear button is “much bigger & more powerful” than Kim Jong Un’s was neither unstable nor stupid. The president in question was not Donald Trump.It was Ronald Reagan, who in his first year in office raised the possibility that the United States and the Soviet Union could survive an exchange of tactical nuclear weapons.That same year Richard Pipes, Reagan’s director of East European and Soviet affairs on the National Security Council, told The Post he thought the probability of nuclear war was about 40 percent.These remarks sent a signal to Moscow that Reagan was not like those who came before him.He did not want war, but he would not shy from one if provoked. That message was received.In 1981, then-KGB chief and future Soviet leader Yuri Andropov declared at a major KGB conference that Reagan “was actively preparing for war and that a nuclear first strike was possible.”
We are today calling on all Liberians, between the ages of 16 and 40, who want to start their own businesses, to come forward. To do what? To apply to the Entrepreneurship Program of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF). The TEF has pledged to train you in realizing your ambition to start and grow your own businesses.Our Business Reporter David Yates, who wrote the story about this challenge in Monday’s edition, said the aim of the Program is to enhance and materialize Tony Emelelu’s philosophy and vision of africapitalism, aimed at “positioning Africa’s private sector and most importantly entrepreneurs as the catalyst for the socioeconomic development of the African continent.”But first, let us explain what an entrepreneur is. An entrepreneur is one who, according to the wealthy Nigerian business tycoon, Tony Elumelu, “wishes to grow his own business in order to realize his ambition and vision. We are,” Mr. Elumelu continued, “showing what the African private sector can achieve, how hard work and enterprise can catalyze real, sustainable development.” Mr. Elumelu is a major investor in United Bank Africa (UBA). Reporter Yates also quoted TEF Chief Executive Officer Parminder Vir Obe as saying, “The program will continue to surpass the expectations of entrepreneurs and its success is palpable (real, profound).”The TEF journey, she said, “begins when you make the decision to complete the application. We are seeking real entrepreneurs, people who can take risk and reap rewards, not just for themselves, but their communities and countries.”Reporter Yates named three successful entrepreneurs who have successfully gone through the program. One is a Gambian, Mass Taal, who turned his US$5,000 seed capital into US$1.2 million in revenues.Another is Tanzania’s Bukhary Kibonajoro, who used the TEF mentorship to create within a year 34 new jobs in education and training for over 100 new local businesses.A third successful entrepreneur is Chioma Okonu, whose waste management business has created ancillary revenue for over 6,000 households, creating 40 jobs and a US$50,000 profit.The Daily Observer is today calling on Liberians between the ages of 16 and 40 to apply to the TEF Entrepreneurial Training Program for fellowships to enter its mentoring program. You may apply by using the website www.tonyelumelufoundation.org/teep/faqs. We at this newspaper have long been calling on our people, Liberians, to plunge into business by choosing a business sector, be it a grocery shop, a building materials store, an agricultural enterprise such as poultry and eggs or a vegetable or flower garden, or whatever. Plunge out into the deep, take a risk and start a business of your own, no matter how young you may be.We need, at this time, to tell you how the Daily Observer newspaper got started. When Kenneth & Mae Gene Best resigned their jobs in Nairobi, Kenya, he from the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) and she from a philanthropic organization, they returned home with the aim of starting Liberia’s first independent daily newspaper.The couple had no money, except for US$4,000, which was all they had been able to save after working six and a half years in Kenya. That was the seed money we used to start the newspaper. We were also able to convince a few Liberians to take shares in the business, valued at US$10 per share, with shareholders averaging US$75 to US$150. We were also able to obtain a loan from the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), which was approved on October 30, 1980.The newspaper was launched on February 16, 1981. But it was scarcely six weeks before we ran into serious trouble with Justice Minister Chea Cheapoo who, angry at a story we had carried on him, threatened to hunt down the newspaper publisher, Mr. Best, and shoot him! The Minister also deported three of the staff back to Ghana and Nigeria, demanded that the newspaper, an entirely new business, cough up US$3,000 to pay fines he had levied against the three deportees and also to pay their transport fares back home. Three months later, in June1981, the military junta shut down the newspaper, arrested Mr. Best, Mrs. Best and several of their staff, including three other female employees, and imprisoned them; the men in the Post Stockade and the women at the CID cell. The newspaper suffered three more closures, in August 1983, January 1984 and January 1985, this time for nearly two years.But that was not all. In 1987 President Doe, who though having been elected President was still behaving like a military dictator, ordered his Defense Minister Gray D. Allison, who was also Chair of the board of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), to cut the Observer’s electricity!In addition to all this, three times the government attempted to burn the newspaper’s office. At the third attempt, they burnt the building to the ground, and we lost everything!By that time the war was on and Mr. Best and family were in The Gambia trying to establish another newspaper, which they did successfully—until the new military head of state Yaya Jammeh, deported Mr. Best in August 1994.But despite all of these trials and tribulations, the Daily Observer was able to maintain a staff of 40 full time staff and employed over 400 newspaper vendors, most of whom paid their own way through night school and many built their own houses and supported their families. The Daily Observer management was also able to pay back its LBDI loan.We wish to assure all young entrepreneurs that you will NOT suffer the same fate as befell the Daily Observer. The political and business climate has dramatically and positively changed; and we have and will continue to have for the foreseeable future, a democratic and a very business-friendly government. So we urge our young people to go forward and apply to the TEF, become entrepreneurs and create your own businesses. One day you will succeed, become your own boss, and be able to employ others and make a constructive and meaningful contribution to national development. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
When the highly-anticipated ‘Green’ Paper for the establishment of the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) was laid in the National Assembly on Wednesday, Finance Minister Winston Jordan declared it was an example of the administration’s commitment to good “governance and accountability.”Jordan told the National Assembly that the Green Paper, which sets out preliminary proposals to stimulate discussion, also points to possible courses of action open to the SWF legislation.Saying he anticipates the proposals would be supported by both sides of the House, given the crucial role the fund would play, he noted stabilisation, savings and domestic development are key objectives of the fund and the fiscal rule options provided. And given the uncertainty surrounding the future of fossil fuels, Jordan emphasised the need for savings to begin from the first day of production.“To achieve this function, revenues will be invested in diversified portfolios comprising financial assets external to domestic, with long investment horizons,” he explained. He added that the paper also focused on why the Fund is necessary, and how it can help to protect Guyana against Dutch Disease.One way of doing that, the minister noted, is by sterilising boom revenues and ensuring that export earnings from petroleum only enter the economy at a rate at which the economy can absorb.In the short-run, resources are overemployed, but this cannot be sustained indefinitely. One way of preventing overheating, according to the paper, is to scale the investment expansion — for example, developing infrastructure — in a constant pace to increase the economy’s productive capacity sustainably.Single fundWhile noting that establishment of the SWF is relatively complex, and there can be substantial administrative costs, the paper noted that if two completely separate funds are established, then this implies that there are two governance structures, two investment policies, and two external audits.At present, the Government is touting the Natural Resources Fund, which is focused on the management of the oil resources but with specific attention to how this will tie in to Government’s Green State Development Strategy, a document that is yet to be completed and presented in Parliament.The Government said in its Green Paper that it would be an unwise decision to spread the limited expertise and experience in fund management in Guyana across two separate funds. The costs of managing two funds would be much higher than those of managing a single fund.As such, the Government considers that it is most efficient to have a single fund (the Natural Resource Fund). It said both economic theory and case studies of Botswana, Norway and Timor-Leste demonstrate that a single fund can effectively achieve multiple objectives.Economic modelling also demonstrates that with the proposed fiscal rule for Guyana — the Economically and Fiscally Sustainable Amount rule — a single fund will lead to economic stabilisation and substantial long-term savings, while avoiding increased administrative costs that establishing multiple funds would entail.ManagementIn relation to management of the Fund, the Green Paper has recommended that Parliament be responsible for passing the Natural Resource Fund Act; approving the Annual Budget, which would include the annual withdrawal from the Natural Resource Fund; and reviewing the Annual Report.“The Ministry of Finance would be responsible for overall management of the NRF, including requested withdrawal in the Annual Budget Proposal; calculating the Fiscally Sustainable Amount; drafting the Investment Mandate; entering into the Operational Agreement with the Bank of Guyana; and drafting the Annual Report and reporting on the NRF through the Annual Budget,” it explained.Also, a Sovereign Investment Committee (SIC) would be responsible for advising the Finance Minister on the investment mandate, and would consist of seven members appointed by the Finance Minister.The SIC would comprise of a representative of the minister; an ex-officio representative nominated by the Minister of Natural Resources; an ex-officio representative nominated by the Governor of the Bank of Guyana; a representative nominated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Guyana; a representative nominated by the Guyana Association of Bankers; a representative nominated by the Leader of the Opposition; and the Senior Investment Adviser and Analyst.The BoG’s role would be the operational manager of the fund, which will manage it in accordance with the operational agreement and investment mandate. The BOG would also draft quarterly reports and annual accounts, procure private managers, and draft management agreements and investment instructions.