CURRENT STATUS: There is more violence, more poverty, and more human misery, greater instability in Iraq now, than before the USA arrived. In fact the country actually operated better under Sadam Hussein than under the current U.S. occupation. There is a 4 way war going. Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds all fighting each other for power.
Then they are all hostile to the USA. In the meantime, the American taxpayers continue to foot the bill in an amount equal to about $500,000,000 for every day there. All of this is happening while reports indicate that Iraq leaders are hoarding several BILLION dollars of IRAQI oil money, choosing to operate on American money instead.
The majority of the American people have spoken clearly. The message is that we should not have gone into Iraq, and that we should bring our boys and girls home. That would be relevant, if our leaders truly believed in the power of the people and Democracy, but it seems that current U.S. leadership, does not understand or respect the voice of the people. The majority of the people of the world agree that the USA should get out. The majority, even of generals in the U.S. military believe that this war is non productive.
There are long standing cultural, historical, religious, and political factions in Iraq that simply are beyond the knowledge of most Americans. These differences may well be best dealt with by the people of Iraq with assistance from their cultural family in the region.
American boys and girls don't know who is going to shoot at them next, and they don't know who to shoot back at. Every day we stay in Iraq, another U.S. child dies, and there is no reliable estimates of how many Iraqi children are dying, in cross fires, often by U.S. bullets fired by the children of America. We don't need this.
FORECAST: A short time after George W. Bush leaves office, the USA will begin serious efforts to withdraw from Iraq. A short time after Tony Blair leaves office in Britain; Britain will begin to withdraw from Iraq.
CURRENT STATUS: Even though, Iran has militant leaders who do not like George Bush, Iran has influential people in government who would like to improve relations with the United States. U.S. policy toward Iran has been very inconsistent and hostile, but, Iran has huge oil reserves and wealth. It could be a key in resolving many Middle East problems, especially Iraq, and even Palestine.
FORECAST: The U.S. government will open communications with Iran, and moderate Republicans and Democrats will press the USA to develop a joint plan with Iran to assist in stabilizing Iraq and the region.
ISRAEL, JORDAN, PALISTINE, LEBANON
CURRENT STATUS: The over riding conflict of the region is the continued aggressive policies of Israel, in dealing with Islamic people. The wars, destruction, and economic pressure by Israel, so that it can assert control over great areas of land, in an attempt to remove Islamic people, have essentially isolated Israel. Israel is in violation of United Nations resolutions, and continues policies that even disturb 35 to 40% of Israeli citizens. Hammas will continue to grow in influence and power, in Lebanon, and other area. Only when the people of the area begin to see hopes of prosperity, freedom and opportunity, will the terrible terrorist actions cease.
FORECAST: The United States will have to move forward in pressing for a solution, and this will require the support of Iran, Saudi Arabia and other powerful Islamic leaders. Moderate leaders in the United States will learn that there can be little peace in the region, until Israel learns to co-habitate and stop trying to survive by military violence. Israel must be constrained, to comply with United Nations and other treaties, and to truly practice respect for human rights in the Area. Militants, radicals and other Islamic Fundamentalists will need to be re-educated, and given hope and opportunity for a reasonable life of freedom and respect. Those who lead and teach them violence must be constrained, to teach co-habitation.
CURRENT STATUS: All of Latin America has moved in a populist political direction. This is made more powerful by increasing wealth in natural resources, especially oil. Venezuela has more oil reserves than the United States, for example. There is a perception that the United States has tried to dominate and manipulate Latin America, and this is partially true. More and more leaders are pressing to eliminate ties with the World Bank, the United States, and the IMF. As a result, many leaders in Latin America have befriended nations such as Cuba, Russia, China and India. Latin America has many new, young and dynamic leaders, several dynamic women. Raphael Correa, the new President of Ecuador is a good example. While the indiginent people of Ecuador and Latin America, have often been ignored or lived in powerless poverty for generations, leaders like Correa of Ecuador will bring new economic opportunity to these people. Also, leaders such as Correa have a strong interest in the Environment. Companies such as ours stand ready to help in efforts to make giant corporations "clean up" the environmental messes they have made in Latin America.
FORECAST: Latin America will prosper because of increased prices and influence of oil. The policies of the United States will become more conciliatory, after the Bush Administration leaves office. The political and economic future of Ecuador will continue to improve.
CURRENT STATUS: This may be the fastest growing center of wealth in the world. Islamic wealth and investment that once flowed to Europe or the United States is now flowing to Dubai. Business investments, new construction, new offices for companies from all over the world have located in Dubai. It might be called the new "New York" for the Islamic world.
FORECAST: As oil increases in value, this city will continue to grow in influence and power. As the economic power increases, Dubai will grow in global political power as well. Investors from the United States will continue to see opportunities there.
CURRENT STATUS: Mongolia needs political stability and greater transparency in business. The nation continues to grow because of the high prices of Copper and other mineral products mined there. Oil reserves are substantial. The legal system is improving, but in some ways is still slow and cumbersome. Mongolia still has a tight knit community and business is often done among friends or relatives. Many government officials are under paid; therefore, there is always a possibility for corruption or un-even influence from officials. But, Mongolia is moving in a good direction.
FORECAST: Continued slow progress. Mongolia will eventually change banking laws to allow "numbered" accounts, and this will make the nation a center of banking and finance. Before this happens greater capital and stability in the financial sector will develop.
CURRENT STATUS: Nepal seems to be riding a wave of hope and optimism, since the King has relinquished some power and allowed Democratic government to function. The "Devil is in the details". Economically, the nation needs peace, to again enjoy tourism and greater economic activity.
FORECAST: The Maoists and the Government had almost exhausted their energies and resources, and both need and want a peaceful settlement. Negotiations continue to be positive and hopeful, and although there are many differences, the joint work together seems to be leading to a positive future for Nepal.
CURRENT STATUS: India is one of the most exciting places in the world. With a huge, low cost pool of cheap labor, and an energetic public, the nation is booming. Real estate values are booming. Over 150 new shopping malls have been built in just the last 3 years. New cars, consumer goods, and new homes are everywhere. New highways, new infrastructure, and an almost universal understanding of "English" make India more dynamic. The new generation of young educated people is finding new and expanding job opportunities. India's weakness is a lack of oil and energy reserves. But the nation is using it massive educated pool of technicians to develop alternative energy sources, and solar, wind and renewable energy is growing rapidly in India. The political situation is stable, and current leaders are intelligent and informed.
FORECAST: We believe India will eventually be as powerful as China. Real estate values will continue to increase. The nation will be in the "top three" of the world's most powerful nations.
BOOTHE RANCH, FORT WORTH, TEXAS
CURRENT STATUS: Our team is busy, and we have a good clientele. Over 80% of our business is repeat business from loyal customers. Business consulting, International research, Appraisals, and Environmental Studies continue to grow and are important to our success. The Boothe Ranch is not only our headquarters, and home office, but it is also the home of Ben Boothe. I live here with my little Shitzu, "Latte".
FORECAST: BBAA LLC will continue to grow and diversify in products and services, stressing environmental services and products. Personally, I project that one day, the perfect woman will join me in a future of peace, happiness, and success. In the meantime, "Latte" and I cherish and value our many good friends throughout the world. Our best wishes to each of you.