Last night, the TV magazine, "60 Minutes," broadcast a short but scary segment about the national security risk of a Chinese company (Huawei) building the hardware for America's 4G telecom system.http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/60minutes/main3415.shtmlThey said that the only U.S. company capable of building the system is Cisco, but even Cisco doesn't manufacture critical parts that are manufactured overseas.METAR mavens, please comment on the implications, including investment advice.Wendy (appalled that the U.S. has to turn to potential strategic adversaries to build and install critical control infrastructure)
I think it is crazy.
Wendy (appalled that the U.S. has to turn to potential strategic adversaries to build and install critical control infrastructure) You might as file those worries as "bridge done been crossed" along with energy dependance and all the other old strategic problems.http://www.fujitsu.com/global/about/ir/?custom01=mddFujitsu has been building the best and most used fiber transport systems within the wireline backbone. http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/wps/portal/InvestorsAlcatel holds the second position. Notice the "Lucent" on the end. Lucent was the last iteration of Western Electric and basically Alcatel bought the dying left overs.So much of the modern wire line backbone is not U.S. Additionally, players like Cisco tend to integrate poorly. They do not come with a heritage of 5- 9s reliability and do not know how to work and play well with the TIRKS database. (Trunks Integrated Record Keeping System)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trunks_Integrated_Record_Keepin...CheersQazulight
(appalled that the U.S. has to turn to potential strategic adversaries to build and install critical control infrastructure)The US is dependant on foreigners for large parts of our need for minerals, energy and manufactured goods. The largest single driver of this dependancy is because the foreign goods are cheaper...the national version of the corporate "make or buy" decision.Two ways to reverse this trend:-repeal the enviro and workplace regs and force USians to work for $2/hr-enact domestic content laws to require "strategic" materials and products be 100% made in USA.Either course would exact a high price on the US, and most USians are completely amoral when it comes to money in their pocket.Steve
So much of the modern wire line backbone is not U.S.Ah, now I understand. Lawmakers seek to block China's Huawei, ZTE inroads in U.S. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. telecommunications operators should not do business with China's top telecom gear makers because potential Chinese state influence on the companies poses a security threat, the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee said in a report on Monday.----Employee-owned Huawei is the world's second-biggest maker of routers, switches and other telecommunications equipment after Sweden's Ericsson. ZTE ranks fifth.----ZTE's US telecom infrastructure equipment sales last year were less than $30 million. In contrast, two of the larger Western vendors alone had combined U.S. sales that topped $14 billion, ZTE told the committee, an apparent reference to Espoo, Finland-based Nokia Siemens Networks NOKI.UL and Paris-based Alcatel Lucent.http://news.yahoo.com/chinas-huawei-zte-kept-u-draft-congres...Note that *every* equipment vendor named in the article is based outside of the US. Note that the courts are constantly full of various companies charging eachother with patent infringement and theft of trade secrets.This is not about US vs foreign sourcing of equipment. This is not about protecting IP.This is about pols wanting to posture about China in front of the election.Steve
"...METAR mavens, please comment on the implications, including investment advice..."Dear Wendy :Cisco CEO, Mr. John Chambers is a leading proponent of cutting corporate taxes on U.S. companies. I've seen several interviews where he said that he would 'repatriate' Cisco's overseas cash holdings.... and he was adamant about getting the cut first.I saw the complete 60 Minutes interview (it ended before "Call the Midwives"), and although I am absolutely against having Huawei manage any kind of network, I couldn't help but feel that the pass along costs from high US corporate taxes plus the "hundreds of millions [of dollars] if not billions" of PRC help gave Huawei the clear bidding advantage.In a nutshell : the chickens have come home to roost.On the other hand I get the feeling that too many people have developed a 'China Syndrome' on similar lines as Harmy's comments about 'US Paranoia' earlier today. I disagree with harmy in this case because it most certainly involves national security. However, I can recall when the Japanese and the Koreans were buying up expensive U.S. real estate, blanketing America with golf courses and people were all up in arms about that. (Remember the to-do when Sun Young Moon tried buying I forget what and congress stopped him? In the long run, it was much ado about nothing.) China is a decade or more away from developing a complete economy. It is export driven only. The river of import revenues is now drying up mainly because of the stagnant US economy and deep recession in the Eurozone (depression in some areas). China does not have a strong consumer base, except for a few small pockets. Most 'working class' income is spent on housing and food. China does not have organic growth. Further there seem to be issues with state oversight of companies under contract best exemplified by the 'Foxconn' incidents. (There are reports of 'gang fights' at Foxconn. What's up with that?)Without a strong export market, and the US and Europe a long way from recovery, I say short China. Or at least do not invest in any China centric ETFs. It's going to be a "soft landing" all right! One with this real long decent. By the way! News Flash! Here's the results of the congressional report:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000087239639044398290457804...The 60 Minutes piece mentioned that Cisco does not have a complete 4G package for the market. There might be a "good" reason for this. Cisco does not have the benefit of massive state support, (quite the opposite in fact). So perhaps it is because it is not cost efficient to invest in and market a complete package. In other words a Cisco centric network is built in the most cost effective way even if that means buying components from other vendors. Huawei can simply throw bales of money around and to, er,... heck! with cost efficiencies.Also, since the beginning of the tech boom in the late 80's, at every step of the way I've heard it said it wouldn't get any better or faster. To the contrary, it just keeps on getting better and faster! Not to mention that a recent study has show that 30% of Americans do not yet have internet access, let alone high speed access, smart phones, and so on and who knows what's next! Cisco is already positioned for that. Hence, I think an initial position in Cisco is appropriate, or to buy on a 'correction', (if the Federal Reserve ever allows a correction to happen again....)Your acquiescent Fool,FM
I would be surprised if the components that don't come from the US actually MUST come from China. The US doesn't make a fair lot of different hardware within its boundaries. South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan all figure in the tech stream. As for being appalled... I'm with you.
SteveThis is about pols wanting to posture about China in front of the election.That about sums it up. The US doesn't seem to know what it does want. It wants access to China's market but doesn't want China to access the US market.It outsources US technology (Boeing carbon fibre) but complains about China exporting products that use that technology back to the US.It complains about China dumping products in the US but then dumps subsidized agricultural products in China. It complains about China's aggressive military build-up but then declares that the US will move muscle into China's back-yard......and above all it starts fear-mongering campaigns like this one. RegardsHarmy
Cisco is already positioned for that. Hence, I think an initial position in Cisco is appropriate, or to buy on a 'correction', I would seriously reconsider a position in Cisco, I could be wrong, but listen.Cisco has three problems, two have to do with the nature of the telecommunications industry and one is a problem with Cisco.1. Cisco does not have a 5 nines heritage. Now that is not to say that Cisco has not built a system or a series of systems that can meet the 99.999 percent up time. What Cisco does not have is a culture that is a century old with the idea that everything is 99.999 percent reliable. In fact Cisco comes from the other culture, a culture of "best effort" and "mostly reliable" This isn't to say the equipment cannot work well, in fact equipment is really not a problem. What will give Cisco headaches, and its customers, are the software patches. The idea of, "We'll send this one out, and if it is a problem we'll fall back." Well that might work, but when you take the entire communications system down for 5 minutes, even once every other year, that is simply not acceptable. The entire system can NEVER fail. There is a culture with in a company required to produce those results, Cisco wasn't born with it, and I doubt that it has been successfully grafted into the Cisco culture.2. If Cisco were to actually get into the telecom industry in a big way, it would probably end up squeezed to death. I don't know about Verizon, but At&T has a culture of squeezing vendors to the point of getting blood out of turnips, not just any blood, the good bright red blood. Walmart probably learned its lessons on supplier squeezing from Ed Whitacre. If you are thinking that Cisco would be a buy on heavy sales gains in the telecommunications sector, I would be buying your puts.3. The CEO of Cisco does not look out for his share holders. He has "bought back shares to return value to the share holders" for years, yet the share count doesn't do down and the earning per share doesn't go up. This is due to executive compensation. My belief is that he were to get a tax break and were to repatriate the offshore funds to the U.S. not one dollar would make it to the investors or to investment, all would end up in share buy backs that are cover for share dilution stock options. CheersQazulight
FastMikeOn the other hand I get the feeling that too many people have developed a 'China Syndrome' on similar lines as Harmy's comments about 'US Paranoia' earlier today. I disagree with harmy in this case because it most certainly involves national security.At least we seem to share the same view about a 'China Syndrome' on the other hand you may be right about national security. However, we live in a global economy (how many times does that have to be repeated !) and it is not difficult for any country to set up a series of real and front companies in order to gain access to US 'secrets'. If a country is determined enough it will succeed in obtaining the information it wants. While you may be right about Huawei I think you are wrong about this:China does not have a strong consumer base, except for a few small pockets. ...because China has a middle class equal to that of the US - around 300 million. The reason they are not all that obvious is because they are buried among the rest but that doesn't mean they don't have the buying power of a large economy.China is a decade or more away from developing a complete economy.Only a decade ?? That is an incredibly short time in which to go from an economy only just off the bottom to one which you say will become a 'complete' economy. In the meantime take a look at this from Forbes:http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2012/03/26/global-grow...Here are some takeaways from the 25 page report by chief economist Ilan Goldfajn and his economic team at Itau in São Paulo.U.S.A (Avg. 2014-2020 growth potential: 2.1%) Two percent is hardly the stuff of a fast moving economy. It suggests that the US will barely mark time over the next ten years but China according to the Harvard University China Panel (and yourself) will be accelerating at an increasing rate.http://www.harvardchina.org/panels/Through accelerated growth, China's consumer market is projected to become the 2nd largest in the world by 2020. Multiple factors, including restructuring of economy, urbanization, population aging, and income polarization, create business opportunities as well as challenges to grow ahead of the market.You may be right to recommend shorting China but because you don't know what you don't know I'd suggest that there is more risk than you give credit for. My honest opinion is that you, and many others, have been blindsided by a blanket of mainly US negativity about China which will catch you out at some point.RegardsHarmy
"...What will give Cisco headaches, and its customers, are the software patches..."Dear Jeff :I think that's true for the entire tech industry. Like Microsoft's Windows 98 followed by a nearly equally disasterous Windows 2000. Both of those had more patches than a train load of Raggedy Ann dolls! Then there was the case of the Intel Pentium multiplication table errors. And even the almighty Apple couldn't get its' map-app right.From personal experience with Cisco equipment installed in the early 2000s, I can remember just one patch over ten years, and never had a day of trouble. There's a comical twist, too. Whenever we have a network connection problem, the first thought is always, 'oh-oh... the Cisco switch! (or router). But it never, ever is!In the 60 Minutes piece, it was shown that Huawei copied Cisco's equipment right down to the typographical errors in the documentation! So if Cisco equipment has a problem, well then Huawei equipment does, too! (Remember the duplicate HAL computer on earth? Just like that:-)Cisco is the innovator. It's got big, big bucks and then some. It's got muscle and lobbyist. Most important it has global presence.I think that generally, this isn't a good time to buy into Cisco. We're in economic doldrums. But it seems to be well worth the risk at a lower price and over a longer term. Networking seems to be morphing and evolving and far from finished. But China itself is morphing and evolving and Chinese companies structured like Huawei might eventually find themselves in conflict with their own government.Your stitched Fool,FM
Dear Fools, let me be brief. (At least by Yoda standards.) The telecom hardware race is OVER.Huawei either has already won the race or will win it in the next decade. The path is set in stone and the US is NOT going to change it.All you have to do is ask ANYONE that has toured Huawei in China recently. Compare that to touring Cisco and/or Lucent. Night and day difference. Huawei probably has a 20X to 100X advantage in engineering manpower. Even if their productivity is lower than Cisco or Lucent, Huawei still comes out on top.There is always a chance that Huawei will mismanage all of the people and all of the semi-infinite funding, but I would NOT bet against them.To paraphrase “50,000 Huawei engineers can NOT be wrong.”Thanks,Yodaorange
"...Only a decade ?? That is an incredibly short time in which to go from an economy only just off the bottom to one which you say will become a 'complete' economy..."Dear harmy :China's per capita purchasing power parity is like really low. So what is categorized as middle class is kept in check by high housing and food prices: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_...It's in the 90th - 98th ranking.Further, "outsourcing" is trickling away from China. Some of it is even returning to the South Americas. I've a feeling that we'll see outsourcing towards some of the hard hit Eurozone economies, too.The demand for labor around the world is declining and the supply is still growing. A bad mix for global growth.I wouldn't doubt China's potential, I'm definitely with you on that! But I think that, as the 60 Minutes interview brought out, is that China has a "military-industrial complex". I'm of the opinion that China is going to have to go through a 'restructuring' to borrow a business term. It needs to raise it's middle class PPP, and differentiate government, judicial, military and industrial sectors much more before it become a real economic superpower.Industry can't be led from behind, which is what a good portion of China's industries, like Huawei, do. I think that companies like Huawei eventually 'deflate' and the next cycle of Chinese business growth will replace it, for the better I hope.Your bifurcating Fool,FM
What Cisco does not have is a culture that is a century old with the idea that everything is 99.999 percent reliable.I think the opposite is more likely: the phone company will drop it's commitment to reliability, because it's cheaper to take a gamble that most of the system will work most of the time, rather than all the system work all the time.I took a look at the U-Verse offerings, along with bundles offered by the two cable companies in my area.All of them use a battery backup for the gateway to maintain voice service. The battery is supposed to work for 4 hrs. Additionally, it's the subscriber's responsibility to replace the battery every three years, at $120/pop.My Aunt in Columbus has had voice service from both U-Verse and Time Warner. Her frequent complaint with both is that outbound calls do not connect, and she has to redial, maybe two or three times, before getting through. Back when they had U-Verse, sometimes my Uncle had to have the operator place the call to get through.The company I used to work for had a combo data/voice over IP link between the warehouse I worked in and the HQ several miles away. A couple times a year, that link would fail and everything in the warehouse was down for the day. No phone, no computer.The Detroit area was in the northeast blackout of several years ago...my POTS service worked perfectly, for days, without mains power....but POTS costs more, so watch for us all to be forced to cheaper, less reliable, service.Steve
I have to agree with Yoda (and what Cisco I have will join the rest of the stuff I've been shedding). Much of Cisco's guts are manufactured abroad (probably more than a bit in China)Also wrote this on parallel thread:http://boards.fool.com/those-that-followed-my-traveling-alon...Jeff(Sold more Cisco than most over the past couple of decades)
A few comments on the 60 Minutes piece and the larger issues.Market SegmentsOne can think of the telecom market more broadly as a networking market (virtually all phone traffic is now IP traffic). The networking market can be thought of along the following segment boundaries:Wired access -- equipment used to aggregate individual customer service via copper pairs, DSL, coax, etc.Wireless access -- equipment used to aggregate individual customer service via cell phone (old CDMA, newer 3G and 4G technologies), WiFi, etc.High Density LAN access -- equipment used to aggregate hundreds / thousands of copper and fiber Ethernet (100M, 1G, 10G speeds) connections within data centers.Core IP routing -- equipment used to route ENORMOUS amounts of traffic between backbone sites within a network and between peer networksFiber multiplexer / transmission gear -- equipment used to groom high speed SONET circuits between long haul fiber circuits and carry / regenerate those signals over long distances between backbone core sites.Since the Internet took off in the mid 1990s, equipment in virtually all of these categories has followed Moore's law -- capacity has doubled nearly every two years and prices have dropped when measured on a "per megabit" bandwidth basis.For customers, what this has meant is that you can pretty much bank on virtually replacing your entire data network every 4-5 years. Not that the current stuff stops working. The new stuff just becomes so much faster / cheaper, you can't afford NOT to forklift your current stuff lest you fall behind your competitors.InnovationCisco has an image of a collossus in networking that does everything and "does everything" with a consistent operating system (called IOS, not to be confused with Apple's iOS) that provides a uniform set of commands for configuring a chassis, configuring ports, configuring BGP routing policies, etc. In reality, relatively little of what Cisco currently does was developed in-house. Cisco has relied upon aquisitions of smaller firms to leap frog it into new technologies (ATM in the late 1990s, cable access in the 2000s, network management tools, etc.).Because these aquisitions bring their own chipsets, blade designs and backplane designs, those segments of gear that appear to be "IOS" driven in fact all represent unique builds of the IOS command and management software which means when Cisco finds a bug in IOS affecting a $4000 router, that fix cannot immediately be propagated to the IOS running on their $500,000 core router. Think of the problems Apple would have keeping Snow Leopard or Lion OSX patched if they were trying to support both Intel and PowerPC chipsets for ten years then multiply that complexity by probably 2x or 3x.Cisco's strategy of "innovation through capture of competing inovators" works not because they do such a great job of folding new products into the "Cisco Way" but because so many large network providers believe they're better off with a "single throat to choke" when something goes wrong.What most people don't know about Cisco is that for virtually its entire HISTORY, Cisco never actually MANUFACTURED any of its products. Manufacturing has always been outsourced to players you've likely heard of -- Foxconn, Flextronics, etc.). These same fabricators make many of the products for Cisco's competitors -- on the same assembly lines.What I've just stated about Cisco applies to any of the big players in the industry (I'm not picking on Cisco...)Security ImplicationsThe idea of some "other" group of engineers performing all of the design and fabrication of critical network infrastructure used in the US requires consideration of security risks in three areas:Data Security -- A fear conveyed in the 60 Minutes piece and the Congressional report involves the possibilty that Chinese made gear might embed the smarts to detect certain interesting flows of communication and somehow "skim" a copy of that communication and make it available for agents outside the country. Anything is possible but highly sensitive data would likely be encrypted before being packed on "the bus" of a common IP circuit between Silicon Valley and New York. It would also be possible to use equipment external to the suspect foreign made equipment to monitor the destination of traffic leaving that device and block it if it appears bound to unexpected destinations.Network Stability -- This is probably the more legitimate fear regarding dependency upon foreign designed network equipment. An intentional lurking flaw in the control system code of a critical network device could lie hidden for months / years until predefined conditions are detected which could trigger a flood of bogus routing messages between peers, or flapping interfaces that drop traffic, etc. Of course, it is frankly just as likely that a flaw equal in its impact will be present as a "legitimate" bug. In other words, if you single-source a network to a single vendor and that vendor's equipment all use a single image of software, that single image of software becomes a single point of failure that can drop the entire network to its knees. This is not a hypothetical situation. It's already occured several times in the United States both with legacy phone networks and with IP networks.Equipment Availability -- Eliminating any onshore expertise in designing or fabricating components in modern networking gear can also be viewed as both a business and strategic risk. At a business level, many of these components rely on chips that are probably made in one or two buildings in the entire world. If that building lies on an earthquake fault and an earthquake occurs, you've just lost 100% of your manufacturing capacity. In a Just-In-Time inventory management world, you've just lost 100% of your manufacturing capacity in a matter of HOURS because you have no stockpile of parts to use. (see #1 below for a review of a good book on this danger).This is also a strategic danger at a national level. If the US really wants more 4G wireless access equipment and a Chinese firm has already committed 100% of its capacity to internal Chinese expansion projects, what can the US do? What if some portion of this gear relies upon some rare earth metal that China controls and wants to use for internal purposes?The key point here is that these problems with security, stability and availability are already present in the current eco-system. Sure, allowing a Chinese firm to dominate the design aspect as well will pose additional risks to the US but the risks already present are equally dangerous but no one's really saying much about them.Investment Implicationsqazulight raised a very crucial point for investors to consider in this industry. Despite the concentration of market share for "big iron" among a few big gorillas, customers of that big iron have also been successful at pitting vendors against each other to drive margins to very low levels. As qazulight mentioned, then-SBC was among the best at this. In the early 1990s, SBC purchased dozens of Ericsson AXE-10 switches and installed them in small towns all over the midwest. These switches were GARBAGE. They had to be rebooted at midnight once a week to clear memory leaks that would eventually halt call processing. Everyone in operations and engineering knew this but the switches were bought and installed anyway. Why? Because firing that shot over the bow of Nortel and then-AT&T led those vendors to drop their switch prices by probably 33%. Eventually, the AXE-10 switches were eliminated and converted to remotes off larger Nortel DMS-100 switches.When you pay $500,000 for a core router, it's hard to believe that margins are low on the product but when you consider warranty coverage, spare parts oblications, and 24x7 tech support requirements on the seller, even with extra hardware and software maintenance fees, the margins are not that high given the proven rate of technical obsolescence with the products.WTH============================#1) http://boards.fool.com/good-read-the-end-of-the-line-2314300...
SBC purchased dozens of Ericsson AXE-10 switches and installed them in small towns all over the midwest. These switches were GARBAGE. They had to be rebooted at midnight once a week to clear memory leaks that would eventually halt call processing. Everyone in operations and engineering knew this but the switches were bought and installed anyway. Why? Because firing that shot over the bow of Nortel and then-AT&T led those vendors to drop their switch prices by probably 33%. Eventually, the AXE-10 switches were eliminated and converted to remotes off larger Nortel DMS-100 switches.One small quibble. The AXE we still have running in the small towns in East Texas is stone reliable. It has a user hostile interface, but my tenour with these has been at the end of the life of the switches. I had very few maintenance window call outs on them. Not many on the DMS 100 remotes either, but I always seemed to have plenty of maintenance window work on the only full blown switch DMS-100 in my territory. I cannot say about the last two year because I have been out of that side of the business. I do know that we still have a host and four remotes of the Ericison AXE-10 here in East Texas.CheersQazulight
There is another factor that I don't think has been mentioned. The US intelligence services back-doors to "access" the installed networks. Beyond just the concern of China spying on us through unknown "flaws" in the system, we actively spy on our own infra. Can you imagine the NSA going to a meeting of Huawei executives with a Chinese intelligence officer present (or listening from the next room) and asking them to design the software in such a way to make it easier for us to monitor Chinese attacks on our infrastructure? Even if we are tight with the local carrier running the equipment, Huawei still has to design the system.Not to say that we don't have that problem with the other (now) foreign infra providers. But, at least they are NATO; Ericsson (Sweden), Nokia-Siemens (Finland), Alcatel-Lucent (France), etc.Motorola networks was the last mobile infra provider in the US (now a part of Nokia-Siemens). The whole US has had the tech blood sucked out of it by incompetent/malevolent executive/political vampires for short-term dollars. I hope they all burn in hell.justacog
The Canucks and Aussies jump on boardHuawei faces exclusion from planned Canada government networkOTTAWA (Reuters) - The Canadian government hinted strongly on Tuesday it would exclude Chinese telecom equipment giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd from helping to build a secure government communications network because of possible security risks.---Andrew MacDougall, spokesman for Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, told a news conference..."I'll leave it to you if you think ... Huawei should be a part of a Canadian government security system,"---In invoking the security exception for the government network, Canada has not gone as far as Australia, which has barred Huawei from taking part in contracts to build the government's $38 billion national broadband network.http://money.msn.com/business-news/article.aspx?feed=OBR&...Guess they're all OK with the CIA listening in to everything tho.Steve...I assume the Canucks remember they don't need to protect Nortel anymore
Guess they're all OK with the CIA listening in to everything tho.Speaking of whichNews Summary: Telecom wiretap immunity standsTHE LAW: The case stemmed from surveillance rules passed by Congress that included protection from legal liability for telecommunications companies that allegedly helped the U.S. spy on Americans without warrants.http://apnews.excite.com/article/20121009/DA1Q90O02.htmlSteve
SteveOf course Australia would follow the US line, after all that is where Australia gets its intelligence information from. It explains why Australia was sucked into Iraq by a combination of flat out lies, mickey mouse intelligence and wild assumptions convinced the Australian government that Iraq posed a threat.This would seem to be the real reason behind Huawei's banning. Luke Coleman from Huawei Australia said the American investigation was motivated by protectionism."I simply think that it's tired, old allegations that have been rehashed in the US," he said."Whatever allegations they're making is just a trade war masquerading as a security issue."If they had any evidence of a security issue it would have been in that report, and there was no evidence there."I guess if you want to start a trade war then this is the way to go. RegardsHarmy
I guess if you want to start a trade war then this is the way to go. RegardsHarmy Not really protectionism as the large US player in telco, Lucent, committed suicide, and the body parts were sold to Alcatel. Ditto, the Canadian player, Nortel, committed suicide and was sold off in bits.US politics has devolved into a search for scapegoats, and when it comes to manufacturing, the scapegoat of the decade is China, so that is who the pols want to beat up on at election time.Steve
Of course Australia would follow the US line, after all that is where Australia gets its intelligence information from. It explains why Australia was sucked into Iraq by a combination of flat out lies, mickey mouse intelligence and wild assumptions convinced the Australian government that Iraq posed a threat.Harmy,Should have followed our lead on that one mate, one very smart senior civil servent diplomat figured out what was really going on and managed to convince the PM. We don't feel we missed anything there.Tim On March 17, 2003, two days before U.S. warplanes launched their attack on Baghdad, prime minister Jean Chrétien told the House of Commons that Canadian forces would not be joining what the administration of then U.S. president George W. Bush dubbed the "coalition of the willing." Chrétien's apparent refusal to back the Bush administration's invasion, purportedly launched to seize weapons of mass destruction possessed by Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein (which were never found), was hugely popular in Canada, widely hailed as nothing less than a defining moment of national sovereignty.
timShould have followed our lead on that one mate, one very smart senior civil servent diplomat figured out what was really going on and managed to convince the PM.Yes, we were really sucked in by Blair and Bush on that one. However, we got a FTA with the US which really sucked, I mean really !! In return for accepting US copyright rules in exchange we could export our dairy products and beef to the US in twentyfive years from the date of signing !! - and of course, no sugar imports allowed at all. Now what do you think of that little cracker ??RegardsHarmy
This is worth a look. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-10-10/walkaway-solar-farmjpg...Australia's first large-scale solar farm opens in mid-west Western Australia today.....and all done with cheap Chinese solar panels :-)
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