Paulson Was Behind Bailout Martial Law Threat

Paulson Was Behind Bailout Martial Law Threat

Inhofe says Treasury Secretary made dire warnings in conference call on September 19th

Paul Joseph Watson
Thursday, November 20, 2008

Senator James Inhofe has revealed that Henry Paulson was behind the threats of martial law and a new great depression prior to the passage of the bailout bill, having made such warnings during a conference call on September 19th, around two weeks before the legislation was eventually approved by both the Senate and Congress.

As we reported at the time, on October 2, Democratic Congressman Brad Sherman gave a stunning speech on the House floor during which he decried the fact that, “Many of us were told in private conversations that if we voted against this bill on Monday that the sky would fall, the market would drop two or three thousand points the first day, another couple of thousand the second day, and a few members were even told that there would be martial law in America if we voted no.”

A few days before, Rep. Michael Burgess also told the House, “Mr. Speaker I understand we are under Martial Law as declared by the speaker last night,” referring to a temporary suspension of the rules and procedures of Congress by its leaders so that a bill can be passed quickly.

But the origin of the most dire warnings about physical martial law in America, to which Sherman was likely referring, has now been exposed.

Speaking on Tulsa Oklahoma’s 1170 KFAQ, when asked who was behind threats of martial law and civil unrest if the bailout bill failed, Senator James Inhofe named Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson as the source.

“Somebody in D.C. was feeding you guys quite a story prior to the bailout, a story that if we didn’t do this we were going to see something on the scale of the depression, there were people talking about martial law being instituted, civil unrest….who was feeding you guys this stuff?,” asked host Pat Campbell.

“That’s Henry Paulson,” responded Inhofe, “We had a conference call early on, it was on a Friday I think – a week and half before the vote on Oct. 1. So it would have been the middle … what was it – the 19th of September, we had a conference call. In this conference call – and I guess there’s no reason for me not to repeat what he said, but he said – he painted this picture you just described. He said, ‘This is serious. This is the most serious thing that we faced.’”

Inhofe said that Paulson told members of Congress the crisis would be “far worse than the great depression” if Congress didn’t authorize the bill to buy out toxic debt, a proposal “which he abandoned the day after he got the money,” added Inhofe.

Inhofe is referring to the controversy last week when it emerged that the bailout money was not going to buy up toxic debt but instead Paulson, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, had pulled a bait and switch and ordered the money be injected directly into banks.

Senator Inhofe has slammed the secrecy surrounding the destination of the bailout money, saying that Hank Paulson could have given it to his friends and that the “blank check” must be cancelled now.

Inhofe is now trying to rally support for a freeze on what’s left of the initial $350 billion of bailout money with his “roll back the bailout” proposal, which will also require an affirmative vote on the part of Congress to approve Treasury’s plan for the remaining $350 billion.


Russia’s Medvedev orders to collect 2.4 billion dollars of debt from Ukraine

Russia’s Medvedev orders to collect 2.4

billion dollars of debt from Ukraine

Russian President ordered Aleksei Miller, the chairman of Russia’s gas giant Gazprom, to collect the gas debt from Ukraine. “We have to make the final decision with Ukraine’s debt and collect the debt either voluntarily or forcibly as it is stipulated by the law and within the framework of our bilateral relations,” Medvedev told Miller at an official meeting.

Gazprom’s chairman told the president that Ukraine owed $2.4 billion to Russia for natural gas, Itar-Tass reports.

“Our Ukrainian partners owe us over 2.4 billion dollars. This is a large amount for any country and any company, including Gazprom,” Medvedev agreed.

Medvedev reminded that Russia and Ukraine had come to an agreement to regulate the debt issue during Yulia Tymoshenko’s recent visit to Russia. “The Ukrainian prime minister said that Ukraine would return the debt in accordance with established procedure,” Medvedev said.

The president also wondered about the gas agreement with Ukraine for the next year. Medvedev pointed out that the current situation in the world “was not very simple” and said that he was talking about the prices on oil, the general state of financial and economic affairs and the consequences of the global financial crisis for Russia.

Aleksei Miller also said that Gazprom was in talks with Ukraine regarding a long-term contract for natural gas shipments, although the debt issue complicated the talks.

“All the necessary documents are ready on the corporate level. However, the debt issue remains unsolved. Our question to Ukraine – where is the money – is absolutely appropriate taking into consideration the debt amount. We do not see any progress in the relations with the Ukrainian side and we are not certain if we ever see this money,” Miller told Medvedev.

Medvedev said that Russia needs to take all measures that could be possible within the framework of the bilateral relations, including contractual and administrative actions.

Will Russian tanks roll into Ukraine?


Will Russian tanks roll into Ukraine?

President Viktor Yushchenko risks to take Ukraine to the state of war. Relations between Russia and Ukraine began to worsen very quickly after the war in Georgia

Yushchenko accused Russia of aggression against Georgia and launched a new crusade against Russia’s Black Sea Navy currently stationed in Ukraine’s Sevastopol. The Ukrainian administration previously attempted to blame Moscow for national famine in the beginning of the 1930s, to immortalize the memory of accomplices of German fascists and to cut back the plans of economic integration with Russia.

Ukraine has become more persistent in its intentions to become a member of NATO and announced preparations to punitive measures against its own citizens who hold Russian passports. To crown it all, Ukrainian Foreign Minister V. Ogryzko accused Russia of preparing a military incursion in the Crimea.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly session, Viktor Yushchenko condemned Russia’s “armed annexation” of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and said his country would not recognize the two nations as independent states.

“Ukraine strongly condemns the violation of Georgia’s territorial integrity and the sanctity of its borders, and the armed annexation of its territory,” Yushchenko stated.

Yushchenko said the use of force and the resurgence of Cold War-era rhetoric have caused deep concerns in Kiev and “pose a potential threat to Ukraine and other regional states.”

Ukraine , which could face a snap parliamentary poll as a result, is also nervous about its Crimea autonomous region, which is populated mainly by ethnic Russians and hosts Russia’s Black Sea Fleet base.

Alexander Dugin, the director of the Center for Geopolitical Expertise, believes that Ukraine will keep its current borders if the nation achieves balance of European and Russian directions in politics and excludes the US-NATO political influence.

“Yushchenko is taking his nation to a disaster. Aggression against residents of Eastern Ukraine – legal, historical, or language aggression – may develop into pogroms. Russia is interested in the friendly or at least the neutral Ukraine. A disaster in another neighboring state may become a serious problem for Russia. The US administration can play another trick on Yushchenko the same way as they did with Saakashvili and push him towards military actions. Yushchenko is a political corpse, but he can make terrible decisions in the death struggle. People living in Kharkov or Donetsk may greet Russian tanks with flowers as a result of such decisions,” the expert said.

Vasili Volga, the leader of the Ukrainian Union of Leftist forces, said that President Yushchenko was pursuing two goals in his aspiration to aggravate relations with Russia.

I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before

Lincoln wrote: “As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless.”


Crisis? What Crisis?

Crisis? What Crisis?

By Dave Fryett

19 November, 2008

The economic mess that has been unfolding the last few months is not, as the right fear and the left hope, an organic collapse of the global capitalist system But rather it is, as so many so-called financial crises before it, a scam perpetrated by what Lincoln used to call the “money power.” The goals are to capture other lucrative businesses, reduce government and its ability to constrain its hegemony over capital, and to reduce union membership by creating such dire economic circumstances as to make unions powerless to save their members from hardship.

What we are experiencing is not the fall of the bourgeoisie, but its ascendancy to dictatorship. It is a charade, it’s class war waged by a confidant, victorious bourgeoisie, not one on the verge of imminent ruin. In fact, the economic failure of the bourgeoisie, as things are currently constituted in the West, is an impossibility.

How is it that the money power can create havoc in their own markets and be assured that the summoned tempest will never come to blow their own ships aground? They control the issuance, cost, value and availability of money and credit.

What most in the West fail to recognize is that from Jerusalem west to the Pacific, the so-called national banks are private corporations owned by the international banking cartel. It is these institutions, not the governments which they putatively serve, which determine monetary policy. They do so as suits their own interests and not those of the respective nations involved. The central banks determine interest rates; are allowed to create deposits out of thin air on a data-entry basis thus bringing new money into existence; and they control how much money is in circulation. This they do by either loosening their loan requirements, which stimulates the economy and creates a boon, or by tightening which creates an insufficiency of money and a “credit crisis” such as we have now.

In his testimony before Congress, the then CEO of Bear Stearns, Alan Schwartz, said that the run on Bear’s stock had been “induced.” He went on to say that his company, while saddled with a substantial amount of bad paper in the form of these worthless MBS (mortgage backed securities), was not in such bad shape that it could not have recovered had not there been a “whisper” campaign insisting that Bear’s collapse was inevitable. It was this which doomed Bear Stearns, Schwartz told Congress, otherwise they would have recovered in a year or two without the need of governmental intervention.

Instead what happened was that J. P. Morgan Chase (the Rothschild banking empire, prominent members of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank and other national banks), after the sell-off, came forward to “rescue” Bear by successfully offering pennies on the dollar of the pre-fall value of the company. JPMC also got the government to indemnify against potential losses from Bear’s bad paper to the tune of thirty billion dollars. This sum to be borrowed from the Fed.

Crisis? Not for the Rothschilds. As Fed members they and other cartel members had their chairman and servant, Alan Greenspan, not only sanction these new mortgage-based derivatives but advocate for them as well. These MBS led to a general decline in the housing and credit markets which, in turn, accompanied by whispers, led to an investor confidence crisis and a large reduction in the share prices of investment banks. Then JPMC, like the cavalry of olde, rode in to offer help by buying Bear for next to nothing and infusing it with much needed capital. How magnanimous!

Then the government indemnifies the transaction for thirty billion which they borrow from the Fed. The cartel, which includes the Rothschilds, doesn’t actually fork over any cash, they simply add a few zeroes to JPM’s account. Zeroes which the Amerrican taxpayer will have to repay with money from the real economy thus exascerbating the insufficiency of funds in circulation.

The Rothschilds and the others Fedsters, the High Lords of Capital, are not collapsing. One might opine that they are the beneficiaries of an genuine intrinsic financial calamity and that all the assets they acquired are attributable to the vagaries of market economics. Perhaps so, but first let’s look at another Fed-induced holocaust, the Crash of 1929.

In the 19th Century, the American government fought heroically against the international bankers but, tragically, in the following century, with the passage of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, the cartel regained the commanding heights of our economic life which they had lost under President Andrew Jackson.

At first they lent freely stabilizing the economy they had sabotaged in 1907. The boon that followed was so great that it could be heard to roar its way through the 1920s. Meanwhile, beneath the din of jazz bands, money was moving rapidly up the economic ladder and the gulf between rich and poor grew great, just as it has recently. And due to the great availability of money and credit made possible by the Fed and a concurrent loosening of regulation on the financial markets, people borrowed money to invest in the stock market. This had the effect of hyper-inflating share prices with fictive capital in a hyper-leveraged equities market. When the banks made their margin calls (a call by brokers to produce the money for the stocks which they’d bought on credit). Many shareholders had to sell some or all of their stock to make their margins. This sent the market tumbling down. Smaller banks were forced to foreclose on loans to meet capital requirements. As a result, homeowners and farmers lost their properties and the banks that issued these mortgages often couldn’t raise enough money and went out of business. The Fed then raised interest rates thereby shutting off the flow of much needed capital into the economy. This deepened recession into depression by setting it in stone. The government was left to solve a problem which required an ever increasing bankroll in an economy of ever dwindling money supply. This, remarkably, it did when “class traitor” FDR, in what is known to economists as the Great Compression, taxed the rich to fund work programs for the indigent.

Through leaked documents and defector testimony it came to light that this crash was planned by the Fed. Memos show them discussing just how many thousands of banks and farms they thought they could acquire by creating the crash. The Crash of ’29 was an economic coup plotted by the people at the top of the economy in order to seize more wealth for themselves and to undermine emerging worker movements and political parties which arose from the gross divergence in incomes between the working and ownership classes. It was a ruse. Eventually, they had to suffer FDR and his New Deal but the gains they made were irreversible. Where before they only controlled a majority of the banks in the Northeast, after the Scam of ’29 they dominated American capital from sea to shining sea.

It is often heard that the CIA controls all the largest insurance firms. One hears this said most frequently about AIG (American International Group). If this is a myth, our intelligence community has been in no hurry to debunk it these last few decades. Indeed the connection between the American intelligence community and the insurance industry finds its origins in another bogus, bank-induced, crisis, the Panic of 1837.

More recently however, after returning from Versailles in June of 1919, President Wilson, having spent all his political capital unsuccessfully on his Points, was unable to secure funding for a permanent, intelligence-gathering agency from his uncooperative Congress. Thereupon, so the story goes, he surreptitiously produced one million dollars which he handed over to his then Secretary of State, Robert Lansing, uncle of the Dulles brothers. He then told Lansing that this funding was finite and that those involved in intelligence and clandestine operations were going to have to find ways to make this seed money grow without the aid of Congress or the executive branch. Indeed, Wilson added, the very existence of this fund and the activities it will finance must remain a secret.

The rest, as they say, is history. The founders of modern, American intelligence invested this money in Air America and other successful commercial/intelligence ventures including businesses which normally gather information such as insurance companies. To this day, how the CIA receives it funding and how much remains a state secret.

When of late AIG, this massive information-gathering institution, fell upon hard times, they were given $80 billion by that private corporation we Americans call the Federal Reserve Bank. Massive amounts of tax-payer money flowed into the troubled insurance company long before Paulson started pimping his bailout.

According to Reuters
), below are the top eight beneficiaries to date of the TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program). Originally this $700 billion “bailout” fund was supposed to be used for the purchase of MBS and CDO (collateralized debt obligations), or at least that is what the redoubtable Mr Paulson told our credulous Congress, a plan which would help some homeowners stay in their homes. Baiting and switching, Paulson now informs us that things have changed and he will use the money to buy equity stakes in troubled firms thus dashing the hopes of struggling homeowners nationwide. Nothing for them. Let them eat cake.

And who is on the dole instead? Number one is AIG. This is a company which had already received tax-payer money from the Fed.

Number two is our friends the Rothschilds again. Remember it was they who, with the help of our government, bought Bear Stearns for a pennies on the dollar; and bought billions of dollars worth of assets from Washington Mutual at or near book value.

Coming in at number three is another company in the insurance game, Citigroup. They were among the first to complain about MBS and cry for help, but they soon gave up their pretense of imminent financial collapse and made a serious offer to buy Wachovia. The repo man was banging at their door but somehow they managed to offer billions to purchase another bank.

At number four is the bank which did buy Wachovia.

At number five is Bank of America. They are in such distress that they have only been able to buy Countrywide Mortgage, MBNA (Maryland Bank, National Association), and investment banking giant Merrill Lynch since midyear. Countrywide, as you may recall, was called ground zero for predatory lending by angry Congressional regulators. So laden, we were told time and again, was Countrywide with bad paper that nothing could save it. Was it corporate altruism that led BoA to purchase the depressed company? Not according to their CEO who told CNBC that he thought the company could be turned around in a year or two. He added that he thought this bad paper was not as worthless as the public had been led to believe.

Numbers six, seven, and eight are, or were, investment banking collossi who were purchased by commercial banks.

AIG $40 billion

JPMorgan $25 billion

Citigroup $25 billion

Wells Fargo $25 billion

Bank of America $15 billion

Merrill Lynch $10 billion

Goldman Sachs $10 billion

Morgan Stanley $10 billion

Still not convinced this is a scam? Paulson, without the consent of our supine Congress, changed the corporate tax code. Hitherto it was not possible to buy a distressed company and claim their losses against the buyer’s profits thus reducing or even reversing tax liability. Now you can, thanks to the scam’s front man. The estimated loss in revenue for our government is $140 billion. Not only will the acquirers not owe any tax thanks to this change, but in some cases the Treasury will have to pay out money in tax rebates. The chief beneficiary of this alteration in the tax code? JPMC, our friends the Rothschilds again. They are set to receive billions in rebates.

Still not convinced? In a statement as telling as it was stunning, Paulson recently said that he was looking into ways to get credit for U.S. businesses and consumers from sources other than banks. He wasn’t very specific as to what he meant but nevertheless it is unmistakably clear that the banks are following a policy of monetary contraction and that the monies they have received thus far have not been used for the purpose they were intended. Instead, as has been reported in the New York Times and elsewhere, these “troubled” institutions are using this windfall to make acquisitions, and doing so with impunity.

One must conclude that Paulson is unwilling or unable to make these banks act in accordance with the conditions of this Congressional bailout. Unable? He has the power of the state; the support, at least in this particular, of Congress, President Bush, incoming President-Elect Obama, and the American people; and he’s the paymaster of a 700 billion dollar slush fund. He has the power to force these renegade Wall Street firms to comply with the terms Congress has set. Yet instead of using this muscle for the national good he continues to give away public money without strings attached. What’s more he is looking for new ways to find liquid credit outside the banking system. It’s farcical on its face.

None of the companies listed above need a penny! The top five have feasted on the demise of the bottom three in an orgy of bold maneuovres. Are we to believe that the SEC allowed insolvent commercial banks to purchase other financial institutions with the mere promise of capital infusion? One can imagine the avalanche of shareholder lawsuits which would have ensued. These banks met the capital requirements to make these offers to buy. They are solvent.

At this point the initial purpose of this year’s money-power scam rounds into view. Intelligence gathering entities like AIG and Citigroup have received massive infusions of capital which they clearly didn’t need. And commercial banks, specifically the money-power banks, have greedily scooped up large investment banks for next to nothing and with the help of tax-payer dollars. This much is now clear.

This is no accident. This “crisis” was planned and engineered by the High Lords of Capital. We are not the victims of the business cycle or insufficient regulatory oversight: We are getting raped. Again. We are not watching their demise unfold but rather their latest subterfuge to move an ever greater percentage of wealth up the food chain into their coffers. We are not observing the last days of capital but rather its consolidation and calcification. This does not mean that there will not be genuine misery for most of the people on our planet, of course there will be. That’s the plan. But so long as the Rockefellers and Harrimans and Rothschilds and Warburgs and Dresdners have control over our money supply they cannot fail. No matter what travails they loose upon us, such will never reach their doors so long as they can print money and create ersatz deposits for themselves at their pleasure. However bad it gets for us, they are immune. They own our money. They own our governments. They own us.

Whatever vision of justice you cherish, it cannot happen without the right of the people to control their money supply. Without this the money power can make our markets rise or fall or scamper sideways like a crab. They can create gluts and shortages and manipulate the prices of the most essential things we need. We are at their mercy, as we are once again seeing in this recent crisis. The power to create money must rest with a person directly elected by the voters, and subject to instant recall by them. Without this power, we will remain the currency-slaves of the money power.

And they will not go away. They must be removed:

Lincoln wrote: “As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless.”

And lastly, in the spirit of the holiday season, we’ve decided to pass the hat for the Rothschilds. Please send your tax-deductible contribution to High Street, London. They are down to their last trillions and they desperately need your help…



Nazis par excellence

By Khalid Amayreh in Israeli-Occupied Palestine

19 November, 2008

Jewish boys smuggle a calf for
Food into Ghetto Warsaw, 1943

A Palestinian man smuggles cow for food into the Gaza-2008

Israeli propagandists routinely dismiss comparisons between Nazi Germany and Israel as “corrupt” and “far-fetched.” Some Zionists would even argue that only pathological anti-Semites would dare make such comparisons.

However, in light of what Israel has been and is doing to the Palestinians, including the present ruthless blockade of the Gaza Strip, and the slow, agonizing death meted out to innocent Gazans, any honest person shouldn’t fail to observe the striking similarity between the Nazi mentality and the collective Israeli mindset.

The Nazis viewed their victims as “Untermenschen” while Zionist Jews simply refer to their equally tormented victims as “terrorists” or “potential terrorists.”

Even a 7-year-old Palestinian school child is often referred to in Israel as “a terrorist child.”

Needless to say, the demonizing, dehumanizing language is meant to make the readers, viewers and listeners hate the victims. This is exactly what the Nazis did during the Second World War.

For example, when a Jewish resistance fighter was killed in one of the many Jewish communities throughout Nazi-occupied Europe, the German and other pliant press would report the event with a caption reading “ a bandit fell to his death” or “a bandit emerges from his hideout.”

Many of the fighters would rather jump to their death from the a fourth or fifth floor than hand themselves over to the SS, very much like Palestinian freedom fighters are doing these days.

Today, the Israeli army and media use nearly identical epithets in reference to Palestinian victims of Israeli Nazism. They only replace the word “bandit” with the word “terrorist.” The rest is almost a verbatim rendition from German to Hebrew.

But, of course, the matter goes beyond Semantics. Israel today is imposing a manifestly brutal siege to the 1.5 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, which is strikingly similar to the German siege imposed on the 350,000 Jewish inhabitants of Ghetto Warsaw in 1942.

Yes, the modalities and circumstances may be somewhat different. But the mentality, the hatefulness and vindictiveness are undoubtedly the same.

The Israelis are cutting off food, electricity, fuel and gas supplies to the Gaza Strip, causing a human disaster on a very large scale.

The Germans did the same at Ghetto Warsaw, but on a comparatively smaller scale.

It is true that Israel is not transporting Gazans to death camps as the SS did at Ghetto Warsaw. However, it is also true that that Israel is killing and maiming Palestinians in droves, nearly on a daily basis as a result of denying them access to adequate food and health care, which causes many ill-Gazans to succumb to their often treatable illnesses.

This week, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, spoke of a real humanitarian disaster in Gaza where hundreds of thousands of people are being starved for political reasons.

“We are talking about 1.5 million Palestinian men, women and children are deprived of their most basic human rights for months.”

The words used by Pillay fall short of fully communicating the extent of the gigantic human disaster facing the people of Gaza where an entire people are pushed to the brink of physical extermination on no other account than them wanting to be free from Israeli Nazism.

Unfortunately, Israel, a country ruled by fascist politicians and former army generals who are war criminals par excellence , is constantly emboldened by the disgraceful silence or acquiescence of western powers, including the United States and Europe.

This Nazi-like state continues rather unflinchingly the sadistic policy of starving Gazans in the hope that they will rise up against their democratically elected government and join the American-backed regime in Ramallah, which many Palestinians have come to view as a quisling entity, very much like the Judenrate or Jewish councils that ran Jewish communities on behalf of the Nazis throughout Nazi-Occupied Europe.

I really don’t understand how Jews, who produced luminaries like Albert Einstein, are allowing themselves to behave in this visibly barbarian manner? Do they feel particularly virile and manly when they watch babies succumb to death due to lack of medicine or absence of health care?

Do they feel that by starving and killing innocent Gazans, they are punishing the Nazis vicariously?

I am raising these questions because I know there are hundreds of thousands of Israeli Jews and non-Israeli Jews who are gleefully enjoying the macabre suffering of hundreds of thousands of innocent Gazans, at the hands of their “Jewish army,” the “most moral army in the world.”

Well a truly moral army doesn’t behave like this. Only an army of thugs, gangsters, vile criminals, and psychopaths would withhold food and medicine from dying children?

It is only an army of a Wehrmacht style and political leaders of Hitler’s ilk that refuse to allow ill men and women seek urgently-needed medical care to proceed to their destination in the West Bank and Jordan?

What does preventing ill people from seeking medical care abroad have to do with security? Is saving a child’s life a serious threat to Israel’s security and territorial integrity?

What does preventing a truckload of flour or wheat from reaching Gaza have to do with security?

Well, it is the old adage: crime and lie go hand in hand.

Yes, these are the very people who have made the holocaust their ultimate religion, the people who think that Nazi atrocities during the Second World War justify the slow-motion genocide being meted out to the helpless Palestinians.

European governments are also shamefully watching the unfolding tragedy in Gaza, but are saying virtually nothing and doing nothing to stop it.

European diplomats, like British Foreign Secretary David Miliband , seem to pay far more attention to Sderot and other Jewish settlements bordering Gaza than to the Dresden-like death camp which Gaza has been transformed into, thanks to the west’s failure to rein in its monstrous brat.

In 1948, Harry Truman, who was instrumental in creating Israel, wrote the following:

“I fear very much that the Jews are like all underdogs. When they get on the top they are just as intolerant and cruel as the people were to them when they were underneath. I regret this situation very much because my sympathy has always been on their side.”

Well, I am afraid that Truman prophecy has been fulfilled. Some people would say that it was fulfilled many many years ago.

America’s Wars of Self-Destruction

America’s Wars of Self-Destruction

By Chris Hedges

November 19, 2008 “Truthdig” — November 17, 2008 — War is a poison. It is a poison that nations and groups must at times ingest to ensure their survival. But, like any poison, it can kill you just as surely as the disease it is meant to eradicate. The poison of war courses unchecked through the body politic of the United States. We believe that because we have the capacity to wage war we have the right to wage war. We embrace the dangerous self-delusion that we are on a providential mission to save the rest of the world from itself, to implant our virtues—which we see as superior to all other virtues—on others, and that we have a right to do this by force. This belief has corrupted Republicans and Democrats alike. And if Barack Obama drinks, as it appears he will, the dark elixir of war and imperial power offered to him by the national security state, he will accelerate the downward spiral of the American empire.

Obama and those around him embrace the folly of the “war on terror.” They may want to shift the emphasis of this war to Afghanistan rather than Iraq, but this is a difference in strategy, not policy. By clinging to Iraq and expanding the war in Afghanistan, the poison will continue in deadly doses. These wars of occupation are doomed to failure. We cannot afford them. The rash of home foreclosures, the mounting job losses, the collapse of banks and the financial services industry, the poverty that is ripping apart the working class, our crumbling infrastructure and the killing of hapless Afghans in wedding parties and Iraqis by our iron fragmentation bombs are neatly interwoven. These events form a perfect circle. The costly forms of death we dispense on one side of the globe are hollowing us out from the inside at home.

The “war on terror” is an absurd war against a tactic. It posits the idea of perpetual, or what is now called “generational,” war. It has no discernable end. There is no way to define victory. It is, in metaphysical terms, a war against evil, and evil, as any good seminarian can tell you, will always be with us. The most destructive evils, however, are not those that are externalized. The most destructive are those that are internal. These hidden evils, often defined as virtues, are unleashed by our hubris, self-delusion and ignorance. Evil masquerading as good is evil in its deadliest form.

The decline of American empire began long before the current economic meltdown or the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It began before the first Gulf War or Ronald Reagan. It began when we shifted, in the words of the historian Charles Maier, from an “empire of production” to an “empire of consumption.” By the end of the Vietnam War, when the costs of the war ate away at Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society and domestic oil production began its steady, inexorable decline, we saw our country transformed from one that primarily produced to one that primarily consumed. We started borrowing to maintain a lifestyle we could no longer afford. We began to use force, especially in the Middle East, to feed our insatiable demand for cheap oil. The years after World War II, when the United States accounted for one-third of world exports and half of the world’s manufacturing, gave way to huge trade imbalances, outsourced jobs, rusting hulks of abandoned factories, stagnant wages and personal and public debts that most of us cannot repay.

The bill is now due. America’s most dangerous enemies are not Islamic radicals, but those who promote the perverted ideology of national security that, as Andrew Bacevich writes, is “our surrogate religion.” If we continue to believe that we can expand our wars and go deeper into debt to maintain an unsustainable level of consumption, we will dynamite the foundations of our society.

“The Big Lies are not the pledge of tax cuts, universal health care, family values restored, or a world rendered peaceful through forceful demonstrations of American leadership,” Bacevich writes in “The Limits of Power.” “The Big Lies are the truths that remain unspoken: that freedom has an underside; that nations, like households, must ultimately live within their means; that history’s purpose, the subject of so many confident pronouncements, remains inscrutable. Above all, there is this: Power is finite. Politicians pass over matters such as these in silence. As a consequence, the absence of self-awareness that forms such an enduring element of the American character persists.”

Those clustered around Barack Obama, from Madeline Albright to Hillary Clinton to Dennis Ross to Colin Powell, have no interest in dismantling the structure of the imperial presidency or the vast national security state. They will keep these institutions intact and seek to increase their power. We have a childish belief that Obama will magically save us from economic free fall, restore our profligate levels of consumption and resurrect our imperial power. This naïve belief is part of our disconnection with reality. The problems we face are structural. The old America is not coming back.

The corporate forces that control the state will never permit real reform. This is the Faustian bargain made between these corporate forces and the Republican and Democratic parties. We will never, under the current system, achieve energy independence. Energy independence would devastate the profits of the oil and gas industry. It would wipe out tens of billions of dollars in weapons contracts, spoil the financial health of a host of private contractors from Halliburton to Blackwater and render obsolete the existence of U.S. Central Command.

There are groups and people who seek to do us harm. The attacks of Sept. 11 will not be the last acts of terrorism on American soil. But the only way to defeat terrorism is to isolate terrorists within their own societies, to mount cultural and propaganda wars, to discredit their ideas, to seek concurrence even with those defined as our enemies. Force, while a part of this battle, is rarely necessary. The 2001 attacks that roused our fury and unleashed the “war on terror” also unleashed a worldwide revulsion against al-Qaida and Islamic terrorism, including throughout the Muslim world, where I was working as a reporter at the time. If we had had the courage to be vulnerable, to build on this empathy rather than drop explosive ordinance all over the Middle East, we would be far safer and more secure today. If we had reached out for allies and partners instead of arrogantly assuming that American military power would restore our sense of invulnerability and mitigate our collective humiliation, we would have done much to defeat al-Qaida. But we did not. We demanded that all kneel before us. And in our ruthless and indiscriminate use of violence and illegal wars of occupation, we resurrected the very forces that we could, under astute leadership, have marginalized. We forgot that fighting terrorism is a war of shadows, an intelligence war, not a conventional war. We forgot that, as strong as we may be militarily, no nation, including us, can survive isolated and alone.

The American empire, along with our wanton self-indulgence and gluttonous consumption, has come to an end. We are undergoing a period of profound economic, political and military decline. We can continue to dance to the tunes of self-delusion, circling the fire as we chant ridiculous mantras about our greatness, virtue and power, or we can face the painful reality that has engulfed us. We cannot reverse this decline. It will happen no matter what we do. But we can, if we break free from our self-delusion, dismantle our crumbling empire and the national security state with a minimum of damage to ourselves and others. If we refuse to accept our limitations, if do not face the changes forced upon us by a bankrupt elite that has grossly mismanaged our economy, our military and our government, we will barrel forward toward internal and external collapse. Our self-delusion constitutes our greatest danger. We will either confront reality or plunge headlong into the minefields that lie before us.