Why This Crisis May Be Our Best Chance to Build a New Economy

Why This Crisis May Be Our Best Chance to Build a New Economy

Wall Street is bankrupt. Instead of trying to save it, we can build a new economy that puts money and business in the service of people and the planet—not the other way around.
by David Korten
posted Jun 19, 2009
David Korten. Photo by Paul Dunn for YES! Magazine
David Korten.
Photo by Paul Dunn for YES! Magazine

Whether it was divine providence or just good luck, we should give thanks that financial collapse hit us before the worst of global warming and peak oil. As challenging as the economic meltdown may be, it buys time to build a new economy that serves life rather than money. It lays bare the fact that the existing financial system has brought our way of life and the natural systems on which we depend to the brink of collapse. This wake-up call is inspiring unprecedented numbers of people to take action to bring forth the culture and institutions of a new economy that can serve us and sustain our living planet for generations into the future.

The world of financial stability, environmental sustainability, economic justice, and peace that most psychologically healthy people want is possible if we replace a defective operating system that values only money, seeks to monetize every relationship, and pits each person in a competition with every other for dominance.

From Economic Power to Basket Case
Not long ago, the news was filled with stories of how Wall Street’s money masters had discovered the secrets of creating limitless wealth through exotic financial maneuvers that eliminated both risk and the burden of producing anything of real value. In an audacious social engineering experiment, corporate interests drove a public policy shift that made finance the leading sector of the U.S. economy and the concentration of private wealth the leading economic priority.

Corporate interests drove a policy agenda that rolled back taxes on high incomes, gave tax preference to income from financial speculation over income from productive work, cut back social safety nets, drove down wages, privatized public assets, outsourced jobs and manufacturing capacity, and allowed public infrastructure to deteriorate. They envisioned a world in which the United States would dominate the global economy by specializing in the creation of money and the marketing and consumption of goods produced by others.

As a result, manufacturing fell from 27 percent of U.S. gross domestic product in 1950 to 12 percent in 2005, while financial services grew from 11 percent to 20 percent. From 1980 to 2005, the highest-earning 1 percent of the U.S. population increased its share of taxable income from 9 percent to 19 percent, with most of the gain going to the top one-tenth of 1 percent. The country became a net importer, with a persistent annual trade deficit of more than three-quarters of a trillion dollars financed by rising foreign debt. Wall Street insiders congratulated themselves on their financial genius even as they turned the United States into a national economic basket case and set the stage for global financial collapse.

All the reports of financial genius masked the fact that a phantom-wealth economy is unsustainable. Illusory assets based on financial bubbles, abuse of the power of banks to create credit (money) from nothing, corporate asset stripping, baseless credit ratings, and creative accounting led to financial, social, and environmental breakdown. The system suppressed the wages of the majority while continuously cajoling them to buy more than they could afford using debt that they had no means to repay.

A Defective Operating System
The operating system of our phantom-wealth economy was written by and for Wall Street interests for the sole purpose of making more money for people who have money. It makes cheap money readily available to speculators engaged in inflating financial bubbles and financing other predatory money scams. It makes money limited and expensive to those engaged in producing real wealth—life, and the things that sustain life—and pushes the productive members of society into indebtedness to those who produce nothing at all.

Money, the ultimate object of worship among modern humans, is the most mysterious of human artifacts: a magic number with no meaning or existence outside the human mind. Yet it has become the ultimate arbiter of life—deciding who will live in grand opulence in the midst of scarcity and who will die of hunger in the midst of plenty.

The monetization of relationships—replacing mutual caring with money as the primary medium of exchange—accelerated after World War II when growth in Gross National Product, essentially growth in monetized relationships, became the standard for evaluating economic performance. The work of the mother who cares for her child solely out of love counts for nothing. By contrast, the mother who leaves her child unattended to accept pay for tending the child of her neighbor suddenly becomes “economically productive.” The result is a public policy bias in favor of monetizing relationships to create phantom wealth—money—at the expense of real wealth.

In the world we want, the organization of economic life mimics healthy ecosystems that are locally rooted, highly adaptive, and self-reliant in food and energy. Information and technology are shared freely, and trade between neighbors is fair and balanced.

In a modern economy, nearly every relationship essential to life depends on money. This gives ultimate power to those who control the creation and allocation of money. Five features of the existing money system virtually assure abuse.

  1. Money issuance and allocation are controlled by private banks managed for the exclusive benefit of their top managers and largest shareholders.
  2. Money issued by private banks as debt must be repaid with interest. This requires perpetual economic growth to create sufficient demand for new loans to create the money required to pay the interest due on previous loans. The fact that nearly every dollar in circulation is generating interest for bankers and their investors virtually assures an ever-increasing concentration of wealth.
  3. The power to determine how much money will circulate and where it will flow is concentrated and centralized in a tightly interlinked system of private-benefit corporations that operate in secret, beyond public scrutiny, with the connivance of the Federal Reserve.
  4. The Federal Reserve presents itself as a public institution responsible for exercising oversight, but it is accountable only to itself, operates primarily for the benefit of the largest Wall Street banks, and consistently favors the interests of those who live by returns to money over those who live by returns to their labor.
  5. The lack of proper regulatory oversight allows players at each level of the system to make highly risky decisions, collect generous fees based on phantom profits, and pass the risk to others.

A Values-Based Operating System
To get ourselves out of our current mess and create the world we want, we must reboot the economy with a new, values-based operating system designed to support social and environmental balance and the creation of real, living wealth. We have seen what happens when government and big business operate in secret. The new system must be open to public scrutiny and democratic control. Globalization and the harshest form of capitalism have eroded the bonds of community and created vast gaps in wealth between the richest and the poorest. The new system must be locally rooted in strong communities and distribute wealth equitably.

Our environment and our infrastructure have paid a terrible price for the belief that private interests must always win over public ones. A viable system must balance public and private interests. Unregulated speculation is at the root of the current crisis. Society is better served by a system that favors productive work and investment, limits speculation, and suppresses inflation in all forms—including financial bubbles.

The following are five essential areas of action.

1. Government-Issued Money. There is urgent need for government action to create living wage jobs, rebuild public infrastructure, and restore domestic productive capacity. It is folly, however, for government to finance those projects by borrowing money created by the same private banks that created the financial mess.

The government can and should instead issue debt-free money to finance the stimulus and meet other public needs. Properly administered, this money will flow to community-based enterprises and help revitalize Main Street market economies engaged in the production of real wealth.

2. Community Banking. Under the bailout, the government is buying ownership shares in failed Wall Street banks with the expectation of eventually reselling them to private interests. So far, the money has disappeared or gone to acquisitions, management bonuses, office remodeling, and fancy vacations with no noticeable effect on the freeing up of credit.

A better plan, as many economists are recommending, is to force bankrupt banks into government receivership. As part of the sale and distribution of assets to meet creditor claims, these banks should be broken up and their local branches sold to local investors. These new,individual community banks and mutual savings and loan associations should be chartered to serve Main Street needs, lending to local manufacturers, merchants, farmers, and homeowners within a strong regulatory framework.

3. Real-Wealth Investment. Gambling should be confined to licensed casinos. Contrary to the claims of Wall Street, financial speculation does not create real wealth, serves no public interest, and should be strongly discouraged. Tax the purchase or sale of financial instruments and impose a tax surcharge on short-term capital gains. Make it illegal to sell, insure, or borrow against an asset you do not own, or to issue a financial security not backed by a real asset. This would effectively shut down much of Wall Street, which would be a positive result.

The money that has been used for speculation must be redirected to productive investment that creates real wealth and meets our essential needs responsibly, equitably, and sustainably using green technologies and closed-loop production cycles. We can begin by eliminating subsidies for carbon fuels and putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions. We can revise trade agreements to affirm the responsibility of every nation to contribute to global economic security and stability by organizing for sustainable self-reliance in food and energy and managing its economy to keep imports and exports in balance. If we Americans learn to live within our means, we will free up resources others need to feed, clothe, and house themselves and their families. The notion that reducing our consumption would harm others is an example of the distorted logic of a phantom-wealth economy.

4. Middle Class Fiscal Policy. The ruling financial elites have used their control of fiscal policy to conduct a class war that has decimated the once celebrated American middle class and led to economic disaster. Markets work best when economic power is equitably distributed and individuals contribute to the economy as both workers and owners. Massive inequality in income and ownership assures the failure of both markets and democracy.

To restore the social fabric and allocate real resources in ways that serve the needs of all, we must restore the middle class through equity-oriented fiscal policies. There is also a strong moral argument that those who profited from creating our present economic mess should bear the major share of the cost of cleaning it up. It is time to reinstitute the policies that created the American middle class after World War II. Restore progressive income tax with a top rate of 90 percent and favor universal participation in responsible ownership and a family wage. Because no one has a natural birth entitlement to any greater share of the real wealth of society than anyone else, use the estate tax to restore social balance at the end of each lifetime in a modern equivalent of the Biblical Jubilee, which called for periodically forgiving debts and restoring land to its original owners.

Human-scale, locally owned businesses are essential to creating the new economy. Author David Korten goes for the spring snow peas as he shops for dinner at his local family-owned grocery store in Bainbridge Island, Washington. Photo by Paul Dunn for YES! Magazine
Human-scale, locally owned businesses are essential to creating the new economy. Author David Korten goes for the spring snow peas as he shops for dinner at his local family-owned grocery store in Bainbridge Island, Washington. Photo by Paul Dunn for YES! Magazine

5. Responsible Enterprise. Enterprises in a market economy need a fair return to survive. This imposes a necessary discipline. Service to the community, however, rather than profit, is the primary justification for the firm’s existence. As Wall Street has so graphically demonstrated, profit is not a reliable measure of social contribution.

Enterprises are most likely to serve their communities when they are human-scale and owned by responsiblelocal investors with an active interest in their operation beyond mere profit. Concentrations ofcorporate power reduce public accountability, and no corporation should be too big to fail. The new economy will use antitrust to break large corporations into their component parts and sell them to responsible local owners. There are many ways to aggregate economic resources that do not create concentrations of monopoly power or encourage absentee ownership. These include the many forms of worker, cooperative, and community ownership and cooperative alliances among locally rooted firms.

Current proposals for dealing with the economic collapse fall far short of dealing with the deep conflict of values and interests at the core of the current economic crisis. We face an urgent need to expand and deepen the debate to advance options that go far beyond anything currently on the table.

The World We Want
The world of our shared human dream is one where people live happy, productive lives in balance with one another and Earth. It is democratic and middle class without extremes of wealth or poverty. It is characterized by strong, stable families and communities in which relationships are defined primarily by mutual trust and caring. Every able adult is both a worker and an owner. Most families own their own home and have an ownership stake in their local economy. Everyone has productive work and is respected for his or her contribution to the well-being of the community.

In the world we want, the organization of economic life mimics healthy ecosystems that are locally rooted, highly adaptive, and self-reliant in food and energy. Information and technology are shared freely, and trade between neighbors is fair and balanced. Each community, region and nation strives to live within its own means in balance with its own environmental resources. Conflicts are resolved peacefully and no group seeks to expropriate the resources of its neighbors. Competition is for excellence, not domination.

The financial collapse has revealed the extreme corruption of the Wall Street financial system and created an extraordinary opening for change. We cannot, however, expect the leadership to come from within the political system. There is good reason why both the Bush and Obama administrations, different as they are, have responded to the Wall Street crash with bailouts for the guilty rather than face up to the need for a radical restructuring of the financial system. No president can stand up against Wall Street absent massive popular demand.

To move forward, we the people must build a powerful popular political movement demanding a new economy designed to serve our children, families, communities, and nature. It begins with a conversation to demystify money and expose the lie that there is no alternative to the present economic system. It continues with action to rebuild our local economies based on sound market principles backed by national political action to transform the money system and broaden participation in ownership. This is our moment of opportunity.


David Korten wrote this article as part of The New Economy, the Summer 2009 issue of YES! Magazine. David is co-founder and board chair of YES! His most recent book is Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth.

Blowback On the Border: The Purpose of the Terror War System

Blowback On the Border: The Purpose of the Terror War System

Chris Floyd

Let me say — or rather, reiterate — up front that it is my personal view that the form of vigorous activism known as non-violence is the only way, or the best way, that we can hope to even begin to address the inherent and intractable conflicts of human existence in a genuinely effective profound, sustainable and humane manner. That is the ideal I strive toward.

Of course, I also recognize that being what I am — a white man of Christian heritage living safely and comfortably under the penumbra of empire — it is easy for me to espouse this ideal. No drone fired in the distant black sky is going to kill my children tonight as they sleep warmly in their beds. No raiding party of assassins is going to tear down the door of my parents’ house tonight and shoot them at the dinner table. No one with a grudge against me — or simply in need of quick cash — is going to sell me into the captivity of a worldwide gulag. I’m not going to be caught in the crossfire of marauding mercenaries on my way to work. I’m not going to wake tomorrow in a refugee camp, my home and livelihood abandoned in the wake of a ravaging “counterterrorism” operation. No foreign soldier is going to shoot me, or abuse me, or humiliate me, or simply refuse to let me pass down the street of my own city. I’m not going to be stopped, “profiled,” or regarded with suspicion or hatred simply because of my skin color or the cultural or religious etymology of my name.

If I lived under the bootheel of such forces, I don’t how I would react, how firmly I could hold to my ideal. I don’t know if I would have the strength of mind and will, or the fortitude and wisdom it would take to resist our primal pull to violence — especially if I grew up in a culture that exalted certain forms of violence as cardinal virtues. (Of course, as an American, I did grow up in such a culture — and so has almost every other human being in history. To take the non-violent way is to appear — and yes, often feel — unnatural, deracinated, alien.)

Nonetheless, despite all these caveats and complexities, the ideal abides. I decry, denounce and mourn for the use of violence. Each act of violence — however understandable it might be in context — is a vast, ruinous defeat for our common humanity.

And of course many acts of violence are not “understandable” in any context, save that of our bestial desire to dominate others in one form or another. Here the defeat is even greater, its reverberations deeper, wider, longer-lasting: a degradation and degeneration that further brutalizes both the dispenser and victim of violence — especially the former, and especially when the dispensing culture comes to countenance an ever-widening array of violent acts as worthy, necessary, laudable, even honorable.

Each such act perpetuates the cycle of violence, the horrific dynamic of blowback: a self-perpetuating feedback loop that uses itself to engender more violence, in new and expanding forms. We are living today in the midst of a particularly virulent form of this dynamic, the so-called “War on Terror,” which I think has been designed — more or less deliberately so, although the obscene ignorance and arrogance of the powerful have also played their fateful part in unwittingly exacerbating these evils — to rage on without chronological end, without geographical, limits, and without any moral, social, legal or financial restraints. In his book X Films (reviewed here), Alex Cox uses an apt term borrowed from systems analysis — POSIWID: The Purpose of a System is What It Does.

The Terror War is not an event, or a campaign, or even a crusade; it is a system. Its purpose is not to eliminate “terrorism” (however this infinitely elastic term is defined) but to perpetuate itself, to do what it does: make war. This system can be immensely rewarding, in many different ways, for those who operate or assist it, whether in government, media, academia, or business. This too is a self-sustaining dynamic, a feedback loop that gives money, power and attention to those who serve the system; this elevated position then allows them to accrue even more money, power and attention, until in the end — as we can plainly see today — any alternative voices and viewpoints are relegated to the margins. They are “unserious.” They are unimportant. They are not allowed to penetrate or alter the operations of the system.

These reflections were prompted by last week’s attack on the CIA base near Khost, Afghanistan, and by the reaction to the attack among the operators and servants of the Terror War system. As the world knows, seven CIA officers were killed by a suicide bomber. (Two of the dead were actually Blackwater mercenaries, but as CNN solemnly informs us, the Agency considers such hired guns to be part of the family.) The officers were at a “forward operating base” near the Pakistan border. From this redoubt, they plotted and directed attacks by drone missiles and, if they were similar to other CIA teams, which seems likely, also helped run assassination squads, with bombs and ground raids launched against villages, private homes and other locations which allegedly contain alleged terrorists, both in Afghanistan, which American forces are now openly occupying, and in Pakistan, a sovereign, allied country where American military and security forces are carrying out a more and more open “secret war.”

The officers were killed when a suicide bomber — apparently a ‘native’ whom the CIA was grooming as a potential agent — walked into a gym and set off his hidden belt of explosives. Again, as noted above, I decry all deaths by violence, although I direct most of my attention to the violent deaths caused by the gargantuanly disproportionate infliction of state terrorism that characterizes our age, as opposed to the piecemeal pinpricks of small bands of extremists and isolated individuals — incidents which themselves often betray strong indications of the fomenting or facilitating hand of various operators in the Terror War system.

So it gave me no pleasure to note the grim truth that was confirmed, yet again, by the attack at Khost: Those who live by dirty war, die by dirty war. The CIA-mercenary squad at the base was a key part of what the New York Times rightly describes as the CIA’s evolution into a “paramilitary organization.” Like all terrorists, they operate outside the law, claiming moral superiority as their justification. And for this particular band, what they have dealt out to others — sudden death in a surprise attack with no possibility of defense —  they have now been dealt in turn.

Of course, the NYT seems to find no moral problem with the United States of America operating “paramilitary” squads of spies and mercenaries carrying out “extrajudicial assassinations” — or “murders,” as they once would have been called — in foreign lands occupied by American military forces slaughtering civilians on a regular basis. (We noted one such slaughter in Afghanistan last week; now yet another one is being reported.) The story which carried this description is concerned largely with describing the struggle of these noble bands as they struggle manfully on distant borders to keep us safe.

In this, the tone of the story strongly echoes the genuinely sick-making words of Barack Obama after the incident. From CNN:

“These brave Americans were part of a long line of patriots who have made great sacrifices for their fellow citizens, and for our way of life,” U.S. President Barack Obama said in a written statement Thursday.

“The United States would not be able to maintain the freedom and security that we cherish without decades of service from the dedicated men and women of the CIA.”

The CIA’s decades-long record of sickening crime, outright atrocity, constitutional subversion, bungling, near-unbelievable incompetence, and unrelenting exacerbation of hatred for and violence toward the United States is indisputable. (For just one egregious example, see  “The Secret Sharers.”) Few government organizations in world history have been so inimical to the national interests of the state they purport to serve. It was with very good reason that John F. Kennedy — to whom Obama’s sycophants often liken their hero — once declared his intention to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.” (Nor can it be entirely coincidental that Kennedy was later murdered in a case that had innumerable ties to the security apparat.)

There is nothing further from the truth — nothing further from the established historical record — than Obama’s statement that the CIA has been absolutely indispensable in “maintaining the freedom and security” of the United States. On the contrary; the historical record clearly shows that the activities of the CIA have, time and again, reduced both the freedom and security of the people of the United States.

Yet here we have Obama, once again, groveling to this renegade, retrograde, criminal organization — much as he did early on in his presidency, when he  cravenly guaranteed the Agency’s thuggish torturers that they need never fear prosecution from his administration for the KGB-like, Stasi-like, Gestapo-like atrocities they had inflicted on their victims.

Instead of shattering the CIA, or even curtailing it, the NYT story confirms, yet again, that Obama is accelerating the militarization of the agency, and giving it broad new scope to deceive and murder. What’s more, as we noted here a few days ago, Obama’s handpicked “special envoy” for the “Af-Pak front,” Richard Holbrooke, admitted, in a little-noticed story last month, that the United States is carrying out covert operations in “every country in the world.” And all of this is accepted without debate, without demur, as a just, honorable and natural state of affairs.

And while Obama is praising the murderers, torturers and incompetents of the CIA, the Agency itself is plotting its revenge for the blowback against its own dirty war, as CNN reports, with an obvious frisson of titillation at the tough talk:

“This attack will be avenged through successful, aggressive counterterrorism operations,” [an anonymous] intelligence official vowed. “There are some very bad people who eventually are going to have a very bad day,” the official promised Friday.

http://www.chris-floyd.com/component/content/article/1-latest-news/1884-when-blood-is-their-argument-an-empire-on-fire.html
And so, as I wrote the day after 9/11 (and quoted again recently, in this piece about Obama’s surging Terror War): “Blood will have blood; that’s certain. But blood will not end it. For murder is fertile: it breeds more death, like a spider laden with a thousand eggs. And who now can break this cycle, which has been going on for generations?”

The cycle will go on — because that is what is wanted. The purpose of the system is what it does.

“Democracy” in Mullah Iran.

“Democracy” in Mullah Iran.

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Elections are a sham in Iran; results are decided in advance by the Supreme Leader in consultation with other important clerical figures. In Iran Presidents are chosen by the Supreme Leader, rather than elected.

The beginning of the Islamic revolution instituted by the USA/UK/France/Israel set the tone around this matter. On April Fools Day 1979 a referendum was held over the simple question of whether Iran should be an Islamic Republic or not:

  • 98.4 said yes…….voting style reminiscent of the old Soviet Union.
  • there were 24/25 million votes counted in a nation with eligible voters of about 16-17 million in 1979….abut 38 million people, 70% youth.
  • A sophisticated nation with many ethnic groups and political fractions….Communist/Tudeh, Monarchists, constitutional Republicans, regional nationalists……and of course Islamists……..ALL voting for an Islamic Republic???? Obviously not. Fixed referendum of course.

Ahmedinejad the Jew was one such elected official, chosen by the Supreme Leader in 2005. The Supreme Leader liked him because he served in the Revolutionary Guards; worked for a while in the mullahs prisons torturing, raping and executing regime opponents; because he was of humble non-mullah background in a nation increasingly questioning of the legitimacy of the mullah regime, and finally obedient and loyal to the Supreme Leader as his pawn and front.

The Supreme Leaders relatives participated in Ahmedinejad the Jew’s election campaign of 2005, and the Supreme Leader in the recent election last year was in a tremendous hurry to recognize his election victory yet again, barely before all the votes had been counted.

So whats the problem with Karoubi, Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Katami, they surely know how things “work” in Iran. Or did they think that Iran was actually a fully fledged Norway style democracy?

What are the real issues at play here?

The mullah have been in power for 30 years, and there are major problems in the country, mainly related to the ineptitude and corruption of the mullah regime kleptocracy. When people are unhappy they tend to protest in a variety of ways to express and advertise their problems……….very natural in most democracies.

In Iran not, because a protest movement can be a catalyst for regime change, of a weak corrupt regime which is up to no good, as had been engineered artificially against the shah in 1979. The mullahs understand this.

The mullahs for Israel want to focus on the narrow issue of nuclear power, and threats from Israel to attack Iran. The nuclear issue of a $800 million nuclear reactor doesn’t require a lot of hard work on the part of the mullahs, or expenditure, or planning. The mullah’s think they can reap political benefits from this one issue, and uniting the country behind them, without having to embark on a comprehensive programs to improve Iran for the ordinary people……….so we have Ahmedinejad the Jew….constantly shouting, and making politics about the reactor.

On the other hand real Iranians, who are not puppets of foreign powers understand that the REAL PRESSING ISSUES OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE ARE FAR more comprehensive which require focus and dealing with, then the mere politics of the nuclear reactor:

  • Corruption—Iran under the mullahs is one of the most corrupt regimes on earth. Endemic corruption destroys Real Economic Development, but under the mullahs corruption is allowed to flourish because many of the mullahs have become multi-millionaires and billionaires from this system of patronage, and corruption. Ahmedinejad the Jew pays lip service in fighting corruption, but not much else.
  • The Oil and Gas industry—-Iran is a rich country which could reap huge economic benefits from the soaring oil prices in recent years. Instead what Iran has experienced is very mediocre economic growth, so one must wonder what the mullahs are doing with all that oil revenue? The ordinary Iranian people are not seeing any of the benefits of this oil boon. In addition the oil industry is monopolized by mullah cronies and the Revolutionary Guard, such that Iran a nation that once exported 5.5 billion barrels a year in the 1970’s now exports a meager 2.4 billion a year and declining, for lack of investment from the corrupt mullah government swimming in petro-$ profits. Iran shamefully can’t even process her own oil, but has to rely on imported fuels, with all the serious implications on security for such a policy. The mullah puppets keep boasting that they can block the Persian Gulf at the Straights of Hormuz, but is it not more logical and pertinent to state that an American naval embargo force can deny Iran significant fuels supply, so that Iran becomes isolated and economically destroyed, in a few weeks?
  • Political corruption—-There are no real free and fair elections. Presidents are chosen by he Supreme Leader. There is no real transparency in government. Governments such as Ahmedinejad’s are high on rhetoric, especially against Israel, but provide very little real service and benefit for ordinary Iranians. More significantly one must ask whether elected governments actually run Iran, or the powerful mullahs in the background who in the final analysis veto and guide the main substantive issues of state…..and the purpose of Ahmedinejad and his government is to provide mere facade to a political game run by the Supreme Leader and his whim of the day. Finally are the mullahs really qualified, having sufficient knowledge and skills to manage a modern state.
  • Iran’s security policy—-I have covered this extensively before, so I am not going to repeat myself again. Suffice to say that the mullah security policy for Iran was written in a foreign hostile country which could have dangerous consequences for the country, if practiced in a real war. No nation has ever mobilized 20 million for war……..militarily, logistically tactically such an outcome will be a disaster….Hezbollah is 5,000; the Iraqi resistance at one time was 30,000; the Mujaheddin against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan was about 70,000; and the Vietcong was about 500,000. Mullah IRAN should mobilize no more than 1,000,000 in decentralized commands system. Iran has no air defense….1,500 AA guns, and a few SAM’S. Mullah Iran has not seriously attempted to manufacture these basic hardware, but rather has relied on imports from unreliable, over inflated sources….which were highly publicized…….giving the impression Iran was embarking on a massive air defense over haul. Which is clearly not the case. 30 M-Tors aren’t going to make a difference, even if they are concentrated on one site……in a nation with 1,200 potential military targets. The stupidity of two competing security forces…..the military and the Revolutionary Guard, which is transforming itself into a business organization.
  • The Drugs epidemic originating from Afghanistan, and the 3 million drug addicts of Iran…..the costs to society of this huge problem, and the complicity of the Revolutionary Guard, and others in government in this business.
  • Trafficking of Iranians into the Gulf by the Revolutionary Guard and others in the Iranian government.
  • Capital flight away from Iran——$800—$1,000 billion, because most Iranians have no faith in the unstable mullah economy so they take their money into foreign countries.
  • Human Flight—-4/5 million mainly skilled Iranians choosing to live in foreign countries instead of Iran. Policies and actions of the mullah regime which is specifically designed to encourage skilled Iranians to live abroad. The mullahs like illiterate Iranian farmers who are mesmerized by their rhetorical politics of empty promises….and loathe the protesting organized middle class who can easily see through the bullshit. However for all the mullah politics a modern state must ultimately rely and build its foundation on a solid happy prosperous middle class.
  • Poor education policy, which relies on Islamic dogmatism, rather than on real education.
  • Soaring prices of rent accommodation, and food prices and general basic living costs.

These are some of the main problems which Iran now faces which the mullah regime will never resolves given the fundamental nature, and rational for its present existence.

Therefore logically Iranians must strive to remove such a regimes, and overcome ALL the hurdles that they may face. There must be a momentum of on going protests so that the mullahs understand that their present conduct is unacceptable. The street protests are an excellent catalyst for peoples power mobilizing the Iranian nation under a just noble cause.

If ordinary Iranians do not protest and eventually remove such a regime then the consequences for them and Iran later will be far worse.

The mullah regime is unique in that never has Iran been ruled by such people……..unique in its level of corruption and unique in its level of repression of ordinary Iranians. This mullah regime is nasty, brutal and illegal……they came to power on a blood lust in 1979, executing many; then the civil war with the Tudeh in the early 1980’s; then the 8 year war which claimed the lives of 1 million Iranians including the lives of many children ; Saddam sought peace in 1982 and the war could have ended in that year……but the mullahs wanted endless war forever into 2010…..sacrificing 2,3,4,5,6, million Iranians if necessary………these mullahs are not mullahs but criminal shaitan backed by the UK/France now; the massacre of political prisoners in 1988 when the mullahs became fearful of losing to Saddam. The endless political theaters and tricks to amuse and distract the masses from their misrule…from Salman Rushdie to now the nuclear question.

Mullah Political gimmicks and tricks, lies and threats.

And so now the mullah regime again is fearful, and so he instinctively issues threats yet again against ordinary law abiding patriotic Iranians, for the mullah has no other tool and weapon…….the weapon of logic, argument, debate, reconciliation, compromise.

The protests against this regime must continue, but it will be pertinent, given the nature of this regime to build connections to security, especially members of the Revolutionary Guard who are unhappy at transforming themselves into businessmen, and members of Vevak.

Protest alone will not change the perspective of such a criminal regime.

MSNBC Report Hints At Rogue Network In False Flag Op

by Webster G. Tarpley
www.tarpley.net
January 4, 2010

Washington DC, Jan. 4, 2010 — Officials in the Obama White House are considering the possibility that the Christmas day attempt by Nigerian terrorist Umar Farouk Mutallab to blow up an airliner about to land in Detroit was deliberately and intentionally facilitated by unnamed networks inside the US intelligence community. This was the gist of a report by Richard Wolffe delivered in this evening’s edition of cable network MSNBC’s Countdown program, hosted by Keith Olbermann:http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/#34694889. This report comes on the eve of a special White House interagency conference convoked by Obama to deal with the massive systemic failure of US intelligence in allowing the Yemen alumnus Mutallab to board the Amsterdam to Detroit flight while allegedly carrying a PETN explosive device on his person. A transcript of Wolffe’s remarks can be found at: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/1/4/821905/-White-House-is-investigating-whether-intel-was-intentionally-withheld-re:-Flight-253-bomber.

Wolffe attributed his account to top officials in the Obama White House. The intentional sabotage of US antiterrorist screening procedures would explain why Mutallab had been able to use his US visa, escape interrogation and special searches, and board his flight, even though he was festooned with every red flag in the annals of airport security. If Wolffe’s report is accurate, these Obama officials may be pulling on a thread which could begin to unravel the entire secret structure of illegitimate power which has afflicted this country — in this case, the apparatus which manufactures terrorist incidents for political purposes of mass manipulation, dictatorship, and war.

Turf War Or Desire To Embarrass Obama?

Wolffe offered two possible explanations cited by his White House sources for the intentional sabotage of security procedures, resulting in yet another egregious failure to connect the dots. The first was a “turf war” inside the intelligence community, with one agency seeking to hoard information and deny it to others. The second was the desire to “embarrass” some leading figures, presumably referring to partisan animus or other resentments against Obama and his top appointees.

Answer: Re-Launching The “Global War on Terror” via Yemen

But Obama and his advisors should be urged to consider a third explanation far more plausible than either of these. This third explanation would include the desire of a rogue network inside the US government to unleash a new wave of Islamophobic hysteria to rehabilitate the discredited “global war on terror” strategy in a new and more sophisticated form, while imposing a new round of outrageous and degrading search procedures at airports (such as the full body scanners peddled by the venal Michael Chertoff) to soften up the American people for heightened totalitarian control and political repression. All of this, moreover, in ways that will be politically harmful to Obama.

The foreign policy rationale of Mutallab’s spectacular near miss in the skies over at Detroit would include the current US campaign of ginning up the three-cornered Yemen civil war so as to threaten and weaken both Saudi Arabia and Iran, each of whom is backing a faction in that civil war. Another benefit is to enhance the US presence in Yemen, a country which controls the exit from the Red Sea and thus all traffic coming out of the Suez Canal, one of the great naval chokepoints of the world and vital for the commerce of China, a leading US rival. Yet another advantage would be to suppress criticism of Obama’s West Point expansion of the existing war in Afghanistan to include an all-out assault on the territorial integrity and statehood of Pakistan. As a result of Mutallab’s handiwork, Obama has now declared a new Axis of Evil composed of Afghanistan-Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. Yemen in particular has been catapulted to the center of international attention by an Anglo-American propaganda blitzkrieg of monumental proportions.

Gold is where you find it, and you often find it in strange locations, as in this case. If Wolffe’s report is correct, these unnamed officials in the Obama White House might well be on the trail of the rogue network or secret government which has deliberately and cynically manufactured the majority of the large-scale terrorism incidents of recent decades. This rogue network is older than Obama, older than Bush and Cheney, older than Clinton. It goes back many decades, and its calling cards have included such catastrophes as the Kennedy assassination, the Gulf of Tonkin incident, the Iran-Contra affair, and 9/11. The rogue network and the bankers who control it obviously regard Obama as an expendable puppet destined, like Jimmy Carter 30 years ago, to go down in the shipwreck of his administration’s Wall Street-inspired policies. As of this evening, it cannot be excluded that the Obama forces might fire some of the leading moles who made the Mutallab incident possible. If they do, that purge will be an important step in the right direction. In the meantime, three unauthorized entries into the White House over the last several months have doubtless served as a deterrent reminder to Obama that the rogue network can get to him at any time.

According to Wolffe’s report, the Obama White House officials are approaching the rogue network from the side of its mole component. The moles are subversive government officials who disdain the Constitution and instead serve a private network ultimately centered in Wall Street. One basic task of the moles is to make sure that patsies like Mutallab are not interfered with, no matter how suspicious their behavior, and no matter how many times they violate the law. If Mutallab’s kamikaze mission had produced an explosion, these same moles would have been the first to leak the news that the bomber was a jihadi from Nigeria. The moles would then have sabotaged any investigation, which is what they are doing tonight as this is written.

Mutallab Festooned with Red Flags

Mutallab had been denied a visa to enter the United Kingdom, despite the fact that his family owned a luxury apartment in London’s West End. His name had been placed on the UK watch list. Mutallab’s father, a prominent Nigerian banker, personally denounced him to the CIA and the State Department as a possible extremist who was then in Yemen, most probably at a training camp. Nevertheless, Mutallab’s visa was not revoked. Mutallab had met the infamous Anwar Awlaki, who had just received a wave of publicity for his relations with Major Hasan the Fort Hood patsy. Chatter from the Yemen patsy milieu monitored by the US contained references to “the Nigerian” – meaning Mutallab. Mutallab paid cash for his ticket in Ghana, checked no luggage, and entered Nigeria illegally, but was nevertheless permitted to embark on the first leg of his mission. In London, Mutallab was assisted by a “well-dressed Indian,” who told the gate agent that Mutallab was a Sudanese who did not have a passport. Nevertheless, Mutallab was allowed to board. As the present writer stated in a Dec. 28 interview on Russia Today, Only the active complicity of treasonous moles can explain Mutallab’s miraculous immunity to all surveillance and screening despite all these factors of suspicion.

Londonistan: The School for Patsies

But the moles are not the only component in the murderous apparatus of false flag terrorism of the type put on display over Detroit on Christmas Day. Patsies like Mutallab must be recruited from the ranks of misfits, psychotics, fanatics, dupes, criminals, and the mentally impaired. They must be equipped with an appropriate synthetic ideology of the type which Mutallab evidently acquired during his years in that immense school for patsies which is the MI-6’s artificially cultivated milieu of the Londonistan jihadis, the trendy Islamist radicals of the British capital.

Awlaki the CIA Lackey

Patsies like Mutallab must then be carefully sheep-dipped to establish a connection with “Al Qaeda,” in reality the CIA Moslem Legion. Mutallab underwent the requisite sheep-dip through his contacts with the incendiary firebrand Anwar Awlaki, now thoroughly exposed as a double agent and patsy recruiter/patsy chaperone working for the United States and well deserving of the epithet Awlaki the CIA Lackey. Awlaki had been implicated in the cases of supposed 9/11 Pentagon suicide pilot Hani Hanjour, and then of Major Hasan of Fort Hood, among others.

Needed: Mole Detectors at NSC, CIA, Defense

The paradigm of false flag “Islamist terrorism” deployed once again on Christmas Day by this rogue network which cuts across the top echelons of the executive departments and agencies of the US government is now frayed, worn, and threadbare. It is rent with gaping holes. The inherent disadvantage of false flag terrorism as a strategy of mass manipulation lies in the diminishing returns which this method is capable of producing: the more it is repeated, the more people begin to suspect that it is a fraud and sham. The flying patsy routine has been repeated ad nauseam, from the retarded Richard Reid the Shoe Bomber of December 2001 to Mutallab the Knicker-Bomber of December 2009. Over the past ten days, the genuine exasperation of columnists and editorial writers over this latest blatant failure to connect the most elementary of dots has suggested that all the naïve cover stories are about to collapse in a shock of recognition that networks infesting the US government do indeed actively create and produce terrorist events for their own evil purposes. We need mole detectors at the NSC, CIA, State Department, and Pentagon – not more harassment of the traveling public.

Persons of good will should mobilize to expose the Detroit patsy operation as a crude and blatant false flag event designed to promote foreign wars and domestic repression. Call the White House. Call your Congressman. Write a letter to the editor. You never know who might catch on.

Yemen dismisses Al Qaeda threat as ‘exaggerated’

Yemen dismisses Al Qaeda threat as ‘exaggerated’

By Borzou Daragahi

But the U.S. and Britain, citing evidence of a viable threat, close their embassies in the Yemeni capital.

January 4, 2010

Reporting from Beirut – Yemeni officials on Sunday dismissed the threat posed by Al Qaeda in their country as “exaggerated” and downplayed the possibility of cooperating closely with the United States in fighting Islamic militants, even as the U.S. and Britain temporarily closed their diplomatic outposts in Yemen because of unspecified Al Qaeda threats.

The statements by Yemen’s foreign minister, chief of national security and Interior Ministry came a day after the region’s top American military commander vowed to step up U.S. military support for the beleaguered Arabian Peninsula nation.

Analysts said the Yemeni statements reflected domestic political concerns about President Ali Abdullah Saleh appearing weak and beholden to the West as he faces numerous political challenges.

The group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the failed attempt at bombing a Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas Day. The alleged attacker’s claim that he was tutored in Yemen set off alarm bells in Western capitals about the relatively lawless nation of 23 million, which is also facing an insurgency in the north and a separatist movement in the south.

U.S. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus visited Yemen on Saturday and vowed to give Saleh increased aid to fight Al Qaeda. His promise was echoed by President Obama, who said the United States would step up intelligence-sharing and training of Yemeni forces and perhaps carry out joint attacks against militants in the region.

But Yemeni officials Sunday appeared to rebuff any close cooperation with the West. Foreign Minister Abubakr Qirbi told a government-run newspaper that his country welcomed intelligence-sharing but had made no commitment to conducting anti-terrorism operations in conjunction with the West.

“Yemen has its own short-term and long-term schemes to tackle terrorists anywhere in the republic that only call for intelligence and information coordination with other countries,” he told the daily newspaper Politics, the official Saba news agency reported.

A statement posted to the U.S. Embassy website cited “ongoing threats by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to attack American interests in Yemen.” The British Foreign Office confirmed that its embassy had been closed for security reasons and said discussions would be held today on when to reopen the facility.

Both diplomatic missions in Sana, the Yemeni capital, normally are open Saturday through Wednesday.

The U.S. Embassy has been the site of attacks in the past. At least 16 people died there in a Sept. 17, 2008, car bomb attack that was claimed by Al Qaeda. Three mortar rounds missed the embassy and crashed into a nearby high school for girls in March 2008, killing a security guard. Police and alleged Al Qaeda militants exchanged small-arms fire near the embassy a year ago.

On Sunday, Obama’s top counter-terrorism advisor said the U.S. had evidence of a viable threat against the embassy, which led to the decision to close it.

“There are indications that Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is targeting our embassy and targeting our personnel,” John Brennan said on “Fox News Sunday,” adding: “We’re not going to take any chances with the lives of our diplomats and others who are at that embassy.”

Asked whether Americans in the country are safe, Brennan said, “I think until the Yemeni government gets on top of the situation with Al Qaeda, there is a risk of attacks. A number of tourists have been, in fact, kidnapped. A number of tourists have been killed.”

But Yemen’s Interior Ministry posted a message to its website Sunday boasting that Al Qaeda militants were “under surveillance around the clock.”

And Saleh’s national security chief, Ali Anisi, said Sunday that Al Qaeda’s presence in Yemen was “exaggerated” and touted the success of his nation’s forces in stemming terrorism, according to an account of his comments reported by Saba news agency.

He reportedly insisted that Yemen was not a haven for Al Qaeda and pointed to “preemptive operations against militants which thwarted planned attacks on vital domestic and foreign interests in the country.”

According to Saba, he said that only 40% of the five dozen attempted terrorist attacks in the country since 1992 had succeeded.

Analysts say the increased focus on Yemen’s security situation creates a dilemma for Saleh, who is worried about appearing to cede sovereignty to the Americans when he is being politically assailed from all segments of the population.

“It’s about control,” said Abdullah Faqih, a professor of political science at Sana University. “The international actors need to assure the Yemeni government about its control. They don’t want to give concessions” to their rivals in the north or south.

A member of a smaller Shiite Muslim sect, Saleh has been accused for years of gaining political allies by turning a blind eye to the growing influence of Sunni extremists who have begun enforcing Islamic dress codes and setting up religious schools.

Qirbi, the foreign minister, emphasized in the interview published Sunday his nation’s “continuing rehabilitation of and advising misled terrorists,” a reference to its controversial program of re-educating and releasing convicted Islamic militants, some once held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay. About 90 Yemeni detainees are still being held at Guantanamo.

Faqih suggested that the United States and Britain announced the temporary closures of their embassies as a way of turning up the heat on Saleh, whose government depends on international assistance to combat a number of issues, including piracy off its Gulf of Aden coast and a drought along its mountain ridges.

“This could also be a kind of pressure,” he said. “If the World Bank decides to close its office, the country might collapse.”

Saleh has presided for decades over the Arab world’s poorest nation, a generally lawless and mountainous land that faces vast unemployment, high birthrates and a plummeting water supply. Rampant corruption and festering tribal disputes exacerbate the problems.

U.S. officials have limited direct aid to Yemen in the past for fear it would disappear into a government widely considered corrupt and unaccountable. But Washington increased the total anti-terrorism assistance from $4.6 million in 2006 to $67 million in 2009, according to the Pentagon.

Following a Dec. 24 airstrike against suspected Al Qaeda militants in Yemen, which killed 30 and was suspected by many of having been directed by Americans, some Yemenis fear U.S. involvement could further destabilize their country.

“We’re afraid that you will repeat the same mistake as in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Mohamed Abdul-Malik Mutawakil, a political scientist at Sana University. “The real challenge is to correct the situation. If you come to Yemen and you push for reform, justice, political change, a better economy, then you will pull the rug out from under Al Qaeda.”

@latimes.com

Jim Tankersley in the Tribune Washington Bureau and Times staff writer Janet Stobart in London contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times

Luck must go

Luck must go

—Zafar Hilaly

India has also commenced the process of taking on board Kashmiri groups fighting for independence in discussions on the future of Kashmir. These are nascent but welcome steps. Nevertheless, they are not enough. India should restart the composite dialogue process

Even the most foolish must know by now that the greater the turmoil, the higher the casualties, the more intense the indignation, the larger the media coverage, the deeper is the satisfaction that terrorists derive from their actions. And, as happens so often, an unwitting accomplice of the terrorists is their enemy. Today it is America and tomorrow perhaps India too. Only the Israelis have done better than America in antagonising an entire religion, nay civilisation.
Seeking revenge, rather than justice, the US has waged war on Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia and is about to do so in Pakistan and perhaps Yemen. In its search for a handful of terrorists, the US has destroyed countries and caused the death and dislocation of millions. Not content, Washington is preparing to wreak havoc in Pakistan. Harassed and on the run, Al Qaeda terrorists are the quarry, and so is the leadership of the Taliban — an assortment of hitherto defeated, demoralised and unpopular antediluvian fundos that have prospered, gained respect and, to a large extent, become popular as a result of a lethal mix of American folly and Afghan xenophobia.
The misguided crusade begun by the doltish Bush against militant Islam continues under the stewardship of the opportunistic Obama. Soon America may be joined by India. The latter’s fanciful doctrines, such as ‘Cold Start’ and ‘Three Front War’, are reminiscent of Cheney’s ‘One Percent’ and the Petraeus’s ‘Surge’ theories. Spawned in the military classrooms of India’s indolent soldiers, they are being trotted out for airing as lynchpins of Indian military strategy. Presumably, the Indian establishment will indulge these military fantasies if another attack is mounted by terrorists whose provenance is traced to Pakistan. This only provides further incentive to the lashkars and jaishes, which seek to profit from the turmoil, to launch yet another attack on India. Encouraging a war that the enemy craves for is surely the height of folly.
America’s war in Afghanistan is not going well. Robert Taber summed up why America will lose in Afghanistan, “The guerrilla fights the war of the flea, and his military enemy suffers the dog’s disadvantages: too much to defend, too small, ubiquitous, and agile an enemy to come to grips with.” The same fate awaits an Indian incursion into Pakistan. At best, Pakistan may be destroyed but never defeated. The true war would only begin once the fighting is over. Indian gains on the battlefield will be lost in the blood lust that would ensue as entire religions and populations collide. And this would happen even if a nuclear conflict is avoided.
The US and India would do better to heed to the desire of their respective populations which, in the case of the former, shows a steady erosion of support for the war in Afghanistan and a decisive shift in favour of an American withdrawal and in case of the latter, was revealed by what a recent poll conducted by two media houses of India and Pakistan discovered. Only a tiny minority, 17 percent in India and 8 percent in Pakistan, it discovered, are opposed to the idea of consigning their hostility to the dustbin of history. An overwhelming 66 percent of those polled in India and 72 percent in Pakistan said that they desire a peaceful relationship between the two countries.
These encouraging results were supported by the observations of an eminent Indian doctor holidaying in Indonesia whose contacts with most segments of Indian society are intense. “Indians do not buy their government’s line that the regime in Pakistan or the people were involved in the attack on Mumbai. They favour greater people-to-people contacts and are appalled at what the public in Pakistan were being subjected to at the hands of the terrorists. They genuinely wish that Pakistan is able to tide over the crisis and defeat terrorism. They feel that India must help where it can,” he wrote.
Of course, the next al Qaeda sortie from Pakistan may drown such friendly sentiments, at least that is what the terrorists count on. Manmohan Singh, who has dragged his feet in engaging with Pakistan after Mumbai, may find himself compelled to let the desire for revenge replace reasoned judgment. America too may seize on the additional pressure another Mumbai would exert on Pakistan’s brittle regime to obtain Islamabad’s concurrence for American forces to fan out looking for jihadists in Pakistan. That, of course, would be a recipe for disaster. A Pakistan invaded, weakened, divided and even defeated might bring temporary relief, but eventually permanent ruin to India. There seems no reason for India to play fortune’s fool. India and Pakistan can determine their own fate although time is not on their side.
Following their unsuccessful attempt to blow up Margaret Thatcher and other members of the British Cabinet at a hotel in Britain in 1984, the Irish Republican Army called the police to say, “Today we were unlucky. But remember we only have to be lucky once. You will have to be lucky always.” The Nigerian student Omer Farooq Abdulmuttallab caught trying to blow up an American airliner over the Atlantic might have said the same thing, and so too other suicide bombers prevented by luck or good intelligence from reaching their targets. But luck, like chance, is a fickle friend. Eventually it runs out.
Manmohan Singh has begun what could prove to be the first step in a long process of the demilitarisation of Kashmir by withdrawing 30,000 Indian forces from Indian Kashmir. Pakistan has reciprocated by transferring an equal number of her forces to the Western border with Afghanistan. Sensibly, India has also commenced the process of taking on board Kashmiri groups fighting for independence in discussions on the future of Kashmir. These are nascent but welcome steps. Nevertheless, they are not enough. India should restart the composite dialogue process, conclude a number of agreements that await signature and begin once again the process of building confidence.

Because how far India and Pakistan are down the path of peace will determine their response to the next terrorist attack. Hopefully, negotiations would have advanced far enough to ensure that they can make their own ‘luck’ and not let the terrorists do so. In fact, the object should be to banish luck as a determining factor in relations. That surely is also the mandate that their respective peoples have given to two democratically elected governments. It is not ordained that the poisonous, clinging ivy of the terrorist should smother and suffocate the tree of peace. “We may become the makers of our fate when we have ceased to pose as its prophets,” rightly said Karl Popper.

The writer is a former ambassador

Obama Selling Racist Policies Using Black Preacher

[If Obama’s naive or sell-out preacher wants to understand the joint US/India policies he is defending, then he should go to Peshawar.]

India and US can make world a better place to live in

“India and America have greatest moral leaders and values.”  Otis Moss III

Press Trust Of India

India and United States must play a key role in making the world a better place to live through their high moral leadership qualities and values, an advisor to US President Barack Obama said in Mumbai on Tuesday.

“India and America have greatest moral leaders and values. I believe it will help dealing with racism and any other problem in any society. Both the countries can demonstrate it through non-violence and spreading the message of love,” Otis Moss III told students at H R College of Commerce in Mumbai.
Youths, the leaders of tomorrow, can determine how to confront racism, inequality and evils in the society. “We all must make sure that we are not carriers of them and ensure that we remove these roadblocks,” Moss, who is an Advisor to Obama on faith-based council and neighbourhood partnerships, said.
Describing Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King as greatest leaders of 20th century, he said “India has an opportunity to demonstrate to the world the meaning of great leadership in 21st century. As India has a large and diverse population, it has a great history,” he said.
Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Professor Rajmohan Gandhi and NCP MP Supriya Sule were also present at the event.