US Subversion Behind Every Arab Uprising and Colored Revolution–(and the whole world knows it)

“The recent ‘color revolutions’ in Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan and the widespread suspicion that U.S. groups such as the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the International Republican Institute (IRI), Freedom House [led by former CIA head James Woolsley, of Project for New American Century fame] and the Open Society Institute [created in 1993 by investor George Soros] played a key behind-the-scenes role in fomenting these upheavals have clearly helped trigger the backlash.”[8]

U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings

By RON NIXON

WASHINGTON — Even as the United States poured billions of dollars into foreign military programs and anti-terrorism campaigns, a small core of American government-financed organizations were promoting democracy in authoritarian Arab states.

Andrea Bruce for The New York Times

Michael Simon, who worked on targeting for the Barack Obama presidential campaign of 2008, spoke last week to members of the Egyptian Democratic Academy in Cairo.

The money spent on these programs was minute compared with efforts led by the Pentagon. But as American officials and others look back at the uprisings of the Arab Spring, they are seeing that the United States’ democracy-building campaigns played a bigger role in fomenting protests than was previously known, with key leaders of the movements having been trained by the Americans in campaigning, organizing through new media tools and monitoring elections.

A number of the groups and individuals directly involved in the revolts and reforms sweeping the region, including the April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and grass-roots activists like Entsar Qadhi, a youth leader in Yemen, received training and financing from groups like the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House, a nonprofit human rights organization based in Washington, according to interviews in recent weeks and American diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks.

The work of these groups often provoked tensions between the United States and many Middle Eastern leaders, who frequently complained that their leadership was being undermined, according to the cables.

The Republican and Democratic institutes are loosely affiliated with the Republican and Democratic Parties. They were created by Congress and are financed through the National Endowment for Democracy, which was set up in 1983 to channel grants for promoting democracy in developing nations. The National Endowment receives about $100 million annually from Congress. Freedom House also gets the bulk of its money from the American government, mainly from the State Department.

No one doubts that the Arab uprisings are home grown, rather than resulting from “foreign influence,” as alleged by some Middle Eastern leaders.

“We didn’t fund them to start protests, but we did help support their development of skills and networking,” said Stephen McInerney, executive director of the Project on Middle East Democracy, a Washington-based advocacy and research group. “That training did play a role in what ultimately happened, but it was their revolution. We didn’t start it.”

Some Egyptian youth leaders attended a 2008 technology meeting in New York, where they were taught to use social networking and mobile technologies to promote democracy. Among those sponsoring the meeting were Facebook, Google, MTV, Columbia Law School and the State Department.

“We learned how to organize and build coalitions,” said Bashem Fathy, a founder of the youth movement that ultimately drove the Egyptian uprisings. Mr. Fathy, who attended training with Freedom House, said, “This certainly helped during the revolution.”

Ms. Qadhi, the Yemeni youth activist, attended American training sessions in Yemen.

“It helped me very much because I used to think that change only takes place by force and by weapons,” she said.

But now, she said, it is clear that results can be achieved with peaceful protests and other nonviolent means.

But some members of the activist groups complained in interviews that the United States was hypocritical for helping them at the same time that it was supporting the governments they sought to change.

“While we appreciated the training we received through the NGOs sponsored by the U.S. government, and it did help us in our struggles, we are also aware that the same government also trained the state security investigative service, which was responsible for the harassment and jailing of many of us,” said Mr. Fathy, the Egyptian activist.

Interviews with officials of the nongovernmental groups and a review of diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks show that the democracy programs were constant sources of tension between the United States and many Arab governments.

The cables, in particular, show how leaders in the Middle East and North Africa viewed these groups with deep suspicion, and tried to weaken them. Today the work of these groups is among the reasons that governments in turmoil claim that Western meddling was behind the uprisings, with some officials noting that leaders like Ms. Qadhi were trained and financed by the United States.

Diplomatic cables report how American officials frequently assured skeptical governments that the training was aimed at reform, not promoting revolutions.

Last year, for example, a few months before national elections in Bahrain, officials there barred a representative of the National Democratic Institute from entering the country.

In Bahrain, officials worried that the group’s political training “disproportionately benefited the opposition,” according to a January 2010 cable.

In Yemen, where the United States has been spending millions on an anti-terrorism program, officials complained that American efforts to promote democracy amounted to “interference in internal Yemeni affairs.”

But nowhere was the opposition to the American groups stronger than in Egypt.

Egypt, whose government receives $1.5 billion annually in military and economic aid from the United States, viewed efforts to promote political change with deep suspicion, even outrage.

Hosni Mubarak, then Egypt’s president, was “deeply skeptical of the U.S. role in democracy promotion,” said a diplomatic cable from the United States Embassy in Cairo dated Oct. 9, 2007.

At one time the United States financed political reform groups by channeling money through the Egyptian government.

But in 2005, under a Bush administration initiative, local groups were given direct grants, much to the chagrin of Egyptian officials.

Behavioral Modification and Coercive Mind Control Measures At Center of Medicare Debate

Healthful behavior is a key to health care system

By Kelly Kennedy, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON— As the House takes up Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal that caps Medicare spending and turns it over to private insurers, some health care industry experts say it won’t work without a key piece: encouraging healthy behavior.

  • Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has proposed capping Medicare and turning Medicaid over to the states. By J. Scott Applewhite, APRep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has proposed capping Medicare and turning Medicaid over to the states.

“Behavior is central to health care,” said Bob Nease, chief scientist at Express Scripts, which manages health benefits for more than 50 million people. “The health care system’s been barking up the wrong tree.”

Costs will continue to rise, he said, as one-fourth of the population contends with health problems related to behavior: Overeating, lack of exercise, smoking and not managing chronic diseases, such as diabetes or Alzheimer’s, leading to expensive hospital visits.

This week, the House plans to vote on Ryan’s budget proposal today. He also proposed turning Medicaid over to the states and cutting it by $750 billion over the next 10 years.

On Wednesday, the House voted to repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund, part of the new health care law, which provides $750 million to prevent tobacco use, heart disease, stroke and cancer. Proponents of the repeal argued that the money could be used for any health initiative without congressional approval, and, according to a support letter from Americans for Tax Reform and the Center for Fiscal Accountability, amounts to “little more than a taxpayer-funded exercise in social engineering.”

But health experts gathered for the Atlantic Health Care Forum last week in Washington, D.C., reacted less than glowingly to Ryan’s plan, including Chet Burrell, president of Blue Cross/Blue Shield, who said the gap between the money provided for Medicaid and Medicare and actual health costs would continue to grow without a push for behavioral change. In the District of Columbia region, health care costs have average increases of between 8% and 12% a year, he said.

“This is not cheap stuff, doing this kind of intervention,” said Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health. “But we all know just how ineffective this is without support.”

As an example, he said his agency conducted a study of 3,234 people who were pre-diabetic, or those with a family history of diabetes, live a sedentary lifestyle or are overweight. About one-third, at a cost of $2,780 each for a three-year period, went through a behavior-modification program with exercise training and life coaches. About 58% of those patients avoided full-blown diabetes. One in 4 Americans older than 20 were considered pre-diabetic in 2007.

“In the long run, it will be cheaper,” Collins said. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it cost $299 billion to treat diabetes in 2010.

But in a second study that reduced complications in patients with diabetes by 90%, the behaviors encouraged by daily phone calls disappeared when the program ended, said Myrl Weinberg, president of the National Health Council, which represents people with chronic diseases and disabilities that lobbies for health care for all. “We believe that people absolutely want to change their behaviors,” she said. “They need that social support.”

It may be more important that employers provide wellness programs, such as gym memberships or smoking-cessation classes, than provide more money for health insurance, said Harvey Fineberg, president of theInstitute of Medicine. And that social support will be necessary for behaviors to change.

Nease said such campaigns have worked in the past, when health groups and the government encouraged seat-belt use for children, and created anti-smoking advertisements. At the same time, marketers began to “supersize” products.

“We made smoking socially unacceptable,” Nease said. “We have done the exact opposite with being overweight.”

Healthful behavior is a key to health care system

By Kelly Kennedy, USA TODAY

Updated 9h 31m ago |

 23 |  0

WASHINGTON— As the House takes up Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal that caps Medicare spending and turns it over to private insurers, some health care industry experts say it won’t work without a key piece: encouraging healthy behavior.

  • Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has proposed capping Medicare and turning Medicaid over to the states.

    By J. Scott Applewhite, AP

    Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has proposed capping Medicare and turning Medicaid over to the states.

By J. Scott Applewhite, AP

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has proposed capping Medicare and turning Medicaid over to the states.

“Behavior is central to health care,” said Bob Nease, chief scientist at Express Scripts, which manages health benefits for more than 50 million people. “The health care system’s been barking up the wrong tree.”

Costs will continue to rise, he said, as one-fourth of the population contends with health problems related to behavior: Overeating, lack of exercise, smoking and not managing chronic diseases, such as diabetes or Alzheimer’s, leading to expensive hospital visits.

This week, the House plans to vote on Ryan’s budget proposal today. He also proposed turning Medicaid over to the states and cutting it by $750 billion over the next 10 years.

On Wednesday, the House voted to repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund, part of the new health care law, which provides $750 million to prevent tobacco use, heart disease, stroke and cancer. Proponents of the repeal argued that the money could be used for any health initiative without congressional approval, and, according to a support letter from Americans for Tax Reform and the Center for Fiscal Accountability, amounts to “little more than a taxpayer-funded exercise in social engineering.”

But health experts gathered for the Atlantic Health Care Forum last week in Washington, D.C., reacted less than glowingly to Ryan’s plan, including Chet Burrell, president of Blue Cross/Blue Shield, who said the gap between the money provided for Medicaid and Medicare and actual health costs would continue to grow without a push for behavioral change. In the District of Columbia region, health care costs have average increases of between 8% and 12% a year, he said.

“This is not cheap stuff, doing this kind of intervention,” said Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health. “But we all know just how ineffective this is without support.”

As an example, he said his agency conducted a study of 3,234 people who were pre-diabetic, or those with a family history of diabetes, live a sedentary lifestyle or are overweight. About one-third, at a cost of $2,780 each for a three-year period, went through a behavior-modification program with exercise training and life coaches. About 58% of those patients avoided full-blown diabetes. One in 4 Americans older than 20 were considered pre-diabetic in 2007.

“In the long run, it will be cheaper,” Collins said. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it cost $299 billion to treat diabetes in 2010.

But in a second study that reduced complications in patients with diabetes by 90%, the behaviors encouraged by daily phone calls disappeared when the program ended, said Myrl Weinberg, president of the National Health Council, which represents people with chronic diseases and disabilities that lobbies for health care for all. “We believe that people absolutely want to change their behaviors,” she said. “They need that social support.”

It may be more important that employers provide wellness programs, such as gym memberships or smoking-cessation classes, than provide more money for health insurance, said Harvey Fineberg, president of theInstitute of Medicine. And that social support will be necessary for behaviors to change.

Nease said such campaigns have worked in the past, when health groups and the government encouraged seat-belt use for children, and created anti-smoking advertisements. At the same time, marketers began to “supersize” products.

“We made smoking socially unacceptable,” Nease said. “We have done the exact opposite with being overweight.”

A Blast from the Past Seems to be Making New Rounds–(repost)

Shatter the Illusions- Patriots Must Reject the Two-Party System

16 09 2008

By: Peter Chamberlin

The illusion is a shield, a curtain to hide the preparations being made off-stage from the spectators, to seal the fate of mankind. The stage hands know that one day the curtain will be lifted on their epic tragedy, revealing all that is now hidden. Our task is to expose the men behind the curtain before they can stage their final act.

It is time for Americans to grow-up and learn to think for themselves. All our lives we have had it so easy, with the ever-growing “nanny state” keeping us safe from the big bad world, making our decisions for us. This is the year of change. Nothing will ever be the same after this next election.

This is not saying that either of these two candidates will make a difference on anything important, it is simply a hard fact that “the powers that be” have decided that November 4, 2008 is to be a pivotal day in human history. After that day, the tyrants’ hands will be loosed from all restraining considerations, no political force will be able to deter the internationalists’ conspiracy from completing the global empire. The American people must be made to face this fact now, before the day of reckoning arrives.

With the passing of that fateful day, the “dogs of war” will truly be unleashed upon the innocent unprepared world. After the great game is decided, about whether our Nation shall be dominated by Republicans or “Republicans-lite” the real “shock and awe” will get underway. The outcome of this election will not change one thing, for Obama, like Clinton before him, is just another Republican “wannabe.” (Ask yourself: If Bush Sr. would have bombed more people than did Clinton, had he been elected?) Whoever wins in November, we will experience the national pain of a renewed draft, to feed our new war with another of Israel’s mortal enemies (probably all of Israel’s enemies at once).

Both candidates have more or less pledged to continue the failed military policies of Bush and Cheney and pretend that they are not lost causes. Neither of them will shut-down these old wars or the new military aggressions that the “nut jobs” plan to launch before inauguration day. Surely we will be at war with Iran by then, since both candidates and their vices have sworn allegiance at the feet of Israel. The Israel/Neocon alliance surely maintains control, as they openly push us towards nuclear war against Iran.

We are absolutely in a war escalation scenario with Pakistan right now, after Bush’s recent declaration of Pakistan as a third war theater (just like Iran and Afghanistan). One thing is for certain, the Pakistani Army has decided it is no longer Bush’s “bitch,” as evidenced by today’s four-hour firefight with American ground troops and the repelling of two US helicopter gun ships earlier in the day. Other news reports, that Pakistan’s Tehrik Taliban Pakistan (TTP) are CIA tools, and that these American allies are the target of Pakistan’s ongoing military campaign, tell us that America has a rather large fight on its hands if it escalates the war there. Both of America’s presidential candidates have pledged to export the Afghan war into Pakistan.

Neither party could survive without generating mountains of false hope. The voting minority has bought-in to the great false hopes championed by both political parties, an improved economy and an end to the war of terrorism, The candidates both promise to do the impossible, to repair the crumbling capitalist system and to “win” the war by escalating the force to irresistible levels, just like Nixon did in Cambodia. The greed of capitalism is consuming the system itself, and exponentially compounding human misery. The nature of the weapons in our arsenal and the level of force required to kill all those who resist our aggression guarantees that the war will not be “won” by any military means. The false hope that America’s tiny military force can conquer the entire world without destroying it, when it could not conquer either Iraq or Afghanistan, is only believable to the smallest of minds.

The “hope” offered by corporate-sponsored political parties is an illusion created within the people’s minds that somehow the same multinational corporations who have been busily raping this country of its vital industrial and economic resources for decades would, for some inexplicable reason, field candidates who are hostile to their degenerative corporate agenda.

The creation of a promissory illusion is the basis for all the brainwashing techniques employed in creating a scientific dictatorship in this country and over the entire planet. Once we believe the false promise, we set ourselves up to accept all the ensuing lies that support it. Getting people to believe in the lies that you offer them is the key to controlling them. If you can persuade them to go along with you, because you can allegedly see things that they cannot, like a better tomorrow than today, then they will docilely support the obvious evil that you do to bring them that better tomorrow.

The electoral farce is the epitome of this illusion-creating process. The psychologists and political scientists play on loyalties and human trust in their creation of political candidates who will fill party loyalists with false hope. The roots of the two-party system run through generations of families, workplaces and affiliations, binding unsuspecting sheeple with imaginary bonds of loyalty to lying politicians. Candidates with identical goals are portrayed as opposites, in order to catch naive unsuspecting souls from both sides of the fence in the same net. The illusion that either candidate will honestly represent the people, or work to save America or the world from the predatory forces that corrupt and bind us all, is a dangerous psychological poison that blinds the people to the truth, the only basis of real hope.

The sheeple embrace the illusion on a daily basis, making it effective auto-suggestion as they reinforce it repetitively within their own minds, like some hypnotic mantra. They eagerly embrace the corporate media messages, in hopes of someday pleasing their elitist masters enough to gain a seat at their right hand, earning a place alongside the corporate criminals who are gang-raping this planet. All believers in the constructed corporate fantasy world want, more than anything, to become part of that imaginary world.

There is no place for true morality in this illusory world, only a bastardized form of limited morality, that is designed to appease the miniscule aroused consciences of those who suffer twinges of their own humanity as they strangle the human race. The false hope that the massive catastrophic use of military force will tame this enraged planet is rationalized as a pseudo-morality, behind which the soldiers of the apocalypse can hide themselves from the enraged face of God. The illusion that mankind is like some great beast that can be tamed or “domesticated” by the judicious application of both punishment and rewards, thereby changing human nature itself, is the violent false hope that fuels the delusional dream-state.

One massive military setback or a series of smaller military setbacks will shatter this immoral worship of America’s awesome military machine and cause the disillusioned sheeple to awaken and to shake-off the binding illusion. It is our task to hasten that day of awakening by attacking the illusion, exposing the false hope, making room in their little cloistered minds so that the flooding light of true hope can shine through.

If we cannot reach the dreamers who live in the fantasy world constructed by the scientific dictatorship to comfort the disillusioned with delusional fantasies and escapism, then our only option is to shatter the world of fantasy. They hide the truth from the people. The cold truth that presently there is no hope is masked by false hope, offering more of the same disguised as something new.

“We are the change that we have been waiting for.” The way to bring this corrupt dictatorship down is simply by holding-up a mirror before them.

“I shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.”

peter.chamberlin@hotmail.com

Next Comes Famine and Hell was following close behind him.

I looked and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hell was following close behind him.

Food prices: World Bank warns millions face poverty

A Tunisian farmer harvests wheat Prices of foodstuffs such as wheat have been hit by unrest in North Africa

The World Bank has warned that rising food prices, driven partly by rising fuel costs, are pushing millions of people into extreme poverty.

World food prices are 36% above levels of a year ago, driven by problems in the Middle East and North Africa, and remain volatile, the bank said.

That has pushed 44 million people into poverty since last June.

A further 10% rise would push 10m more below the extreme poverty line of $1.25 (76p) a day, the bank said.

And it warned that a 30% cost hike in the price of staples could lead to 34 million more poor.

‘Protect the poor’

The World Bank estimates there are about 1.2 billion people living on less than $1.25 a day.

“More poor people are suffering and more people could become poor because of high and volatile food prices,” said World Bank president Robert Zoellick.


Food price changes Q1 2010 to Q1 2011

SOURCE: WORLD BANK DEVELOPMENT PROSPECTS GROUP
Maize 74%
Wheat 69%
Palm oil 55%
Soybeans 36%
Beef 30%
Rice -2%

“We have to put food first and protect the poor and vulnerable, who spend most of their money on food.”

Mr Zoellick was speaking before IMF and World Bank spring meetings later this week.

The gatherings will be attended by finance ministers and central bankers including Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, and Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King.

Nutrition

The World Bank says prices of basic commodities remain close to their 2008 peak, with the prices of wheat, maize and soya all rocketing.

The only exception is rice, which has fallen slightly in price in the past year.

The bank suggests a number of measures to help alleviate the impact of high food prices on the poor.

They include encouraging food-producing countries to ease export controls, and to divert production away from biofuels production when food prices exceed certain limits..

Other recommendations include targeting social assistance and nutritional programmes to the poorest, better weather forecasting, more investments in agriculture, the adoption of new technologies – such as rice fortification to make it more nutritious, and efforts to address climate change.

It also said financial measures were needed to prevent poor countries being subject to food price volatility.

Obama Fears Stench of Being Linked To “Al-Qaeda” in Libya

US not returning to Libya frontline

Libyan civilians are seen at a rebel training camp in Benghazi during instruction on weapon use by former Libyan army officers who have defected. (AFP/Mahmud Hams)

Libyan civilians are seen at a rebel training camp in Benghazi during instruction on weapon use by former Libyan army officers who have defected. (AFP/Mahmud Hams)

BERLIN: The United States resisted pressure Thursday to return its warplanes to the frontline in Libya even as NATO vowed to keep bombing Libyan strongman Muammar al-Gaddafi’s forces and pressed him to quit.

As NATO foreign ministers meeting in Berlin struggled to heal a rift over the mission, rebels said Gaddafi’s forces fired missiles and tank shells on Libya’s besieged city of Misrata, killing 13 people and wounding 50.

The ministers issued a joint statement calling on Gaddafi to leave power, and they vowed to maintain “a high operational tempo” against regime targets and “exert this pressure as long as necessary.”

Despite the show of unity, the allies remained divided over French and British calls to intensify the pace of the bombing campaign and contribute more jets to the mission. Nearly a month of coalition strikes have failed to shift the balance of power so far.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe made a personal appeal to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for Washington to resume major air raids in Libya, but he said his plea was rebuffed.

“I told her we needed them back, we would have liked them to return,” Juppe said, adding that Clinton said US planes would continue to fly on a case-by-case basis.

Washington pulled back around 50 combat planes from Libyan operations last week after handing over control of the mission to NATO, although since then they took part in some missions to take our Gaddafi’s air defence systems.

With nearly 100,000 US troops fighting a grinding war in Afghanistan, US President Barack Obama’s administration decided to move into a back-up role in Libya and leave the fighting to its European and Canadian allies.

“For our part, the US is committed to our shared mission. We will strongly support the coalition until our work is completed,” US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told her counterparts during a working lunch.

“We are also sharing the same goal which is to see the end of the Gaddafi regime in Libya,” she said earlier at a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Other NATO allies in Europe also brushed aside the Franco-British pressure to do more.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the alliance’s military commander in Europe, Admiral James Stavridis, told the ministers that more high-precision planes were needed to safely hit targets hidden in urban areas.

“To avoid civilian casualties we need very sophisticated equipment, so we need a few more precision fighter ground-attack aircraft for air-to-ground missions,” Rasmussen told a news conference after a working lunch.

“I’m confident that nations will step up to the plate,” Rasmussen added, but he admitted that he had not received any “specific pledges” although “I’ve heard indications that give me hope.”

Only six out of 28 nations are conducting air strikes, while France and Britain carry out half of them. The other half are conducted by Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Canada.

Danish Foreign Minister Lene Espersen piled pressure on allies to do more.

“Denmark is making a huge contribution at the moment and I think it is relevant to discuss burden sharing to put pressure on those countries that haven’t started to contribute yet,” she told reporters.

But Spanish Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez said her country would not step up its contribution.

The allies found common ground over Gaddafi’s future, as they backed a call made by the international contact group on Libya, which met in Qatar on Wednesday for Gaddafi to step down.

“We welcome the outcome of the first meeting of the contact group which took place yesterday in Doha and strongly endorse its call for Kadhafi to leave power,” they said in a statement.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, whose country shocked allies by refusing to back the UN resolution authorising the military operation, said NATO supports the aspirations of the Libyan people.

“We are united by the common goal, that we want a free and democratic Libya. The dictator Gaddafi, who started a civil war against his own people, must go,” Westerwelle said at the start of the two-day meeting.

-AFP/wk

IMF Demands Deadbeat USA Make First Down Payment–Just Another Third World Pauper State

IMF warns US to make a ‘down payment’ on deficit

The US should make a ‘down payment’ this year on tackling its budget deficit, the International Monetary Fund has warned, as it emerged that the world’s biggest bond investor is shorting the country’s bonds.

The US should make a 'down payment' this year on tackling its budget deficit, the International Monetary Fund has warned, as it emerged that the world's biggest bond investor is shorting the country's bonds.

President Barack Obama, who is facing increasingly loud calls from Republican opponents to reduce the deficit, is expected to lay out measures on Wednesday. Photo: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak
Richard Blackden

By Richard Blackden, US Business Editor

America will rack up a budget deficit of 10.8pc of gross domestic product this year, the largest of any of the developed economies, the IMF said in its latest Fiscal Monitor report.

In sharp contrast to Britain and much of the rest of Europe, the US has so far delayed any move to cut its budget deficit. Instead, through a combination of extending tax cuts and a second, $600bn round of quantitative easing, Congress and The White House have focused efforts on trying to quicken a recovery that failed to take off last year.

Bill Gross, who manages the world’s biggest bond fund at Pacific Investment Management Co (Pimco), said it was the failure of politicians in Washington DC to take the country’s deficit – estimated to reach about $1.5 trillion next financial year – seriously that has prompted him to start positioning the $236bn Total Return Fund to benefit from a drop in US government bond. In February, the fund sold its US governments bonds, or Treasuries.

“Without attacking entitlements – Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security – we are smelling $1 trillion deficits as far the nose can sniff,” Mr Gross said in the firm’s monthly outlook.

President Barack Obama, who is facing increasingly loud calls from Republican opponents to reduce the deficit, is expected to lay out measures on Wednesday.

“Market concerns about sustainability remain subdued in the US, but a further delay of action could prove costly,” the IMF said. The US should move “sooner rather than later”,” Carolo Cottarelli, the director of the IMF’s fiscal division said in Washington DC on Tuesday.

Zionists Fear American Free Ride Is Over

Israel worried by ‘weakening’ US

Peter Hartcher Tel Aviv

April 12, 2011

ISRAEL is troubled by the perception the US is an “empire of the past” and wants a resurgent America to lead a decisive confrontation with Iran, a top official has said.

“America is tested” at a pivotal moment in the history of the Middle East, said Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister, Dan Meridor, who is also the Minister for Intelligence and Nuclear Energy.

The Arab world was watching the US closely: “They look to America. If America does not seem to be able to contain the Iranian threat, will they go with Iran?”

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“This is of world-order magnitude,” he told the Herald in an interview. Israel, which depends on the US as its security guarantor, itself appears to have new doubts about US judgment.

Mr Meridor said he was “surprised” at the Obama administration’s treatment of a longstanding US ally, Egypt’s former president: “Was it necessary to immediately empower the demonstrators against him and let [Hosni] Mubarak go? It’s seen by all the allies of America in the Arab world. I don’t know where the tide of history will go and I’m not sure they know.”

“The perception, that I hope is wrong, that America is weakening is not good, but I hope that America will find a way, and I believe they can, to restore itself as the leading country and not allow those impressions spread by the Iraq war that America is an empire of the past. All this is here on the table.

“America has started wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Is it a success story or not? What happens in Pakistan? … It may be the use of power showed the limits of power.”

Mr Meridor, a senior member of the Likud party of the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said the confrontation with Iran was “a decisive conflict”.

“The end of it is very important.

If the end of it is that Iran has nuclear power, it will have grave effects on world order, on balance of power, and on the Middle East.

“It may spell the end of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty regime, not only because Iran will be nuclear, but because other countries say they will need to be nuclear, Egypt and Saudi Arabia and others may do it.

“No more the responsible adults tell the kids what to do. When everybody has the bomb you can’t contain or control or interfere as America could do.”

The US President, Barack Obama, last week called on Israel to take the initiative to break the stalemate over peace talks.

Mr Meridor said the Netanyahu government was still debating its position internally.

His personal position, he said, was “we should be very active in trying to bring them to the table.

“Time is not neutral here. Neither the Palestinians nor we gain from the passage of time. I don’t think their situation gets better.”

The Arab uprisings would affect the internal Palestinian power struggle between the moderate Fatah party, which controls the West Bank, and the radical Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

Because Fatah drew support from Egypt, it would become relatively weaker than Hamas, which is supported by Syria and Iran.

This would mean “the strengthening of the religious paradigm and the weakening of the national paradigm,” Mr Meridor said. And Israel did not benefit from delay either: “We can’t stay like this with undefined borders. We need to put an end to it if we can.”

Peter Hartcher travelled to Israel as a guest of the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce.