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American Resistance To Empire

US Stocks Plummet 1000 Points After China Drop—Today Another 1000 Point Drop Expected

[Yesterday, the precious Dow dropped 1000 points when it opened, after the Chinese market dropped by 7%.  Look for a similar drop when it opens again this morning, after China falls another 7 (SEE: Dow drops 1000 points, US stocks plummet at open ).]

China Stocks Plummet Another 7 Percent Amid ‘Mood of Panic’ 

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The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen dropped 7.1 percent, while the Shanghai Composite Index collapsed 7.6 percent to close below the psychologically significant 3,000-point level.

Underscoring the panic gripping the retail investors who dominate China’s stock markets, all index futures contracts fell by the maximum 10 percent daily limit, pointing to expectations of even deeper losses.

After the turmoil in China rocked world equity and commodity markets on Monday, policymakers elsewhere in Asia sought to soothe fears about the broader impact on the global economy.

“I think it’s important that people don’t hyperventilate about these type of things,” said Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, whose country is heavily exposed to China, the biggest consumer of its commodity exports. “It is not unusual to see stock market corrections. It is not unusual to see bubbles burst in particular markets and for there to be some flow-on effect in other stock markets, but the fundamentals are sound.”

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso also said Chinese stocks, which had more than doubled in the six months to May, had been a bubble that was now bursting.

“There’s also suspicion on whether China’s official GDP figures reflect the real state of the economy,” he told a news conference after a cabinet meeting in Tokyo.

After a year of heady gains, Chinese markets have been buffeted by increasing signs that economic growth is faltering.

The Impulse Towards Fascism and the Homogenized Society

Why aren’t we living in H.G. Wells’ scientific dictatorship?

IEET


Rick Searle

By Rick Searle
Utopia or Dystopia

 

One of the more depressing things to come out of the 2008 financial crisis was just how little it managed to effect our expectations about the economy and political forms of the future. Sure, there was Occupy Wall Street, and there’s been at least some interesting intellectual ferment here and there with movements such as Accelerationist Marxism and the like, but none have really gone anywhere. Instead what we’ve got is the same old system only now with even more guarantees and supports for the super rich. Donald Trump may be a blowhard and a buffoon, but even buffoons and blowhards can tell the truth as he did during last Thursday’s debate when he essentially stated that politicians were in the pocket to those with the cash, such as himself, who were underneath it all really running the show.

The last really major crisis of capitalism wasn’t anything like this. In the 1930’s not only had the whole system gone down, but nearly everyone seemed convinced that capitalism, (and some even thought the representative democracy that had emerged in tandem with it) was on the way out.

Then again, the political and economic innovation of the early 20th century isn’t the kind of thing any of us would wish for. Communists, which to many born after 1989 may seem as much like antiquated creatures from another world as American revolutionaries in powdered wigs, was by the 1930’s considered one of the two major ways the society of the future would likely be organized, and its’ competitor over the shape of the future wasn’t some humane and reasoned alternative, but the National Socialism of Hitler’s dark Reich.

things to come

If one wants to get a sense of the degree to which the smart money was betting against the survival of capitalism and democracy in the 1930’s one couldn’t do much better than that most eerily prescient of science-fiction prophets – H.G. Wells. In many ways, because he was speaking through the veneer of fiction Wells could allow himself to voice opinions which would have led even political radicals to blush. Also, because he was a “mere” fiction author his writings became one of the few ways intellectuals and politicians in liberal societies could daydream about a way out of capitalism’s constant crises, democracy’s fissiparousness and corruption, and most importantly for the survival of humanity in light of the nation-state’s increasingly destructive wars.


Well’s 1933 The Shape of Things to Come,

published not long after the Nazis had come to power in Germany, is perhaps his best example of a work that blurs the boundaries between a work of fiction and a piece of political analysis, polemic, and prediction. In the guise of a dream book of a character who has seen the future of the world from the 1930’s to the middle of the beginning of the 22nd century, Wells is able to expound upon the events of the day and their possible implications- over a century into the future.

Writing six years before the event takes place Well’s spookily imagines World War II beginning with the German invasion of Poland. Also identifying the other major aggressor in a world war still to come, Wells realizes Japan had stepped into a quagmire by invading China from which much ill would come.

These predictions of coming violence (Wells forecast the outbreak of the Second World War to be 1940- one year off) are even more chilling when one watches the movie based upon the book, and know that the bombings of cities it depicts is not some cinematographer’s fantasy, but will no doubt have killed some of those who watched the film in theaters in 1936- less than five years later.

Nevertheless, Wells gets a host of very important things, not only about the future but about his present, very wrong. He gets it ass backwards in generally admiring the Soviet Union and seeing its’ problem not being the inhuman treatment by the Communist regime of its citizens, but the fact that they have wed themselves to what Well’s believes is an antiquated, dogmatic theory in Marxism.

Indeed, Wells will build his own version of dictatorship in The Shape of Things to Come (though versions of it can be seen in his earlier work) using the ideas of two of Soviet communism’s founders- Trotsky’s idea of a global revolutionary movement which will establish a worldwide government and Lenin’s idea of an intellectual nucleus that will control all the aspects of society.

Nor, did Wells really grasp the nature of Nazism or the strange contradiction of a global alliance of fascist regimes that ostensibly worship the state. Wells saw Hitler as a throwback to a dying order based on the nation-state. His only modernity being

“…control by a self-appointed, self-disciplined élite was a distinct step towards our Modern State organization.” (192)

Wells therefore misses the savagery born of the competition between world shaping ideologies and their mobilization of entire societies that will constitute the Second World War and its aftermath.

Ironically, Wells mistakenly thinks WWII will be short and its fatalities low because he gets his technological predictions right. He clearly foresees the role of the importance of the tank, the airplane, and the submarine to the future war and because of them even anticipates the Nazi idea of blitzkrieg. At one point he seems to have a glimmer of the death spirit that will seize over humankind during the war when he compares the submarine to a sacrificial altar:

The Germans supplied most of the flesh for this particular altar; willing and disciplined, their youngsters saluted and carried their kit down the ladder into this gently swaying clumsy murder mechanism which was destined to become their coffin. (70)

Nevertheless, he fails to see that the Second World War will unleash the kinds of violence and fanaticism formerly only seen in religious wars.

Two decades after Wells’ novel many would think that because of the introduction of nuclear weapons wars would be reduced to minutes. Instead conflict became stretched out across multiple decades. What this is should teach us is that we have no idea how any particular technology will ultimately affect the character of war – especially in terms of its intensity or duration- thus those hoping that robotic or cyber weapons will return us to short decisive conflicts are likely seeing a recurrent mirage.

Wells perhaps better understood than other would be revolutionaries and prophets of the time just how robust existing societies were despite their obvious flaws. The kind of space for true political innovation had seemingly occurred only during times of acute stress, such as war, that by their nature were short lived. A whole new way of organizing society had seemingly revealed itself during World War I in which the whole industrial apparatus of the nation was mobilized and directed towards a particular end. Yet the old society would reassert itself except in those societies that had experienced either defeat and collapse or Pyrrhic victory (Italy, Japan) in the conflict.

Wells thus has to imagine further crises after economic depression and world war to permanently shatter Western societies that had become fossilized into their current form. The new kind of war had itself erased the boundary between the state and the society during war, and here Wells is perhaps prescient in seeing the link between mass mobilization, the kinds of wars against civilians seen in the Second World War and insurgency/terrorism. Yet he pictures the final hammer blow not in the form of such a distributed conflict but coming in the form of a global pandemic that kills half of the world’s people. After that comes the final death of the state and the reversion to feudalism.

It is from a world ruled by warlords that Wells’ imagined “Air Dictatorship” will emerge. It is essentially the establishment of global rule by a scientific technocracy that begins with the imposition of a monopoly over global trade networks and especially control over the air.

To contemporary ears the sections on the Air Dictatorship can be humorously reminiscent of an advertisement for FedEx or the US Navy. And then the humor passes when one recalls that a world dominated by one global straddling military and multinational corporations isn’t too far from the one Wells pictured even if he was more inspired by the role of the Catholic Church in the Dark Ages, the Hanseatic League or the what the damned Bolsheviks were up to in Russia.

Oddly enough, Wells foresaw no resistance to the establishment of a world-state (he called it The Modern State) from global capitalists, or communists or the remnant of the security services of the states that had collapsed. Instead, falling into a modernist bias that remains quite current, Wells sees the only rival to the “Modern State” in the form of the universal religions which the Air Dictatorship will therefore have to destroy. Wells’ utopians declare war on Catholics (Protestants oddly give no resistance) forcefully close Mecca and declare war on Kosher foods. And all this deconstruction to be followed by “re-education” Wells thinks could be done without the kinds of totalitarian nightmares and abuses which are less than two decades away from when he is writing The Shape of Things.

I am not particular fan of the universal confusion called post-modernism, but it does normally prevent most of us from making zingers like Wells’ such as this:

They are going to realize that there can be only one right way of looking at the world for a normal human being and only one conception of a proper scheme of social reactions, and that all others must be wrong and misleading and involve destructive distortions of conduct. (323)

Like any self-respecting version of apocalypse, Wells imagines that after a period of pain and violence the process will become self sustaining and neither will be required, though most honorably for the time Wells thinks this world will be one of racial equality that will never again suffer the plague of extreme want.

Analogous to the universal religions, after the establishment of the Modern State all of humankind will become party to ultimate mission of the scientific endeavor which the protagonist in the movie version sums up manically in this crazy speech at the end of the film:

For man, no rest, he must go on. First this little planet and its’ winds and ways, and then all of the laws of mind and matter that restrain him. Then the planets above and at last out across immensity to the stars. And when he conquers all the depths of space and all of time still he will not be finished.

All the universe or nothing! Which shall it be?

(As a side note Ken Stanley Robinson seems to think this modernist’s dream that the destiny of humanity is to settle the stars is still alive and kicking. In his newest novel he is out to kill it. Review pending. )

To return to our lack of imagination and direction after 2008: we, unlike Wells, know how his and similar modernist projects failed, and just how horribly they did so. Nevertheless, his diagnosis remains largely sound. It might take a crisis the scale none of us would wish for to engender real reform let alone the taking of radically new directions. Given historical experience such crises are much more likely to give rise to monsters than anything benign.

Anarchists seem to grasp the shape of the time but not its implications. In a globalized world power has slipped out of the grasp of democratic sovereignty and into the hands of networked organizations- from multinational corporations, to security services, to terrorists and criminal groups able to transcend these borders. Yet it is tightly organized “machine like” organizations rather than decentralized/anarchic ones that seem to thrive in this feudal environment, and whereas that very feudalism and its competition makes achieving a unified voice in addressing urgent global problems even more difficult, and where despite our current perceptions, war between the armed groups that represent states the gravest existential threat to humanity, we, unlike Wells, know that no one group of us has all the answers, and that it is not only inhumane but impossible to win human unity out of the barrel of a ray gun


Rick Searle, an Affiliate Scholar of the IEET, is a writer and educator living the very non-technological Amish country of central Pennsylvania along with his two young daughters. He is an adjunct professor of political science and history for Delaware Valley College and works for the PA Distance Learning Project.

The Evil within—The truth we dare not see about Saudi Arabia

The Evil within: The truth we dare not see about Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen

Russia-Today
An air strike hits a military site controlled by the Houthi group in Yemen's capital Sanaa May 12, 2015. (Reuters / Khaled Abdullah)

An air strike hits a military site controlled by the Houthi group in Yemen’s capital Sanaa May 12, 2015. (Reuters / Khaled Abdullah)

On the 70th anniversary of the fall of Nazi Germany, fascism is far from dead. As Yemen bleeds under Saudi Arabia’s grand war, it is really the annihilation of one people we are seeing play out – the Zaidis of Yemen.

If Saudi Arabia, a regional super-power strong with its trillions of petrodollars, has ruled unchallenged over the Middle East and to an extent over the Islamic world, it has done so at the expense of people’s freedom and prosperity. Yemen, more than any other country in the region has suffered under its powerful and rich tyrant of a neighbor.

Coerced into assuming the role of a passive vassal, Yemen was prevented from rising to its true potential through a clever network of bribery, religious sponsoring and social engineering. Ever since this poorest nation of South Arabia attempted to break away from the shackles of tyranny back in 1962, Riyadh has preyed on Yemen, sabotaging and manipulating, invading its lands and eroding its institutions, all to the tune of a disruptive and perverse game of tribalism with sectarian undertones.

The overlord of Arabia, the Kingdom is responsible for much, if not all of the unrest we have seen play out in the region.

But back to Yemen!

Yemen has always been a thorn in Al Saud’s thigh, a threat to its hegemonic ambitions.

As professed by Ibn Saud (the patriarch of the house of Saud) all those decades ago – left unchecked Yemen would spell the end of Saudi Arabia as the region’s hegemon. One might argue that this one warning actually shaped Riyadh’s policy towards Yemen, feeding its paranoia over this most unruly and now poorest nation in the peninsula.

Ravaged by pandemic corruption, insecurity, political instability, social injustices and an over-bearing, ever-spreading sense of despair, Yemen has become but a shell of its former self, an institutional husk with no social cohesion left to hold it together.

But if Yemen has become what it is today, it is by Saudi design. Yemen’s demise, its very unraveling has been engineered by Saudi Arabia ever since 1994 when then-King Fahd bin Abdulaziz propped a loose coalition of tribes and Sunni radical factions to act as a counter-power to then-President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in exchange for military back up against Al Hirak – the Southern Secessionist Movement. For the sake of territorial unity President Saleh delivered Yemen’s future to the rapacious hands of the Kingdom, not realizing just how much this alliance would cost him in the end.

And so Al Islah – which acts as an umbrella for the now infamous Muslim Brotherhood – was born to act as Riyadh’s proxy in Sana’a.

This one party would serve as a catalyst, a protective shield and a nurturing hand for Wahhabis and Salafis alike, which religious movements we know now have inspired terror groups such as Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

But if Saudi Arabia has played a role in the crumbling of Yemen from afar, a dark cloud above the once clear sky of Felix Arabia, March 25, 2015 shattered whatever restraint Riyadh could master. Faced with an increasingly politically independent Yemen, Riyadh chose to intervene before the Houthis could actually manifest a grand political and tribal coalition and fulfill Yemenis’ calls for fairer political representation.

At the risk of upsetting the Western media narrative and Saudi Arabia’ self-proclaimed intentions in Yemen, democracy and constitutional legitimacy were never part of Riyadh’s equation, more worldly ambitions have animated Al Saud royals: natural resources and geopolitics figuring high on the list.

But that is not all – ideology, rather, clashing religious ideology has played a trigger to this Saudi-led war against Yemen, and there lies an evil which the world has yet to wake up to.

More than a month into this unilateral and grand military intervention on Yemen and it appears clear that Saudi Arabia has singled out not just the Houthis as its target of choice but the entire Yemeni Zaidi community.

Because of their rejection of Wahhabism, the Yemen Zaidi community has been labeled as “apostate” by all Salafi and Wahhabi clerics; a religious aberration to be dealt with by annihilation. Back in 2009 during a live TV interview with BBC Arabic, Adel Al Kalbani, the Imam of Mecca professed his hatred of all Shia Muslims when he called for their hunting down and death. More recently, in April 2013, Saad Al Durihim, a Saudi cleric, posted a series of comments on Twitter in which he advocated that militias in Iraq demonstrate a more “heavy handed” approach when dealing with Shia Muslims and kill any Shias they might encounter – women, men and children. Such statements are the expression of Saudi Arabia’s strict theocratic reactionary regime.

It needs to be pointed out that Saudi Arabia’s official line vis-a-vis Shia Islam echoes that of both Al- Qaeda and ISIS, which groups, Stephen Lendman, a prominent US political analyst and writer has said are but the offshoots of the Kingdom’s religious fascist construct.

But if Saudi Arabia’s religious “policy” has failed to raise even an eyebrow in Western capitals, it has become increasingly difficult to ignore the ongoing cultural and religious genocide which is taking place in Yemen.

For weeks now Saudi Arabia has pounded Sa’ada and several neighboring regions, oblivious to civilians’ safety in its desire to lay flat Zaidi Islam.

One might argue that Riyadh is actually specifically targeting civilians. Why else would the Kingdom have resorted to using cluster bombs in heavily populated areas, especially when studies have established that such weapons stand a lethal threat to civilians? According to handicap international 27 percent of all recorded cluster bombs victims are children.

Activists in Yemen, among which Hussain Al Bukhaiti, have also accused Riyadh of using chemical agents such as chlorine and white phosphorus in Sa’ada, Haja and even the capital Sana’a.

Following an attack on Saudi soil by the Houthis earlier last week, Saudi coalition spokesman Brig-Gen Ahmed Al Asiri warned Riyadh’s revenge would be swift and radical. And indeed it was – hundreds of thousands of civilians were put in harm’s way, trapped in Sa’ada, under relentless bombing. For 24 hours Saudi Arabia would rain bombs on this one “Zaidi” region of Yemen, unchallenged and unquestioned, cloaked by Western powers’ deafening silence.

But if civilian casualties are often the first victims of war what about cultural genocide? How can any nation ever justify the destruction of historical and religious landmarks? On May 8, Saudi Arabia reduced late Sheikh Hussein Badreddin Al Houthi’s shrine to rubble. A few days after that, another sacred Yemeni monument was destroyed – Al Hadi Mosque, the third mosque to have been built in Yemen over a thousand years ago. If not hate what could justify such actions?

If the world came together to decry ISIS’ rampage against Iraq and Syria heritage, why stay silent over Saudi Arabia’s crimes? Or is it that money white-washes war crimes these days?

On the 70th anniversary of the fall of fascism the US and the EU might want to open their eyes to their allies’ intrinsic nature.

Catherine Shakdam for RT.

Catherine Shakdam is a political analyst and commentator for the Middle East with a special emphasis on Yemen and radical movements.

A consultant with Anderson Consulting and leading analyst for the Beirut Center for Middle East Studies, her writings have appeared in MintPress, Foreign Policy Journal, Open-Democracy, the Guardian, the Middle East Monitor, Middle East Eye and many others.In 2015 her research and analysis on Yemen was used by the UN Security Council in a situation report.

TSIPRAS TO FIRE BANK OF GREECE BOSS FOR ‘UNDERMINING SYRIZA POSITION’

GREECE EXCLUSIVE: TSIPRAS TO FIRE BANK OF GREECE BOSS FOR ‘UNDERMINING SYRIZA POSITION’

the slog

gunptnet

Syriza aims smoking gun at Central Bank Governor

Former Nia Demokrita Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras asked to leave BoG

Sources within Athens media and finance told The Slog last night that Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras will be quitting his post today (Sunday). Alexis Tsipras will ask for his resignation in the light of documentary proof that the former New Democracy Finance Minister personally gave specific briefs to a top journalist about “putting the most negative spin possible on the news” about Greek finances.

Influential Greeks have long suspected that Troika sympathisers in the banking system were working in close-knit coordination with the creditors to destabilise the Syriza government led by Alexis Tsipras and Yanis Varoufakis. But the smoking gun apparently emerged last week in the shape of briefing documents from the central bank’s Governor to “a leading influential Greek journalist”.

The Slog has posted before about coordinated withdrawals from Athenian banks, and high net worth customers being encouraged to withdraw funds soon after the Syriza election victory. This case, however, is infinitely more insidious because it potentially opens up a trail of deliberate destabilisation and dirty tricks all the way back to Brussels, Berlin….and Washington.

1. YannisStournaris was the Greek Minister of Finance from 5 July 2012 until he moved to the BoG last year. It is unlikely bordering on unthinkable that senior New Democracy colleagues didn’t have any idea this briefing was going on.

2. As a senior consultant to the BoG, he was personally involved in the entry of Greece into the euro. This is now widely known to have involved corruption on a grand scale. So Stournaras has every motive for urgently destabilising the government now investigating all aspects of EMU and Greek debt.

3. Stouranaras is a senior Governor who sits on the Board of the IMF. This gives him a serious conflict of interest….but also ready access to Christine Lagarde should he need it.

4. His media ‘order-taker’ (who is known to the Athenian cognoscenti) regularly passes these briefings on to a number of neoliberal global publications…notably Reuters.

Meanwhile, the forensic investigation into debt overstatement in 2010 and how much Greek debt can be objectively defined as ‘odious’ continues.

Hat-tip to Archie X for giving me the lead on this exclusive.

The Slog would like to thank all senior members of the Eurobnoxious tendency in the British Labour Party for its unstinting support of the Greeks, and virile attacks on the bullying control freaks of Brussels-am-Berlin. It will stand forever as a beacon of apathy among progressives in the UK, and got the reward it so richly deserved in last Thursday’s British General Election.

U.S. Supports Renewed Saudi Airstrikes Because Houthis Are Still Moving

[SEE: Saudi Yemeni Bombing Killed Impending UN Peace Deal]

U.S. blames Houthi battlefield moves for renewed Saudi strikes

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(Reuters) – The United States squarely blamed Houthi fighters on Monday for renewed Saudi-led bombings, accusing them of using a relative lull in airstrikes meant to help set the stage for peace talks to instead pursue battlefield advances.

Saudi-led aircraft pounded Iran-allied Houthi militiamen and rebel army units on Monday, dashing hopes for a pause in fighting to let aid in as relief officials warned of a catastrophic humanitarian crisis.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he would discuss the conflict with Iran’s foreign minister later on Monday, adding: “I will certainly urge that everybody do their part to try to reduce the violence and allow the negotiations to begin.”

Kerry and other U.S. officials said Houthis had sought more gains since Riyadh’s announcement last week that it was ending its nearly five-week-old bombing campaign, except in places where the Houthis were advancing.

“The Saudi shift … was predicated on the notion that people would freeze in place,” Kerry told a news conference in New York.

“But what happened was the Houthi began to take advantage of the absence of air campaign, moving not only additionally on Aden, but moving in other parts of the country.”

Kerry and other U.S. officials said the Houthis were shifting artillery and forces and targeting certain elements of the Yemen army.

A coalition of Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia, rattled by what they saw as expanding Iranian influence in the Arabian Peninsula, is trying to stop Houthi fighters and loyalists of former President Ali Abdullah Salah taking control of Yemen.

But the air campaign has had little success and vital aid has been reported held up by both sides.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart and Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

 

Shell Oil Bows-Down Before the Gods of Predatory Capitalism, Then Buys BG

(SEE:  Obama Pushing the World To Embrace American Failure ;  Sermon from the Corporate Church)

ImageOfTheEnemy

Shell’s carpe diem a lesson for all

AFRI COM

Royal Dutch Shell’s $90 billion pitch at step-change growth is expected to trigger a tornado of consolidation across a wide landscape of global petroleum, with the Deepwater Horizon-blighted BP rated the next-most-likely landing point of acquisitive interest.

Indeed, while Shell’s interest in the British-based Mini Me that is BG Group has long been anticipated, there are some surprised by this acutely timed fulfilment, only because it was felt BP might be a more attractive target for the world’s second-biggest oil company.

The word is that Shell certainly took more than a sideways glance at the other British-born super major. But, in the end it plumped for BG, because it introduced more momentum in Shell’s transitional embrace of global gas markets as a core growth engine, would arrive in the original dual-listed giant carrying less uncertainty and reputational risk and was a deal more likely to be consummated reasonable quickly.

But there is some conviction that the mighty ExxonMobil might not feel as constrained by risk and that BP would deliver the world’s biggest listed petroleum house with massive reserve growth, at a serious discount to the cost of finding replacement barrels and with the potential of serious synergies, given the considerable geographic overlap of their resource bases.

The fact that the addition of BP would retain for any foreseeable future Exxon’s place as petroleum’s biggest listed operator might not hurt either. Given Shell is successful with the BG pitch, that title is likely to be a matter of some contention by about 2018, when the new combination’s production will outstrip that of the Exxon we see today.

Needless to say, the existing Exxon is the product of the same sort of targeted and ambitious opportunism that would be required to take on BP. It was at the depths of a slump in oil prices in 1998 that Exxon opened a campaign that ended with it paying $75 billion in paper to merge with Mobil. History says that deal was done at a discount to long-term value and generated far more in synergies than originally anticipated.

Whether Shell will extract more from BG than the $US2.5 billion ($3.25 billion) of annual savings targeted for 2018, time will tell. What is more certain though is that Shell is getting BG at a 50 per cent discount to its five-year average valuation and that more that justifies the similarly sized premium it has offered for ownership.

Well timed

Add to that the fact that Shell is using its own paper to cover 70 per cent of price and what you have is a deal as well timed as it is structured.

Interestingly enough, the man who led BG to this deal was chairman Andrew Gould. We know the former Schlumberger boss better as the lead independent director of Rio Tinto through a period that included the resistance of BHP Billiton’s attempt at mega-major consolidation in 2008.

To some degree, Gould’s readiness to accept a deal at BG highlights the polar opposite tacks being taken by mega petroleum and big mining during these days of cyclical retreat in their respective markets.

The oilmen are seizing their moment to drive tectonic change that delivers geographic diversification, with new reserves being acquired at a discount to their long-term value. Meanwhile the miners, with the notable exception of Glencore’s bellicose Ivan Glasenberg, seem content to live within the security of their known knowns.

Australia’s pair of dual-listed resource houses, for example, have been strident in their rejection of opportunistic, inorganic growth through this period of cyclical weakness across their suite of commodities. Instead both, publicly at least, are sticking resolutely to strategic rhetoric that focuses on driving growth through targeted brownfields expansions, cost management and productivity enhancement.

This focus on the known has been particularly laser-like at the world’s biggest diversified resources business, BHP Billiton. The only concession chief executive Andrew Mackenzie has made to counter-cyclical opportunism is in deep-water petroleum, where he has raised the potential of acquisitions as the most economically attractive way of filling an emerging medium-term production gap.

As we keep noting, Mackenzie’s management thesis stands unique in the resources business, because he expresses so little interest in the reserve replacement that sits central to big oil’s routine of consolidation through period of price retreat.

Eating itself

Despite throwing $35 billion annually at growth, Shell has recently been unable to find new resources at a rate fast enough to cover its production. Reserve replacement has been running at less than 80 per cent and that means Shell is eating itself.

Exxon, on the other hand, is under considerably less pressure to acquire reserves, given it has been replacing them at 101 per cent over the past three years. In other words, it has more reserves now than it did in 2012.

For all that, though, chief executive Rex Tillerson told the market in March that Exxon stood ready for a big transaction. Whether coincidence or not, there was a consensus formed that Tillerson had ambitions for BG and speculation abounds that Exxon might yet invited itself to Shell’s party.

Back at BHP, Mackenzie insists the Global Australian has its foot on all that it needs to sustain a compound production growth of 6 per cent and will, in turn, support the company’s progressive dividend strategy. Instead, the BHP strategy is aimed at maximising returns on every key measure, from operating margins to shareholder returns. Mackenzie insists, too, that being the biggest is not the point and has underlined that point by moving to release a fleet of sub-scale assets to shareholders in the form of South32.

But, given BHP’s pretty fine history of engineering growth through structural transition has enabled it to anticipate long-term shifts in commodities demand, this certainty in the sustainability of the existing BHP asset base sits just that little bit uncomfortably for some.

As one senior mining executive observed on Thursday: “To a degree, Shell is calling an end to the oil era and the transition to the gas era. But while Shell is moving to the future, to gas, the likes of BHP are committed to the past, to steel-related products and thermal coal.”

Now, while this is a pretty high-level view and one that does not account fully for intricacies of either the attributes of the Shell deal or to BHP’s portfolio investment strategy, it does effectively capture the divergence of approach to generating growth.

For a start, of course, Shell is buying a good deal more in BG than expanded exposure to export gas markets, the gas resources that sustains them and the massively expensive LNG chillers that facilitates them.

Oil prosects

BG will arrive with Brazilian oil prosects that are expected to be producing at 550,000 barrels a day by 2018 – equivalent to about 15 per cent of Shell’s current daily oil output – and that remains highly prospective exploration territory. It introduces upside too in the North Sea, Kazakhstan and Tanzania.

But the view that Shell’s BG play is an evolutionary investment holds. This is a deal driven by short-term expediency and long-term strategy and one that illuminates Shell’s view of the potential of gas as the transitional fuel for both advanced and emerging economies as they manufacture a reduction in the carbon intensity of their energy infrastructure.

The phrase “straw hats in winter” is embedded in BHP history. It was uttered in 1984 by BHP’s then chairman Sir James MacNeill to explain why he would countenance spending $US2.4 billion on a coal company during a price slump. That deal delivered two of the four pillars that support Mackenzie’s strategy – coal in the Bowen Basin coal and copper at Escondida.

And Shell’s shape-shifting approach on BG arguably offers a timely reminder that a bit of counter-cyclical carpe diem can go an awfully long way.

Guaranteed Financial Security Is A Fantasy

Guaranteed Financial Security Is A Fantasy

investing

Charles Hugh Smith Charles Hugh Smith

Guarantees based on extracting higher taxes, borrowing trillions of dollars and creating trillions more out of thin air only guarantee eventual systemic implosion.

It is difficult for those living through tectonic social and economic shifts to recognize the passing of one era and the emergence of a new era. We are clearly in such a tectonic shift, yet it is slow enough and uneven enough that those who hope the old era will somehow endure despite the erosion of its foundations can find evidence to support their beliefs.

One such cherished belief is the faith that financial security can be guaranteed. This faith has two components:

1. The faith that risk can be identified and managed to the point it cannot disrupt the payment of promised pensions, benefits, yields, etc.

2. The faith that the system can pay what has been promised by one means or another.

If tax revenues are inadequate, taxes can always be raised. If tax revenues fail to rise, then the money needed to pay the promised pensions, benefits, etc. can be borrowed. If the money cannot be borrowed, then it can simply be created out of thin air by central banks or printed by government treasuries.

Before the advent of high finance, lowering risk could only be achieved by spreading the risk over a large populace. To lower the risk to individuals that their house would burn down in an accidental fire, insurance was sold to 1,000 homes. If one or two of the 1,000 homes burned down each year, the insurance could pay the claims and still build up reserves for future claims.

But if a conflagration burns down all 1,000 homes, the insurance is overwhelmed; the guaranteed coverage is rendered worthless.

The creation of a volunteer (or tax-supported) fire brigade will also lower the risk that an accidental fire could spread. But once again, such a brigade can only mitigate very limited fires; a second fire or a windstorm would exceed the capacity of the brigade to extinguish multiple fires.

The faith in guaranteed security is actually a faith that there will be no consequences from borrowing or printing enormous sums of money, and no possible risk to the system that cannot be anticipated and mitigated with some fancy financial footwork.

Is this faith reality-based? We know that borrowing immense sums of money does have consequences: interest must be paid out of future income, reducing the income that can be consumed or invested, and dependence on borrowed money creates moral hazard: rather than make difficult trade-offs, the borrower just borrows more money.

Creating money out of thin air is also not consequence-free. Fancy financial footwork can mask the consequences of creating money to pay promised pensions, benefits, etc., but eventually the reality that creating money does not create wealth intrudes on the fantasy that if tax revenues are insufficient, and borrowing has limits, then we can guarantee incomes, pensions, benefits, etc. by creating money out of thin air.

Those dependent on the promises made in the previous era will support any policy that “extends and pretends” the illusion that financial security can be guaranteed, regardless of seismic shifts in the natural and financial economies.

The irony of “extend and pretend” is these policies only push the system to extremes that guarantee systemic collapse. The more we avoid facing the intrinsic insecurities generated by tectonic shifts, the more we hasten the sudden implosion of old systems pushed beyond their limits.

Real security arises from the constant volatility, friction and insecurity of experimentation, adaptation and dissent. Guarantees based on extracting higher taxes, borrowing trillions of dollars and creating trillions more out of thin air only guarantee eventual systemic implosion.

Put another way: spreading the risk of a house fire amongst the 1,000 homeowners does not actually lessen the risk of a conflagration burning down the entire town.

New Era of American Financial Warfare

New Era of Financial Warfare

bodhita

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, in Thursday’s Daily Telegraph, reports on new ways the U.S. is carrying out financial warfare against Russia by stealth. He writes that the U.S. has created a financial “neutron bomb” that can target any country and is now targeting Russia. He claims that for the past 12 years an “elite cell” at the U.S. Treasury has been designing ways to bring almost any country to its knees without firing a shot.

“It is a new kind of war, like a creeping financial insurgency, intended to constrict our enemies’ financial lifeblood, unprecedented in its reach and effectiveness,” says Juan Zarate, the Treasury and White House official who led the policy after 9/11. “The new geo-economic game may be more efficient and subtle than past geopolitical competitions, but it is no less ruthless and destructive,” he writes in his book Treasury’s War: The Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare.

This includes shutting off market access for Russian banks, companies, and state bodies with $714 billion of debt. He calls it the “scarlet letter,” created under Section 311 of the U.S. Patriot Act, which was devised to be used against terrorist financiers. Once a bank is named, it will be caught in a “boa constrictor’s lethal embrace,” as Zarate puts it. Even if the bank has no operations in the U.S., European banks will not violate it.

Evans-Pritchard continues, “The U.S. Treasury faces a more formidable prey with Russia, the world’s biggest producer of energy with a $2 trillion economy, superb scientists, and a first-strike nuclear arsenal. It is also tightly linked to the German and East European economies,” and therefore the U.S. risks destabilizing its own alliance system. Furthermore, President Vladimir Putin knows this as well and no doubt is prepared to take counter-moves.

Zarate now advises HSBC on how to stop in-house money laundering, which is a laugh in itself.

Evans-Pritchard’s column cites Princeton Professor Harold James, who compares such actions to the pre-First World War attempts by Britain and France to use financial warfare against Germany. Warning of the dangers of such action, James said, in a piece for Project Syndicate, “Lehman was a small institution compared with the Austrian, French, and German banks that have become highly exposed to Russia’s financial system. A Russian asset freeze could be catastrophic for European — indeed, global — financial markets.”

Evans-Pritchard seems to be familiarizing himself with the Classics, as he cites how the sanction imposed by Pericles turned out badly. “So are the salutary lessons. Pericles tried to cow the city state of Megara in 432 B.C. by cutting off trade access to markets of the Athenian Empire. He set off the Peloponnesian Wars, bringing Sparta’s Hoplite infantry crashing down on Athens. Greece’s economic system was left in ruins, at the mercy of Persia. That was a taste of asymmetry.”

Bodhita | News & Analysis

Obama’s “al-CIA-da” Strategy–Fight ISIS To Give Al-Nusra Time To Grow Strong

[Al Golani is a creation of the intelligence agencies (SEE: The layers of fiction surrounding Al Nusra chief Abu Mohammed Al Jolani).  He is credited with leading one of the currents generated by the break-up of Al-Qaida In Iraq, the same terrorist outfit which has been holding Lebanese soldiers hostage, after beheading 4 of them.  Nusra is fighting a holding action on the Leb. Army, giving ISIS time to lay in supplies the mountains of the east, preparing for an anticipated major assault upon Lebanon from Qalamoun in Syria.  Lebanon is expected to join a US anti-ISIS coalition, while it fights al-Nusra without proper weapons. 

Truth be told, Lebanon is expected to fold-up and play dead in the face of a sustained assault by the offspring of al-Q In Iraq.  Both ISIS  and al-Nusra are “al-CIA-da.”]

Nusra Front Quietly Rises in Syria as Islamic State Targeted

daily star LEB

W460

The Nusra Front, Syria’s al-Qaida affiliate, is consolidating power in territory stretching from the Turkish border to central and southern Syria, crushing moderate opponents and forcibly converting minorities using tactics akin to its ultraconservative rival, the Islamic State group.

But while the Islamic State group gets most of the attention largely because its penchant for gruesome propaganda, the Nusra Front quietly has become one of the key players in the four-year civil war, compromising other rebel groups the West may try to work with while increasingly enforcing its own brutal version of Islamic law.

Its scope of influence now abuts the Golan Heights bordering Israel, and its membership largely composed of Syrian nationals refuse any negotiations with the government of embattled President Bashar Assad, further complicating the brutal conflict.

“The Nusra Front will most likely outlast ISIS in Syria, and will represent a severe and existential threat to the aspirations of the Syrian people in terms of a pluralistic, democratic society,” said Fawaz A. Gerges, director of the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics, using an alternate acronym for the extremist group.

The Islamic State group helped create the Nusra Front, providing financing, manpower and military hardware in 2012. But the group and its patron eventually had a falling out in 2013 for ideological as well as strategic reasons. The Nusra Front, while loyal to al-Qaida, has cooperated with other Syrian rebel factions in the fight to oust Assad.

In recent months, the group has overrun rebel strongholds in Syria’s Idlib province, trouncing two prominent, U.S.-backed rebel factions, Harakat Hazm and the Syria Revolutionaries Front. Following the deadly clashes, SRF leader Jamal Maarouf fled to Turkey and Hazm announced it was dissolving.

A Middle East-based Western diplomat said the Nusra Front began its attacks on moderate, U.S.-backed rebel factions after the American-led coalition began airstrikes in September targeting both the Islamic State group and the Khorasan group, which Washington says is a special cell within Nusra plotting attacks against Western interests. U.S. officials last week said airstrikes have hit as many as 17 separate targets connected to the Khorasan group.

The Nusra Front responded with a series of spectacular attacks targeting moderate rebel groups and forces loyal to Assad in northwestern Syria, the diplomat said.

It “has now created coherent control of a strategic area between Idlib and Hama (provinces) in northwestern and central Syria,” said the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he wasn’t authorized to brief journalists.

At the same time, the group has become increasingly aggressive toward local populations. In January, members of the group reportedly shot a woman dead in front of a crowd in Idlib after they accused her of being a prostitute. The group also has carried out public lashings, crucifixions and kidnappings — though it has not publicized the atrocities like the Islamic State group.

Activists in southern Syria say the Nusra Front was behind the January bombing that destroyed the shrine of a 13th century Muslim scholar. The Nusra Front issued a statement denying it was involved but activists say its members were seen placing the bombs.

“They’re trying to come across as rational, moderate, more dynamic,” Gerges said. “They don’t celebrate savagery in the same way like the Islamic State group.”

Residents say among the group’s most worrisome action so far is forcing members of the minority Druze sect living in Idlib’s Jabal al-Summaq region to convert to Sunni Islam.

The Druze, a 10th century offshoot of Shiite Islam, made up about 5 percent of Syria’s pre-war population of 23 million people. In addition to Syria, Lebanon and Israel have large Druze communities.

“The Druze in Idlib are being subjected today to religious persecution. The Nusra Front carried out shameful acts. They have dug graves and damaged shrines,” said former Lebanese Cabinet minister Wiam Wahhab, a Druze politician with close ties to the community in Syria.

Activists estimate several hundred Druze have been forced to convert. A purported Nusra Front document, posted online and dated Feb. 1, outlined an agreement that saw Druze in 14 villages in Idlib convert. Under the deal, the Druze will implement Islamic laws, destroy tombs, impose Islamic dress on women and stop having mixed-sex schools. Idlib-based activist Asaad Kanjo said many Druze there have fled.

“You are likely to see this sort of behavior from Nusra in Idlib province because they are increasingly the dominant party in this part of Syria, and are in the midst of a concerted effort to eliminate rivals there,” said Faysal Itani, a resident fellow at the Atlantic Council. “Nusra ultimately wants to rule Syria.”

An opposition activist in Kafranbel, a town in Idlib, said the group has established an elaborate network of social services and Shariah courts and rules uncontested. Remaining rebel groups in the province operate only with Nusra’s approval, he said.

However, the group’s increasingly belligerent approach toward other rebel groups is starting to alienate former allies, said the activist, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

The main Western-backed Syrian group, the Syrian National Coalition, which in the past has been wary not to criticize Nusra, has changed its tune.

“We are concerned over Al Nusra’s latest actions and abuses against civilians and (Free Syrian Army) fighters,” said spokesman Salem al-Meslet, adding that the abuses were akin to the Islamic State group and Syrian government forces’ “criminal behavior.”

The criticism has led the Nusra Front to issue a rare statement defending itself, saying its target are only those proven to have committed “crimes” against Muslims and fighters.

“It was not our intention on any day to spread influence and expand and control the worshippers and the country,” the statement from its Al-Manara Al-Bayda media arm said. “Rather, our goal and aim is to lift injustice from the oppressed, and push away every enemy that attacks the honor, religion, and sanctities of the Muslims.”

Pushing Putin Into An Existential Confrontation

Putin

Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin attends the World Health Organisation meeting on healthy lifestyle in Moscow, April 28, 2011.

Vladimir Putin sees Russia and the West as being locked in “an existential struggle,” reports USNI News, citing an expert at a Heritage Foundation event on Tuesday.

Eugene Rumer, the director of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Russia and Eurasia Program, told the audience at the event that the rising tensions between Russia and the NATO-orientated West was a cause for concern. Particularly at stake in any ramping up of hostilities are the Baltic States of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.

Both Latvia and Estonia have large ethnic Russian populations which Rumer believes Putin “is not adverse to using … to make domestic trouble.”

If Putin starts using ethnic Russians to stir up trouble in those countries as he has done in Ukraine, then war just may be NATO’s only possible response, predicted Rumer. As Moscow becomes more assertive, this likelihood increases.

Russia “is more prone than before to look less kindly on engagement with the West,” Rumer said at the event.

This is especially true given the Russian military’s new doctrine. Signed into practice on December 26, 2014, it lists the expansion of NATO as the main external threat facing the stability and territorial integrity of Russia.

In a translation of the doctrine by Defence News, Russia states that NATO is “undermining global stability and violating the balance of power in the nuclear-missile sphere.”

To counter NATO’s influence, Russia’s military doctrine envisions the expansion of bilateral alliances between Moscow and potentially friendly countries such as China and Brazil, as well as the military reinforcement of three areas that Russia sees as geopolitical front lines — the Russian Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad, the Crimean peninsula, and the Arctic.

Russian soldiers in CrimeaA Russian soldier hold his weapon at Belbek airport in the Crimea region March 4, 2014.

Each of these regions can serve as a buffer against what Russia portrays as NATO’s aggressive expansion, while also functioning as a potential launching pad for Moscow-directed military excursions. NATO’s supreme commander, Gen. Philip Breedlove, warned at the beginning of March that Russia was already in the process of turning Crimea into a forward operating base against the alliance.

Since the start of the Ukraine crisis, Russia has been holding snap military drills along its borders with the Baltic States at an increasing pace raising concerns that the exercises could one day be used as a cover to launch a quick invasion of the Baltics.

The Telegraph reported on February 20 that General Sir Adrian Bradshaw, deputy commander of NATO forces in Europe and one of Britain’s most senior generals, warned that Russian snap exercises could lead to a possible invasion of NATO territory.

Bradshaw warned that the drills could be used “not only for intimidation and coercion but potentially to seize NATO territory, after which the threat of escalation might be used to prevent re-establishment of territorial integrity.”

If such an invasion were to occur, NATO would either be forced to respond — leading to an unpredictable military conflict in Europe — or the alliance would not respond and NATO would cease to function as a treaty-bound entity.

2009 German Analysis Documenting US Plan To Unleash Civil War In Ukraine

Imperial Geopolitics: Ukraine, Georgia and the New Cold War between NATO and Russia

IMI german

von: Martin Hantke | Veröffentlicht am:

1. Januar 2009

Zbigniew Brzezinski’s book The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand current and future U.S., EU and NATO policy. Over ten years ago the former National Security Advisor gave a graphic description of the imperatives of imperial geopolitics. He argued that the U.S.A.’s position of supremacy should be preserved under all circumstances. To this end NATO, acting as a “bridgehead” of the U.S.A., should expand into Eurasia and take control of geostrategically important regions so as to prevent Russia’s resurgence as a powerful political force.

Brzezinski had in mind two countries or regions in particular: “Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire. Russia without Ukraine can still strive for imperial status, but it would then become a predominantly Asian imperial state, more likely to be drawn into debilitating conflicts with aroused Central Asians, who would then be supported by their fellow Islamic states to the south.” […] “However, if Moscow regains control over Ukraine, with its 52 million people and major resources as well as access to the Black Sea, Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia.”1 Brzezinski argued further that there was an imperative need to gain control of the southern Caucasus, i.e. Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, on Russia’s southern flank. The past master of U.S. geopolitics set out the aim and purpose of NATO policy with impressive clarity: “The United States and the NATO countries – while sparing Russia’s self-esteem to the extent possible, but nevertheless firmly and consistently – are destroying the geopolitical foundations which could, at least in theory, allow Russia to hope to acquire the status as the number two power in world politics that belonged to the Soviet Union.”2

In the years that followed, these words were systematically put into political practice with NATO taking its eastward expansion right up to Moscow’s borders. Furthermore, active Western support for the “colourful revolutions” in Georgia (2003) and Ukraine (2004) led to the sitting pro-Russian or neutral governments and presidents being ousted by pro-Western candidates.3 Russia regarded NATO’s policy as crossing the “red line”. As the war between Russia and Georgia in the summer of 2008 showed, Russia is no longer prepared to stand idly by in the face of further attempts at expansion. Nevertheless, the Western military alliance is doggedly pursuing its escalation policy, in which Ukraine and Georgia are now being offered NATO membership as a means of safeguarding the “successes” that have been scored. U.S. President Barack Obama is also in favour of these two countries joining NATO.4 The announcement that Michael McFaul, a hardliner on policy towards Moscow, is to be appointed senior director for Russian affairs at the National Security Council gives little cause for hope that Washington under its new president will abandon its aggressive, anti-Russian policy. This amounts to tacit acceptance that the New Cold War between NATO and Russia, invoked so frequently of late, will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Ukraine: “On someone else’s arse”

Even now, the approach to Ukraine is evidently still determined by Brzezinski’s recipes from the devil’s workshop of geopolitics. NATO accession and Europe’s energy supply are issues that are closely intertwined. Writing in Handelsblatt, Peter Zeihan from Strategic Forecast, the think-tank often referred to as the “shadow CIA”, described the complex geopolitical situation as follows: “On the one hand, the ‘orange’ revolution of 2004 led to the installation of a Ukrainian government hostile to Russia’s objectives. President Viktor Yushchenko would like to integrate his country into the European Union and NATO. For Russia that would be the kiss of death. Most of the infrastructure linking Russia with Europe – from pipelines to railway lines and high-voltage cables – is located in Ukraine. Industry and agriculture in both countries are closely interlinked. There are more Russians living in eastern Ukraine than anywhere else in the world outside Russia. The Russian Black Sea fleet is stationed in the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol because there are no reasonable alternatives. Ukraine stretches so far into southern Russia that a hostile power in the country could pose a threat to Moscow. Moreover, the country stretches so far eastwards that an antagonistic government there could even threaten Russia’s connections with the Caucasus. In a nutshell, if Ukraine slips out of Russia’s sphere of influence Russia will be forced completely onto the defensive in strategic terms. Vice versa, if Russia regains control in Kiev, the country could set itself up as a regional – and perhaps even a global – power.”5 It was to obviate such a scenario that Washington engaged in a further round of frenzied activity shortly before the end of U.S. President George W. Bush’s period in office. This activity was aimed at advancing Ukraine’s future membership of NATO. Martin Luther’s words to the effect that “Riding through a fire is easy on someone else’s arse” might perhaps have flashed through the mind of the then U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, as she walked up with Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Volodymyr Ohryzko, to sign the United States-Ukraine Charta on Strategic Partnership on 19 December 2008. Rice said: “The United States supports Ukraine’s integration into the Euro-Atlantic structures. And in that regard, I want to assure you that the declaration at Bucharest which foresees that Ukraine will be a member of NATO when it can meet those standards is very much at the center of our policy.” The Ukrainian Foreign Minister set great store by a strengthening of the presence of the United States in Ukraine, in particular through a diplomatic mission on the Crimean peninsula in the Black Sea.6

In addition to a programme of enhanced security cooperation intended to strengthen Ukraine’s candidacy for NATO membership, agreement was reached on close collaboration on energy issues. It was resolved inter alia that “In recognition of the importance of a well functioning energy sector, the parties intend to work closely together on rehabilitating and modernizing the capacity of Ukraine’s gas transit infrastructure.”7 This Charter on Strategic Partnership was signed against the backdrop of the gas dispute between Ukraine and Russia. Given Ukraine’s failure to pay its debts and the lack of any new agreement on deliveries of gas to Ukraine, supplies of Russian gas to Ukraine were stopped as of 1 January 2009. Within a few days the dispute began to have an effect on energy supplies throughout Europe. On 6 January 2009, Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece and Macedonia reported that deliveries through the Ukrainian transit pipelines had come to a halt. Supplies to Austria fell by 90%. There are a number of indications that Ukraine’s actions can only be explained by reference to the support it received from the U.S.A. That was the Russian view too: “The Russian gas company Gazprom has pinned responsibility for the gas dispute with Ukraine on the U.S.A. Gazprom declared on Tuesday that Ukraine’s actions are being directed by the U.S. government. Despite the deployment of EU observers the Ukraine is again removing gas from the transit pipelines. Russia is therefore unable to deliver supplies to the EU countries. Alexander Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Russian energy giant, has accused the U.S.A. of fuelling the conflict.”8

In the case of both Georgia and Ukraine there is a close link between the gas dispute and support for their admission to NATO. In April 2008 the Bertelsmann Foundation concluded that Ukraine and Georgia were already closely integrated into “NATO’s working processes”. “Ever since it was founded in 1994, both countries have been part of the Partnership for Peace programme of the North Atlantic Alliance which is intended to promote individual cooperation between NATO and non-NATO countries. Cooperation has subsequently been extended. […] In their bilateral cooperation agreements with NATO both countries see far-reaching domestic reforms as a means of moving closer to the defence alliance. Such reforms principally concern the consolidation of internal democratic structures, but priority is also given to the fight against global terrorism and support for the operations and missions of the North Atlantic Alliance. The latter was one reason why U.S. President George W. Bush emphasized his efforts to have Ukraine and Georgia included in the Membership Action Plan. The progress made in integration into NATO’s defence structures puts into perspective the question that arose at the Bucharest summit about the steps Ukraine and Georgia will take after the provisional ‘no’ to their admission to the Membership Action Plan. Their path will inevitably take them into NATO.”9

Germany is playing a double role here. On the one hand it has joined France in rejecting an accelerated accession procedure for Ukraine, which the U.S.A. favoured; on the other hand it is playing a risky game by not placing any obstacles in the path of fundamental approval of Ukraine’s accession to NATO. The German Foreign Office has itself provided an apt description of this double role: “At the NATO summit in Bucharest in April 2008 Ukraine was in principle given the prospect of membership (‘We agreed today that these countries (i.e. Ukraine and Georgia) will become members of NATO’). Ukraine was not granted a Membership Action Plan (MAP); instead, a comprehensive review process was initiated.”10 This granting of prospective membership to Ukraine for the first time, combined with Georgia’s aggression shortly afterwards against Abkhazia and South Ossetia, proved the last straw for Moscow.

Georgia: a geopolitical prize

A look at the map quickly makes it clear why the Southern Caucasus is so important. Georgia provides the only opportunity of supplying Europe with gas and oil from the resource-rich countries of Central Asia and of transporting goods and products to Europe by land from China and Kazakhstan. The Nabucco pipeline project is intended to help reduce Europe’s “dependence” on Russian gas imports, which currently account for 40% of its supplies and are expected to climb to even higher levels. According to the European press service EurActiv, “The US has long been pushing for the construction of oil and natural gas pipelines from the Caspian basin that would bypass Russia, especially via Georgia.”11 The project is a top priority for the European Union, too. During his period as representative of the EU Council President in 2006 the Austrian Minister of Economics Martin Bartenstein said: “[The] Nabucco pipeline is Europe’s most important energy project.”12

For both the EU Member States and the NATO countries Georgia provides the geographical terrain that is essential to cutting Russia off from the purchasers of its energy exports. Russia’s countermeasures include three pipeline projects – Nord Stream (Baltic Sea pipeline), South Stream (Russian-Italian gas pipeline through the Black Sea via Varna in Bulgaria) and Blue Stream (from Russia through the Black Sea into Turkey) – as well as the building of direct energy lines to western and southern Europe to ensure the unobstructed export of energy free from any checks or controls by former Eastern Bloc states very favourably disposed to the U.S.A. This was why the U.S.A., in particular, played the Georgian card in the hope of containing Russia’s political influence in Europe and preventing its rise to the status of an industrial power.

Western support for the war

Germany continues to play a significant part in the arming of Georgia. The Federal Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) mostly train Georgian officers as part of the general staff training course which includes participants from other countries. Over the past few years the Bundeswehr has been host to a steady stream of high-ranking military delegations from Georgia. In addition, G 36 rifles manufactured by Heckler & Koch have been delivered to Georgia. The bulk of the training has been carried out by the U.S.A., however. The U.S. Army has trained Georgian soldiers “to bring the armed forces of Georgia, a loyal ally of Washington, up to NATO standards as an outpost in the Caucasus.”13 In 2006 alone, says the German news magazine Der Spiegel, the U.S.A. supported Georgia to the tune of 80 million U.S. dollars, 13 million of which went on the payment of “military supplies and services” as well as the training of soldiers. In addition the U.S.A. has helped Georgia by regularly modernising its fleet and delivering helicopters free of charge.14 The considerable extent of U.S. military assistance, which has “enabled the Pentagon to overhaul Georgia’s forces from bottom to top”, is described by the New York Times as follows: “At senior levels, the United States helped rewrite Georgian military doctrine and train its commanders and staff officers. At the squad level, American marines and soldiers trained Georgian soldiers in the fundamentals of battle.”15
All told, therefore, the Georgian armed forces have over five infantry brigades each numbering 2,000 men. In addition there are the reservist units whose level of training is far inferior. The Georgian government talks officially of 37,000 soldiers and 100,000 reservists. Since Mikhail Saakashvili took office, Georgia’s military spending has increased significantly: “In 2003 it amounted to 52 million lari (24 million U.S. dollars), whereas in 2006 that figure had tripled to 139 million lari (78 million U.S. dollars). Real expenditure is much higher, however. Anyone liable to be called up for military service, for example, can buy themselves out of the army – four-fifths of the money goes straight to the ministry.”16

There is also brisk cooperation between Georgia and NATO. In July 2008, a joint manoeuvre was held as part of the Partnership for Peace Programme in which a total of 1,630 military personnel, including 1,000 Americans and 600 Georgians, took part.17 In addition, the Georgian army has been – and still is – prominently involved in the war in Iraq, which is in contravention of international law, as well as in Afghanistan and Kosovo. In 2008, Georgia had 2,000 solders in Iraq, the third-largest contingent of the “Coalition of the Willing”. However, after the Georgian army had been repulsed in South Ossetia in August 2008, the U.S. Air Force flew the Georgian units stationed in Iraq back to the home front to provide help while the fighting was still in progress. Given the massive campaign undertaken by the U.S.A. and its allies to build up the country’s military, it is barely credible that, while the U.S.A. might not actually have given the green light, it was not fully informed of the pending attack and subsequently kept silent about it.

At any rate, the Russians are certain that the attack took place with support from Washington. The Russian ambassador to NATO, Dimitri Rogozin, made a statement to the effect that Saakashvili agreed the attack with his “backers”. It is clear to whom he was referring.18 Vladimir Vasilyev, Chairman of the Duma Security Committee, summed up the Russian point of view as follows: “The longer the matter goes on, the better the world will come to understand that Georgia would never have been capable of it [the attack on South Ossetia] without the United States”.19 In an interview for the German TV station ARD the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin made his views of the U.S.A.’s behaviour perfectly clear: “One cannot help thinking that the American leadership knew of the planned action and, indeed, participated in it […] in order to organise a small-scale but successful war. And, if things went wrong, to force Russia into the role of the enemy.”20

Russia’s counter-attack

It is, indeed, hard to believe that the Georgian attack took place without any prior consultation with the U.S.A. Yet it must have been clear to the U.S. government that the Georgian army would be crushed in battle, which was precisely what happened. The question arises, therefore, as to Washington’s motives. Did it simply miscalculate in assuming that Russia would quietly accept the Georgian advance? It is hard to imagine but conceivable nonetheless. The other explanation is that the primary objective was to stir up a conflict with Russia so as to make the European Union toe an even more anti-Russian line and that Saakashvili came in handy here in the role of useful idiot, albeit at the expense of the people in the region. The matter cannot be clarified with any degree of certainty, although the latter explanation would appear more plausible.

At all events, the calculation backfired, because Russia seized the opportunity provided by the Georgian attack to improve its own position in the Caucasus. It is also very hard to imagine that Moscow was not informed of Georgia’s invasion plans. It was evidently well prepared for such an eventuality. In July, 8,000 Russian soldiers carried out an exercise simulating the repulsion of a Georgian attack. That might also explain why the Georgian troops were halted within 24 hours and the Russian troops gained the upper hand relatively quickly. Hence to describe Georgia’s war of aggression as the result of President Saakashvili stumbling into a Russian trap is not very convincing. Whether the Russians were well prepared or not, the fact of the matter is that Georgia engaged in a war of aggression.

In the course of the conflict Russia succeeded in shattering confidence in Georgia’s reliability as a transit country for future Caspian energy supplies. Georgia’s President Mikhail Saakashvili himself said that “one of the main reasons for the Russian attack was that Georgia already has the Baku-Tblissi-Ceyhan pipeline (BTC), which has been laid one metre underground from end to end. This is intended to circumvent Russia.”21 That suspicion is not as mistaken as it might seem. After all, the opening of the BTC pipeline in May 2006, over which Washington and Moscow had wrangled bitterly for almost a decade, was one of the biggest geopolitical successes in the U.S.A.’s plans to roll back Russian influence in the region. “The Georgian security adviser, Alexander Lomaia, says that the Russians dropped six bombs but failed to hit the pipeline. If that is true, it would indicate that Russia’s military action was conducted in pursuit of other, more far-reaching strategic goals than merely preventing a humanitarian crisis in South Ossetia.”22

The Nabucco project was also dealt a heavy blow. According to Ed Chow from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, “Russia has raised serious doubts in the minds of Western lenders and investors […] as to whether a pipeline through Georgia is safe from attacks or beyond the control of the Kremlin.”23 Nevertheless, EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs attempted to give an assurance that the EU was sticking to its plan to build the Nabucco pipeline through Georgia despite the Caucasus conflict: “This infrastructure is needed”, Piebalgs said.24

For the first time since the end of the (old) Cold War Russia has thus ended a Western attempt at expansion by military means. That alone is sufficient to underline the dimensions of the Russian-Georgian war. At the same time the invasion of Georgia is a clear signal to the West that in future Russia will once again have to be taken into account in international power politics. A Strategic Forecast analysis says: “Russia has demonstrated three things with its operation in South Ossetia. Firstly, its army can carry out successful operations, which foreign observers have doubted. Secondly, the Russians can defeat forces trained by U.S. military instructors. Thirdly, Russia has shown that the U.S.A. and NATO are not in a position that would enable them to intervene militarily in this conflict.”25

Astonishing one-sidedness

It is hardly surprising that the Russian response to the Georgian invasion was fiercely criticised by the U.S., which almost unreservedly took Georgia’s side. Zbigniew Brzezinski was vociferous in his response, comparing Putin’s actions with those of Hitler. He went on to say that Moscow’s behaviour “can lead to exclusion and economic and financial sanctions. If Russia continues down this road it must ultimately be isolated within the community of states.”26
The European Union adopted an equally one-sided stance: “The European Council is gravely concerned by the open conflict which has broken out in Georgia, by the resulting violence and by the disproportionate reaction of Russia.”27 These were the words used by the European heads of state and government on 1 September in commenting on the events in the Caucasus. They failed to mention, let alone criticise, the fact that Georgia’s aggression was clearly what had unleashed the war. The statement continues by severely criticising Russia alone. Thus the heads of state and government “strongly condemn Russia’s unilateral decision to recognise the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.” In stark contrast to the policy of recognizing Kosovo that was pursued by the vast majority of EU Member States, the European Council “recalls that a peaceful and lasting solution to the conflict in Georgia must be based on full respect for the principles of independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity recognised by international law, the Final Act of the Helsinki Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe and United Nations Security Council resolutions.”27

There were occasional vehement demands for even more drastic action against Russia. The Chairman of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski (EPP), advocated an EU position that is “tougher than that of NATO.”28 The fact that the hardliners were not able to have their way entirely has to do with the specific constellation of interests that have made this appear inopportune, particularly from a German perspective. On the one hand there is a desire to show Moscow who is in charge in Europe but, on the other, there is a wish not to spoil things completely with Russia, because business there is simply too profitable.29 Nevertheless, Germany is in almost full accord with NATO’s escalation policy.

(Energy) NATO is put into position

In November 2006 U.S. Senator Richard Lugar, a leading NATO strategist, literally went on the offensive. On the fringes of the NATO summit in Riga he criticised Moscow for its attempts to use oil as a “weapon” against the West and proposed the setting up of an “Energy NATO”. The underlying idea is that in future NATO should treat any interruption of oil and gas supplies as it would a military attack (see article by Tobias Pflüger).

In January 2008, five high-ranking NATO generals published a position paper that was specifically introduced into the debate in the form of a catalogue of requirements for the forthcoming updating of NATO’s strategic concept, the idea being that it could serve as a blueprint for the NATO summit on 3/4 April 2009: “ There will be an increase in global competition for scarce resources, and this will certainly be the case for fossil fuel, which will swell the possibility of suppliers abusing their position and their leverage.. […]Dependency on oil and gas is a vulnerability that some governments will seek to exploit – the Gazprom crisis demonstrated how easily demand can be manipulated. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is – and is likely to remain – a mechanism for keeping the price of oil artificially high, and recently Russia and the United Arab Emirates have been exploring the idea of setting up a ‘Gas OPEC’. […] For this reason, it might well be worth considering using NATO as an instrument of energy security.”30

Shortly afterwards, in June 2008, Richard Lugar, who for a time was under discussion as Barack Obama’s Secretary of State for Defense, repeated his threats against Russia at a hearing of the Senate and vigorously advocated the building of the Nabucco pipeline.31 At the same hearing the new U.S. Vice-President Joseph Biden expressly praised Lugar’s work on energy policy and emphasised the importance of the conflicts in the Caspian region: “The stakes involve hundreds of billions of dollars in oil and infrastructure, the resurgence of Russia, and the energy security of Europe.. […] Russians love chess. Our strategic response on the chess board of Central Asia must be to establish a presence on parts of the board they do not yet control. That means laying down new pipelines that add alternatives […] to the monopoly Russia has enjoyed.”32

Biden is therefore likely to have welcomed one of the last major security policy initiatives launched by the Bush administration which aimed at drawing Georgia further into the Western orbit by means of a joint declaration on partnership: “The United States and Georgia officially became “strategic partners” under a charter signed by the two governments on January 9 [2009]. […] Few details have been publicized about the charter, which was signed four months after Georgia’s disastrous war with Russia. It has been widely reported, however, that the Georgian pact resembles a strategic partnership charter signed by the United States and Ukraine in December.”33 Like the United States-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership the agreement with Georgia is likely to comprise intensified military cooperation and measures to expedite Ukraine’s membership of NATO. On 15 September 2008 NATO resolved to set up a commission to deepen relations with Georgia. This is intended “to coordinate Alliance efforts to assist Georgia in recovering from the recent conflict”.34

Cold War as a self-fulfilling prophecy

The aim of the policy pursued by the U.S.A. in Ukraine and Georgia is to wage a new Cold War against Russia. Russia is to be challenged by a policy of pinpricks involving “colourful revolutions”, energy blockades, NATO expansion and the stationing of missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic. By disrupting economic relations with Western Europe Washington aims to contain Russia’s global political influence and thwart its advance as a new industrial power. Should this scenario turn out to be a success, it would simultaneously ensure that the NATO allies in Western Europe are tied into a joint strategy of escalation and have to become even more heavily involved in projects designed to secure energy supplies.
Since this strategy has thus far proved successful and it cannot, unfortunately, be assumed that there will be a move away from a policy of U.S. confrontation under President Obama, there is a renewed threat of bloc confrontation. At the height of the Georgian war Russian President Dmitri Medvedev sent out a clear message to the West: “We are not afraid of anything, not even the prospect of a Cold War.”35 The anti-war movement will have to adjust to the realities of the New Cold War. The strategy of imperialism pursued by NATO and the EU must be opposed here and now in a calm and collected fashion.

Endnotes

1 Brzezinski, Zbigniew: The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, New York 1997, p. 24 (Seitenangabe in der englischen Fassung unsicher)
2 ibid., p.27 (s.o.)
3 On Western support for the “colourful revolutions” cf. Chauvier, Jean-Marc: Westlich werden und östlich bleiben, Le Monde diplomatique, 14 January 2005
4 Carpenter, Ted: Worse than Bush? National Interest Online, 11 July 2008
5 Zeihan, Peter: Moskau wird Kiew nie dem Westen überlassen [Moscow will never leave Kiev to the West], Handelsblatt, 20 January 2009
6 United States, Ukraine Sign Security Charter, America.gov, 19 December 2008
7 United States-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership, 22 December 2008, URL: http://tinyurl.com/agqc4k
8 Befeuern die USA den Gasstreit? [Is the U.S. fuelling the gas dispute?], heute.de, 13 January 2009
9 Isic, Mirela: Ein „Vielleicht” für die Ukraine und Georgien [A “maybe” for Ukraine and Georgia], Center for Applied Policy Research, CAP News, 10 April 2008
10 Auswärtiges Amt [German Foreign Office]: Ukraine, Stand: Oktober 2008 [Ukraine, status as of October 2008], URL: http://tinyurl.com/b3gvbg
11 Nabucco: ‘Pie in the sky’ after Georgia crisis?, EurActiv, 25 August 2008
12 ibid.
13 Friedmann, Matti: Sie waren nicht bereit für den Krieg mit Russland [They weren’t prepared for war with Russia], AP, 19 August 2008
14 Schröder gibt Saakaschwili die Schuld [Schröder puts the blame on Saakashvili], Der Spiegel 16 August 2008
15 Grey, Barry: Bush escalates confrontation with Russia over Georgia, World Socialist Web Site, 13 August 2008
16 Der Spiegel 16 August 2008
17 Georgien stockt Armee mit Blick auf NATO-Beitritt deutlich auf [Georgia boosts its army with a view to NATO membership], russland.ru, 16 July 2008
18 Nuclear Nightmares: The Return of M.A.D., Huffington Post, 19 August 2008
19 Chin, Larry: South Ossetia: superpower oil war, Online Journal, 13 August 2008
20 This and many other critical remarks made by Putin were cut out of the ARD broadcast. A full transcript of the interview can be found at http://www.spiegelfechter.com/wordpress/392/das-interview
21 EurActiv, 25 August 2008
22 Rosenbaum, Kaspar: Südossetien: Der Westen in der Propagandaschlacht [South Ossetia: The West in a propaganda battle], ef-online, 11 August 2008
23 EurActiv, 25 August 2008
24 Energie-Agentur sagt wachsende EU-Abhängigkeit von Importen voraus [Energy agency predicts growing EU dependence on imports], Yahoo News Finanzen, 4 September 2008
25 Stratfor: Russland hat Stärke gezeigt und wird nur auf Stärke hören [Russia has shown its strength and will only respond to strength], RIA Novosti, 11 August 2008
26 “Russlands Vorgehen ähnelt dem von Hitler” [Russia’s actions resemble those of Hitler], Die Welt, 11 August 2008
27 Extraordinary European Council, Brussels, 1 September 2008, 12594/08
28 Pflüger, Tobias: EU eskaliert den Konflikt mit Russland weiter [EU escalates the conflict with Russia], IMI-Standpunkt 2008/052
29 On Germany’s role cf. Hantke, Martin: The Georgian War and Imperial Geopolitics, in: AUSDRUCK (October 2008).
30 Naumann, Klaus et al.: Towards a Grand Strategy for an Uncertain World: Renewing Transatlantic Partnership, URL: http://tinyurl. com/5buj19, p. 47 et seq.
31 U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Senator Richard G. Lugar Opening Statement for Hearing on Oil, Oligarchs and Opportunity: Energy from Central Asia to Europe, 12 June 2008, URL: http://tinyurl.com/df7tg8
32 BIDEN: We Need to Confront Russia’s Oil Dominance with Aggressive, High Level Diplomacy, 12 June 2008, URL: http://tinyurl.com/crjhol
33 Corso, Molly: Georgia: Washington and Tbilisi sign Strategic Pact sure to irk the Kremlin, Eurasia Insight, 9 January 2009
34 Framework document on the establishment of the NATO-Georgia Commission, Tbilisi, 15 September 2008
35 Dimitri Medvedev raises spectre of new Cold War, The Times Online, 26 August 2008

Western Elites Scramble To Shore-Up EU House of Cards

German retreat gives a chance for Greeks to prepare for Grexit

failed revolution

by system failure
The details of the new agreement between Greece and the lenders are rather of little importance. It seems that the four-month period will function mostly as a truce period rather than a period of substantial progress for the two sides to build a bridge between them.
The generalities in the new agreement are very convenient mostly for the Greek side because they will give the flexibility to the Greek government to take some measures during this period against austerity, in order to fight the humanitarian disaster in Greece, as promised.
However, the financial lobbyists, represented by the Troika, insist in the final sadistic fiscal targets, exactly because they know that a devastated economy is impossible to meet them. They will use this four-month period only as an excuse to say later that they treated Greece with enough clemency against the other eurozone members and they will play this card to turn all the eurozone countries against Greece, in order to isolate fully the Greek government.
On the other hand, Tsipras took what he wanted in order to prepare better for a Grexit. The Greek Leftists in power know very well who are dealing with, so they will use this time to prepare for the next battle of this big war. The four-month period is currently a tactical win for the Greeks as it is close to a recent proposal which was not accepted initially by the eurogroup: http://failedevolution.blogspot.gr/2015/02/breaking-four-month-moratorium-proposal.html
Furthermore, the Greek side will exploit this period to build stronger alliance with the Sino-Russian bloc. Tsipras will certainly exploit his visit to Moscow in May (http://failedevolution.blogspot.gr/2015/02/confirmed-putin-calls-tsipras.html), while he will search all the possibilities for a financial aid from BRICS which are building fast an autonomous financial system to decouple their economies from the neoliberal monetary monopoly. In the middle of the negotiations, Tsipras already took the chance to send another message to the Western allies with the help of the Chinese fleet.(http://en.enikos.gr/politics/24368,Tsipras_welcomes_Chinese_fleet_in_Piraeu.html)
This will bring further pressure to the American factor as the nightmare may become true. Losing part of Europe and especially a geopolitically important country like Greece would be absolute disaster for the Western dominance, which is widely disputed already.
If Greece play this card smartly, the Americans will be forced to impose further pressure especially to the Germans to retreat further towards the Greek demands at the end of the four-month period. The relations between the two countries are not in the best shape already. (http://failedevolution.blogspot.gr/2014/07/who-is-considered-ostensible-ally-by-us.html)
However, this will give further extension to the hopes of the European people as the Spanish elections and Podemos win will come even closer. After that, everything is possible. It is the first time that the Western elites are in such a difficult position after many decades of complete dominance. Grexit or not, it seems that they are losing control. What will they do then? Actions as usual in order of magnitude: propaganda – soft assassinations – economic hitmen – hard assassinations – color revolutions – military coups.
That’s why it is important the rapid rise of the Leftist powers in other European countries. It would be extremely difficult to apply all these in many European countries simultaneously.

IMF Puts the Screws To Ukraine for Latest Bailout–280% Increase In Gas Prices Mandated

[Let the Food Riots in Ukraine Begin!  How will Obama and Bitch Nuland manage to blame Putin for the coming anti-austerity protests?]

IMF aid package pushes Ukraine gas prices up 280%

Russia-Today
Reuters / Regis Duvignau

Reuters / Regis Duvignau

Ukraine has agreed to increase the cost of gas to consumer by 280 percent, and 66 percent for heating, as part of the IMF terms for getting extra financial aid, says Valery Gontareva the head of the National Bank of Ukraine.

“From now on, in accordance with our joint program with the IMF, the tariffs will see rather a sharp increase of 280 percent for gas and about 66 percent for heat,” said Gontareva Wednesday during the 11th Dragon Capital investment conference in Kiev. She added that as a result inflation will be 25-26 percent by the end of 2015.

The tariff rises are part of the amendments to the 2015 budget the government has had to introduce in order to receive an $8.5 billion loan from the IMF by the end of the year.

The changes will also see Ukraine’s budget deficit growing to 4.1 percent of GDP and forecasts a 5.5 percent decline in the Ukrainian economy.

Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk had warned of future price rises for gas and heating, and stressed the IMF saved Ukraine from default, and now it’s time to make moves which should eventually result in Ukraine’s complete independence from Russian gas.

The tariff increase was among the subjects Ukraine and the IMF touched upon during negotiations in January. Deputy Chairman of the Ukraine parliament’s budget committee Viktor Krivenko said the IMF had requested a sevenfold increase in prices.

The head of IMF Christine Lagarde said on February 12 that the preliminary agreement reached between Kiev and Western creditors envisages increasing the aid package to $40 billion over the next four years.

The program will help Ukraine receive an additional $25 billion in financial aid, of which $17.5 billion will be provided to stabilize the financial situation in the country.

The latest IMF program will replace the $17 billion package agreed in April 2014. Ukraine has already received $4.5 billion under that agreement, thus the total IMF loans to Ukraine since the beginning of the crisis amount to $22 billion.

Thousands Take to the Streets of Europe Ahead of Greece, EU Meeting

B94t9g1IUAEKUpNThousands Take to the Streets Ahead of Greece, EU Meeting

telesur

A day before a euro zone finance ministers’ meeting in Brussels, thousands hit the streets of Europe to show support for the Greek people and their newly-elected left-wing government which is looking to undo years of imposed austerity programs.

Demonstrations in cities across the UK, France and Spain stood in solidarity with massive crowds in Greece that also went out to express support for the Syriza government led by new prime minister, Alexis Tsipras.

Meanwhile, Syriza officials told media that they remained committed to making good on their promises to Greek voters and improve their country.

“I expect difficult negotiations; nevertheless I am full of confidence,” Tsipras told Germany’s Stern magazine. “I promise you: Greece will then, in six months’ time, be a completely different country.”

“The Greek government is determined to stick to its commitment towards the public … and not continue a program that has the characteristics of the previous bailout agreement,” Greek government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis said to Greece’s Skai television.

People walk in front of the parliament during an anti-austerity and pro-government demonstration in Athens February 15, 2015.
People walk in front of the parliament during an anti-austerity and pro-government demonstration in Athens February 15, 2015. Photo:Reuters
People gather in front of the parliament during an anti-austerity and pro-government demonstration in Athens February 15, 2015.
People gather in front of the parliament during an anti-austerity and pro-government demonstration in Athens February 15, 2015. Photo:Reuters
Protesters wave Greek, Portuguese and Spanish flags in front of the parliament during an anti-austerity and pro-government demonstration in Athens February 15, 2015.
Protesters wave Greek, Portuguese and Spanish flags in front of the parliament during an anti-austerity and pro-government demonstration in Athens February 15, 2015. Photo:Reuters
Solidarity Demonstration at Trafalgar Square, UK.
Solidarity Demonstration at Trafalgar Square, UK. Photo:Louise Regan/ Facebook
Solidarity Demonstration in Nottingham, UK.
Solidarity Demonstration in Nottingham, UK. Photo:Ra H/ Facebook
Solidarity Demonstration at Trafalgar Square, UK.
Solidarity Demonstration at Trafalgar Square, UK. Photo:Ra Ha/ Facebook
Demonstrations in Paris
Demonstrations in Paris Photo:Florian Martiny/ Twitter
At Royal Palace, Dam Square, Amsterdam.
At Royal Palace, Dam Square, Amsterdam. Photo:Greek Rebel News/ Twitter

EU Follows Obama’s Lead Voting To Open the Armories of Europe for Ukraine

[SEE:  Obama’s Russian War Resolution Passes By 411 to 23]

Russia accuses European parliament of gunning for war

kyiv post

President Petro Poroshenko gives a speech as he hands over new military equipment to the Ukrainian forces near the city of Zhytomyr, some 140 km from Kiev, on January 5, 2015.
© SERGEI SUPINSKY / AFP

Russian officials have accused the European Union of “militancy” in a bitter response to the Jan. 15 European parliament resolution giving member states carte blanche to supply arms to Ukraine.

The head of the Russian Federation Council committee on international affairs, Konstantin Kosachev, denounced the resolution as “especially militant.”

“The European parliamentarians discourage those who are trying to look for dialogue with Russia, not confrontation,” he said.

The European parliament condemned Russia’s “aggressive and expansionist policy, which constitutes a threat to the unity and independence of Ukraine and poses a potential threat to the EU itself.”

In its resolution, parliament urged the European Council to keep in place tough sanctions against Russia and even proposed broadening them into the nuclear and international financial sectors if Putin’s government continues to destabilize Ukraine.

The resolution went on to state that “there are now no objections or legal restrictions to prevent Member States from providing defensive arms to Ukraine” and that “the EU should explore ways to support the Ukrainian government in enhancing its defence capabilities and the protection of Ukraine’s external borders.”

Aleksey Pushkov, the head of the foreign affairs Committee of the Russian Duma, called the resolution “banal and dangerous.”

“By calling to maintain and even enhance sanctions against Russia the European Parliament is supporting tension in Europe,” Pushkov added.

The European Parliament resolved to support the EU’s existing policy of refusing to recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea and welcomed recently adopted additional sanctions on investment, services and trade relating to Crimea and Sevastopol.

It also highlighted Russia’s “information war” in Europe and called on the EU officials to develop a plan to counter Russian propaganda with their own Russian language programming.

Yet Ukraine was also disappointed with the resolution, which fell short of describing the Russian-backed separatists as terrorists.

President Petro Poroshenko had claimed on Jan. 13 that the European Parliament was preparing to call on the leaders of European Union to place the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic on their list of terrorist organizations.

But European MPs instead condemned “acts of terrorism and criminal behavior of the separatists and other irregular forces in eastern Ukraine,” adding that “according to credible sources, Russia continues to support the separatist militias through a steady flow of military equipment, mercenaries and regular Russian units, including main battle tanks, sophisticated anti-aircraft systems and artillery.”

The Russian war — using proxies and, when needed, Russian regular army troops — in eastern Ukraine has already taken more than 4,700 lives, according to United Nations estimates. On Dec. 18, U.S. President Barack Obama signed a law allowing for economic and military support to Ukraine, but the current American policy remains not to supply Ukraine with lethal weapons.

Kyiv Post staff writer Oksana Grytsenko can be reached at grytsenko@kyivpost.com

Will Greece Nationalize Banks After Latest Bank-Run?

Draghi blackmails Greeks

failed revolution

… and we haven’t even reached the election day
globinfo freexchange
It appears that ECB decided that will not buy Greek bonds, after the systemic banks of the country reported having liquidity problems, only a week before the crucial national elections. It’s important to remind that the Leftist party, SYRIZA, which is determined to terminate austerity policies, precedes in all polls.
From ZH:
Der Spiegel reports after the European close that ECB QE will not include Greek bonds due to their low rating… but will see national central banks buying own-country debt.”
and
… following yesterday’s report that two Greek banks had suffered sufficiently material deposit withdrawals to force them to apply for the unpopular and highly stigmatizing Emergency Liquidity Assistance program with the ECB, now the other two of Greece’s largest banks have also succumbed to reserve depletion after the Greek bank run appears to have gone viral. As Greek Capital.gr reports, now all four Greek banks have requested ELA assistance from the same ECB president who earlier today is said to have unceremoniously kicked out Greece from the ECB’s QE program.”
As predicted, more than two years ago:
… the ECB becomes a corresponding Fed in the European area, “serving” the problematic economies that are excluded from the bond markets, through the print of new money. Therefore, the problematic economies will be loaded with more and more debt which the ECB, i.e. the largest private European banks will hold. Someone could argue that is not something new, since nations were facing huge debts in previous years, because they were indebted to banks through the excessive borrowing from the markets. But in this case, there is an important difference that makes things much worse: it is the cruel conditions imposed by the ECB to states that need to buy money. States that are excluded from markets, are now trapped within the neoliberal economic empire of the eurozone and will be forced to follow new austerity measures every time they need ECB to buy their bonds.
Meanwhile, the banking-media dictatorship in Greece has launched a new propaganda war against SYRIZA’s MP, Rachel Makri this time, who stated that Greece could “print” up to 100 billion euros in an emergency situation. The systemic parrots in the mainstream media and various governmental officials, as well as others from pro-austerity parties, rushed to blame Makri as being irresponsible, dangerous, etc. Systemic-friendly trolls flooded internet with ironic uploads and Samaras’ party, New Democracy, made some tv spots in less than 24 hours, to point the supposed “irresponsibility” of Marki. Another indication that the system acts under absolute panic.
However, the reality is that the country does have the possibility to print euros by itself. In fact, this has been done already by another country, being under a memorandum program, like Greece.
From the Irish Independent, date 15/01/2011: “… the Central Bank of Ireland is financing €51bn of an emergency loan programme by printing its own money. […] A spokesman for the ECB said the Irish Central Bank is itself creating the money it is lending to banks, not borrowing cash from the ECB to fund the payments. The ECB spokesman said the Irish Central Bank can create its own funds if it deems it appropriate, as long as the ECB is notified.” (http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/central-bank-steps-up-its-cash-support-to-irish-banks-financed-by-institution-printing-own-money-26614131.html)
Therefore, the systemic parrots either are lying, or, they should explain why wasn’t allowed to Greece to print its own euros. In any case, we know the answer: because Greece was chosen to be the “guinea pig” for the experiment of the most catastrophic neoliberal policies, and this experiment must be expanded throughout Europe at any cost.
We should wait to see how the ECB will react after the elections depending on the result. Under a specific scenario, already mentioned that “… the ECB will blackmail the government by threatening that will not purchase government bonds, therefore cut liquidity, in case that Greece choose a different path towards the reconstruction of the social state and labor rights, bringing minimum wage at pre-crisis levels, etc.”, and the only solution in this case, would be a fast reaction: “In case that SYRIZA has a secret agenda, and be pressed by the lenders beyond red lines, it could nationalize the central bank and return to the national currency, blowing up eurozone.” (http://failedevolution.blogspot.gr/2014/12/various-scenarios-for-national.html)
Otherwise, the officials of the European neoliberal economic empire may proceed to the last measure, which would be to remove the right of the eurozone countries to produce their own liquidity and be totally dependent on the ECB. Do they afraid SYRIZA that much? Probably not. What they afraid, is a domino of a rise of the Leftist parties in power in many European countries. As the old political system has been fully neoliberalized and has nothing to offer to the societies other than absolute destruction, the only way that was left, is blackmail. Maybe the time has come for the European people to fight and win the class war.
Read also:

Obama’s High-Stakes Gamble Handing Domination Of Global Oil Market To Saudis

Obama’s, Saudi Arabia’s beheading of U.S. oil will exact a heavy toll

pesonal liberty

oil pricesThe price of oil is sinking faster than the Titanic. The influence on it is Saudi Arabia, which has opened up the spigots, forcing down the price of oil to $50 per barrel compared to $110 last summer. The big winner in the crude sweepstakes is Saudi Arabia, which is increasing its world market share. The big losers are U.S. petroleum and shale oil producers who can no longer turn a profit. And the man with the sword in his hands is President Barack Obama.

Obama opposed U.S. petroleum drilling even before he took office. Yet he eagerly bows to the Saudi monarch, the ailing King Abdullah. Obama has provided enormous military hardware to the Saudis even as Saudi Arabia continues to fund Sunni terrorists, including the Islamic State (ISIS). Equally startling is that Obama has set the stage for a commodity price collapse, which could cause the worst economic crisis in America since the Great Depression.

Oil insiders believe that the credit Obama has received for the stunning rebound in U.S. petroleum production is contemptible. While the president did promise to open up new areas for exploration, he also clamped down on the offshore drilling following the BP oil spill in April 2010. Obama suspended offshore drilling leases and authorized an investigation of 29 oil rigs in the Gulf. Later, his administration ordered a six-month offshore drilling moratorium enforced by the U.S. Department of the Interior. That ended only when a federal judge lifted the moratorium, finding it too broad, arbitrary and unjustified.

A Forbes headline in March 2012 declared, “President Obama Has An Oil Problem.” The writer, Robert Bradly Jr., wrote: “In addition to dragging its feet on existing oil sources, the Obama administration has taken blatantly anti-oil actions.”

At the same time, the Obama administration has provided enormous support to Riyadh. In 2010, the Obama administration pulled off the largest arms deal ever. It was a $60.5 billion sale to Saudi Arabia of weapons with offensive capabilities.

Now with Obama’s blessing, Saudi overproduction of crude is in full swing. Last year, petroleum prices underwent their second largest annual decline in history. That has been great news for American drivers. But the cost of Saudi oil dominance cannot simply be measured at the gas pump. ConocoPhillips, a major player in the U.S. shale industry, has announced that it will “defer significant investment” in U.S. shale oil until returns look more promising. That isn’t likely until oil prices recover to more than $65 per barrel.

 

Deflation: The coming collapse of commodity prices

The global impact of crashing crude is what worries me most. Last month, Goldman Sachs reported nearly $1 trillion in investments in future oil projects will not happen at today’s prices. That was after looking at what was to be the development of 400 of the world’s largest planned oil and gas fields, not including U.S. shale projects. Factor those, and thousands of good-paying American jobs will disappear.

Obama is playing a dangerous game conspiring with Saudi Arabia. If crude prices continue to fall, as I believe they will, to below $40 per barrel, it will have a crippling impact on the commodity markets. We are almost certain to see Obama’s trickle “down” economics to do far more than just cripple the budding U.S. oil shale industry. I predict that in 2015 every resource industry from agriculture to mining is going to begin a serious decline that may last until the end of this decade.

Last year, billionaire and Obama confidante Warren Buffet was purchasing up wind farms. Buffet is shrewd. In five years, wind farms may be the only farms worth owning. I witnessed it before in the early 1980s when crashing oil prices crippled not only oil-dependent states like Texas and Alaska but also farm and mining states like Nebraska, Iowa and Idaho.

I saw the farming crisis firsthand when I was 22 and writing for a cattle magazine. I already had a general understanding of the boon years of the 1970s and the enormous correction that was occurring then, in the early ’80s, because my uncle owned a 2,000-acre mixed farm. He was lucky to sell out near the top, but many of our family’s friends who knew of no other way of life were bankrupted.

During those first years as a young writer, I would sometimes be driving through farm country. I saw the devastation.

According to Neil E. Harl, an Iowa State economics professor, more than three percent of the 2.4 million farmers in the U.S. left the farm each year in the early 1980s. In 1985, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported net farm income fell by nearly one-third during the first half of that decade. As farm commodity values declined, farmland values plunged. And that broke the backs of tens of thousands of farmers and ranchers.

 

Saudi Arabia and Barack Obama: A sinister alliance?

At my next job as an investment writer, I saw the same havoc in the mining industry. The Idaho Silver Valley, which had provided so many jobs to miners in the ’70s, was abandoned in the ’80s. Those families that stayed on were mostly impoverished as mine upon mine shut down. Today, the region — including surrounding cities like Spokane, Washington, and Great Falls, Montana — is a remnant of what it was during the boon in the ’70s.

It seems Obama is providing too much to Saudi Arabia where Christianity is illegal and where weekly beheadings draw large audiences. Even more disturbing is that Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest financial backer of the worst jihadist groups, including ISIS. WikiLeaks disclosed a 2009 State Department communication by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton which read, “[D]onors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”

So even as Obama promises to fight Islamic extremism, he is backing the very kingdom that is backing the crazies who want to kill Americans. Others agree, including Larry Klayman, whose article was published last Saturday by WND:

Indeed, under the “leadership” of our “Black-Muslim in Chief” — who favors all things African and Islamic over the rest of us — it is likely that the nation and the world is about to explode at any moment. Things have simply been simmering along for too long for this not to occur at some point.

Obama continues to put America more at risk each passing month. His close relationship with Saudi Arabia should alone have him impeached but of course he is almost untouchable because of his heritage and his powerful friends in and out of government. As we begin 2015, the nation faces an impending deflationary collapse.

Yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers

John Myers is editor of Myers’ Energy and Gold Report. The son of C.V. Myers, the original publisher of Oilweek Magazine, John has worked with two of the world’s largest investment publishers, Phillips and Agora. He was the original editor for Outstanding Investments and has more than 20 years experience as an investment writer. John is a graduate of the University of Calgary. He has worked for Prudential Securities in Spokane, Wash., as a registered investment advisor. His office location in Calgary, Alberta, is just minutes away from the headquarters of some of the biggest players in today’s energy markets. This gives him personal access to everyone from oil CEOs to roughnecks, where he learns secrets from oil insiders he passes on to his subscribers. Plus, during his years in Spokane he cultivated a network of relationships with mining insiders in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

EU Leadership Still Self-Blind To US Evil Intentions for Europe and Russia

[SEE:  West wants to end confrontation with Russia over Ukraine – EU foreign policy chief ]
European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini…rejected the idea that the EU’s position on the crisis differs from that of the US.
“It is not true that there is a soft Europe stance, which opposes the US hardline position.”
Mogherini said that Washington’s views on Russia match those of Europe…“everyone wants to get out of the logic of confrontation.”

‘F**k the EU’

Victoria Nuland: US-Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Geoffrey R. Pyatt: United States Ambassador to Ukraine

Biden says US ’embarrassed’ EU into sanctioning Russia over Ukraine

Russia-Today
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (Reuters / Jonathan Ernst)

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (Reuters / Jonathan Ernst)

America’s leadership had to embarrass Europe to impose economic hits on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine – even though the EU was opposed to such a motion, US Vice President Joe Biden revealed during a speech at Harvard.

“We’ve given Putin a simple choice: Respect Ukraine’s sovereignty or face increasing consequences,” Biden told a gathering at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics on Thursday.

The consequences were the sanctions which the EU imposed on Russia, first targeting individual politicians and businessmen deemed responsible for the crisis in Ukraine, then switching to the energy, defense, and economic sectors.

“It is true they did not want to do that,” Biden admitted.

“It was America’s leadership and the president of the United States insisting, oft times almost having to embarrass Europe to stand up and take economic hits to impose costs,” the US vice president declared.

AFP Photo / Patrick Hertzog

AFP Photo / Patrick Hertzog

Those costs deemed behind the ruble’s historic plunge not only forced America’s ExxonMobil to retreat from Russia’s Arctic shelf, but also provoked counter-measures from Moscow, which suspended certain food imports from the EU.

Russia’s counter-sanctions have hit many of the EU’s agricultural states. EU members, particularly those close to Russia, were the most affected by the loss of the Russian market.

For instance, the Netherlands – the world’s second-largest exporter of agricultural products – is set to lose 300 million euro annually from canceled business with Russia, as it accounts for roughly 10 percent of Dutch exports of vegetables, fruit, and meat.

At the same time, Poland was hit hard by the Kremlin’s sanctions, as its food exports to Russia totaled $1.5 billion in 2013.

Spain, a large exporter of oranges to Russia, is estimated to miss out on 337 million euro ($421 million) in food and agriculture sales, while Italy has estimated its losses at nearly 1 billion euro ($1.2 billion).

Following pressure from local farmers, a 125 million euro EU Commission Common Agricultural Policy fund was established, from which the growers are expected to get some cash, while Amsterdam is willing to cover the cost of transporting excess produce to eight food banks across Holland.

Overall, Moscow’s one-year food embargo against the EU, the US, Norway, Australia, and Canada will block an estimated $9 billion worth of agricultural exports to Russia.

With European countries now at a loss with apple and dairy surplus, it is not exactly clear whether EU producers will be able to return to the Russian markets after the one-year ban expires.

However, this is no secret to the US, as Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland remarked on Thursday.

“Implementing sanctions isn’t easy and many countries are paying a steep price. We know that. But history shows that the cost of inaction and disunity in the face of a determined aggressor will be higher,” Nuland said.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland (R) and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt (2nd R) distribute bread to riot police near Independence square in Kiev December 11, 2013. (Reuters / Andrew Kravchenko)

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland (R) and U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt (2nd R) distribute bread to riot police near Independence square in Kiev December 11, 2013. (Reuters / Andrew Kravchenko)

Nuland’s reference to necessary action against the “aggressor” might be taken with a grain of salt by the Europeans, as the “F**k the EU” leak is still fresh in their memory.

The four-minute video – titled ‘Maidan puppets,’ referring to Independence Square in Ukraine’s capital – was uploaded by an anonymous user to YouTube.

Nuland was recorded as saying the notoriously known phrase during a phone call with US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, as the two were seemingly discussing a US-preferred line-up of the Ukrainian government. It apparently referred to Washington’s policy differences with those of the EU on ways of handling the Ukrainian political crisis, with Nuland suggesting to “glue this thing” with the help of the UN and ignore Brussels.

The US State Department did not deny the authenticity of the video and stressed that Nuland had apologized for the “reported comments.”

Kill the Banker

Kill the Banker

vice

Aftermath of the Wall Street bombing of 1920. Photo by New York Daily News via Getty Images 

A little violence can sometimes work to defend against predatory bankers. Consider the farmers of Le Mars, Iowa. The year was 1933, the height of the Great Depression.

A finance bubble on Wall Street had crashed the economy, the gears of industrial production had ground to a halt, and 13 million Americans had lost their jobs. Across the Corn Belt, farmers couldn’t get fair prices for milk and crops, their incomes plummeted, and their mortgages went unpaid. Seeing opportunity, banks foreclosed on their properties in record numbers, leaving the farmers homeless and destitute.

So they organized. Under the leadership of a boozing, fist-fighting Iowa farmer named Milo Reno, who had a gift for oratory, several thousand farmers across the Midwest struck during 1933, refusing to sell their products. “We’ll eat our wheat and ham and eggs” went the popular doggerel of the movement. “Let them”—the bankers—”eat their gold.”

They called it a farmers’ holiday and named their group the Farmers’ Holiday Association. In speeches across the Midwest, Reno inveighed against “the destructive program of the usurers”—by which he meant, of course, the ruinous policies of Wall Street and the banking industry. Farmers, he said, had been “robbed by a legalized system of racketeering.” He said that the “forces of special privilege” were undermining “the very foundations of justice and freedom upon which this country was founded.” He compared the farmers’ fight to that of the Founders, who had taken up arms. He warned that the farmers might have to “join hands with those who favor the overthrow of government,” a government that he considered a servant of corporations. “You have the power to take the great corporations,” he said, and “shake them into submission.” One of his deputies in Iowa, John Chalmers, ordered FHA men to use “every weapon at their command.” “When I said weapons,” Chalmers added, “I meant weapons.”

In Le Mars, the weapon of choice was the hanging rope. On April 27, 1933, in a series of incidents that would become national news, hundreds of farmers descended on a farm that was being foreclosed under the eye of the local sheriff and his deputies. They smacked the lawmen aside, stopped the foreclosure, and dragged the sheriff to a ball field in town, where they brandished their noose. Instead of hanging the sheriff, however, they went for a bigger prize: the county judge, Charles C. Bradley, who was presiding over the foreclosures.

Bradley was seized at his bench, dragged from the courtroom, driven into the countryside, dumped on a dusty road, stripped naked, “beaten, mauled, smeared with grease and jerked from the ground by a noose as [the] vengeful farmers shouted their protests against his foreclosure activities,” reported the Pittsburgh Press. According to one account, the mob “pried his clenched teeth open with a screwdriver and poured alcohol down his throat.” An oily hubcap was placed on his head, the oil running down his face as the farmers smashed Iowa dirt into his mouth. “That’s his crown,” they said.

The judge was hauled into the air on the hanging rope, until he fell unconscious, and was then hauled up again. When he revived, the farmers told him to pray. “Only a prayer for Divine guidance which Judge Bradley uttered as he knelt in the dust of a country road sobered the mob,” reported the Pittsburgh Press, decrying the event as a harbinger of “open revolution.”

The farmers, knowing they were about to involve themselves in murder, spared Bradley. He was bloodied, covered in filth, humiliated, and this was enough.

The threat of continued unrest fomented by Reno and the FHA had its intended effect: State legislatures across the Midwest enacted moratoriums on farm foreclosures. By 1934, the country was seething with revolt. Industrial laborers in Toledo, Ohio, and Minneapolis, Minnesota; dockworkers across the West Coast; and textile workers from Maine to the Deep South mounted strikes and protests demanding fair pay, worker protections, and union representation. They encountered brute force at the hands of local authorities and thugs in the pay of business interests. The strikers in Toledo and Minneapolis responded not by peaceably dispersing but by fighting back with clubs and rocks. According to the newspapers, a savage battle unfolded between autoworkers and the militia of the Ohio National Guard in Toledo, with the tear-gassed strikers unleashing their own gas barrage against the authorities, “matching shell for shell with the militiamen.” Truck drivers fought in bloody hand-to-hand combat against the enforcers of the pro-business Citizens’ Alliance in the streets of Minneapolis. A prominent corporate leader in the city was said to have announced, “This, this—is revolution!”

Indeed, it was in part the specter of violent revolution during the 1930s that spurred Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Congress to legislate the historic reform of capitalism called the New Deal. The government protected labor from the cruel abuses of big business, legalized unions, established the social security system, and put the usurers on Wall Street under the thumb of the Securities and Exchange Commission and other federal watchdogs, locking them in the regulatory cage where they belonged. The people had spoken and forced the government to listen.

Milo Reno of the Farmers’ Holiday Association speaking at Cooper Union in New York City in 1934. Photo by Bettmann/Corbis

Following the Wall Street crash of 2008, which sent the country into the debacle of the Great Recession, I began writing a futurist novel inspired by my readings about the Le Mars revolt. I titled it Kill the Banker, in honor of William “Wild Bill” Langer, two-time governor of North Dakota during the 1930s, US senator from 1941 to 1959, and staunch supporter of the Farmers’ Holiday Association. During a campaign stop at the height of the Depression, he told voters, “Shoot the banker if he comes on your farm. Treat him like a chicken thief.” We don’t have politicians like Wild Bill anymore.

In the novel I imagined a cabal of terrorists who wage a campaign against Wall Street. Like the Red Army Faction—Marxist maniacs who from the 1970s through the 90s spread terror across Europe—my terrorists, who call themselves the Strangers, assassinate members of the elite banking class who have escaped justice. The Strangers go after Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, and Credit Suisse. They bomb the New York Stock Exchange. They have no ideology except slaughter of their perceived enemy, killing for the sake of killing, much as a man makes money for the sake of money—as an expression of power.

The Strangers take their hapless captives from Bank of America to a basement in the mountains of upstate New York, where they hold mock trials that they post to YouTube, passing judgment before the American masses: death by torture. The Wall Streeters protest their innocence as mere cogs in the machine. The Strangers strap them to a steel chair bolted to the floor, piss in their mouths, tear off their fingernails, spear out their eyes, smash their testicles with a ball-peen hammer, remove their intestines with a pair of pliers, string their guts like Christmas lights, and behead the sobbing victims with a rusty saw.

It was a lousy novel from the start, more agitprop than storytelling, and I abandoned the project after 30,000 words of gore, concluding that terrorists are as tediously predictable in fiction as they are loathsome in real life. The farmers of Le Mars would have wanted nothing to do with the Strangers.

Part of my research for the book was the historical precedent of terrorism against Wall Street. Until the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995—eclipsed only by the attacks of 9/11—the Wall Street bombing of September 16, 1920, was the most destructive act of terrorism on American soil. At noon, a horse and buggy, laden with 100 pounds of dynamite and 500 pounds of cast-iron sash weights for shrapnel, pulled up in front of 23 Wall Street, the offices of J. P. Morgan, the richest, most powerful, most ruthless investment banker of his time. Morgan had manipulated the national economy to his benefit, exploited workers, and destroyed lives. He was, like our current crop of financiers, a vicious bastard, and he was the likely target of the bomb.

The driver fled, and minutes later there was a terrible explosion. A “mushroom-shaped cloud of yellowish, green smoke,” said one observer, “mounted to a height of more than 100 feet, the smoke being licked by darting tongues of flame,” as “hundreds of wounded, dumb-stricken, white-faced men and women” fled in panic. Instantly, bodies were “blown to atoms”; a woman’s head, hat still on, was sent hurling into a concrete wall, where it stuck; and “great blotches of blood appeared on the white walls of several of Wall Street’s office buildings.”

Thirty-eight people were killed, 143 wounded. No group ever claimed responsibility, and the crime was never solved. It was likely the work of Italian socialist revolutionaries who had been on a bombing campaign across the US during the previous year, hitting elected officials and law enforcement. The Wall Street bombing was supposed to be their finest hour. Mostly they killed clerks, stenographers, and brokers—lowly office workers. J. P. Morgan wasn’t even in town that day. The attack, which caused $2 million in damage (about $24 million in today’s money), produced in the public only fear and revulsion and a newfound sympathy for Wall Street.

The ideology of revolutionary terrorism targeting big finance in the US originated with a Bavarian-born immigrant named Johann Most, who, upon his arrival in New York in 1882, observed—as accurately then as today—that “whoever looks at America will see: the ship is powered by stupidity, corruption, or prejudice.” He denounced Wall Street and the ruling class as “the reptile brood.” He wrote that “the existing system will be quickest and most radically overthrown by the annihilation of its exponents. Therefore, massacres of the enemies of the people must be set in motion.” In 1885 he published a book, Revolutionary War Science, to bring on the massacre. It had a helpful subtitle: A Little Handbook of Instruction in the Use and Preparation of Nitroglycerine, Dynamite, Gun-Cotton, Fulminating Mercury, Bombs, Fuses, Poisons, Etc.

Most was a deformed runt, his days spent in a fever of resentment, and in the end, though he traveled the country making speeches and fostering hatred, he didn’t throw a single bomb. He did, however, inspire others to eliminate the reptile brood. In 1892, Alexander Berkman, an anarchist agitator, tried to kill Henry Frick, partner of Andrew Carnegie in the Carnegie Steel Company, which was notorious for its maltreatment of workers. Later, Berkman was allegedly involved in the failed 1914 plot to kill industrialist John D. Rockefeller, who had presided over massacres of his striking employees. It was a catalogue of failures, whose sole result, perversely, was to turn public opinion in favor of the enemies of the people.

In the 1970s, carrying the banner of revolutionary destruction, the Weather Underground, a radical offshoot of Students for a Democratic Society, bombed a Bank of America branch as part of an anti-capitalist campaign whose targets included military installations, courthouses, corporate headquarters, the State Department, the Pentagon, and the US Capitol building. The Weathermen, as they were known, were gentlemanly in their attacks: Prior to detonation, they often issued an anonymous warning to evacuate the targeted site, in order that no person would be harmed. The scores of bombings in the 70s proved totally ineffective in achieving the Weathermen’s main goal: “the creation of a mass revolutionary movement” for the overthrow of the US government.

An unidentified man stands in the blown-out doorway of a downtown Oklahoma City business after the bombing in 1995. Photo by Rick Bowmer/AP 

On September 29, 2009, a 64-year-old Phoenix resident named Kurt Aho, who was suffering from cancer, stood outside his foreclosed home with a .357 Magnum and shot out the tires of two trucks sitting in his driveway. It was three years after the bursting of the housing bubble, and almost exactly one year after the onset of the Great Recession. Millions of homeowners, desperate and fearful, without jobs or revenue, couldn’t keep up with their mortgage payments. And the banksters came calling to kick them out.

The cars belonged to two real estate investors who said they had purchased Aho’s home out of foreclosure from Bank of America. Now they wanted to see their new property. Aho was in shock. He had lived in the house for 29 years, had raised his children there.

According to his daughter, Tammy Aho, he was experiencing financial troubles. He was a construction contractor. Unable to find enough work, he was living off credit and struggling with his illness. In June 2009, Aho had contacted Bank of America to ask for a loan modification. Bank representatives told him—”not directly,” said Tammy, “but in a roundabout way”—that he needed to fall behind on his payments. “They told him that if you get six months behind on your mortgage they will help you modify the loan.”

It would be a strategic default. He followed the advice. Bank of America assured him the modification was being processed. They assured him of this up to the very minute the property was sold at auction on September 29, when Aho found the two investors standing on his lawn.

Aho asked the investors for proof of ownership, but they had none at hand. They claimed the paperwork was still being completed. He told them to get off the property. They refused. That’s when the gun came out and the tires went flat and the two men fled. Aho, for the moment, had stopped the taking of his home.

Aho was responding not simply to his own personal crisis but to the widespread perception that the banks were coming after everyone. Starting roughly in 2000, more than a dozen financial institutions, Bank of America most prominently, colluded with mortgage lenders to extend home loans to anyone who could fog a mirror—basically a long line of suckers who were told they could own a big house with only a waitress’s tips. These risky loans, pooled into mortgage-backed securities that the banks knew to be lousy investments, were marketed as AAA-rated bonds and sold to institutional investors worldwide for trillions of dollars.

The banks, flush with cash, pumped more money into more shoddy home loans, with the lenders on the Street scamming to get more warm bodies to sign on the line. Real estate prices skyrocketed in the largest financial bubble in history. And when it burst, producing this country’s most severe housing-market collapse ever—worse than during the Great Depression—homeowners like Aho were left holding overpriced mortgages on houses whose real value had plummeted.

Between 1990 and 2014, the finance, insurance, and real estate sectors spent $3.8 billion lobbying Congress, and it was during those years that lawmakers in both parties increasingly did the bidding of their buyers by massively deregulating the finance industry. Congress overturned FDR’s banking reforms of the 1930s, allowing mega-mergers of banking, securities, and insurance companies. It relaxed the laws governing the operations of the mega-banks and opened financial markets to the abuses of instruments like mortgage-backed securities. And in the revolving door of corporatocracy and government, by the mid 1990s the bankers themselves had nailed jobs heading up the very institutions—the Federal Reserve, the SEC, the Department of the Treasury—mandated to enforce what few laws remained to keep the industry from preying whole-hog on the public.

Bank of America eventually settled at least 21 lawsuits from investors and regulators over securities fraud related to its peddling worthless mortgage-backed securities. The gamut of its frauds ranged from the obscene sophistication of junk mortgage bonds to the paper-pushing thuggery of predatory lending and unlawful foreclosure. According to the National Association of Attorneys General, Bank of America was among five mega-banks that organized the infamous “robo-signing” of illegal foreclosure affidavits, producing forged and fabricated documents to speed the eviction of homeowners so that the properties could be re-sold for more profit.

The bank played cruel games with homeowners, routinely promising them loan modifications—as in the case of Kurt Aho—only to claim to lose the paperwork, bullying ahead with the foreclosure. A class-action suit settled last February found the bank engaged in a “kickback scheme inflating the cost of insurance that homeowners were forced to buy.” The Department of Justice reported that one of the bank’s subsidiaries “wrongfully foreclosed upon active duty servicemembers without first obtaining court orders.” According to investigative journalist Matt Taibbi, the totality of Bank of America’s corruption and venality meant rigged bids in 2008’s multitrillion municipal bond market, dubious arbitration disputes with its credit-card holders, and rampant charging of account holders with bogus overdraft fees, robbing its own customers of $4.5 billion.

And this is just Bank of America. At least a dozen other large banks and mortgage lenders have been implicated in similar frauds.

Instead of handing out prison sentences, the government gave bailouts to Bank of America and its allies. The company would have flushed itself down the shitter after the 2008 crash if the Department of the Treasury hadn’t stepped in with a $45 billion infusion of cash in 2009. By 2011, according to Taibbi, the Federal Reserve had put taxpayers on the hook for as much as $55 trillion of the bank’s bad investments.

The tens of billions of dollars in fines forced by federal regulators on Bank of America and a dozen other financial behemoths were pittances measured against the real cost to the economy of the bank-created bubble and crash, which the US Government Accountability Office has conservatively estimated at $12.8 trillion. The government nevertheless crowed victory over a chastised Wall Street. Congress’s own specially appointed Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission found that executives at the highest level likely knew about—and possibly even condoned—the frauds committed by their companies. Yet only one executive went to jail. In a nation whose government has been captured by its bankers, this farce of enforcement, effectively a legalized system of racketeering, is the accepted norm.

Liberty Plaza in New York City on September 11, 2001. Photo by Susan Meiselas/Magnum Photos

Yet those who fought back against Wall Street did go to jail, or worse. In May 2009, for example, Daniel Gherman defended his home in Riverside, California, by booby-trapping it with phony bombs after it had been foreclosed. The bombs were ineffectual, but the homeowner was charged with four counts of possessing facsimile explosives.

In July 2010, a homeowner facing foreclosure drove his car to a PNC bank branch in Illinois late one evening and ignited a bomb, destroying the car and shattering the windows of the bank. No one was hurt, and the homeowner, David Whitesell, waited across the street for the cops to arrive. It’s been reported that his intention was to make a political statement. He was charged with arson and criminal damage to property with an incendiary device.

In February 2011, a man named Elias Mercado, of San Marcos, California, drove his car into the front door of a Bank of America branch at 4 AM. According to news reports, he plowed through two sets of glass double doors and hit a coffee table, a wall, a cubicle, a teller counter, and several plants. He backed up two times, hitting more furniture, and departed via the newly created exit where the double doors had stood. His car left a trail of bank parts, and he was later caught and charged with burglary of a building and evading arrest.

In April 2012, a man named James Ferrario, armed with an assault rifle, gunned down and killed a sheriff’s deputy and locksmith in Modesto, California, as the two men served an eviction on his apartment. And so on. A man in Florida, charged with arson and attempted manslaughter, set his home on fire when it was foreclosed. Another Florida man bulldozed his home to the ground before the bank could seize it. A California man fearing homelessness and suffering from a fatal illness robbed a Bank of America of $107,000 to fund his 17 percent mortgage.

It’s a depressing litany. No citizens came to their aid, no farmers with a rope rallied at their door, no Homeowners’ Holiday Association had their backs. The acts of defiance were rabid, isolated, hopeless, and ultimately meaningless.

Foreclosure #2, St. George, Utah, 2007. Photo by Steven B. Smith

In September 2011, Occupy Wall Street erupted on the scene. Here was a movement that held out the promise of uniting against the banking industry. I spent a good deal of time at Zuccotti Park—the protesters’ headquarters—as a reporter, though I was also a believer in the movement. When I saw a young woman holding a sign that said WALL STREET: THE ENEMY OF HUMANITY, I wanted to hug her. I wanted to tell her about Milo Reno and Wild Bill Langer.

The postmortem offered by the media was that the movement’s inability to formulate tangible goals, its lack of demands, its steadfast adherence to the principles of “non-hierarchy,” its refusal to elect or bow to a leadership, its unwillingness to embrace the traditional system of interest-group politics—all resulted in its self-destruction. Occupy, we were meant to believe, committed suicide because of its untenable framework.

This was not the whole story, of course. A movement that vowed to undo Wall Street was undone, at least in part, by federal and state and local governments bent on protecting Wall Street. We know this because of the work of the nonprofit Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, which in 2012 obtained a ream of documents from the US Department of Justice, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security—memos, emails, briefings—detailing how Occupy was targeted for destruction. The documents show that the FBI, the DHS, and local police departments coordinated to surveil, infiltrate, and undermine Occupy encampments across the nation.

“From its inception the FBI treated the Occupy movement as a potential criminal and terrorist threat,” said Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the PCJF. Anti-terrorist branches of the FBI swung into action to deal with the threat of the Occupiers—who, it should be remembered, avowed and practiced a philosophy of nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience. The heavily redacted documents even state that members of the Occupy movement in New York, Seattle, Austin, Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio, Texas, were targeted for assassination by a person or persons the FBI refused to identify. According to the documents, “[ name redacted] planned to gather intelligence against the leaders of the protest groups and obtain photographs, then formulate a plan to kill the leadership via suppressed sniper rifles.” The FBI never informed Occupiers of the danger.

According to Verheyden-Hilliard, instead of protecting citizens from possible assassination, federal law enforcement ended up as “a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America.” And when the final blow came, as journalist Dave Lindorff reported, the FBI and DHS helped local law enforcement plan and execute the raids on the encampments that drove out the Occupiers in Zuccotti Park and in dozens of other cities. Those raids were characterized by a terrific show of force. Beating, tear-gassing, mass arrest of peaceful protesters: This is how Occupy came to an end. The Occupiers offered no organized resistance. They scattered like leaves.

Sociologist Max Weber once observed that “the modern state is a compulsory association which organizes domination. It [seeks] to monopolize the legitimate use of physical force as a means of domination.” This monopoly on violence is the distinguishing characteristic of the modern nation-state, according to Weber. But Weber warns that the state’s use of physical force comes with a caveat: The state must prove its legitimacy by protecting the interests of the public—say, when police defend a crowd against a gun-wielding maniac.

The maniacs on Wall Street, of course, have friends at the highest rungs of government—a bought-and-sold government whose work as a servant of the wealthy and the powerful is unexcelled, but whose legitimacy as a protector of the public interest looks increasingly suspect. The people have a moral right to rise up against such a government and, ultimately, to question its monopoly on violence; this is the imperative of revolution. Good luck with that in the age of crowd-control devices, militarized police units, Hellfire drones, mass-surveillance systems, and the panoply of domestic laws that render even peaceful protest a potentially criminal act. The apparatus of state domination has grown ever larger, more powerful, complex, effective, and terrifying—at the same time, the domination of the state by corporate interests has been perfected as never before. One doubts the farmers of Le Mars these days would survive ten minutes with their pathetic length of hanging rope.

Police arrest demonstrators of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Photo by Christopher Anderson/Magnum Photos

When Kurt Aho shot out the tires of the cars of the two investors, a swarm of Phoenix police officers descended on his residence, including an armored-car unit, a SWAT unit, and sniper teams on adjacent rooftops. According to police, Aho was told to come out of the house, drop his weapon, and approach the armored car with his hands over his head. He appeared in his doorway, half-dressed, pistol in one hand, a beer in the other. There was a round of negotiations. Aho refused to depart from the premises. “You’re gonna have to kill me,” he said.

Tammy Aho raced to her father’s house and pleaded with officers to let her talk with him. She had recently lost her own house to foreclosure, and she was in the process of moving in with her father. “Not only would he be homeless if we lost this place,” Tammy told me—”my kids and I would be homeless.”

The cops rebuffed her. “I told the police, if you’re gonna shoot him, shoot him in the knees—buckle his knees. But they didn’t listen.”

An hour passed in the standoff. Kurt drank his beer. What happened next is disputed. Police claimed that Kurt opened fire, and the police answered with rubber bullets, hitting him in the arm and knocking him down. Tammy Aho says the cops fired without provocation, and that only then did Aho squeeze off several rounds, hitting the armored car. A well-placed bullet in his chest killed him instantly on his front lawn. “After they killed him,” Tammy told me, “the cops sat around eating pizza and taking pictures of each other and laughing like it was no big deal.”

The Next Economic Crisis, the Real Crisis, Will Exceed $100 Trillion

The Real Crisis Will Be North of $100 Trillion

zero hedge

The 2008 crash was a warm up.

 

Many investors think that the markets could never have a crash again. They think that the 2008 meltdown was a one in 100 years crisis.

 

They are wrong.

 

The 2008 Crisis was a stock and investment bank crisis. But it was not THE Crisis. THE Crisis concerns the biggest bubble in financial history: the epic Bond bubble…

 

If you need proof that bonds are in a truly epic bubble… one that will implode the financial system when it breaks… consider that half of ALL government bonds in the world currently yield less than 1%.

 

What is clear is that the world has become addicted to central bank stimulus. Bank of America said 56pc of global GDP is currently supported by zero interest rates, and so are 83pc of the free-floating equities on global bourses. Half of all government bonds in the world yield less that 1pc. Roughly 1.4bn people are experiencing negative rates in one form or another.

 

These are astonishing figures, evidence of a 1930s-style depression, albeit one that is still contained. Nobody knows what will happen as the Fed tries to break out of the stimulus trap, including Fed officials themselves.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/oilprices/11283875/Bank-of-America-sees-50-oil-as-Opec-dies.html

 

Why are yields this low?

 

Because, by holdings interest rates at zero or even negative, global Central Banks have forced investors to pile into bonds in search of yield (stocks are too risky for many of the largest pools of capital).

 

When investors pile into bonds, bonds rally, which drives yields lower. This has been reinforced by the fact that Central Banks have been engaging in or promising QE (buying Government debt) consistently for the last five years. So investors have been front-running the Fed and other Central Banks.

 

After all… if you know a Central Bank will buy your bond at a price that is higher from where the market prices it… you effectively know there is a “bigger fool” waiting in the wings.

 

The end result?

 

The bond bubble today is over $100 trillion. When you include the derivatives that trade based on bonds it’s more like $500 TRILLION. And it’s growing by trillions of dollars every month (the US issued $1 trillion in new debt in the last 8 weeks alone).

 

When this thing bursts it’s going to be an absolute disaster as it will involve entire countries going bust.

 

If you’ve yet to take action to prepare for the second round of the financial crisis, we offer a FREE investment report Financial Crisis “Round Two” Survival Guide that outlines easy, simple to follow strategies you can use to not only protect your portfolio from a market downturn, but actually produce profits.

 

You can pick up a FREE copy at:

http://www.phoenixcapitalmarketing.com/roundtwo.html

 

Best Regards

Phoenix Capital Research

Anti-Russian Economic Warfare—Cutting Russia Off from SWIFT Is An Act of War

The head of VTB: Disabling Russian banks from SWIFT would mean war

CypLive cyprus

Disabling Russian banks from the international payment system SWIFT would have meant war, the head of VTB Andrey Kostin in an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt, which is published in Wednesday night online edition.

“In my personal opinion, if you will put this kind of sanctions, it would mean war,” – he said, adding that in this case, the US Ambassador to Russia should leave the same day.

Kostin also said it is the banking system, which is largely dependent on the euro and the dollar is one of the most vulnerable of the Russian economy.

Anyway, Russia has a backup plan, and in the event of such a development, said Costin. Previously, he pointed out that the VTB Group is in talks with the Savings Bank on the establishment of an alternative payment system.

SWIFT – Society for Worldwide Interbank telecommunications system provides 1,8 billion messages per year; per day via the SWIFT network are payment orders over 6 trillion dollars, it involves more than 10 thousand financial institutions in 210 countries.

By statute SWIFT, in each country are community group members and group members. In Russia, they are united by association “ROSSWIFT.” According to “ROSSWIFT”, the number of users of the SWIFT system, Russia ranks second in the world after the United States.

Are Plunging Oil Prices Portent of More Violent Revolutions, Possibly World War?

[SEE: City of London Freaks, Frantic with Fear Over Impending Anti-Capitalist World Revolution ]

FOOD PRICE INDEX RIOT PREDICTOR

Oil could plunge to $40 or lower

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Pump jacks are seen in the Midway Sunset oilfield.

Oil’s decline is proving to be the worst since the collapse of the financial system in 2008 and threatening to have the same global impact of falling prices three decades ago that led to the Mexican debt crisis and the end of the Soviet Union. Russia, the world’s largest producer, can no longer rely on the same oil revenues to rescue an economy suffering from European and U.S. sanctions. Iran, also reeling from similar sanctions, will need to reduce subsidies that have partly insulated its growing population. Nigeria, fighting an Islamic insurgency, and Venezuela, crippled by failing political and economic policies, also rank among the biggest losers from the decision by OPEC last week to let the force of the market determine what some experts say will be the first free fall in decades.

“This is a big shock in Caracas, it’s a shock in Tehran, it’s a shock in Abuja,” Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of Englewood, Colorado-based consultant IHS Inc. and author of a Pulitzer Prize-winning history of oil, told Bloomberg Radio. “There’s a change in psychology. There’s going to be a higher degree of uncertainty.”

A world already unsettled by Russian-inspired insurrection in Ukraine to the onslaught of ISIS in the Middle East is about be roiled further as crude prices plunge. Global energy markets have been upended by an unprecedented North American oil boom brought on by hydraulic fracturing, the process of blasting shale rocks to release oil and gas.

Few expected the extent or speed of the U.S. oil resurgence. As wildcatters unlocked new energy supplies, some oil exporters abroad failed to invest in diversifying their economies. Coddled by years of $100 crude, governments instead spent that windfall subsidizing everything from 5 cents-per-gallon gasoline to cheap housing that kept a growing population of underemployed citizens content.

“If the governments aren’t able to spend to keep the kids off the streets they will go back to the streets, and we could start to see political disruption and upheaval,” said Paul Stevens, distinguished fellow for energy, environment and resources at Chatham House in London, a U.K. policy group. “The majority of members of OPEC need well over $100 a barrel to balance their budgets. If they start cutting expenditure, this is likely to cause problems.”

Oil has dropped 38 percent this year and, in theory, production can continue to flow until prices fall below the day-to-day costs at existing wells. Stevens said some U.S. shale producers may break even at $40 a barrel or less. The International Energy Agency estimates most drilling in the Bakken formation – the shale producers that OPEC seeks to drive out of business – return cash at $42 a barrel.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. Chairman Murray Edwards said crude may sink as low as $30 a barrel before rebounding to stabilize at $70 to $75 a barrel, the Financial Post reported.

“Right now we’re seeing a price shock coming out of the meeting and it will be a couple of weeks until we see where the price really falls,” Yergin said. Officials “have to figure out where the new price range is, and that’s the drama that’s going to play out in the weeks ahead.”

To be sure, not all oil producers are suffering.

The International Monetary Fund in October assessed the oil price different governments needed to balance their budgets. At one end were Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, which can break even with oil at about $70 a barrel. At the other extreme: Iran needs $136, and Venezuela and Nigeria $120. Russia can manage at $101 a barrel, the IMF said.

“Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar can live with relatively lower oil prices for a while, but this isn’t the case for Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Venezuela, Algeria and Angola,” said Marie-Claire Aoun, director of the energy center at the French Institute for International Relations in Paris. “Strong demographic pressure is feeding their energy and budgetary requirements. The price of crude is paramount for their economies because they have failed to diversify.”

Brent crude is poised for the biggest annual decline since 2008 after OPEC last week rejected calls for production cuts that would address a global glut.

Like this year’s decline, oil’s crash in the 1980s was brought on by a Saudi-led decision to defend its market share, sending crude to about $12 a barrel.

“Russia in particular seems vulnerable,” said Allan von Mehren, chief analyst at Danske Banke A/S in Copenhagen. “A big decline in the oil price in 1997-98 was one factor causing pressure that eventually led to Russian default in August 1998.”

VTB Group, Russia’s second-largest bank, OAO Gazprombank, its third-largest lender, and Russian Agricultural Bank are already seeking government aid to replenish capital after sanctions cut them off from international financial markets. Now with sputtering economic growth, they also face a rise in bad loans.

Oil and gas provide 68 percent of Russia’s exports and 50 percent of its federal budget.

Russia has already lost almost $90 billion of its currency reserves this year, equal to 4.5 percent of its economy, as it tried to prevent the ruble from tumbling after Western countries imposed sanctions to punish Russian meddling in Ukraine. The ruble is down 35 percent against the dollar since June.

While the country’s economy minister and some oil executives have warned of tough times ahead, President Vladimir Putin is sanguine, suggesting falling oil won’t force him to meet Western demands that he curb his country’s interference in Ukraine.

“Winter is coming and I am sure the market will come into balance again in the first quarter or toward the middle of next year,” he said Nov. 28 in Sochi.

Even before the price tumble, Iran’s oil exports were already crumbling because of sanctions imposed over its nuclear program. Production is at a 20-year low, exports have fallen by half since early 2012 to 1 million barrels a day, and the rial has plummeted 80 percent on the black market, the IMF says.

Lower oil may increase the pain on Iran’s population, though it may be insufficient to push its leaders to accept an end to the nuclear program, which they insist is peaceful.

“The oil price decline is not a game changer for Iran,” said Suzanne Maloney, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based research organization, who specializes on Iran. “The Iranians were already losing so many billions of dollars because of the sanctions that the oil price decline is just icing on the cake.”

While oil’s decline wrenches oil-rich nations that squandered the profits from recent high prices, the world economy overall may benefit.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates a $20 drop in price adds 0.4 percentage point to growth of its members after two years.

By knocking down inflation by 0.5 point over the same period, cheaper oil could also persuade central banks to either keep interest rates low or even add stimulus.

Energy accounts for 10 percent to 12 percent of consumer spending in EU countries such as France and Germany, HSBC Holdings PLC said.

As developed oil-importing nations benefit, some of the world’s poorest suffer. Nigeria’s authorities, which rely on oil for 75 percent of government revenue, have tightened monetary policy, devalued the naira and plan to cut public spending by 6 percent next year.

Oil and gas account for 35 percent of Nigeria’s economic output and 90 percent of its exports, according to OPEC.

“The current drop in oil prices poses stark challenges for Nigeria’s external and fiscal accounts and puts heavy pressure on the exchange rate,” Oliver Masetti, an economist at Deutsche Bank AG, said in a report this month. “If oil prices remain at their current lows, Nigeria will face tough choices.”

Even before oil’s rout, Venezuela was teetering.

The nation is running a budget deficit of 16 percent of gross domestic product, partly because much of its declining oil production is sold domestically at subsidized prices. Oil is 95 percent of exports and 25 percent of GDP, OPEC says.

“Venezuela already qualifies for fiscal chaos,” Yergin said.

The country was paralyzed by deadly riots earlier this year after police repressed protests about spiraling inflation, shortages of consumer goods and worsening crime.

“The dire state of the economy is likely to trigger renewed social unrest, while it seems the government is running out of hard currency,” Capital Economics, a London research firm, wrote in a Nov. 28 report.

Declining oil may force the government to take steps to avoid a default including devaluing the currency, cutting imports, raising domestic energy prices and cutting subsidies shipments to poorer countries in the region, according to Francisco Rodriguez, an economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

“Though all these entail difficult choices, default is not an appealing alternative,” he said. “Were Venezuela to default, bondholders would almost surely move to attach the country’s refineries and oil shipments abroad.”

In an address on state television Nov. 28, President Nicolas Maduro said Venezuela would maintain social spending while pledging to form a commission to identify unnecessary spending to cut.

He also said he was sending the economy minister to China to discuss development projects.

Mexico shows how an oil nation can build new industries and avoid relying on one commodity. Falling crude demand and prices in the early 1980s helped send the nation into a debt crisis.

Oil’s share of Mexico’s exports fell to 13 percent in 2013 from 38 percent in 1990, even as total exports more than quadrupled. Electronics and cars now account for a greater share of the country’s shipments. Though oil still accounts for 32 percent of government revenue, the Mexican government has based its 2015 budget on an average price of $79 a barrel.

City of London Freaks, Frantic with Fear Over Impending Anti-Capitalist World Revolution

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Inclusive Capitalism Initiative is Trojan Horse to quell coming global revolt

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Prince Charles, Prince of Wales talks to Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary fund, before the start of the Inclusive Capitalism Conference at the Mansion House on May 27, 2014 in London, United Kingdom.
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales talks to Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary fund, before the start of the Inclusive Capitalism Conference at the Mansion House on May 27, 2014 in London, United Kingdom. Photograph: WPA Pool/Getty Images

Yesterday’s Conference on Inclusive Capitalism co-hosted by the City of London Corporation and EL Rothschild investment firm, brought together the people who control a third of the world’s liquid assets – the most powerful financial and business elites – to discuss the need for a more socially responsible form of capitalism that benefits everyone, not just a wealthy minority.

Leading financiers referred to statistics on rising global inequalities and the role of banks and corporations in marginalising the majority while accelerating systemic financial risk – vindicating the need for change.

While the self-reflective recognition by global capitalism’s leaders that business-as-usual cannot continue is welcome, sadly the event represented less a meaningful shift of direction than a barely transparent effort to rehabilitate a parasitical economic system on the brink of facing a global uprising.

Central to the proceedings was an undercurrent of elite fear that the increasing disenfranchisement of the vast majority of the planetary population under decades of capitalist business-as-usual could well be its own undoing.

The Conference on Inclusive Capitalism is the brainchild of the Henry Jackson Society (HJS), a little-known but influential British think tank with distinctly neoconservative and xenophobic leanings. In May 2012, HJS executive director Alan Mendoza explained the thinking behind the project:

“… we felt that such was public disgust with the system, there was a very real danger that politicians could seek to remedy the situation by legislating capitalism out of business.”

He claimed that HJS research showed that “the only real solutions that can be put forward to restore trust in the system, and which actually stand a chance of bringing economic prosperity, are being led by the private, rather than the public, sector.”

The Initiative for Inclusive Capitalism’s recommendations for reform seem well-meaning at first glance, but in reality barely skim the surface of capitalism’s growing crisis tendencies: giant corporations should invest in more job training, should encourage positive relationships and partnerships with small- and medium-sized businesses, and – while not jettisoning quarterly turnovers – should also account for ways of sustaining long-term value for shareholders.

The impetus for this, however, lies in the growing recognition that if such reforms are not pursued, global capitalists will be overthrown by the very populations currently overwhelmingly marginalised by their self-serving activity. As co-chair of the HJS Inclusive Capitalism taskforce, McKinsey managing director Dominic Barton, explained from his meetings with over 400 business and government leaders worldwide that:

“… there is growing concern that if the fundamental issues revealed in the crisis remain unaddressed and the system fails again, the social contract between the capitalist system and the citizenry may truly rupture, with unpredictable but severely damaging results.”

Among those “damaging results” – apart from the potential disruption to profits and the capitalist system itself – is the potential failure to capitalise on the finding by “corporate-finance experts” that “70 to 90 percent of a company’s value is related to cash flows expected three or more years out.”

Indeed, as the New York Observer reported after the US launch of the Henry Jackson Initiative for Inclusive Capitalism, the rather thin proposals for reform “seemed less important than bringing business leaders together to address a more central concern: In an era of rising income inequality and grim economic outlook, people seemed to be losing confidence in capitalism altogether.”

Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, who co-hosted yesterday’s conference, told the NY Observer why she was concerned:

“I think that a lot of kids have neither money nor hope, and that’s really bad. Because then they’re going to get mad at America. What our hope for this initiative, is that through all the efforts of all of the decent CEOs, all the decent kids without a job feel optimistic.”

Yep. Feel optimistic. PR is the name of the game.

“I believe that it is our duty to help make all people believe that the elevator is working for them… that whatever the station of your birth, you can get on that elevator to success,” de Rothschild told Chinese business leaders last year:

“At the moment, that faith and confidence is under siege in America… As business people, we have a pragmatic reason to get it right for everyone – so that the government does not intervene in unproductive ways with business… I think that it is imperative for us to restore faith in capitalism and in free markets.”

According to the very 2011 City of London Corporation report which recommended funding the HJS inclusive capitalism project, one of its core goals is undermining public support for “increased regulation” and “greater state” involvement in the economy, while simultaneously deterring calls to “punish those deemed responsible for having caused the crisis”:

“Following the financial crisis of 2008, the Western capitalist system has been perceived to be in crisis. Although the financial recovery is now underway in Europe and America, albeit unevenly and in some cases with the risk of further adjustments, the legacy of the sudden nature of the crash lives on.”

The report, written by the City of London’s director of public relations, continues to note that “the fabric of the capitalist system has come in for protracted scrutiny,” causing governments to “confuse the need for reasoned and rational change” with “the desire to punish those deemed responsible for having caused the crisis.” But this would mean that “the capitalist model is liable to have the freedoms and ideology essential to its success corroded.”

Far from acknowledging the predatory and unequalising impact of neoliberal capitalism, the document shows that the inclusive capitalism project is concerned with PR to promote “a more nuanced view of society,” without which “there is a risk that… we will be led down a policy path of increased regulation and greater state control of institutions, businesses and the people at the heart of them, which will fatally cripple the very system that has been responsible for economic prosperity.”

The project is thus designed “to influence political and business opinion” and to target public opinion through a “media campaign that seeks to engage major outlets.”

The Henry Jackson Initiative for Inclusive Capitalism is therefore an elite response to the recognition that capitalism in its current form is unsustainable, likely to hit another crisis, and already generating massive popular resistance.

Its proposed reforms therefore amount to token PR moves to appease the disenfranchised masses. Consequently, they fail to address the very same accelerating profit-oriented systemic risks that will lead to another financial crash before decade’s end.

Their focus, in de Rothschild’s words in the Wall Street Journal, is cosmetic: repairing “capitalism’s bruised image” in order to protect the “common long-term interests of investors and of the capitalist system.”

That is why the Inclusive Capitalism Initiative has nothing to say about reversing the neoliberal pseudo-development policies which, during capitalism’s so-called ‘Golden Age’, widened inequality and retarded growth for “the vast majority of low income and middle-income countries” according to a UN report – including “reduced progress for almost all the social indicators that are available to measure health and educational outcomes” from 1980 to 2005.

Instead, proposed ‘reforms’ offer ways to rehabilitate perceptions of powerful businesses and corporations, in order to head-off rising worker discontent and thus keep the system going, while continuing to maximise profits for the few at the expense of the planet.

This is not a surprise considering the parochial financial and political interests the Henry Jackson Society appears to represent: the very same neoconservative elites that lobbied for the Iraq War and endorse mass NSA surveillance of western and non-western citizens alike.

Indeed, there is little “inclusive” about the capitalism that HJS’ risk consultancy project, Strategic Analysis, seeks to protect, when it advertises its quarterly research reports on “the oil and gas sector in all twenty” countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Those reports aim to highlight “the opportunities for investors” as well as “risks to their business.”

Just last month, HJS organised a conference on mitigating risks in the Arab world to discuss “methods for protecting your business interests, assets and people,” including “how to plan against and mitigate losses… caused by business interruption.” The focus of the conference was protecting the invariably fossil fueled interests of British and American investors and corporates in MENA – the interests and wishes of local populations was not a relevant ‘security’ concern.

The conference’s several corporate sponsors included the Control Risks Group, a British private defence contractor that has serviced Halliburton and the UK Foreign Office in postwar Iraq, and is a member of the Energy Industry Council – the largest trade association for British companies servicing the world’s energy industries.

The “inclusivity” of this new brand of capitalism is also apparent in HJS’ longtime employment of climate denier Raheem Kassam, who now runs the UK branch of the American Breitbart news network, one of whose contributors called for Americans “to start slaughtering Muslims in the street, all of them.”

Perhaps the final nail in the coffin of HJS’ vision of capitalist “inclusivity” is associate director Douglas Murray’s views about Europe’s alleged Muslim problem, of which he said in Dutch Parliament: “Conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board.”

Earlier this year, Murray’s fear-mongering targeted the supposed “startling rise in Muslim infants” in Britain, a problem that explains why “white British people” are “losing their country.” London, Murray wrote, “has become a foreign country” in which “‘white Britons’ are now in a minority,” and “there aren’t enough white people around” to make its boroughs “diverse.”

So abhorrent did the Conservative front-bench find Murray’s innumerable xenophobic remarks about European Muslims, reported Paul Goodman, the Tory Party broke off relations with his Center for Social Cohesion before he revitalised himself by joining forces with HJS.

Yet this is the same neocon ideology of “inclusive” market freedom around which the forces of global capitalism are remobilising, in the name of “sustainable” prosperity for all.

They must be having a laugh.

Dr. Nafeez Ahmed is an international security journalist and academic. He is the author of A User’s Guide to the Crisis of Civilization: And How to Save It, and the forthcoming science fiction thriller, Zero Point. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter @nafeezahmed. [Emphasis in quotes was added]

The Gods of Money and Our Entrapment

The Gods of Money & Their New World Order Project: Endgame Has Begun

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By RICHARD K. MOORE

 

Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who writes the laws.
– Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812), founder of the House of Rothschild

Perhaps the single most important thing to know about power in the world today is that most nations do not have control over their own currencies. Instead privately owned, for-profit central banks – such as the Federal Reserve System in the US – create money out of nothing and then loan it at interest to their respective governments. This is an incredibly profitable scam, but that’s not the worst of it.

Not only do the central banks have the power to create money for free, they also have the power to set interest rates, to decide how much credit is issued, and to decide how much money is put into circulation. With this power central banks can – and do – orchestrate boom and bust cycles, enabling the super-wealthy owners of the banks to profit from investments during the booms, and buy up assets at bargain prices during the busts. And that still isn’t the whole story.

The most profitable of all central bank activities has been the financing of major wars, particularly the two World Wars. When nations are engaged in warfare, with their very survival at stake, the governments stretch their resources to the limit in the competition to prevail. The struggle to get more financing becomes as important as the competition on the battlefield. Moneylenders love a desperate borrower, and vast fortunes have been made by extending credit to both sides in conflicts: the longer a war continues, the more profit for the central bankers.

Centralised Wealth Leads to Centralised Power

Some of the biggest men in the United States are afraid of something. They know there is a power somewhere, so organised, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.
– Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), 28th President of the United States

Our political systems, based on parties competing to get elected, are inherently prone to corruption. Just as the struggle for financing is important in military campaigns, so is it important in political campaigns. Wealthy donors are able to get special treatment, when it comes to legislation and regulation that affects their business interests. This kind of corruption, however, is only the tip of the iceberg.

A more effective way that wealth translates into power is by the placing of agents – individuals loyal to wealthy backers – into positions of influence and power. For example, when the Rothschilds and Rockefellers joined forces to establish the Federal Reserve, they recruited an unknown professor, Woodrow Wilson, promised to make him President, and secured a return promise that he would sign the Federal Reserve bill when the time came. With their influence over party bosses, their control of newspapers, and unlimited funding, they were able to get Wilson elected. He may have later regretted his bargain with the devil, as suggested in the above quotation.

A more modern example is Obama, who in 2009 was tasked by Henry Kissinger (himself a key agent of the Rockefellers) to create a “new world order.” Like Wilson, Obama appeared out of political nowhere, was rocketed into the Presidency, and proved his loyalty in office. In Obama’s case, this involved promptly turning the White House over to central-banker agents from Wall Street – Timothy Geithner and his buddies. They make the policy; Obama makes the speeches.

This kind of thing has been going on for centuries, first in Europe and later in the US. What began as the placement of a few key agents has evolved over time. What we have now is an international web of control, with key agents placed in political parties, governments and their agencies, the media, corporate boards, intelligence services, and the military. At the centre of the web are the central banking dynasties – the Gods of Money – who remain mostly behind the scenes, pulling the strands of real power.

The Engineering of Transformation

In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.
– Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), 32nd President of the United States

Have you ever daydreamed about what you would do if you had wealth and power? For some the answer might be a life of leisure and indulgence, but for many their thoughts would turn to changing the world, making the world ‘better’. An iconic example would be Bill Gates, who would rather use the bulk of his fortune for making changes in the world – primarily to do with population reduction – than devote it to amassing still more wealth.

The Gods of Money are like that. They’ve had wealth and power, in great excess, for generations, and unlike you and me, they can do more than daydream. The business they have been engaged in for the past couple of centuries has not been to accumulate more wealth, rather it has been to transform the world into their own desired kind of private fiefdom. They have been accomplishing this in a series of transformational projects on a global scale. What is referred to as ‘The New World Order’ is simply the latest in this series of projects.

The Great America Project: An Ideal Base of Operations

When the American colonies achieved independence from Britain, a new nation was created that clearly had the potential to become a truly great world power. A huge continent, bigger than all of Europe, and with immense resources, was available to be conquered and exploited. If the Rothschilds could gain control of America, they could use it as a base of operations to consolidate their power globally.

During the 1800s the US grew to become a formidable industrial power. We associate this rise to power with names like Carnegie, Mellon, JP Morgan, and Rockefeller, who came to be known as the ‘robber barons’. However it was Rothschild money, and Rothschild-linked banks, which played the major role in financing this industrialisation project. The Rothschilds were carefully preparing their future base of operations. JD Rockefeller was the greatest of the robber barons, and he was able to join the Gods of Money pantheon on more or less equal terms with the Rothschilds.

With the US established as a major industrial power, the next step was for the Gods of Money to take firm control of this giant they helped create. As described above, this was accomplished with the usual behind the scenes manipulations through the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913.

The World War I Project

The next step was to play the European powers off against one another. With the backing of the Rothschilds, as described in the book Hidden History (see sidebar on page 14 of this issue of New Dawn), a secret cabal of British elites engineered the ‘Great War’ with Germany, whose industrial and financial power was beginning to eclipse that of the British Empire. The cabal’s intention was to preserve British supremacy. The Gods of Money, however, were playing a deeper game. Germany lost the war, but it was the US that emerged as the main beneficiary, not Britain.

While the European powers were exhausting themselves in warfare, the US was supplying them with the means to do so, and those supplies were being paid for by loans made possible by the new Federal Reserve – which had been established just in time for that purpose. When the war ended, the European powers owed astronomical sums to the US, and the US had greatly expanded its industrial capacity in the process of supplying war materials.

Before the war, the US, Britain, and Germany were more or less on a par as industrial powers. With only negligible military involvement, the US emerged from the war by far the greatest industrial power, and the world’s wealthiest nation as well. But the US was only one Great Power among many. It did not have a world-class fleet nor did it have a world-class army.

The Fascism & Communism Experiments

The Grand Project of the Gods of Money has always been, as mentioned above, to transform the world into their own private fiefdom. With their Great America project they were building the geopolitical power base that would be needed to achieve that goal. But there remained the question of how they would rule their fiefdom once attained. They want to have absolute control over the population, and they wanted to experiment with different means of exercising such control.

They saw their first opportunity to experiment in the revolutionary ideas of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Leon Trotsky, and Vladimir Lenin. The Czarist regime in Russia was weakening, and had been forced, by the 1905 Revolution, to implement significant reforms. Weakened still further by defeats early in World War I, a second communist revolution had every probability of success. There was a danger, however, that the second revolution would lead to a democratic form of socialism, which would not be the kind of regime the Gods of Money wanted for their eventual fiefdom.

They saw in Lenin and Trotsky leaders with autocratic ideas that suited their purposes. They arranged for Lenin to be transported from Switzerland, and Trotsky from New York – both to St. Petersburg – where they created the Bolshevik faction and took control of the revolutionary aftermath. The Gods of Money then funded the development of the Soviet Union, and thus launched an experiment with an autocratic regime based on collectivist values.

The Gods of Money saw their second opportunity to experiment in the ideas of the superbly charismatic Adolf Hitler. When Hitler was arrested for leading the Beer Hall Putsch of 1923, they arranged for him to be given a comfortable jail existence where he was able to develop his ideas in his magnum opus, Mein Kampf, which articulated a manifesto proposing, among other things, to seek Lebensraum and enslave the Slavs. Hitler’s ideas centred around nationalism, expansionism, eugenics, genocide, and brutal methods of population control.

If Hitler were to come to power in Germany, that would provide an opportunity to experiment with a quite different kind of autocratic regime. In addition, due to his expansionist ideas, and his hatred of communism, it would provide the means to carry out another project in geopolitical transformation, a second Great War. Hitler was also attractive to German elites, who saw in him a chance to restore Germany as a Great Power.

The rest, as they say, is history. By engineering the economic collapse of the Weimar Republic, and by other means, Hitler was indeed helped into power in Germany. He was no pawn however, and much of his hatred, due in part to the fact that the Rothschilds are Jewish, was aimed at the Gods of Money themselves, whom he referred to as the ‘Gnomes of Zurich’. That hatred did not detract from the value of the Nazi experiment to the Gods of Money.

The World War II Project

If we see that Germany is winning we should help Russia and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany and that way let them kill as many as possible.
– Harry S. Truman (1884-1972), 33rd President of the United States, NY Times, 24 June 1941

The next step in the Great America project was to play all the other Great Powers off against one another, on a grander scale than in the first Great War. This time, however, the US was to play a major military role, so that it could emerge from the war as not just one more Great Power, but as the world’s first global super power. A major military role, yes, but a highly leveraged one, where the US suffered negligible casualties compared to the astronomical casualties of most of the other combatants.

From their secure American base of operations, the Gods of Money helped arrange the rearmament of Germany and the rapid rise of Japan as a modern industrial and military power, while continuing to support the development of the Soviet Union. In this way, as they say, the ducks were all lined up in a row. The US then pretended benevolent neutrality and watched while Japan fought it out with China, and Germany fought it out with the Soviet Union.

The US bided its time and waited for the most opportune moment to join the fray. When the time came, the US systematically provoked Japan, and made no attempt to defend against the attack on Pearl Harbor, even though Roosevelt knew the exact time the attack was to occur. The American people had been strongly against entering the war, and Pearl Harbor, as planned, instantly transformed public opinion, enabling the US to enter the war with the overwhelming support of its people. A ‘Day of Infamy’ indeed, but every bit as much Roosevelt’s as Japan’s.

Again, the rest is history. At the end of the war the US had 40% of the world’s wealth and industrial capacity, dominance of the seven seas, permanent military bases spread around the world, and a monopoly on nuclear weapons. Every other major power was standing in rubble and drowning in debt, as intended. With the US established as the first global super power, the Gods of Money set out to create a postwar world order to be dominated by America.

The Postwar Regime: Establishing the Foundations for a Globalist State

In 1944, an international conference was convened at Bretton Woods, establishing new globalist institutions, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and World Bank, according to a design that had been worked out during the war by the Gods of Money’s Council on Foreign Relations. Under the guise of establishing a regime of world peace and stability, the US arranged for the other Western powers to be emasculated militarily. For its part, the US maintained and expanded its military muscle.

Whereas the Nazi experiment was terminated by the war, the Soviet Union survived as a Great Power. As the primary wartime ally of America, and in light of the professed harmonious intentions of the Bretton Woods system, the Soviets were looking forward to peaceful coexistence with the West, despite their considerable ideological differences. This was not to be, as it did not fit into the plans of the Gods of Money, as they continued with their Grand Project of global domination.

America and Britain, both firmly under the thumb of the Gods of Money, invented the myth of a ‘communist threat’, and proclaimed the Cold War, which served several purposes. First, it was accompanied by a policy of containment, which aimed to prevent the Soviets, and their Chinese ideological cousins, from participating in the postwar economic boom, and also in inhibiting nations, such as Korea and Vietnam, from choosing to follow a socialist path. Second, the Cold War provided an excuse for the US to continue expanding its military might and interventionist programs.

The Collective Imperialism Project

With the US as an unrestrained super power, a Pax Americana regime prevailed in what was euphemistically called the ‘Free World’. With no need to defend their separate empires, the former European Great Powers were able to participate along with America in a grand program of neo-imperialism. This led to the greatest era of economic growth the world had ever seen.

Growth became the expected norm; any episode of non-growth was considered an aberration. The expectation of growth became a structural part of national economies, leading to routine deficit financing, government borrowing, and increasing national debts – owed to the central banks. There was no Plan B: if growth faltered – a dreaded recession episode – the only recourse was to borrow still more, if an economy was to continue functioning.

The postwar growth boom led to unprecedented prosperity throughout the West, as well as in Japan, which in the postwar era could be considered part of the West. In addition, sweeping programs of social reform were introduced, such as the National Health Service in the UK, and even more far-reaching welfare-state arrangements throughout Western Europe.

Partly because of the dissolution of traditional empires, and partly because of the social-reform measures, there was a sense in the postwar world that democratic values were on the rise. Governments were being more responsive to the needs and wishes of the people. The Enlightenment values of personal freedom and the rights of citizens were enshrined in the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It seemed as if a new golden age of democracy and ever-improving social conditions had arrived.

Economic stability plus everlasting economic growth, along with peace guaranteed by a benevolent Uncle Sam: how sweet it was! With their postwar regime the Gods of Money had seduced the ‘Free World’ into a bubble of dependency. The UN Charter guaranteed the principle of national sovereignty, and no one (exception: Charles de Gaulle) seemed to realise that when someone else is guaranteeing your sovereignty, you no longer have sovereignty. Growth became the new opiate of the people, and no one seemed to realise that everlasting growth on a finite planet is a mathematical impossibility.

With most of the world willingly tied to a leash of dependency on American leadership, and with America firmly under the thumb of the Federal Reserve, the Gods of Money could now proceed to lead the world down the garden path toward total subjugation.

The Global Destabilisation Project: Nixon & the Gold Standard

For nearly 30 years, from 1944 to 1971, the Bretton Woods system operated more or less as advertised. The dollar was pegged to gold, with other currencies pegged to the dollar, providing the promised financial stability. Growth continued, providing the expected prosperity and rising living standards. However, with the US embroiled in a costly and unwinnable war in Vietnam, the American economy was beginning to falter. In 1971, in order to continue financing the war, Nixon took the dollar off the gold standard.

The Cold War project had provided an opportunity to abandon the stability project. Currency values could now fluctuate, enabling currency speculation, and introducing uncertainty into the valuation of international transactions. No great harm resulted at first, but a central pillar of financial stability had been removed. Today, only a tiny percentage of currency transactions have to do with the real economy, and the rest are rampant and destabilising speculation.

In 1980 the Gods of Money moved their destabilisation project into a higher gear. They arranged for their agents, Reagan and Thatcher, to take leadership in the US and UK, and a media propaganda campaign was launched to reintroduce the long-discredited doctrine of laissez-faire economics, which had created the horrific Dickensian conditions of the Victorian era.

Based on a fraudulent economic analysis promulgated by Milton Friedman’s Chicago School of Economics, the claim was made that reducing corporate taxes and regulations would lead to a stronger economy and benefits would accrue to all, including even government budgets. The charismatic Ronald Reagan talked about ‘getting government off our backs’, and proclaimed that ‘government is not the solution; it is the problem’.

There is of course much truth in those words, but increasing corporate power at the expense of government power was not at all a path to either prosperity or to personal freedom. One might have wondered how a career as a film actor and TV advertiser qualified someone to be President, but the mystery vanishes when one realises that the main job of the President is to tell lies convincingly to a credulous public, in support of the agendas of the Gods of Money.

Along with reducing corporate taxes and regulations, the new economic policies included encouraging corporations to move their operations to low-waged countries, which led to the de-industrialisation of both America and Britain. The Bretton Woods regime was being systematically undermined, and the decline of both stability and prosperity was thus ensured.

The European Union Project

The populations of continental Western Europe, having experienced on their own doorsteps the ravages of fascism and war, were less vulnerable to the kind of facile propaganda that succeeded so well with the more sheltered populations of Britain and America. A more nuanced campaign was required to destabilise continental Europe.

The propaganda campaign to sell the Maastricht Treaty didn’t talk about ‘getting government off our backs’, which wouldn’t have gone over very well in those economies, where the welfare state was both popular and successful. Instead it was argued that a European Union would put Europe on a par with the powerful USA, and it was even argued that the EU was necessary to prevent future wars among the European powers.

The reality of the EU was that it delivered Europe directly into the hands of the Gods of Money. Unlike the European nations themselves, which are governed by elected Parliaments and Prime Ministers, the Brussels regime is dominated by the European Commission, which is unelected and which the Gods of Money can easily arrange to be staffed by their own selected agents.

A central part of the pro-EU propaganda campaign had been promises about ‘subsidiarity’ – decisions were allegedly to be taken at the lowest possible level, depending on the issues involved: loss of sovereignty needn’t be feared. Brussels was to make decisions only on matters that affected the EU as a whole. Once the EU was established, however, the term subsidiarity began to disappear from usage, and over time more and more power has been shifted from national governments to Brussels. Today, every aspect of life in the EU is affected by reams of unreadable EU regulations.

The final nail in the coffin of European national sovereignty, and financial stability, came with the adoption of the Euro in 1999. Without the ability to control their own currencies, nations had no real control over their financial viability. Today the folly of a common currency, among nations with quite different economic circumstances, is well covered in the financial press. But the truth of this folly was there from the beginning, and the Gods of Money were well aware of it.

The Neoliberal Project & the Globalisation of Poverty

In 1994 the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed by the US, Canada, and Mexico. This treaty undermined the economies and sovereignty of all three nations. Under the guise of ‘free trade’, it was really about empowering corporations at the expense of nations – the Reagan-Thatcher revolution on steroids. Under such treaties corporations have the right to sue governments if regulations undermine corporate profits. Consumer safety, environmental protection, and worker’s rights are of little concern to the corporate-controlled World Trade Organization (WTO) process that renders judgments on such suits. Since then a number of similar ‘free trade zone’ treaties have been pursued involving various combinations of nations.

The Neoliberal Project got into high gear in 1995, with the establishment of the World Trade Organization, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The WTO promptly launched a systematic campaign to increase the power of corporations, by means of ‘free trade’ treaties that are binding on all members of the WTO, including of course the EU. The overall effect of the Neoliberal Project has been to lower living standards, undermine national sovereignty, destabilise national finances, and in general to destroy everything that the Bretton Woods system was designed to protect.

In the so-called ‘third world’, particularly in sub-Sahara Africa, the ravages of the Neoliberal Project have been extended still further by the actions of the IMF and by other means – as documented by John Perkins in Confessions of an Economic Hitman. Governments are encouraged, or forced, to take on debts that they have no ability to repay. When the governments then turn to the IMF for relief, additional loans are granted, but they are encumbered by draconian conditions. Governments are forced to cut social services, and are required to sell off national assets, such as water rights, at bargain basement prices to corporations. It becomes illegal, to give an example of what draconian means, for people to capture rainwater, as that is deemed to be stealing from the corporations that have bought the nation’s water rights. By such means poverty has been systematically created wherever the IMF has managed to dig in its claws.

Destabilising Enlightenment Values: The ‘War on Terror’

On 11 September 2001 the Gods of Money arranged for the controlled demolition of the World Trade Center, and arranged also for that to be blamed on an imaginary Al Qaeda conspiracy to ‘destroy our freedoms’. In fact our freedoms have been destroyed – not by Al Qaeda, but by the Gods of Money themselves.

The Gods of Money were applying a lesson learned from the Nazi experiment: the demolition of the World Trade Center was a replay of the Reichstag Fire, which was also a ‘false flag’ event, blamed in that case on a ‘communist conspiracy’. Just as the Reichstag Fire was followed by the Nazi’s Enabling Act, so 9/11 was followed by the Patriot Act. Both Acts destroyed all constitutional guarantees of civil liberties, leading in both cases to concentration camps, the legitimisation of torture, indefinite detention without legal recourse, and the establishment of unaccountable police-state regimes.

Partly due to the psychological impact of 9/11, partly due to the hidden influence of the Gods of Money, and partly due to additional false flag events (e.g. the 7/7 bombings in London) governments everywhere have implemented ‘anti-terrorist’ legislation that seriously undermines civil liberties that had long been considered sacrosanct.

Besides enabling the domestic curtailment of civil liberties, the ‘War on Terror’ also became an excuse for military interventionism – one excuse among many. In addition, we saw the emergence of ‘humanitarian’ interventions, and the fabrication of excuses such as non-existent ‘weapons of mass destruction’. Such excuses enabled the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan.

Another interventionist tactic, used for example in Kosovo and Libya, has been the recruitment of mercenary terrorists to play the role of ‘domestic freedom fighters’. This then provides an excuse for ‘humanitarian’ interventions. In the case of Syria, mercenary terrorists have themselves been the primary means of destabilisation. One can hardly keep up with all the interventions. In Africa, the US has set up AFRICOM, a military command established to facilitate interventions and destabilisation throughout Africa.

One can identify geopolitical and economic reasons for these various interventions, such as control over energy and mineral resources. However, from a big-picture perspective, the overall effect has been to undermine the principle of national sovereignty, and also to create a large number of ‘failed states’.

Transforming Economics – Controlled Demolition of Capitalism

As mentioned earlier, economic growth cannot continue forever on a finite planet. Quite clearly the capitalism/growth paradigm must come to an end sooner or later. Based on these facts, many analysts have been predicting the collapse of civilisation. Some even see this as a good thing, an opportunity to build a new society from the ground up.

These analysts either don’t understand the degree to which power is centralised in today’s world, or else they assume those who have power are blind and stupid; the Gods of Money are neither. They’ve been planning the successor to the growth paradigm since the establishment of the Club of Rome in 1968, if not earlier. Rather than letting capitalism collapse of its own accord, they’ve arranged for a controlled collapse, so that they can fashion an outcome of their own choosing.

The financial collapse of 2008 did not happen by accident; it was a project engineered by the Gods of Money. There will be no recovery from the collapse because a recovery is not intended. Instead of an economy based on market activity, we’re to have a globally micro-managed economy, as presaged by the widespread deployment of ‘smart meters’. Lessons learned in the Soviet experiment are to be applied globally.

The foundation for the 2008 collapse project was the establishment of the ‘mark-to-market’ rule, also known as ‘Basel II’. This was an edict of the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), the central bank of central banks, with headquarters in Basel, Switzerland. This rule requires banks to value their assets according to what they could be sold for immediately on the markets.

What this means is that a temporary slump in some asset value deflates the value of all related assets. This is of little concern in rising markets, but in any kind of serious downturn it can render a bank insolvent unnecessarily. Markets do fluctuate, and banks routinely ride out bumps in values. The mark-to-market rule means that a survivable market bump can turn into a derailment: a time bomb had been placed in the global financial system.

With this bomb in place, the stage was set for the demolition project. The first step, arranged by Wall Street agents of the Gods of Money, was the repeal of the Glass–Steagall Act in the US. This gave Wall Street the freedom it needed to proceed with the rest of the project. Next, global credit lines were opened wide, creating all kinds of loans that could never be repaid, particularly in the US housing market. Those bad mortgages were then bundled into derivatives, and phony insurance was attached so that the derivatives could be given a triple-A rating. These toxic derivatives were then marketed aggressively on global markets.

A housing bubble had been created; the toxic derivatives spread the risk throughout the banking system, and the time bomb ensured that when the bubble burst the banking system would be rendered insolvent. In 2008 the bubble did burst, and the planned insolvencies immediately followed. But that was not the worst of it.

If a bank, or any business, becomes insolvent, the sensible thing to do is to place the business into receivership and arrange for an orderly disposition of its assets and liabilities. What this means in the case of an insolvent bank is that the bank can be closed down on a Friday, and re-opened on the Monday under state ownership. The bad loans can be handed over to the unsecured creditors, and normal banking operations can be resumed. The bank can then be operated by the state, or it can be sold back into the private sector.

As if this well-known, orderly procedure didn’t exist, the Gods of Money were able to promulgate a nonsense doctrine called ‘too big to fail’. In order to help facilitate this scam, compliant officials and media claimed that the banks were suffering not from insolvency, but only from a temporary liquidity crisis. Based on this lie, an insane program of bank bailouts was launched. Because the banks were insolvent, governments could not possibly fulfil their fraudulently assumed bailout obligations. As bailout payments became due, governments were forced to borrow to fulfil them. The Gods of Money now had governments exactly where they wanted them.

The outcome, as planned, was the transformation of bank insolvency into government insolvency. Governments got their needed loans, but with onerous conditions attached – the same kind of conditions the IMF had been attaching to loans to ‘third world’ countries for decades. Instead of the banks going into receivership, governments were being forced into receivership, beginning with those with the greatest bailout exposure – Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain.

The Gods of Money sent their agents (troikas) into these countries, taking over control of national budgets. A regime of austerity was decreed, guaranteeing that there could be no economic recovery, and a sell-off of national assets began – at bargain basement prices. Countries like France and Germany have been economically strong enough to survive the initial assault, but as the global economy continues to deteriorate they will eventually be pulled into the trap of insolvency as well. The more they try to save the Eurozone, the more they will be mired in debt. The US is already over its head in debt, partly from bailouts, and partly for reasons of its own such as military over-extension.

Throughout the West the following scenario is being created: rather than sovereign nations operating according to market forces, we’ll have nations that are owned by the Gods of Money, operating on the basis of budgets allocated by the central banks. The goal of central governance will have been in practice achieved, by means of debt, and a regime of economic micro-management will have been achieved as well, as it already has been in the weaker economies.

The Endgame – De-Americanisation & the Empowerment of the UN

The Persian Gulf crisis is a rare opportunity to forge new bonds with old enemies (the Soviet Union)… Out of these troubled times a New World Order can emerge under a United Nations that performs as envisioned by its founders.
– US President George Bush Sr., State of the Union Address, 29 January 1991

In the context of multiple interventions, wars, drone strikes, etc., that the US, usually with the help of the UK, routinely engages in – with little or no concern for international law, public opinion, or consequences to civilians – it was extremely surprising that first UK Prime Minister David Cameron and then US President Obama abandoned their promise to respond to Obama’s ‘red line’ about Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons, by referring the matter to Parliament and Congress, where ‘NO’ votes were all but certain to follow.

Not everyone recognised right away that a momentous shift was signalled by this unprecedented back down, but the magnitude of the shift soon became apparent to all as subsequent events began to unfold. The first remarkable follow-on event was the sudden rise to diplomatic prominence of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Even that was eclipsed by the announcement Washington and Iran were to engage in what sounds like very promising face-to-face negotiations over the nuclear issue, to the dire chagrin of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who up until then seemed to be the tail wagging the American dog in the Middle East.

Such momentous shifts on a global scale do not happen by accident, as we have seen in our whirlwind review of two centuries of history. Such events must be interpreted in the context of the agenda of the Gods of Money, and in particular with their Grand Project, to transform the world into their own private fiefdom. They’ve ‘cleared the building site’ by destabilising the world in the many ways described above, and they’ve already begun to micromanage national budgets. The time has come, apparently, to get on with the formal installation of their New World Order. Not by force, but by popular acclaim.

The Sudden Emergence of Putin as a World Leader

There has been a struggle going on for some time between the US on the one hand, and Russia, China, and the BRICS nations on the other, regarding the latter’s desire for a multipolar world, rather than a US-dominated unipolar world. The persistence of the dollar as a reserve currency, and US exceptionalism in general, have been of serious concern, and always the US has been jealous to guard what it has seen as its legitimate prerogatives.

In the cases of Syria and Iran, for example, appeals for sanity from Putin and others were ignored, or responded to with traditional US arrogance. Suddenly all that’s changed. Putin in particular has been elevated to the status of respected world leader, and it would have been inconceivable only a short time ago that the US would leave Russia in charge of dismantling Syria’s chemical weapons. Putin has not changed his tune or his style; he’s saying the same things he’s always been saying. What’s changed is that he isn’t being dismissed by Washington. And the global media, controlled of course by the Gods of Money, is now featuring him in almost heroic terms. Multipolarism has become overnight a reality.

De-Americanisation

American interventionism, and outrage against it, is of course nothing new. But particularly since 9/11 such episodes have become more and more dangerous. With threats of war with Iran, a ‘pivot to the East’ aimed against China, and other recent moves, it seemed we were verging toward a situation that might even trigger a full-blown nuclear confrontation on a global scale – the fulfilment of the ominous ‘Project for a New American Century’.

The world, as we’ve been seeing in media reports since the ‘red line’ backdown, is more than ready to embrace de-Americanisation. American leadership, widely welcomed after World War II, has long-since passed out of favour. One can almost hear a sigh of relief when reading some of the optimistic words of pundits. And who could not be relieved by the turn of events we’ve seen since Washington no longer seems to be calling all the shots? When Obama speaks, we typically hear the rhetoric of a politician; when Putin speaks, we hear the reasoned words of an astute statesman.

The Empowerment of the UN

Childbearing [should be] a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license… All potential parents [should be] required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.
– David Brower, first Executive Director of the Sierra Club

It does not take much imagination to see where these developments are heading. Diplomacy is taking centre stage, and new voices are being heard in the discourse of the ‘international community’. Expectations are rising that long-standing tensions and long-simmering crises may finally become resolvable. As real results begin feeding into these expectations, as will happen when the Iran crisis is settled and when the media starts saying the right things, there will emerge what amounts to a public outcry to carry this progress forward, to make sure that reason and diplomacy become the norm in international relations.

Out of the created crisis of American exceptionalism we will be treated with a ‘solution’ – putting teeth into the United Nations (UN) process. No more American vetoes in defiance of global sentiment! No more American (or Israeli) military adventurism! Let the UN do the job it was designed to do, we will hear, to provide a forum where issues can really be resolved, and to have the ability to carry out the resulting decisions on the ground. A ‘reformed’ UN won’t be called a world government, but the kinds of powers granted by the ‘reforms’ will amount to the same thing. The word subsidiarity may emerge again, if needed, to silence dissenting voices, but as with the EU such assurances would be meaningless.

It is important to notice that these recent breakthroughs and shifts are all in the realm of geopolitics. In this push toward centralised governance all attention is being focused on war and peace issues. Everyone, presumably, wants peace and stability among nations. We are being offered an attractive wooden horse named Peace, and we’re not hearing much about what’s inside the horse. Beware of elites bearing gifts.

In fact we know quite a bit about what is carried within the horse, but I’ve space here for only an example or two. Agenda 21 is one the most frightening pieces of cargo the horse carries. This agenda starts with legitimate concerns regarding sustainability, and transforms them into a Green Monster that aims to micromanage every aspect of our lives, to an extent that makes the old Soviet regime seem almost like free enterprise by comparison. Anyone not familiar with Agenda 21 would be well advised to do some research.

In the realm of international relations there are some frightening indicators, in particular regarding drone strikes. One would hope those diabolic machines would be outlawed altogether if we’re moving toward a more harmonious world. But no, already the UN is considering the drone issue, and wants to set up some kind of rating system to distinguish good strikes from bad strikes.

Which brings up the whole question of ‘terrorism’. As I’ve claimed above, and the evidence really is decisive, much of what is called ‘terrorism’ is really either false flag operations, or else the acts of mercenaries working for Western intelligence agencies, in the pursuit of some destabilisation or regime-change project. If the pretence is to continue – in our diplomacy-based world – that all this ‘terrorism’ is real, and that civil liberties must continue to be sacrificed, then our wooden horse isn’t as attractive as it might first appear.

There are two things we can be sure of, regarding what comes with our wooden horse. First, the UN will end up micro-managing society, by means of unaccountable bureaucracies, like the IMF, IPCC, WHO, etc. Second, with so many of our traditional systems intentionally destabilised, we can expect that a ‘solution’ will be given to us, in terms of a new cultural and economic paradigm.

An earlier article of mine, published in New Dawn 128 (Sept-Oct 2011), went into some detail as to the kinds of cultural changes the Gods of Money most likely have in store for us, based on various available indicators:  ‘The Elite Plan for a New World Social Order’, viewable at http://www.newdawnmagazine.com/articles/the-elite-plan-for-a-new-world-social-order; http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-elite-plan-for-a-new-world-social-order/27188

If you appreciated this article, please consider a digital subscription to New Dawn.

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RICHARD K. MOORE worked 30 years for leading Silicon Valley software firms, and then moved to Ireland to pursue his ‘real work’. Since then he’s been studying and writing about the problems humanity is facing, and exploring paths to solutions. He’s a prolific writer, with a popular blog, dozens of articles published in magazines and online outlets like globalresearch.ca, and has published a book, Escaping the Matrix: How We the People Can Change the World. Website: http://cyberjournal.org. He can be reached at rkm@quaylargo.com.

The above article appeared in New Dawn Special Issue Vol 7 No 6

The Spinning Top of 9/11–(Kenny’s Sideshow)

[Kenny, thanks for fighting the lies.  Maybe we will actually get to meet, once they put us all behind the wire.  Peter]

The Spinning Top of 9/11

 kennys sideshow
13 years is a mighty long time. What can be said that hasn’t been said a thousand times before? 
We know a few things. The official story is a 100% lie. It was a psychological operation against the entire world. It was an inside/outside false flag operation. The media is complicit in the cover-up. Treason lies at the heart of the event. There were some who benefited greatly, most did not.
Truth is out there. Somewhere. In spite of the so called truth movement which was part of the original planning and infiltrated from day one in anticipation of a great number of individuals seeing through the operation and speaking out. The perpetrators made a lot of mistakes, some so sloppy that they couldn’t be totally hidden. Obfuscation worked to cloud reality. Cognitive dissonance became a new meme in an effort to stop truth in its tracks. There are those who sell themselves for a few nickels to act as deceivers, confusers, shills and trolls in the effort to divide us, to control us.
Yet we persist. We may not agree on all the specific points of the how but we get the gist. The whos in the criminal conspiracy are well known although there are some deep within the world wide central banking system that remain somewhat hidden under the layers of deceit.
9/11 was the big lie of our time. It set the stage for more wars, more theft, an increasing police state and even more false flags and staged events.
Just where do we go from here? Spinning like a top forever with no disclosure, closure or justice?
Once again, thanks to all who have not given up and remain a voice of sanity in an insane world. It may seem like it’s all shouting into the wind and no one is listening but that would be a defeatist attitude and we are never going to take that route. Nor will we ever forgive.

Thievery Corporation Live At The 930 club

When they present any problem like 9/11 they offer the solution, war on terror, loss of freedom. Housing bubble, economic collapse, bailout tax theft. Swine flu, imminent death, forget about torture & the economy, hate foreigners & take the poison vaccines bought by tax dollars. They attack from above & below. They create the problems & offer the solutions, usually a choice between two evils, one lesser than the other. The same as the coming choice between Corrupt UN control of a global government or corrupt corporate control of the global government. You’re getting one world government & it’s going to be a tyranny, you just get to choose which one. Inevitably it’s the same owners at the top

The CIA Fakes is a catchphrase term used to describe a group which includes:
-Covert Operatives of the CIA, NSA and DIA; of the U.S. Corporate/Military Industrial Complex; of the intelligence services of U.K. Spain, France Holland, Germany, & Russia
-Political Agents working within the Democratic Party, Republican Party, Democratic Black Caucus, Green Party, & Patriot Movement
-Politicians in the U.S., U.K. Spain, France, Germany and Russia — who pose as 9/11 skeptics & Conspiracy theorists
-Media, including Mainstream, Alternative Media and Internet broadcasting media who either front for, cooperate with, or are directly employed by intelligence services mentioned aboveThe primary objectives of the CIA FAKES are:

-To leverage the Fakes into position as the leadership/spokespersons for the Conspiracy movement
-To splinter and divide that movement
-To promote lame, tame and/or booby-trapped questions about Conspiracy
-To be sufficiently over-the-top as to prevent the Conspiracy issue getting any traction in the media or left-wing
-To ensure that the movement would not have a politically-active leadership capable of turning it into an effective political lobby campaignThe questions about 9/11 were bound to be asked, the important aspect for the perpetrators was & is …by whom?

Turn off the tell lie vision. If you think it enriches your life, provides crucial information, is a socially acceptable pastime & will deliver you & your family to Utopia you may be too far gone already. Fakery TV is how they can control entire populations in their corporate debt slave central bank income tax pyramid scam. The world is nothing but a bunch of corporate slave coloniesPolitics is irrelevant, stop validating it by participating. Create a new artifact, design something, an open communicative cooperative community of planet earth.

38 comments:

  1. My mother knew a retired opera singer – she lived in my hometown. I don’t know how they met, but Marie knew a lot about things – she had sung on the same stage with Caruso and was a star during the golden age of opera. This is a picture http://digitalcollections.lib.washington.edu/cdm/ref/collection/sayre/id/20407

    She used to dine at the Rockefeller estates in Europe – she said she got a lot of information from their servants – for one thing, they said that the Rockefellers were Turkish Jews whose original name was something like Raw-ghen-mute or Row-ghen-mute.

    She once said that whenever you see these weird happenings, it means a dictatorship is coming soon. She was talking about some incident prior to WWI – some guy rushes out of a shop somewhere in Europe, starts slashing someone’s horses to death with a butcher knife. It’s basically the same m.o., these days on a much bigger scale.

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  2. You should have used a dreidel for the graphic. ;)

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  3. When I was a kid we were taught you never talk about politics or religion in polite company. We adhered to it, avoiding a lot of controversy and family fights. Except for our uncles. Get togethers were fraught with political discussions and eventually verbal fights. And I mean the left-right wing, public-private kind of thing.

    Now, I ask myself how can politics or religion be irrelevant if they are a crucial part of people’s lives? How can you even try to make a change if you don’t talk about the necessary ingredients? It’s not like we live in a vacuum, tend to our gardens and say high to our neighbours once in a while. Politics decides if the potholes in my neighbourhood are getting fixed or the public pool is open.

    Politics is the thing going on at City Hall. I know it isn’t easy to come up with different alternatives. Someone still has to show me it is possible the way society works at present. My fear is that we really need a major upheaval in order to be able to make real changes. Just turning off the TV isn’t going to do it.

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  4. I’ve been asking those same questions my entire life, MachtNichts. I can’t even talk about the weather anymore without being called a conspiracy kook. “just in case” I wear a duct tape bangle bracelet for laughs now when I get together with the family

    well…..actually – come to think of it — I don’t get invited to go out much anymore

    don’t know what I’d do w/o blogs like this

     

  5. You mean weather like in cesium skies, tic-tac-toe artificial clouds, rain that’s either coming down in a deluge or sometimes even doesn’t touch the ground?

    I know, I wish they would give me a buck for every one of their weird looks. I’d be rich.

     

  6. Great site, Kenny’s Sideshow. Became also a portal to the many links you have some yeaers ago. When I googled ‘ exposing the jewish crime network behind 911’ I entered a Crimi as the Germans call the crime movies. You can check out out any time you like but you can never leave. Kali’s fornuis. Kali’s stove in (in Dutch fornuis). Mossad – in Tel Aviv talk: ‘the institute’- has not yet succeeded to do me de das om. To tighten the scarf the tie around me neck, imho I did that to them.

    www we will win

    Gabreal Jones / Sam Hita

    CIA O

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  7. What is meant with imho i did it to them should be read as i=we did it to them. Not really able to describe exactly all that is happening on the gross and subtle planes since…..Turning off the TV is a must. Having faith as big as the size of a mustardseed the second that will open your own magic box that is full of weaponry to slay these evil forces. Think everyone here knows that…..

    www we will win, is this nonsense or what? Absolutely not. The G4S 2012 Olympic terror attack did not come about as the rockefeller foundation report so arrogantly boasted in retrospect. Not due to this former childactor Ben…

    Kenny, you write here key words: NOR WILL WE EVER FORGIVE. Last Walpurgis night (the Christmas of the Satanists) 30 april-1may i spent in the most heavy what i called now ‘stralen bunker’ radio frequency bunker in the PIL Penitantiary Institution Lelystad, in Lelystad, Holland. After having a esp visit in another prisoncell by Jacob R. the head of the cabal.
    Someone close to me taught me via esp in that PIL that very night the difference between the different satanic magica judaica lines. And said- while i was again bombarded by frequencies and also by the not so fresh air from the airconditioning of that isolation cell- and kept emphasizing you should never ever forgive (like the JC faith prescribes) cause when you don’t forgive the person with whom i had a heart contact and who monitored me via a very sophisticated chip placed in me and who is an agent for the nazizionsatanists of jr- for what he did to you then he is dismantled by his higherups his ultimate higherup is of course Jabulon or whatever name this very real entity has…..I survived that night…..and still survive.

    The jacob r. story published in a comment by gj at Dublinmick’s Here Comes The Sun 30 june has taken a definite different turn. He did not die the 25th but as far as i can conclude he did now.

    Hope you will publish this Kenny. No forgiveness, not turning the other cheek, The Master Key to our survival and victory over these satanists. Which means no atonement with them. As Benjamin F. and the like suggest. That would be classjustice optima forma. How is forgiveness possible for 9/11 , Fukushima, g.o.d.=Gulf Oil Disaster, MH17 and the like…..Enfin

    CIA O

    Reply

  8. We may use a little different terminology but we are seeing things essentially the same. There is no forgiveness for the most heinous of crimes. Only after true justice could we even begin to let it go.

     

  9. I’ve read that the actual “quote” reads:

    Forgive them NOT, Father, for they know what they do.

    Somehow it got lost in translation by moving a few words around.

     

  10. Truth really matters even if all the idiots who watch TV can’t stand to hear it…

    Truth is “we” have a right to know the truth that precedes “their” so-called “right” to print
    the currency and LIE on the TV…and we have a right to self defense that precedes their
    “right” to commit mass murder….with “Taxpayer” so-called “dollars”.

    http://www.ini-world-report.org/2014/09/07/the-master-list/

    It is an either or situation…even if the braindeadgoy don’t …”get it”.

    sincerely

    Davy

    Reply

  11. I’ll be gone for the rest of the day and will get to the comments later. Wish I could leave the thread open without moderation but I’m afraid it won’t work. Thanks…..

    Reply

  12. “Turn off the tell lie vision. If you think it enriches your life, provides crucial information, is a socially acceptable pastime & will deliver you & your family to Utopia you may be too far gone already. Fakery TV is how they can control entire populations in their corporate debt slave central bank income tax pyramid scam. The world is nothing but a bunch of corporate slave colonies”

    Bingo! – No tell a vision at my house. No cable. No satellite. No telly all day long. Hubby watches a few shows, but, other then that- zero, zip, zilch

    “Politics is irrelevant, stop validating it by participating. Create a new artifact, design something, an open communicative cooperative community of planet earth”

    Last election here in Ontario, Canada I declined my ballot- Officially
    It has to be marked that way- I went to the poll and declined my paper ballot
    This sends a message that there is no one to vote for
    And even worse- I spoke loudly with someone else who was there about our frustration with the offerings and how sick we were of the whole situation. I will vote for my locals, though.

    -I am still paying with cash except for large purchases- non trackable and my privacy intact
    -I go to my local farmers for food we can’t grow ourselves
    and Yes I have a garden- who else does?

    I am not on facebook and don’t want to be- it’s too creepy, tracks you everywhere on line and what with all those friend connections much dirt can be dug
    Bad enough to be on blogger,but, in order to get news out, someone has to do it? Keep personal info to the minimum

    And I talk, I drop memes to everyone- Yes, I actually think of short, direct sentences to drop at appropriate times that I hope will get people to think about reality- or what is presented to us as reality

    And tell people all the time, stop allowing yourself to be ‘moved along’ like cattle to the slaughterhouse, because that is exactly what is happening-

    And one last think I urge everyone to do- drop your smart phone- it’s just an addiction inducing device and is equal to an ankle bracelet some criminal is forced to wear, which anyone would feel resentful of being forced to wear, but, willingly drag their smart phone everywhere with them? I don’t get it?!

    I am one person doing everything I possibly can to clog the gears, if everyone did this the paradigm would shift

    Reply

  13. Hey Penny, all great advice. Most of which I strive for. Yes, had/have a garden. Ate and put up a lot but it’s all played out except for jalapenos and okra, do you guys eat breaded fried okra where you are? Lately I’ve been getting some Amish grown organic produce at a local fruit stand. Those people don’t fool around when it comes to their crops.

    Yard sales are also an outside the system source for necessities, at least for me. Even men are discarding their almost new cotton with no logos t-shirts, shirts, shorts, jeans, everything I need for 50 cents or a dollar. I hope to never pay retail and sales tax for clothes again. :)

     

  14. Hi Kenny
    Okra is not a big food in this area- Is it good? I would try it?
    I can get it at the grocery store, but not at the local market.
    We had a cool summer, so, unfortunately my peppers and eggplant were duds
    And yes the garden is just about finished here also
    We planted a late batch of pole beans and they have been going gangbusters
    Everything else did good. I have been freezing, vacuum sealing and prepping food

    A few years back yard sales used to be frequent and plentiful, but now not so much
    It’s quite depressed where I live, lots of unemployment
    I have watched globalization destroy a once solid community
    It’s pitiful :(

     

  15. The purpose of “9/11” was to induce a trauma based fear into Americans in order to control them. It is that simple. The less you are traumatized the less they have control over you. In fact, they can’t control you. They can only control the system. You can not be made to do anything you don’t want to do. They can only create conditions that force you to comply because you fear the repercussions in noncompliance. The spinning top only stops in the real world. In the dream state (believing in fakery or make believe), the top spins forever. In my view, the “9/11” spinning top no longer spins. There may be another “9/11” in the works. If it does, it won’t have any effect on me.

    “The organizing principle of any society is for war. The basic authority of a modern state over its people, resides in its war powers. Today its oil. Tomorrow, water. Its what we like to call the GOD business. Guns, oil, and drugs. But there is a problem. Our way of life. Its over. Its unsustainable and in rapid decline. Thats why we implement “demand destruction”. We continue to make money as the world burns. But for this to work, the people have to remain ignorant of their problems until its too late. Thats why we have triggers in place, 9/11, 7/7, WMDs, a population in a permanent state of fear does not ask questions. Our desire for war, becomes its desire. A willing sacrifice. You see, fear is justification, fear is control, fear…is money.”

    Fear is control.

    ArisReply

  16. Very wise words Aris. Thank you for adding them to this narrative.

     

  17. The Jews have hated us GOYIM for centuries and centuries, killing us in batches when they get the chance, whether its killing nearly 3,000 on 9/11 or nearly 3,000 back in Biblical times to placate their psycho G-d.

    Yes, I know, not being politically correct and saying Zionists, but we don’t have enough time left for niceties.

    From the Book of Exodus, Chapter 32: 26-29:

    26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD’S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.

    27 And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.

    28 And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.

    http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Exodus-Chapter-32/

    Reply

  18. Supposedly the Hebrews were wandering around in the desert, but their camp had gates!? :-/

     

  19. Personally I don’t think anything in the ‘hebrews’ book they wrote actually happened to them . The stole all the stores from prior ones and put their own often perverted spin on them.

     

  20. All Bible history makes sense IF one wants to understand it, but understanding is based on believing in the existence and divine power of God — as revealed in the Bible that revisionists don’t want to believe. Selectively choosing theological talking points is a form of revisionism just as is the Jewish version of history is today. Truth is what anyone wants it to be, that is why so much information is censored, and why so many people become victims of oppression and death. The power on earth belongs to Satan and his ruling agents — Jews like the Rothschilds, Even the Bible states this. That is why real Christians do not base their faith on earthly realms and rulers, because these people have gotten their power and kingdoms from Satan. Even the occultic State of Israel exists because of Satan and not by the power of a Holy God. But then, Satan can’t be real — he is only a made up character from a made-up Bible.

     

  21. Re 9/11 justice in the United States…all you need is one honest judge. Is there even one honest judge in the US who will listen to the evidence? So far….all these long, painful years of grief…it appears not.

    Reply

  22. There may be some honest judges here but none that have the courage.

     

  23. An honest judge will never be allowed to hear the case, and I’m not sure how many truly honest judges there are. Can you act honestly in a dishonest/corrupt/rigged system. Also, honesty requires courage in my opinion.

    Alex in vermont

     

  24. The US doesn’t even have an honest Att. General, Eric Holder, or DOJ, or Supreme Court. I agree with Alex in Vermont. Courage often means death when someone even tries to counter the “dishonest/corrupt/rigged system.” One current example being the cop, Darren Wilson. Eric Holder has already promised black protesters that Wilson will be held guilty for murder. Right now the system is being corruptly rigged so that even if Wilson gets a trial, it will only be a show one. Straight out of the former Soviet Union’s Communist playbook. Remember how Americans used to deride them for their fake, public trials? Now it is done here!

    — mtw —

     

  25. Spot on, Kenny. I’d also add, movies deserve to be shunned as well.

    Oh, and I love Thievery Corp but their new album – waaaay too sedate. Still, hoping they’re coming up to Cascadia this fall. Have you listened to Ancient Astronauts? Give the album Into Bliss and Time a listen. Trip Hop Happiness.

    Reply

  26. I’ve listened to the Thievery live show I linked in the background, fairly loud, a couple of times. I like the groove. The industry has promoted them a little but has not really made them ‘stars.’ With up to 24 members in the band, they are different. The live show would be exceptional to see.

     

  27. I have a feeling you would love this album
    Whipped Cream and Other Delights ReWhipped
    http://www.anthonymarinelli.com/Anthony_Marinelli/Albums_ReWhipped.html
    (Thievery does Lemon Tree)

     

  28. Dreidel Song
    Dreidel music with lyrics
    By Chayim B. Alevsky
    Chorus:
    My dreidel’s always playful
    It loves to dance and spin
    A happy game of dreidel
    Come play now, let’s begin!
    http://www.chabad.org/multimedia/media_cdo/aid/797123/jewish/Dreidel-Song.htm

    Israel And The Art Of War, Spin And Slaughter
    By Michael Brull
    The real story about the destruction of Gaza by Israel, and the targetting of civilians, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure must be told. Michael Brull explains.
    https://newmatilda.com/2014/07/24/israel-and-art-war-spin-and-slaughter

    — mtw —

    Reply

  29. actually there are no “Jews” in the Old Testament…

    and the deity of the Talmud is a stool sculpture…named Lucifer

    if the Almighty gave you a brain…why not use it

    http://forward.com/articles/205421/steven-salaita-speaks-out/

    sincerely

    Davy

    Reply

  30. “Truth really matters even if all the idiots who watch TV can’t stand to hear it…” Neither can some bloggers.
    PC spin keeps lies in circulation, the dreidel version that is.

    Making vulnerable persons aware of the truth can save lives. Warnings could save unwitting victims from harmful attacks. Censoring truthful facts by claiming it is racial prejudice is applied only to black criminal behavior; not white. Why do bloggers not care about whites being the victims, often very violently assaulted? Why hide the truth that is becoming a more and more abusive societal norm under Obama/Holder? It is a crisis subject, too, for Black power and Jewish power are intertwined on a destructive agenda for America. — mtw —

    EDOMS THORN ON WHITE GENOCIDE: GUEST POST

    Wanting to preserve our White Nations is RACIST!
    There is a cure for wanting that, It is called WHITE GENOCIDE!
    “Anti-Racist is a code-word for Ant-White.”

    “Sadly the vast majority of the peoples opinions are not based on fact, rather they are based in Agenda Driven Rhetoric, wrapped in emotion. Based on ‘feelings,’ or ‘acceptable opinions’ (dogma) that, while ‘some what’ rooted in fact, having been wrapped in emotion, it is only to hide an agenda, that is DESIGNED for their own destruction.”

    http://buelahman.wordpress.com/2014/09/10/edoms-thorn-on-white-genocide-guest-post/

    Feb 20 2014
    Google Cracks Down on WND for Reporting Racial Mob Violence

    The world’s most powerful Internet search engine has accused WND of using “hate speech” and has threatened to block ads on the news site over its use of the term “black mobs” in news stories and columns reporting on a two-year epidemic of racial attacks in the U.S.

    A little background:

    Two years ago, WND began investigating and reporting on a spree of unprovoked attacks by groups of blacks on non-black victims, spearheaded by accounts compiled by journalist Colin Flaherty, author of “White Girl Bleed A Lot.” The book has been endorsed prominently and repeatedly by celebrated black scholar Thomas Sowell for connecting the dots between hundreds of incidents taking place in cities across the country. Flaherty’s reporting also first identified the phenomenon known as “the knockout game,” in which groups or individual black people have targeted non-black victims for unprovoked attacks designed to knock them unconscious with a surprise blow to the head.

    If not for sites like WND, the mainstream media never would have acknowledged this nationwide and extremely alarming phenomenon even as briefly as it did. Cut off from reality by liberal censorship, unwitting victims would continue to wander into situations that put their lives at risk, like teenagers who never received John Derbyshire’s talk.

    As Sowell puts it:
    “Most of the media see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil. In such an atmosphere, the evil not only persists but grows.”

    Google’s policy is totalitarianism wrapped in the usual squishy-soft coating of politically correct “tolerance”:

    http://moonbattery.com/?p=42589

    — mtw —

    Reply

  31. Cannot watch any of the media ‘outrage porn’ of 9/11 today as it highlights what I already know…what a horrible job they do of informing the public. [sigh]

    After 9/11, America was so outraged by the deaths of thousands of innocent American civilians over a political beef, that in response we killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians over a political beef. ~ LanceThruster

    Reply

  32. This is a good one for today from Visible…

    “Today we celebrate the incredible and mind blowing ignorance of the American public, not only their ignorance but also their cowardice and arrogant sense of entitlement. We celebrate the many wars generated by the dual national Israeli neo-cons who used the lies woven around 9/11 in order to justify attacking one country after another in the Middle East to fulfill their Ersatz Israel Zionista fantasies. Millions have died and millions more displaced. There was no reason for these wars because these wars all came out of a ridiculous presumption that a handful of stone age Arabs had masterminded this colossal event, when, in fact, it was masterminded and carried out by agents of Israel and compromised and corrupt intelligence agencies.”

    more here

    http://www.smoking-mirrors.com/2014/09/we-celebrate-anniversary-of-israeli.html

    Reply

  33. hmmm

    Sibel Edmonds via Washington’s Blog calls out the ‘masterminds’ of 9/11 but leaves Israel out of the mix.

    FBI Whistleblower: Pentagon, CIA, NATO and MI6 Were Masterminds Behind 9/11

    Reply

  34. Here’s an interesting exchange [edited]:

    Alananda: …I believe, based on reading your site’s posting for a couple years, you — like Stephen Lendman, Paul Craig Roberts, Michel Chossudovsky, and (now with sorrow I have to add) “Cognitive Dissonance” — serve in part as a “gatekeeper”, directing attention away from those who actually carried out 9/11/2001, lifted the load, so to speak, the same cadre who carried out the attack on the USS Liberty, the bombing of the London Underground, and so may more “false flags” and mass killings. “Limited hangouts” this 13th Anniversary of the murders and destruction on 9-11 (WTC 1 & 2 & 7, Pentagon) and later (murders of witnesses, investigators, journalists) seem all the rage. I recommend ZH’ers look up Lasha Darkmoon’s collage of quotes from that period, currently posted on veteranstoday.com and on the website devoted to her work. GOOGLE still returns legitimate links for Lasha Darkmoon at last try. She told the truth about 9-11 without shrinking from, and skirking, the task of describing the “elephant in Room 911”.

    George Washington [of Washington’s Blog]: If Israel was involved, it was a SUBCONTRACTOR to bigger players.

    Also, alot of what Veteran’s Today writes is disinfo.

    Alananda: …I have to disagree and then question on what authority you assert that “If Israel was involved, it was a subcontractor to bigger players.” What dots did YOU connect for that conclusion? Is that something you know you know with high certainty? Let’s refer to the essay of Cognitive Dissonance, then, shall we?

    As for your assertion and link that “what VeteransToday.com writes is disinfo” — VT has “columnists and contributors and editors”, some of which (Stephen Lendman comes to mind), you yourself post on YOUR blog. I have had a run in with Mr. Gordon Duff (senior editor and contributor, VT) about his ill-advised statement that 40% of what “he” writes is disinfo. He “outed me” — posted my own real name, called me a paid troll or shill (I can’t recall which as I type), and left it like that. Irrascible for sure, Mr. Duff. I would recommend your reading the postings of Jonas Alexis and Jim Fetzer and others, though. Tell me when you do that what they write is “disinfo”!

    One man’s disinfo, I suppose, in your and Cognitive Dissonance’s epistemology, is another’s truth, and vice versa. All relative, right? There is no Truth, correct? Sounds like the formula that dumbed down America and corrupted what values remained among the common folk, those not chosen, the goyim, so to speak.

    I submit to you that lies of omission — especially omitting facts and verified information about (1) the role of the “State of Israel” (a poor and misleading construct, I think, perhaps “agencies and corporations serving interests associated with that ‘state'” is more precise), (2) the role of many people who hold dual Israeli-US citizenship, most if not all are “Jews” — whatever that appellation means today — and (3) the evidence of their involvement in events leading up to and including the murders and destruction on 9-11-2001 along with murders and cover-ups since — identify “gatekeepers” just as certainly as those who espouse the “offical government conspiracy theory”, one or two of whom I knew professionally if not personally…

    Alananda’s comments begin at the following link, although the link won’t take you directly to the comment — you’ll have to search the page for the comment number, and the comment may be on a different page than it is now:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-09-10/911-ultimate-litmus-test#comment-5205289

     

  35. The upper level perpetrators of 9-11 and every other mass-media-orchestrated major PsyOp are the bankers, of course, predominantly Jews from the Rothschilds on down. Nothing ‘world-changing’ or even just society-changing gets done without their given go-ahead. However, any list of the lower-level operational perps of 9-11, no matter how many tribe members it contains, that does not include the names Steven Rosenbaum, Rick Leventhal, Joel Meyerowitz, Charles Hirsch, Kenneth Feinberg, Alvin Hallerstein, Howard Lutnick, Matt Lauer, Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer, etc. is amateurishly incomplete at best and completely ignorant of proven image-fakery and merely dogmatic movie-criticism passing as ‘real research’ at worst.

    The fact that most 9-11 truthers and especially the plane-huggers have never even heard of Rosenbaum, Lutnick and the rest shows you how well the gatekeeping has worked in the alternative media. The fact that not just the video of building seven, given as a red herring on a Silverstein platter on Jew-owned PBS to the troofers, was faked ahead of time, but even the birds flying in the sky

    goes to show how unafraid of possible discovery and brazen the planners of the PsyOp were and how knowledgeable of what it takes to permanently install divide-&-conquer from the root up, the root being PROPER PROCEDURE in criminal investigations which always puts IMAGE VERIFICATION ahead of any analysis based on images. They not only brazenly put Silverstein, an obvious Jew, in there as a front man, when they could have easily paid him off and got a gentile front-man, but they had the unmitigated audacity and balls to put false-trails in the PsyOp further promoted by their agents in the alternative media for practically EVERYBODY, knowing that it’s all a numbers game and a few marginalized people on the internet pointing directly to Jews and Israel means practically nothing in the grand scheme of things, as long as they get to use their Weapon of Mass Deception, the mass-media (both mainstream and a large chunk of the alternative) to churn-out these mostly media-faked PsyOps over and over again and re-trigger the FEAR-&-TRAUMA-BASED programming constantly.

    http://www.davidicke.com/forum/showthread.php?t=224648&page=7

    Furniture – Brilliant Mind Lyrics

    Artist: Furniture

    Album: The Wrong People

    I’m at the stage
    Where everything I thought meant something
    Seems so unappealing
    I’m ready for the real thing
    But nobody’s selling
    Except you and yours
    Saying open up your eyes and ears
    And let me in

    You must be out of your brilliant mind

    You’re at the stage
    You want your empty words heard
    And everybody’s ready
    They want to know your secret
    But you are not telling
    You’re just gesturing saying open up your arms and hearts
    And let me in

    You must be out of your brilliant mind

    I’m at the stage
    Where I want my words heard
    When no one wants to listen
    Because everybody’s yelling
    About you and yours
    And how I’d have the answer if I’d only open up, up, up
    And let you in

    They must be out of their brilliant minds

    I said shame
    Shame on you
    Shame
    Shame on you
    Shame
    Shame on you

    You must be out of your brilliant mind
    And they must be out of their brilliant minds
    Everyone out of their brilliant minds
    I’m must be out of my brilliant mind
    My brilliant mind

    ~ Negentropic MK IReply

  36. Flashback. A reminder to all those who were called morons by one unreliable blogger who assured everyone that Sandy Hook was real and a missile hitting the Pentagon, only very stupid people could believe that. Never rely on just one know-it-all disinfo agent whose purpose is to foggy up truth. — mtw —

    Ryan Dawson: Sandy Hook Was Real, Morons
    By Jesse Herman On January 2, 2013

    “Youtube has been absolutely blowing up with conspiracy theories regarding Sandy Hook. People are claiming that the because the father of Emily Parker was giggling and asking for money before a speech that he was a paid actor. There have been in-depth analyses of how actors are meant to act and paralleled with his motions.

    They have also pointed to the movie Dark Knight and the fact that a town called “Sandy Hook” was pointed to on a map and that there was a building called Aurora. There is another video that shows past victims, such as Caylee Anthony whose mom allegedly killed her, whose pictures are popping up as if they are still alive. These people claim that there is a network of psyop mind control at play here, maybe by the CIA or other underground agency. These are all rabbit holes, which will never produce real answers, only further rabbit holes to chase.

    Don’t get me wrong, the chase can be fun, in a sick and twisted sort of way. For the people that do this research, they exist for a reason and they have a purpose to serve. For the people who believe every rabbit hole they peak into, they have a purpose to serve as well. As for Ryan Dawson, his purpose is to call these people out.”

    “It is exactly as the conspiracy site claim for Sandy Hook and other massacres. It is all too real. It’s hard to be hard on “Conspiratards” as Ryan Dawson calls them. They are just participating in the illusion like the rest of us, no matter what side of the fence you happen to fall.”

    Sandy Hook fake?
    Ry Dawson
    Published on Jan 1, 2013

    http://www.naturalindependent.com/archives/10482/ryan-dawson-sandy-hook-was-real-morons/
    Reply

  37. Obama has started another war on 9/11/2014. Never, ever again support any more the US military murderers who don’t have the guts to refuse! Cowards in uniform! A shame for any DECENT American family! — mtw —

    Thursday, September 11, 2014

    THAT DIDN’T TAKE LONG! ON THE SAME DAY that the god damned JEWS GLOATED that they Got Obama to BOMB SYRIA.. the JEWS now, INSTANTLY DEMAND “US BOOTS ON GROUND” in Syria.. = A US INVASION of Syria! SEND THE TERRORIST SUPPORTING JEW WAR-PIG TRAITORS TO THE HAGUE for INSTIGATING MASS-MURDER TERROR WARS and CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY!
    THAT DIDN’T TAKE LONG!
    ON THE SAME god damned DAY that the JEW war pigs GLOATED that they got their blackmailed homosexual puppet of a U.S. president, Barack Obama, to BOMB SYRIA…
    a “policy” that was SOLD TO AMERICANS as being “only” “low cost, low-threat drone ‘srikes’ that would only attack ISIS terrrorists”…
    the evil jew owned press/media now, instantly!, DEMANDS “US BOOTS ON GROUND” in Syria to go along with their “camel’s nose in the tent” DRONE STRIKES”
    = AN OPEN-ENDED US INVASION of Syria!

    IS THERE NO ONE ON PLANET EARTH who can PREVENT THESE DEMONIC JEW WAR PIG vampire ghouls FROM INSTIGATING TERRORIST ATTACKS ACROSS the planet…
    and then getting their BRIBED & BOUGHT-OFF, blackmailed, extorted, and MASS-MURDEROUSLY CORRUPT U.S. government & congressional COWARDS
    to SEND IN THE U.S. MILITARY TO FINISH OFF THE VICTIMS???

    SEND THE TERRORIST SUPPORTING genocidal JEW WAR-PIG TRAITORS
    at USA Today TO THE HAGUE!
    SOMEONE AUTHORIZE some “DRONE STRIKES” ON THE ISIS TERRORIST SUPPORTING NETANYAHU and ALL HIS GENOCIDAL, 9-11 perpetrating JEWISH WAR PIGS!

    http://thejewishwars.blogspot.com/2014/09/that-didnt-take-long-on-same-day-that.html

    Syria airstrikes need boots on the ground, AF officer says
    Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY 11:26 p.m. EDT September 11, 2014

    WASHINGTON — U.S. special operations forces will be needed on the ground in Syria to make the expanded air war President Obama has ordered there more effective, a senior Air Force commander told USA TODAY.

    The spy planes flying missions over Iraq and Syria can develop a list of potential Islamic State targets, said the commander who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe what the war might look like. But it’s “absolutely crucial that pilots are talking to an American on the ground” who can verify that the target is legitimate.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/09/11/is-obama-bomb/15463535/

    Reply

  38. Flashback: President Obama should already have been forcibly, and legally removed from office by designated US Military commanders. Should they have tried, undoubtedly they would have been removed first by Obama’s military loyalists. Perhaps a “7 Days In May” has actually happened. Any of the last few Presidents have certainly deserved removal. “America’s Coups Blues” should be a song. — mtw —

    Thursday, March 24, 2011
    Obama A Traitor And War Criminal – Where’s Congress?

    On the eighth anniversary of the day President George W. Bush ordered US troops into Iraq in 2003, with the full support of the US Congress and majority support from the UN Security Council, Barack Obama launched a Tomahawk missile assault on the sovereign nation of Libya with no majority support in the UN and without even consulting congress.

    Acting alone while congress was away on recess, solely at the command of the United Nations and without constitutional authority, Barack Obama dropped over $70 million worth of Tomahawk missiles on the sovereign nation of Libya in a dictatorial maneuver to force regime change of a foreign land.

    He launched a military assault on Libya under what authority? To be certain, Gadhafi is no prize, but what Obama just did is far worse. Acting all alone in a truly imperialistic fashion, Obama violated his Oath of Office, Article I and II of the US Constitution and The War Powers Act all in one mindless kneejerk decision.
    Article II – Section II of the US Constitution identifies the US President as the civilian oversight of the US Military and Commander-in-Chief. But it gives the US President no authority to use military might to enforce its political will upon foreign nations.

    Article I – Section VIII of the US Constitution rests the power to declare war solely with the US Congress. It requires both the Commander-in-Chief and Congress to commit US troops to combat, without which the act is wholly unconstitutional.

    [MORE]

    http://newsthatmakesyoumad.blogspot.com/2011/03/obama-traitor-and-war-criminal-wheres.html

    Reply

The Dangerous Nazification of Ukrainian Airwaves

[Ukrainian TV HAS to be even more boring than Russian TV.  Let’s see how long Svoboda can contain the restless longings of the Ukrainian masses if they are all bored beyond the point of their capacity to be mesmerized by inanity.]

OSCE slams Ukraine’s repressive censorship of Russian TV channels

Russia-Today

Neo Nazi Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok

The OSCE has criticised Kiev’s “repressive” move to shut down the broadcasting of Russian TV channels after the media watchdog reported over 50% of providers have already fulfilled the order allegedly aimed at “ensuring national security and sovereignty.”

“As of 11:00 GMT, March 11th, 50 percent of providers throughout Ukraine have disabled broadcasting of foreign channels,” others are preparing to follow, the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine, said on its website.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe has voiced strong concerns over the decision.

“I repeat my call to the authorities not to initiate these repressive measures,” OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović said. “Banning programming without a legal basis is a form of censorship; national security concerns should not be used at the expense of media freedom.”

“While I deplore any kind of state propaganda and hate speech as part of the current information war, everyone has the right to receive information from as many sources as he or she wishes,” Mijatovic said. “Switching off and banning channels is not the way to address these problems; any potentially problematic speech should be countered with arguments and more speech.”

So far at least 5 Russian channels have been excluded from the list of options, following an appeal by the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine last week.

“The National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine requires the program service providers to stop the broadcast of the Russian TV channels Vesti, Russia 24, Channel One (worldwide transmission), RTR ‘Planeta’, and NTV-World in their network,” the National Council order says.

More than half of Ukraine’s population speaks Russian regularly and one third say it’s their native tongue. In Crimea over 90 percent of the population uses Russian on an everyday basis.

Participants of a rally on Yevpatoria's central square voice their support to Russia. (RIA Novosti/Andrey Stenin)Participants of a rally on Yevpatoria’s central square voice their support to Russia. (RIA Novosti/Andrey Stenin)

On Sunday, Republic of Crimea began broadcasting Russian TV channels on frequencies earlier occupied by Ukrainian television. It has been done because of “legal reasons and moral principles,” Crimea’s information minister Dmitry Polonsky told Itar-tass.

“From the moral point of view, all Ukrainian TV channels were rigidly censored by Kiev’s illegitimate authorities. In violation of fundamental principles they broadcast only one point of view – Crimean politicians, community leaders and Crimeans were unable to comment on the situation,” Polonsky said, adding that their round the clock false reporting of “Russia occupying Crimea” or “declaring war on Ukraine” did not correspond to reality and was used to aggravate the situation and escalate violence.

Polonsky also said that existing contracts should be brought into line with the “current legal situation”, as he urged Ukrainian TV channels to renegotiate contracts for new frequencies with the Crimean broadcasting authorities.

Following the move Ukraine’s media watchdog Goskomteleradio demanded an immediate resumption of Ukrainian TV channels broadcast in Crimea, accusing Russia of “aggression.”

“We regard this as a manifestation of undisguised information aggression against Ukraine by the Russian Federation,” the statement reads.

Russia has long voiced concerns over banning Russian media broadcasts on Ukraine’s national frequencies, calling it a violation of human rights.

“We are aware of proposals to prohibit broadcasts in Ukraine by companies of countries that are not signatories to the European Broadcasting Convention,” Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said late February after the proposal to ban some channels were first introduced by Svoboda Party in Ukraine.

“Russia is not a signatory to this convention, but this circumstance has not stopped us from broadcasting across Europe. Such broadcasts have not encountered any problems in any country of the European Union. If such a decision is adopted in Ukraine, it will be serious violation of freedom of speech,” Lavrov added.

September 11, Opening Act of The Saudi War Upon the American People

[Bush’s low-down redaction of hard Saudi truths from the 911 Report was merely a temporary holding action.  The groundswell of American retribution awaiting the vile monarchs is a huge body of water, just waiting to be released.   When the dam of truth is finally broken down, vengeance will sweep the Saudi monarchy from the pages of time itself, reducing them to a mere footnote, designating a tribe of ruthless “camel jockeys” who made themselves into a real threat to Western civilization.]

Do the Saudis really control the terrorists they court?

new york post

 

 

 

In a 2003 Rose Garden press conference, a reporter asked President Bush why he was sealing a congressional report “incriminating the Saudi government when it comes to 9/11.”

 

Bush, without denying the description of the report’s contents, argued he had to seal it “so that those who are being investigated aren’t alerted.”

 

Only, the Saudi suspects named in the report weren’t really “being investigated.” Several months earlier, then-FBI Director Robert Mueller admitted as much during a closed hearing with the 9/11 Joint Inquiry staff on the Hill. Mueller sheepishly acknowledged the only people aggressively investigating the Saudi connections were sitting there across the table from him.

 

This was beyond odd. At both the FBI and CIA, there were files thick with memos and other documents detailing connections between the Saudi hijackers and Saudi officials and agents in at least seven US cities coast-to-coast. They revealed a vast Saudi support network spanning from Los Angeles and San Diego in the West to Washington, DC, Falls Church, Va., and Herndon, Va., in the East; and from Sarasota, Fla., in the South to Paterson, NJ, in the North.

 

Yet the only people connecting the dots were congressional staffers, as case agents and detectives assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Forces in San Diego and Washington complained of being frustrated by brass in their attempts to run down Saudi leads, particularly ones that led back to the Saudi Embassy.

 

There was so much Saudi-related evidence that it took 28 pages just for Hill investigators to summarize it all.

 

In fact, there arguably was more evidence for the Justice Department to indict Omar al-Bayoumi, the suspected Saudi intelligence agent who aided two of the hijackers in San Diego, than there was to indict Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called 20th hijacker. The attorney general could just have easily thrown material support of terrorism charges at Bayoumi. But he did not. The only real difference is Bayoumi’s a Saudi.

 

If Bush’s objective really was to avoid tipping off subjects of ongoing investigations, he could have carefully redacted the names of Bayoumi and other Saudis cited in the 28-page section. Instead, he elected to censor the entire section, scrubbing out anything and everything Saudi.

 

The day before he did that, he met with the Saudis in the White House to discuss that secret Saudi section, which remains classified today. Walking away from that hour-long meeting, the Saudis no doubt felt reassured their secrets were safe. Confident Bush would never release the 28 pages, Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar made a show of demanding they be released, arguing the Saudis have nothing to hide.

 

It was an obvious, if effective, ploy.

 

The congressional report safely sealed up, the Saudis had only the 9/11 Commission Report to worry about — and, lo and behold, it cleared the Saudis (even though the commission director never let investigators see the 28 pages from the earlier congressional report). Upon its release, Bandar clucked that the panel exonerated the Kingdom, not to mention himself, conveniently.

 

The report curiously leaves out evidence tying Bandar and his wife to the hijackers through a Saudi bag man, Osama Bassnan, who received personal checks from the Bandars while handling the hijackers in San Diego. Bandar appears a few times in footnotes, and only in passing.

 

The Bandars claim the checks were “welfare” for Bassnan’s supposedly ill wife, and that they did not know what Bassnan was really up to.

 

Maybe so. The Saudis have a history of turning a blind eye to the extremists among them, funding radical mosques as a way of placating their population and keeping themselves in power.

 

But even if you take Bandar’s ignorance at face value, as he sows the wind, we reap the whirlwind.

 

Last year, Bandar was promoted to chief of Saudi intelligence. Saudi Arabia very much wants to see Bashar al-Assad removed from power in Syria. Bandar, frustrated with Obama’s inaction, has been letting Saudi jihadists cross the border to fight in the civil war — and has been funneling arms and support to the Islamic Front rebel group, according to the Daily Beast, weapons that can easily end up in the hands of al Qaeda.

 

Bandar also has pushed Russia to drop its backing of Assad. In August, according to the Telegraph, he gave President Vladimir Putin both a carrot — oil deals — and a stick:

 

“I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year,” Bandar allegedly said. “The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us.”

 

By Chechen groups, he means Islamic terrorists — just like the ones who bombed the Boston Marathon. It’s a startling, shocking admission.

 

Which is the more scary scenario? That members of the Saudi government provide funding to al Qaeda and other terrorist groups but can’t control them — or that they can?

 

Either way, we can’t find out the full story without an investigation. And the necessary first step is declassifying those 28 pages. Let’s finally connect those dots.

 

Paul Sperry is a Hoover Institution media fellow and author of “Infiltration” and “Muslim Mafia.”

US Risking War With China To Defend Imperial Japan’s War Conquests

 

[SEE: Forget Trade Talks, Biden Is in East Asia to Stop a Potential War ]

[Obama was so frustrated with his failed attempt to engineer world war with Russia in the Middle East, that he has now “pivoted” to his next intended war front in the South “China Seas.”  The US and Japanese Navies are now skirting around the Chinese Navy and their new aircraft carrier, in order to reinforceJapan, which was forced into relinquishing its claims to the Paracel/Spratly Islands as a condition of the WWII surrender document.  The dubious claims made upon the Spratlys by the Japanese are related to Japan’s many aggressions committed against China. 

First, Obama confirmed that Bush’s terror is now his own, before he escalated the war in the Middle East against multiple nations, revealing for all to see that he is waging a true “war of aggression” against the entire world.

Next, Obama anoints the new Imperial Japanese government with his blessing, in the form of a promise to invoke the American postwar commitment to defend Japanese territory, even those defined by previous war claims.  Obama, the self-celebrated legal expert, doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on in this intricate, pre-arranged dogfight.  Is WWIII to begin with a revival of WWII?]

TREATY OF PEACE WITH JAPAN

Signed at San Francisco, 8 September 1951
Initial entry into force*: 28 April 1952

CHAPTER II, TERRITORY, Article 2, (f) Japan renounces all right, title and claim to the Spratly Islands and to the Paracel Islands.

 

The Inconvenient Truth Behind the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands

new york times logo

By HAN-YI SHAW
Diaoyu Island is recorded under Kavalan, Taiwan in Revised Gazetteer of Fujian Province (1871).Han-yi ShawDiaoyu Island is recorded under Kavalan, Taiwan in Revised Gazetteer of Fujian Province (1871).

Japan’s recent purchase of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands has predictably reignited tensions amongst China, Japan, and Taiwan. Three months ago, when Niwa Uichiro, the Japanese ambassador to China, warned that Japan’s purchase of the islands could spark an “extremely grave crisis” between China and Japan, Tokyo Governor Ishihara Shintaro slammed Niwa as an unqualified ambassador, who “needs to learn more about the history of his own country”.

Ambassador Niwa was forced to apologize for his remarks and was recently replaced. But what is most alarming amid these developments is that despite Japan’s democratic and pluralist society, rising nationalist sentiments are sidelining moderate views and preventing rational dialogue.

The Japanese government maintains that the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands are Japanese territory under international law and historical point of view and has repeatedly insisted that no dispute exists. Despite that the rest of the world sees a major dispute, the Japanese government continues to evade important historical facts behind its unlawful incorporation of the islands in 1895.

Specifically, the Japanese government asserts, “From 1885 on, our government conducted on-site surveys time and again, which confirmed that the islands were uninhabited and there were no signs of control by the Qing Empire.”

My research of over 40 official Meiji period documents unearthed from the Japanese National Archives, Diplomatic Records Office, and National Institute for Defense Studies Library clearly demonstrates that the Meiji government acknowledged Chinese ownership of the islands back in 1885.

Following the first on-site survey, in 1885, the Japanese foreign minister wrote, “Chinese newspapers have been reporting rumors of our intention of occupying islands belonging to China located next to Taiwan.… At this time, if we were to publicly place national markers, this must necessarily invite China’s suspicion.…”

In November 1885, the Okinawa governor confirmed “since this matter is not unrelated to China, if problems do arise I would be in grave repentance for my responsibility”.

“Surveys of the islands are incomplete” wrote the new Okinawa governor in January of 1892. He requested that a naval ship Kaimon be sent to survey the islands, but ultimately a combination of miscommunication and bad weather made it impossible for the survey to take place.

Letter dated May 12, 1894 affirming that the Meiji government did not repeatedly investigate the disputed islands.Japan Diplomatic Records Office.Letter dated May 12, 1894 affirming that the Meiji government did not repeatedly investigate the disputed islands.

“Ever since the islands were investigated by Okinawa police agencies back in 1885, there have been no subsequent field surveys conducted,” the Okinawa governor wrote in 1894.

After a number of Chinese defeats in the Sino-Japanese War, a report from Japan’s Home Ministry said “this matter involved negotiations with China… but the situation today is greatly different from back then.” The Meiji government, following a cabinet decision in early 1895, promptly incorporated the islands.

Negotiations with China never took place and this decision was passed during the Sino-Japanese War. It was never made public.

In his biography Koga Tatsushiro, the first Japanese citizen to lease the islands from the Meiji government, attributed Japan’s possession of the islands to “the gallant military victory of our Imperial forces.”

Collectively, these official documents leave no doubt that the Meiji government did not base its occupation of the islands following “on-site surveys time and again,” but instead annexed them as booty of war. This is the inconvenient truth that the Japanese government has conveniently evaded.

Japan asserts that neither Beijing nor Taipei objected to U.S. administration after WWII. That’s true, but what Japan does not mention is that neither Beijing nor Taipei were invited as signatories of the San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1951, from which the U.S. derived administrative rights.

When Japan annexed the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands in 1895, it detached them from Taiwan and placed them under Okinawa Prefecture. Moreover, the Japanese name “Senkaku Islands” itself was first introduced in 1900 by academic Kuroiwa Hisashi and adopted by the Japanese government thereafter. Half a century later when Japan returned Taiwan to China, both sides adopted the 1945 administrative arrangement of Taiwan, with the Chinese unaware that the uninhabited “Senkaku Islands” were in fact the former Diaoyu Islands. This explains the belated protest from Taipei and Beijing over U.S. administration of the islands after the war.

Report dated August 12, 1892 from navy commander affirming the islands were not fully investigated. Source:  Library of The National Institute for Defense Studies.Report dated August 12, 1892 from navy commander affirming the islands were not fully investigated. Source:  Library of The National Institute for Defense Studies.

The Japanese government frequently cites two documents as evidence that China did not consider the islands to be Chinese. The first is an official letter from a Chinese consul in Nagasaki dated May 20, 1920 that listed the islands as Japanese territory.

Neither Beijing nor Taipei dispute that the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands — along with the entire island of Taiwan — were formally under Japanese occupation at the time. However, per post-WW II arrangements, Japan was required to surrender territories obtained from aggression and revert them to their pre-1895 legal status.

The second piece evidence is a Chinese map from 1958 that excludes the Senkaku Islands from Chinese territory. But the Japanese government’s partial unveiling leaves out important information from the map’s colophon: “certain national boundaries are based on maps compiled prior to the Second Sino-Japanese War(1937-1945).”

Qing period (1644-1911) records substantiate Chinese ownership of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands prior to 1895. Envoy documents indicate that the islands reside inside the “border that separates Chinese and foreign lands.” And according to Taiwan gazetteers, “Diaoyu Island accommodates ten or more large ships” under the jurisdiction of Kavalan, Taiwan.

The right to know is the bedrock of every democracy. The Japanese public deserves to know the other side of the story. It is the politicians who flame public sentiments under the name of national interests who pose the greatest risk, not the islands themselves.

Update: The author would like to include an updated image of the Qing era documents that recorded, “Diaoyutai Island accommodates ten or more large ships”, as mentioned in his blog post.

Record of Missions to Taiwan Waters (1722), Gazetteer of Kavalan County (1852), and Pictorial Treatise of Taiwan Proper (1872).National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan.Record of Missions to Taiwan Waters (1722), Gazetteer of Kavalan County (1852), and Pictorial Treatise of Taiwan Proper (1872).

Han-Yi Shaw is a Research Fellow at the Research Center for International Legal Studies, National Chengchi University, in Taipei, Taiwan.

After October 17, the US Govt Will Only Have $30 Billion Left To Pay Its Bills With

U.S. Treasury starts last measures to preserve borrowing authority

Reuters

 

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew addresses the Economic Club of Washington D.C., in Washington, September 17, 2013.  Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON

(Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury on Tuesday started using its last tools for pushing back the date when the government will run out of legal borrowing authority, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said.

In a letter to lawmakers, Lew said the Treasury Department was suspending some reinvestments of a government currency exchange fund and would also enter into a debt swap with the Federal Financing Bank and the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund.

He repeated past statements that these measures would allow it to continue below its $16.7 trillion limit for a little while longer, but that by October 17 the government will have exhausted its borrowing authority and will be left with about $30 billion in cash to pay the nation’s bills.

“If we have insufficient cash on hand, it would be impossible for the United States of America to meet all its obligations,” Lew said in a letter to lawmakers. “For this reason, I respectfully urge Congress to act immediately to meet its responsibility by extending the nation’s borrowing authority.”

After borrowing authority expires, Treasury by law would then have to rely on its remaining cash and incoming revenue to pay the country’s obligations.

The nonprofit Bipartisan Policy Center estimates that the United States would begin defaulting on some obligations between October 18 and November 5.

Lew said the partial federal shutdown, which started after Congress failed to pass legislation to fund the government in the new fiscal year that began on Tuesday, would not “materially” impact Treasury’s projections for when its borrowing authority will expire.

(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Christopher Wilson and Will Dunham)

There Will Be NO “AMERICAN SPRING,” Only A Second American Revolution—Bomb Syria, Obumma, and The American People May Bomb You

[Obumma, There Is One Way To Help the Syrian People—Call-Off Your Saudi Attack Dogs and Stand-Up To the bloodthirsty Republicans. 
If you weren’t such a coward and a sell-out to the rest of the human race, then you would not take pleasure from recruiting the Republican Fascists to your side. 
If the anti-Democracy American Congress opens another war front, then the American people must open a war front of their own—right on the White House lawn. 

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Prepare to lay-down your lives for the sake of the human race…come to Washington for action…If the American bombs fall on Damascus, then gather together in Lafayette Square for the beginning of the Second American Revolution!]

no war

Obama wins backing for Syria strike from key figures in Congress

Reuters

WASHINGTON/BEIRUT

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama won the backing of key figures in the U.S. Congress, including Republicans, in his call for limited U.S. strikes on Syria to punish President Bashar al-Assad for his suspected use of chemical weapons against civilians.

Leaders of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee said they reached an agreement on a draft authorization for the use of military force in Syria, paving the way for a vote by the committee on Wednesday. However, the draft is much narrower than the request made by Obama and includes a provision barring the use of U.S. troops on the ground.

Speaking after the United Nations said two million Syrians had fled a conflict that posed the greatest threat to world peace since the Vietnam war, Obama said on Tuesday the United States also has a broader plan to help rebels defeat Assad’s forces.

“What we are envisioning is something limited. It is something proportional. It will degrade Assad’s capabilities,” Obama said. “At the same time we have a broader strategy that will allow us to upgrade the capabilities of the opposition.”

Having startled friends and foes alike by delaying a punitive attack on Assad until Congress reconvenes and agrees, Obama met congressional leaders at the White House to urge a prompt decision and assure them it did not mean another long war like Iraq or Afghanistan.

John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor both pledged their support for military action after the meeting.

Votes are expected to be held in the Senate and House next week, with the Republican-led House presenting the tougher challenge for Obama.

The House leadership has indicated the votes will be “conscience votes,” meaning they will not seek to influence members’ votes on party lines. All the same, it would have been a blow to Obama if he had not secured the backing of the top two Republicans.

“I believe that my colleagues should support this call for action,” Boehner told reporters.

The president said strikes aimed at punishing the use of chemical weapons would hurt Assad’s forces while other U.S. action would bolster his opponents – though the White House has insisted it is not seeking “regime change.”

Among other provisions, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee draft, which was obtained by Reuters, sets a 60-day limit on U.S. military action in Syria, with a possibility of a single 30-day extension subject to conditions.

COMPROMISE DEAL

The compromise deal reached by Senator Robert Menendez, the Democratic chairman of the panel, and Senator Bob Corker, the top Republican, includes a provision banning any use of U.S. armed forces on the ground in Syria, according to the draft document.

It requires Obama to consult with Congress and submit to the Senate and House of Representatives foreign relations panel a strategy for negotiating a political settlement to the Syria conflict, including a review of all forms of assistance to the rebels fighting to oust Assad.

Secretary of State John Kerry initially told the committee he would prefer not to bar the use of ground troops to preserve options if Syria “imploded” or there was a threat of chemical weapons being obtained by extremists.

But when Corker, the Republican senator, told Kerry he “didn’t find that a very appropriate response regarding boots on the ground,” Kerry quickly, and repeatedly, backtracked.

Kerry said he was simply “thinking out loud” and raising a hypothetical situation, but he did not want to leave the door open to sending ground troops to Syria.

“Let’s shut the door now,” Kerry said. “The answer is, whatever prohibition clarifies it to Congress or the American people, there will not be American boots on the ground with respect to the civil war.”

An Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Tuesday that Obama has failed so far to convince most Americans. Some 56 percent of those surveyed said the United States should not intervene in Syria, while only 19 percent supported action, essentially unchanged from last week.

In remarks that appeared to question the legality of U.S. plans to strike Syria without U.N. backing, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the use of force is only legal when it is in self-defense or with Security Council authorization.

If U.N. inspectors confirm the use of chemical weapons in Syria, the Security Council, which has been deadlocked on the 2-1/2-year Syrian civil war, should overcome its differences and take action, Ban said.

Assad denies deploying poison gas that killed hundreds of civilians last month.

The Syrian opposition, which said a forensic scientist had defected to the rebel side bringing evidence of the Assad forces’ use of sarin gas in March, has appealed to Western allies to send them weapons and use their air power to end a war that has killed more than 100,000 and made millions homeless.

COMFORTABLE GOING FORWARD

Obama has said he is “comfortable going forward without the approval of a United Nations Security Council that so far has been completely paralyzed and unwilling to hold Assad accountable.

The presence in rebel ranks of Islamist militants, some of them close to al Qaeda, has made Western leaders wary, while at the same time the undoubted – and apparently accelerating – human cost of the conflict has brought pressure to intervene.

Russia, backed by China, has used its veto power in the U.N. Security Council three times to block resolutions condemning Assad’s government and threatening it with sanctions. Assad, like Russia, blames the rebels for the August 21 gas attack.

Obama was due to leave Washington on Tuesday for a G20 meeting in Russia. France said foreign ministers of some of the G20 member states will convene on the sidelines of the meeting to discuss Syria.

The conflict has divided the Middle East on sectarian lines, with Shi’ite Iran backing Assad and Washington’s Sunni Arab Gulf allies supporting the mainly Sunni rebels. It has also revived Cold War-style tensions between the Western powers and Moscow.

In an interview in Le Figaro, Assad told the French newspaper: “Everybody will lose control of the situation when the powder keg blows. There is a risk of a regional war.”

The U.N. High Commission for Refugees said there had been a near tenfold increase over the past 12 months in the rate of refugees crossing Syria’s borders into Turkey, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon – to a daily average of nearly 5,000 men, women and children.

This has pushed the total number of Syrians living abroad to more than 2 million.

That represents some 10 percent of Syria’s population, the UNHCR said. With a further 4.25 million estimated to have been displaced but still resident inside the country, close to one third of all Syrians are living away from their original homes.

Comparing the figures to the peak of Afghanistan’s refugee crisis two decades ago, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres, said: “Syria has become the great tragedy of this century – a disgraceful humanitarian calamity with suffering and displacement unparalleled in recent history.

“The risks for global peace and security that the present Syria crisis represents, I’m sure, are not smaller than what we have witnessed in any other crisis that we have had since the Vietnam war,” said Guterres, a former Portuguese prime minister.

(Additional reporting by Tom Miles and Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva, Steve Gutterman and Timothy Heritage in Moscow, Jeffrey Heller and Dan Williams in Jerusalem, Dasha Afanasieva in Istanbul and Phil Stewart, Arshad Mohammed, Susan Cornwell and Andy Sullivan in Washington.; Writing by Claudia Parsons.; Editing by Christopher Wilson, Jim Loney and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Obama/Netanyahu Try To Force War Upon the World with Unannounced Missile Launches In Med

[If mere rumors of military action against Syria are enough to produce such volatility in the Eastern stock markets (the first to open), then think of the negative economic consequences for starting an actual regional war in the Middle East.  By springing this missile test upon the world without prior warning, Netanyahu and Obama have revealed more about themselves than they would have wanted.  Both men have obviously signed-off on a joint attempt to set the entire Middle East on fire, witnessed by a world audience that was already paying attention.  This may prove to be the “final straw” which breaks the back of world opinion on supporting America’s multiple wars of aggression.  

Unexpected revelations about the depth of American lies, the rapid growth of the American police state and open support for “al-Qaeda” terrorists in Syria, were all bad enough to shatter popular support for US aggression, even before this latest provocation exposed the bloodthirsty intentions of the black and white Zionist twins.  The people of the world are no longer willing to bear the weight of bloody American intervention on the pretext of “fighting terror,” or the damages that have been done by successive American administrations to the global economic order.  The wars  that have been painted with the broad brush of “patriotism” by both Obama and Bush have been revealed to be obscene “wars of aggression” (true “crimes against humanity”) in the service of an American global empire.  Whenever Obama revealed himself to be the moral equal of that “low-life” Benjamin Netanyahu, by attempting to force an even wider war upon the human race (even though we have expressed our absolute rejection of the tyranny of the terror war), he exposed the lies which have cemented the war coalition together, causing even the ultra-loyal lapdog British Parliament to recoil in horror at the idea of association with such a war-monger.  At the very least, Americans have the same duty as the rest of the human race to take a viable stand to end Obama’s deceptive reign of despotism.

If we cannot impeach him, then we will have no other choice but to overthrow the war-monger, locking his narrow ass away somewhere, as if he was the bastard son of the Muslim Brotherhood.]

HT Correspondent and Reuters, Hindustan Times
New Delhi/Moscow
A demonstrator holds a sign during a rally against the proposed military intervention against Syria. Reuters

The rupee and stock markets plunged on Tuesday, with bechmark Sensex sliding by 650 points on reports that missiles were fired at Syria, raising fears of disruption in oil supply and spike in prices. The rupee slipped below 68 against a dollar, losing more than two percent of its value in the day trade. The 30-scrip S&P Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) tanked 651.47 points or 3.45 percent at 18,234.66 points.

The Sensex hit a low of 18,166.17 points in the intra-day.  The wider 50-scrip S&P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also slumped 3.77 percent at 5,341.45 points. Banking, realty and oil and gas stocks slumped after the Russian  defence ministry announced that it has detected launch of two ballistic missiles from the central part of the Mediterranean Sea toward the eastern part of the Mediterranean coast.

The markets recovered after it emerged that there were no signs of a missile strike on the country, where a festering controversy over alleged use of chemical weapons by the ruling regime has precipitated a crisis prompting possible military intervention by the US and allies.

The US said none of its ships or planes launched any attack.

Although Syria is not a major oil producer, a deepening crisis is seen as destabilising for Middle East and has had a bearing on driving up global oil prices in recent weeks.

The markets tumbled after Russia’s state-run RIA news agency said Russian radar detected the launch of two ballistic “objects” in the Mediterranean Sea, but there was no sign of a missile strike on the Syrian capital Damascus.

A defence ministry spokesperson told Russian news agencies the launch was detected at 10.16 am Moscow time (11.46 IST) by an early warning radar station at Armavir, near the Black Sea, which is designed to detect missiles from Europe and Iran.

“The trajectory of these objects goes from the central part of the Mediterranean Sea toward the eastern part of the Mediterranean coast,” Interfax news agency quoted the spokesperson as saying.

The spokesperson did not say who had carried out the launch and whether any impact had been detected, but RIA later quoted a source in Syria’s “state structures” as saying the objects had fallen harmlessly into the sea.

The Russian defence ministry declined comment to Reuters.

The Russian embassy in Syria said there were no signs of a missile attack or explosions in Damascus, state-run Itar-Tass reported.

Israel said it was unaware of any ballistic missile launch being conducted in the eastern Mediterranean.

“We are not aware, at this time, of such an event having occurred,” a military spokeswoman in Jerusalem said.

Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu had informed President Vladimir Putin of the launch.

Russia opposes any outside military intervention in the Syrian civil war, and a defence ministry official had earlier criticised the US for deploying warships in the Mediterranean close to Syria.

The US has been preparing for a possible military strike in Syria following what it says was a chemical weapons attack by Syrian government forces. Damascus denies carrying out such an attack.
(With inputs from IANS, Reuters and other agencies.)

Swiss Govt. Endures International opprobrium Over Pro-Hezbollah UN Watch Nominee

[(SEE:  Jean Ziegler—Defending Humanity Against Zionist/Imperialist Aggression)  The Zionist Hasbara machinery has been busy trying to fry Mr. Ziegler for many years, especially since his scathing, honest reporting on the attempted Israeli ethnic-cleansing operation in Lebanon in 2006.  Ziegler is an even bigger target because of his vocal criticism of the West’s war against humanity and especially the Empire’s obscene use of hunger and the promotion of religious schism as weapons of war.  As Special Rapporteur to the United Nations on the right to food, he promoted the brilliant concept of food as an inalienable human right.  His book, Empire of Shame (which doesn’t seem to be available in English–editor) is a detailed indictment of the American war against the entire human race, in the service of the elitist “Lords of the Economic War.”]

“the crime of September 11 by the U.S. government and transnational corporations as a pretext to conquer the world and control the destinies.”

 

Switzerland nominates Hezbollah advocate for UN Human Rights Council

JPost

By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT

Swiss candidate defended French Holocaust denier; UN Watch official says he has “extremist anti-Western and anti-Israel” views.

Jean Ziegler

Jean Ziegler Photo: Reuters
The Swiss government has nominated Jean Ziegler–-a former Social Democratic MP who has praised Hezbollah as a legitimate national movement–- to serve as an adviser to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.The formal notification of Ziegler’s nomination to UN diplomats took place last week, sparking sharp criticism on Monday from a UN watchdog group.

Speaking Tuesday to The Jerusalem Post via phone, Hillel C. Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, said Ziegler has “extremist anti-Western and anti-Israel” views and a long history of attacking the Jewish state. UN Watch urged the Swiss government to rescind its nomination of Ziegler.

In 1982, Ziegler sought the expulsion of President Shimon Peres, then head of Israel’s Labor Party, from the Socialist International association.

In an interview with the Hezbollah publication Al-Akhbar in 2006, Ziegler said “I refuse to describe Hezbollah as a terrorist group. It is a national movement of resistance.”

The 28-member EU designated Hezbollah’s military wing a terrorist organization last month. Switzerland is not a member of the EU.

Ziegler’s support for the late French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy was expressed in a 1996 letter, amid controversy over allegations of Holocaust denial in Garaudy’s book, The Founding Myths of Modern Israel: “I am outraged at the legal case they are making against you… All your work as a writer and philosopher attests to the rigor of your analysis and the unwavering honesty of your intentions. It makes you one of the leading thinkers of our time… It is for all these reasons that I express here my solidarity and my admiring friendship,” wrote Ziegler.

Ziegler’s Social Democratic party has been embroiled in Holocaust controversies over the years. The former Social Democratic foreign minister, Micheline Calmy-Rey, proposed seminars on different perspectives of the Holocaust back in 2006, when meeting with an Iranian delegation on the nuclear crisis.

Responding to the UN Watch criticism on Tuesday, the news outlet Swissinfo quoted Ziegler a saying, “This is total defamation, due to a severe report I published in 2002 on the right to food in the occupied Palestinian territories.”

The Swiss government defended Ziegler in a letter to the UN: “As a renowned expert with an excellent knowledge of economic, social and cultural rights, Prof. Jean Ziegler has always shown an acute independence of thought. He is a figure that has the ability to actively promote human rights both in the civil society and in the international community.”

Jean Ziegler: Empire shame ignited the war on Lebanon

akhbar-logo2

Bassam Kantar

Jean Ziegler knocks alarm since he took office at the United Nations as a special rapporteur on the right to food. Ziegler shocked the size of the destruction in Lebanon for «News» speech about the war and its aftermath, and is b «surprises» in the Human Rights Council Bassam Kantar concluded day before yesterday, the Special Rapporteur to the United Nations the right to food, Jean Ziegler, his visit to Lebanon carrying in his sleeve a lot of evidence and information to be provided to the Human Rights Council which opened today its second regular session. It is scheduled to discuss the meeting of human rights violations during the Israeli attack on Lebanon. Ziegler knows about himself that he belongs culturally and politically to «Almiiiah». He stressed in an exclusive interview with the ‘news’ that what comes out of him from the views do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the United Nations, is not linked to its mission as a special rapporteur. Known Ziegler that his mission annoy Israel, which not visited along the lines of what he did four experts who had arrived in Lebanon last week, within the mission entrusted to the Human Rights Council fact-finding mission regarding violations of human rights and international humanitarian law during the recent aggression on Lebanon. Had already visited the occupied territories and submitted a report on the tragic situation in the West Bank and Gaza, and raised his report in a timely manner sensation led to the establishment of a fierce campaign upon by an American Zionist organization called «Organization of the United Nations control. But that did not prevent his re-election a few months ago for the same position Due to the high credibility enjoyed by. Ziegler working on a review of his new book in French «shame empire», which will be translated into English as well. It includes a description of «to use the crime of September 11 by the U.S. government and transnational corporations as a pretext to conquer the world and control the destinies. Ziegler saddened for the victims who died as a result of the recent war, and describes the war as’ a human tragedy of Lebanon and Israel. He continues: ‘I refuse to Hezbollah terrorism is described, it is a national resistance movement, and when all efforts fail to liberate the prisoners through diplomatic means, I can understand this movement do detain soldiers to exchange them. But what I could not understand yet is the Israeli reaction to the incident, the families of the two soldiers. Ziegler believes’ that Israel interprets a wonderful principle of self-defense, which was approved by the Article 51 of the International Bill of Human Rights, and gives an example: «imagine if I walked in Beirut and try someone stole my wallet. International Bill give me Right Besdh and the followed, but that does not mean that burned Beirut if it fails. He adds: «So, I see the reaction of Israel against Lebanon in this way and kill all those innocent flagrant violation of international law. And on the report, which سيرفعه to the United Nations, says Ziegler: «will include documentation of detailed Israeli violations committed against the farmers and agricultural infrastructure, and targeted means of transportation, and the presence of hundreds of thousands of mines which paralyzes the resumption of agricultural activity, in addition to the destruction of the right of all irrigation systems in the Litani and sources waters of the south, as well as the elimination of the foundations of physical structures for fishing, and the inability of farmers to harvest olives or banana planting seedlings. And the work of the commission of inquiry formed by the Human Rights Council, Ziegler says: «I can not predict now. But the picture is clear and massive destruction and human rights violations aware. And we will take the light from the legal point of view, as well as empirical knowledge field, which contributes to the Aghtina of the deliberations of the Commission on Human Rights. I think the Council liberated from the constraints of the U.S. government will provide a lot of surprises. Ziegler believes «that the war on Lebanon launched an episode of senseless wars waged by the empire of shame. The disaster of these wars over the daily carnage caused by hunger and not justified by any imperative or saucepan. Behind every victim stands murderer, and the present world order is not fatal, but is also absurd killer. It’s massacre being Baotaiadah not the indifferent. The equation is simple, it has the money to eat and live, but not owned by it suffers to become incapacitated or die, but there is no inevitability or spend, all die of hunger dies Mgtala.

Syrian Oil Ministry Announces Huge Oil and Gas find offshore, the Next Day Obama Signs Ex. Order Freezing Syrian Assets

Syria announces discovery of new gas field near Homs—August 17, 2011, Daily Star

Executive Order 13582– Blocking Property of the Government of Syria and Prohibiting Certain Transactions with Respect to Syria—August 18, 2011

Oil and Gas find offshore Syria motive for US Israeli mercenary uprising and bloodshed in Syria

CounterPsyOps

US GEOPOLITICAL TERRORISM PLATFORM

US GEOPOLITICAL TERRORISM PLATFORM

Why are US Israeli mercenaries in Syria?  Same reason why the US illegally attacked Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya and Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinian civilian population   – oil and gas.  The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the Levant Basin, which covers Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus and Palestine, contains around 122 trillion cubic feet of gas and at least 1.7 billion barrels of oil.

The Israeli government plans to build a floating liquefied natural gas terminal with a sea-based defense radar system off its Mediterranean coast while forming a naval force to protect what it claims is its rich offshore gas fields. However, Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus and Palestine all have Levant Basin oil and gas rights.

Israel sent its Mossad and their foreign mercenaries into Syria to help the US and its mercenaries start a bloody uprising to take from Syria its oil and gas rights in the Levant Basin. Israel attacked Palestine and is grabbing land from them to deny them their oil and gas rights in the Levant Basin. The people of Palestine are being slaughtered to extinction (genocide) because of the oil and gas in the Levant Basin.

Lebanon’s Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said that Israel is “ignoring the fact that according to the maps the deposit extends into Lebanese waters,”  Lebanese Energy Minister Gebran Bassil said June 17 his country “will not allow Israel or any company working for Israeli interests to take any amount of our gas that is falling in our zone.” He said Noble was warned not to work close to Lebanon’s economic zone.

A coastal state is entitled to explore for oil and gas in its economic zone, which extends 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers), according to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the area includes the coastal states of Palestine (Gaza), Lebanon and Syria. So according to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Palestine, Lebanon and Syria are all entitled to explore and recover oil and gas in their respective economic zones.

Hundreds of US government financed mercenaries from Xe Services LL, formerly known as Blackwater, and Academi have been captured and killed by Syrian forces in Syria.  As many as 700 foreign mercenaries of Arab and Western descent along with Israeli, US and European-made weapons were seized in the Homs neighborhood of  Baba Amro in March of this year.

European journalists in Syria see a totally different story that is propagandized by the anti-sovereignty United Nations and the US government.  The picture painted by the US media does not match the reality. Foreign journalists are confirming “cross-border terrorism” from Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon into Syria.  They have uncovered evidence of the US government government involvement in the Syrian uprising.  US paid mercenaries are the ones killing innocent civilians.  Mercenaries from Xe Services LL.  Syrian government forces are battling US and foreign mercenaries in Syria. US mercenaries have illegally infiltrated Syria to start an uprising by committing terrorist acts and armed assaults against Syria’s civilian population.

On March 2nd, 2007 retired general of the United States Army Wesley Clark revealed that the US government had planned just 10 days after 9/11 to attack seven countries in five years, “starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran”. As George W Bush is quoted as saying “Mission Accomplished” for Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, Somalia and Libya. Only 2 more to go – Syria and Iran. Obama illegally attacked Libya (didn’t seek nor get Congressional authorization for use of force or a declaration of war). Because an election is coming in the fall Obama chose again to defy Congress and blatantly violate the US Constitution and his oath of office by secretly waging an illegal war against Syria using foreign mercenaries.

While NATO and Washington condemn the Assad government, Syrian civilians from across Syria tell chilling stories of atrocities committed by foreign fighters, who kidnap and kill anyone at will. Xe mercenaries are blocking the Red Cross and Red Crescent ambulances from entering the battle stricken towns for fear that they will leak to the outside World what is really going on. Xe doesn’t want the Red Cross to witness foreign fighters fighting against Syrian government forces nor do they want the Red Cross to treat its own wounded mercenaries because a dead mercenaries can’t talk, but more importantly, can’t collect what is owed.

On June 21, 2012 the Vice-President of the Turkish Labor Party, Bulent Aslanoglu, told the United Nations that he had evidence that about six thousand foreigners of different Arab, Afghan and Turkish nationalities, have been recruited by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to commit terrorist acts in Syria.

Russia and China have both vetoed every UN Resolution put forward by the United States to use military force against Syria. Both Russia and China know that the uprising in Syria was orchestrated by the United States using CIA mercenaries. Russia and China know that the United States was involved and the United States was fabricating evidence against Syria in order to get a UN Resolution to use military force against Syria. Now that use of force is unauthorized by 2 permanent members of the UN Security Council the US is now working with the UNations to overthrow Assad using another UNdiplomatic coup. The US has brought in the butcher of Baghdad, Kofi Annan, to oversee the overthrow. Kofi Annan oversaw the “Oil for Food” genocide scheme in Iraq wherein 3 million Iraqi children were murdered by Annan when he denied them any essential humanitarian aid, including medicine and food.

An internal investigation found Annan guilty of corruption in prewar Iraq’s oil-for-food program and delivered a scathing rebuke of the former Secretary General Kofi Annan’s management of the largest U.N. humanitarian aid operation and concluded that Annan took advantage of his position to profit from the system. Kofi Annan secretly had steered lucrative Iraqi oil contracts to a Swiss company, Cotecna, where his son worked.

10 years ago the US openly attacked Iraq to overthrow its government and take control of its oil. Today, the US is secretly attacking Syria to overthrow its government and take control of its huge untapped oil and gas reserves. In late 2010 huge natural gas deposits off Syria’s Mediterranean shores were discovered. The initial results revealed that the “entire” eastern Mediterranean is swimming in huge untapped oil and gas reserves.

https://i0.wp.com/presscore.ca/2011/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/US-oil-wars.jpg

Two years ago, in June 2010, the Leviathan, the largest gas field in the Eastern Mediterranean that stretches from Egypt to Syria was discovered by Houston Texas based Noble Energy. The natural gas reserves in that find that are in Palestinian, Lebanese and Syrian territorial waters are estimated to be something in the range of 25 trillion cubic feet (Tcf). Some experts are estimating that there might also be up to 600 million barrels of oil. And that is not all. Preliminary exploration has confirmed similarly impressive reserves of gas and oil in the waters off Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Syria.

That discovery is now causing enormous political, geopolitical as well as economic consequences. It the whole reason why Israel also has mercenaries and Mossad killing squads in Syria.

The Leviathan gas field is the reason why the US orchestrated the political uprising in Egypt and the political coup in Greece.

In December 2010, when it seemed the Greek crisis might be resolved without the huge bailouts or privatizations, Greece’s Energy Ministry formed a special group of experts to research the prospects for oil and gas in Greek waters. Greece’s Energean Oil & Gas began increased investment into drilling in the offshore waters after a successful smaller oil discovery in 2009. Major geological surveys were made. Preliminary estimates now are that total offshore oil in Greek waters exceeds 22 billion barrels in the Ionian Sea off western Greece and some 4 billion barrels in the northern Aegean Sea.

According to one Greek analyst, Aristotle Vassilakis, “surveys already done that have measured the amount of natural gas estimate it to reach some nine trillion dollars.” Even if only a fraction of that is available, it would has transformed the finances of Greece and the entire region. It would have made the whole region independent of the interest bearing loan sharks from the World Bank and the IMF.

Tulane University oil expert David Hynes told an audience in Athens recently that Greece could have solved its entire public debt crisis through development of its new-found gas and oil. He conservatively estimates that exploitation of the reserves already discovered could bring the country more than €302 billion over 25 years. The Greek government instead has just been forced to agree to huge government layoffs, wage cuts and pension cuts to get access to a second EU and IMF interest bearing enslavement loan.

Greece oil potential far exceeds Canada’s undersea oil potential. Three undersea oil reservoirs: Hibernia (with estimated recoverable reserves of about 1.3 billion barrels of oil), Terra Nova (400 million barrels), and White Rose (440 million barrels). The combined oil reserves of the 3 wells pales in comparison to the 22 billion barrels in the Ionian Sea off western Greece and the 4 billion barrels in the northern Aegean Sea.

For a decade now more than 2 million US soldiers have been sent thousands of miles to a foreign country to fight and even give their life (6,514) to protect and restore foreigners’ rights and freedoms when their own rights and freedoms are being quietly stripped away at home, on US soil, by their president and his government.

https://i1.wp.com/msnbcmedia1.msn.com/j/msnbc/Components/Photos/041118/041118_insurgent_hmed_330a.grid-6x2.jpg

Iraqi Resistance fighters the US government called terrorist

Americans were told they would be fighting a war against terrorists and terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan. 2 million were ordered to take up arms and forced to deploy and fight what they were told was the enemy of peace and freedom.

In Afghanistan and Iraq the US government told them that anyone carrying a weapon, that weren’t Americans, were terrorists and they could shot and kill any and all of them. Millions of alleged terrorists and civilians were savagely killed by those 2 million Americans and entire civilian cities, towns and village were destroyed in Operation Enduring freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Today, both Afghanistan and Iraq are not free as the US military is still committed to wiping out the Taliban (genocide is defined by the International Criminal Court as “the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group“) and killing thousands of civilians in Afghanistan in the process and has and insists on having two combat bases and roughly 4,000 troops remain permanently in Iraq. The sectarian violence (terrorism) was fostered by the US in Iraq, not fought.

Foreign Libyan terrorists the US government funded and called freedom fighters

Foreign Libyan terrorists the US government funded and called freedom fighters

Today, the US government is no longer in the business of fighting terrorists and terrorism, they are in the business of supporting terrorists and terrorism – first in Libya and now in Syria. The very same terrorists who took 6,514 American lives in Afghanistan and Iraq are now being recruited by and paid by the US government to commit acts of terrorism, crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, mass murder, atrocities and war crimes against the civilian populations of Libya and Syria. The US isn’t fighting terrorism it is supporting terrorism. The US isn’t fighting a War Against Terror it is waging Wars of Terror.

Foreign Syrian Terrorists the US government is funding and calling freedom fighters

Foreign Syrian Terrorists the US government is funding and calling freedom fighters

US Code
Title 18 › Part I › Chapter 113B › § 2331

(1) the term “international terrorism” means activities that—
(A) involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States orof any State;
(B) appear to be intended—
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
(C) occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States, or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to intimidate or coerce, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum;

That is exactly what happened in Libya and is now happening in Syria. Foreign terrorists have infiltrated Syria and are engaging in activities that involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life with the intent to intimidate or coerce the Syrian civilian population, to influence the policy of the Syrian government by intimidation or coercion and to affect the conduct of the Syrian government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping.

Source: PressCore ( August 21st 2012 )

Did Obama Intententionally Disrupt the Sunni/Shia Equilibrium, Or Did the CIA Do An Endrun Around Him?

[We have tipped the centuries-old balance between Sunni and Shia Muslims; where will it all lead?  None of us will be happy with the results.  By deputizing the Saudis/Qataris/Turks to enforce American order in the Middle East, Obama has enabled the Sunnis to organize their own terrorist army, dedicated to the proposition of “enforcing Sharia” and killing the unbelievers.  They are not fighting in Syria to help the Syrian people, but to create another Saudi-Wahhabi state.  Their imminent defeat there (due in large part to the entry of the Hezbollah Shia resistance fighters on the side of Bashar al-Assad), has created a sense of panic, causing them to issue an urgent call to “holy war” to all of the Sunni Ummah, all 1.6 billion of them.  According to the author of the following report (Islamist fighters flood into Syria, sometimes clashing with rebels ) many Sunni nut-jobs are answering the call, even though many of them are even attacking the FSA people that they are supposed to be in helping. 

All of this is conceivably creating conditions that are conducive for a rapidly-building catastrophe that may be of “Biblical proportions.”  The cycle of retribution between “al-Qaeda” and Hezbollah, which Obama has set into motion with his cavalier approach to the use of “Islamist” terrorists as the lynchpin of his foreign policy, could , in the near future, bring together a force of more than one million fighters in the Middle East (if you count both Syrian and Saudi foot soldiers), perhaps enough to reenact the Armageddon scenario of a 200 million man army, as foretold in the Biblical prophecy of Rev. 9:16.  It would not matter in the end, which side would triumph, because the remaining Islamist fighters would certainly then set their sights on Israel.  Many of the lunatics now fighting in Syria actually think that they are there to fight against Israel.  Liberating Jerusalem will be “Item 2” on their hit list.  This will unite all Muslim nations in common struggle against the tiny Zionist nuclear power.  Surely, the atomic destruction of a 200 million man Islamist army would be recounted by any survivors or their relatives as the “Hand of God.”]

 

Islamist fighters flood into Syria, sometimes clashing with rebels

the sacramento bee

SANA Rubble lines a street in Qusair, Syria, which fell last week to government forces and their Hezbollah allies after more than a year in the hands of resistance fighters.

McClatchy Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON – Foreign Islamist extremists are streaming into Syria, apparently in response to the Shiite militant group Hezbollah’s more visible backing of Syrian President Bashar Assad, a development that analysts say is likely to lead to a major power struggle between foreign jihadists and Syrian rebels should the Assad regime collapse.

Researchers who monitor the conflict said last week that they have detected the influx of foreigners in firsthand observations on the battlefield, spotting them in rebel videos posted on the Internet, observing a recent spike in reported deaths of foreign fighters and studying their postings on social media sites.

And while many foreign fighters have been absorbed into established Syrian rebel groups, there are signs now that an increasing number are remaining in free-standing units that operate independently and are willing to clash with other rebels and Syrian communities to implement their own rigid vision of Islamist governance.

“The numbers are increasing, with more radical groups inside now,” said Salman Shaikh, director of the Brookings Institution’s Doha Center in Qatar.

Elizabeth O’Bagy, an analyst at the Institute for the Study of War who just returned from a two-week research trip to study rebels inside Syria, said that “without a doubt” she saw far more foreign fighters than on her previous trip two months ago, including foreigner-only fighting groups in northern Idlib province, near the border with Turkey.

“There were substantial groups of foreign fighters that we came across, way more than I remembered,” O’Bagy said. “And we heard a lot of commanders complaining about foreign fighters coming in and not working with other opposition groups.” Examples of those conflicts appear to be more frequent.

On Friday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a pro-opposition research center in London, posted a video from Aleppo on Facebook that purportedly shows members of the Nusra Front, a fighting group manned in large part by non-Syrians, replacing a Syrian revolutionary flag with the black flag associated with their al-Qaida-aligned movement. The Observatory noted that “local civil activists have voiced much anger as a result.”

Another illustration of jihadists pushing boundaries, O’Bagy said, was the attempt to rebuild a working courts system in a town in northern Idlib. After negotiations, she said, local administrators and Syrian rebels had agreed that ordinary criminal matters would pass through the civilian court system, while the rebel brigades would deal with regime defectors and other war-related cases.

The project – exactly the kind of nascent governance the U.S. and other powers want to see in opposition-run territories – was undermined when a group of foreign jihadists came to town and took over justice matters, trying suspects based on their own strict interpretation of Islamic law, or Shariah.

“They’d spent quite some time writing up agreements and then these foreign fighters came and disrupted it. They were going with Shariah and undermining the division of labor,” O’Bagy said.

Even more ominous was how O’Bagy said the villagers wanted to resolve the problem: “Give us weapons.”

While foreign combatants have long been a fixture of the Syrian conflict, analysts said they expected the Sunni Muslim influx to grow in reaction to the Shiite Muslim group Hezbollah’s bigger role in shoring up Assad’s forces.

In May, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah pledged “tens of thousands of fighters” to defend Assad’s regime. Those fighters were considered crucial in the two-week-long battle over the strategic town of Qusair, which fell to Hezbollah and Syrian government forces last week after more than a year in rebel hands.

Nasrallah’s justification for joining the war made mention of all the foreign jihadists who have poured into Syria to fight for the rebels – an uncomfortable truth for the Obama administration as it struggles to come up with a Syria policy that bolsters moderates while isolating extremists.

Latest figures from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is generally regarded as the most authoritative recorder of Syrian casualty figures, showed that 2,219 foreigners have been killed fighting on the rebels’ behalf since the conflict began. That’s more than the 1,965 dead who were identified as defectors from the Syrian army.

“Meanwhile, Hezbollah’s involvement was considered a foreign interference,” Nasrallah scoffed in his speech last month.

After Nasrallah’s speech, Sunni clerics across the region called for men to head to Syria to help their Sunni brethren against the Shiite “Party of Satan” – a play on Hezbollah’s name, which means “Party of God” – and Assad’s minority Alawite sect.

The most prominent was Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi, a Qatar-based cleric with a millions-strong following and close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. News reports quoted him as telling a rally in Doha that “every Muslim trained to fight and capable of doing that” should make himself available for jihad against Assad and Hezbollah.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we’ll see higher flows, especially after the statement of Qaradawi,” said Aaron Zelin, who researches militants for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and blogs about them at Jihadology.net. “He’s a pretty popular mainstream cleric in the region. He’s not fringe, he’s got weight behind him.”

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Bankrupt Detroit—America In A Microcosm

Report by emergency manager says Detroit’s finances are crumbling, future is bleak

foxnews
Associated Press

Detroit Finances_Cala.jpg

Detroit is broke and faces a bleak future given the precarious financial path it’s on, according to a new report out by the city’s state-appointed emergency manager.

The report was released late Sunday by bankruptcy attorney Kevyn Orr and is his first on Detroit’s finances since officially taking the job in March.

Under state law, the report was due within 45 days of Michigan’s newest emergency manager law taking effect. Orr’s spokesman Bill Nowling had warned last week that the report was an early look at Detroit’s fiscal condition and would not be glowing.

The summation is the latest blow to the city which came under state oversight in March when Gov. Rick Snyder selected Orr to handle Detroit’s finances. Then, the city estimated its budget deficit to be about $327 million. Detroit also has struggled over the past year with cash flow, relying on bond money held by the state to pay some of its bills.

But Orr reports that Detroit’s net cash position was negative $162 million as of April 26 and that the projected budget deficit is expected to reach $386 million in less than two months.

He also warns that the city’s financial health might change as more data is collected and analyzed.

“What is clear, however, is that continuing along the current path is an ill-advised and unacceptable course of action if the city is to be put on the path to a sustainable future.”

Detroit is the largest city in the country under state control and the city’s wallet is now Orr’s to command. He dictates how Detroit spends its money, something that had been the responsibility of first-term Mayor Dave Bing and the nine-member City Council.

In a statement Monday morning, Bing said his office plans a “comprehensive evaluation” of the report over the next day.

“A comprehensive review of the emergency manager’s financial and operating plan has yet to be conducted,” Bing said. “However, my initial review is that the assessment by Mr. Orr of the city’s financial condition is consistent with my administration’s findings.”

The city’s problems preceded Bing, a former steel supply company owner and professional basketball Hall-of-Famer.

“This has been a moving target. The historical numbers that have been reported were unreliable,” bankruptcy expert Doug Bernstein said. “Certainly, nobody was going to expect the numbers were to be better than were reported.”

Orr described the city’s operations as “dysfunctional and wasteful after years of budgetary restrictions, mismanagement, crippling operational practices and, in some cases, indifference or corruption.”

“Outdated policies, work practices, procedures and systems must be improved consistent with best practices of 21st century government,” he said in the report. “A well run city will promote cost savings and better customer service and will encourage private investment and a return of residents.”

The report also looked at attempts officials have made to fix problems.

“Recently, tens of millions of dollars of pension funding and other payments have been deferred to manage a severe liquidity crisis at the City,” Orr wrote in the report. “Even with these deferrals, the City has operated at a significant and increasing deficit. It is expected that the City will end this fiscal year with approximately $125 million in accumulated deferred obligations and a precariously low cash position.”

The city also owes more than $400 million in outstanding obligations, including $124 million used to provide funds for public improvement projects.

Orr’s report identifies areas of concern and those needing immediate attention.

It’s highly likely he will seek concessions from the city’s labor unions. At least five unions representing police and firefighters are seeking arbitration in collective bargaining with the city.

Detroit lacks, but is developing a “comprehensive labor strategy for managing” its relationships with its unions, according to Orr.

The emergency manager law gives Orr the authority to “reject, modify or terminate” collective bargaining agreements and concessions will be sought, he wrote in the report.

“This power will be exercised, if necessary or desirable, with the knowledge and understanding that many city employees already have absorbed wage and benefit reductions,” he wrote.

When taking the job, Orr said he hoped to avoid a municipal bankruptcy filing, but didn’t rule one out if Detroit can’t reach agreements with its many creditors and bond holders.

“If he already hasn’t, he should continue negotiating for savings necessary in collective bargain,” said Bernstein, a managing partner of the Banking, Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights Practice Group for the Michigan-based Plunkett Cooney law firm. “He has to negotiate reductions with bond holders and get as many concessions as he can. It’s an across-the-board savings.

“If he can’t get everything completed by consent, then there is no option but bankruptcy. It should be a last resort. It should be used sparingly. It is an option. When all else fails, that’s the last tool in the tool box.”

The report also notes the instability in leadership atop the city’s police department. Detroit has had five different police chiefs over the past five years with varying plans on how to best handle the city’s high crime rate.

“As a result, (the department’s) efficiency, effectiveness and employee morale are extremely low,” Orr wrote. “Based on recent reviews … and input from the Michigan State Police and other law enforcement agencies, it is clear that improvements in DPD’s operations and performance could be achieved through the strategic redeployment of resources, civilianization of administrative functions, other labor efficiencies and revenue enhancements.”

The department also could benefit from more and better technology, equipment, police cars and personnel.

THATCHER (AND REAGAN) GOT IT ALL WRONG

[SEE: The Supply-Side Fraud: Republican Economics Don’t Work ]

THATCHER GOT IT ALL WRONG

AANGIRFAN


Bill Roache (left) has been arrested on suspicion of raping a young girl in 1967. Thatcher, on the right, always seemed to be surrounded by alleged child abusers.

In May 2013, Margaret Thatcher’s party, the Conservatives, performed rather badly in local elections.

The Thatcher funeral, in April 2013, reminded lots of voters that Thatcher got it all wrong, especially on the economy.


Thatcher with Conservative Member of Parliament Nigel Evans who has just been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting two teenage males. Deputy Speaker Arrested On Suspicion Of Rape

Oxford historian David Priestland recently wrote about Thatcher:

History Magazine

“Since 2008, it has become increasingly evident that she did not lay the foundations for a prosperous Britain…

“It was only in 2008 that the true economic state of affairs became evident : the model built by Thatcher was being sustained by debt.”

Thatcher. (Geoffrey White / Daily Mail / Rex Features)

David Priestland, referring to the economic problems of the 1970s, writes:

“Some governments – like the Germans and the Swedish – sought to create a social consensus behind a programme of gradual restructuring…

“But Thatcher, like her fellow militant Ronald Reagan, … accelerated … the ‘deindustrial revolution’.”


Thatcher and Reagan.

Britain’s growth rate in the 1960s, before Thatcher, averaged well over 3%, in spite of strikes.

The average growth rate between 1979 and 1990, under Thatcher, was well below 3%, and, according to Priestland: “would probably have been lower without the North Sea oil windfall.”


Thatcher

Because of high unemployment under Thatcher, productivity rose temporarily.

But, in Germany, productivity rose more than twice as much, and they didn’t have the high unemployment!


Child abuser Savile was invited to stay with Thatcher many Christmases in a row. 

Historian Dominic Sandbrook writes of Thatcher:

History Magazine

“She promised to restore law and order, yet she presided over the worst riots Britain has ever seen.

Thatcher’s gay friend DEREK LAUD

“She talked of bringing back Victorian values, yet her decade in office saw divorce, abortion and illegitimacy reach unprecedented heights…

“She unleashed casino capitalism…”

“Public spending actually rose in all but two of her years in office.”

Austerity is not necessarily the answer when an economy is in touble.

Howe and Thatcher

“In late 1979, Thatcher’s economic minister Sir Geoffrey Howe told Thatcher that inflation was unlikely to fall below about 15 per cent.

“What actually happened in 1979-1981 was that the monetary targets were always overshot and inflation raced away regardless.

“The most obvious effect of the high interest rates that were supposed to tame M3 was, instead, to push up the sterling exchange rate, pricing British manufacturing exports out of world markets.”

Sir Geoffrey Howe then introduced a policy of severe austerity.

http://www.ft.com/


Alleged child abuser Sir Peter Morrison (left) was Thatcher’s closest aide.

Economists Paul de Grauwe and Yuemei Ji have pointed out that Eurozone countries that have introduced the most severe austerity since 2010 have experienced the largest falls in GDP and hence the greatest increases in debt to GDP ratios.

Panic-driven austerity in the Eurozone and its implications | vox


THATCHER’S FATHER LIKE JIMMY SAVILE?

The Thatcher government pocketed “one-off gains from the sale of public assets as current income.

“Together with the tax receipts from North Sea oil (again a temporary bonanza), this pushed the budget briefly into surplus at the peak of the boom under chancellor Nigel Lawson in the late 1980s.

“After the resignation of Lawson in 1989, and of Thatcher a year later, later chancellors were left to repair their financial legacy.”

Bulk Gold Sales Halted As Price Drops Drastically

[All of the following reports from the last 7-14 days deal with different purchases of TONS OF GOLD—-China Buys Physical Gold By Tons ; Pakistan buys nearly 3 tons of GoldAzerbaijan’s SOFAZ buys 1 more ton of Gold ; Indians are about to buy a lot of gold—but it won’t make any difference to global prices ;  Russia and Turkey lead another gold-buying charge ]

COMEX Hurtling Towards Default And People Will Be “Settled” With Dollars, No More Metal Will Be Delivered!

InvestmentWatchInvestmentWatch

Comex Physical Drain Accelerates—With Over $7.8B In Gold Disappearing From All Depositories

As the headline battle between paper sellers and physical buyers of gold escalates, something eerily strange is continuing behind the scenes.

As first reported here on April 9thComex gold inventories have been plummeting, demonstrating the highest levels of physical removal ever during a single quarter in Q1, 2013.

Most shocking however, is that Comex warehouse inventories are accelerating their downward plunge, with dropping inventories now spreading to the world’s largest fund depositories.

Over the last four weeks alone, total reported inventories of ETFs, funds, and depositories collapsed by over 5.5 million ounces, or in dollar terms, by over $7,000,000,000 dollars.

http://bullmarketthinking.com/comex-physical-drain-accelerates-with-over-7-8b-disappearing-from-all-depositories/

This brings to mind important questions, such as…

-Why is there such a panic going on to remove physical gold from Comex registered warehouses and other depositories?

-Why did it begin before the collapse, and why does it now appear to be accelerating?

-Why is the multi-trillion dollar fund management industry denouncing gold, while it quickly moves inventory out of registered warehouses?

-Where is the gold moving, and what is it telling us?

-Is this wholesale migration signaling an imminent geopolitical or major market event?

SILVER DOCTORS:

The COMEX will default in the next week or several weeks and people will be “settled” with Dollars, no more metal will be delivered! So, knowing that “game over” has arrived, they are dumping a massive volume of paper contracts with impunity to push the metals prices as low as possible before the “default”. This way the “shorts” do not have to and will not be “covered” when “supply” cannot be obtained because of “an act of God”. They will be settled in cash (at a profit no less) because these “unforeseen” disruptions in supply. “Who could have seen it coming?” will be the mantra. I would suspect that banking stress and “bail ins” will also become prevalent globally. The pricing structure” will now push any and all physical sellers away from the markets and the “door” to safety is effectively being shut. Either you own metal or you don’t.

After the closure of the COMEX and LBMA doors there will be no availability and “price” will be meaningless.
 Your ability to protect yourself is right now for all intents and purposes being eliminated.

Thatcher/Reagan Destroyed the World Economy for Elitists’ Profit, But Germany Is Still Thriving

Few countries embraced Thatcher’s capitalism

Financial Times

From Mr Marc McDonald.

Sir, In “Right about Britain, Europe and nearly everything” (Comment, April 9), Niall Ferguson writes that Margaret Thatcher was “right about most things”. If this is true, why is Thatcher not fondly remembered today by most British people?

Thatcher’s central economic policy was to deregulate virtually everything, slash social services to the bone and embrace hardcore, dog-eat-dog capitalism. But today who advocates this sort of thing, outside of perhaps a dwindling number of Tea Party extremists in the US?

Prof Ferguson attacks “left-leaning Brits” for being supposedly wrong about Thatcher. But as I recall, Thatcher’s foes predicted that her policies would decimate the middle class. They have been vindicated.

A great deal of the economic prosperity of the Thatcher years was really more because of the North Sea oil bonanza, rather than the Iron Lady’s policies.

Outside of the US, few nations have ever embraced Thatcher’s slash-and-burn methods. In continental Europe today, for example, few people want anything to do with “Anglo-American” capitalism. The same is true of much of today’s Latin America.

As far as Thatcher’s crushing of the unions and deregulating the economy, I would challenge Prof Ferguson as to whether even this was necessarily a good thing.

Germany, for example, still has some of the most powerful unions in the world, as well as a heavily regulated economy. And yet Germany today still has a strong middle class and a world-beating high-technology manufacturing base. Germany is one of the world’s leading capital surplus nations, while Britain runs massive current account deficits. And yet Germany accomplished its enviable economic success by rejecting the Thatcher/Reagan economic model.

Marc McDonald, Fort Worth, TX, US

Homelessness, poverty are greater national threats than terrorism

Homelessness, poverty are greater national threats than terrorism

press-citizen-logo-gannett

Crissy Canganelli  Crissy Canganelli

“I fundamentally reject the notion that terrorism is the greatest threat to our national security. A far greater threat that has a far more profound implication for our economy and indeed our society for generations to come, for the future of this nation, is the fact that an ever increasing number of our nation’s children will have known homelessness and poverty.

More and more of those who we turn to in the next generation to take this country, our country, into the future will have grown up with compromised health, their education has been fractured, they have known hunger and food insecurity, they have known homelessness with all the disruptions and anxieties that come with it.”

Crissy Canganelli is the executive director of Shelter House. For information, visit www.shelterhouseiowa.org.

“This is a third world war through the economy. The Italians will be next, and they know it,”

[Check-out the local comments

‘We will not become Germany’s slaves’

Cyprus mail

By Stefanos Evripidou
A protester clashes with police last evening

HUNDREDS OF Laiki (Popular) Bank employees gathered outside parliament last night after word got out that the government had prepared a bill for the second largest bank on the island to undergo restructuring.
As the sun set, news trickled out in the media of a plan to split the bank into a ‘good’ bank retaining healthy loans and a ‘bad’ bank which would take on ‘bad’ loans and work towards recovering as much money as possible.
Around 500 Laiki employees and their families gathered in an impromptu demonstration outside parliament, where the newly-prepared bills were expected to be taken for discussion in the plenum.
Some protesters managed to break through the police barricades and make their way to the parliament doors which were locked by police.
Greek journalists covering the demonstration mocked the Cypriot media’s depiction of tussles outside parliament, suggesting they were more like polite handshakes compared to what they’ve seen in Athens.
Protesters were furious about the lack of information about whether they would have a job tomorrow, and berated the absence of employees at the demo from other Cypriot banks.
Demonstrators held banners saying, “Who’s next?” and “We will not become Germany’s slaves” while shouting slogans like, “Today it’s us, tomorrow it will be your turn”.
Head of the banking union ETYK, Loizos Hadjicostis, called on all bank employees to go to parliament today ahead of an expected vote on the bill for the resolution and recovery of Laiki Bank.
He described yesterday’s developments as “unacceptable”.
One Laiki employee, Demetra Veresies, 47, asked: “Who is responsible for this? The bankers? The golden boys? The MPs who vote bills without knowing what they are? The German government that wants to punish Cyprus for reasons unknown? Who?”
Elena Constantinou, a Russian lawyer who’s been living 23 years in Cyprus, said she and her Russian friends from Limassol came to Nicosia to protest, without being employees of Laiki.
“What Europe is doing is not at all an act of friendship. With friends like that, who needs enemies? Once we sign the memorandum, our children and grandchildren will live as slaves,” she said.
“This is a third world war through the economy. The Italians will be next, and they know it,” added Constantinou.
She called on President Nicos Anastasiades to go himself to Moscow to speak with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to seek a way out of the crisis instead of sending his finance minister.
Asked about money laundering in Cyprus, she said, “There is no money laundering here. Money laundering takes place in England, Germany and Switzerland.”

The Road to World War 3

nuke4

The Road to World War 3

StormCloudsGathering

U.S. Economic Collapse Warning (Government Preparing)

U.S. Economic Collapse Warning (Government Preparing)

Tuesday Morning Bank Run Predicted, After Weekend EU “Haircut” (Skimming) of Cyprus Bank Accounts

Our View: The ‘rescue package’ designed to destroy the economy

Cyprus mail

EVEN though the haircut of bank deposits had been on the agenda of the EU for more than a month now, featuring in Commission memos and being openly discussed by European politicians, most of whom, refused to rule it out, few people thought the Eurogroup would go ahead with it. It was an idle threat, to force Cyprus privatise SGOs and increase the corporate tax, was the prevailing view.

And after all, President Anastasiades had emphatically declared in his inauguration speech that “absolutely no reference to a haircut on public debt or deposits will be tolerated,” adding that “such an issue isn’t even up for discussion.” Finance Minister Michalis Sarris made similarly reassuring statements, arguing that it would be lunacy for the EU to impose such a measure because it would threaten the euro system.

Germany and the leaders of the Eurogroup opted for this lunacy, calculating that Cyprus is too small and inconsequential for the haircut on its bank deposits to cause contagion in the eurozone. Of course, the markets could view the decision differently, perhaps not when they open on Monday, but a few weeks later as it becomes apparent that not even deposits in European banks are safe from raids by the Eurogroup.

It is obvious from the statements made that Anastasiades was blackmailed into accepting this euphemistically called ‘solidarity levy’. If he did not accept it, the European Central Bank would not provide Emergency Liquidity Assistance to the Cypriot banks, after the March 21 deadline (it had been extended by two months in January) and the banks would have collapsed on the same day, with people losing much bigger parts of their deposits than the seven to 10 per cent that would be taken now.

Was there an alternative for Anastasiades? It is difficult to say, given the pressure for a political agreement by last Friday. All indications are that our EU partners had taken their decision before then and this was why they scheduled the Eurogroup meeting that would discuss the bailout on a Friday night. The Cypriot banks would be closed for three days during which all the steps for bailing in deposits could be taken, and the banks could re-open normally on Tuesday.

If only things were so simple. It is highly unlikely it will be business as usual at the banks on Tuesday as thousands of people will likely turn up to withdraw their money. Big depositors would give instructions for the transfer of money abroad and never again place it in a Cypriot bank. What would be the capital needs of the banks faced with a mass exodus of deposits, brought on by the Eurogroup decision? Would the EU order another ‘solidarity levy’ in such a case or would it declare Cyprus bankrupt, having dealt a fatal blow to its financial services sector that is by far the biggest contributor to GDP, and kick it out of the eurozone?

Yesterday’s decision still needs to be approved by the House of Representatives, which will meet today or tomorrow to approve the haircut bill. Judging by the statements made by the political parties yesterday the approval of the relevant bills is far from certain. Anastasiades was to meet the party leaders last night in an effort to persuade them to support the bills, but there are already many dissenting voices, not to mention the public outcry, which is bound to affect the stand of the parties.

One deputy yesterday wondered whether it would be better to allow the two banks that required liquidity assistance from the ECB to go under instead of accepting the haircut. But the problem would not be confined to these two banks as there is inter-dependence among the banks and a bank run on two would spread to all. This will be Anastasiades’ main argument in explaining why he agreed to the bail in of deposits. The alternative would have been the collapse of the banks, state bankruptcy and exit from the euro.

Under the circumstances the president opted for the lesser of two evils, even though we doubt there would be many people who would give him credit for that. In effect, the EU offered a ‘rescue package’ that is designed to destroy rather than rescue what is left of the Cyprus economy.

Washington Co-Conspirators Build “Al-Qaeda” Myth with Wild Claims About Their “Economic Warfare” Capabilities

by Bea Edwards ( The Whistleblogger)

House_of_RepresentativesThis week, the House of Representatives will consider the “Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act,” a piece of legislation that would allow America’s intelligence agencies to share and protect the voluminous data they collect about America’s citizens with the keepers of America’s financial infrastructure, among others. An identical bill passed the House last year but died in the Senate, despite a powerful push from a curious coalition of spies, lawyers, financiers and politicians.

As an American citizen about to be shared and protected, when you see that kind of lineup behind a power play, you may fear trouble. For many months now, the bill’s campaign has been building. It began last summer with a briefing for about 50 Washington think tankers convened by former Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ).

That day, July 9, 2012, was a scorcher, with afternoon temperatures over 100 degrees when the audience convened in a third floor briefing room at the Senate’s Russell Office Building on Capitol Hill. Kyl had invited the American Center for Democracy (ACD) and the Economic Warfare Institute (EWI) to hold a “Super-Panel” and an open discussion on the topic of “Economic Warfare Subversions: Anticipating the Threat.”

The make up of the panel was a little peculiar; it featured a number of heavy hitters from the intelligence community, including General Michael Hayden (former director of both the CIA and the National Security Agency), James Woolsey (former CIA director), and Michael Mukasey (former Attorney General for George W. Bush). But there were others. First among them was the facilitator and director of the Economic Warfare Institute itself, Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, who aggressively used her academic title at every opportunity, an unusual practice in this company. Among the remaining panelists, one suggested that jihadists were setting wildfires in Colorado that summer. Another, a former Alternate Director for the U.S at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), also produced a memorable presentation by envisioning complex terror scenarios not even Hollywood could produce.

In total, the panel included Dr. Ehrenfeld and eight white men. To kick off the festivities, she approached the podium. Dr. Ehrenfeld opened her remarks with the announcement that the United States was target-rich for economic jihad, apparently a new concept for only a few of us in the audience. We the uninitiated exchanged nervous glances as Dr. Rachel went on to explain the “Cutting Edge Threats” that keep her up at night. She pointed out that both Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 15, 2008 were potentially devastating to the United States. One attack was the work of al-Qaeda, a foreign enemy, and the other was self-inflicted by the management of our own financial institutions. However, Dr. Ehrenfeld said, we could not rule out the possibility that economic terrorists were: a) responsible for, or b) learning from the economic collapse that precipitated the Great Recession. She also referenced the “flash crash” of May 6, 2010 when the Dow lost over 1000 points in a few minutes, only to regain 600 of them minutes later:

Still, two years later, the joint report by the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Committee (CFTC) did not rule out “terrorism” as a possible cause for the May 2010 “flash crash,” and the entire financial industry still has no uniform explanation of why or how this event occurred.

Quite simply, Dr. Ehrenfeld was terrifying.

EWI [Economic Warfare Institute] is of the strong opinion that threats to the U.S. economy are the next great field of battle. Indeed, we are already at economic war with such state actors as China and Iran and such non-state actors as al-Qaeda and its affiliates. The future battlefield is vast: it not only includes the realms of cyber and space but also of banking and finance, market and currency manipulation, energy, and drug trafficking. The list could go on and on.

So, EWI believes that the US faces mass terror-induced economic calamity. The fact that this has not yet occurred, she cautioned us, does not mean it isn’t going to.

Shortly thereafter, General Michael Hayden, now a principal at the Chertoff Group, a lucrative security consulting firm run by former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff took the floor. General Hayden stood to speak about “The Most Dangerous Tools in the Most Dangerous Hands. How much should we fear hacktivists achieving state-like capabilities?” The answer to this rhetorical question was “a lot.” Speaking as the former director of the NSA, he told us, “You want us to go to the cyber domain to defend you. But in that domain, every advantage goes to the attacker because the environment is both insecure and indispensible.” In other words, we can’t defend you without the proper weapons.

But what would those be?

By this time, some of us were alarmed. Apparently, we are completely unprotected from flash crashing at the hands of terrorist hacktivists waging economic jihad. And the next speaker was no relief. Daniel Heath, the former US Alternate Director at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and currently a Managing Director at Maxwell Stamp, broke the ice by suggesting that we imagine the following scenario:

A foreign country holding about a trillion dollars in US debt demands an arrangement to swap it for the agricultural production of California. Capital begins to flee the US. It’s Christmas, and a heavy snow storm hits the northeast, knocking out the power grid. An act of sabotage hits the Washington, D.C. metro, and a couple of assassinations occur, both high-value targets and random ones. Finally, a biochem incident or two occurs, like anthrax or something in the water supply.

Heath just kept on coming. Shadowy parties might manipulate the price of oil and a real economic crisis would occur – like the one of Sept. 15, 2008. He suggested that episode was actually a jihadist plot. Probably. Well, possibly.

What if terrorists aim to engineer a renewed financial meltdown? Is it possible? How would the financial system handle a massive attack on New York City? Is enough being done to buttress financial resilience—to limit the contagion of cascading failures throughout the economy? In what ways could different kinds of terrorist attacks succeed in destabilizing our financial sector and impair the real economy?

And just when we thought it couldn’t get worse, David Aufhauser, former General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer of the Department of the Treasury, took the floor. After his presentation – “Transnational Crime – Unholy Allies to Disorder, Terror and Proliferation” – there wasn’t a dry seat in the house (to quote Alfred Hitchcock). This guy speculated about an alliance between Iran, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and Hugo Chavez. Among them, they’ll create nuclear weapons for Venezuela. Terror, psycho crime and jihad will come together for the politically purposeful annihilation of our banks. We must identify nodes in the corruption network and break the circuitry, Aufhauser claimed. If not, we’ll have WMD at our ATMs.

After a few more interventions, Mukasey wrapped it all up as the final speaker. He was talking about “legal perspectives” on economic terror. The Law needs to stay out of the way, he said. “The rules won’t work and the law is inadequate. Criminal law, he said, punishes after the act. We need to take action before the bad guys act. And the only way we can do that is to know what the bad guys are up to by “monitoring” them. Unfortunately, since we don’t know exactly who the bad guys are, we’re going to have to monitor everyone, it seems. And we’re going to ask our “Too Big to Fail” banks to help. So, the NSA, the CIA, Bank of America and Citigroup will work together to protect you and your data.

Why isn’t this a comforting prospect? Perhaps because we are still recovering from the loss of our homes, jobs and pensions that occurred as a consequence of the banks’ last exercise in risk management.

The bullet point from Mukasey was this:

In dealing with new economic threats and circumstances, the law has a strong tendency to get in the way. This is not to disparage the law but, rather, to recognize that new circumstances beg some jettisoning of old principles and the creation of new ones.

Yes, the law does have a tendency to get in the way. Which brings us back to the “Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act.” This smart new law will clear those cumbersome old ones out of the road. It will jettison old principles and create some new ones.

And this prospect is the truly terrifying one. At GAP, where we represent whistleblowers from the NSA, the CIA and the major US banks, we’ve learned that none of these institutions can be allowed to operate with the secrecy, privileged information and latitude they already have. Using their current powers, intelligence agencies are conducting wholesale, illegal surveillance of American citizens while wasting billions in taxpayers’ money on unconstitutional boondoggle projects. For their part, private banks have been leveraging loans to a point where they’re secretly insolvent.

Whistleblowers have shown us, with convincing clarity, that all of these institutions have abused the trust and authority they already have. They’re warning us that we may not want to jettison our constitutional rights in exchange for protection from economic jihad – whatever that is.

 

Bea Edwards is the Executive Director for the Government Accountability Project, the nation’s leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.

Queen Attends Brit. Cabinet Meeting–A First Since WWII

[She is taking notes on the preparations for WWIII, coming soon to a neighborhood near you.]

Queen attends cabinet meeting in Downing Street

BBC

The Queen at No 10 with David Cameron and cabinet
The Queen sat between David Cameron and William Hague at cabinet

The Queen is in Downing Street for the first cabinet meeting of her 60 year reign.

Prime Minister David Cameron greeted the Queen at the door of Number 10, and ushered her inside after posing briefly for photographs.

It is understood that ministers will present her with a gift to commemorate her Diamond Jubilee year.

She sat between the PM and the foreign secretary for part of the regular meeting of top ministers.

It is believed to be the first time a monarch has attended peace-time cabinet since George III in 1781. George I ceased to chair cabinet in 1717.

The Queen’s father, King George VI, attended war cabinet during the Second World War.

Jokes

Her car, accompanied by motorcycle outriders, arrived shortly after 10:05 GMT.

Members of the cabinet had already arrived, while a man with a broom had swept the red carpet, laid in front of the door of Number 10 for the occasion.

Once inside, the Queen was introduced to each of the government’s senior ministers in turn, as they bowed or curtseyed.

The Queen at No 10 with David Cameron and cabinetThe Queen met members of the cabinet before the meeting began

She shared jokes with Chancellor George Osborne, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

After the Queen and the cabinet had taken their seats, Mr Cameron formally welcomed her to the meeting and outlined the items of business on the agenda.

It began with leader of the House of Commons Andrew Lansley outlining forthcoming parliamentary business, before Ken Clarke spoke about prospective justice measures.

There was a much larger than usual press pack opposite No 10, although no questions were shouted at the Queen as she arrived.

While the Queen is head of state, her involvement in day-to-day political decisions is largely formal.

The prime minister visits her regularly for an audience where he updates her on events, while she is also expected to rubber-stamp ministerial decisions at meetings of the Privy Council.

The Queen plays a central ceremonial role in the state opening of Parliament, when she travels by ornate horse-drawn coach to the House of Lords to read out a speech prepared by ministers unveiling details of their legislative plans.

She also retains the power to appoint the prime minister.

‘Constitutional landmark’

The prime minister’s spokesman said the Queen would spend about 30 minutes at the meeting.

The spokesman said he imagined she would speak, despite being described as an observer.

Rodney Barker, professor of government at the London School of Economics, said the plan was “daft”, because “it will mean potentially the Queen will know things she is not supposed to know and hear things she is not supposed to hear”.

But Professor Jane Ridley, biographer of Edward VII, disagreed, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today it was “testimony of the Queen’s ability to elevate the monarchy above politics” that she could attend cabinet.

It was a “constitutional landmark”, she added.

Former Cabinet Secretary Lord O’Donnell told BBC Radio 4 that he thought the visit was the “right thing to do” – the Queen was above politics, “for the whole country, for everyone”.

“I’m sure cabinet want to do this because they want to say thank you. I mean, I’ve always viewed the Queen as kind-of the ultimate public servant. You think what she’s done during her jubilee period and they just want to say thank you,” he added.

He said that there had been other people attending cabinet in the past – such as business bosses during regional cabinet meetings, and someone like Lord Coe for presentations on specific events, in his case the Olympics.

“Fiscal Cliff” Not Really A Cliff, More of A Steep Slope

Fear not the fiscal cliff!

The so-called “fiscal cliff” is the confluence of three separate legal events on January 1, 2013: expiration of a temporary payroll tax cut, expiration of the so-called “Bush” income and estate tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003, and mandatory spending cuts also known as “sequestration”.

Many commentators are expressing concern that unless Congress intervenes by January 1, the economy will suffer a serious setback. But I don’t think that’s the worst thing that could happen.

First, the expiration of the payroll tax cut is going to happen in any event. The payroll tax was lowered in 2011 and 2012 as a temporary economic stimulus. But there is bi-partisan agreement that the payroll tax should be restored to pre-2011 levels to adequately fund Social Security. No controversy here. Payroll taxes will increase in 2013.

The so-called “Bush tax cuts” of 2001 and 2003 were enacted as temporary responses to the economic recession triggered first by the collapse of the internet bubble and then the September 11 terrorist attacks. The Republican sponsors of those tax cuts agreed that they would expire at the end of 2010. As that deadline approached, and President Obama and congressional Republicans continued to argue over whose taxes should be allowed to go up, the President and his political adversaries agreed to extend the tax cuts for two more years, until the end of 2012.

President Obama campaigned on allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for households earning $250,000 or more, but extending the tax cuts for households earning less than that amount. Republicans advocate making the tax cuts permanent for all taxpayers regardless of income, and also making permanent the elimination of the federal estate tax on decedent millionaires, which they call the “death tax”. Unless Congress acts, all the Bush tax cuts will expire on December 31, and both income and estate tax rates will be restored to the levels that applied before 2001.

As part of the 2011 agreement to increase the debt ceiling, Congress pledged to cut federal spending by $1.2 trillion over 10 years, with specific cuts to be determined by a joint select deficit-reduction “super committee”. To insure that the cuts would happen, Congress specified that if by the super committee failed to designate sufficient spending cuts, and Congress failed to take any superseding action by December 31, 2012, those $1.2 trillion cuts would happen automatically, spread equally between defense and non-defense spending. These automatic, across-the-board spending cuts have been labeled “sequestration”.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke coined the worrisome phrase “fiscal cliff” to describe the consequences if Congress fails to act by December 31, and the Bush tax cuts all expire, and sequestration spending cuts begin. But that’s not the worst scenario.

The worst scenario would be for Congress to extend all the Bush tax cuts and repeal its commitment to cut federal spending by $1.2 trillion over 10 years. That worst case scenario would mean growth of the federal government’s $1 trillion annual budget deficit would continue to accelerate, and the now $16 trillion national debt would continue to expand in excess of gross domestic product, the total value of all goods and services produced in the U.S.

The political reality is that it’s very difficult for elected officials who want to be re-elected to either cut spending or raise taxes. But cutting spending and raising taxes are both needed to reduce the deficit and slow the growth of the national debt. It is both irresponsible and dangerous for us to burden future generations of Americans with the obligation to pay for our accelerating current spending.

It would be nice if Democrats and Republicans could get together and reach agreement on exactly how to reduce spending and raise taxes. But in the current gridlocked political environment, that seems to be a fantasy.

Anyone who recognizes that should understand that the so-called fiscal cliff is not so bad. Allowing all the Bush tax cuts to expire will raise everyone’s taxes, but only to the levels that applied during President Clinton’s administration when the economy was strong and expanding. Sequestration is a blunt instrument to reduce federal spending, but there does not appear to be a better way. Does anyone seriously doubt that there is tremendous unnecessary spending and waste which can and should be cut from the federal budget?

There’s nothing irrevocable about the fiscal cliff. Congress could act any time before or after January 1, 2013, to fine tune the already mandated spending cuts and tax increases.

Republicans deserve both the credit and the blame for making the Bush tax cuts expire and requiring spending cuts as a condition for increasing the debt ceiling. President Obama should be willing to allow those events to happen if that’s the only way to address our growing deficit and national debt. He will be in a stronger position after January 1, to make a better and fairer deal than he could negotiate this year.

And if he can’t? Bring on the fiscal cliff!

European Anti-Austerity Protesters Learning To Coordinate Across EU Borders

Strikes, protests hit much of European Union

AP

Strikes, protests hit much of European Union

Workers around the European Union sought to unite in a string of strikes and demonstrations on Wednesday. (AP Photo)

BRUSSELS: With rampant unemploymentspreading misery in southern Europe and companies shutting factories across the continent, workers around the European Unionsought to unite in a string of strikes and demonstrations on Wednesday.

Most European governments have in recent years had to cut spending, pensions and benefits and raise taxes aggressively to bring public debt under control. That includes not only the most financially troubled governments, like Greece, but also the traditionally more stable ones, like France and Britain.

The result has been a dramatic drop in living standards in many nations that leaders have accepted as collateral for policies they claim are unavoidable. With no end in sight to the economic misery, workers were trying to take a stand on Wednesday.

“Of course it’s a political strike, against the policies of a suicidal and anti-social government,” said Igancio Fernandez Toxo, a CCOO Spanish union leader, as the general strike spread through Spain where a 25 percent unemployment rate has put the country at the heart of theEU social unrest.

A Spanish Interior Ministry official says 32 people have been arrested and 15 people treated for minor injuries in disturbances.

Spain’s General Workers’ Union said the nationwide stoppage, the second this year, was being observed by nearly all workers in the automobile, energy, shipbuilding and constructions industries. The government downplayed the impact.

A north-south divide emerged in the participation to the strikes, with unions in wealthier states like the Netherlands and the Nordic nations, where the crisis has not hit that hard, not in the mood for closing down their countries.

Belgium straddles that divide but a 24-hour rail stoppage and scattered strikes through the south of the nation disrupted daily life. Both the Thalys and Eurostar high-speed rail services that connect Brussels with London and Paris were severely disrupted.

“Austerity means cuts in the public services and public companies and also cuts in the buying power for the working class,” said Belgian socialist union leader Filip Peers. “Austerity means recession and it deepens the crisis.”

From his headquarters nearby, the chief of the EU employers’ federation took a different view.

“If you start striking at national level and in companies you only will harm the economy,” said Eurobussiness leader Philippe de Buck in an interview. “And it is not the right thing to do today.”

“It costs billions” of euros, he said, adding that Europe’s reputation as a hotbed of trade union action would not attract global investors.

Europe has been a global trailblazer for union action and workers’ rights over the past half century have been one of the cornerstones of the continent’s vaunted welfare state, with its guaranteed medical care, unemployment benefits and often generous pensions.

Where this was not directly under threat on Wednesday, labor action was more muted.

“So far, there are only symbolic demonstrations here in Germany, because we were able to avoid the crisis,” said Michael Sommer, the head of Germany’s main labor union federation.

In Denmark, too, there were no strikes, since cooperation between workers and employers have largely survived the crisis so far.

“The employers speak the same language as we do and we understand each other’s’ needs and demands,” said Joergen Frederiksen, a 69-year-old retired worker and a former shop steward. “There are good vibes between us and that means a lot.”

Is Obama Using “Fiscal Cliff” Imagery To Shakedown Republicans Over Bush Tax Cuts?

Romney camp slams Obama over ‘fiscal cliff’ veto threat, lack of contact with Boehner

FoxNews.com

The White House confirmed Thursday that President Obama is prepared to veto legislation that would skirt the so-called “fiscal cliff” — a battery of tax hikes and spending cuts — unless Republicans consent to raise taxes on top earners.

The move drew renewed accusations from rival Mitt Romney that the president has chosen to “simply ignore” Republicans on the Hill instead of dealing with the problem. According to one account, Obama hasn’t so much as spoken with House Speaker John Boehner since July.

The fresh reports have suddenly woven the “fiscal cliff” emergency back into the campaign debate in the closing weeks of the race. Congress is preparing to take up the issue in the post-election, lame-duck session, but with lawmakers on recess and the president on the campaign trail little is expected to be accomplished until then.

Romney’s campaign on Thursday blamed the president for the inaction.

“His approach would let our economy sink into recession for the sake of pursuing job-killing tax increases. Rather than work in a bipartisan manner as the ‘fiscal cliff’ approaches, President Obama prefers to issue veto threats and simply ignore the other party. We can’t afford four more years of this failed leadership,” Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said in a statement. “When Mitt Romney is president, he [will] work with members of both parties to cut spending, restore our AAA credit rating and get our economy growing again.”

The double-blow of tax hikes and spending cuts is scheduled to hit starting in January. It includes the expiration of the Bush-era tax rates, along with defense and other cuts set into place by lawmakers’ failure to reach a deficit-reduction deal in the wake of the 2011 fight over raising the debt ceiling.

The White House on Thursday confirmed an earlier Washington Post story that Obama is prepared to turn down any bill that would avoid the “cliff” without raising tax rates on top earners. Press Secretary Jay Carney described that threat as nothing new.

“The president has long made clear that he will veto an extension of tax cuts for the top 2 percent of wealthiest Americans,” Carney said. “That has been his position, as you know, for a very long time. If there is concern about what we can do right now to address the so-called fiscal cliff, the House ought to follow the Senate and pass the extension of tax cuts for 98 percent of the American people.”

Carney went on to put the onus on Congress to bridge the differences in Washington, particularly when asked about a Politico report that Boehner has not spoken with Obama in four months.

“The president has put forward very clear plans on how to address our fiscal challenges,” Carney said. “That approach enjoys a broad consensus in Washington and the country. The one obstacle is the adamant refusal of Republicans in the House to accept the principle that there should be balance.”

Asked Thursday whether Obama would veto legislation that excludes those higher taxes win or lose, Carney did not say — though he voiced confidence in the president’s chances: “First of all, he’s not going to lose the election.”

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have voiced frustration, though, with the lack of progress on avoiding the fiscal emergency that by some accounts could plunge the country back into recession.

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., speaking at the Bipartisan Policy Center on Thursday, said “this shouldn’t be this hard.”

“It’s almost un-American to think that we couldn’t get this done,” he said, adding that he remains “very optimistic.”

The heads of the nation’s largest banks and financial firms on Thursday also renewed their call for Congress and the president to strike a deal.

“At a time when economic growth is less than 2 percent, and with nearly 25 million Americans either out of work or underemployed, the still-fragile U.S. economy cannot sustain — and the American people do not deserve — the impact of more gridlock in Washington,” the members of the Financial Services Forum wrote. “We urge (policymakers) to negotiate a bipartisan agreement as quickly as possible to prevent us from going over the fiscal cliff so that we can avoid the damage to the economy and the markets that inaction will cause.”

 

Unresolved EU/US Fiscal Crisis Is Major Impediment To Forging Closer Ties with Asia

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao reviews an honor guard during a welcoming ceremony at Wattay airport before the 9th Asia-Europe summit in Vientiane, Laos on Nov. 4, 2012

European Crisis Seen Hindering Closer Trade Ties With Asia

By Daniel Ten Kate

European and Asian leaders will this week discuss a stalled trade agenda between the world’s fastest and slowest-growing regions, as the debt crisis undermines expansion of commercial ties.

Europe’s economic woes may exacerbate protectionist tendencies that make it harder to expand trade with its biggest commerce partner at a time when the U.S. and Australia are forging new agreements, according to Fredrik Erixon, head of the European Centre for International Political Economy in Brussels. Apart from a trade deal with South Korea, the 27-member European Union has seen talks lag with China, Japan, India and Southeast Asian countries since 2007.

“Europe needs to improve its policy toward the entire Asian region in order to take up a greater part of Asia’s economic expansion, but we’re not really seeing it,” he said by phone. “The train is about to leave the station and Europe certainly isn’t on it.”

Europe’s leaders face pressure to boost ties with Asia after U.S. President Barack Obama declared a pivot to the region and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard unveiled a strategy last week to make her country “a winner in the Asian century.” At stake is safeguarding links that European economies are increasingly counting on, with the 19 Asian nations participating in a summit starting in Laos today accounting for 38 percent of the EU’s total trade last year, up from 30 percent a decade ago.

Euro-Area Slowdown

The International Monetary Fund expects the euro area’s economy to contract 0.4 percent this year, while China is forecast to grow 7.8 percent and the U.S. may expand 2.2 percent. Trade growth between the EU and Asian countries attending this week’s meetings slowed to 6 percent through the first six months of 2012 from a pace of 8 percent last year, according to the bloc’s data.

Asia’s exports to the EU will drop “quite significantly” in the near term as countries deleverage, Changyong Rhee, the Asian Development Bank’s chief economist, said by phone. Closer policy coordination is needed between leaders from the two regions to ensure a global recovery, he said.

“The U.S., Canada and Australia are more aggressive in Asia than Europe,” Rhee said. “The EU may be slow because you have to harmonize all countries together to have a free trade agreement, but once you have one FTA between the EU and another country it’s actually 27 FTAs.”

Trade Talks Stall

The EU suspended trade talks in 2009 with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, a bloc with about 600 million people, and is now negotiating separate agreements with individual countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. Similar talks with India that kicked off in 2007 are stalled.

During a visit to Brussels two months ago, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao urged the EU to “exercise restraint in resorting to trade-remedy measures.” The EU was the biggest market for Chinese exports last year, according to Chinese data, while China is the bloc’s No. 2 commercial partner, after the U.S.

Earlier in September, the EU started a probe into whether Chinese makers of solar panels sell them below cost, the largest European trade dispute of its kind covering 21 billion euros ($27 billion) of imports. China faces more EU anti-dumping duties than any other country, covering about 1 percent of its exports to the bloc.

China’s official news agency Xinhua published an editorial two weeks ago that criticized protectionist rhetoric in Europe. It singled out French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg, who has urged consumers to spurn cheaper imports and buy goods “Made in France.”

‘Contemptible Trick’

“Amid an irreversible momentum towards globalization, trade protectionism is nothing but a contemptible trick and cannot help France revive its sluggish economy,” Xinhua said.

Wen is scheduled to attend the Asia-Europe Meeting in Laos along with about 30 other heads of government and state, including Gillard, French President Francois Hollande, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Japanese Prime MinisterYoshihiko Noda. Germany, Spain and the U.K. are sending foreign ministers, while Greece will be represented by its ambassador in Vientiane.

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has invested $80 billion in Asian equities and bonds, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg told leaders at the summit today.

“Our ships are built in this region and more and more business is in Asia,” he said. “Today this region is a driving force in the global economy.”

Japan is ready to start free-trade negotiations with the EU if it can get a mandate from member states, a Japanese official told reporters last week on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. Noda will meet with EU President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in Laos.

‘Staggering’ Rise

Noda also wants to improve ties with China and South Korea after territorial spats increased tensions in recent months, Kyodo reported, citing comments he gave before leaving Tokyo. No formal talks are scheduled between the leaders, it said.

Gillard last week called for Australia to do more to take advantage of Asia’s economic boom. She aims to boost trade with the region to at least a third of gross domestic product by 2025, compared with a quarter today.

“The scale and pace of Asia’s rise is staggering,” Gillard said in a report. “There are significant opportunities and challenges for all Australians.”

Yuan Use Increases

Obama’s top trade priority has been the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an agreement involving nine Asia-Pacific countries that will undergo its 15th negotiation round next month. Canada and Mexico are preparing to join, while Japan may also sign up.

The slowdown in developed economies has prompted China in recent years to increase trade ties with Asia, the Middle East and Africa, Lim Cheng Teck, who heads China operations for London-based Standard Chartered Plc, said in Bangkok last week. The bank expects use of theyuan in international trade settlement to triple within three years to $1.03 trillion, he said.

“For Europe we believe it’s kind of a structural challenge that will not be so quickly solved,” Lim said. “China is kind of saying ‘OK, let’s turn to other markets.’”

To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel Ten Kate in Bangkok at dtenkate@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Phang at sphang@bloomberg.net

 

Nearing the Fiscal Cliff: How Election-Year Inaction Could Affect the U.S. Economy

[SEE: Significant recession imminent if Congress doesn’t act on fiscal cliff: CBO report]

Nearing the Fiscal Cliff: How Election-Year Inaction Could Affect the U.S. Economy

Brian Low Financial Group

In February, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke coined the phrase “fiscal cliff” to warn Congress about the potentially harmful combination of nearly $600 billion in federal tax increases and spending cuts that are scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2013, unless lawmakers address the deficit, taxes, and government spending. Economists and government officials have expressed concern that failing to prevent such severe fiscal tightening at the start of the year could cause a recession.1

The Congressional Budget Office projected that if no action is taken, U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) growth could fall 0.5% (year-over-year) by the fourth quarter of 2013, and unemployment could rise to 9.1%.2

With the national election looming, politicians have largely avoided controversial decisions related to taxes, government spending, and the national debt. However, legislative deadlines may prompt the president and Congress to address a number of important financial issues soon after the election and possibly before the end of 2012.

A Bigger Tax Burden

Many of the tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003 — including rates on regular income, capital gains, dividends, and estates — are scheduled to expire on December 31, 2012, and revert to their previously higher levels. The 2% payroll tax reduction for workers, enacted as a temporary stimulus, is also set to expire at the end of the year.

The expiring tax provisions could cause the federal tax bill of the average middle-income household (earning $50,000 annually) to rise by about $1,750, and higher-earning families could owe thousands more in total federal taxes.3

Federal Budget Cuts

The Budget Control Act of 2011 mandated $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction spread over nine years (2013–2021), divided evenly between defense and nondefense programs. About $109 billion in automatic budget cuts are scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2013 ($54.7 billion a year from U.S. defense spending). Pay for military service members and Social Security and Medicare benefits are exempt.4

The blunt cuts were meant to be indiscriminate and painful for both political parties in order to motivate lawmakers to replace them with a more targeted deficit-reduction package. To date, there has been much discussion but little agreement on how to accomplish such a feat.5

Debt Disputes

The national debt is also projected to reach its legal limit (the “debt ceiling”) sometime around the end of 2012. Congress must pass legislation to raise the limit, which initiated heated negotiations in the summer of 2011. Standard & Poor’s was the first ratings agency to downgrade the U.S. credit rating after a debt-ceiling standoff that threatened the U.S. Treasury’s ability to make payments to debt holders.6

Moody’s Investors Service, which changed its outlook on U.S. government debt to “negative” last year after Congress and the White House finally agreed to an increase in the debt ceiling, has warned that it could lower the U.S. AAA credit rating next year if lawmakers fail to craft a long-term debt-reduction plan.7

Deadline-Driven Decisions?

After the November election, sitting lawmakers may have only six or seven weeks to work through a number of complicated tax issues and funding initiatives. Of course, it’s possible that Congress may temporarily extend the current tax provisions and/or delay planned spending cuts until more comprehensive legislation can be enacted.

Even so, the resulting uncertainty may make it difficult for individuals and businesses to move forward on major purchases or investments. Leaving critical issues unresolved for too long could also weaken the U.S. economy, especially if political gridlock continues well into next year.

Because the balance of power in Washington, D.C., could have a major influence on fiscal policies that affect Americans for years to come, the stakes are high for the November election. Contentious disputes or headline surprises may cause an increase in market volatility.

As an investor and taxpayer, you may want to monitor how the U.S. political situation and fiscal decisions unfold in the coming months. Maintaining a steady course could help you weather market changes. Keep in mind that it is important to make investment decisions based on your time horizon, risk tolerance, long-term goals, and personal circumstances.

1) Reuters, September 19, 2012
2) Congressional Budget Office, 2012
3) The New York Times, April 13, 2012
4–5) The Wall Street Journal, September 14, 2012
6–7) CNNMoney, September 12, 2012
The information in this article is not intended as tax or legal advice, and it may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. You are encouraged to seek tax or legal advice from an independent professional advisor. The content is derived from sources believed to be accurate. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. This material was written and prepared by Emerald. Copyright © 2012 Emerald Connect, Inc.
Brian Low Financial
8414 Bluebonnet Blvd., Suite 200
Baton Rouge, LA 70810
Phone: 225.292.4225 Fax: 225.448.5968
http://www.BrianLowFinancial.com brian@brianlowfinancial.com

January 1, 2013, the Debt Bomb Explodes In Our Faces–Mandatory Massive Budget Cuts and Tax Increases


source

U.S. fiscal cliff, Europe’s debt woes worry G20

 

By Krista Hughes and Julien Toyer

MEXICO CITY

(Reuters) – Leading world economies pressed the United States on Sunday to act decisively to avert a rush of spending cuts and tax hikes, warning that the so-called fiscal cliff is the biggest short-term threat to global growth.

Unless a fractious Congress can move swiftly to reach a deal after the U.S. elections on Tuesday, about $600 billion in government spending cuts and higher taxes are set to kick in from January 1 and could push the U.S. economy back into recession.

“If the United States fails to resolve the fiscal cliff it would hit the U.S. economy hard as well as the world and the Japanese economy, so each G20 country will urge the United States to firmly deal with it,” Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa said before a meeting of Group of 20 finance ministers and central bankers.

With a close U.S. presidential vote looming on Tuesday, as well as Congressional elections, there has been a delay in action to avert the fiscal cliff and there is uncertainty about whether Congress can reach a deal.

European delegates at the G20 meeting in Mexico City were particularly keen for details on the U.S. plan, according to those present at preparatory talks.

Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said that in terms of short-term risks to the global economic outlook, the U.S. fiscal cliff outweighed Europe’s debt crisis.

“They may not deal with it until the 11th hour and the 55th minute but I expect that they’ll do it just as they dealt with their banks in 2008,” he told reporters.

South Korean Finance Minister Bahk Jae-wan forecast the global economy could suffer during the first quarter of 2013 because of uncertainty about the fiscal cliff.

Nonetheless, he too was counting on Congress being able to find some kind of fix, telling Reuters: “I think compared to the euro zone crisis the fiscal cliff issue is much easier to solve.”

The euro crisis, which erupted more than two years ago, has eased after the European Central Bank said in September it was ready to buy more government debt. But investors are edgy about when or whether Spain will request an international bailout and how Greece’s deep financial problems can be fixed.

A draft communique being readied for the G20 policymakers said there were elevated risks facing the global economy, including Europe’s crisis and potential problems in Japan.

“Global growth remains modest and risks remain elevated, including due to possible delays in the complex implementation of recent policy announcements in Europe, a potential sharp fiscal tightening in the United States and Japan, weaker growth in some emerging markets and additional supply shocks in some commodity markets,” the draft said, according to a G20 source.

The final communique will be published once talks end on Monday.

G20 officials said t he word ing on Europe referred to differences a mong E uropea n governments over how to build a banking union, considered an important way to bolster the bl oc’s shaky f inancial system, during 2013. France, Spain and Italy have been frustrated with German demands for the new scheme.

Few expect major agreements in Mexico with heavyweights such as U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner – expected to stand down after the U.S. elections – European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi and top Chinese officials skipping the meeting.

GERMANY PRESSES ON DEBTS, DEFICITS

In a move that could revive tensions with the United States, Germany was pressing other countries on Sunday for new commitments on deficit and debt reduction targets beyond 2016.

Germany, the euro zone’s biggest economy which has faced criticism for its insistence on belt-tightening to restore confidence in the world economy, came to the meeting saying the United States and Japan shared as much responsibility as Europe for ensuring global economic stability.

“I think the focus is now increasingly balanced, on both the U.S. and EU,” a euro zone official said. “The difference being that there is recognition of and support for the EU efforts, while it is less clear how exactly the U.S. should address its issue.”

Most of the pressure on the United States to explain how the fiscal cliff can be avoided came from the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, and from Germany, a senior G20 official said.

Policymakers are scrambling to stem a new slowdown in a global economy still limping after the 2008-09 financial crisis.

The G20’s consensus of four years ago, which helped stave off the risk of a new depression, has given way to deep differences over issues such as spending to boost growth and the right pace of belt-tightening to tackle high debt levels.

“It won’t be a straight choice between growth or fiscal rebuilding, such a debate has dangerous aspects,” an official from one G20 country said.

Another official said the G20 would resolve the differences by focusing more on structural reforms and on fixed targets for cutting deficits in heavily indebted countries, independently of the pace of economic growth. That would allow countries such as Spain or Greece to meet their targets this year and next despite deeper than expected recessions.

The International Monetary Fund last month cut its forecast for global growth to 3.6 percent for 2013, citing “familiar” forces dragging on advanced economies: fiscal consolidation and a weak financial system.

Officials are concerned about Japan’s own version of the fiscal cliff, a potentially crippling funding shortfall just as it risks sliding into recession.

U.S. and European officials are likely to come under pressure from G20 peers for dragging their feet on implementing the so-called Basel III accords. They would require banks to set aside more capital – potentially hurting profits – which is one of the key global responses to the financial crisis.

Countries which fail to introduce the rules could be punished, a Mexican finance official said

(Additional reporting G20 team in Mexico City; Writing by Simon Gardner; Editing by Kieran Murray and Chizu Nomiyama)

Racketeering and Money Laundering Lawsuit, Seeking Return of $43 Trillion to the United States Treasury

Racketeering and Money Laundering Lawsuit Seeking Return of $43 Trillion to the United States Treasury

Major Banks, Governmental Officials and Their Comrade Capitalists Targets of Spire Law Group, LLP’s

NEW YORK, Oct. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Spire Law Group, LLP’s national home owners’ lawsuit, pending in the venue where the “Banksters” control their $43 trillion racketeering scheme (New York) – known as the largest money laundering and racketeering lawsuit in United States History and identifying $43 trillion ($43,000,000,000,000.00) of laundered money by the “Banksters” and their U.S. racketeering partners and joint venturers – now pinpoints the identities of the key racketeering partners of the “Banksters” located in the highest offices of government and acting for their own self-interests.

In connection with the federal lawsuit now impending in the United States District Court in Brooklyn, New York (Case No. 12-cv-04269-JBW-RML) – involving, among other things, a request that the District Court enjoin all mortgage foreclosures by the Banksters nationwide, unless and until the entire $43 trillion is repaid to a court-appointed receiver – Plaintiffs  now establish the location of the $43 trillion ($43,000,000,000,000.00) of laundered money in a racketeering enterprise participated in by the following individuals (without limitation):  Attorney General Holder acting in his individual capacity, Assistant Attorney General Tony West, the brother in law of Defendant California Attorney General Kamala Harris (both acting in their individual capacities), Jon Corzine (former New Jersey Governor), Robert Rubin (former Treasury Secretary and Bankster), Timothy Geitner, Treasury Secretary (acting in his individual capacity), Vikram Pandit (recently resigned and disgraced Chairman of the Board of Citigroup), Valerie Jarrett (a Senior White House Advisor), Anita Dunn (a former “communications director” for the Obama Administration), Robert Bauer (husband of Anita Dunn and Chief Legal Counsel for the Obama Re-election Campaign), as well as the “Banksters” themselves, and their affiliates and conduits.  The lawsuit alleges serial violations of the United States Patriot Act, the Policy of Embargo Against Iran and Countries Hostile to the Foreign Policy of the United States, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (commonly known as the RICO statute) and other State and Federal laws.

In the District Court lawsuit, Spire Law Group, LLP — on behalf of home owner across the Country and New York taxpayers, as well as under other taxpayer recompense laws — has expanded its mass tort action into federal court inBrooklyn, New York, seeking to halt all foreclosures nationwide pending the return of the $43 trillion ($43,000,000,000.00) by the “Banksters” and their co-conspirators, seeking an audit of the Fed and audits of all the “bailout programs” by an independent receiver such as Neil Barofsky, former Inspector General of the TARP program who has stated that none of the TARP money and other “bailout money” advanced from the Treasury has ever been repaid despite protestations to the contrary by the Defendants as well as similar protestations by President Obama and the Obama Administration both publicly on national television and more privately to the United States Congress.   Because the Obama Administration has failed to pursue any of the “Banksters” criminally, and indeed is actively borrowing monies for Mr. Obama’s campaign from these same “Banksters” to finance its political aspirations, the national group of plaintiff home owners has been forced to now expand its lawsuit to include racketeering, money laundering and intentional violations of the Iranian Nations Sanctions and Embargo Act by the national banks included among the “Bankster” Defendants.

The complaint – which has now been fully served on thousands of the “Banksters and their Co-Conspirators” – makes it irrefutable that the epicenter of this laundering and racketeering enterprise has been and continues to be Wall Street and continues to involve the very “Banksters” located there who have repeatedly asked in the past to be “bailed out” and to be “bailed out” in the future.

The Havens for the money laundering schemes – and certain of the names and places of these entities – are located in such venues as Switzerland, the Isle of Man, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Cypress and entities controlled by governments adverse to the interests of the United States Sanctions and Embargo Act against Iran, and are also identified in both the United Nations and the U.S. Senate’s recent reports on international money laundering.  Many of these entities have already been personally served with summons and process of the complaint during the last six months.   It is now beyond dispute that, while the Obama Administration was publicly encouraging loan modifications for home owners by “Banksters”, it was privately ratifying the formation of these shell companies in violation of the United States Patriot Act, and State and Federal law. The case further alleges that through these obscure foreign companies, Bank of America, J.P. Morgan, Wells Fargo Bank, Citibank, Citigroup, One West Bank, and numerous other federally chartered banks stole trillions of dollars of home owners’ and taxpayers’ money during the last decade and then laundered it through offshore companies.

This District Court Complaint – maintained by Spire Law Group, LLP — is the only lawsuit in the world listing as Defendants the Banksters, let alone serving all of such Banksters with legal process and therefore forcing them to finally answer the charges in court.  Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission, nor the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, nor the Office of the Attorney General, nor any State Attorney General has sued the Banksters and thereby legally chased them worldwide to recover-back the $43 trillion ($43,000,000,000,000.00) and other lawful damages, injunctive relief and other legal remedies.

James N. Fiedler, Managing Partner of Spire Law Group, LLP, stated:  “It is hard for me to believe as a 47-year lawyer that our nation’s guardians have been unwilling to stop this theft.  Spire Law Group, LLP stands for the elimination of corruption and implementation of lawful strategies, and that is what we’re doing here.  Spire Law Group, LLP’s charter is to not allow such corruption to go unanswered.”

Comments were requested from the Attorney Generals’ offices in NY, CA, NV, NH , OH, MA and the White House, but no comment was provided.

About Spire Law Group

 

Spire Law Group, LLP is a national law firm whose motto is “the public should be protected — at all costs — from corruption in whatever form it presents itself.” The Firm is comprised of lawyers nationally with more than 250-years of experience in a span of matters ranging from representing large corporations and wealthy individuals, to also representing the masses. The Firm is at the front lines litigating against government officials, banks, defunct loan pools, and now the very offshore entities where the corruption was enabled and perpetrated.

Contact:
James N. Fiedler
877-438-8766
http://spire-law.com

SOURCE Spire Law Group, LLP

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Survivalist Wisdom–Voices from the Hurricane Sandy Aftermath

[Prepare for the worst, pray that you never need it.  Pray even harder if you do need it, for protection from those whose only survival plan has been to take what they needed.]

Six Letters Re: Hurricane Sandy After Action Reports

SurvivalBlog.com

James,
I’m located in central New Jersey not far from the Delaware River. In the days prior to the hurricane hitting, everyone packed the supermarkets, warehouse clubs and home improvement stores to stock up.

At the home improvement stores, the people who had best luck getting generators were those who purchased them online and selected in-store pickup. There were lines of people 100+ deep from the front of the store to the back waiting for new shipments of generators to arrive. The only people who were guaranteed anything were those who had already purchased and paid online.

For those lucky enough to get a generator, they’d have a hard time fueling it if they didn’t already have gas cans and gas stored at home. The shelves were cleared of gas cans days before the storm hit.

The warehouse club that we are members of sold out of water the day before the storm hit. They normally have pallets of water on shelves up to the ceiling along the length of an entire aisle. That aisle was completely bare. They also sold out of most fruits/and vegetables that could store for a little without power. The displays that normally hold bananas and apples were bare.

Flashlights and D batteries were gone days before the storm too. The only ones that were left were plug-in rechargeable flashlights that would be of little use after the first discharge in a power outage.

My sister had luck finding a huge display of batteries at a big chain baby store. Most people went straight to the supermarkets and home improvement stores, not thinking that many other types of stores also kept basic supplies.

The winds really started to pick up Monday afternoon. There wasn’t much rain, even at the height of the storm, but the winds were very strong. Our house, which is only 4 years old, shuddered a couple of times in the highest gusts. We didn’t sustain any physical damage to the house, but a couple of small trees tilted over but didn’t uproot or break. Some sections of vinyl fencing in our neighborhood blew out and shattered from the force of the wind.

Sections of our neighborhood started to lose power around 6 PM not long after the hurricane made landfall. Street lights were out and the power to houses across the street were out. From our upstairs windows, we watched the sky glow blue and pink in all directions as transformers blew. Every minute or so another one would blow.

Finally, around 8:30 PM, we watched a transformer light the sky up for about 30 seconds. When it finally darkened, we and the rest of our neighborhood were out of power.

I had filled our spare refrigerator in our garage with cases of water and the spare freezer with bags of ice. I also took every empty plastic jug and bottle out of our recycling bins and filled them 3/4 of the way with water and froze them in our main/spare freezers. Every inch of freezer space that wasn’t packed with food was packed with an ice bottle.

I knew our refrigerator wouldn’t keep food cold long, so we immediately transferred our most critical food (milk for the kids, etc.) into ice filled coolers. The main freezer with most of our frozen food and frozen water bottles was never opened. It stayed perfectly cold until the power came back on, and most of the ice bottles had barely started to thaw. The food in our ice-filled coolers also was fine. We did sacrifice non-critical food that we didn’t have space for in the coolers to the garbage bin.

We lit the house with long-lasting led lanterns that definitely did the trick. We hunkered around an old battery power radio to keep up with storm news, and gave our two-year old son a spare lantern to play with, which kept him happy. With no power and little news expected until morning, we turned in early (for us) at around 10 PM.

Our furnace was out and we don’t have a fireplace, so the temperature dropped to the low 60s in our house overnight. It was a little chilly, but we were comfortable enough. We were definitely lucky it wasn’t colder outside.

By the morning the storm had passed and a family that we are very close friends with down the street had their generator running. We and several of our friends congregated there for the day. They had enough power for their refrigerator, several lights, a tv and cable box, and a power strip for charging phones.

Although the power was out, the cable stayed on until around noon so we were able to see the first images of storm damage. After the cable went out, most of us switched to our web-enabled smartphones and social media to stay informed and reach out to friends.

We grilled outside for lunch and dinner, with everyone pitching in food that would go bad if unused. Everyone with spare gas stored was prepared to pitch in whatever they had until the power came back on to keep the generator running. We brought over 10 gallons that wasn’t needed.

Cell phone service was spotty. People who were subscribers of one the two major cell providers in our area had no problem making/receiving calls and surfing the web. Subscribers of the other major service had a signal, but couldn’t make calls and their data service only worked intermittently.

The day after the storm, most traffic lights remained out. All gas stations and most stores were closed. One home improvement store opened under emergency power. They only let a limited number of people into the front part of the store where they had set up displays with their remaining emergency supplies (flashlights, batteries, power cords, and a new supply of gas cans). They surprisingly even accepted credit cards. Some other stores we checked out only accepted cash if they were open at all.

24 hours after the power went out, it came back on for most of our neighborhood. We’re definitely lucky since of the 2/3 of our state that was without power, only about 15-20% of homes had been restored when we were reconnected.

It was an interesting experience for a day, but something that none of us would have been happy to have continue. We all realized, individually and as a group, what things we were missing that could have made us more comfortable.

Although we were lucky that our part of the state suffered little more than downed trees and power lines, New Jersey is very small so we all have friends in the hardest hit parts of the Jersey Shore and we are very familiar with the popular vacation spots that have been destroyed.

I’ve been in contact with friends who live just blocks from the beach who have raised homes and still have standing water lapping at their front doors. A few other friends live in beach neighborhoods that have essentially become islands with bridges, highways and other access roads out of service and surrounded by water. Others left some of the very hardest hit communities before the storm hit and don’t know if their homes are still standing.

Some neighborhoods devastated by storm surge and flooding are now burning. Along some of the barrier islands, emergency services from the mainland are cut off and fires will likely be left to burn themselves out. Some entire towns are expected to burn.

There are a lot of people who have lost everything and many who are still in harm’s way. Keep them in your prayers. Thanks, – Brad S.

 

James,
I have family from Pennsylvania to Maine.  I tried to encourage my family and cousins who I knew would be affected by Sandy to visit me in the mountains of New England, but they were all so sure that they could survive the storm.

Only one family had a generator.  It wasn’t wired into the house, so plenty of extension cords are in use there.  The others had nothing at all setup.  So I briefed them on filling the tub, freezing extra containers for ice, etc.  And all were briefed on staying put during and after the storm.

Of course, some don’t listen so well.  While all survived in some fashion, here is the latest and worse from my cousin on Long Island:

“Pumping out water all day.
We had absolutely not a drop of [drinking] water. Storm surge at 830 p.m. and we were seeing it force its way in at the rate of a foot a minute!! I have never witnessed anything like that in my life!
Scary stuff!!!

We tried to hold it back just no way hydraulic pressure was just too much.
Total 10 feet of water. We jumped ship when it got to 6 feet. Then couldn’t get to [deleted for OPSEC]’s house… Every path home and on every road trees were down, we didn’t plan for that. We slept at a friend’s aunt’s house. She welcomed us (dog and all) with open arms and we are total strangers. The walls all cracked assuming will be a total loss.

We are going to call it quits soon will be back at it again tomorrow. No [phone] service so can’t call our insurance company. Friends are coming from all over to help. No big deal–It is just a material asset. Insurance hopefully covers hurricanes. We are fortunate, as it could’ve been much worse.”

He was right.  They were fortunate.  They could have drowned leaving during the night.  They could have been injured trying to leave that location to their ‘safe’ house.

I suspect that the next time they will evacuate in a timely fashion.  I doubt that they will ever disparage a prepared mindset again.

We can’t save folks from themselves.

I will head into New York and New Jersey when possible to reach them with support.  I expect to have to wait until after this coming Tuesday.

Thank you for your SurvivalBlog site! Regards, – Mike A.

 

Good Morning to You!
Our area of the East coast was spared the worst brunt of the storm.  Massive snowfalls to our west, and massive flooding to the east.  We were very fortunate.

We live on top of a hill, and by Monday morning, we had water filling our basement.  I went outside with middle son, and we found a deep hole filled with water next to the foundation of our house.  We dug a ditch from the edge of the hole far, far away from the edge of the hole and down the hill well past the fall line.  I would estimate we dug at least 30 feet of mud.  While I dug, my son took the shovels of dirt that I pulled out of the ground and put it back into the hole by the foundation.  Once we were finished, we moved the drainage pipe from the gutters so that it, too, fed into the ditch we had dug away from the house.  10 more inches of rain fell over the next 24 hours, but no more of it ran into our basement.

I understand now what you mean when you say you need to be physically fit!  I’m a 40 something mother of three, and my 17 year old son and I put in a good two hours worth of physical work in the driving rain, diverting water away from the house.  Maybe insurance would have covered the damage if we hadn’t done the work, but I prefer the effort of digging a ditch in the rain to the effort of clearing a basement of water and carpets and furniture.  Best two hours worth of work I’ve ever done, and our house is still in one piece!

Besides the obvious water and wind damage around here, there is one thing that stuck out more and more:  The number of people killed by falling trees.  Tall trees close to the house really do need to be trimmed back so that damage is lessened if a tree or limb falls on a house.  One gentleman told the story of how he and his father had a conversation on Saturday about how they needed to trim or cut down the tree next to the house.  Then on Monday, his father was killed instantly when the tree fell on the house during high winds.

Peace to you all. – B.L.W.

 

James,
The report from Delaware. With the exception of flood prone and some beach front areas we dodged the bullet.

It was an excellent exercise for our small family. The preparation for with this sort of an event turns on do you stay or leave. Different priorities for equipment supplies and staging following from each of those two choices. However what this storm brought home to us (since we have a shelter in place default ) is that within the shelter in place paradigm is,”suppose that tree falls on your house and you must leave in a hurry anyway’ sub-plan. Since for us in our location Sandy was forecast to be a wind event, this latter sub-plan rose up from the back burner rather forcefully.

Now, we had to pull out and check the go bags (not seen since last year’s windy scare) marshal water, food rations, range bags (did I restock those mags after the last week) , document case, comms and other take-with items by the door while preparing to deal with prolonged electrical outage (potentially weeks) therefore check generator, water reserves, fuel, etc etc..

I found that while our shelter in place preps and SOP were fairly well in hand, the “Yikes, we got-a-go now” end was pretty confused. Part of the reason for this is that we really need to have more duplicate gear stashed in the “Go now” configuration, and it was clear from this go round that we ain’t there yet. I also know as I write this that I have all sorts of essential items stowed carefully labeled clearly that I will want to toss in the vehicle, but it will take me days to think through the inventory. Not something to be doing as water is cascading through a rent in the building.

So I tell you to tell me, “build the list now while it is still fresh.”

One side note: We were “powerless” for only 8 hours, but as a result I am looking to replace my noisy old Generac (such a headache! The thing just roars. I must be getting old) with newer quieter Yamaha or Honda digital. While researching I found this very useful worksheet for calculating loads on the Yamaha web site.

Blessings… Pray for the folks in New York City, Connecticut and New Jersey…. They have a long way to come back. – Dollardog

 

JWR:
As per your request for info out of the New York City area: Having grown up in Florida, I kind of knew what to expect. Needless to say, I was well provisioned and my powder, so to speak, was high and dry and at the ready well in advance of Sandy’s final approach…

My wife and I rode out the storm in our “Brooklyn Bunker,” a fourth-floor apartment in a solid pre-war building. We spent a long night watching for the flashes of transformers exploding in the wind, and darkness encroaching as lights went out in the homes all around us. Luckily, the lights managed to stay on in our neighborhood, and we didn’t lose power once. After the storm passed, we emerged to discover no major damage, some trees down on cars and roofs, limited cell phone service, but that’s about it…

The same can’t be said for lower Manhattan and parts of Staten Island, though. The six-foot security fence around some rental property I own there came down, right into my truck. A violent storm surge turned most of the coastal communities on the island into what looks like a war zone, with the National Guard deployed to keep order. No working street lights, no stores open, no gas. People are attempting to drive into northern New Jersey to find gas stations that have power, with little luck. Con Edison now says power will be out to 60% of the island for more than a week. My tenants are in the dark with no heat…

Looking across the East River into Lower Manhattan at night, I am reminded of my time as a journalist in New Orleans during Katrina, where I witnessed another entire American city abandoned, darkened, and brought to its knees by Mother Nature (combined with a healthy dose of human stupidity). The entire subway system here is paralyzed, and along with it commerce, and most of the city’s inhabitants. There are already some rumblings on blogs and other social media platforms about the “lack of government response,” like this one here, but for the most part, people have remained unusually calm and accommodating to each other, at least for New Yorkers.

As with Katrina, Sandy reminded me of just how fragile the veneer of civilization that most most city-dwellers often take for granted truly is. During the final 24 hours leading up to Sandy’s arrival, lines at every major grocery store in Brooklyn and Manhattan were several blocks long, with hours-long wait times just to enter the stores and clerks taking small groups of people in to shop, just a few at a time.

Given the mentality of the average city-dweller, the run on grocery stores was to be expected. Perhaps more importantly for the SurvivalBlog readership at large, what’s transpired here over the past 48 hours is nothing short of an amazing exercise in the efficacy of state control circa 2012 (much better execution than what I witnessed during Katrina). I am at once somewhat pleasantly surprised yet shockingly dismayed by just how quickly the authorities were able to shut down and subdue the country’s biggest metropolis. Within a few hours, they were able to – successfully – deploy several thousand National Guard troops, shut down the country’s biggest subway system, 15 major bridges and tunnels, three major airports, and cut power to eight square miles of a world-class city…all with nary a whimper nor major objection from the populace.

New Yorkers in three major boroughs were – and in the case of Lower Manhattan, still are – effectively cut off from the outside world. Moving forward, most SurvivalBlog readers like myself who either choose or are forced to reside in cities should perhaps (re)consider their long term plans and preparations given the recent tactics on display here in NYC.

Thanks and best, – KTC in NYC

 

Dear Jim:
Sheeple no more here. Sandy came and went. Our area is Bucks County about an hour north of Philadelphia. We border the Delaware River. Power here went out early and and only came on today.

I think we weathered it well. I was one of the last minute “run to the store” folks. Bought a gallon of milk. Everything else was in place. As soon as the power went out, I fired up our generator and hunkered down for the 70 MPH winds.

We did lose a couple of shingles and some aluminum trim on the house. Those unprepared suffered flooded basements, many areas will not have power for a week or more. Lots of trees down, snapped telephone poles, sink holes in the road. The emergency services were running 24 hours for two days. Constant sirens all over the place.

Where did I come up short? I never got around to getting my ham radio license or programming my Baofeng UV-5R. It would have come in handy to keep in touch with the others in my group. I have some Uniden walkies and they proved worthless.

At the end of the storm my wife she thanked me for being prepared. Up until this happened she kind of went alone with my “hobby”. Always a little smile on her face. It’s different now.

What I need to do:

  • Get my ham license.
  • Run a dedicated electrical line to the crucial items in the house. Pumps, freezer, frig, security lights.
  • Replace my burned out chainsaw.
  • Read “How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It” for the 12th time and update my (your) lists of lists.

Take care and God Bless, – M.

Elitists Use Personal Positions of Power To Bring About the “Culling” of the Human Herd

Saving Humanity

Dave Hodges – The Common Sense Show

Dave Hodges

The Common Sense Show

Do you remember when your mother asked you if you would jump off a cliff if everyone else was doing it? It turns out that all of us would have been wise to heed the advice from our mothers as the globalists aren’t just encouraging us to jump off a cliff, they are, in fact, pushing us off of the proverbial cliff in a deliberate attempt to fulfill the their mandate which is to eliminate a substantial portion of humanity. Meanwhile, the globalists will be safely tucked away in some underground structure free from the harm that they are perpetrating upon humanity. Sadly, many of our friends and family members are willingly going to their demise without so much as a whimper.

Heretofore, the topic of intentional depopulation was the perceived product of paranoid delusional conspiracy theorists who had too much time on their hands. The most frequent refrain from the unaware is that “they” would never do that. However, the globalists have left an unmistakable paper trail in which their true agenda is exposed.

I have collected a sample of quotes from the global elite, both past and present. And even people who cannot find the courage to abandon their normalcy bias, will have a difficult time denying the disturbing quotes which follow. .

Officials in the United Nations Want You Dead

Surely, the peace loving United Nations, complete with its expressed desire to save the world from any and all evil would stand in line to thwart any expressed threat to inhabitants of this planet, right?  Well, not exactly. The United Nations is permeated with individuals who are Satanically inspired and have repeatedly, on many fronts, have expressed their intent to reduce the world’s population by dramatic means, if necessary. Please consider the following quotes:

“No one will enter the New World Order unless he or she will make a pledge to worship Lucifer. No one will enter the New Age unless he will take a Luciferian Initiation.”
David Spangler, Director of Planetary Initiative, United Nations

The present vast overpopulation, now far beyond the world carrying capacity, cannot be answered by future reductions in the birth rate due to contraception, sterilization and abortion, but must be met in the present by the reduction of numbers presently existing. This must be done by whatever means necessary.

Initiative for the United Nations ECO-92 EARTH CHARTER

 

“One America burdens the earth much more than twenty Bangladeshes. This is a terrible thing to say in order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it’s just as bad not to say it.         

 Jacques Cousteau, UNESCO Courier

“A reasonable estimate for an industrialized world society at the present North American material standard of living would be 1 billion. At the more frugal European standard of living, 2 to 3 billion would be possible”.

United Nations, Global Biodiversity Assessment

                     “A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline would  be ideal”                                                                                      

Ted Turner, founder of CNN and major United Nations contributor

Is anyone else bothered by the fact that this pack of Eugenicists are overseeing our elections?  Perhaps the officials at the United Nations stand alone among elite leaders on the planet.

 

 What About Our Educated Elite?

Although it is painfully obvious that the United Nations elite have a high level of contempt for the average person, surely those people responsible for educating our children will teach the time honored virtues of the United States Constitution. Surely, they will teach their students to develop a healthy respect for American sovereignty so that the genocidal lunatics running the United Nations are unable to put their genocidal schemes into motion. Upon further review, this is not the case as I bring to you the words of those who educate and mold the minds of our young people.

War and famine would not do. Instead, disease offered the most efficient and fastest way to kill the billions that must soon die if the population crisis is to be solved. AIDS is not an efficient killer because it is too slow. My favorite candidate for eliminating 90 percent of the world’s population is airborne Ebola (Ebola Reston), because it is both highly lethal and it kills in days, instead of years. “We’ve got airborne diseases with 90 percent mortality in humans. Killing humans. Think about that. “You know, the bird flu’s good, too. For everyone who survives, he will have to bury nine”

Dr. Eric Pianka University of Texas speaking on the topic of reducing the world’s population to an audience on population control.

A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells, the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people. We must shift our efforts from the treatment of the symptoms to the cutting out of the cancer. The operation will demand many apparently brutal and heartless decisions”.                                                                            

  Stanford Professor Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb

“We have to take away from humans in the long run their reproductive autonomy as the only way to guarantee the advancement of mankind.”

Francis Crick, The discoverer of the double-helix structure of DNA

It strongly appears that the Eugenicists patrolling corridors of educational institutions possess the same disdain for mankind as do the lunatic officials from the United Nations.

 

What About the Environmental Elites?

It is apparent that humanity cannot look to the sociopathic leaders of the United Nations and America’s top academic leaders for salvation.  But certainly the eco-friendly environmentalists, with their penchant for saving the whales and the spotted owl will ride to the rescue of mankind.  Regrettably, this is also not the case. It seems that the humanitarian spirit of the environmentalists does not apply to any species which possess a collapsible thumb, the power of speech and has a well-developed cerebral cortex. Again, the words of the elite exposes their depopulation agenda.

“If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.”

 Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Leader of the World Wildlife Fund

Malthus has been vindicated; reality is finally catching up with Malthus. The Third World is overpopulated, it’s an economic mess, and there’s no way they could get out of it with this fast-growing population. Our philosophy is: back to the village.”                  

 Dr. Arne Schiotz, World Wildlife Fund Director of Conservation

 

What About Our Government Leaders?

Historically, many Americans believe that they can look to the government to protect them from the evils of the world.  It is clear that our blind trust in our public officials misplaced. Our leaders are not our friends, and have not been for a very long time as evidenced by the following quotes:

“Society has no business to permit degenerates to reproduce their kind”
Theodore Roosevelt

“There is a single theme behind all our work–we must reduce population levels. Either governments do it our way, through nice clean methods, or they will get the kinds of mess that we have in El Salvador, or in Iran or in Beirut. Population is a political problem. Once population is out of control, it requires authoritarian government, even fascism, to reduce it….” “Our program in El Salvador didn’t work. The infrastructure was not there to support it. There were just too goddamned many people…. To really reduce population, quickly, you have to pull all the males into the fighting and you have to kill significant numbers of fertile age females….” The quickest way to reduce population is through famine, like in Africa, or through disease like the Black Death….
Thomas Ferguson, State Department Office of Population Affairs

“Depopulation should be the highest priority of foreign policy towards the third world, because the US economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less developed countries”.
Dr. Henry Kissinger

“The world’s population needs to be reduced by 50%,” and “The elderly are useless eaters”
Dr. Henry Kissinger

The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes.”
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

“Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.”
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

“The Planetary Regime might be given responsibility for determining the optimum population for the world and for each region and for arbitrating various countries’ shares within their regional limits. Control of population size might remain the responsibility of each government, but the Regime would have some power to enforce the agreed limits.”
Obama’s science czar John P. Holdren: From Ecoscience

One percent of the population is sociopathic. Here are two clear markers for Sociopaths, discoverable in their behavior patterns: 1) Sociopaths have no conscience. Hence, 2) Sociopaths cannot feel guilt nor remorse, like  ordinary people can.

These are evil people, very evil people. Superficially charming, they are selfish, greedy, unemphathetic, manipulative, and prone to violence and abuse. They steal, cheat, vandalize others property, swindle, and they are pathological liars. They are unconcerned with the feelings of other humans, who are mere objects to be used, and have little or no conscience

A recent book, authored by Martha Stout, in which the material came from released government documents CEO’s are three times more likely to be a sociopath than the general population. Politicians are four times more likely to be sociopathic than you and I.  These are the people who seek power and once they obtain that power, the see absolute power, much to detriment of the soon-to-be extinct members of human race.

 

What Is Humanity To Do?

If humanity is to preserve itself in its present form, it will be necessary to educate the masses as to the planned perils which lie ahead. The pro-human preservation movement needs bodies, billions and billions of bodies. Yet, the very victims of the coming planned genocide are dumbed down by the schools and propagandized into a false sense of security by the mainstream media which is owned by six global elite corporations who also want you gone.

For humanity to survive, we need to collectively rise from our knees and seize control of the planet’s institutions and permanently banish these dangerous sociopaths from their self-anointed positions of planetary leadership. The first step in gathering the numbers of people which we will need to accomplish this goal, is to educate the human race in as great as numbers as possible. My suggestion would be to forward these quotes to everyone you know and then follow up with one question. Do you think that your status in life is so significant that you and your family will be spared the coming holocaust?  If not, then you better roll up your sleeves and convince as many people as possible that we are in a great deal of danger.

A Brilliant Pentagon Plan for Spreading Perpetual “Persistent War” Looks Just Like A “Failed” Terror War

[This is an excellent explanation of the mess that we find ourselves in today, due to the miserable, evil policies of the past two American Administrations, but the author from TomDispatch misses the most important point, as always.  That singular, vital to understand point is this–the American war on terror HAS NOT FAILED, it has succeeded brilliantly in its primary mission–to spread conflict over the entire planet.  The war on terror was NEVER intended to be won, it was just a means to an end, prepositioning military forces in every nation, before unleashing global nuclear war.  All of these little “piss ant” wars that we have been fighting, the various Partnership-for-Peace programs, Special Forces training missions, drug-interdiction and border control operations, along with the overall rubric of “fighting terrorism,” have all provided the means to preposition American “Special Operators” and their weapons within other national militaries and police forces.  Their original mission has been to “win the hearts and minds” of foreign military men, before the real war begins, the war against all enemies at once.  

The Pentagon would prefer to be known as a bumbling,”inept giant,” rather than as the monstrous, devouring beast that it really is.  The Joint Chiefs have been faithfully carrying-out the desires of their corporate masters and their puppets in the White House, by spreading the Pentagon’s tentacles into every corner of the planet, even to the depths of the oceans and the heights of sub-orbital space.  The Pentagon is a monster, that is set upon devouring all of the little peasant villagers who will besiege the fortified fortresses of their dark overlords.  The Pentagon is firmly committed to a policy that is best defined as “Malthusian,” the calculated thinning-out of the human herd.  The Pentagon has been setting itself up as the ultimate protectors of a small group of racist elitists, who consider the rest of us as cattle, fit only to be bought and sold, improved in limited numbers through selective crossbreeding and genetic experimentation, with the remainder of the herd to be  eventually slaughtered, probably to be processed into “Soylent Green” for them.  

The day is nearly upon us when open-air thermonuclear detonations will become a regular occurrence.  The day after that day comes and goes, will be the only time when Bush’s war could be judged either a resounding success, or a total failure.  Until then, only the spread of death and terminal madness will spread across the face of the Earth.]  

A failed formula for worldwide war

How the empire changed its face, but not its nature.
US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey has been holding “strategic seminars” over a giant map of the world larger than a basketball court [EPA]
They looked like a gang of geriatric giants. Clad in smart casual attire – dress shirts, sweaters, and jeans – and incongruous blue hospital booties, they strode around “the world”, stopping to stroke their chins and ponder this or that potential crisis. Among them was General Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a button-down shirt and jeans, without a medal or a ribbon in sight, his arms crossed, his gaze fixed. He had one foot plantedfirmly in Russia, the other partly in Kazakhstan, and yet the general hadn’t left the friendly confines of Virginia.Several times this year, Dempsey, the other joint chiefs, and regional war-fighting commanders have assembled at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico to conduct a futuristic war-game-meets-academic-seminar about the needs of the military in 2017. There, a giant map of the world, larger than a basketball court, was laid out so the Pentagon’s top brass could shuffle around the planet – provided they wore those scuff-preventing shoe covers – as they thought about “potential US national military vulnerabilities in future conflicts” (so one participant told the New York Times). The sight of those generals with the world underfoot was a fitting image for Washington’s military ambitions, its penchant for foreign interventions, and its contempt for (non-US) borders and national sovereignty.A world so much larger than a basketball court

In recent weeks, some of the possible fruits of Dempsey’s “strategic seminars”, military missions far from the confines of Quantico, have repeatedly popped up in the news. Sometimes buried in a story, sometimes as the headline, the reports attest to the Pentagon’s penchant for globetrotting.

In September, for example, Lieutenant General Robert L Caslen, Jr, revealed that, just months after the US military withdrew from Iraq, a unit of Special Operations Forces had already been redeployed there in an advisory role and that negotiations were underway to arrange for larger numbers of troops to train Iraqi forces in the future. That same month, the Obama administration won congressional approval to divert funds earmarked for counterterrorism aid for Pakistan to a new proxy project in Libya. According to the New York Times, US Special Operations Forces will likely bedeployed to create and train a 500-man Libyan commando unit to battle Islamic militant groups which have become increasingly powerful as a result of the 2011 US-aided revolution there.

Earlier this month, the New York Times reported that the US military had secretly sent a new task force to Jordan to assist local troops in responding to the civil war in neighbouring Syria. Only days later, that paper revealed that recent US efforts to train and assist surrogate forces for Honduras’s drug war were already crumbling amid a spiral of questions about the deaths of innocents, violations of international law, and suspected human rights abuses by Honduran allies.

Shortly after that, the Times reported the bleak, if hardly surprising, news that the proxy army the US has spent more than a decade building in Afghanistan is, according to officials, “so plagued with desertions and low re-enlistment rates that it has to replace a third of its entire force every year”. Rumors now regularly bubble up about a possible US-funded proxy war on the horizon in Northern Mali where al-Qaeda-linked Islamists have taken over vast stretches of territory – yet another direct result of last year’s intervention in Libya.

 Empire – The decline of the American empire

And these were just the offshore efforts that made it into the news. Many other US military actions abroad remain largely below the radar. Several weeks ago, for instance, US personnel were quietly deployed to Burundi to carry out training efforts in that small, landlocked, desperately poor East African nation. Another contingent of US Army and Air Force trainers headed to the similarly landlocked and poor West African nation of Burkina Faso to instruct indigenous forces.

At Camp Arifjan, an American base in Kuwait, US and local troops donned gas masks and protective suits to conduct joint chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear training. In Guatemala, 200 Marines from Detachment Martillo completed a months-long deployment to assist indigenous naval forces and law enforcement agencies in drug interdiction efforts.

Across the globe, in the forbidding tropical forests of the Philippines, Marines joined elite Filipino troops to train for combat operations in jungle environments and to help enhance their skills as snipers. Marines from both nations also leapt from airplanes, 10,000 feet above the island archipelago, in an effort to further the “interoperability” of their forces. Meanwhile, in the Southeast Asian nation of Timor-Leste, Marines trained embassy guards and military police in crippling “compliance techniques” like pain holds and pressure point manipulation, as well as soldiers in jungle warfare as part of Exercise Crocodilo 2012.

The idea behind Dempsey’s “strategic seminars” was to plan for the future, to figure out how to properly respond to developments in far-flung corners of the globe. And in the real world, US forces are regularly putting preemptive pins in that giant map – from Africa to Asia, Latin America to the Middle East. On the surface, global engagement, training missions, and joint operations appear rational enough. And Dempsey’s big picture planning seems like a sensible way to think through solutions to future national security threats.

But when you consider how the Pentagon really operates, such war-gaming undoubtedly has an absurdist quality to it. After all, global threats turn out to come in every size imaginable, from fringe Islamic movements in Africa to Mexican drug gangs. How exactly they truly threaten US “national security” is often unclear – beyond some White House adviser’s or general’s say-so. And whatever alternatives come up in such Quantico seminars, the “sensible” response invariably turns out to be sending in the Marines, or the SEALs, or the drones, or some local proxies. In truth, there is no need to spend a day shuffling around a giant map in blue booties to figure it all out.

In one way or another, the US military is now involvedwith most of the nations on Earth. Its soldiers, commandos, trainers, base builders, drone jockeys, spies, and arms dealers, as well as associated hired guns and corporate contractors, can now be found just about everywhere on the planet. The sun never sets on American troops conducting operations, training allies, arming surrogates, schooling its own personnel, purchasing new weapons and equipment, developing fresh doctrine, implementing novel tactics, and refining their martial arts. The US has submarines trolling the briny deep and aircraft carrier task forces traversing the oceans and seas, robotic drones flying constant missions and manned aircraft patrolling the skies, while above them, spy satellites circle, peering down on friend and foe alike.

“The US military should have the planet on lockdown… yet after more than a decade of war, it has failed to eliminate a rag-tag Afghan insurgency with limited popular support.”

Since 2001, the US military has thrown everything in its arsenal, short of nuclear weapons, including untold billions of dollars in weaponry, technology, bribes, you name it, at a remarkably weak set of enemies – relatively small groups of poorly-armed fighters in impoverished nations like Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Yemen – while decisively defeating none of them. With its deep pockets and long reach, its technology and training acumen, as well as the devastatingly destructive power at its command, the US military should have the planet on lockdown. It should, by all rights, dominate the world just as the neoconservative dreamers of the early Bush years assumed it would.

Yet after more than a decade of war, it has failed to eliminate a rag-tag Afghan insurgency with limited popular support. It trained an indigenous Afghan force that was long known for its poor performance – before it became better known for killing its American trainers. It has spent years and untold tens of millions of tax dollars chasing down assorted firebrand clerics, various terrorist “lieutenants”, and a host of no-name militants belonging to al-Qaeda, mostly in the backlands of the planet. Instead of wiping out that organisation and its wannabes, however, it seems mainly to have facilitated its franchising around the world.

At the same time, it has managed to paint weak regional forces like Somalia’s al-Shabaab as transnational threats, then focus its resources on eradicating them, only to fail at the task. It has thrown millions of dollars in personnel, equipment, aid, and recently even troops into the task of eradicating low-level drug runners (as well as the major drug cartels), without putting a dent in the northward flow of narcotics to America’s cities and suburbs.

It spends billions on intelligence only to routinely find itself in the dark. It destroyed the regime of an Iraqi dictator and occupied his country, only to be fought to a standstill by ill-armed, ill-organised insurgencies there, then out-manoeuvered by the allies it had helped put in power, and unceremoniously bounced from the country (even if it is now beginning to claw its way back in). It spends untold millions of dollars to train and equip elite Navy SEALs to take on poor, untrained, lightly-armed adversaries, like gun-toting Somali pirates.

How not to change in a changing world

And that isn’t the half of it.

The US military devours money and yet delivers little in the way of victories. Its personnel may be among the most talented and well-trained on the planet, its weapons and technology the most sophisticated and advanced around. And when it comes to defence budgets, it far outspends the next nine largest nations combined (most of which are allies in any case), let alone its enemies like the Taliban, al-Shabaab, or al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, but in the real world of warfare this turns out to add up to remarkably little.

In a government filled with agencies routinely derided for profligacy, inefficiency, and producing poor outcomes, itsrecord may be unmatched in terms of waste and abject failure, though that seems to faze almost no one in Washington. For more than a decade, the US military has bounced from one failed doctrine to the next. There was Donald Rumsfeld’s “military lite”, followed by what could have been called military heavy (though it never got a name), which was superseded by General David Petraeus’s “counterinsurgency operations” (also known by its acronym COIN). This, in turn, has been succeeded by the Obama administration’s bid for future military triumph: a “light footprint” combination of special ops, drones, spies, civilian soldiers, cyberwarfare, and proxy fighters. Yet whatever the method employed, one thing has been constant: Successes have been fleeting, setbacks many, frustrations the name of the game, and victory MIA.

Convinced nonetheless that finding just the right formulafor applying force globally is the key to success, the US military is presently banking on that new six-point plan. Tomorrow, it may turn to a different war-lite mix. Somewhere down the road, it will undoubtedly again experiment with something heavier. And if history is any guide, counterinsurgency, a concept that failed the US in Vietnam and was resuscitated only to fail again in Afghanistan, will one day be back in vogue.

“The more time, effort and treasure the US invests in its military and its military adventures, the weaker the payback.”

In all of this, it should be obvious, a learning curve is lacking. Any solution to America’s war-fighting problems will undoubtedly require the sort of fundamental reevaluation of warfare and military might that no one in Washington is open to at the moment. It’s going to take more than a few days spent shuffling around a big map in plastic shoe covers.

American politicians never tire of extolling the virtues of the US military, which is now commonly hailed as “the finest fighting force in the history of the world”. This claim appears grotesquely at odds with reality. Aside from triumphs over such non-powers as the tiny Caribbean island of Grenada and the small Central American nation of Panama, the US military’s record since World War II has been a litany of disappointments: Stalemate in Korea, outright defeat in Vietnam, failures in Laos and Cambodia, debacles in Lebanon and Somalia, two wars against Iraq (both ending without victory), more than a decade of wheel-spinning in Afghanistan, and so on.

Something akin to the law of diminishing returns may be at work. The more time, effort and treasure the US invests in its military and its military adventures, the weaker the payback. In this context, the impressive destructive power of that military may not matter a bit, if it is tasked with doing things that military might, as it has been traditionally conceived, can perhaps no longer do.

Success may not be possible, whatever the circumstances, in the twenty-first-century world, and victory not even an option. Instead of trying yet again to find exactly the right formula or even reinventing warfare, perhaps the US military needs to reinvent itself and its raison d’être if it’s ever to break out of its long cycle of failure.

But don’t count on it.

Instead, expect the politicians to continue to heap on the praise, Congress to continue insuring funding at levels that stagger the imagination, presidents to continue applying blunt force to complex geopolitical problems (even if in slightly different ways), arms dealers to continue churning out wonder weapons that prove less than wondrous, and the Pentagon continuing to fail to win.

Coming off the latest series of failures, the US military has leapt headlong into yet another transitional period – call it the changing face of empire – but don’t expect a change in weapons, tactics, strategy, or even doctrine to yield a change in results. As the adage goes: The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Nick Turse is the managing editor of TomDispatch.com and a fellow at the Nation Institute. He is the author/editor of several books, including the just published The Changing Face of Empire: Special Ops, Drones, Spies, Proxy Fighters, Secret Bases, and Cyberwarfare  (Haymarket Books). This piece is the final article in his series on the changing face of American empire, which is being underwritten by Lannan Foundation.

A version of this article first appeared on TomDispatch.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

Source:
Tomdispatch

The Road to World War 3

The Road to World War 3

Published on Sep 11, 2012 by 

We are on a road that leads straight to the World War 3, but in order to see that and to fully understand what is at stake you have to look at the big picture and connect the dots. This video examines the history of the dollar, its relation to oil, and the real motives behind the wars of the past two decades.

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Credits:
Music is original composition by StormCloudsGathering
Thumbnail is creative commons: http://kingsandji.deviantart.com
Scenes from Grey State trailer used with permission fromhttp://www.graystatemovie.com

The GRAY STATE Project–the American People Under Seige

The GRAY STATE Project

The world reels with the turmoil of war, geological disaster, and economic collapse, while Americans continue to submerge themselves in illusions of safety and immunity. While rights are sold for security, the federal government, swollen with power, begins a systematic takeover of liberty in order to bring about a New World Order.

Americans, quarantined to militarized districts, become a population ripe for tyrannical control.
Fearmongering, terrorism, police state, martial law, war, arrest, internment, hunger, oppression, violence, resistance – these are the terms by which Americans define their existence. Neighbor is turned against neighbor as the value of the dollar plunges to zero, food supplies are depleted, and everyone becomes a terror suspect. There are arrests. Disappearances. Bio attacks. Public executions of those even suspected of dissent. Even rumors of concentration camps on American soil.

This is the backdrop to an unfolding story of resistance. American militias prepare for guerilla warfare. There are mass defections from the military as true Patriots attempt to rally around the Constitution and defend liberty, preparing a national insurgency against federal forces, knowing full well this will be the last time in history the oppressed will be capable of organized resistance.

It is a time of transition, of shifting alliance, of mass awakening and mass execution. It is an impending storm, an iron-gray morning that puts into effect decades of over-comfort and complacency, and Americans wake up to an occupied homeland. It is a time of lists. Black list, white list, and those still caught in the middle, those who risk physical death for their free will and those who sell their souls to maintain their idle thoughts and easy comforts. It is in this Gray State that the perpetuation of human freedom will be contested, or crushed.

Is it the near future, or is it the present? The Gray State is coming – by consent or conquest. This is battlefield USA.

Encompassing the world of conspiracy theory, economic collapse, global disaster, end-time prophecies, martial law, and growing civil unrest, GRAY STATE is a piercing look into the immediate future in which the withered remains of freedom are traded for an impression of security.

GRAY STATE is the reality that can no longer be ignored. It is coming – by consent or conquest.

Watch the first official Gray State concept trailer here.

What is the Gray State?

The GRAY STATE is here. It always was.

A Leninist critique of Western humanitarian imperialism

A Leninist critique of Western humanitarian imperialism

By Nicolas Bonnal
A Leninist critique of Western humanitarian imperialism. 48364.jpeg

We are living dangerous yet moral times, for a few hundreds of arrogant and powerful men (call them Bilderbergs, Illuminati, Trilateralists) have decided to rule the World together in the name of “the commerce and the imaginative”, as put Cecil Rhodes, the founder of the first version of the NWO which opened first modern concentration camps for the Boers’ families 111 years ago.

We are thus ruled by humanitarian oligarchs, by imaginative and moral rascals who mix oil with principles and raw materials with innumerable moral commandments which oblige us to intervene everywhere. Warmongers adore justifying their wars. It is like in the time of Hitler, when he was compelled to invade Czechoslovakia to protect his fellow Germans, then Poland to protect the citizens of Danzig, then soviet Russia to protect the West against the evils of communism (the Nazis, while massacring anyone, often boasted of protecting western heritage)!

And today when the West attacks and bombs Libya, Syria or Lebanon, waiting for poor Iran, massacring civilians, we are used to understand that it is for the promotion of good and to fight evil. Thanks to their own bad faith and disinformation, western mainstream media, politicians, military and adventurers are auto-convinced that they castigate the bad to celebrate the good, may they be the sinister Mujahedin in Syria or elsewhere. Such limited handling of reality explicates in Europe or in America our debt, our uncontrolled immigration, our social unrest, our unemployment, our weakness. Yet it has to be understood. Why are we so wrong?

I was for that reason reading again Lenin’s masterwork about imperialism (Imperialism highest stage of capitalism). Some things have changed, fortunately for some countries (they are no more starved and whipped by democratic colonial powers), some others have not. The imperial and barbaric movement is still the same, except that it is now uneasy to assail India or China for a new break up, and that Russia is too strong and efficiently protects some of her allies. Of course now the hidden companions who rule the world have decided to ruin western people delocalizing all production and developing immigration… but I won’t complaint since at Lenin’s times these enlightened elites had decided to butcher Europe as a whole to defend some local mines or overseas interests… Anyway Lenin shrewdly denounces in his book decaying capitalism, economic parasitism and the oligarchic conduct of the 300, as put Rathenau, who then ruled their gloomy West.

Yet I must recognize that the most interesting parts of Vladimir Lenin’s book come from his quote of an unknown and remarkable British writer named Hobson (John A. Hobson, Imperialism, a study). Contrarily to Lenin, Hobson is not a Marxist, and that perhaps gives him more intuition and finesse when it comes to understand the motives of our humanitarian elites. A capitalist may be a ruthless businessman full of greed, but he can be a real idealist too, and of the worst kind. Writes Hobson on the matter:

In view of the part which the non-economic factors of patriotism, adventure, military enterprise, political ambition, and philanthropy play in imperial expansion, it may appear that to impute to financiers so much power is to take a too narrowly economic view of history.

Hobson then reproaches the sinister role of adventurers, writers (Kipling, Verne, Haggard, etc.), missionaries, travellers, sportsmen, scientists, who promote the imperialist ideals. He writes and it’s always the case that the western imperialist consider that they must have such a divine right of force that they even can lead “to the point of complete subjugation or extermination the physical struggle between races and types of civilisation.” The lower race must disappear not because it is black or yellow, but because it is less moral! This is what happens nowadays with the Arabs, may they be Palestinians, Iraqis, Syrians or Libyans.

Of course in 1900 nobody in the European populations is convinced of the imperialistic benefits. Life is hard in Europe, inequalities fantastic, and many people must emigrate… in free countries, not in our colonies. Also, the expenses for colonial wars are enormous. This is why, for Hobson, the imperialist bankers, traders and their affiliates emphasize humanitarian motives, buy the press, print travel books and celebrate heroism and exotic action. They adore the generous missionaries, travellers (Dr Livingstone, I presume?) and all the Allan Quatermain and Phileas Fogg of the creation… These feelings are fed by a flood of the literature of travel and of imaginative writing… Today we have terrorist novels or books, manipulated reportages, false flag attacks, painted terrorism, faked digital pictures, and so on to justify for instance the “three trillion dollars” (Jo Stieglitz) war of Iraq or of Afghanistan. We all remember famous Randolph Hearst’s expression, pronounced on the verge of infamous American-Spanish war: I’ll produce the war! There was too a false flag attack to unclench war process.

Hobson has got a master point: like every capitalistic operation, imperialism is awfully interested in money yet it is often driven by a foolish agenda based on crossed morality, biased ethics and anarchic interventionism. We have today the human rights agenda, run by non-governmental-organisations, secret services and philanthropist billionaires. Already in 1900, there exists in a considerable though not a large proportion of the British nation a genuine desire to spread Christianity among the heathen, to diminish the cruelty and other sufferings… Hell is often paved with good intentions… western oligarchs want to be good even if, like said Oscar Wilde, “our conscience is always cowardice.”

Since the West is no more Christian, it has become a criminal with a conscience! Western madness, this mix of hubris and nemesis, had of course softened after WW2 and decolonization, but it violently stroke back since the end of USSR; and the American agenda in Balkans and Middle-East was coldly applied by Clinton, Bush or Obama. And the same state of mind has remained: our elites and the so-called public opinion forged by media, polls, and bad consciousness (“we must destroy any new Hitler”, especially if he lives in a small modernist Arab country!) have accustomed themselves to self-deception and fake ideals. Of course we know the strategic role of Afghanistan or Syria, the importance of oilfields, pipelines and minerals. But they’re not alone, and we don’t know how far the limits of Western bad faith can lead. I let humanist and pessimistic Hobson conclude:

The gravest peril of Imperialism lies in the state of mind of a nation which has become habituated to this deception and which has rendered itself incapable of self-criticism.

Nicolas Bonnal

Toward Barbarism: US Imperialism Unleashed

Toward Barbarism: US Imperialism Unleashed

by Ben Schreiner
The triumph of imperialism leads to the annihilation of civilization.
Rosa Luxemburg, The Junius Pamphlet
With signs of a global economic downturn mounting, US aggression across the Middle East and North Africa ratchets up.  And once again, US imperialism stands poised to swing open the gates of Hell.
The choice presently confronting humanity, then, is one between imperialism on the one hand, and the struggle against imperialism on the other.  It’s a choice of socialism or barbarism.
Global Capitalism Imperiled
 
According to the IMF’s World Economic Outlook report released last week, the “risks for a serious global slowdown are alarmingly high.”  The report projects the world economy to expand just 3.3 percent this year and 3.6 percent in 2013—both projections down from the IMF’s July forecast.   As Joseph Davis, chief economist at the Vanguard Group, cautioned to the Wall Street Journal, “The odds of a global recession are not fully appreciated.”
Indeed, for as the Financial Times reports, the Tracking Indices for the Global Economic Recovery, the Brookings Institution-Financial Times index of the world economy, finds severe problems “in both advanced and emerging markets.”
“The global economic recovery,” Brookings’ senior fellow and index creator Eswar Prasad warned, “is on the ropes.”
And though in its latest report the IMF continued to peddle the harsh elixir of austerity for the depressed economies of the euro zone periphery, the Fund also came to tacitly acknowledge the limits of austerity.
“The IMF now says global efforts to slash deficits and debt may have hurt growth because they occurred too quickly and too widely,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
But with the limits of austerity as a means of resolving the present crisis apparent, the last remaining card for the capitalist elite to play in their attempt to regenerate global capitalism appears to be in unleashing the forces of “creative destruction” wrought by military aggression.  As Henryk Grossman warned in his Law of Accumulation, “The destructions and devaluations of war are a means of warding off the immanent collapse [of capitalism], of creating a breathing space for the accumulation of capital.”
It is thus out of the need to renew the impetus for capital accumulation that the iron fist of US imperialism gains free rein once more across the full spectrum of what American neo-conservatives deem the “arc of instability.”
US Imperialism on the March
 
According to the New York Times, the Pentagon is readying military strikes in Libya in retaliation for the September attack on the US compound in Benghazi.  As the paper reports, “The top-secret Joint Special Operations Command is compiling so-called target packages of detailed information about the suspects.”
“Potential military options could include drone strikes, Special Operations raids like the one that killed Osama bin Laden and joint missions with Libyan authorities.”
The Times goes on to report that the Pentagon is also rushing to train and equip a 500 member Libyan commando force to be used to combat “Islamic extremists” within the country.
At the same time, the Pentagon has reportedly dispatched a task force of 150 military “planners” and “specialists” (i.e., special operations troops) to a Jordanian military base along the Jordan-Syria border.  Speaking at a NATO conference in Brussels last week, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta claimed that the task force was sent to help Jordan “monitor chemical and biological weapons sites in Syria.”
The specter of chemical weapons has been increasingly used as a pretext by the Atlantic powers to threaten military intervention into Syria.  As President Obama declared in August, the use of chemical weapons by Syrian forces would be a “red line,” which would force him to change his “calculus” on intervention.
“Once again, Western powers are digging deep for excuses to intervene militarily in another conflict-torn Middle East country,” an editorial in the state-run Xinhua news agency of China read in response to Obama’s threat.
Sure enough, as the New York Times reported, discussions have already taken place over using the Jordanian-stationed US task force to help establish a buffer zone within Syrian territory.
(In addition to the deployment of troops along the Jordan-Syria border,  CIA operatives are presently active along the Syria-Turkey border, facilitating the flow of arms to rebel forces.  Meanwhile, a recent report in the Los Angeles Timesnoted that the US military is currently using aerial surveillance drones to monitor Syrian chemical weapon stockpiles.)
Of course, the stepped up targeting of Syria cannot be decoupled from the joint Israel-US campaign against Iran.  After all, as hawks Michael Doran and Max Boot argue in a New York Times op-ed, the first reason American intervention in Syria is now merited is because it “would diminish Iran’s influence in the Arab world.”
The road to Tehran, we see, may very well lead through Damascus; although, the urge to fly non-stop to Tehran may just prove too strong to resist.
Marching Toward Tehran
 
With Iran clearly in mind, the US and Israel are set to begin a massive three-week joint missile and air defense exercise later this month.  The exercise, Business Week reports, will include 3,500 US personnel and 1,000 members of the Israel Defense Forces, making it the largest joint military exercise held between the two nations.  The planned war game also occurs amid mounting speculation of a looming strike against Iran.
According to a report in Foreign Policy by David Rothkopf, the US and Israel are actively planning a joint “surgical strike targeting Iranian enrichment facilities.”  Rothkopf, a former Clinton administration official and Editor-at-Large ofForeign Policy, cites his source as stating that “the strike might take only ‘a couple of hours’ in the best case and only would involve a ‘day or two’ overall.”
The strike, Rothkopf quotes an “advocate” of an attack as stating, would have a “transformative outcome: saving Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, reanimating the peace process, securing the Gulf, sending an unequivocal message to Russia and China, and assuring American ascendancy in the region for a decade to come.”  This, of course, being the essence of the proverbial neo-con wet dream.
Remarkably, Rothkopf even goes as far as to triumph the idea of a “surgical strike” as a potential October Surprise Obama could use to propel himself back to the White House.
It appears now, however, that Rothkopf’s “report” may have been little more than a plant by the Israeli embassy in Washington.  A move, perhaps, intended to further coerce Obama into adopting a more hawkish stance on Iran, while simultaneously serving to downplay the risks of an attack.
Of course, peddling the notion of a so-called “surgical strike” on Iran is nothing particularly new.  In March, Jeffrey Goldberg reported for Bloomberg that Israeli talk of striking Iran had assumed a rather optimistic tenor.
“One conclusion key [Israeli] officials have reached,” Goldberg wrote after a trip to Israel, “is that a strike on six or eight Iranian facilities will not lead, as is generally assumed, to all-out war.”
(One cannot help wonder if the Rothkopf and Goldberg share the same source.)
Such assessments, though, are rather dubious, given that they directly contradict numerous assessments determining that any strike against Iran would quickly spiral into a regional conflict.  A report earlier this year in the New York Times, for instance, noted a war game simulation run by the Pentagon forecast that an Israeli strike “would lead to a wider regional war, which could draw in the United States and leave hundreds of Americans dead.”
Likewise, a September war game organized by Kenneth Pollack, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy, resulted in a dangerous escalation from both sides.  As the Washington Post’s David Ignatius reported, “The game showed how easy it was for each side to misread the other’s signals.”
“Misjudgment was the essence of this game,” Ignatius continued.  “Each side thought it was choosing limited options, but their moves were interpreted as crossing red lines. Attacks proved more deadly than expected; signals were not understood; attempts to open channels of communication were ignored; the desire to look tough compelled actions that produced results neither side wanted.”
“War,” as Clausewitz wrote, “is the province of danger.”
Toward Barbarism
 
US imperial dreams, however, are hardly confined to setting the Middle East ablaze.  Imperial ambitions—rooted in the capitalist logic of endless expansion—are inherently limitless.  Thus, we see the US today readying to propel the greater Middle East into the abyss, while simultaneously “pivoting” to the Asia-Pacific in order to “contain” a rising China.
US imperialism, however, is destined for defeat (and sooner rather than later).  The US, after all, can only use its immense military power to keep potential competitors in check for so long.  The universal law of change cannot be held at bay by the barrel of a gun in perpetuity.  As Lenin asked and answered in his pamphlet Imperialism: “Is it ‘conceivable’ that in ten or twenty years’ time the relative strength of the imperialist powers will have remained unchanged? Absolutely inconceivable.”
But imperial powers are always dangerously deluded by the strength of their power—impervious to its ultimate limits.  As a George W. Bush administration official once remarked to the journalist Ron Suskind: “’We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”
(One would be mistaken to believe that such hubris is not as present in the Obama White House as it was in the Bush administration.)
Such arrogance from the power elite—indicative of imperial rot—is but a byproduct of the imperialist imperative of endless expansion and conquest.  And it is this very imperative that today compels US imperialism towards igniting a military conflagration in the Middle East threatening to ensnare the global powers. “A great cemetery,” as Luxemburg warned nearly a century ago, awaits such a triumph of barbarism.
The only means with which to elude such a miserable fate is found in the revolutionary power of working people to resist. As Luxemburg argued, escape from barbarism is only possible once the working class comes to seize “its own destiny and escape the role of the lackey to the ruling classes.”

The only genuine and enduring hope for humanity, then, lies is in the struggle for socialism.

United Front Against Austerity Public Assembly–October 27, 2012

Update 10/9: Please RSVP if you plan to attend the October 27 Public Assembly. This will be a great help to us in planning for the event.

UFAA Public Assembly

October 27, 2012
12-6pm

INN World Report
56 Walker Street, NYC | Map

About UFAA and the Public Assembly

Austerity – the imminent, existential threat to the American people. No matter the outcome of the November elections in the US, working families will be thrown over the proverbial “fiscal cliff” in the name of debt and deficits. Cutting Social Security, Medicare and other threads in our fragile social fabric is not only grossly unjust – it won’t work! The so-called “Grand Bargain” threatens to unleash a death spiral of unemployment and poverty which our nation is not certain to survive.

Organizing to defend our economic rights. It is for this reason that we must organize now to mobilize effective opposition to the impending austerity offensive; agitate to shift the burden of the economic depression onto Wall Street oligarchs; and to build momentum toward a genuine political revolution of, by and for the people.

Not a conference – an assembly! The UFAA Public Assembly on October 27 will not be “just another conference” that ends when the doors close. Participants will hear proposals from distinguished speakers, engage in floor debate, and vote on vital strategic matters. The UFAA intends to build on Wisconsin and Occupy – with decisions, demands and action.

ASSEMBLY FORMAT

Addresses

(90+ minutes) A series of brief addresses, both live and recorded, from distinguished representatives.

Proposals and Debate

(4+ hours) A moderated presentation of proposals, live debate and votes. For example, “what is the more effective demand – a 1% Wall Street sales tax, or a more progressive income tax?”

All persons representing proposals acceptable to the American public are invited to attend and debate. Disruptive behavior and tactics will not be tolerated.

KEY ISSUES WILL INCLUDE

Program

Concrete demands for political & economic reform.

Organization

An organic coalition with organized centers of leadership.

Strategy

Identifying our immediate strategic needs, and a roadmap for success.

Leadership

Developing and attracting political leaders to our coalition.

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD

We want to hear from:

  • Labor unions
  • Political organizations
  • Journalists & media
  • Academics and public advocates
  • Groups representing blacks, hispanics and other disadvantaged minorities
  • Professional organizations, especially those in industry, agriculture, science and engineering