Monday, May 31, 2010
Is the U.S. Government Planning War to Quell the Tide of Economic Unrest?
May 30, 2010 | Lew Rockwell | ICH
In my opinion and in a word: Yes!
“READY FOR WAR,” “U.S. Military told to get ready in Korea Standoff, Obama orders commanders to prepare ‘to deter future aggression.’” By Drudge and MSNBC
“U.S. Begins Massive Military Build Up Around Iran, Sending Up To 4 New Carrier Groups In Region” by Tyler Durden
“Clinton: Korea Must Face ‘Consequences’ For Sunken Warship”
Homeland Security, Northeast Intelligence Network: “The Syrian Missile Crisis: Threat of War Very Real”
“The Expanding U.S. War in Pakistan” by Jeremy Scahill
“Yemen, Latest War Front?” by CBS News
These are but a very few of the recent headlines about more U.S. war, but the Iranian and Korean situations are the most dangerous, and the threats against Iran I think the most real.
United States wars are virtually all wars of aggression, so it is quite evident that U.S. wars are “fought” for reasons other than self-defense. That means there are ulterior motives involved that are not related to moral behavior, but instead to nefarious intent. This is a disturbing revelation, and one little understood by the American masses. It is one however, that if more understood, could literally blow the lid off the notion that the purposeful buildup of the military–industrial complex is for the defense of this nation! This thought scares the life out of those in power who need to keep the populace scared to death at all times in order to propagate their crimes.
Our economy, as is the case for much of the rest of the world’s economies, is currently imploding. Since all major economies in the world are based on valueless, un-backed, and worthless money, this situation should have been evident to the mainstream long ago. Of course the failing economy is just one piece of the puzzle, but it is most definitely the most important piece. With a so-called vibrant economy over the past decade or so, even though it was based on lies and deceit, and was a complete sham, the general population was easy to control during these so-called “prosperous” times. With the real economy now being exposed for the fraud that it is, and the real risks becoming more evident, the once complacent citizen is now becoming angry. Because of this, the evil U.S. federal government must find a new method of fooling the masses into believing in “their” government and country. War is the obvious answer, as war solidifies the putrid and false nationalistic worship of the peasants more than any other ploy.
In my opinion, any bad economic news, any exposure of the current economic fraud, any sovereign government risk of collapse, any higher unemployment or excessive price inflation, will anger the majority and vastly escalate the government’s need to start another war. It cannot afford to let the situation get out of hand, as there are many more of us than there are of them, so whatever becomes necessary in the mind of government in order for it to effect its manipulation and control over the people will be implemented. If that is a purposely orchestrated and unnecessary war, then so be it.
The openness of these plans and the blatant steps being taken by the federal government to protect its power are disturbing to say the least. Even with this openness however, most are still in the dark. Since 2001, our civil rights have been for the most part destroyed. Laws have been enacted that allow the government to capture and hold indefinitely any citizen it deems a risk, and without the possibility of charge or trial. Legislation to open and construct holding camps [see here] has been proposed and plans to implement this process are being prepared for today. Martial Law is now not just a possibility but a probability. This government in my opinion is at the same time preparing for both Martial Law and war to quell the tide of possible civil unrest due to economic instability or collapse. This is astounding, as both ends of the spectrum are being covered by Leviathan’s planned course of action. This should frighten all of us!
This time around the false flag event(s) leading to another war should immediately be scrutinized and brought to light, and those who expose the forthcoming government and neo-con lies should not be considered conspiracy nuts, but rather truth-tellers and heroes. I am warning you in advance, as so many others have done before me, that the next war will be pre-planned and calculated. The federal government’s actions are no longer hidden, and the motive for its criminal and murderous behavior is there for all to see. Obviously, those who now rule over us are confused and dazed, but they are nonetheless prepared to do what is necessary to keep their position of power intact. This government will not consider the means, but only the ends, so that justification will then become more palatable to those so easy to fool.
The dangers of this situation are tremendous. A war with Iran will upset not only the entire Middle East, but the whole world. The terrorism risk due to blowback will increase dramatically; this in and of itself helping the guilty government to perpetuate the crime, all the while gaining even more power and authority over us. Not only will many more innocents abroad be murdered, but many more Americans will also have to die as fodder for the cause of the elite.
These situations are not accidental but designed, and they are designed so that the few can survive in luxury, while the rest of us suffer. When will the common man come to the realization that government in a now totalitarian society like ours is not of the people, by the people, and for the people, but that people are of the government, by the government, and for the government? Only when all individuals are sovereign and free, and in total control of the State will this paradigm shift back to its original design.
Gary D. Barnett is president of Barnett Financial Services, Inc., in Lewistown, Montana.
Copyright © 2010 by LewRockwell.com
The Prettification of War
A Big Dose of Servile Journalism for Memorial Day
by John V. Walsh article link
May 31, 2010 | LewRockwell
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Dick Cheney’s Song of America
By David Armstrong article link
Harper's Magazine, Oct 2002, Vol. 305, Issue 1829 | ICH
The Plan is for the United States to rule the world. The overt theme is unilateralism, but it is ultimately a story of domination. It calls for the United States to maintain its overwhelming military superiority and prevent new rivals from rising up to challenge it on the world stage. It calls for dominion over friends and enemies alike. It says not that the United States must be more powerful, or most powerful, but that it must be absolutely powerful.
U.S. Defence Spending Far Outpaces Rest of the World
NEW YORK, May 28, 2010 | IPS | ICH
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Shock and Audit
We dissect the Pentagon’s budget so you don’t have to.
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Warning Signs Of Full Spectrum Collapse Are Everywhere
By Giordano Bruno article link
05/31/2010 | Neithercorp Press
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The Depression Of 2011?
23 Economic Warning Signs From Financial Authorities All Over The Globe
by Economic Collapse article link
The U.S. Economic Collapse Top 20 Countdown
by Economic Collapse article link
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Posted by mammonmessiah at 6:59 AM
Memorial Day: Celebrating Militarism and the Weapons of War
Corporatizing and Militarizing Memorial Day for "Fun" and Profit
May 30, 2010 | truthout | Information Clearing House
Since the beginning of the twentieth century some 650,000 Americans have died fighting this Country’s many wars. Regardless of political affiliation and ideology, every American ought reverence such selfless sacrifice and understand and share the grief that this tragic loss of life entails. Though those of us who have known war hear the cries of the dying forever in our mind and suffer the pain and loss each day of our lives and need no holiday to remind us, Memorial Day is the occasion this nation sets aside to remember, to grieve, and to honor those who chose or were compelled to sacrifice their lives in behalf of a cause they believed just.
Air shows, “exciting” demonstrations of the high tech, billion dollar, implements of war have become an increasingly popular way to “celebrate” Memorial Day in many parts of the Country. The Southern Wisconsin Air fest, and Missouri’s Salute to Veterans 2010 are just two examples. Attracting thousands, in some cases tens of thousands, these extravaganzas have become prime locations for military recruitment. The Army’s “Strength in Action Tour” regularly exploits such events “entertaining,” “informing”, and ultimately motivating young people to enlist. With its enormous budget, Army recruiters set up what is, for all intents and purposes, a mobile military circus and amusement arcade. Passersby, some as young as ten years old, need only provide their contact information into the Army database to receive an array of Army recruitment material and souvenirs – personalized dog tags, tee shirts, hats, footballs, etc. Once registered, students are encouraged to become “Army Strong,” that is, participate in interactive physical fitness events such as climbing the “U.S. Army Rock Wall” (“strength of body,” “rock strong”), “perform virtual music” on a stage in front of their peers (“strength to lead”), operate small remote control robotic devices known as Packbots through an obstacle course (“strength of technology”), “pilot” an Apache helicopter flight simulator (“strength to soar”), or “participate in a fully immersive, adrenaline-pumping, highly realistic (Humvee) experience” in which they conduct a “virtual mission,” engage “insurgents,” and kill them (“strength of team”).
Sadly, Americans need to be reminded that Memorial Day is not about sales at the mall, barbecues, and picnics. Neither is it a time to celebrate militarism, the machinery of war, or entice young people, through highly manipulative and deceptive practices, into enlisting in the military. While such spectacles may be exhilarating to some and perhaps suitable for other occasions (perhaps Armed Forces Day or the Fourth of July), they are totally inappropriate and irreverent during the only time of the year set aside for remembering and grieving those who made the ultimate sacrifice, Memorial Day weekend.
Most importantly, it is not about exploiting patriotism and the sacrifices of our young Servicemen and Women for purposes of commercial marketing and corporate profit. The following is an excerpt from the Bethpage Federal Credit Unions 2009 New York Air Show Website, perhaps the mother of all such “celebrations” of the implements of death and destruction.
“If your company would like to go beyond typical marketing . . . Huge family participation coupled with the extraordinary setting makes the air show at Jones Beach a great opportunity for corporate sponsorship and VIP hospitality. Our participating sponsors link their brand with the exciting, patriotic event as they host their most valued clients, employees, family and friends in a truly first class setting. Hospitality tents lined up along the beachfront offer private beach enclosures and can be tailored to meet each sponsor’s specific marketing aim . . . The Business Package includes 10 Tickets to the Jones Beach VIP Tent, and 4 VIP Parking Passes and you may also hang a small Corporate Banner inside the tent.” Cost: $2000.00 (emphasis mine)
If the exhilarating and orgasmic air show is not enough, revelers can also celebrate the 10th anniversary of Long Island’s American Air Power Museum. On this Memorial Day weekend 2010, now renamed “Salute to the Legends of Air Power” weekend, for just $35 "you can attend an exclusive event for sponsors, VIPs, and Air Show performers. A night of big band music, Warbird calendar pinups, Air Show pilot meet and greet, (view) Warbird and military aircraft, plus a private sunset Warbird flight demonstration . . . It doesn’t get any better than this.” Well perhaps it does. For just an additional $425 you can actually fly on a fully restored B17 aircraft, perhaps imagine yourself on a bombing mission over Dresden, Hamburg, or Tokyo and about to incinerate millions of innocent civilians.
This blatant commercialization of patriotic sentiment, exploitation of Memorial Day, and celebration of the killing instruments of war, demonstrates once again that the primary concern and motivation of banking and corporate executives, the primary sponsors of these spectacles, is profit. Their arrogance, insensitivity, and greed is an outrage to anyone who has proudly worn the uniform, loves America, and who understands and appreciates the nature of sacrifice and service to Country. Most grievously, it is to defile the memory of those young men and women who have lost their lives in war and an insult to their families who will never again caress their son, daughter, husband, or wife . . . and will never recover from their loss.
All Americans, therefore, who honor the memory and the sacrifices of our fallen brothers and sisters must raise their voices in outrage against this exploitation of Memorial Day and demand that these grotesque spectacles and celebrations of military machinery, commercial marketing, and military recruitment be cancelled or rescheduled to another occasion. Perhaps more sensibly, we should end this infatuation with violence and killing, turn these swords into ploughshares, and study and celebrate war no more.
Camillo “Mac” Bica, Ph.D. is a Professor of Philosophy at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, a former Marine Corps Officer, Vietnam Veteran, and the Coordinator of Veterans For Peace Long Island.
truthout home page
Posted by mammonmessiah at 6:54 AM
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Terrorism - Causes and Consequences
by Jack A. Smith article link
May 29, 2010 | Global Research
"Terrorists" and "terrorism" have become Washington's monomania since 9/11, guiding the foreign/military policies of the American superstate and holding its population in thrall.
“The single biggest threat to U.S. security, both short-term, medium-term and long-term,” President Barack Obama said April 11, is the possibility that terrorists might obtain a nuclear weapon. The second biggest threat to world history's mightiest military state, it goes without saying, are terrorists without nuclear weapons but armed with box-cutters, rifles or homemade explosives.
It's "terrorism" 24/7 in the United States — the product of a conscious effort by the Bush Administration to keep the American people in the constant clutches of existential fear, in large part to justify launching endless aggressive wars. Anything goes if the target is said to be "terrorism," as long as the Pentagon's violence takes place in smaller, weaker countries usually populated by non-Europeans.
But does the U.S. government really want to defeat terrorism? This is a serious question. All its major efforts so far have been focused on the effects of terrorism but not on its much more profound causes. In this article we shall discuss the causes, particularly the actions of the U.S. in the Middle East over the decades which contributed significantly to the rise of terror as a weapon.
After almost a decade, the Bush Administration's "War on Terrorism" — at a cost of trillions of dollars, the erosion of a substantial portion of America's civil liberties and its worldwide reputation, and the deaths of over a million foreign civilians — has not succeeded in its stated objectives.
And yet, judging by the Obama Administration's 2011 war budget request, the recently released Quadrennial Defense Report and the Nuclear Posture report, and the widening of the wars, it is clear that President Barack Obama has no intention of deviating significantly from President George W. Bush's unjust and failed policies.
President Obama's troop buildup, implied nuclear threats against Iran and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and his order to the CIA to assassinate an American citizen without a trial are but some of the most recent examples.
All that's really changed in national security strategy from one administration to the other is the name of Bush's "War on Terrorism." The Obama Administration renamed it, in an excess of bureaucratese, an "Overseas Contingency Operation," transforming its title to suggest it was a mere budget item. Not so mere, actually, since the Pentagon's annual war budget has risen 67% since 9/11.
American national security policy since the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center nearly nine years ago has been aimed primarily at defeating a small number of ill-equipped non-state "terrorist" enemies by fielding a large professional army with advanced technology first to Afghanistan, then Iraq and now back to the Afghan theater with tributaries extending into Pakistan, Yemen and to a lesser extent Somalia and the Philippines.
Fewer than 100 al-Qaeda operatives are in Afghanistan against about 94,000 U.S. troops, so far, plus 40,000 NATO soldiers, and about 100,000 mostly higher paid "contractors" performing military duties. There are up to 15,000 part- and full-time irregulars associated with the Afghan Taliban, perhaps fewer. But — even though they are ultra-conservative religious extremists who were oppressive when in power — they are a national force with no designs on the United States, and are not technically terrorists but defenders of their country from foreign invasion. Many Americans don't like to hear that, of course.
The Bush-Obama anti-terrorism policy has two aspects, one public, the other concealed. The public aspect is to "keep America safe" from specifically Arab and more broadly Muslim "terrorists." The concealed aspect is to utilize the 9/11 tragedy to justify the projection of military might to extend U.S. hegemony throughout the oil-rich Middle East, especially the Persian Gulf region, and into geostrategic Central Asia through the occupation of Afghanistan.
We shall here discuss the public aspect, and why it was and continues to be the wrong response to 9/11, beginning with a paragraph from the Sept. 15, 2001, Activist Newsletter:
"Tuesday’s deplorable terror attacks did not occur in a political vacuum, despite the mass media’s effort to depict the events as simply the product of Middle Eastern 'madmen' with 'no regard for human life' driven by fundamentalist religious beliefs to hate the United States. In reality, Washington’s role in the Middle East, which it has dominated since the end of World War II to control the region’s vast petroleum resources, must be carefully examined to determine the roots of our present situation.... Many Americans ask, 'Why do they hate us so?' The honest answer to that question points the way toward a solution to the 'terrorism' crisis."
Never once in all these years has the U.S. government acknowledged that its decades of interference in the region were a major factor in the growth of "terrorism," the existence of al-Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban, and the 9/11 attacks. Washington is hardly unaware of the connection — and indeed of the primacy of its own historic provocation in the region — but in the era of government deception and corporate domination of the mass media, "inconvenient" truths usually remain concealed from the masses of people.
Five Major Decisions
Washington implemented five major decisions during the last 65 years that turned public opinion in the Middle East against the United States and largely generated the conditions that led to the creation of al-Qaeda, jihadist warriors, and suicide bombers. We will describe these causes which ultimately led to the effects called terrorism, then, in part 3, conclude with brief "modest" proposals to rectify the situation.
(1) The first of these decisions took place immediately following the end of World War II in 1945, when the U.S. chose to extend its hegemony throughout the Middle East, and thus prevent its essential wartime ally, the Soviet Union, from gaining a foothold. Washington's goal ever since that time — including the last two decades after the implosion of the socialist camp and the 16 months since Obama took office — has been directed toward establishing dominion over this petroleum-rich region to insure America's global preeminence.
To accomplish this objective, the U.S. made deals with ultra-conservative monarchies in the region, offering them military protection and secure dynastic longevity in return for loyalty and concessions on oil supplies. Royal houses, such as exist in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and elsewhere, could have been swept away decades ago by their own people had they not been in America's protective custody. Washington's prolongation of monarchical rule has been a major impediment to democracy in the region.
When the people prevailed, as in Iran in 1951 after an elected democratic government gained power, nationalized the country's substantial petroleum reserves, and replaced the monarchy with a republic, the U.S. and Britain launched a campaign for bloody regime change that by 1953 crushed democracy and restored the brutal Shah of Iran to power.
Washington also continually interfered with republics, not just monarchies, supporting, protecting and enriching those which destroyed their political left wing and bent the knee to U.S. hegemony, such as Egypt, while subverting those leaning left, as in Iran in the early 1950s, or who simply insisted upon maintaining independence from American domination, such as Syria. This, too, stifled democracy and social progress.
After 65 years of interference, Washington either controls or has considerable influence over virtually all the governments of the Middle East, with the exception of Iran, today's imperial target par excellence. Syria remains in the middle. Turkey, which is sometimes not geographically included in the Middle East, is a member of U.S.-dominated NATO and seeks Washington's support to enter the European Union, but has lately taken two positions totally opposed by the Obama Administration: It has sharply criticized Israel, which was considered Turkey's ally, over its invasion and imprisonment of Gaza, and this month joined with Brazil in a move calculated to head off harsh sanctions against Iran.
In the process of gaining dominance over most Mideast regimes — the majority of which have remained undemocratic as a consequence — the United States has alienated the masses of people throughout the region.
In response, given that the U.S. has demanded of its Arab protectorates that the political left and progressive secular forces be weakened or crushed in country after country, it has been the Islamic resistance which has filled the vacuum and taken up the national struggle against American domination and undemocratic rule. A relatively small portion of this movement is influenced by extreme fundamentalist ideology, and a still smaller sector have joined the jihad (struggle) initiated by Osama bin-Laden's al-Qaeda.
(2) The second decision that contributed principally to creating Arab and Muslim antipathy toward the U.S. was Washington's total support of Israel to the detriment of the people of Palestine, particularly following the June 1967 war, when Israel invaded and occupied large swaths of Palestinian territory, where it remains today in utter violation of several key international laws.
"In Palestine," according to British writer/filmmaker John Pilger, "the enduring illegal occupation by Israel would have collapsed long ago were it not for U.S. backing. Far from being the terrorists of the world, the Islamic peoples have been its victims.... It is only a few years ago that the Islamic fundamentalist groups, willing to blow themselves up in Israel and New York, were formed, and only after Israel and the U.S. had rejected outright the hope of a Palestinian state, and justice for a people scarred by imperialism.”
Today, the Arab world agrees to normalize relations with Israel if the Tel Aviv government allows the establishment of two sovereign states, one being Palestinian. Israel refuses, and not only continues to illegally occupy Palestinian lands but to oppress the masses of people — the most gruesome recent example being the vicious attack on Gaza followed by blockading the territory to deprive its inhabitants of the basic necessities of life.
It is well understood that only U.S. military, economic and political support makes it possible for Israel to continuously subjugate the Palestinians. Israel often claims it is surrounded by "existential" threats of one kind or another, the latest being from Iran, but the only real threat it faces is that of losing Washington's sponsorship, protection and economic support.
(3) The third Washington decision that led to 9/11 — and in this case directly — was to involve the U.S. in the Afghan civil war that erupted in 1978 after the communist People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA), backed by the Afghan army and military officers, seized power and began to enact reforms to "bring Afghanistan into the 20th century." The reforms — including substantial freedoms for women — aroused armed opposition from conservative Islamic war lords and fighting groups.
The U.S. began supporting these groups clandestinely in 1979 with great infusions of money and war materials, prompting the USSR to send troops to defend the leftist government. Both al-Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban developed out of this struggle, receiving American support in the process.
The Soviets were fought to a standstill and withdrew in 1989, but the left wing government managed to hold on until it was brutally crushed in 1992. The civil war then transformed into a war for control of Afghanistan between several of the strongest rebel groups. It lasted four years, and resulted in victory for the ultra-orthodox Taliban in 1996. Al-Qaeda used Afghanistan as one of its bases until the U.S. invasion in October 2001, then fled to western Pakistan. (A 2-part account of "The U.S. in Afghanistan," including "The Origins of a Bad War," were published in the November 5, 2009, issue of the Activist Newsletter, available in the blog archive.)
(4) The fourth U.S. decision that contributed substantially to the unpopularity of the American government was to impose cruel sanctions against the Iraqi people in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War. The war itself, resulting in the mortification of Iraq for occupying Kuwait, was intended to compensate for the Pentagon's humiliating defeat in Vietnam 15 years earlier. The U.S. launched what has been called one of the "most devastating air assaults in history" against Iraq in mid-January 1991. It was all over in a couple of months. Overwhelming power succeeded: The U.S. lost 147 troops. The Iraqis lost 200,000, troops and civilians in the brief war and its immediate aftermath.
Ultimately up to 1.5 million Iraqis died as a result of a dozen years of draconian U.S./UN economic, trade and materials sanctions that accompanied the war, and which ended only after the U.S. invasion in March 2003. The UN suggests that half these civilian dead were children. Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, a defender of the Iraqi people, said of the sanctions, "The goal was to cripple Iraq’s infrastructure and make civilian life unsustainable.” (His 1992 book, "The Fire This Time — U.S. War Crimes in the Gulf," remains a classic account of the real causes and effects of the Gulf War.)
Most Americans were and remain indifferent to the terrible pain visited upon the Iraqi people by the sanctions. Secretary of State Madeline Albright famously said of the civilian deaths, "we think the price is worth it." To the Arab people, Muslims in general, humanitarians, and anti-imperialists throughout the world, it was a cruel and vindictive act of genocidal proportions.
(5) The fifth decision was to respond to the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the U.S. by bombing and invading Afghanistan, instead of relying on international police work to capture al-Qaeda, a small, non-state, quasi-military organization dedicated to "propaganda of the deed," with cells in several countries in addition to its Afghan component.
Bush's decision to launch a war was precisely what al-Qaeda wanted to further discredit the U.S. in Arab eyes. The Bush Administration's subsequent decision to invade Iraq — which was completely innocent of involvement in 9/11 and extremely weak militarily because of the sanctions — compounded the original miscalculation of invading Afghanistan. Secular President Saddam Hussein was probably fundamentalist al-Qaeda's principal ideological enemy in the Arab world, and Washington ordered his execution. Meanwhile, the Iraqi national resistance forced the world's only military superpower into a humiliating stalemate, another fact about which the U.S. public is blissfully ignorant.
The Iraq war itself, now seven years old, has killed another million Iraqi people and created at least four million refugees. Between the sanctions and the war, the U.S. has killed roughly 2.5 million Iraqis — almost 10% of the population. This does not seem to have penetrated the consciousness, much less the conscience, of the thoroughly propagandized American people. The only winner of Bush's imperialist misadventure in Iraq was neighboring Shi'ite Iran, which had viewed Hussein's Ba'athist Sunni regime as its main enemy.
President Obama's decision to widen the Afghan war and to penetrate Pakistan and Yemen has once again played into al-Qaeda's hands, and continues to increase anti-U.S. views on the part of the Arab masses. The good will Obama generated throughout the Muslim world by his warm, peaceful, convincing and ultimately deceptive words in Cairo a year ago has dissipated. His actions have strengthened the tiny splinter of the Arab and Muslim population attracted to fringe groups that engage in violence, led by al-Qaeda.
Washington Must Reverse Policy
If America's long, unsustainably expensive and essentially stalemated wars are doing little to eliminate the so-called "terrorist" threat, what's the alternative if Washington actually wants to eliminate terrorism?
The answer is to recognize that the history of America's misdeeds in the Middle East is the main reason for the existence of al-Qaeda. Instead of more wars, Washington must reverse its policies:
* Call off the wars. Pull the troops out. Withdraw the fleet and air bases from the region.
* Insist upon an equitable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and take measures to enhance Israel's compliance.
* Stop dominating and manipulating the countries of the Middle East to serve America's interests. Discontinue support for undemocratic governments and monarchies. Apologize for decades of manipulation and violence.
* Pay a huge compensation to the Iraqi people in particular. Invest heavily in eliminating poverty in the entire region and improving social services for the masses of people.
* Allow the Arab people, and the Iranians as well of course, to work out their political, social and cultural contradictions and preferences without interference. The United States is not the divine instrument chosen to redeem the world, and should stop behaving as though it were.
This will end jihadist terrorism. And it can all be paid for with the money Washington saves by ending its wars and subversion in the region.
There is another problem as well, however, more dangerous and widespread than the small-group terrorism of a handful of individuals with homemade weapons. That problem is state terrorism.
What else other than "state terrorism" can describe Washington's killer sanctions followed by the "shock and awe" bombing, invasion and occupation of Iraq against an essentially defenseless people? What else but state terrorism can we call U.S.-enabled Israel's horrendously disproportionate attack against the civilian population of Gaza, resulting in 1,400 Palestinian deaths and 14 Israeli deaths, followed by strangling sanctions?
At this stage, only the people of the United States have the power to force their government to stop interfering in the Middle East, thus ending the retaliatory threat of terrorism. And only the people have the power to end Washington's ongoing state terrorism against small developing countries in order to enhance its geopolitical fortunes.
So far, the U.S. government, whether controlled by one or the other of the two ruling parties, has hoodwinked most Americans into actively or passively supporting its aggressive wars. This is surprisingly easy to do, not least because most of us Americans suffer not at all due to our country's violent and criminal adventures abroad. It remains the task of those who see through the distortions and propaganda to speak up and take a public stand in opposition. To do less is to be indifferent to, or complicit with, a gross iniquity.
Jack A. Smith is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
Global Research Articles by Jack A. Smith
Posted by mammonmessiah at 11:30 AM
MM Book 1 Chapter 1-3
We have been inured by a concept, a category of thought … in our pockets is a weapon of war, a weapon of mass destruction, which cumulatively has killed more people, destroyed more lives, has wrought more environmental destruction than any other weapon ever devised by man – it is an ancient weapon, and it claims all: this weapon demands sacrifice [blood and sweat], it demands complete surrender and obedience, it demands ”worship” – all life is equated with this weapon, its use *is* the “means” of life [all is acquired by violent use of this weapon]; all blessings and punishments are equated, peace and happiness are equated, status and “worth” for life are equated, mind [very thought] is equated [intellectual "property"], even God is equated with this weapon [the ultimate lie]; we are governed by this weapon, it is held over our heads and to our throats, lest we should think or speak against it – this weapon of war is regarded as a weapon of peace, as the very cure for the disease that “it” actually is – we [all of us], by *use* of this weapon *become* the enemy, our enemy, and by its use we are committing collective suicide; this weapon is an instrumentation of evil, and we personify evil by its use – this weapon is known by all, sought by all, and excused by all; all is done in its name and service: THIS WEAPON [OF EVIL] IS MONEY*, AND OUR USE OF IT !! – this weapon *is* absolute [idol] power and author-ity and conveys such to those who wield and control it !! *[as corporate debt-instrument]
MM Book 1 Chapter 1-4
There are writings thousands of years old warning about this weapon and its use; God’s Word explains for us two “ways of life”: a “society of the gift” [giving life (God) to us], or a “society of the take” [taking life from us]; all prophecy, as determinant [not prediction], lays out the choice for us [the blessings and cursings], and gives us the example of our ancestors [Israel], those chosen [small in number and in slavery] and called out of the world’s systemic, to create the alternative, by introducing God to the world, and applying Him in the world, yet the Bible relates the story of Israel’s failure, and the story remains the same today [physically and spiritually] !! – MAMMON [the "business" of] *or* MESSIAH continues as our choice !! – the equating of Mammon with Messiah is our present state of being: BABYLON [confusion by mixing (God is not the author(-ity) of confusion)], where money [corporatized as weapon] is *equated* with life !! – to give consideration or regard to its use, to be a friend or an associate [support and maintenance] of it, IS THE ROOT [cause] OF ALL EVIL !! – the corporate nation, society and church are wholly opposed to our God(-ing), and must be *withdrawn* from [Moses], we must *return* to our God [Elijah] !! – we must have a clean heart and washed hands [innocency]; we must behave wisely and in a perfect way; we must despise [hate] the evil [work] !! – we must recognize God as [our] enabler !!
MM Book 1 Chapter 1-5
The corporate, as “definition of life”, must be rejected in total: GOD *IS* LIFE !! – OUR “SYSTEMIC MIND” MUST BE OF GOD !! – we must “exult” God [prepare the paths; remove the stumbling-blocks]; God has been made irrelevant – Hab. 3:17 systemic failure looming: our selfish mass coveting results in privation for all !! – the whole concept of “money” as we know it [mind it], is a contagion, DEEP SPIRITUAL ILLNESS !! – selfishness knows no bounds, it is a cancer, consuming all !! – the whole “business” concept of life [as means, as prejudiced claim (Nation-State, society, privilege, etc.), the adversarial competition] must be absolutely rejected, it is anti-God !! – each one of us is responsible for all aspects of our society, the privileged, monied pride, and the abject poverty [physically/spiritually]; it is easy to forsake others when our own human-ity [sodality (our fellowship, brotherhood)] has been abandoned – the specter [object of fear, of dread] of business [as mind] is God(-ing): all iniquity *purged* by mercy and truth !! — the physical is a reflection of the spiritual, and our society fits the definition: monied privilege [in the physical; supported by massive debt of claim] existing in abject poverty [spiritually; including the COG Inc., Laodicean spiritual condition]; the debt burden oppresses and controls most; all claim and its social resultant “poverty” [the commodification of life] is a result of our collective spiritual poverty, our lack of God !!
Posted by mammonmessiah at 11:26 AM
Protest Big Oil and Get Arrested;
BP Pollutes the Earth with 100s of Millions of Gallons of Oil and It's Just a Statistic
05/29/2010 | BUZZFLASH EditorBlog | OpEdNews
I read with growing outrage that several Greenpeace protesters were arrested the other day in Louisiana. What was their crime? They painted an anti-offshore drilling message on the side of an oil exploration ship. The parish sheriff threw the book at them, charging them with crimes that could net them 7 years in jail. To compound the injustice, a parish officer said that they might be charged as terrorists.
Meanwhile, the CEO of BP is treated as a privileged member of the wealthy ruling elite as he chronically lies about his company's latest act of crime against the earth and its inhabitants, as well as other living creatures of the sea and planet. But whether it's BP, Wall Street, or Wal-Mart, global corporations know that crimes committed on a massive scale don't get prosecuted; they are just a statistic that goes unchallenged by the paid-off elected officials and regulators in D.C.
And although the lack of regulation of corporate America is largely born of Republican ideology, the Democrats have generally gone along for the ride, as they did in the Clinton Administration.
As for President Obama, he seems to have reversed the famous Theodore Roosevelt slogan and morphed it into a new White House attitude: "Speak loudly and carry a little stick."
Actually, Obama has a great deal lacking in the Roosevelt department, both FDR and Teddy. It was Theodore Roosevelt who became a renegade statesman and declared:
"Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people. From these great tasks both of the old parties have turned aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare they have become the tools of corrupt interests, which use them impartially to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, is the first task of the statesmanship of the day."
We have evolved into an oligarchy that considers cost savings and profit ahead of lives and the preservation of our earth. There is no accountability; just grim statistics and gluttonous predatory profiteers who continue to fatten themselves on the misfortunes that they visit upon the rest of us.
And the Obama Administration, as it did with Wall Street, lets the destroyers be "responsible" for mucking up even further what they've already decimated of the public commons and the assets and property that belong to the citizens of America.
Protest for the common good, for what is ours by the laws of nature and the Constitution, and you could be charged as a terrorist. Wreak damage of incalcuble proportions and you get rewarded; what you have knowingly destroyed with negligence and criminal forethought in order to achieve a higher profit is just a statistic to the powers that be in Washington.
President Obama says the "buck stops here." But he seems a bystander aiding and abetting BP in their ruinous rampage that comes off like the Three Stooges, only the earth and lives are at stake.
How many died in the explosion of the Gulf rig?
How many more will have to die, how much more of our earth will be polluted before the CEOs who are responsible for such "statistics" are brought to justice.
Could a terrorist do more harm than BP has done?
MARK KARLIN FOR BUZZFLASH, EDITOR'S BLOG
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Posted by mammonmessiah at 11:18 AM
The Real Cost of Cheap Oil
The Gulf disaster is only unusual for being so near the US. Elsewhere, Big Oil rarely cleans up its mess
May 28, 2010 | Guardian/UK | CommonDreams
Big Oil is holding its breath. BP's shares are in steep decline after the debacle in the Gulf of Mexico. Barack Obama, the American people and the global environmental community are outraged, and now the company stands to lose the rights to drill for oil in the Arctic and other ecologically sensitive places.
The gulf disaster may cost it a few billion dollars, but so what? When annual profits for a company often run to tens of billions, the cost of laying 5,000 miles of booms, or spraying millions of gallons of dispersants and settling 100,000 court cases is not much more than missing a few months' production. It's awkward, but it can easily be passed on.
The oil industry's image is seriously damaged, but it can pay handsomely to greenwash itself, just as it managed after Exxon Valdez, Brent Spar and the Ken Saro-Wiwa public relations disasters. In a few years' time, this episode will probably be forgotten - just another blip in the fortunes of the industry that fuels the world. But the oil companies are nervous now because the spotlight has been turned on their cavalier attitude to pollution and on the sheer incompetence of an industry that is used to calling the shots.
Big Oil's real horror was not the spillage, which was common enough, but because it happened so close to the US. Millions of barrels of oil are spilled, jettisoned or wasted every year without much attention being paid.
If this accident had occurred in a developing country, say off the west coast of Africa or Indonesia, BP could probably have avoided all publicity and escaped starting a clean-up for many months. It would not have had to employ booms or dispersants, and it could have ignored the health effects on people and the damage done to fishing. It might have eventually been taken to court and could have been fined a few million dollars, but it would probably have appealed and delayed a court decision for a decade or more.
Big Oil is usually a poor country's most powerful industry, and is generally allowed to act like a parallel government. In many countries it simply pays off the judges, the community leaders, the lawmakers and the ministers, and it expects environmentalists and local people to be powerless. Mostly it gets away with it.
What the industry dreads more than anything else is being made fully accountable to developing countries for the mess it has made and the oil it has spilt in the forests, creeks, seas and deserts of the world.
There are more than 2,000 major spillage sites in the Niger delta that have never been cleaned up; there are vast areas of the Colombian, Ecuadorian and Peruvian Amazon that have been devastated by spillages, the dumping of toxic materials and blowouts. Rivers and wells in Venezuela, Angola, Chad, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Uganda and Sudan have been badly polluted. Occidental, BP, Chevron, Shell and most other oil companies together face hundreds of outstanding lawsuits. Ecuador alone is seeking $30bn from Texaco.
The only reason oil costs $70-$100 a barrel today, and not $200, is because the industry has managed to pass on the real costs of extracting the oil. If the developing world applied the same pressure on the companies as Obama and the US senators are now doing, and if the industry were forced to really clean up the myriad messes it causes, the price would jump and the switch to clean energy would be swift.
If the billions of dollars of annual subsidies and the many tax breaks the industry gets were withdrawn, and the cost of protecting oil companies in developing countries were added, then most of the world's oil would almost certainly be left in the ground.
© 2010 Guardian/UK
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Ten Things You Need (But Don't Want) To Know About the BP Oil Spill
by Daniela Perdomo article link
May 29, 2010 | Global Research
BP Oil Spill Confirmed as Worst in US History
May 28, 2010 | Democracy Now! | AlterNet
AlterNet home page
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The Oil Catastrophe
MAY 28, 2010 | The Nation | ICH
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Posted by mammonmessiah at 11:09 AM
Saturday, May 29, 2010
The European and U.S. Economies: Falling Dominoes
By Shamus Cooke article link
May 29, 2010 | OpEdNews
Attempting to fix an unfixable problem can create new problems. Why is the global economy unfixable in the current context? For one, the cause of the depression is never mentioned in the mainstream media or politicians. And when a disease is misdiagnosed, a prescribed medication creates new afflictions.
Massive, bad debt is often cited as the cause of the global depression, but why this debt existed in the first place is never discussed. Quite simply, the debt was needed to buy the products of corporations that wages once consumed. Over time, corporations drove down wages to out-compete each other while driving up profits, creating the global "demand" for credit, which the banks are now demanding be paid back.
Unraveling the global trillions of dollars of bad debt must take the whole system down with it; no amount of "stimulus" will do the trick. Tinkering with the money supply is no fix either. Mountains of fake wealth (debt) need to be destroyed, taking real wealth down with it, since products (real wealth) were being produced with the idea that the fake wealth would gobble it up.
As wealth -- both real and imaginary -- is destroyed, a battle is being waged as to "whose" wealth will be eliminated as a result: that of the corporate-elite or the rest of us.
This fight is apparent for anyone reading the news of any national paper, anywhere. Bank bailouts are the most blatant example: bank shareholders receive taxpayer money to compensate for their destroyed wealth (bad loans).
The European Union's giant bailout package is such an example. The European bankers and corporate-elite in general will have their billions in bad loans repaid by governments. Meanwhile the taxpaying workers of Greece, Spain, Ireland, Italy, etc., are having their wages reduced, their pensions slashed, their retirement age raised, all to pay for a crisis they did not cause.
It is unknown if Europe can punish its workforce enough to push profits back up to competitive levels; there is a long and turmoil-filled road ahead.
The corporate-elite of the U.S. is watching closely, since they'll have to eventually fight a similar brawl with their working class.
Not a day goes by without some politician or corporate-media hack talking about U.S. workers needing to payback the national debt, accumulated through bank bailouts, multiple wars, and years of receding taxes for the rich.
To pay for these corporate policies, U.S. workers are being told that Social Security and Medicare will need to be reduced, as will social services and public education. This policy is already underway on a state-by-state level, and wages for all public workers are already under attack as a result. Obama's Race to the Top education policy is decimating the public school system nationally.
The situation can be expected to worsen. Much of the U.S. "recovery" was predicated on increasing exports (Obama's goal was to increase exports five fold).
Europe's collapse will keep the U.S. export business in a coma, since the Euro is plummeting -- closing off U.S. exports -- while global investors stick with the dollar, boosting its price and thus hurting U.S. corporate exports by making them more expensive. China will not re-evaluate its currency in this climate.
Now U.S. government and corporate officials are lecturing the Europeans on how to conduct economic policy, when only months ago the tables were turned. In reality, the downturn will be protracted, spreading to different areas of the global economy at different times, since both the U.S. and Europe were long-term players in the corporate globalization game that turned millionaires into billionaires.
There are still many bad loans that will require reconciliation, and workers will be asked to do the "sacrificing." The delicacy of the situation is described in a recent article of the corporate Washington Post, titled One False Move in Europe Could Set Off a Global Chain Reaction. The article states:
"If one or more [European nations] fail to make the expected progress on cutting budgets, [cutting wages, pensions, etc.] restructuring economies or boosting growth, it could drain confidence in a broad and unsettling way. Credit markets worldwide could lock up and throw the global economy back into recession." (May 24, 2010).
Ultimately, global "investors," i.e. capitalists, will force governments everywhere to protect their unearned money by destroying the miniscule wealth of the European and U.S. working class. Workers everywhere must demand that the corporate-elite pay for the crisis they created. An international slogan is already making its appearance: Tax the Rich and Corporations!
Shamus Cooke is a social service worker, trade unionist, and writer for Workers Action (www.workerscompass.org). He can be reached at email@example.com
OpEdNews Articles by Shamus Cooke
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Posted by mammonmessiah at 9:58 AM
Eurozone Economic Crisis:
Call For a European Mobilisation Against the Dictatorship of the Creditors
Text of the La Marlagne Declaration
May 28, 2010 | Global Research | CADTM
Protests have been taking place regularly for months in Greece to express opposition to the austerity plan the Greek government, European leaders, and the International Monetary Fund decided to impose on the Greek people. Today, the leadership of this country is no longer in the hands of its elected officials, but has been placed under the authority of the IMF and European institutions, which means an absence of any democratic control.
Several general strikes have already taken place since the beginning of 2010 in response to a call from all the unions and left-wing political parties.
The exemplary Greek struggle echoes what happened in Eastern Europe in Romania, Hungary, and Latvia, and in other Balkan countries such as Bosnia, or in Ireland and more recently Iceland, which have all faced similar austerity plans.
The peoples from all European countries have been, are, or will be concerned by these attacks, which want to make wage earners, retired people, and the unemployed pay for the effects of a profound crisis for which they are in no way responsible.
It is indeed the ‘financial markets’ (the banks, insurance companies, and pension funds) that are responsible for this financial crisis, which they created through their speculative activities in the interest of shareholders and the independently wealthy, and which have decided to take the public debt of European countries as their target.
What are the origins of this public debt?
It is principally the fruit of fiscal policies in favor of the wealthiest individuals and the major corporations. The drop in tax revenues brought about by the gift to the wealthy has led governments worldwide to finance a growing part of their national budgets through loans. The recent economic slowdown has brought about another decrease in tax revenues. Finally, bank bailout plans have further worsened public deficits, yet public authorities have failed to act decisively to take back control of the financial sector so as to change the practices there.
What has it financed?
National public debt has not been used to finance job creation, or improvements to public services and infrastructure. It has only been used to salvage the investments of the guilty parties and to make up for the budget deficits resulting from their irresponsible behavior.
Who is profiting from it?
The people and institutions that have already benefitted from tax decreases: the wealthiest households, banks, and major corporations, which at the same time have been speculating on public debt and pocketing the interest coming from National bonds. So it’s a double reward for the culprits.
Who is going to pay?
The same people, who are punished twice: The poor, and the men and women who work to simply survive, are once again being squeezed in order to save the very people who are earning money from public debt, with:
* A drop in salaries and retirement benefits,
* The destruction of the social protection system,
* The elimination of public services,
* The undermining of labor laws,
* An increase in taxes on every day purchases, via VAT.
These austerity plans will not solve anything in terms of the real causes of this crisis, and they are also going to plunge millions of human beings into misery and precariousness.
The European CADTM network is calling on all political, union and association forces, at the national and European levels, to organize the mobilizations needed to oppose these premeditated attacks against the peoples of Europe.
We must refuse to pay for their crisis, and prepare a massive social movement against public debt and the causes of this crisis!
Instead of implementing these austerity plans, we must attack the root of the problem:
* By expropriating the banks to transfer them to the public sector and under citizen control.
* By adopting a unilateral moratorium (with no accumulation of interest) on debt reimbursement for the time required to make an audit of public loans (with citizen participation). On the basis of the results of the audit, any illegitimate debt will be cancelled.
* By putting into place real fiscal justice and a fair redistribution of wealth.
* By fighting against the massive fiscal fraud committed by major corporations and the wealthiest individuals.
* By putting the financial markets under control by creating a directory of stock owners and forbidding short sales.
* By drastically decreasing the work week to create jobs while maintaining the same levels of salaries and retirement benefits.
* By re-socializing many corporations and services that were privatized in the last 30 years.
We must create a massive popular mobilization extending beyond national borders, because our local struggles must converge at the international level to put an end to socially regressive policies.
Adopted in La Marlagne (Namur, Belgium) on 24 May 2010, at the international seminar “From the North to the South of our Planet: Keys for Understanding Public Debt”
Translated by Charles La Via
Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt home page
Posted by mammonmessiah at 9:40 AM
Are We Going the Way of the Roman Republic?
by Joe Costello article link
05/27/2010 | new deal 2.0
With rampant corruption and elitism, America could be following the path of the Roman Republic.
“But, as statesmen, even these better aristocrats were not much less remiss and shortsighted than the average senators of the time. In presence of an outward foe the more eminent among them, doubtless, proved themselves useful and brave; but no one of them evinced the desire or the skill to solve the problems of politics proper, and to guide the vessel of the state through the stormy sea of intrigues and factions as a true pilot. Their political wisdom was limited to a sincere belief in the oligarchy as the sole means of salvation, and to a cordial hatred and courageous execration of demagogism as well as of every individual authority which sought to emancipate itself. Their petty ambition was contented with little.”
– Theodor Mommsen, History of Rome — the quote describes the political class of the Roman Republic’s last decades.
A century ago, Theodor Mommsen was globally renown for his history of the Roman Republic. For some reason, the book went out of print around WWII and never came back. Which is unfortunate, for Mommsen’s chronicles of the last decades of the republic are extremely relevant history for contemporary Americans. Remember, the Roman republic flourished from 500 BC to 50 BC, when it fell at the hands of Caesar. Of course today, if ever an American thinks of Rome, they undoubtedly think of Imperial Rome, the age of the emperors and its inglorious fall chronicled by Gibbon. Yet, Gibbon’s history begins where Mommsen’s ends. The fall of the Roman Republic was well known to America’s founders and its lessons well contemplated, for unlike Imperial Rome, the Republic fell at the height of its economic and military power. By the end, Rome’s politics were eminently corrupt and the weight of the empire that was conquered collapsed the unique system of self-government that had been created.
With most recent examples of the health care bill, the financial industry bill, the continued electoral buying and selling of our elected officials, and the growing ineptitude and corruption of our government agencies (the most recently reported in the MMS) who are responsible for regulation of the oil industry, it is obvious for all who care to look, we are on the same path of the Roman republic. And just as Rome, our political class’ petty ambition is content with little. Mommsen wrote history’s cold verdict on the republic’s fall:
“But, when a government cannot govern, it ceases to be legitimate, and whoever has the power has also the right to overthrow it. It is, no doubt, unhappily true that an incapable and flagitious government may for a long period trample under foot the welfare and honor of the land, before the men are found who are able and willing to wield against that government the formidable weapons of its own forging, and to evoke out of the moral revolt of the good and the distress of the many the revolution which is in such a case legitimate. But if the game attempted with the fortunes of nations may be a merry one and may be played perhaps for a long time without molestation, it is a treacherous game, which in its own time entraps the players; and no one then blames the axe, if it is laid to the root of the tree that bears such fruits. For the Roman oligarchy the time had now come.”
In his last years, Mommsen gave a series of lectures on Rome’s early emperors. When asked why he didn’t put them together in a book, he declared, “It’s too depressing.” The Roman republic’s decline took course over seven decades, from the Gracchi, maybe the republic’s last true reformers, to Caesar. The real question for us is, unlike the Romans, will we stand up and reform our unique system of self-government that has provided so much to us all? Or as Rome, will we simply succumb to a neo-Caesar? I’ve come to empathize a great deal more with the Republic’s last great defender, Cicero. I used to consider him completely politically inept, but over the years, through experience, I have developed a much greater sympathy for the environment in which he toiled. Cicero wrote,
“Long before our time the customs of our ancestors molded admirable men, in turn these men upheld the ways and institutions of their forebears. Our age, however, inherited the Republic as if it were some beautiful painting of bygone ages, its colors already fading through great antiquity; and not only has our time neglected to freshen the colors of the picture, but we have failed to preserve its forms and outlines.”
Joe Costello was communications director for Jerry Brown’s 1992 presidential campaign and was a senior adviser for Howard Dean’s effort in 2004.
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Posted by mammonmessiah at 9:31 AM
Central Banking vs. The Republic and the World
By Damon Vrabel article link
May 28, 2010 | Canada Free Press
A couple of days ago in Japan, Ben Bernanke said that the benefits of low interest rate policies that politicians want “are not sustainable and will soon evaporate, leaving behind inflationary pressures that worsen the economy’s long-term prospects…...thus political interference in monetary policy can generate undesirable boom-bust cycles that ultimately lead to both a less stable economy and higher inflation.”
[pause inserted so you have time to pick your jaw up off the floor]
We are now in the midst of one of the biggest boom-busts in history, all under the Fed’s watch, caused by its multi-decade low interest rate policy among other things, yet that is the scenario he says government oversight would cause! So what’s really going on here beneath Ben’s Harvard veneer?
He is trying to scare us with a fabricated boogie man—the idea that your elected leaders might do in some imaginary future what the Fed has already done in the unimaginable present. He wants you to be scared of this republic’s legislature reclaiming some power back from the financial empire that runs the global corporate system, and the US government from behind closed doors (article: Wall Street Empire). In other words, he wants you to continue submitting to financial dictatorship rather than rediscovering the principles of freedom, distributed power, and effective government. Will you choose submission or discovery? As more and more people are realizing, we are now in one of the most critical moments “in the course of human events.”
We have seen this moment before, especially from Hollywood. It is the WALL-E moment when the captain of the starship Axiom (our elected leaders) finally wrestles power back from Auto (the Fed cartel on Wall Street) and restores life by saving humanity from its TV programming (our media). It is the Gladiator moment when General Maximus wakes up to the imperial enemy and commits himself to restoring the republic. It is the Star Wars moment when Darth Vader chooses life for his son and the republic by throwing the emperor to his death. Which will you choose? Will real life turn out as well as fiction? Or will Ben’s scare tactics keep you in fear?
The Ben Bernanke Survey
I’m curious for your opinion about why Ben is doing this. Reply in the comments below with your answer to this multiple choice question: Who is Ben Bernanke?
* Honest – he actually believes what he says. He’s still a Harvard kid getting gold stars on his homework as he repeats the fraudulent load of crap known as neoclassical economics.
* Dishonest – he knows he’s just protecting the powers behind the Fed system and furthering their global restructuring plan by threatening the politicians with more boom-busts if they try to serve the people.
* Insane – he’s not in touch with reality.
Folks like Jim Rogers, Marc Faber, and Peter Schiff promote #1, the idea that he’s a clueless theoretician repeatedly making mistakes. No doubt there was a time when he was just a bright-eyed overachiever being pumped full of theory disconnected from reality. But these guys ignore Ben’s comments in Japan. He makes it clear that he knows exaggerated low interest rate policies cause major problems, i.e. he’s not ignorant, but he engages in them anyway! So again I ask what’s really going on?
Feel free to disagree, but #2 is my answer, which means we need to stop believing Rogers, Faber, and Schiff that he’s a pedantic bureaucrat. That’s pure spin that reinforces the idea there’s no strategic plan behind what the G20, IMF, BIS, and Fed are doing in response to the coordinated actions of Rubin, Summers, Paulson, Geithner, Greenspan, AIG, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, etc. Those who promote #1 are suggesting that these folks, all part of the elite Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), are basically randomly screwing up a kids’ game of checkers. No chance. The fact is we are in the mist of a global chess game being played above the heads of national governments in which debt and leverage are used to restructure the world under a new global money and banking system (video: Emerging Global Empire). I suggest Bernanke’s sole purpose is to hide the real role the Federal Reserve has played in this game while also helping to keep Congress from asserting its power.
Central Banking: Pro or Con?
The media likes to claim that voicing opposition to the Fed is lower class populism. But of course the media doesn’t think. It just promotes left or right groupthink for the few corporate powers that own the media. They don’t want you thinking about the question of a central bank. If they did, we might better understand the pros and cons.
The pro is that without a central body regulating the value of currency, thousands of banks across the country would be randomly cranking credit up and down resulting in economic turmoil. True. Some of the founders understood that without a controlled currency, private banking institutions could profit massively off whipsawing the people, which is why Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution says the government should regulate the value of the currency. But of course we know this pro doesn’t apply to the Fed structure because the most extreme periods of economic turmoil have happened since it was created.
The problem with this pro is the first con of the Fed’s form of central banking—it puts currency control in private hands. Rather than the Fed having power over the banks, its structure actually gives the primary dealer banks (mega firms like JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and many foreign banks) significant power to tell it what to do. Entrenched powers behind these firms working together in cartel groups like the New York Fed and CFR have far more leverage than the president, i.e. an individual with no financial experience who rotates into office for a short period of time completely surrounded by bankers and their allies. The entire purpose of the Constitution and having a republic, despite its flaws, was to put power in the hands of the public vs. a concentrated private oligarchy. But the Fed system creates such an oligarchy, as many Americans now see since the crash of 2008.
Mathematical con: Basing a currency on nothing but interest-bearing debt as the Fed system does creates the need for perpetual exponential growth (video: Culture of Empire part 1). This feels like a good thing at first, but eventually the accompanying perpetual inflation becomes clear (Bernanke admitted this in Japan by also saying central banks target 2% inflation—a huge indicator economists ignore that the system is unsustainable—a stable system would target zero). The perpetually increasing debt eventually becomes shocking (look around the world). The perpetually increasing scale and velocity of the system starts causing profound harm (Part 2 and 3). Exponential systems are guaranteed to crash. The eventual reckoning with the impossibility of exponential math is not pretty, and we are now entering the reckoning phase for our system (Chris Martenson video on Exponential Growth).
Economic con: Oligarchic monetary systems tend toward a 2-tiered society, money pushing rulers vs. money using servants who scramble to pay the rulers back plus interest. The ruling financial class eventually takes over the productive economy and then parasitically destroys the host upon which it lives as gambling and speculation replace savings and production as the engine of growth. Such is the power of a monetary system based on nothing but debt (Michael Hudson video).
Moral con: A debt-based monetary system enshrines usury, i.e. living off the backs of others by doing nothing but subjugating a population to systemic interest-bearing debt. So the foundation of our monetary system under the Federal Reserve is built upon immorality (article: Usury and the Coming Crash).
Philosophical con: Related to the moral and economic cons is the philosophical ideal of freedom. An oligarchic monetary system forces the great mass of the population into servitude. It effectively creates a predator/prey structure in society. In a system based purely on debt, the banking powers are able to super-inflate the system to drive up asset prices, and then deflate the system sucking value and assets up the pyramid to consolidate power. We saw this over the last 10 years. This is the biggest and brightest example of why Jefferson said “banking institutions are more dangerous than standing armies.” It’s also the best example of why the Constitution demands that government regulate the currency.
So how can we get the one pro of a central monetary authority regulating the value of the currency without any of the cons above? Do precisely what Ben says we shouldn’t do—reestablish the republic by putting currency regulation in the hands of public officials as the Constitutions says. If a country doesn’t have a sovereign currency, it doesn’t have a sovereign government. We are learning that painful lesson now as we see Greece being attacked and taken over by financial institutions. The same thing has happened to many countries in the past and it will happen in the future if governments don’t take charge. At that point everyone will know the truth—governments are held hostage by private financial interests. But more and more Americans are realizing the truth now and pushing for change.
However, the change is not as simple as ending the Fed. Without a transition plan, that would cause a disaster since it is the basis for the money supply. The key is to nationalize the Fed, and possibly its primary dealers during the transition phase, to keep them from holding us hostage with the threat of collapse. Then with honest public officials in Treasury and other agencies that don’t represent Goldman Sachs and the rest of the financial cartel—people like William Black, Brooksley Born, Janet Tavakoli, Michael Hudson, Eliot Spitzer, Harry Markopolos—it will be possible to restructure the monetary system. Other components of the solution involve the US Treasury printing sovereign US notes, state banking systems like North Dakota to restore state power, etc. (see details at Freedom’s Vision)
Just a short time ago things felt hopeless because, as Martin Luther King warned, “One of the great liabilities of history is that all too many people fail to remain awake through great periods of social change.” But the republic has heeded his call. It is awakening. Restoration is on the horizon, and that’s a good thing for America and the rest of the world.
Posted by mammonmessiah at 9:09 AM
Friday, May 28, 2010
Ordinary Workers Would Be Fired in a Second If They Screwed Up Anywhere Nearly as Bad as the Bankers Have
May 28, 2010 | AlterNet | ICH | Huffington Post
The world is suffering from the worst downturn since the Great Depression. The crisis has left tens of millions unemployed in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere. The huge baby boomer generation in the United States, now on the edge of retirement, has seen much of its wealth destroyed with the collapse of the housing bubble.
It would be difficult to imagine a worse economic disaster. Prior periods of bad performance, like the inflation ridden seventies, look like mild flurries compared to the blizzard of bad economic news in which we are now enmeshed.
None of this is new. People don't need economists to tell them that times are bad. However, what the public may not recognize is that the same people who caused this disaster are still calling the shots. Specifically, there has been little change in personnel and no acknowledgment of error at the central banks whose incompetence was responsible for the crisis.
Remarkably, this crew of incompetents is still claiming papal infallibility, warning governments and the general public that bad things will happen if they are subjected to more oversight. Instead, the central bankers and their accomplices at the IMF are dictating policies to democratically elected governments. Their agenda seems to be the same everywhere, cut back retirement benefits, reduce public support for health care, weaken unions and make ordinary workers take pay cuts.
Given how much they have messed up, it is amazing that these central bankers have the gall to even show their face in public. They are lucky that they still have jobs -- and very good paying ones at that. (Many of the boys and girls at the IMF can retire with six figure pensions at the age of 50.) Ordinary workers, like teachers, autoworkers, or custodians, would be fired in a second if they performed as badly as the world's central bankers.
What was going through their heads when they saw house prices in the United States, the UK, Spain and elsewhere spiral upward with no basis in any of the fundamentals of the housing market? How did they think this bubble would end; did they think that trillions of dollars of housing bubble wealth could just disappear without any impact on the economy. Or, did they think the bubble would never end and that house prices would just continue to go skyward forever?
How about the central bankers who allowed the euro to be imposed on a mix of economies with very little in common and no controlling governmental organization? Did they think that wages and prices would follow the same pattern in Greece and Germany? If not, what adjustment mechanism did they envision once these widely different economies were tied to together in a single currency?
Yes, many of the central bankers are now saying that they knew the euro was a bad idea back when it was established. Some of them even muttered quietly to this effect. But the central bankers and the IMF in 1998 were not making the same bold pronouncements and issuing the same directives to elected governments about structuring the euro zone that they are now doing in telling them to dismantle their welfare states. In other words, these central bankers failed disastrously -- why do they still have jobs and why on earth is anyone listening to them?
At the top of the list of villains in this story is the IMF. Its ineptitude managed to reverse the fundamental flows of capital in the world economy. In normal times capital is supposed to flow from wealthy countries with large amounts of capital, like the United States and the European countries, to the developing countries who need capital to fuel their development. Due to the failure of the IMF to establish a workable system of international finance, the flows went in the opposite direction in a huge way. The world's poor were sending their capital to the United States because the IMF gave them little choice.
It is important to be clear about the responsibility of the central bankers and the IMF for this totally preventable disaster. The first reason is accountability, something that is very important to economists who believe in economics. Economic theory teaches us that if workers are not held accountable for poor work, then they have no incentive to do their jobs well. If the central banker and IMF crew can mess up disastrously and continue to draw their paychecks as though everything is fine, what is their incentive to do better next time?
The other reason why it is important to recognize the responsibility of the central bankers and the IMF for this disaster is so that we don't continue to take advice from people who apparently don't have a clue. Before anyone listens to Ben Bernanke, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet, or IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, they should first be forced to tell us when they stopped being wrong about the economy. We cannot afford to let these subprime central bankers control economic policy any longer.
Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and author of the new book, False Profits: Recovering from the Bubble Economy (PoliPointPress, 2010).
© 2010 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
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Posted by mammonmessiah at 7:57 AM
The Daily Bell | News & Analysis
Euro Crisis to Set One World Currency?
by Staff Report article link
May 28, 2010 | The Daily Bell
Is Europe heading for a meltdown? ... This financial crisis is worse than the sub-prime crash of 2008 because the sums are so much bigger and it is governments that are in dire straits. Edmund Conway explains the dangers. Mervyn King, the Bank of England Governor, summed it up best: "Dealing with a banking crisis was difficult enough," he said the other week, "but at least there were public-sector balance sheets on to which the problems could be moved. Once you move into sovereign debt, there is no answer; there's no backstop." In other words, were this a computer game, the politicians would be down to their last life. Any mistake now and it really is Game Over. Or to pick a slightly more traditional game, it is rather like a session of pass-the-parcel which is fast approaching the end of the line. – UK Telegraph
Dominant Social Theme: The wise men of Brussels and the courageous citizens of the EU will muddle through.
Free-Market Analysis: As the money crisis seems to grow worse in Europe, we have begun to wonder if there are parallels to the 1907 financial panic in the United States that gave rise to the Federal Reserve. The dominant social theme way back then (assuming an active power elite, and we do) was along the lines of "The US banking system is too fragmented and a lender of last resort is badly needed." JP Morgan assembled his rich friends in the library of his exquisite New York mansion and bailed out the market, but only six years later, the Federal Reserve was born, the bastard child of false market-insolvency rumors and a knobby-nosed father (Morgan, himself).
There is, in fact, still speculation today that Morgan's camp planted the initial rumors of instability that swept the market and triggered the crash of 1907. Why on earth would he do such a thing? To generate the eventual result: the creation of the Federal Reserve and its passage by the US Congress. This is one perspective, anyway, the "paranoid one" that you will not find in most mainstream history books or college texts.
Back to our larger theme. We have written in the past (see – IMF Plotting Gold Backed SDRs) that we did not see how on earth the power elite was going to get from fairly abstract monetary concepts like SDRs to an actual worldwide consensus for a more globalized currency (and a global warming – "carbon" – currency seems, as well, to be a non-starter, at least currently). In fact, we have speculated that the elite could decide on a gradualist approach, setting up a thesis/antithesis dialectic between global money and regional money to move the conversation gradually in the direction of a worldwide currency. But perhaps there is a faster way. Let us see ...
The European financial crisis started with Greece and, it's true, Greece's problems are moderate ones for the EU given its size and amount of debt. But this crisis has not been resolved despite the supposed US$1 trillion that has been set aside to discourage "wrong way" speculation in Greek debt. We saw yesterday that the larger market was up because of statements from Chinese leaders that they were not going to sell euros and were perhaps to continue to be a net purchaser. So this is what market confidence has come to: China, a rigid, neo-communist state with a raging property inflation problem is seen by "the market" as a lynchpin of the Western capitalist system. What a hoot. You can't make this stuff up.
Anyway, from our perspective, a hypothetical path to a world currency (with some speed) would involve certain very specific elements. It would include, obviously, a very serious sovereign wealth crisis spreading from country to country thoughout at least the Southern half of Europe. This crisis, hypothetically, would be averted by heroic Brussels bureaucrats but not before a significant amount of financial pain was inflicted – good and hard as H. L. Mencken might say. It might even involve the dissolution of the euro and the shrinking of the EU itself. But the pay-off for the power elite would be the ability to float a scenario that proposes a worldwide currency to avert additional difficulties going forward. Here's some more from the article excerpted above:
Strip away the details – the breakdown of the euro, the crumbling of the Spanish banking system to take just two – and what you are left with is the next leg of a global financial crisis. Politicians temporarily "solved" the sub-prime crisis of 2007 and 2008 by nationalising billions of pounds' worth of bank debt. While this helped reinject a little confidence into markets, the real upshot was merely to transfer that debt on to public-sector balance sheets.
This kind of card-shuffle trick has a long-established pedigree: after the dotcom bust, Alan Greenspan slashed US interest rates to (then) unprecedented lows, which helped dull the pain, but only at the cost of generating the housing bubble that fed sub-prime. It is not so different to the Ponzi scheme carried out by Bernard Madoff, except that unlike his hedge fund fraud, this one is being carried out in full public view.
The problem is that this has to stop somewhere, and that gasping noise over the past couple of weeks is the sound of millions of investors realising, all at once, that the music might have stopped. Having leapt back into the market in 2009 and fuelled the biggest stock-market leap since the recovery from the Wall Street Crash in the early 1930s, investors have suddenly deserted. London's FTSE 100 has lost 15 per cent of its value in little more than a month. The mayhem on European bourses is even worse, while on Wall Street the Dow Jones teeters on the brink of the talismanic 10,000 level.
It is obvious that the sovereign crisis can inflict considerable pain. And it seems to have just begun. Yet perhaps our scenario is too simplistic, too conspiratorial. We ourselves have maintained that the problems with the EU and the euro are probably in excess of whatever the elite had expected – and they did expect a crisis of this sort, one that was supposed to drive the EU into a closer political union. The idea, however, that the power elite could engage in cold-blooded manipulations of whole countries is fairly difficult to countenance. On the other hand, there are historical speculations that JP Morgan, at the height of his wealth, controlled in some sense up to half of the profitable enterprises in the United States. Wealth can be concentrated and great wealth begets wealth, especially because the current fiat money system that tends to collapse the middle class.
Assume somehow that the unrolling sovereign crisis is indeed a prelude to a fear-based promotion seeking a worldwide currency (and perhaps some sort of worldwide central bank to go along with it) and one begins to see the outlines of an especially audacious dominant social theme. Perhaps this theme would be buttressed with other fear-based promotions – local and regional wars, even confrontations that utilize small nuclear devices.
We're just speculating here, of course, for our window on power elite activities extends only to a modest comprehension of how elite promotions might operate. Yet even in stating this, we should also point out that these themes are promoted by a vast array of institutions – media properties, think tanks, NGOs and assorted non-profits, not to mention governmental entities. To accept the idea of dominant social themes is to accept that the elite has tremendous influence worldwide and especially in the West. We're past that point of course. We do accept it.
We would also point out that to try to force the issue now of a truly global currency would be audacious in the extreme. Citizens of the Anglo-American axis are up in arms over the poor economy and Europe is smoldering as well. Never has a sociopolitical awakening swept the West as it has now – courtesy of the Internet and its continual truth-telling. There is more and more anger over central banking, the West's serial wars, the over-taxation and the general dysfunction of regulatory democracy.
Does what we have proposed skirt the fringes of reality? If the powers-that-be were ready to tolerate a protracted series of sovereign crises in Europe – and it may be there is not much more to arrange -- alongside perhaps some unsettling wars, it might be possible to traumatize citizens of the West enough to make them amenable to global solution. This solution in our estimation might include the return to some sort of gold standard, but unfortunately not a market-based one. The elite would try to insist on a standard that it could in a sense control and continually manage – at least in our opinion.
Conclusion: All this is no doubt far fetched. But the Panic of 1907 and the subsequent erection of the Federal Reserve – if one accepts the relationship between the two – provides us with a template for the same sort of manipulation on a bigger scale (assuming one believes in the possibility of JP Morgan's market manipulations). However it is also true that this article itself is evidence of the difficulties that the elite would face in implementing the kind of program we have suggested. After all, if we are able to anticipate it, it has occurred to others as well. This is perhaps the elite's biggest challenge in the era of the Internet. It is most difficult to promote an audience, if it comes to that, aware of your intentions and the permutations of your strategies.
News & Analysis
Europe Braces for Chaos
by Staff Report article link
May 25, 2010 | The Daily Bell
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The Number One Tool Of Financial Enslavement
05.28.10 | The Economic Collapse | The Silver Bear Cafe
Today there is a great awakening going on across the United States and all around the world. Tens of millions of people are becoming aware of the growing tyranny of the global financial elite. Yet millions of those same people willingly enslave themselves to those very same financial powers. So how is this happening? It is called debt. The financial powers of the world use it to enslave individuals, corporations and governments. For thousands of years humanity has been taught the proverb that "the borrower is the servant of the lender", and yet today hundreds of millions of people around the globe willingly have run out and have made themselves servants of the money powers. You see, when you borrow money from a financial institution, you not only have to pay that money back, but you also have to pay a significant amount of interest. In fact, often the interest ends up being much more than the principal of the loan. Thus the borrower ends up devoting a great deal of his or her labor to earning money for the lender. Certainly there are times when it is necessary to borrow money. But what Americans have been doing over the last 30 years goes far beyond "necessary" borrowing. In fact, the massive debt binge of the last three decades has been nothing short of a huge percentage of the American population entering into willing financial enslavement. ...
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Posted by mammonmessiah at 7:44 AM
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