27 October 2014
It is astonishing that the reconstruction of Gaza, bombed into the Stone Age according to the explicit goals of an Israeli military doctrine known as “Dahiya”, has tentatively only just begun two months after the end of the fighting.
According to the United Nations, 100,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged, leaving 600,000 Palestinians – nearly one in three of Gaza’s population – homeless or in urgent need of humanitarian help.
Roads, schools and the electricity plant to power water and sewerage systems are in ruins. The cold and wet of winter are approaching. Aid agency Oxfam warns that at the current rate of progress it may take 50 years to rebuild Gaza.
Where else in the world apart from the Palestinian territories would the international community stand by idly as so many people suffer – and not from a random act of God but willed by fellow humans?
The reason for the hold-up is, as ever, Israel’s “security needs”. Gaza can be rebuilt but only to the precise specifications laid down by Israeli officials.
We have been here before. Twelve years ago, Israeli bulldozers rolled into Jenin camp in the West Bank in the midst of the second intifada. Israel had just lost its largest number of soldiers in a single battle as the army struggled through a warren of narrow alleys. In scenes that shocked the world, Israel turned hundreds of homes to rubble.
With residents living in tents, Israel insisted on the terms of Jenin camp’s rehabilitation. The alleys that assisted the Palestinian resistance in its ambushes had to go. In their place, streets were built wide enough for Israeli tanks to patrol.
Join our hour plus discussion about toxic versus honest infrastructure. Jim rattles off a list of current news headlines that set the stage for our current world. We discuss at length many topics in Jim’s recent article, QE Failure & Folly of Paper Mache. The US is heading fast towards complete global isolationism. The SDR is an unlikely solution to the collapsing petro dollar. Jim believes the BRICS currency/ metals fund will be the final winner.
Derivatives have been hidden in plain site. Jim believes there are potentially 100s of Billions of dollars a month in derivative monetization, going on for years now. US debt ceiling raise indicates a default, potentially with the involvement of China, which now owns a nice chunk of Manhattan, including a steak in the US Federal Reserve.
From US Treasury prop ups, QE, Interest rate swaps, to the bond carry trade, Jim covers a host of topics of manipulation. Jim breaks down exactly how long term treasury demand is created and free money just scraped off the back end. Not only can they scam the populace with false perceived demand but they also make huge risk free profits.
Student loans and car loans are the new sub prime markets. The Saudi Real has plummeted. Things are getting shaky. We are marching towards systemic failure. It won’t be a bank failure. The bank system cannot fail. Contagion has been prevented from massive cash injection. Sovereign debt seniority laws were literally changed. The level of fraud is overwhelming. Tens if not hundreds of trillions of dollars have been squandered.
by Ron Holland
October 25, 2014
I recently was in Vietnam and spent some time in prosperous, capitalist Saigon, now called Ho Chi Minh City, and toured the American War Museum. I believe there are a number of parallels between the Vietnam and Iraq War and that history could repeat itself now in Baghdad. Who can forget the former Vietnamese supporters of America being left behind as the last helicopter left the roof of the US embassy?
Today, America still has the strongest military in the world but our manufacturing capacity and financial situation shows the US is on a downhill slide like earlier overextended and bankrupt empires throughout world history.
We’ve already watched the frightening incompetence of the Obama Administration and the CDC in dealing with the Ebola virus. One would have to be blind not to see the petrodollar deathwatch as Russia, China and the BRIC countries build new trading alternatives to avoid using the dollar world reserve currency when trading energy and other financial dealings.
This is simple payback for Washington’s threats, banking fines and penalties against institutions and nations de jure that fail to march to the US tune of dictating trade and financial arrangements. The world is now ganging up on the United States because Washington has terrorized smaller nations around the world for decades as the big bully on the block.
By Michael S. Rozeff
October 24, 2014
Adnan Zuberi has produced and directed a filmed documentary titled “9/11 in the Academic Community” (2013), and it is a winner at the University of Toronto Film Festival. The 73-minute picture features interviews with prominent Canadian professors about the very tepid response of university academics to a pivotal event of this century, one that has heavily influenced American foreign and domestic policies since its occurrence on September 11, 2001. Why have scholars been dormant on questions surrounding 9/11 and on the defects of the 9/11 Commission’s Report?
This documentary remains timely because nothing has altered the course taken by the U.S. government after 9/11. Although the official conspiracy theory of the government in the 9/11 report meets with increasing skepticism because of its anomalies, unanswered questions, contradictions and political origins, it remains the official account. Zuberi’s work reminds us that the university remains one of the few places where research is a way of life and, even if influenced by streams of government funding, a way of life that might nurture far more intensive inquiries into 9/11 than have heretofore been seen.
As for 9/11 being a pivotal event, were it not for 9/11 and in the absence of any similar provocative event that would have served a like function in producing a narrative that could be used by the U.S. government to create support for the U.S. war on terror with all its ramifications, we would not have seen the U.S. violate international laws by launching aggressions against Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya as well as such warring activities as we have seen in Somalia, Pakistan and Yemen. We would not have seen the U.S. adopt kidnappings and torture. We would not have seen the U.S. virtually discard the fourth amendment to its Constitution. We would not have seen the president assume the powers to make wars virtually unimpeded and to order forces including special forces into action on his own say-so. We would not have seen a president institute the aggressive policy of preemptive war. We would not have seen intrusive search procedures at airports, the burgeoning of the national security state with its blanket spying, or even the militarization of local police forces. We would not have seen the chilling of journalistic freedoms and the suppression of whistleblowers.
We need to recognize that even before 9/11, there were groups in Washington that were promoting the U.S. as a sole superpower and calling for its amplification and extension. There were groups calling for hegemony of the U.S. worldwide. There were those who called for not allowing any regional powers to arise anywhere in the world. There were those who articulated expansive views of U.S. interests and national security. There were those who were taking aim at a list of states in the Middle East that included Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Lebanon, Somalia and Iran. There were those who stood to gain personally from an expansion of the national security state and from a condition of permanent warfare or its equivalent.
It won’t tell.
by Medea Benjamin
October 23, 2014
President Barack Obama proudly signed the law that repealed the Pentagon’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, freeing lesbian, gay, and bisexual Americans (although not trans people) to openly serve in the military four years ago.
But when it comes to budgeting, the concept lingers on. “Don’t ask us how we spend money,” the Pentagon basically says. “Because we can’t really tell you.”
Every taxpayer, business, and government agency in America is supposed to be able to pass a financial audit by the feds, every year. It’s the law, so we do our duty. There’s one exception: the Pentagon.
Year after year, the nonpartisanGovernment Accountability Office (GAO) declares the Pentagon budget to be un-auditable. In 2013, for example, the GAO found that the Pentagon consistently fails to control its costs, measure its performance, or prevent and detect fraud, waste, and abuse.
Congress thankfully, did give the Pentagon a deadline to get itself in better financial shape – 25 years ago. Taxpayers are still waiting.
By Dmitry Orlov
October 21, 2014
A year and a half I wrote an essay on how the US chooses to view Russia, titled The Image of the Enemy. I was living in Russia at the time, and, after observing the American anti-Russian rhetoric and the Russian reaction to it, I made some observations that seemed important at the time. It turns out that I managed to spot an important trend, but given the quick pace of developments since then, these observations are now woefully out of date, and so here is an update.
At that time the stakes weren’t very high yet. There was much noise around a fellow named Magnitsky, a corporate lawyer-crook who got caught and died in pretrial custody. He had been holding items for some bigger Western crooks, who were, of course, never apprehended. The Americans chose to treat this as a human rights violation and responded with the so-called “Magnitsky Act” which sanctioned certain Russian individuals who were labeled as human rights violators. Russian legislators responded with the “Dima Yakovlev Bill,” named after a Russian orphan adopted by Americans who killed him by leaving him in a locked car for nine hours. This bill banned American orphan-killing fiends from adopting any more Russian orphans. It all amounted to a silly bit of melodrama.
But what a difference a year and a half has made! Ukraine, which was at that time collapsing at about the same steady pace as it had been ever since its independence two decades ago, is now truly a defunct state, with its economy in free-fall, one region gone and two more in open rebellion, much of the country terrorized by oligarch-funded death squads, and some American-anointed puppets nominally in charge but quaking in their boots about what’s coming next. Syria and Iraq, which were then at a low simmer, have since erupted into full-blown war, with large parts of both now under the control of the Islamic Caliphate, which was formed with help from the US, was armed with US-made weapons via the Iraqis. Post-Qaddafi Libya seems to be working on establishing an Islamic Caliphate of its own. Against this backdrop of profound foreign US foreign policy failure, the US recently saw it fit to accuse Russia of having troops “on NATO’s doorstep,” as if this had nothing to do with the fact that NATO has expanded east, all the way to Russia’s borders. Unsurprisingly, US–Russia relations have now reached a point where the Russians saw it fit to issue a stern warning: further Western attempts at blackmailing them may result in a nuclear confrontation.
The American behavior throughout this succession of defeats has been remarkably consistent, with the constant element being their flat refusal to deal with reality in any way, shape or form. Just as before, in Syria the Americans are ever looking for moderate, pro-Western Islamists, who want to do what the Americans want (topple the government of Bashar al Assad) but will stop short of going on to destroy all the infidel invaders they can get their hands on. The fact that such moderate, pro-Western Islamists do not seem to exist does not affect American strategy in the region in any way.
Similarly, in Ukraine, the fact that the heavy American investment in “freedom and democracy,” or “open society,” or what have you, has produced a government dominated by fascists and a civil war is, according to the Americans, just some Russian propaganda. Parading under the banner of Hitler’s Ukrainian SS division and anointing Nazi collaborators as national heroes is just not convincing enough for them. What do these Nazis have to do to prove that they are Nazis, build some ovens and roast some Jews? Just massacring people by setting fire to a building, as they did in Odessa, or shooting unarmed civilians in the back and tossing them into mass graves, as they did in Donetsk, doesn’t seem to work. The fact that many people have refused to be ruled by Nazi thugs and have successfully resisted them has caused the Americans to label them as “pro-Russian separatists.” This, in turn, was used to blame the troubles in Ukraine on Russia, and to impose sanctions on Russia. The sanctions would be reviewed if Russia were to withdraw its troops from Ukraine. Trouble is, there are no Russian troops in Ukraine.
We should recall James Madison’s warning that ‘No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.’”
By Gene Healy
This article appeared in The Federalist
on October 10, 2014.
In May 2013, some 11 years into the War on Terror, President Obama took a break from reviewing target sets and kill lists to deliver a much-anticipated “drone speech” at the National Defense University in Washington DC. “We must define the nature and scope of this struggle, or else it will define us,” Obama admonished; “we have to be mindful of James Madison’s warning that ‘No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.’”
It was a disorienting performance: at times, Obama seemed to be speaking not as the president, but as his own loyal opposition—a thoughtful critic who might conduct himself differently if installed as head of Dronefleet Command. “Unless we discipline our thinking, our definitions, our actions,” Obama intoned, “we may be drawn into more wars we don’t need to fight, or continue to grant presidents unbound powers.” He welcomed this debate… with himself.
With Tomahawks raining down on both sides of the Iraq-Syria border, it would be nice to have Congress debate the president’s newly declared war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), but it doesn’t look like that will happen anytime soon.
Still, it’s not too early to take stock of the Obama legacy on constitutional war powers. He’ll go down in history as a “transformational” president, having completed America’s transformation into a country where “continual warfare” is the post-constitutional norm.
War: The New Normal
Obama’s hardly the first president to wage war without congressional authorization. Although the Constitution invests Congress alone “with the power of changing our condition from peace to war,” every post-World War II president has found some excuse for striking out on his own. Many of these engagements were of the “frolic and detour” variety: rescue missions,retaliatory fly-bys against rogue regimes, short incursions to depose a dictator or reverse a coup. Longer commitments—like the peacekeeping deployments to Lebanon and Somalia, Bill Clinton’s 78-day air war in Yugoslavia, even the decade-plus of no-fly-zone enforcement in Iraq following the Gulf War—were nonetheless territorially confined.
By Eric Margolis
October 18, 2014
Back in the 1990’s, journalists used to joke, “Of course we know Iraq has chemical weapons. We have the delivery receipts to prove it!”
The joke turned out to be the exact truth.
While covering Iraq in 1990 – just before the first massive US bombing campaign – I discovered the US and Britain had secretly built a germ weapons arsenal for Iraq to use against Iran in the eight year-Iran-Iraq War.
This while both the US and Britain were fulminating with breathtaking hypocrisy against the alleged dangers of Iraq’s supposed WMD’s (weapons of mass destruction) that never existed. Some years later, the two leading apostles of attacking Iraq, George W. Bush and Tony Blair, delivered Philippics against Saddam Hussein’s weapons programs while never mentioning that high level of western support for Iraq’s late leader.
Last week the widely read “New York Times” ran a multi-page exposé entitled “Abandoned Chemical Weapons and Secret Casualties in Iraq.”
The NY Times played a key role in driving the US into two wars against Iraq. America’s leading newspaper is finally facing part of the ugly truth over Iraq’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction, the pretext used by the US to bomb, then invade Iraq. Perhaps it’s trying to atone, or clear its besmirched name.
Iraq had no nuclear weapons, as the US falsely claimed. But it did have an arsenal of chemical and biological weapons – delivered by the western powers. All were battlefield arms, not strategic, weapons. None could be delivered more than 100 kms.
According to the “New York Times,” after the second war against Iraq in 2003, 17 US servicemen and seven Iraqis were injured by mustard and nerve gas after they dug up buried caches of Iraq’s 1980’s chemical weapons. Shamefully, their plight was kept secret by the Pentagon; the soldiers were refused adequate medical care in order to cover up this sordid story.
But what I uncovered in Baghdad was far worse.
I found two British scientists who had been employed at Iraq’s top secret Salman Pak chemical and biowarfare laboratory near Baghdad. The Brits confided to me they were part of a large technical team secretly organized and “seconded” to Iraq in the mid-1980’s by the British government and the MI6 Secret Intelligence Service. Their goal was to develop and “weaponize” anthrax, plague, botulism and other pathogens for use as tactical germ weapons.
Dr. Jim Willie joined Live Free or Die and I for an exclusive interview, in which Dr. Willie warns us of a planned launch of a ‘new dollar’ that will be ‘blood red’, the extreme wreckage of our current financial system brought on by the ‘satanic’ banking cabal, the chaos coming to America in 3 separate areas and much more.
The West, meaning London, NY and western Europe will lose control and we are going to see the dollar rise, rise more…. then “die suddenly.” Dr. Willie also talks about the collapse of financial instruments, how the west is lowering the price of oil to “damage Russia,” how the Ukraine war comes into play, and how ultimately China will double gold prices and triple silver prices.
At approximately the 21 minute mark, Dr. Willie addresses what all this will mean to the average American, describing how pensions will be affected, those living off of any welfare program will see their benefits cut in half, food and gas shortages, lack of cash at ATMs, as well as how police across America have been militarized in preparation for the fallout because “they know the chaos is coming.”
He explains how the gradual growing global rejection of the USDollar for trade will alter the banking systems, force the Fed into a huge volume increase in their bond purchase program to cover what foreign nations discard and diversify from USTreasurys. The end result will be refusal by foreign suppliers to accept over-valued USDollars in exchange for both finished goods and raw materials, even crude oil. The US import supply chain is soon to be threatened. Thus the motive and pressure will be fierce to create a new domestic dollar, the birth of the New Scheiss Dollar, which will suffer a series of devaluations.