The confusion in Washington, matched by the absence of discussion of an overriding strategic motive for American involvement, is symptomatic of the fact that the American century is ending, and ending in a way that is both predictable in the long run, and simultaneously erratic and out of control in its details.
I conclude from all this confusion and misrepresentation that America is losing its ability to enforce and maintain peace, either by itself or with its nominal allies. I would submit that, if only to stabilize and reduce oil prices, it is in America’s best interest now to join with Ban Ki-Moon and the Pope in pressing for an immediate cease-fire in Libya. Negotiating a cease-fire will certainly present problems, but the probable alternative to ending this conflict is the nightmare of watching it inexorably escalate.America has been there before with tragic consequences. We do not want to see similar casualties incurred for the sake of anunjust petrodollar system whose days may be numbered anyway.
At stake is not just America’s relation to Libya, but to China. The whole of Africa is an area where the west and the BRIC countries will both be investing. A resource-hungry China alone is expected to invest on a scale of $50 billion a year by 2015, a figure (funded by America’s trade deficit with China) which the West cannot match.27 Whether east and west can coexist peacefully in Africa in the future will depend on the west’s learning to accept a gradual diminution of its influence there, without resorting to deceitful stratagems (reminiscent of the Anglo-French Suez stratagem of 1956) in order to maintain it.
Previous transitions of global dominance have been marked by wars, by revolutions, or by both together. The final emergence through two World Wars of American hegemony over British hegemony was a transition between two powers that were essentially allied, and culturally close. The whole world has an immense stake in ensuring that the difficult transition to a post-US hegemonic order will be achieved as peacefully as possible.
Rather than judicially review significant evidence in the events of September 11, 2001, on April 27, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s dismissal of an Army Specialist’s complaint against former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Richard Myers.
One of Plaintiff April Gallop’s attorneys, William Veale, didn’t know whether to relate the decision to “Kafka, Orwell, Carroll, or Huxley,” referring to the absurdity and dearth of reason emanating from the court regarding the deadliest attack on U.S. soil the nation has ever faced.
“The Court’s decision, analogous to reviewing an Indictment in a liquor store hold-up without mentioning the guy walking in with a gun, refuses to acknowledge even the existence of the three defendants much less what they were doing that morning or saying about it afterwards,” Veale added.
Of the three judges on the panel, John Mercer Walker, Jr. is first cousin of former President George H.W. Bush and first cousin once removed of George W. Bush, who used 9/11 to manipulate public emotion to support passage of the unconstitutional PATRIOT Acts and waging illegal wars of aggression in the Middle East. According to Wikipedia, Walker shares a grandfather with the 41st president, George Herbert Walker, whose daughter married Prescott Bush. A motion to force Judge Walker’s removal from the case was denied, despite a clear conflict of interest.
It is the function of the Monarchy both to express and to sustain England’s national identity and all that stands with it. The Monarchy reminds us that our nation is not some recent arrival in the world, and that the threads of continuity between ourselves and our distant forebears—what Abraham Lincoln called “the mystic chords of memory”—have not been broken. England and its monarchy exist today, and five hundred years ago, and a thousand years ago, and one thousand five hundred years ago. And, as we go further back, they vanish together, with no sense that they ever began at all, into the forests of Northern Europe.
But what makes the Monarchy nowadays so disappointing is that Her Present Majesty—“Elizabeth the Useless”—has, during the fifty nine years of her reign, been an absolute failure at discharging any of her positive functions.
Her negative functions she has discharged well enough. To do these, however, she has simply needed to occupy the right place in her family tree and know how to smile and wave whenever she appears before us. If, like the Emperor of Japan, she never said or did anything in public, she would still express our national identity.
But she really has never lifted a finger to sustain that identity. She could have done much to slow the transformation of England into a sinister laughing stock. She might well have stopped it. Instead, even before she became a shambling old woman, Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God Queen, Defender of the Faith, chose to sit by and watch.
The New York Times and The Washington Post have finally admitted what AMERICAN FREE PRESS (AFP) asserted as far back as Feb. 14: There is much more to the so-called “grassroots” revolutions in the Mideast than meets the eye.
While critics accused AFP of purveying “conspiracy theories,” the Times and the Post have now laid it on the line: American tax dollars have bankrolled a host of both private and quasi-public institutions that have been underwriting the revolutionary activity wreaking havoc throughout the Arab world.
The first inkling came in a report buried inside the Post on March 10, under the headline “U.S. funds web firms that help Mideast dissidents skirt censors.” The report read in part:
The Obama administration may not be lending arms to dissidents in the Middle East, but it is offering aid in another critical way: Helping them surf the web anonymously as they seek to overthrow their governments. Federal agencies—such as the State Department, the Defense Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors—have been funding a handful of technology firms that allow people to get online without being tracked or to visit news or social media sites that governments have blocked.Many of these little-known companies—such as the Tor Project or UltraReach— are unabashedly supportive of the activists in the Middle East. . . .
Federal agencies have funded these companies through grants and contracts. By late spring, the State Department is expected to begin doling out even more money—about $30 million—to technology firms and human rights groups that help and train people to shatter [Internet security] and surf the web without being tracked.
Of course, a candidate must meet legal requirements before running for public office. This is a universally agreed upon concept which has been enumerated in laws in every nation, since the beginning of human civilization. However, for those who deeply examine the United States and how it has drifted from a constitutional republic to the corporate-financier oligarchy it is today, they might realize the futility of arguing over "President" Obama's qualifications for an office that has long been ceremonial, if not entirely theatrical.
The corporate-financier agenda transcends presidencies. From Reagan to Obama, US foreign and domestic policy has moved in a continuously linear direction toward increasing corporate-financial monopolies and eroding the role and sovereignty of the US Constitution and the people who are supposed to execute it. In 1991, "Neo-Conservative" war monger Paul Wolfowitz stated that the Middle East would be turned upside down and reordered in America's favor - ironically, this operation which has been piecemeal planned and executed year-by-year since then, is finally unfolding in its entirety under the supposedly "liberal" Obama administration.
Likewise, the seemingly "liberal" free-trade agreements pushed by Clinton, were expanded into the beginnings of the supernational Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America under the supposedly "conservative" Bush administration. Of course, the blueprints for the SPP or the geopolitical reordering of the Middle East weren't drawn up by presidential administrations nor committees amongst America's elected representatives, but rather by unelected corporate-funded think-tanks like the Council on Foreign Relations or the Brookings Institute. These think-tanks represent the collective interests of the largest corporations and financial institutions on earth and are the real, often obscure architects of both American and European foreign and domestic policy.
The only difference one can delineate then, is the brand of propaganda used during each supposedly ideologically differentiated political administration to sell this unipolar, unilateral, continuous agenda to the public as it creeps forward. But even upon examining each presidential administration, we are struck with names and affiliations of members who directly represent these corporate interests. To illustrate how entirely ineffectual and meaningless "Obama" is as a president, let's examine some key members of his administration and what their affiliations are.
Bacevich spent a good deal of his time talking about an article recently released by the Wilson Center, "A National Strategic Narrative," [.pdf] signed by "Mr. Y." He started out by saying that the publication of the article is important less for the actual content of the piece and more because of who wrote it – "Mr. Y" is a pseudonym for U.S. Navy Captain Wayne Porter and U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Mark Mykleby, who both work for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon. As he describes it, "What they are saying is our approach to national security policy has been excessively militarized, we really need to pay more attention to what goes on inside the country."
What’s recognizable is not anything new: it’s the same old transnational progressivism that has animated the "internationalist" wing of the War Party since the days of Woodrow Wilson, albeit leavened with the spice of declinism – an admission that, for purely economic reasons, we simply cannot sustain our foreign policy of untrammeled imperialism and global dominance. It is a sigh of exhaustion coming from the pinnacle of power, a warning that our over-extended and obscenely expensive "defense" budget is diverting vital resources away from more productive uses.
At the heart of this Wilsonian – or, really, [Franklin D.] Rooseveltian – vision is a scheme to make imperialism work on the cheap. Recognizing the limits of American power, and yet still trying to maintain some façade of a "world order" – one that favors the US and its alleged "interests" – this is the task the transnational progressives have set for themselves. What they want, most of all, is a soft landing when the supporting structures of the Empire begin to crack. Since I live in that Empire, I, too, hope our fall will be sufficiently cushioned, but my sense of realism – call it pessimism conditioned by history – warns me to prepare for the worst.
Professor Bacevich is right: neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have the will to pull this country back from the abyss of financial and moral bankruptcy. The collapse, when it comes, will prove the case against Empire – but by then it will be too late.
Yesterday, President Obama released a long form birth certificate. In doing so, he lectured Americans about what was truly important in America. "We do not have time for this kind of silliness," he intoned. "We've got better stuff to do. I've got better stuff to do. We've got big problems to solve, and I'm confident we can solve them, but we're going to have to focus on them, not on this." He then promptly boarded Air Force One to solve one of those vital problems -- by flying to Chicago for another appearance on Oprah's show.
Let's focus now on one very simple question: why did he fight not to release the long form birth certificate?
Why did it take the moving of mountains (or at least poll numbers) to get Obama to release a long form birth certificate after literally years of stonewalling? Although there is incriminating evidence on the long form birth certificate -- in that the numbers are still out of sequence with the Nordyke twins' numbers -- we already knew that from Obama's Certification of Live Birth (COLB). In fact, were it not for the certificate numbers and the date accepted by the Registrar General on the Nordyke twins' birth certificates, and the certificate number and the date filed by the registrar on Obama's COLB, this indication of forgery would never have been detected.
So why did he fight not to release it? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Obama wasn't hiding anything that is on the present long form birth certificate. The evidence indicates that what he is hiding is that his long form birth certificate may not be genuine.
One of the most glaring examples of how U.S. policy is out of step is its unwavering support for Israel, even in the face of increasingly rash and alienating behavior – such as the ongoing expansion of its illegal settlements and the murder of nine Turkish internationals in last year’s Free Gaza Flotilla. As we saw recently in the demonstration of Egyptians in front of the Israeli embassy in Cairo, human rights and freedom for Palestinians are core concerns for Arabs. Once the U.S.-friendly rulers are deposed, or even if they barely retain power, the people’s empathy towards the Palestinians will have to be addressed. A knee-jerk defense of Israel by the U.S. government – or by Arab governments – will become increasingly untenable.
For too long, U.S. foreign policy has been skewed by a fear of offending Israel – or rather, the Israeli government and its right-wing arm in the United States, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). On May 22, AIPAC will kick off its annual policy conference in Washington, DC, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a keynote speaker. Already, American politicians are lining up for a spot at the podium. Last year, President Barack Obama sent a high-level liaison – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – to the confab and is likely to do so again this year. Speaker of the House John Boehner and the majority leader for both the House and Senate are confirmed speakers, and hundreds of other elected officials will make an appearance.
Why such a rush to appear at this particular policy conference when similar events are ubiquitous in Washington? To spell it out bluntly, AIPAC has shown its ability to make and break political careers. Offend AIPAC and your opponent will be generously funded. Befriend AIPAC and you may well be richly rewarded in campaign contributions. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, pro-Israel political action committees – most of which are affiliated with AIPAC – contributed nearly $12 million to political candidates in the 2009-2010 election cycle. One senator alone, Mark Kirk (R-IL), received $553,698.
What does all that money buy? It’s difficult to trace the dollars directly to votes, but one can only assume it is a primary explanation for Obama’s instructions to UN Ambassador Susan Rice on Feb. 8 to use the American veto to overrule the other 14 Security Council members, all of whom voted for a resolution condemning as illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
When former AIPAC director Steven J. Rosen interpreted the contents of stolen classified US national defense information to Washington Post reporter Glenn Kessler in 2004, he peddled it as proof that Iran was engaged in "total war against the United States." Far from an investigative journalism scoop, Rosen’s propaganda was not only false, but another small component of AIPAC’s larger drive to militarily entangle the US with Iran. Mirroring the trajectory of Enron — another secretive corporation that suddenly collapsed — this lobby has racked up such an unbroken string of challenges to US rule of law that concerned Americans are again gathering to confront AIPAC on a massive scale on May 21-24 in Washington.
More than a creative protest during AIPAC’s yearly conference, participants are attending workshops and learning circles to discover how to effectively expose, confront, and roll back AIPAC’s most secretive, dangerous, and costly initiatives. Participants will also network and leverage their contacts with activists from other states working to create lasting peace in the Middle East while reinstituting government accountability at home. But why now?
A few observant Americans looked on in despair as AIPAC’s 1980s election law violations and 2004 employee indictments over classified information trafficking were recently unwound through attrition and curious moves by the courts and Justice Department. The year 2011 is remarkably similar to a tipping point catalyzed by misdeeds that took place a half a century ago, when a coalition of fed-up Americans finally laid down the gauntlet and insisted on rule of law in America — breaking the back of AIPAC’s parent organization.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s Jewish activists were appalled that AIPAC’s parent organization, the American Zionist Council, was illegally laundering funds raised for legitimate overseas charitable relief back into covert US public relations and lobbying activities in secret coordination with the Israeli government. The American Council for Judaism and scores of similarly concerned Americans relentlessly lobbied Congress and the US Department of Justice for relief. Even then-Congressman Donald Rumsfeld took action for his constituents.
The world as we now know is an effort to continue with a flawed systemic century old dynamic which is counter-intuitive to capitalism, free markets, sovereignty, freedom, and self- dignity. Operated by a defunct cadre or bankrupt syndicate. “In the absence of that which you are not, that which you are… is not.”
Raising the U.S. debt limits is an ignorant refusal to sustain insurmountable wars to control and confiscate free markets including the finite assault on the Universal Laws of the Universe. A defunct cadre that ignores its cavalier approach suppresses the manufactured perpetrated control of free market correction and the assault on the Universal Laws of Nature. The Laws of the Universe which correct chaos into the natural order of the Universe. Posted by ezinearticle.
Nihilism Versus Freedom, Self-Dignity, Sovereignty, Free Markets
If what you are not didn’t coexist with what you are, then what you are could not be. “The nihilism of our economic system is evident. The whole world will be transformed into money – and then it will disappear. After all, money cannot be eaten. What no one seems to consider is the fact that it is impossible to re-transform commodities, money, capital and machinery into nature or concrete wealth. It seems that underlying all “economic development” is the assumption that “resources”, the “sources of wealth”, are renewable and everlasting – just like the “growth” they create.” Posted by Prof. Claudia vonWerlhof Global Research.
In conclusion, the myth or the “lie of the pipe dreams” riches, peace, and prosperity that always arrive tomorrow is the false systemic financial and economic corruption including unsustainable wars that have had total control over ‘We the People’ for the last century. 20th Century of absolute control by attempting a trajectory of chaos to the Universal Laws of Nature.Resulting in U.S. flaws and corruption disrupting the natural balance and order of free markets. Restraining the Universal Laws of Nature, human self-dignity, propelling crimes against mankind’s written laws handed down throughout the centuries. See Video Sen Paul Ryan explaining ‘Reverse U.S. Robin Hood Theory.’
A report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in February of this year, found that a substantial portion of the northern border lacked any effective monitoring and surveillance. It concluded that only 32 of the 4,000-mile border was under operational control. The findings were largely based on failures to better coordinate border cooperation and information sharing among the various agencies. A Press Release by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security stated that according to the study, “the risk of terrorist activity across the northern border is higher than across the southern border because there are active Islamist extremist groups in Canada that are not in Mexico, it is easier to cross the northern border because it is twice as long as the southern border, and DHS has a fraction of the law enforcement officers and surveillance assets on the northern border than it has in the south.” It went on to say, “The border with Canada is also dotted with large population centers and criss-crossed by numerous highways and roads, making it harder to detect illegal activities amid the large volume of legitimate trade and travel between Canada and the U.S. that is so important to both countries.”
The Operational Integration Center (OIC) on Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Michigan, officially opened on March 24, 2011. The facility, “will provide a centralized location for CBP, along with federal, state, local and international partners, to gather, analyze and disseminate operational and strategic data in the Great Lakes region of the Northern border.” The intelligence gathering center features a high-tech control room where video from cameras and surveillance stations can be monitored, as well as live feeds from helicopters and UAVs. Among the various U.S. agencies, it will also include the participation of the RCMP who will pass on any pertinent information to Canada Border Services and the Ontario Provincial Police. The new center is intended to, “bring about an increased unity of effort among participating agencies and help maximize resource utilization. The OIC will also draw support from field assets, intelligence resources, and a variety of technologies.” This could be the first of many such facilities which will expand surveillance capabilities and further militarize the northern border.
While there are many questions surrounding the proposed Canada-U.S. trade and security perimeter agreement, the overall objectives are to secure the external and internal borders of both countries. The plan is a continuation and expansion of the Security and Prosperity Partnership agenda. In a Fortress North America, the U.S. seeks to push out its security perimeter whereby the northern border would act as another layer of security. It would be open to trade, as well as trusted travellers and labour mobility. The move towards a North American security perimeter is nothing more than a pretext for U.S. control over the continent.
While many of the rationalizations describe resources, especially oil, as the reasons why we should be in that country, there are also an increasing number of dissenting voices. For the most part, these revolve around Libya’s financial relationship with the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), and multinational corporations.
According to the IMF, Libya’s Central Bank is 100% state owned. The IMF estimates that the bank has nearly 144 tons of gold in its vaults. It is significant that in the months running up to the UN resolution that allowed the US and its allies to send troops into Libya, Muammar al-Qaddafi was openly advocating the creation of a new currency that would rival the dollar and the euro. In fact, he called upon African and Muslim nations to join an alliance that would make this new currency, the gold dinar, their primary form of money and foreign exchange. They would sell oil and other resources to the US and the rest of the world only for gold dinars.
The US, the other G-8 countries, the World Bank, IMF, BIS, and multinational corporations do not look kindly on leaders who threaten their dominance over world currency markets or who appear to be moving away from the international banking system that favors the corporatocracy. Saddam Hussein had advocated policies similar to those expressed by Qaddafi shortly before the US sent troops into Iraq.
In my talks, I often find it necessary to remind audiences of a point that seems obvious to me but is misunderstood by so many: that the World Bank is not really a world bank at all; it is, rather a U. S. bank. Ditto, its closest sibling, the IMF. In fact, if one looks at the World Bank and IMF executive boards and the votes each member of the board has, one sees that the United States controls about 16 percent of the votes in the World Bank - (Compared with Japan at about 7%, the second largest member, China at 4.5%, Germany with 4.00%, and the United Kingdom and France with about 3.8% each), nearly 17% of the IMF votes (Compared with Japan and Germany at about 6% and UK and France at nearly 5%), and the US holds veto power over all major decisions. Furthermore, the United States President appoints the World Bank President.
So, we might ask ourselves: What happens when a “rogue” country threatens to bring the banking system that benefits the corporatocracy to its knees? What happens to an “empire” when it can no longer effectively be overtly imperialistic?
FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network): is one of the U.S. Department of Treasury’s lead agencies in the fight against money laundering. It’s mission is to enhance U.S. national security, deter and detect criminal activity, and safeguard financial systems from abuse by promoting transparency in the U.S. and international financial systems. *http://www.fincen.gov/
Why FinCEN has an almost impossible task ahead regulating modern Internet digital currency
The financial crime enforcement folks have made some highly effective moves in the legal department during the past few year in their attempt to regulate new Internet financial products. These new products include digital currency payment software, online payment systems and value transfer systems.
The 1970 Bank Secrecy Act authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to require certain records or reports where they have a high degree of usefulness in criminal, tax, or regulatory investigations or proceedings, or in the conduct of intelligence or counterintelligence activities, including analysis, to protect against international terrorism. In 1990, the U.S. Department of the Treasury established the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to provide a government-wide multisource financial intelligence and analysis network. The organization’s operation was broadened in 1994 to include regulatory responsibilities for administering the Bank Secrecy Act, one of the nation’s most potent weapons for preventing corruption of the U.S. financial system. The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, broadened the scope of the Bank Secrecy Act to focus on terrorist financing as well as money laundering. The Act also gave the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network additional responsibilities and authorities in both important areas, and established the organization as a bureau within the Treasury Department.Hundreds of thousands of financial institutions are subject to Bank Secrecy Act reporting and recordkeeping requirements. These include depository institutions (e.g., banks, credit unions and thrifts); brokers or dealers in securities; insurance companies that issue or underwrite certain products; money services businesses (e.g., money transmitters; issuers, redeemers and sellers of money orders and travelers’ checks; check cashers and currency exchangers); casinos and card clubs; and dealers in precious metals, stones, or jewels.
One month before the invasion of Iraq, Riah Abu el-Assal, a Palestinian and the Anglican bishop of Jerusalem at the time, warned Tony Blair, “You will be responsible for emptying Iraq, the homeland of Abraham, of Christians.”
The bishop proved a prophet. “After almost 2,000 years,” writes the Financial Times, “Iraqi Christians now openly contemplate extinction. Some of their prelates even counsel flight.”
The secular despot Saddam Hussein protected the Christians. But the U.S. liberation brought on their greatest calamity since the time of Christ. Scores of thousands of those Iraqi Christians fleeing terrorism and persecution after 2003 made their way to Syria, where they received sanctuary from President Bashar Assad.
Now, as the FT and Washington Post report, the Christians of Syria, whose forebears have lived there since the time of Christ, are facing a pogrom should the Damascus regime fall. Christians are 10 percent of Syria’s population, successful and closely allied to the minority Alawite regime of the Assad family. Said one Beirut observer, “Their fear is that if the regime falls to the Sunni majority, they will be put up against the same wall as the Alawites.”
For decades, notes the Post, the Assad regime “has protected Christian interests by enforcing its strictly secular program and by curbing the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Thailand and Cambodia fortified their border positions on Tuesday after four days of artillery and mortar battles killed seven Cambodian soldiers and five Thai troops, while both sides tried to dominate nearby ancient Hindu temple ruins. No deaths were reported during Monday's clashes.
Thai troops with scant medical equipment used stretchers and open pickup trucks to transport some injured soldiers from border fights to hospitalization during the weekend. Thailand moved tanks and armored personnel carriers along the mountainous jungle frontier about 560 kilometers northeast of Bangkok.
Thailand is peeved by Cambodia's plan to bring tourists to the scenic stone ruins of Preah Vihear's cliff-top, the 11th century Hindu temple on the disputed border. Preah Vihear was part of a network of ancient temple sites linked to Cambodia's nearby slave-built Angkor Wat complex.
The fresh clashes meanwhile coincide with fears expressed by Thailand's media and opposition politicians that Bangkok's coup-minded military is preparing a putsch to install a puppet regime because the generals fear a possible return of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted Thaksin in a bloodless 2006 coup.
George W. Bush created by Executive Order 13228 the Office of Homeland Security and the Homeland Security Council just 11 days after the 9/11 attacks.
On October 26, 2001, Bush signed the horrible USA PATRIOT Act into "law." This in my opinion is not only the lynchpin in the devastating assault on civil liberty, but the most liberty destructive piece of legislation ever passed into law in United States history.
In January of 2002, the Information Awareness Office (IAO) was established to bring together several government projects focused on applying surveillance to monitor "terrorist" and "other" threats to national security. This was to be done by achieving Total Information Awareness which entailed creating an enormous computer database to capture and store the personal information of everyone in the United States, including personal emails, credit card records, social networks, phone records, medical records, and much more without any requirement for a search warrant. Although defunded by Congress in 2003, these projects continued to be funded, and continue to take place under different names.
The Department of Homeland Security was established on November 25, 2002. This monster has grown to become a massive bureaucracy that controls most every single aspect of our lives today.
The now groping and child molesting Transportation Security Agency (TSA) was moved from the Department of Transportation to the Department of Homeland Security in March of 2003. This was the beginning of the end for all those U.S. citizens who want to have free movement in their own country. Now, one has to be baked in radiation, sexually assaulted, or both by the cretins at the TSA in order to travel.
For the first time since the weeks and months after 9/11, Congressional leaders and staff are, once again, discussing presidential line-of-succession. The focus is on the Senate President pro tem position, which, according to the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, places the Senate President third in line of succession to the President after the Vice President and Speaker of the House of Representatives. Also being discussed is the re-constitution of the U.S. Congress in the event that a major "catastrophe" wipes out a number of senators and representatives.
Increasingly, lawmakers are concerned about the fact that due to seniority, the current and last Senate Presidents pro tem have been aging octogenarians, and one of them served in the post as a nonagenarian. The current president, Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, is 86. Inouye replaced Senator Robert Byrd last year. Byrd was 92.
Although Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has been reluctant to talk about proposals to change the Senate rules to ensure that someone more able-bodied and -minded is in the Senate President pro tem position, the seniority achieved by senators like Byrd and Inouye make it virtually impossible to force them to give up the prestigious position with all its perks.
Another term being used by Congressional staffers concerned about line-of-succession is "decapitation," a term not heard much since the days after 9/11. Decapitation refers to the sudden elimination of the top leadership of the U.S. government as the result of a catastrophic event, which could include a surprise nuclear attack on Washington, a major terrorist attack, or a Armageddon-level natural disaster.
The objective of the war against Libya is not just its oil reserves (now estimated at 60 billion barrels), which are the greatest in Africa and whose extraction costs are among the lowest in the world, nor the natural gas reserves of which are estimated at about 1,500 billion cubic meters. In the crosshairs of "willing" of the operation “Unified Protector” there are sovereign wealth funds, capital that the Libyan state has invested abroad.
The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) manages sovereign wealth funds estimated at about $70 billion U.S., rising to more than $150 billion if you include foreign investments of the Central Bank and other bodies. But it might be more. Even if they are lower than those of Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, Libyan sovereign wealth funds have been characterized by their rapid growth. When LIA was established in 2006, it had $40 billion at its disposal. In just five years, LIA has invested over one hundred companies in North Africa, Asia, Europe, the U.S. and South America: holding, banking, real estate, industries, oil companies and others.
In Italy, the main Libyan investments are those in UniCredit Bank (of which LIA and the Libyan Central Bank hold 7.5 percent), Finmeccanica (2 percent) and ENI (1 percent), these and other investments (including 7.5 percent of the Juventus Football Club) have a significance not as much economically (they amount to some $5.4 billion) as politically.
Libya, after Washington removed it from the blacklist of “rogue states,” has sought to carve out a space at the international level focusing on "diplomacy of sovereign wealth funds." Once the U.S. and the EU lifted the embargo in 2004 and the big oil companies returned to the country, Tripoli was able to maintain a trade surplus of about $30 billion per year which was used largely to make foreign investments. The management of sovereign funds has however created a new mechanism of power and corruption in the hands of ministers and senior officials, which probably in part escaped the control of the Gadhafi himself: This is confirmed by the fact that, in 2009, he proposed that the 30 billion in oil revenues go "directly to the Libyan people." This aggravated the fractures within the Libyan government.
Israel is like a mad dog being driven into a corner because it is losing. The Zionist project has peaked just like the American empire and it is heading down fast; there is no question of it. All the lies that it was getting away with for decades — incredible lies, perpetuating the notion that it was the victim and the Palestinians were the criminal…That day is now over.
All of these lies that they have lived off for decades are now coming tumbling down and the world is seeing the truth and realizing that they have been duped and that in fact the Palestinian people are the most remarkable people because despite having been through hell for decades and having been abandoned by everyone, including their Arab and Muslim brothers and sisters, they have not lost their humanity; they remain one of the most hospitable and beautiful people that you would ever want to meet. And they will not become the monster that is attacking them.
What is Israel going to do? It is impossible to predict, they could do anything. I do know that they have an incentive to try and create a conflict right now because we have the next freedom flotilla coming and they’re scared to death of that, and there are other things happening also, which aren’t good for Israel such as the possibility for real representative democracy in the Arab world.
This is a nightmare for Israel, so like a mad dog driven into a corner, it’s impossible to predict exactly what it’s going to do; but it will fight back in some way. Options might include exacting war on Gaza again or the Samson option of nuclear detonation in Europe or another part of the world. It’s time to deal with this mad dog and deal with it right now.
Israel may be forgiven for failing to realize the current fiscal woes of the United States. After all, U.S. military aid to Israel not only sailed unscathed through last week’s passage of the 2011 budget, but reached the record level of $3 billion.
The United States additionally provided Israel $415 million for procurement, research and development of joint U.S.-Israeli missile defense projects, including $205 million to fund Israel’s newly-deployed Iron Dome system.
This anti-missile battery already has altered significantly the strategic balance in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict when Israel successfully shot down incoming rockets fired from the Gaza Strip earlier this month. With the assured diplomatic backing of the United States to prevent Israel from being held accountable by the international community for its illegal blockade, Iron Dome will embolden Israel to tighten its siege and escalate its attacks on the occupied Gaza Strip by providing its citizens with additional protection against retaliatory fire.
U.S. funding of Iron Dome is but one example of many of how U.S. weapons transfers to Israel privilege Israeli military dominance over Palestinian freedom and create perverse economic disincentives for Israel to defy U.S. policy goals such as halting Israel’s colonization of Palestinian land, ending its collective punishment of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and negotiating in good faith a lasting peace agreement.
Military bases R U.S. Or so it seems. After the invasion of 2003, the Pentagon promptly started constructing a series of monster bases in occupied Iraq, the size of small American towns and with most of the amenities of home. These were for a projected garrison of 30,000 to 40,000 U.S. troops that top officials of the Bush administration initially anticipated would be free to hang out in that country for an armed eternity. In the end, hundreds of bases were built. (And now, hundreds have been closed down or handed over to the Iraqis and in some cases looted). With present U.S. troop strength at about 47,000 (not counting mercenaries) and falling, American officials are now practically pleading with an Iraqi government moving ever closer to the Iranians to let some American forces remain at a few giant bases beyond the official end-of-2011 withdrawal date.
Meanwhile, post-2003, the U.S. went on a base-building (or expanding) spree in the Persian Gulf, digging in and enlarging facilities in Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain, “home” to the U.S. Fifth Fleet. In that island kingdom, an Obama administration preaching “democracy” elsewhere has stood by in the face of a fierce Bahraini-Saudi campaign of repression against a majority Shiite movement for greater freedom.
Not to be outdone by the Pentagon, the State Department decided to build a modern ziggurat in Iraq and so oversaw the construction of the largest “embassy” on Earth in Baghdad, a regional citadel-cum-command post meant to house thousands of “diplomats” and their armed minders. It is now constructing a similar facility in Islamabad, Pakistan, while expanding a third in Kabul, Afghanistan.
In fact, in the years after the invasion of Afghanistan, the Pentagon, as Nick Turse reported for TomDispatch.com, went on a veritable base-building bender in that country, constructing at least 400 of them, ranging from micro-outposts to monster spreads like the Bagram and Kandahar air bases, complete with gyms, PXs, Internet cafes, and fast-food outlets. Now, in the tenth year of a disastrous war, the Obama administration is evidently frantically negotiating to make at least some of these permanently ours after the much-vaunted departure of American “combat” troops in 2014.
Zionists love war and hate peace because they can only get away with their crimes and deception under the umbrella of war.
Caroline Glick, a whore for war and a senior fellow for Middle East Affairs at the Center for Security Policy spoke at a National Security event in Washington recently, condemning the popular uprisings in Egypt and elsewhere in the region.
She calls the rising tensions in Syria "a good news story." She advocates that the U.S. and Israel make war on Syria and "make life difficult" for the regime there as much as possible. At one point in her diatribe she referred to the Iran-Iraq war as "the blessed war" that should have gone on for a hundred years. The craziness and inhumanity of this perspective is clear to everybody except diehard Zionists and their neocon cousins in America who have hijacked U.S. foreign policy according to General Wesley Clark and Col. Wilkerson who served under Colin Powell in the Bush Administration.
Listening to Glick and others of her ilk is listening to madness. Zionists, like their Islamic counterparts, are possessed by the demon of war. They are almost suicidal, they won't compromise with their enemies and they will use nukes if it came to that.
If the insane and inhuman leaders of the U.S. and Israel have their way, the entire Middle East will be up in flames and they will smile as it burns.
Last week Barack Obama announced that he wants to cut $400 billion in military spending and said he would work with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and the Joint Chiefs on a “fundamental review” of U.S. “military missions, capabilities and our role in a changing world” before making a decision.
Spokesman Geoff Morrell responded by hinting that Gates was displeased with having to cut that much from his spending plan. Gates “has been clear that further significant defense cuts cannot be accomplished without future cuts in force structure and military capability,” said Morrell, who volunteered that the Secretary not been informed about the Obama decision until the day before.
But it is difficult to believe that open display of tension between Obama and Gates was not scripted. In the background of those moves is a larger political maneuver on which the two of them have been collaborating since last year in which they gave the Pentagon a huge increase in funding for the next decade and then started to take credit for small or nonexistent reductions from that increase.
The original Obama-Gates base military spending plan – spending excluding the costs of the current wars – for FY 2011 through 2020, called for spending $5.8 trillion, or $580 billion annually, as former Pentagon official Lawrence Korb noted last January. That would have represented a 25 per cent real increase over the average annual level of military spending, excluding war costs, by the George W. Bush administration.
The announcement this week that British, Italian, and French military officers are being sent to “advise” the Libyan resistance expands NATO’s intervention in Libya and adds to the number of U.S., French, and British Special and intelligence forces already on the ground there. As well, the Obama administration’s decision to send military equipment worth $25 million to the resistance deepens U.S. involvement. The “just-protecting-civilians” and “no-boots-on-the-ground” mantras emanating from Washington and NATO capitals are quite simply lies.
This first small tranche of U.S.-NATO ground forces were sent to Libya to pinpoint targets for NATO air attack; size up the composition, attitudes, and talent of the anti-Gaddafi resistance; and find and prepare landing strips and assembly areas for Western troops. The just deployed British, Italian, and French officers will assess the work accomplished to date; provide general-staff-like direction for the resistance’s military operations; and prepare for an influx of U.S.-NATO troops if Washington and its allies lack the manliness to admit the intervention was a mistake, and instead continue what Obama, Cameron, and Sarkozy have implicitly described as a crusade for democracy.
The slow, deliberate advance toward inserting substantial ground forces is hardly a surprise. Air power can win nothing by itself; Obama, Cameron, and Sarkozy were surely told this by their military advisers before the intervention began. It also is clear that the citizenry that supports Gaddafi’s regime — for reasons of loyalty, self-interest, or fear — is as large or larger than that supporting the Libyan resistance. On this point, there is neither media reporting nor U.S. or NATO propaganda reporting any problems — sabotage, ambushes, assassinations, etc. — in the rear of Libyan regime forces as they push east toward Benghazi. If Libya was truly a nation-in-arms against Gaddafi, we surely would be seeing his forces’ rear areas plagued with hit-and-run attacks by resistance fighters.
The unnecessary Libyan intervention, then, is marching toward a disaster for the U.S. and NATO, as well as toward a triumph for the Islamist movement inspired and symbolized by bin Laden. There are absolutely no unintended consequences at play in the deteriorating situation. It is the direct and utterly predictable result of the daft, messianic Wilsonianism of Obama, Clinton, McCain, Graham, Sarkozy, and Cameron, leaders who, by intervening to install democracy, are on the verge of making the Maghreb and Egypt safe for the spread of Islamist militancy.
Something interesting appeared in the daily NYMEX report of its silver warehouse stockpile data: Canada's largest bullion depository (and one of five total) reclassified a whopping 5.2 million ounces of silver from Registered to Eligible status. In order to get a sense of how big this amount is, which amounts to just under $238 million at today's fixing price, it represents just over 25% of the total silver stored at Scotia Mocatta, and about 5% of the total silver held across all depositories. The reason for this substantial shift is given as follows: "due to a reporting reclassification, 5,287,142 t oz was moved from Registered to Eligible." That's a pretty substantial reporting reclassification. Of course it could well be nothing but that, although one would imagine that a fat finger is somewhat unlikely when it comes to such a material amount. On the other hand, as those who follow the NYMEX data know too well, registered silver is actual physical Comex silver. Eligible on the other hand is sometimes called "someone else's silver" as it does not go through assays on exit/selling events. In other words, this is silver that can not be used to make delivery under a futures contract. As a result of this reclass, total registered silver dropped by 13% from 41.0 million ounces to 35.8 million. Assuming one does not have full faith in the simple error story, does this mean that deliverable silver just dropped by 13% overnight (this event occurred yesterday, but was reported as usual with a 24 hour delay)? And if so, is this effective transformation of physical to semi-paper silver indicative of what we may expect from other depositories in the next few days as the delivery notices start coming in?
In comparison, the eligible category of COMEX warehouse bullion stocks generally refers to bullion held in the warehouses that meets the specifications of an acceptable COMEX bar (proper weight, size, purity and refiner) but does not have a COMEX warehouse receipt issued against it. For example, an investor might purchase several 1,000 oz. bars of silver from a dealer and then deliver the bars for allocated storage at a COMEX warehouse. This is a private arrangement and has nothing to do with the COMEX. Unless these bars are officially registered (the easiest way to do this is through the aforementioned exchange-for-physicals), they will remain in the eligible category until withdrawn from the warehouse by the investor. Thus, the appropriate way to treat eligible COMEX warehouse bullion stocks is that they represent metal that could potentially be registered at some point in the future but cannot presently be used to make delivery under a short futures contract.
While the dichotomy of Western politics is merely for public consumption, what each camp states publicly can be put together as a composite giving us a clearer picture of the overall globalist agenda. Neo-Conservative war monger Daniel Pipes, a PNAC signatory, CFR member, and co-conspirator in many of the darkest chapters of recent American history, was recently sharing his "doubts" over the final result of the "Arab Spring." He believes that ultimately extremists will prevail in many cases and only complicate US relations with certain countries.
Of course, Pipes most likely didn't miss the memo and is fully aware that the "Arab Spring" is a US funded gambit, one his fellow "Neo-Cons" lining the National Endowment for Democracy and the fraudulent Freedom House are admittedly involved in. At the very least, he must have picked up the New York Times and read as much. So what exactly is Pipes trying to tell us? He is saying that as soon as the Libyan rebels secure Libya, or the Muslim Brotherhood takes hold of Syria, or Yemen, or wins out in a co-opted counterrevolution against International Crisis Group stooge Mohamed ElBaradei in Egypt, the blinders Western propagandists seems to be wearing will suddenly drop and point out that indeed the globalists have installed extremists "by accident."
To understand the full scope of the global corporate-financier oligarchy's designs toward any given nation, we must simply look back at the brazen admissions made over the intended future stemming from the outright military conquest of Iraq and Paul Bremer's (CFR) planned economic reformation of the broken nation. The Economist enumerates the "economic liberalization" of Iraq in a piece titled "Let's all go to the yard sale: If it all works out, Iraq will be a capitalist's dream:"
1. 100% ownership of Iraqi assets. 2. Full repatriation of profits. 3. Equal legal standing with local firms. 4. Foreign banks allowed to operate or buy into local banks. 5. Income and corporate taxes capped at 15%. 6. Universal tariffs slashed to 5%.
Before the successful ouster of Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak, Tahrir Square was filled with chants and handcrafted picket signs pleading with the U.S. to stop funding Mubarak’s repressive government. Rubber bullets, shotgun shells, and teargas canisters were collected by the largely peaceful protestors – and given to news agencies to show to the world – with the names of American military contractors branded on them. The Mubarak regime received approximately $60 billion in U.S. aid throughout his tenure.
Uprisings in Yemen and calls for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down have been intensifying. Reports in late March of non-violent protestors being shot with live rounds, killing and wounding hundreds, put in question the Obama administration’s escalation of support to Yemen. A June 2010 Amnesty International report published “images of a US-manufactured cruise missile that carried cluster munitions” aimed at “an alleged al-Qaida training camp in Yemen that killed 41 local residents, including 14 women and 21 children.” The bombings were later corroborated to have been launched on presidential orders and in conjunction with the Yemeni government, which has received over $300 million from the U.S. in the past five years.
In Bahrain in late February, when security forces opened fire on peaceful demonstrators and began to enforce martial law, similar revelations of U.S. backing came to the fore. The tens of millions of dollars sent to the Bahraini government each year in part help King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa maintain domestic stability – as well as compensate for his country hosting the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, one of the largest military forces in the region.
The recent onset of anti-government demonstrations across the Middle East has placed an integral pillar of U.S. foreign policy into flux. America’s consistent, decades-long policy of lavish support for Middle Eastern autocrats is becoming prominent enough in the national debate to shake it from its seemingly unshakable roots.
Long ago, when governments slaughtered the enemy merely for being different and thus subhuman or for occupying desired territory, such crude rationales satisfied the states’ agents and subjects. The modern democratic state, however, employs more sophisticated propaganda when it burns, gasses, shoots, and bombs people including civilians. There is always the excuse of security: the targeted people pose a threat. When this argument seems tenuous, it is well complemented by that most insidious of pretenses: The killing is done for the good of others. It is an act of kindness. The American empire, like the Roman and British before it, inflicts violence to civilize and rescue those in need.
Along these lines even the unparalleled mass death of World War II has been vindicated. Since then most U.S. killing sprees have been directed against Hitler’s ghost. Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevic were both compared to the Nazi ruler. So were David Koresh and Muammar Gaddafi.
The American belief in benevolent mass murder is not a partisan disposition. Most liberals and conservatives alike take it for granted that, while the federal government’s armed agents sometimes act recklessly or carry out mistaken orders, their acts should never be seen as murder. The assumption is nearly universal that Obama, Bush and Clinton, whatever their partisan opponents might think, are not mass murderers in the mold of Gaddafi, or cult leaders along the lines of Koresh, when in fact our presidents are far worse than either of these men in terms of cultish power as well as sheer body count. All three of these chief executives, and many before them, have commanded the loyalty of far more subordinates willing to die on their orders than Koresh ever could, and have extinguished more innocent lives than Gaddafi ever did.
Waco and Libya are only the first and latest examples of U.S. humanitarian atrocities in the post-Cold War era. In both situations, we see the U.S. government leaving behind rubble and death, and the chattering classes agreeing that Washington has the innocents’ best interests at heart, even as it imposes sanctions on civilians or cuts them off from water, disregarding the very humanity of the victims of Uncle Sam’s explosions. When D.C. kills it is never seen as when others, whether private American citizens or foreign despots, do it.
The minutes of a series of meetings between ministers and senior oil executives are at odds with the public denials of self-interest from oil companies and Western governments at the time.
Over 1,000 documents were obtained under Freedom of Information over five years by the oil campaigner Greg Muttitt. They reveal that at least five meetings were held between civil servants, ministers and BP and Shell in late 2002.
The 20-year contracts signed in the wake of the invasion were the largest in the history of the oil industry. They covered half of Iraq's reserves – 60 billion barrels of oil, bought up by companies such as BP and CNPC (China National Petroleum Company), whose joint consortium alone stands to make £403m ($658m) profit per year from the Rumaila field in southern Iraq.
Last week, Iraq raised its oil output to the highest level for almost decade, 2.7 million barrels a day – seen as especially important at the moment given the regional volatility and loss of Libyan output. Many opponents of the war suspected that one of Washington's main ambitions in invading Iraq was to secure a cheap and plentiful source of oil.
Mr Muttitt, whose book Fuel on Fire is published next week, said: "Before the war, the Government went to great lengths to insist it had no interest in Iraq's oil. These documents provide the evidence that give the lie to those claims.
Give me a break. 9.0 earthquake, tsunami, hydrogen explosions and a nuclear meltdown won't take these reactor buildings down. Not even the metal grid in the ceiling structure.
Yet on 9/11 the world's tallest skyscrapers, massively over-engineered to withstand hurricanes and dual jet plane impacts, were pulverized in seconds, distributing miniscule bone fragments city blocks away and leaving pools of molten steel for weeks, in a surreal pyroclastic mega-meltdown that plays over and over in the world's consciousness.
I mean, c'mon.
But hey, can't pay enough for good theatre to get the job done. Sure works in Hollywood. Why not use it? Hitler did, as did many others..especially America.
And these and other bastards rammed that fairy tale down Americans' throats and now threaten anyone who challenges their absolutely absurd "explanation".
We're ruled by monsters. But not for long.
And building 7 falling into its footprint at free-fall speed again later on that same day with just a couple of small office fires from debris was so hard to explain they just ignore it and pretend it didn't happen.
The Securities and Exchange Commission Friday charged Goldman Sachs & Co. and one of its executives with fraud in a risky offshore deal backed by subprime mortgages that cost investors more than $1 billion.
The SEC also contends that Goldman allowed a client, Wall Street hedge fund Paulson & Co., to help select the securities to be sold. Paulson in turn bought insurance against the deal and when the securities tanked, losing almost all their value, Paulson made a $1 billion profit.
The civil fraud charges were the first to be filed against Goldman, the prestigious Wall Street investment-banking titan that’s at the center of multiple inquiries into the causes of the global financial meltdown.
Paulson has acknowledged that it reaped a $3.7 billion profit by betting against the housing market as it nose-dived in 2006 and 2007.
The securities cited by the SEC were part of a series of offshore sales known as ABACUS.
The Goldman executive, vice president Fabrice Tourre, 31, was principally responsible for structuring the ABACUS deal known as 2007-AC1, a so-called synthetic package in which investors didn’t buy any actual securities. Instead, they bet on the performance of a specified bundle of home loans to marginally qualified borrowers.
1. For politicians, especially at the federal level: As soon as you say the word “Israel,” you must also say the word “security” and promise that the United States will always, always, always be committed to Israel’s security. If you occasionally label an action by the Israeli government “unhelpful,” you must immediately reaffirm the eternal U.S. commitment to Israel’s security.
2. For TV talking heads and op-ed pundits: If you criticize any policies or actions of the Israeli government, you must immediately add that Israel does, of course, have very real and serious security needs that have to be addressed.
3. For journalists covering the Israel-Palestine conflict for major American news outlets: You must live in Jewish Jerusalem or in Tel Aviv and take only occasional day trips into the Occupied Territories. So your reporting must inevitably be slanted toward the perspective of the Jews you live among. And you must indicate in every report that Jewish Israeli life is dominated by anxiety about security.
Myth Number 1: Israel’s existence is threatened by the ever-present possibility of military attack. In fact, there’s no chance that any of Israel’s neighbors will start a war to wipe out Israel. They know their history. Despite its size, ever since its war of independence in 1948, the Israeli military has been a better equipped, better trained, more effective, and in virtually every case a successful fighting force. It clearly remains the strongest military power in the Middle East.
Myth Number 2: The personal safety of every Jewish Israeli is threatened daily by the possibility of violent attack. In fact, according to Israeli government statistics, since the beginning of 2009 only one Israeli civilian (and two non-Israelis) have been killed by politically motivated attacks inside the green line (Israel’s pre-1967 border). Israelis who live inside that line go about their daily lives virtually free from such worry.
Myth Number 3: Israel’s existence is threatened by worldwide efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state. Early in 2010, Military Intelligence Chief Amos Yadlin told the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, that the country was not “suffering from terror or from an immediate military threat” — only to warn of a new peril: “The Palestinian Authority is encouraging the international arena to challenge Israel’s legitimacy."
The Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger, told congregants in a Sabbath sermon that if U.S. President Barack Obama seeks reelection, he must release Jonathan Pollard, Israel Radio reported on Sunday.
In the sermon delivered at Yeshurun Synagogue in Jerusalem on Saturday, Metzger told said there was a feeling that many American Jews that had supported Obama in the last election were disappointed in him, in no small part because of Obama's indifference to Pollard.
"If Obama wishes to dictate Israeli policy, he must show that he has mutual interests with Israel," Israel Radio quoted Metzger as saying. The rabbi reportedly added that these "mutual interests" should be shown through releasing Pollard.
Pollard's release has long been a bone of contention between Isael and its chief ally. In January, the Prime Minister's Office sent a letter to Obama requesting the convicted spy's release on humanitarian grounds. This marked the first formal request by Israel for the release of Pollard.
Press TV: With regards to the expansionist agenda of the West, when the UN mandate on Libya was debated in the UN Security Council, Russia did not veto it. Surely Russia must see this expansionist policy of the US, France and Britain.
Roberts: Yes they must see that; and the same for China. It's a much greater threat to China because it has 50 major investment projects in eastern Libya. So the question is why did Russia and China abstain rather than veto and block? We don't know the answer.
Possibly the countries are thinking let the Americans get further over extended or they may not have wanted to confront them with a military or diplomatic position and have an onslaught of Western propaganda against them. We don't know the reasons, but we know they did abstain because they did not agree with the policy and they continue to criticize it.
Press TV: Who will benefit from all of this other than the US? The other countries that comply with US wishes- What do they stand to gain from this?
Roberts: We are only talking about NATO countries, the American puppet states. Britain, France, Italy, Germany, all belong to the American empire. We've had troops stationed in Germany since 1945. You're talking about 66 years of American occupation of Germany. The Americans have military bases in Italy - how is that an independent country? France was somewhat independent until we put Sarkozy in power. So they all do what they're told.
America wants to rule Russia, China, Iran, and Africa, all of South America. They want hegemony over the world. That's what the word hegemony means. And they will pursue it at all costs.
A shadowy group with ties to U.S. defense and intelligence agencies is seeking thousands of Americans to participate in a multiyear study at taxpayers’ expense that will be tasked with trying to predict the future.
Sponsored by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), a division of the office of the director of national intelligence, the Forecasting World Events Project plans to assemble five competing panels whose members will make predictions about future events and global trends. According to the project’s website, their objective is to investigate the accuracy of individual and group predictions that could lead to fundamental advances in the science of forecasting.
This is the latest in a series of off-the-wall experiments IARPA has launched since its creation in 2007. The cost to taxpayers remains unknown at this time, as the program is classified. But it is not hard to speculate that it will cost the United States tens of millions of dollars, at least, before it is shut down. IARPA is the intelligence community’s version of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a Pentagon undertaking responsible for introducing an Orwellian domestic spying program known as Total Information Awareness (TIA). This program was a massive data mining operation that utilizes ultra large scale computers to track the movements of millions of American citizens in an attempt to identify patterns consistent with alleged terrorist activity.
In 2003, DARPA proposed its own forecasting project called the Policy Analysis Market for Terrorism. The plan was to establish an online trading venue whereby investors could speculate on future political and economic turmoil in the Middle East—such as coups, assassinations and terrorist attacks.
It looks as though eastern Libya will slide into the Mediterranean under the sheer weight of western journalists assembled in Benghazi and Misrata. A tsunami of breathless reports suggests that Misrata is enduring travails not far short of the siege of Leningrad in World War 2. The reports have been seized on by Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy to raise the ante on Mission Odyssey Dawn. In their joint newspaper column published both sides of the Atlantic they now say that to leave Gaddafi in power would be an "unconscionable betrayal" and speak of Misrata as enduring “a medieval siege.” Not yet, surely. A medieval siege was something that usually lasted at least a year, in which the city’s inhabitants were reduced to eating rats, then each other, and the besiegers all succumbed to plague.
Maybe it will turn out that way, with reporters eying each other from a gastronomic perspective and wiring Ferran Adria, seeking recipes for preparing Haunch of Hack sous vide. "So long as Gaddafi is in power, Nato and its coalition partners must maintain their operations so that civilians remain protected and the pressure on the regime builds," write the three leaders. This is not Mission Creep but, once again, Mission Leap, way beyond the UN mandate.
On closer inspection, the reports suggest something less than a medieval siege or Leningrad. Reuter’s man in Misrata could only come up with this: “A local doctor told Al Jazeera at least eight people died and seven others were wounded in the second day of intense bombardment of Misrata, a lone rebel bastion in western Libya.” The UK Independent’s Kim Sengupta did better: “The attacks started early in the morning as the residents of this besieged and battered city were starting their hours of queuing for bread…. Even by the grim standards of Misrata, the most violent battleground of this savage civil war, what happened yesterday was a cause of deep shock….At least 16 people died, and 29 were injured, almost all of them civilians – including a mother and her two young daughters.”
It’s always a cause for dismay that any civilians die in such conflicts but again, 16 fatalities fall well short of medieval catastrophe. Sengupta noted that NATO is simultaneously bombing Tripoli, though no journalists seemed to be available to report what sort of damage or casualties had been inflicted. Meanwhile the hated leader appeared to have no qualms in touring the city in an open jeep.
One of the real scandals of immigration policy since the Great Recession is that we continue to issue over a million “green cards”—which give work authorization—a year. Despite 15 million Americans being out of work and millions more under-employed, politicians in Washington refuse to even discuss this fact.
The Department of Homeland security just released its figures for Fiscal Year 2010. (Fiscal Years begin in October of the previous year and continue for the next 12 months). See summary here (pdf.) and download detailed tables here (Excel). The good news: the numbers are down, slightly. The bad news: they are still incredibly high.
In 2009, the U.S. issued 1,130,818 million green cards. In 2010 the U.S. issued 1,042,625 million green cards. Contrary to some immigration enthusiast propaganda, a high proportion of these are prime working age (and, of course, others soon will be): In 2009, 808,478 green cards were issued to immigrants aged 20-65. In 2010, we issued 746,607.
It is important to note that these legal immigrant numbers do not include temporary workers—the Department of Homeland Security has not issued those statistics yet. These green card holders are given immediate work authorizations to compete against Americans in every job. Additionally, unless they commit multiple felonies—and assuming our left wing immigration courts do not make exceptions, which they often do—they are here for good and on the path to citizenship.
“We threatened to shut down Washington over nothing, because we’re not cutting spending in any serious way…” that was just one part of Senator Rand Paul’s fiery floor speech blasting both sides of the isle for failing to make a sober effort to operate from a balanced budget.
Paul lashed out at those who’ve bashed the Tea Party over spending issues, claiming that its aims are only ‘good government.’ “You know it’s amazing to me to be lectured to, and hear about how awful the Tea Party is, what the Tea Party represents, from folks who’ve never been to a Tea Party. You know, come on down to a Tea Party, bring your Huey Long rhetoric- a chicken in every pot, a windmill in every… backyard. Bring it on down to the Tea Party; let’s have a discussion. Let’s bring it to the American public. The Tea Party’s been lectured about spending; who among you has voted against an appropriations bill? We haven’t even seen an appropriations bill in this body in over a year; we haven’t seen a budget. We’re spending $2 trillion dollars a year we don’t have, and they’re hear blaming it on the Tea Party. Who’s in charge here? It’s not the Tea Party…”
The Junior Senator also commented that the Pentagon ‘thinks they’re too big to audit,’ referencing the bailout rhetoric about banks ‘too big to fail.’ Federal Reserve records showed, Paul indicated, that the U.S. had been funding Gaddafi only months before it started bombing Libya.
Rand Paul spoke on the Senate floor Thursday to challenge his colleagues to get serious about cutting spending and tackling the debt crisis. He also urged them to trust in the American people’s creativity and innovation instead of government power.
The little-predicted revolutions in Arab countries which shook the political world to its core have coincided with natural disasters that took their toll on the physical world with equal strength. But, there is an unlikely common denominator between the geographies where the two separate events occurred. The latest UN report on International Corruption ranked at one end of the equilibrium the countries of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Yemen as being the most corrupt, while at the other end New Zealand and Japan where considered to have the cleanest record of national corruption; yet, the two extremely opposed governments were not immune to the unforeseen large-scale challenges that hit them. If natural disasters are difficult to pin down regardless of sophisticated scientific reasoning, the masses are proven to be a force equally unpredictable despite the millions of pages compiled by political think-tanks and strategy experts.
Popular uprisings are like the forces of nature, you can't stop them. Indeed, neither can you predict them. No one could believe that Bouazizi burning himself in protest against the confiscation of his vegetable stall would instigate a mass uprising that would end 23 years of U.S. backed dictatorship in Tunisia. Neither the forty-day Israeli bombardment of Gaza, the war on Lebanon with all their atrocities, nor the U.S. invasion of Iraq, could signal mass protests the scale of which anywhere near what is afoot today. It is indeed a cause of perplexity to any inquiring mind. The masses carrying such formidable waves of change found no better slogan than the one that says 'if the people want to live, destiny must surely respond' In the midst of bewilderment, this stanza from a poem by the late Tunisian poet Abu al-Qasim al-Shabbi, became immediately the most fitting chant to the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions. But, if the common meaning of 'destiny' implies a power which tak es its own course irrespective of human will, the logic of mass uprisings have proven that when destiny responds to human will, it becomes identical with it; they together become an unstoppable force.
A new political status quo has been effected and the U.S. and EU states are struggling to 'live with it', and by living with it they mean to attune to the new scale of power and restore the 'critical balance' that maintains their political and strategic doctrines. But, by doing so they don't seem to have understood the meaning of the new revolutions. The message of these revolutions is a call to see the world as it is, which might not parallel the dreamy western conception of it. By maintaining their political ideologies, the west fails to get the essential implication of the Arab revolutions. And just as the Japanese government and people are trying to co-exist with the natural course of the physical world, the west must know to live in harmony with the natural course of the political world, where the human will to be genuinely free will always prevail over preconceived political doctrines of domination and control.
Ever wonder why the US military can’t win wars? Why a few ragtag guerillas could send it running out of Somalia (Black Hawk Down)? Why one guy with a truck bomb could chase the Marines out of Lebanon? Why the attempt to rescue the hostages in Iran was such a disaster? Why the world’s most expensive military can’t win its unending wars against peasants with rifles? How is this possible?
Different jobs attract different personalities. The Mike Tysons of the world do not go into ballet, nor do the Mother Teresas become tank commanders. The career military attracts people who run from the merely abnormal to the frankly weird. For example, they place extreme value on ritual and ceremony, on ribbons and medals and colored things more appropriate to a Christmas tree than to a human being. They are authoritarian by nature, comfortable in a rigid, hierarchical, and conformist society that most of us would find equally unbearable and absurd. Suppose your boss told everyone in the office that they had to wear exactly the same clothes and stand at attention in the morning to that he could determine whether they had dressed themselves correctly. Militaries start with odd material.
Then they inculcate in themselves an exaggerated sense of their own powers, a sort of Terminator complex. This is done calculatedly in basic training when men are in impressionable late or, in the case of officers, extended adolescence. They absorb the notion of invincibility and it persists into adulthood.
The relentless affirmation of their lethality leads to underestimation of the enemy. Before you stick your hand into a hornets’ nest, it is well to examine the hornets. We don’t. The Taliban are primitive mountain-crawlers with AKs. “No problem, sir! We can take them. We’re the best equipped etc.” In an ancient war of classical antiquity, the Vietnamese were held in contempt as rice-propelled paddy maggots. No problem, sir. We’ve got fighter planes and tanks and endless zip-wowees. Everything but understanding and curiosity.
The United States has long been on the receiving end of Israeli misbehavior. Israel invades Lebanon or Gaza, the US vetoes UN Security Council resolutions condemning civilian deaths and destruction of infrastructure, and Washington winds up taking the blame for condoning Tel Aviv’s recklessness. Repeat that twenty times and it is no surprise that most of the world regards the United States as the enabler of Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians. Osama bin Laden has repeatedly cited American support of Israeli repression as one of his reasons for attacking the United States. Opinion polls taken in Muslim countries, where footage of Israeli mistreatment of Palestinians is nightly fare on television, demonstrate sharp declines in the numbers of those who regard the US favorably. And the repeated application of the get out of jail free card to Israel has produced an insufferable arrogance in Israeli leaders like Benjamin Netanyahu, confident that the American dog will let itself be wagged by the Israeli tail whenever necessary. It invites more of the same, whether it is building more settlements, killing civilians in Gaza, or intercepting humanitarian missions on the high seas.
Not being held accountable ever has led to recklessness on the part of the Israelis and has further diminished America’s international reputation as it is increasingly seen as complicit in various outrages and even war crimes. In the Cast Lead invasion of Gaza in December 2008 Israel was able to unleash an enormous and sophisticated US-provided military arsenal against a largely helpless civilian population within which a small number of genuine Hamas militants concealed themselves. It was probably Israel’s most audacious defiance of international norms of behavior and the fact that it has escaped consequence-free suggests that history will soon repeat itself in the form of another assault on Hamas which will undoubtedly bring in its wake a large number of civilian casualties and further destruction of schools, hospitals, homes, and businesses.
This time Judge Richard Goldstone, who was commissioned by the United Nations to head a group of four jurists asked to write a report on Cast Lead, has to be seen as an enabler of any possible future conflict. Let us assume for a moment that Goldstone, who was under tremendous pressure from international Jewry, was actually sincere in his recent recantation regarding Israeli war crimes in Gaza. His first report for the United Nations asserted that Israel and Hamas had both been guilty of war crimes, but that the devastation produced by Israel far exceeded anything accomplished by Hamas. Israeli crimes included destroying clearly identified schools, hospitals, and United Nations food warehouses. White phosphorous artillery shells were used against civilian targets, generally regarded as completely unacceptable by most of the world’s militaries. It was collective punishment time with Israel’s Deputy Defense Minister declaring "The Palestinians are going to bring upon themselves a Holocaust."
Libya not only has oil. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), its central bank has nearly 144 tonnes of gold in its vaults. With that sort of asset base, who needs the BIS, the IMF and their rules?
All of which prompts a closer look at the BIS rules and their effect on local economies. An article on the BIS website states that central banks in the Central Bank Governance Network are supposed to have as their single or primary objective "to preserve price stability".
They are to be kept independent from government to make sure that political considerations don't interfere with this mandate. "Price stability" means maintaining a stable money supply, even if that means burdening the people with heavy foreign debts. Central banks are discouraged from increasing the money supply by printing money and using it for the benefit of the state, either directly or as loans.
So is this new war all about oil or all about banking? Maybe both - and water as well. With energy, water, and ample credit to develop the infrastructure to access them, a nation can be free of the grip of foreign creditors. And that may be the real threat of Libya: it could show the world what is possible.
The answer is in what happened behind closed doors at the Security Council in New York in the weeks and months following the 1967 war. But complete understanding requires knowledge of the fact that it was a war of Israeli aggression and not, as Zionism’s spin doctors continue to assert, self-defense.
More than four decades on, most people everywhere still believe that Israel went to war either because the Arabs attacked (that was Israel’s first claim), or because the Arabs were intending to attack (thus requiring Israel to launch a pre-emptive strike). The truth about that war only begins with the statement that the Arabs did not attack and were not intending to attack. The complete truth, documented in detail in Volume Three of the American edition of my book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews (www.claritypress.com), includes the following facts.
In summary it can be said that although Security Council Resolution 242 of 23 November 1967 did pay lip-service to “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war”, it effectively put Zionism in the diplomatic driving seat. By giving Israel the scope to attach conditions to its withdrawal, Resolution 242 effectively gave Israel’s leaders and the Zionist lobby in America a veto over any peace process.
In my view there is not a snowball’s chance in hell of a real peace process unless the double-standard is abandoned. Unless, in other words, the governments of the major powers, led by America, say something like the following to Israel: “Enough is enough. It is now in all of our interests that you end your defiance of international law. If you don’t we will be obliged to brand you as a rogue state and subject you to boycott, divestment and sanctions.”
"The United States has increased its military spending by 81 percent since 2001," Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reported.
Other reports say the US -- with its costly military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq -- has increased spending by nearly 3 percent.
"At 4.8 percent of gross domestic product, US military spending in 2010 represents the largest economic burden outside the Middle East," said SIPRI Military Expenditure Project chief Sam Perlo-Freeman.
Last year, the Unites States increased spending by 2.8 percent to USD 698 billion - about six times as much as China, the second-biggest spender ahead of Britain, France and Russia. In 2009, US spending grew 7.7 percent compared to a year earlier.
The US has reportedly spent over USD 1 trillion in taxpayer money on its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.
Polls show that American voters support cuts in military spending
Soros contends that with a growing economy the United States could "tolerate a higher level of debt." He recognized China as a major new powerhouse on the world economic scene and observed that despite risks of inflation, the Asian giant has emerged as the "big winner" in the current financial crisis. No longer isolated, China has become the "main beneficiary" of the globalization of national and regional economies, Soros commented.
The billionaire investor also indicated that he believes last Thursday's hike in interest rates by the European Central Bank came at a "quite inappropriate" time and called China's reluctance to allow currency appreciation a mistake:
There is a real danger of wage price inflation because prices have gone up and particularly real estate prices have gone up. So, the Chinese government I think made a mistake not allowing its currency to appreciate, which would have controlled the price inflation.
Instead, authorities now face 20-percent to 30-percent wage increases, which seem to be falling out of their control, Soros added. Moreover, he sees a shadow banking system that is "growing out of control" in China because of the strong demand for money while banks are refusing to lend.
In spite of our heady opinion of human invention our existence is still dependent on air, water, and earthly sustenance. The production of the conveniences of the industrial revolution depends on raw materials extracted from the earth. The majority of the population of the free world lives on the product of other people’s labor; they live in homes built by others and sit on furniture built by others; they drive cars built by others on highways built by others. Their food is produced, processed and packaged by others. They live in houses built with processed materials and eat processed foods. They view processed news and are entertained by processed stories and pictures. Their existence bears no more resemblance to the earth’s sole sustaining power than their job to the product their employer produces.
Artificial money, the product of labor, is used to purchase processed food. If they are not employed and are not able to earn money they are unable to buy food and their existence becomes similar to those stricken with famine. In our artificial society, control of the money is tantamount to control of the food supply and the food supply is the arbiter of life and death. Empty wallets and bare grocery shelves make the modern citizen worse off than the erstwhile Southern slave. The slave could find a bit of nourishment in the field but the artificial existence of the modern city dweller is more precarious.
As the meager wealth and savings of American citizens flow upward into the hands of the wealthy elite, power flows along with it. Trillions of dollars are being moved from the many to the few. Those who are receiving the wealth are already wealthy. They have plenty of money; what they seek is power over a larger and larger segment of a poorer and poorer world.
This process may force many of us back to the earth.
Something more serious holds back Southern nationalism: Its support is limited almost entirely to people who profess a certain kind of politics, whereas national movements must be beyond politics. An independent South would need the support of people who may not be conservative, who may not be suspicious of big government, who may not be Christian, who may not oppose marriage for homosexuals, but who are still devoted to the South. The roots of a Southern nation would have to spread widely and not just sink deep.
Looking back 150 years, I am struck by how remote an irritant the federal government then was. About the only brush with Washington most Americans ever had was buying stamps at the post office. The feds never dreamed of telling you whom you had to hire, what you could put in your food, or how many days off you had to give the help. No American had to account to Washington for every penny he earned, and then hand over a big part of it. Not even Louis XIV or Ivan the Terrible exercised that kind of tyranny. The people of Illinois and Wisconsin would have voted articles of secession before South Carolina did if they had lived in the grip of today’s central government.
And yet, the irony is that today’s pestilential bureaucracy has nothing like the resolve with which Lincoln’s government fought the war. A country that chants mantras about diversity and tolerance has no idea what it even is. It has no identity to impose on people who know who they are, know what they want, and are prepared to fight for it.
The real tragedy is that Southern nationalism crested 150 years too soon. I am convinced that if, today, the people of the South—or of any state—were as determined to secede as my ancestors were in 1860 and 1861, the federal government would not now slaughter them to keep their corpses in the Union.
Independence is there for any group of Americans that is united in its determination to take it.
A secret nuclear weapons program is a ghost in the machine, detectable only when the system of information control momentarily lapses or breaks down. A close look must be taken at the gap between the official account and unexpected events.
TEPCO, Japan’s nuclear power operator, initially reported three reactors were operating at the time of the March 11 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Then a hydrogen explosion ripped Unit 3, run on plutonium-uranium mixed oxide (or MOX). Unit 6 immediately disappeared from the list of operational reactors, as highly lethal particles of plutonium billowed out of Unit 3. Plutonium is the stuff of smaller, more easily delivered warheads.
A fire ignited inside the damaged housing of the Unit 4 reactor, reportedly due to overheating of spent uranium fuel rods in a dry cooling pool. But the size of the fire indicates that this reactor was running hot for some purpose other than electricity generation. Its omission from the list of electricity-generating operations raises the question of whether Unit 4 was being used to enrich uranium, the first step of the process leading to extraction of weapons-grade fissionable material.
The bloom of irradiated seawater across the Pacific comprises another piece of the puzzle, because its underground source is untraceable (or, perhaps, unmentionable). The flooded labyrinth of pipes, where the bodies of two missing nuclear workers—never before disclosed to the press— were found, could well contain the answer to the mystery: a lab that none dare name.
The psychopath/parasite cannot survive without non-psychopathic humans to prey upon. It needs the support of other humans, as do we all, but is incapable of functioning as a cooperative member of the population. Nor can it survive on its own or within a group comprised only of psychopaths. Although often highly intelligent, they frequently lack any real abilities or skills, but rely instead on deceit, malicious cunning, and ruthless self-interest enhanced by a complete absence of conscience or remorse.
What’s nice about this explanation is that it not only explains why psychopaths exist, but also why we’re not all psychopaths. If there are few enough psychopaths in the population, then being a psychopath makes sense because you’ll mostly have winning confrontations with nice people. But if there are too many psychopaths, then the gains from taking advantage of nice people will be swamped by the losses from confronting other psychopaths. In equilibrium, you’ll get both psychos and nice folks, with each strategy generating approximately equal returns, and with the precise balance determined by the relative payoffs of different interactions.
The most ironic aspect of this condition is that these life-draining parasites, riding on the body of humanity like great, bloated ticks, are the first to scream bloody murder should anyone among the host population require aid in a time of distress. They express indignation and outrage at any action, program or institution that can be seen as benefitting the general welfare. Such people, they insist, are freeloaders and moochers and such programs a drain on society. The hypocrisy is breathtaking. Part of the skill-set I suppose.
I fear we are now approaching that point where the parasite is perilously close to overwhelming the host. I only say approaching, since I think it will take a little time yet to cross that Rubicon. I have no doubt we will if things continue on their present course. That could mean destruction for all, including the parasite.