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Year’s end prediction columns are always problematic: my last one wasn’t all that accurate, as it turned out. I was dead wrong on the Big One — war with Iran, to which I assigned a 65 percent probability. This year, however, it looks as if the issue — like a huge, festering boil — is coming to a head. Others seem to agree.
One reason I’ve been pushing the nomination of Chuck Hagel to head up the Pentagon is that this trial balloon is clearly a signal of President Obama’s reluctance to start yet another war in the Middle East — one that could easily morph into a regional conflict, or even a world war. The economic consequences of bombing Iran would be a deterrent to any President, especially one trying to dig us out of the economic hole his domestic policies have exacerbated.
Related to this is the ongoing civil war in Syria, which is in reality a proxy war between America’s allies in the Gulf and Tehran. Here it looks like Bashar al-Assad’s days are numbered, and it’s only a matter of time — and not much time, at that — before the Ba’athist regime falls. The likely result: the Lebanon-ization of the country, which means the de facto break-up of the Syrian state, with the country’s many ethnic and religious factions each establishing their own enclaves. Which means: continued fighting, and the increased possibility of increased Iranian intervention on behalf of their beleaguered allies. This will set up a tripwire for open conflict between Iran and the West.
What’s interesting about this is how the “international community” will respond. My prediction: some kind of international force, under UN auspices, will “police” the remnants of the old Syria, possibly including Turkish, Jordanian, and Qatari forces (no Americans, however).
The big change, I believe, will come about in regard to Israel: everyone can see the Israelis are moving rapidly in the direction of an ugly ultra-nationalism, and the Israeli government that comes out of the elections at the end of January will no doubt be the most right-wing to date.
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Federal Reserve Christmas Message
Egypt’s New Pharaoh
When Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned to Iran after 14 years in exile on
Feb. 1, 1979, he set out to destroy the secular opposition forces, including the
Communist Party of Iran, which had been instrumental in bringing down the shah.
Khomeini’s declaration of an Islamic government, supported by referendum, saw
him rewrite the constitution, close opposition newspapers and ban opposition
groups including the National Democratic Front and the Muslim People’s
Republican Party. Dissidents who had spent years inside Iran’s notoriously
brutal prison system under the shah were incarcerated once again by the new
regime. Some returned to their cells to be greeted by their old jailers, who had
offered their services to the new regime.
This is what is under way in Egypt. It is the story of most revolutions. The
moderates, who are crucial to winning the support of the masses and many outside
the country, become an impediment to the consolidation of autocratic power.
Liberal democrats, intellectuals, the middle class, secularists and religious
minorities including Coptic Christians were always seen by President Mohamed
Morsi and his Freedom and Justice Party—Egypt’s de facto political wing of the
Muslim Brotherhood—as “useful idiots.” These
forces were essential to building a broad movement to topple the dictatorship of
Hosni Mubarak. They permitted Western journalists to paint the opposition in
their own image. But now they are a hindrance to single-party rule and are being
The first of two days of voting on a new constitution was held Saturday.
According to reports Sunday, the document is being approved. The second round of
voting, next Saturday, includes rural districts that provide much of the
Brotherhood’s base of support, and it is expected to end in the constitution
being ratified by the required 50 percent or more of Egypt’s 51 million voters.
Opposition forces charge that the first round was marred by polling
irregularities including bribery, intimidation, erratic polling hours and
polling officials who instructed voters how to cast ballots. A large number of
the 13,000 polling stations will have had no independent monitors; many judges,
in protest over the drafting process, have refused to oversee the voting.
The referendum masks the real center of power, which is in the hands of the
Muslim Brotherhood. The party has no intention of diluting or giving up that
power. For example, when it appeared that the Supreme Constitutional Court would
dissolve the panel—stacked with party members—that was drafting the new
constitution, the Brotherhood locked the judges out of the court building. Three
dozen members of the panel, including secularists, Coptic Christians, liberals
and journalists, quit in protest. The remaining Islamists, in defiance of the
judges, held an all-night session Nov. 29 and officially approved the 63-page
The draft constitution is filled with disturbingly vague language about
democratic rights, civil liberties, the duties of women and the role of the
press. It gives Islamic religious authorities control over the legislative
process and many aspects of daily and personal life. One reason the constitution
is expected to pass, apart from voting fraud, is because many liberals,
secularists and Copts have walked away in disgust from electoral participation.
Panel Discussion at the 9/11 Revisited Conference in Malaysia
The Fiscal Cliff Is A Diversion: The Derivatives Tsunami and the Dollar Bubble
The “fiscal cliff” is another hoax designed to shift the attention of policymakers, the media, and the attentive public, if any, from huge problems to small ones.
The fiscal cliff is automatic spending cuts and tax increases in order to reduce the deficit by an insignificant amount over ten years if Congress takes no action itself to cut spending and to raise taxes. In other words, the “fiscal cliff” is going to happen either way.
The problem from the standpoint of conventional economics with the fiscal cliff is that it amounts to a double-barrel dose of austerity delivered to a faltering and recessionary economy. Ever since John Maynard Keynes, most economists have understood that austerity is not the answer to recession or depression.
Regardless, the fiscal cliff is about small numbers compared to the Derivatives Tsunami or to bond market and dollar market bubbles.
The fiscal cliff requires that the federal government cut spending by $1.3 trillion over ten years. The Guardian reports that means the federal deficit has to be reduced about $109 billion per year or 3 percent of the current budget. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/27/fiscal-cliff-explained-spending-cuts-tax-hikes More simply, just divide $1.3 trillion by ten and it comes to $130 billion per year. This can be done by simply taking a three month vacation each year from Washington’s wars.
SOMEONE FINALLYhad the guts to say it… Former US Assistant Secretary of Defense Chas Freeman, in an interview with Russia Today, crossed over into ‘Jew-Occupied’ territory on Capitol Hill and blamed the all-powerful, omnipresent, Jewish Lobby, for America’s “dysfunctional” foreign policy.
Just a cursory glance at the Internet site of the all-powerful AIPAC and the vile, LYING propaganda spewed, non-stop on the Jewish neocon Website, Foreign Policy Initiative, tips you off that Congress shills for Jewry’s foreign policy agenda, (which serves JEWISH INTERESTS and NOT America’s), surrendering America’s sovereignty to an alien force.
Those Americans still capable of linear thought often wonder from whom - and from where - Obama gets his orders.
IS IT FROMa well-thought-through foreign policy, created and shaped by highly-motivated, patriotic American planners, analysts and professionals…who resolutely put America’s interests before that of World Jewry’s?
Or…is our nation’s foreign policy more often reflected in the OpEds decorating the pages of the Jew-owned Washington Post and New York Times ….where neocon Jews like Fred Kagan and Dan Senor practically dictate to Obama his skewed, ‘jewed‘ and screwed foreign policy?
How is it that Jewish Neocons Fred and Robert Kagan can be against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan yet their Foreign Policy Initiative ‘think-tank’ promotes Al Qaeda in Syria?
"The TRUTH About The War In Afghanistan"
The True Costs of Empire
Mars? Venus? Earth-like bodies elsewhere in the galaxy? Who knows? But here, at least, no great power, no superpower, no hyperpower, not the Romans, nor imperial China, nor the British, nor the Soviet Union has ever garrisoned the globe quite the way we have: Asia to Latin America, Europe to the Greater Middle East, and increasingly Africa as well.
Build we must. If someday Washington took to the couch for therapy, the shrink would undoubtedly categorize what we’ve done as a compulsion, the base-building equivalent of a hoarding disorder.
And you know what else is unprecedented? Hundreds of thousands of Americans cycle annually through our various global garrisons, ranging from small American towns with all the attendant amenities, including fast-food joints, PXes, and Internet cafes to the most spartan of forward outposts, and yet our “Baseworld,” as the late Chalmers Johnson used to call it, is hardly noticed in this country and seldom considered worthy of attention.
We built, for example, 505 bases at the cost of billions of dollars in Iraq (without a single reporter uncovering anything close to that number until we abandoned all of them in 2011). Over the years, millions of soldiers, private contractors, spies, civilian employees of the U.S. government, special ops types, and who knows who else spent time on them, as undoubtedly did hundreds of reporters, and yet news of those American ziggurats was rare to vanishing. On the whole, reporters on bases so large that one had a 27-mile fortified perimeter, multiple bus lines, and its own electricity grid and water-bottling plant generally looked elsewhere for their “news.”
Our latest base-building mania: Washington’s expanding “empire of bases” for its secret CIA and Special Forces drone wars in the Greater Middle East goes almost unnoticed (except at sites like this). We now, for instance, have a drone base in the Seychelles, an archipelago that evidently needs an infusion of money. Unless you had the dough for a high-end wedding in the middle of the Indian Ocean or a vacation in “paradise,” you’ve probably never heard of the place.
End of the World: Hear the 2012 Prophecy … Direct from the Mouths of the Mayan Priests
Many people are talking about the Mayan 2012 prophecy.
But few know what the Mayan priests actually said about 2012. In reality, Mayan elders say something very different from what you might have heard.
For example, Wakatel Utiw – leader of the National Council of Elders Mayas, Xinca and Garifuna (the Xinca and Garifuna are non-Mayan tribes in Central America), Day Keeper of the Mayan Calendar, and 13th generation Quiche Mayan Spiritual Leader - says that the end of the Maya calendar has nothing to do with the end of the world.
He also explains that December 21, 2012 might not even be the end of this cycle of the calendar:
Contrary to popular belief the living elders of the Maya do not agree that December 21, 2012 is the end of their calendar. A new “Sun” represents the beginning of a new Long Count cycle in the calendar system of approximately 5,200 years, which they say may not happen for many years.
And see this.
(A brand new film called “Shift of the Ages” tells the Mayans’ beliefs in detail … and gives their true warnings.)
Similarly, Tz’utujil Mayan elder Tata Pedro Cruz says that the world will not end in 2012:
ERNEST HEMINGWAY: I am getting to know the rich. MARY COLUM: I think you’ll find the only difference between the rich and other people is that the rich have more money.
Irish literary critic Mary Colum was mistaken. Greater net worth is not the only way the rich differ from the rest of us—at least not in a corporatist economy. More important is influence and access to power, the ability to subordinate regular people to larger-than-human-scale organizations, political and corporate, beyond their control.
To be sure, money can buy that access, but only in certain institutional settings. In a society where state and economy were separate (assuming that’s even conceptually possible), or better yet in a stateless society, wealth would not pose the sort of threat it poses in our corporatist (as opposed to a decentralized free-market) system.
Adam Smith famously wrote in The Wealth of Nations that “[p]eople of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.” Much less famously, he continued: “It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty or justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary.”
The fact is, in the corporate state government indeed facilitates “conspiracies” against the public that could not otherwise take place. What’s more, because of this facilitation, it is reasonable to think the disparity in incomes that naturally arises by virtue of differences among human beings is dramatically exaggerated. We can identify several sources of this unnatural wealth accumulation.
“Legal Imperialism” and International Law: Legal Foundations for War Crimes, Debt Collection and Colonization
By now we are familiar with imperial states using their military power to
attack, destroy and occupy independent countries. Boatloads of important studies
have documented how imperial countries have seized and pillaged the resources of
mineral-rich and agriculturally productive countries, in consort with
Financial critics have
provided abundant data on the ways in which imperial creditors have extracted
onerous rents, royalties and debt payments from indebted countries and their
taxpayers, workers, employees and productive sectors.
What has not been examined
fully is the over-arching legal architecture which informs, justifies
and facilitates imperial wars, pillage and debt collection.
The Centrality of Imperial
While force and violence,
especially through overt and covert military intervention, have always been an
essential part of empire-building, it does not operate in a legal vacuum:
Judicial institutions, rulings and legal precedents precede, accompany and
follow the process of empire building. The legality of imperial activity is
based largely on the imperial state’s judicial system and its own legal experts.
Their legal theories and opinions are always presented as over-ruling
international law as well as the laws of the countries targeted for imperial
intervention. Imperial law supersedes international law simply because imperial
law is backed by brute force; it possesses imperial/colonial air, ground and
naval armed forces to ensure the supremacy of imperial law. In contrast,
international law lacks an effective enforcement mechanism. Moreover,
international law, to the extent that it is effective, is applied only to the
weaker powers and to regimes designated by the imperial powers as ‘violators’.
The very judicial processes, including the appointment of judges and prosecutors
who interpret international law, investigate international crime and arrest,
sentence and punish ‘guilty’ parties are under to the influence of the reigning
imperial powers. In other words, the application and jurisdiction of
international law is selective and subject to constraints imposed by the
configurations of imperial and national power. International law, at best, can
provide a ‘moral’ judgment, a not insignificant basis for strengthening the
political claims of countries, regimes and people seeking redress from imperial
war crimes and economic pillage. To counter the claims and judgments pertaining
to international law, especially in the area of the Geneva protocols such as war
crimes and crimes against humanity, imperial legal experts, scholars and judges
have elaborated a legal framework to justify or exempt imperial-state
The Uses of Imperial
history is the result of conquest – the use or threat of superior
military force. The US global empire is no exception. Where compliant rulers
‘invite’ or ‘submit’ to imperial domination, such acts of treason on the part of
‘puppet’ or ‘client’ rulers usually precipitate popular rebellions, which
are then suppressed by joint imperial and collaborator armies. They cite
imperial legal doctrine to justify their intervention to repress a subject
people in revolt. While empires arose through the direct or indirect use of
unbridled force, the maintenance and consolidation of empires requires a
legal framework. Legal doctrines precede, accompany and follow the
expansion and consolidation of empire for several reasons.