As an American it is difficult to imagine a more unseemly bit of political theater playing out than Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s appearance before his cabinet to claim that he had gotten every last dollar of military assistance out of the Obama Administration. Netanyahu argued that he had obtained all that was on the table, adding that his bad blood with President Barack Obama had not proven to be detrimental in the bilateral negotiations that had been ongoing for more than a year. The Prime Minister was on the defensive because some of his critics claimed that he might have gotten $100 million more per annum, admittedly chump change on top of the $38 billion over ten years that the Memorandum of Understand will provide Netanyahu from the U.S. Treasury. The critics also argued that the “real money” obtained from Washington was less than it seemed because of inflation, but the gift of $38 billion to Israel was nevertheless a considerable increase over the roughly $3.3 billion per year that Israel is currently receiving. The protracted negotiations over the exact sum to be handed over were reportedly due to Netanyahu’s demanding much more money, possibly as much as $5 billion per year. The deal did come with a minor problem for the Israeli defense industries, which had become accustomed to skimming 26% off the top of the annual U.S. grant to build and market their own weapons. Someone in Washington finally figured out that the U.S. taxpayer was directly funding foreign competition for its own defense industries, costing thousands of American jobs. But not to worry, the Israeli companies are now setting up U.S. subsidiaries, so the gravy train will almost certainly continue to deliver. Israel’s argument for more money, such as it was, was based on claims that Obama had weakened its security by coming to an agreement with Iran over that nation’s nuclear program. Israel objected that sharply limiting Tehran’s ability to develop a weapon was not in its own interest, an odd assertion but explicable in terms of Netanyahu’s real objective in dealing with the Mullah’s, which was to have the U.S. take the lead in bombing them into the stone age. Missing in the discussions was any benefit obtained for the United States by giving Israel all that moolah. America’s largely invisible National Security Adviser Susan Rice spoke of an “unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security” and commented that the agreement was good for the United States because “our security is linked” though she characteristically did not explain exactly why that was so. She called the deal a “win-win,” creating jobs in America and making our “ally and partner” Israel more secure. Read the entire article
An Obsolescent Military: Bombing Everything, Gaining Nothing
What, precisely, is the US military for, and what, precisely, can it do? In practical terms, how powerful is it? On paper, it is formidable, huge, with carrier battle groups, advanced technology, remarkable submarines, satellites, and so on. What does this translate to? Military power does not exist independently, but only in relation to specific circumstances. Comparing technical specifications of the T-14 to those of the M1A2, or Su-34 to F-15, or numbers of this to numbers of that, is an interesting intellectual exercise. It means little without reference to specific circumstances. For example, America is vastly superior militarily to North Korea in every category of arms–but the North has nuclear bombs. It can’t deliver them to the US, but probably can to Seoul. Even without nuclear weapons, it has a large army and large numbers of artillery tubes within range of Seoul. It has an unpredictable government. As Gordon Liddy said, if your responses to provocation are wildly out of proportion to those provocations, and unpredictable, nobody will provoke you. An American attack by air on the North, the only attack possible short of a preemptive nuclear strike, would offer a high probability of a peninsular war, the devastation of Seoul, paralysis of an important trading partner–think Samsung–and an uncertain final outcome. The United States hasn’t the means of getting troops to Korea rapidly in any numbers, and the domestic political results of lots of GIs killed by a serious enemy would be politically grave. The probable cost far exceeds any possible benefit. In practical terms, Washington’s military superiority means nothing with regard to North Korea. Pyongyang knows it. Read the entire article
Why Are We Sending $38 Billion to Rich and Powerful Israel?
Last week’s announcement of a record-breaking US aid package for Israel underscores how dangerously foolish and out-of-touch is our interventionist foreign policy. Over the next ten years, the US taxpayer will be forced to give Israel some $38 billion dollars in military aid. It is money we cannot afford going to a country that needs no assistance to maintain its status as the most powerful military in the Middle East. All US foreign aid is immoral and counterproductive. As I have often said, it is money taken from poor people in the US and sent to rich people overseas. That is because US assistance money goes to foreign governments to hand out as they see fit. Often that assistance is stolen outright or it goes to the politically connected in the recipient country. Just as bad is the fact that much of what we call “foreign aid” is actually welfare for the wealthy here at home. The aid package to Israel is a very good example. According to the agreement, this $38 billion will all go to US weapons manufacturers. So the real beneficiaries are not the American people, and not even Israeli citizens. The real beneficiaries are the US military-industrial complex. Perhaps the money won’t even leave Washington – it may simply go across town, from the Fed to the Beltway bomb-makers. While even US government aid to desperately poor countries should be opposed on moral and practical grounds, it is even harder to understand US aid to relatively rich countries. At a nominal per capita GDP of over $35,000, Israel is richer than Japan, Italy, and South Korea. Not long ago Business Insider published a report by the Institute for the Study of War showing that the Israel is the most powerful military force in the Middle East. We know they have hundreds of nuclear weapons, a sophisticated air force, drones, and even nuclear weapons-equipped submarines. So why is the US giving a rich and incredibly well-armed country a record amount of military aid? Part of it is that the US government believes it can coerce Israel to do Washington’s bidding in the Middle East. History shows that this is a foolish pipe dream. If anything, US aid subsidizes Israeli human rights abuses in Gaza and elsewhere. Read the entire article
81% of Americans Oppose $38 Billion Pledge to Israel
A solid majority of Americans would redirect $38 billion the Obama Administration pledged to Israel toward other priorities. The Obama administration last week signed an executive agreement with Israel pledging $38 billion ($3.8 billion per year) in foreign aid for fiscal years 2019- 2028. The majority of the proposed spending is for Foreign Military Financing to provide Israel advanced and upgraded jet fighters, to continue developing Israel’s missile defense systems and to purchase other U.S. weapons. Although the White House has released a Memorandum of Understanding fact sheet, the actual MOU has not been made publicly available. An IRmep poll fielded by Google Consumer Surveys reveals 80.8 percent of the US adult Internet user population says they would redirect the proposed spending toward other priorities. Caring for veterans (20.7 percent) was their top priority, followed by education spending (20.1 percent) and paying down the national debt (19.3 percent). Rebuilding US infrastructure was favored by 14.9 percent, while funding a Middle East peace plan received 5.8 percent of support. Only 16.8 percent said the $38 billion of pledged foreign aid should be spent on Israel.
Monsanto and Bayer: Why Food And Agriculture Just Took A Turn For The Worse
News broke this week that Monsanto accepted a $66 billion takeover bid from Bayer. The new company would control more than 25 per cent of the global supply of commercial seeds and pesticides. Bayer’s crop chemicals business is the world’s second largest after Syngenta, and Monsanto is the leading commercial seeds business. Monsanto held a 26 per cent market share of all seeds sold in 2011. Bayer (mainly a pharmaceuticals company) sells 17 per cent of the world’s total agrochemicals and also has a comparatively small seeds sector. If competition authorities pass the deal, the combined company would be the globe’s largest seller of both seeds and agrochemicals. The deal marks a trend towards consolidation in the industry with Dow and DuPont having agreed to merge and Swiss seed/pesticide giant Syngenta merging with ChemChina, a Chinese government concern. The mergers would mean that three companies would dominate the commercial agricultural seeds and chemicals sector, down from six - Syngenta, Bayer, BASF, Dow, Monsanto and DuPont. Prior to the mergers, these six firms controlled 60 per cent of commercial seed and more than 75 per cent of agrochemical markets. Alarm bells are ringing with the European Commission putting its approval of the Dow-DuPont deal temporarily on hold, and the US Senate Judiciary Committee is about to hold hearings on the deal due to concerns about consolidation in the industry, which has resulted in increased seed and pesticide prices. Read the entire article
As I sat there wondering how to explain the latest twist in the US presidential election, this story popped up on my Twitter feed: Bank of America analysts claim there’s a 50% chance we live in a “Matrix reality simulation”. Aha! As I read, it all began to make “sense”: “Top bank analysts claim there’s a 50% chance our world is a computer simulation and we’re all plugged into a Matrix-style virtual reality. “And they also reckon if it’s true – then there’s no way we’ll ever find out about it. “The Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch made the astonishing claim in a research note citing comments by top scientists, astrophysicists and philosophers…. “It said: ‘Many scientists, philosophers, and business leaders believe that there is a 20-50% probability that humans are already living in a computer-simulated virtual world. In April 2016, researchers gathered at the American Museum of Natural History to debate this notion.’” Read the entire article
As Americans enter the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on their nation, they still have not understood the true cause of these dreadful attacks. Who can blame them? Our politicians and media have totally obscured the truth behind these and subsequent attacks that we call ‘terrorism.’ While we mourn 9/11, US B-52 heavy bombers are raining bombs on what’s left of Afghanistan in a futile attempt to crush tribal forces (aka Taliban) fighting western occupation. We did the same thing in Laos in the 1980’s, as President Barack Obama properly noted during his visit there last week. Laos has never recovered and Afghanistan won’t either. Since 2015, the US has dropped at least 32,000 – 1,000-2,000 lb. bombs on Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and Afghanistan – all Muslim nations. US bomb inventories are running critically low as arms makers work overtime. 9/11 was a revenge attack conducted by mostly Saudi nationals who claimed they wanted to punish the United States for supporting Israeli oppression of Palestine, and for what they claimed was the US ‘occupation’ of Saudi Arabia. That’s as much as we really know. We have never gotten the full story about 9/11. The best we can do is ask “qui bono,” who really benefitted from the attacks? The 9/11 narrative was immediately twisted by President George Bush into a spurious claim that America had been attacked by Muslims because of its ‘freedoms’ and her ‘way of life.’ This deceit opened the Pandora’s box from which issued the rising wave of Islamophobia and Crusading fever sweeping over the US and Europe. Read the entire article
President Barack Obama has opted to ratchet up military tensions in Asia as one of his last foreign policy acts as president of the United States. Using climate change and free trade backdrops at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China, and the U.S.-ASEAN and East Asia Summits in Vientiane, Laos, as mirages intended to mask his aggressive military posture in the Asia-Pacific region, Obama seeks to cement his “pivot to Asia.” It is Obama’s sincere hope that his anticipated successor, his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, will expand on the expansionistic and aggressive regional showdown with China and Russia that his administration launched with his Asia “pivot.” The ultra-protocol conscious Chinese threw diplomacy and decorum to the wind when Obama touched down at Hangzhou International Airport and his national security adviser, Susan Rice, and deputy national security adviser became embroiled in an argument with Chinese security personnel. When White House officials traveling with Obama began issuing orders to the Chinese personnel, one Chinese official yelled at them, “This is our country. This is our airport.” It was as if the Chinese, realizing that this would be their last encounter with Obama as president, were letting him and his war hawk national security team know who was the boss as long as they were on Chinese soil. At least on the tarmac at Hangzhou International Airport, the Chinese swung Obama’s Asia “pivot” back to China. It was an ignominious final “hajj” for Obama’s anti-Chinese jihad. Obama began his presidency in 2009 with being awarded, incredibly prematurely as it turned out, the Nobel Peace Prize. For the Asia-Pacific region, Obama’s presidency would end with angry words between his aides and Chinese officials at a Chinese airport. Obama began his journey as the host for Pacific Island leaders at the Central Intelligence Agency front, the East-West Center, which is located at his mother’s alma mater, the University of Hawai’i. Obama was the official host at the 2016 Pacific Islands Conference (PIC) of Leaders at the CIA-linked center. Obama’s speech before the leaders, many from small Pacific island states, focused primarily on global climate change. Obama also addressed the World Conservation Congress at their meeting in Hawai’i. Read the entire article
What a mess! In the crazy Syrian war, US-backed and armed groups are fighting other US-backed rebel groups. How can this be? It is so because the Obama White House had stirred up the war in Syria but then lost control of the process. When the US has a strong president, he can usually keep the military and intelligence agencies on a tight leash. But the Obama administration has had a weak secretary of defense and a bunch of lady strategists who are the worst military commanders since Louis XV, who put his mistress, Madame de Pompadour, in charge of French military forces during the Seven Year’s War. The French were routed by the Prussians. France’s foe, Frederick the Great of Prussia, named one of his dogs, “la Pompadour.” As a result, the two arms of offensive US strategic power, the Pentagon, and CIA, went separate ways in Syria. Growing competition between the US military and militarized CIA broke into the open in Syria. Fed up with the astounding incompetence of the White House, the US military launched and supported its own rebel groups in Syria, while CIA did the same. Fighting soon after erupted in Syria and Iraq between the US-backed groups. US Special Forces joined the fighting in Syria, Iraq and most lately, Libya. The well-publicized atrocities, like mass murders and decapitations, greatly embarrassed Washington, making it harder to portray their jihadi wildmen as liberators. The only thing exceptional about US policy in Syria was its astounding incompetence. Read the entire article
Obama to Bypass Congress and Pretend to “Ratify” UN Climate Deal
Amid an illegal plot to “ratify” a United Nations treaty on “climate change” without the constitutionally required advice and consent of the U.S. Senate, Obama is behaving more and more like a tinpot dictator looting what remains of a collapsing banana republic. As part of the effort to defend the unconstitutional scheme to bypass Congress and “ratify” the UN climate regime, however, the White House and its globalist allies are twisting themselves into legalistic and rhetorical pretzels — and setting up the UN scheme for failure. The formal announcement ahead of the upcoming Communist Chinese-led G20 confirms what The New American first reported over two years ago. The UN, Obama, and Beijing are all hoping to get the agreement “ratified” before or during the G20 meeting in early September, according to news reports. Unlike the U.S. Congress, which Obama knows will not approve his dangerous UN “climate” regime, even the rubber-stamp legislature serving the brutal communist dictatorship enslaving mainland China is getting an opportunity to weigh in on ratifying the so-called “Paris Agreement.” Beijing's propaganda organs are making a big show out of the fact that the “Standing Committee” of the “National People’s Congress” is deliberating on whether to ratify the controversial UN deal. By contrast, Obama plans to pretend to ratify it all by himself. Fortunately for Americans, though, by bypassing the proper ratification process, Obama is all-but ensuring that the “climate” treaty, negotiated in Paris last year, will eventually go down in flames. In fact, federal law now officially prohibits any U.S. funding for the UN climate bureaucracy, whether Obama pretends to ratify the UN climate deal or not. The strange turn of events vis-à-vis Obama, China, and the UN follows bizarre comments by former UN “Climate” Czarina Christiana Figueres, who blasted the U.S. political system but said the murderous Chinese regime was doing it right when it comes to battling alleged man-made global warming. The blatantly fraudulent “legal argument” being advanced by Obama and the White House is that the UN Paris Agreement is actually an “executive agreement.” Therefore, they claim, Obama can ratify it with nothing more than his pen. In the real world, of course, the UN, the French government that oversaw the negotiations, and practically every government on earth have declared the Paris Agreement to be a “binding international treaty.” Indeed, the document itself makes that clear, with the word “shall” appearing in the text more than 100 times. Read the entire article