The Arithmetic of War
The Pentagon plans ahead …
For those with the courage to look ahead …
The US explained in 7 minutes …
Thanks to … BRASSCHECK …
The Arithmetic of War
The Pentagon plans ahead …
For those with the courage to look ahead …
The US explained in 7 minutes …
Thanks to … BRASSCHECK …
Mandela, the Jews, & the Future:
Seeking Peace or Refusing in 1990,
Seeking Peace or Refusing Now
Last week, the NY Times ran an article called “In The Day a Newly Freed Mandela Came to New York” which glorified New York City’s welcome to Nelson Mandela in 1990.
But the Times overlooked an empty chair at the welcome table. Not a single “mainstream” Jewish organization in New York was willing to meet with Mr. Mandela during that 1990 visit.
That was because he had criticized the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem.
This abject ethical failure by the “official” line-up of Jewish organizations was a rejection of the broadest human ethical standards, as well as a denial of the prophetic tradition at the heart of Torah from the resistance to Pharaoh forward.
Perhaps more important, it was not only a blemish upon the New York Jewish community thirteen years ago, but raises some continuing profound questions about the stance of the American Jewish community today.
For the same reasons Jewish “officialdom” shunned Mandela’s pursuit of peace and justice 13 years ago, today it is shunning the search for peace and security today – peace and security for and among Israel, Iran, and the USA today.
At the end of this essay, The Shalom Center and I are asking you to act on behalf of the Torah’s command to “seek peace and pursue it.” To walk step by step along the path that we honor Mandela for learning to walk.
Back in 1990, some 50,000 people waited at Kennedy International Airport and along the motorcade route. About 100,000 crowded the streets in Brooklyn as Mandela approached a high school for an appearance; 400,000 packed the Canyon of Heroes in Lower Manhattan as the ticker-tape parade passed by; and 200,000 jammed the ceremony outside City Hall.
But New York’s Jewish organizations were absent — except for one small Jewish school named for Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and committed to his prophetic values, whose faculty and students marched in the ticker-tape parade. You can see them in this photo provided us by Rabbi Jonah Geffen, who was then himself a young student at the Heschel School:
In response to this failure of official Jewry, an ad hoc group of progressive Jews emerged, and not only responded to Mandela but went on to create a vigorous organization, “Jews for Racial and Economic Justice (JFREJ).”
JFREJ remains vital and important in NYC. It has, for example, been deeply involved in the struggle to end the NY Police Department’s racially oppressive practice of “stop and frisk.”
Outside New York as well, the strand of prophetic Judaism continues to grow. The Shalom Center, of course, which opened in 1983, continues to define ourselves in exactly those terms, trying to live up to that vision –
But the “sha shtill” syndrome – “Keep quiet!” – still afflicts some major elements of American Jewish life. Not only did the New York Times fail to mention this space that the official Jewish world left empty in 1990; so did the Forward, America’s leading Jewish newspaper.
The Forward honored Mandela’s memory and celebrated the warm relationship that emerged –- but only after the end of Apartheid – between him as President of South Africa and the South African Jewish community.
The Forward even published an article by Judge Richard Goldstone, one of the few Jewishly focused South Africans who struggled against Apartheid, reminding us that till Apartheid collapsed most of the organized Jewish community there supported it or stood silent.
But the Forward failed to mention, let alone analyze, the 1990 failure of the American Jewish community.
And it is the analysis that is important. For the past is not only the past; it is really the present and future as well.
What is the analogous issue today? Not Mandela, of course: since he succeeded in leading the transformation of South Africa by peaceful means, official American Jewish organizations today are glad to honor him.
Today the analogous issue is Iran.
That is, the possibility of a peaceful arrangement with Iran’s new government that makes certain Iran’s nuclear research is for civilian and peaceful purposes, while step by step ending sanctions against Iran and welcoming Iran into the peaceful circle of international community.
The grass roots of flesh and blood American Jews support the diplomacy that is reaching for that kind of peaceful settlement.
But some powerful American Jewish organizations are actively opposing it, and others are standing silent.
Why? Because the Israeli Prime Minister has publicly and fiercely attacked the negotiations, poured contempt on the new Iranian president, and continues to talk of war – though his own military and intelligence-apparatus leaders publicly say this policy is daft.
In the US, the question now comes down to whether American Jews inflame and support – or oppose – Congressional efforts to impose still more draconian sanctions on Iran. Most US diplomats think that such sanctions would signal to the Iranians that negotiations will never satisfy an America anxious not to make peace with them but to destroy them. So worse sanctions instead of fuller negotiations would lead to a greater chance of war.
Yet some of the most important American Jewish organizations – AIPAC, the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, even the Jewish Council on Public Affairs –- choose to follow the Prime Minister of Israel rather than either the best Israeli military/security planners or the Torah’s command to “seek peace and pursue it.” Of course, in a democracy they have the right to be wrong, foolish, and destructive. – But is it wise?
Because of them, it is important to support the 118 Rabbis and other Jewish clergy who have called for a policy of “Step by Step toward Shalom with Iran” – shalom for Israel, for the US, for the region, and for Iran.
This statement was initiated by The Shalom Center, but these Rabbis represent something deeper, older, newer, ever renewed – the Prophetic impulse that rises in every Jewish generation. They are today what JFREJ was in 1990 – an ad hoc Jewish group emerging when the “official” Jewish world has failed to carry forward the Jewish mission.
We appeal to our Jewish members and readers to support these rabbis in their practical wisdom, their pursuit of shalom rather than yet one more immoral and self-destructive war. We ask you to click to –
https://theshalomcenter.org/civicrm/petition/sign?sid=4&reset=1 and join 118 Rabbis, Cantors, and other Jewish clergy to sign the statement: “Step by Step toward Shalom with Iran.” We will make sure this statement reaches some key members of Congress and the broader public.
Nelson Mandela was not always committed to the path of nonviolence, peace, and reconciliation. He grew into that path.
If we truly honor him, we should also be growing into that path.
Shalom, salaam, solh, peace – Arthur
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By William Blum – Published November 7th, 2013
National Security Agency – The only part of the government that really listens to what you have to say
The New York Times (November 2) ran a long article based on NSA documents released by Edward Snowden. One of the lines that most caught my attention concerned “Sigint” – Signals intelligence, the term used for electronic intercepts. The document stated:
“Sigint professionals must hold the moral high ground, even as terrorists or dictators seek to exploit our freedoms. Some of our adversaries will say or do anything to advance their cause; we will not.”
What, I wondered, might that mean? What would the National Security Agency – on moral principle – refuse to say or do?
I have on occasion asked people who reject or rationalize any and all criticism of US foreign policy: “What would the United States have to do in its foreign policy to lose your support? What, for you, would be too much?” I’ve yet to get a suitable answer to that question. I suspect it’s because the person is afraid that whatever they say I’ll point out that the United States has already done it.
The United Nations vote on the Cuba embargo – 22 years in a row
For years American political leaders and media were fond of labeling Cuba an “international pariah”. We haven’t heard that for a very long time. Perhaps one reason is the annual vote in the United Nations General Assembly on the resolution which reads: “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba”. This is how the vote has gone (not including abstentions):
US, Israel, Albania, Paraguay
US, Israel, Uzbekistan
US, Israel, Uzbekistan
US, Israel, Uzbekistan
US, Israel, Marshall Islands
US, Israel, Marshall Islands
US, Israel, Marshall Islands
US, Israel, Marshall Islands
US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau
US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau
US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau
US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau
US, Israel, Palau
US, Israel, Palau
US, Israel, Palau
Each fall the UN vote is a welcome reminder that the world has not completely lost its senses and that the American empire does not completely control the opinion of other governments.
Speaking before the General Assembly, October 29, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez declared: “The economic damages accumulated after half a century as a result of the implementation of the blockade amount to $1.126 trillion.” He added that the blockade “has been further tightened under President Obama’s administration”, some 30 US and foreign entities being hit with $2.446 billion in fines due to their interaction with Cuba.
However, the American envoy, Ronald Godard, in an appeal to other countries to oppose the resolution, said:
“The international community … cannot in good conscience ignore the ease and frequency with which the Cuban regime silences critics, disrupts peaceful assembly, impedes independent journalism and, despite positive reforms, continues to prevent some Cubans from leaving or returning to the island. The Cuban government continues its tactics of politically motivated detentions, harassment and police violence against Cuban citizens.” 1
So there you have it. That is why Cuba must be punished. One can only guess what Mr. Godard would respond if told that more than 7,000 people were arrested in the United States during the Occupy Movement’s first 8 months of protest 2 ; that their encampments were violently smashed up; that many of them were physically abused by the police.
Does Mr. Godard ever read a newspaper or the Internet, or watch television? Hardly a day passes in America without a police officer shooting to death an unarmed person?
As to “independent journalism” – what would happen if Cuba announced that from now on anyone in the country could own any kind of media? How long would it be before CIA money – secret and unlimited CIA money financing all kinds of fronts in Cuba – would own or control most of the media worth owning or controlling?
The real reason for Washington’s eternal hostility toward Cuba? The fear of a good example of an alternative to the capitalist model; a fear that has been validated repeatedly over the years as Third World countries have expressed their adulation of Cuba.
How the embargo began: On April 6, 1960, Lester D. Mallory, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, wrote in an internal memorandum: “The majority of Cubans support Castro … The only foreseeable means of alienating internal support is through disenchantment and disaffection based on economic dissatisfaction and hardship. … every possible means should be undertaken promptly to weaken the economic life of Cuba.” Mallory proposed “a line of action which … makes the greatest inroads in denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government.” 3 Later that year, the Eisenhower administration instituted the suffocating embargo against its everlasting enemy.
The Cold War Revisited
I’ve written the Introduction to a new book recently published in Russia that is sort of an updating of my book Killing Hope. 4 Here is a short excerpt:
The Cold War had not been a struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union. It had been a struggle between the United States and the Third World, which, in the decade following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, continued in Haiti, Somalia, Iraq, Yugoslavia and elsewhere.
The Cold War had not been a worldwide crusade by America to halt Soviet expansion, real or imaginary. It had been a worldwide crusade by America to block political and social changes in the Third World, changes opposed by the American power elite.
The Cold War had not been a glorious and noble movement of freedom and democracy against Communist totalitarianism. It had typically been a movement by the United States in support of dictatorships, authoritarian regimes and corrupt oligarchies which were willing to follow Washington’s party line on the Left, US corporations, Israel, oil, military bases, et al. and who protected American political and economic interests in their countries in exchange for the American military and CIA keeping them in power against the wishes of their own people.
In other words, whatever the diplomats at the time thought they were doing, the Cold War revisionists have been vindicated. American policy had been about imperialism and military expansion.
Apropos the countless other myths we were all taught about the Soviet Union is this letter I recently received from one of my readers, a Russian woman, age 49, who moved to the United States eight years ago and now lives in Northern Virginia:
I can’t imagine why anybody is surprised to hear when I say I miss life in the Soviet Union: what is bad about free healthcare and education, guaranteed employment, guaranteed free housing? No rent or mortgage of any kind, only utilities, but they were subsidized too, so it was really pennies. Now, to be honest, there was a waiting list to get those apartments, so some people got them quicker, some people had to wait for years, it all depended on where you worked. And there were no homeless people, and crime was way lower. As a first grader I was taking the public transportation to go to school, which was about 1 hour away by bus (it was a big city, about the size of Washington DC, we lived on the outskirts, and my school was downtown), and it was fine, all other kids were doing it. Can you even imagine this being done now? I am not saying everything was perfect, but overall, it is a more stable and socially just system, fair to everybody, nobody was left behind. This is what I miss: peace and stability, and not being afraid of the future.
Problem is, nobody believes it, they will say that I am a brainwashed “tovarish” [comrade]. I’ve tried to argue with Americans about this before, but just gave up now. They just refuse to believe anything that contradicts what CNN has been telling them for all their lives. One lady once told me: “You just don’t know what was going on there, because you did not have freedom of speech, but we, Americans, knew everything, because we could read about all of this in our media.” I told her “I was right there! I did not need to read about this in the media, I lived that life!”, but she still was unconvinced! You will not believe what she said: “Yes, maybe, but we have more stuff!”. Seriously, having 50 kinds of cereal available in the store, and walmarts full of plastic junk is more valuable to Americans than a stable and secure life, and social justice for everybody?
Of course there are people who lived in the Soviet Union who disagree with me, and I talked to them too, but I find their reasons just as silly. I heard one Russian lady whose argument was that Stalin killed “30, no 40 million people”. First of all it’s not true (I don’t in any way defend Stalin, but I do think that lying and exaggerating about him is as wrong)*, and second of all what does this have to do with the 70s, when I was a kid? By then life was completely different. I heard other arguments, like food shortages (again, not true, it’s not like there was no food at all, there were shortages of this or that specific product, like you wouldn’t find mayo or bologna in the store some days, but everything else was there!). So, you would come back next day, or in 2-3 days, and you would find them there. Really, this is such a big deal? Or you would have to stay in line to buy some other product, (ravioli for example). But how badly do you want that ravioli really that day, can’t you have anything else instead? Just buy something else, like potatoes, where there was no line.
Was this annoying, yes, and at the time I was annoyed too, but only now I realized that I would much prefer this nuisance to my present life now, when I am constantly under stress for the fear that I can possibly lose my job (as my husband already did), and as a result, lose everything else – my house? You couldn’t possibly lose your house in Soviet Union, it was yours for life, mortgage free. Only now, living here in the US, I realized that all those soviet nuisances combined were not as important as the benefits we had – housing, education, healthcare, employment, safe streets, all sort of free after school activities (music, sports, arts, anything you want) for kids, so parents never had to worry about what we do all day till they come home in the evening.
* We’ve all heard the figures many times … 10 million … 20 million … 40 million … 60 million … died under Stalin. But what does the number mean, whichever number you choose? Of course many people died under Stalin, many people died under Roosevelt, and many people are still dying under Bush. Dying appears to be a natural phenomenon in every country. The question is how did those people die under Stalin? Did they die from the famines that plagued the USSR in the 1920s and 30s? Did the Bolsheviks deliberately create those famines? How? Why? More people certainly died in India in the 20th century from famines than in the Soviet Union, but no one accuses India of the mass murder of its own citizens. Did the millions die from disease in an age before antibiotics? In prison? From what causes? People die in prison in the United States on a regular basis. Were millions actually murdered in cold blood? If so, how? How many were criminals executed for non-political crimes? The logistics of murdering tens of millions of people is daunting. 5
Let’s not repeat the Barack fuckup with Hillary
Not that it really matters who the Democrats nominate for the presidency in 2016. Whoever that politically regressive and morally bankrupt party chooses will be at best an uninspired and uninspiring centrist; in European terms a center-rightist; who believes that the American Empire – despite the admittedly occasional excessive behavior – is mankind’s last great hope. The only reason I bother to comment on this question so far in advance of the election is that the forces behind Clinton have clearly already begun their campaign and I’d like to use the opportunity to try to educate the many progressives who fell in love with Obama and may be poised now to embrace Clinton. Here’s what I wrote in July 2007 during the very early days of the 2008 campaign:
Who do you think said this on June 20? a) Rudy Giuliani; b) Hillary Clinton; c) George Bush; d) Mitt Romney; or e) Barack Obama?
“The American military has done its job. Look what they accomplished. They got rid of Saddam Hussein. They gave the Iraqis a chance for free and fair elections. They gave the Iraqi government the chance to begin to demonstrate that it understood its responsibilities to make the hard political decisions necessary to give the people of Iraq a better future. So the American military has succeeded. It is the Iraqi government which has failed to make the tough decisions which are important for their own people.” 6
Right, it was the woman who wants to be president because … because she wants to be president … because she thinks it would be nice to be president … no other reason, no burning cause, no heartfelt desire for basic change in American society or to make a better world … she just thinks it would be nice, even great, to be president. And keep the American Empire in business, its routine generating of horror and misery being no problem; she wouldn’t want to be known as the president that hastened the decline of the empire.
And she spoke the above words at the “Take Back America” conference; she was speaking to liberals, committed liberal Democrats and others further left. She didn’t have to cater to them with any flag-waving pro-war rhetoric; they wanted to hear anti-war rhetoric (and she of course gave them a bit of that as well out of the other side of her mouth), so we can assume that this is how she really feels, if indeed the woman feels anything. The audience, it should be noted, booed her, for the second year in a row.
Think of why you are opposed to the war. Is it not largely because of all the unspeakable suffering brought down upon the heads and souls of the poor people of Iraq by the American military? Hillary Clinton couldn’t care less about that, literally. She thinks the American military has “succeeded”. Has she ever unequivocally labeled the war “illegal” or “immoral”? I used to think that Tony Blair was a member of the right wing or conservative wing of the British Labour Party. I finally realized one day that that was an incorrect description of his ideology. Blair is a conservative, a bloody Tory. How he wound up in the Labour Party is a matter I haven’t studied. Hillary Clinton, however, I’ve long known is a conservative; going back to at least the 1980s, while the wife of the Arkansas governor, she strongly supported the death-squad torturers known as the Contras, who were the empire’s proxy army in Nicaragua. 7
Now we hear from America’s venerable conservative magazine, William Buckley’s National Review, an editorial by Bruce Bartlett, policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan; treasury official under President George H.W. Bush; a fellow at two of the leading conservative think-tanks, the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute – You get the picture? Bartlett tells his readers that it’s almost certain that the Democrats will win the White House in 2008. So what to do? Support the most conservative Democrat. He writes: “To right-wingers willing to look beneath what probably sounds to them like the same identical views of the Democratic candidates, it is pretty clear that Hillary Clinton is the most conservative.” 8
We also hear from America’s premier magazine for the corporate wealthy, Fortune, whose recent cover features a picture of Clinton and the headline: “Business Loves Hillary”. 9
Back to 2013: In October, the office of billionaire George Soros, who has long worked with US foreign policy to destabilize governments not in love with the empire, announced that “George Soros is delighted to join more than one million Americans in supporting Ready for Hillary.” 10
There’s much more evidence of Hillary Clinton’s conservative leanings, but if you need more, you’re probably still in love with Obama, who in a new book is quoted telling his aides during a comment on drone strikes that he’s “really good at killing people”. 11 Can we look forward to Hillary winning the much-discredited Nobel Peace Prize?
I’m sorry if I take away all your fun.
Any part of this report may be disseminated without permission, provided attribution to William Blum as author and a link to this website are given.
William Blum is an author, historian, and renowned critic of U.S. foreign policy. He is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II and Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, among others. Read more →
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Who Runs … the US ?
4 Point Plan To Stop AIPAC
By Brother Nathanael Kapner
While the world welcomed peace with Iran, the attack dogs of Aipac fanned out through Capitol Hill to bring the hacks into subjection.
It’s an ‘in your face’ operation. And they’re right up front about it too showing the shills just who’s boss.
[Clip: “To see so many people who love Israel coming all together at one time is an amazing thing to see.”
“Where else can you see Prime Ministers and Presidents, Secretaries of State, Leaders of Congress? The only place that you can see that is here at AIPAC policy conference.”
“For the first time in AIPAC history we’ll be holding Lobbying meetings with all one hundred Senators and every single member of the House of Representatives.”
“This is democracy at work.”]
Their mission? To force Congress into enacting even more sanctions against Iran.
Just last week Aipac poster boy Chuckie Schumer promised his synagogue buddies that “ratcheting up the sanctions” is Jewry’s top goal next to military action where only the Goys die young.
[Clip: “Bibi Netanyahu says nuclear Iran is an existential threat to Israel, and must, must, must, be avoided at all costs.
“So we are putting as much pressure as we can on the Secretary of State not to give up on sanctions, to keep ratcheting them up and hopefully when we get back to Congress…we’re going to break for Thanksgiving tomorrow…when we get back we will actually pass legislation that will increase the sanctions.
“We hope we won’t have to use military action, that sanctions are preferable, but we cannot, cannot, cannot allow a nuclear Iran not only for the sake of Israel, but for the sake of the United States.”]
And it’s no surprise that Senator Menendez joins the attack seeing Aipac keeps his campaign coffers overflowing with ‘vote Jewish’ money. The ’suck up’ starts here.
[Clip: “Thank you to AIPAC for the warm welcome you have always given me at every event that I have attended. I appreciate your advocacy.”]
He appreciates their money too.
They all got the message a long time ago when Senator Charles Percy got bounced for pursuing an America-First policy as head of the Foreign Relations Committee in 1985.
Jewish ‘Money and Media’ won the day replacing Percy with yes-man Simon. If you don’t play ball with the Jewish Lobby then you can kiss your political career goodbye.
But I’ve got a 4 Point Plan to stop Aipac once and for all.
1. Require AIPAC to register as a foreign agent and thus cut off their political contributions.
2. Jews with dual-citizenship—like many in Aipac—must choose one or the other.
If they remain Israeli citizens they must not be allowed ‘constitutionally’ to hold office nor be allowed to vote.
3. Jews who choose US citizenship must sign a loyalty oath based on the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1953 which requires “renunciation” of allegiance to a foreign country.
With this in place, Aipac could no longer draft Israel-First legislation for all their ‘bought’ hacks to pass.
4. All Synagogues issuing Appeals to financially support Israel must also register as foreign agents or lose their tax deduction status.
No Church is allowed to do this, much less plot the overthrow of governments and establish a country of their own through theft, fraud, murder and war.
But Jews get away with murder here in America…the murder of our democratic process via the intrigues of the political beast…Aipac.
It’s time we slay the beast.
My 4 Point Plan wields the blow and breathes new life into our once-free America.
My 4 Point Plan is a WORKABLE, LEGAL, CONSTITUTIONAL, PRACTICAL Plan to STOP the Jews from MURDERING our democratic process here in Jewmerica.
Like the shill said in the clip at the AIPAC Conference:
“This is democracy at work”…that is…BRIBING, BLACKMAILING, INTIMIDATING every single Senator and every single Congressman to do the will of Freedom-Hating Jews.
My 4 Point Plan To Stop AIPAC SLAYS the BEAST Once & For All!
A HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!
And MANY THANKS to ALL OF YOU for your Readership and Viewership.
I have MUCH to be THANKFUL for! (Even though I’m in deep credit card debt to keep this online ministry alive due to low numbers of donations that have been on a STEEP DECLINE.)
IF YOU LIKE WHAT I AM DOING and WISH TO SEE ME CONTINUE:
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Pope Francis has helped Americans understand what has been the meaning of the second paragraph of the American Declaration of Independence.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Consideration of the unalienable Right of the People to pursue their Safety and Happiness reveals that each person has a “birthright” to be secured by Government that is given the just powers to secure the Safety and Happiness of the People.
Governments obtain their “just powers from the consent of the governed”, which means they are honest powers.
The second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence indicates that People in “the pursuit of Happiness” should choose “to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Pope Francis indicates that the Governments of capitalist nations are organized to have laws that serve and secure the wealth and power of corporations that are controlled by people who own and control the corporations. Corporations are designed to use their means of production and distribution of goods and services to satisfy the policy goals of the stockholders, who own most of the stocks, rather than serve the safety and happiness of the People.
Cooperatives are designed and inclined to serve the policy of the majority of stockholders, regardless of who owns the majority of stocks.
Wars have proved to serve the wealthy owners of corporations who seek to own, profit and control the means of production and distribution of goods and services and not be obligated to serve the “birthtight” of people who need the goods and services to survive and pursue their human potential.
Pope Francis has rightly described the challenge that humanity faces at this time. War does not serve the “birthright” to satisfy the needs of people in America and People throughout the world.
Igor Bobic – November 26, 2013, 12:48 PM EST8756
“In his first encyclical released on Tuesday, Pope Francis laid out a broad mission statement which restated the church’s opposition to abortion but also emphasized what it can do for the poor and oppressed trapped in a world of growing income inequality.
“It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new,” the pontiff wrote in the 85-page document. “Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the ‘exploited’ but the outcast, the ‘leftovers’.
The pope also denounced “trickle-down” theories of economics promoted by many conservatives and politicians who espouse an unregulated free market.
“In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world,” he said. “This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting.”
US/Israeli anti-Iranian sentiment is longstanding. Both countries want Iran’s government toppled. France is a willing co-conspirator. So are Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.
Nuclear talks are a convenient distraction. Iran’s program is entirely legitimate. It’s peaceful. It has no military component. Western negotiators know it. So does Israel.
Sanctions define them. Imposing, maintaining and tightening them reflect longterm economic and political war on Iran.
Its 1979 revolution ended a generation of repressive Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi rule. Washington installed him. He was a convenient pro-Western stooge.
On November 14, 1979, Jimmy Carter reacted. His Executive Order 12170 blocked Iranian government property.
Carter lied saying “the situation in Iran constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to (America’s) national security, foreign policy and economy.”
He “declare(d) a national emergency to deal with that threat.”
He “blocked all property and interests in property of the Government of Iran, its instrumentalities and controlled entities and the Central Bank of Iran which are or become subject to the jurisdiction of the United States or which are in or come within the possession or control of persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.”
He seized $12 billion in Iranian government bank deposits, securities, gold, and other properties. They included $5.6 billion held by overseas branches of US banks.
In early April 1980, Carter severed diplomatic relations with Iran. A full trade embargo followed.
In January 1981, it was lifted under provisions of the Algiers Accords. Most Iranian assets were unblocked. Iranian Assets Control Regulations remained in effect.
They target Iran’s economy and people ruthlessly. On October 29, 1987, Reagan’s Executive Order 12613 prohibited imports from Iran.
He lied claiming “Iran is actively supporting terrorism as an instrument of state policy.”
“…Iran has conducted aggressive and unlawful military action against US-flag vessels and merchant vessels of other non-belligerent nations engaged in lawful and peaceful commerce in international waters of the Persian Gulf and territorial waters of non-belligerent nations of that region.”
His August 19, 1997 EO 13059 prohibited virtually all trade and investments with Iran.
In 1996, the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) became law. In 2006, it was renamed the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA).It prohibited US and foreign oil development investments. Violators face stiff penalties. They include denial of Export-Import Bank of the United States help, rejection of export licenses, and a ban on all or some violating company imports.
In 2008, banks and other US depository institutions were prohibited from processing transfers between Iranian and non-Iranian banks.
In 2010, America’s Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act (CISADA) became law. It extended sanctions imposed by the 1996 Iran Sanctions Act. It punishes companies doing business with Tehran’s oil sector. It went further.
Section 103 prohibits importing certain Iranian foodstuffs and carpets. Other provisions ban Iranian product and service imports directly or through third countries
Exporting goods, technology, or services are prohibited, including from offshore locations. Some humanitarian related exceptions were made. They were too few to matter.
Overall, US individuals and companies located anywhere are prohibited from engaging in dealings of any kind.
They include purchases, sales, transportation, swaps, financing, or brokering transactions related to goods or services of Iranian private or government origin.
Other sanctions target financial institutions, insurers, and shippers involved in helping Iran sell oil. Previous loopholes were closed. An illegal embargo was tightened.
On July 1, 2012, an EU oil import embargo took effect. It covers crude oil, petroleum and petrochemical products, oil related businesses, natural gas, equipment and technology, selling Tehran’s refined products, new investments, and dealing with its central bank.
On October 9, 2012, Obama’s EO 13628 headlined “Executive Order from the President regarding Authorizing the Implementation of Certain Sanctions Set Forth in the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 and Additional Sanctions with respect to Iran.”
Section 218 covers non-US companies incorporated and operating outside America. They include ones owned or controlled by US corporations.
Foreign US subsidiaries henceforth are administered by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
Draconian sanctions were further tightened. US companies can be sanctioned for foreign subsidiary violations. Henceforth, they’re required to assure compliance.
Section 219 requires “issuers” disclose information in either annual or quarterly SEC filings pertaining to prohibited Iranian transactions. If discovered, one or more US government agencies must investigate.
US financial institutions are prohibited from making Iranian loans or providing credits. Foreign exchange transactions, subject to US jurisdiction, are barred.
Transfers of credit or payments between or through financial institutions, subject to US jurisdiction, are prohibited.
Property and interests in property in America are blocked. They may not be “transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in.” Foreign branches are included.
Americans are prohibited from “investing in or purchasing significant amounts of equity or debt instruments of a sanctioned person.”
Prohibitions were enacted against companies involved in mining uranium with Iran; selling, leasing or providing oil tanker services; or offering insurance to the National Iranian Tanker Company.
On July 1, 2013, new sanctions were imposed. They affect Iran’s currency, the rial. They prohibit foreign financial institutions from conducting “significant” transactions using it. At issue is making it “useless” abroad.
Iran’s shipping and shipbuilding sectors are affected. Selling, supplying, or transferring “significant” goods or services by non-US companies is prohibited.
Trade in precious metals, graphite, aluminum, steel, metallurgical coal and software for integrating industrial processes is restricted.
Iran’s auto sector is affected. It includes light and heavy vehicles, passenger cars, trucks, buses, minibuses, pick-up trucks and motorcycles.
Anti-Iranian congressional sentiment is longstanding. Israel wants sanctions stiffened. Its lobby exerts enormous pressure.
On July 31, House members passed the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act of 2013. They did so overwhelmingly (400 – 20). It tightens sanctions further.
It imposes a near oil embargo. It limits Obama’s ability to lift sanctions if a deal is struck.
It prohibits companies or individuals from doing business in America if it conducts or facilitates significant financial transactions through Iran’s central bank.
It includes other draconian provisions. A similar Senate bill may follow. Israel and AIPAC demand it.
The UN Charter’s Chapter VII deals with “action with respect to threats to the peace, breaches of the peace, and acts of aggression.” Under Article 41:
The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures.
These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.
Article 42 goes further stating:
Should the Security Council consider that measures provided for in Article 41 would be inadequate or have proved to be inadequate, it may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security.
Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations.
Article 43 permits force to maintain peace and security.
Iran isn’t at war. It threatens no one. It seeks rapprochement. It prioritizes peace. Sanctions imposed are for political reasons. They have no legitimacy.
They harm ordinary Iranians most. They’re imposed for that reason. Doing so violates international law.
Ron Paul calls Iranian sanctions an act of war. The New England Journal of Medicine calls them “a war against public health.”
Imposing them violates World Trade Organization (WTO) provisions. WTO members may curb trade with other nations for security reasons. None whatever exist. Iran is nonbelligerent.
Blockades are acts of war. Punishing sanctions impose a limited one. In July 2012, Francis Boyle urged Iran to sue America, Britain and France. Do so at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) if crisis conditions escalate, he said.
“The restraining order would be to prevent a military attack on Iran, to prevent any type of blockade of Iran to prevent the imposition of further economic sanctions by these three states against Iran, and also their pursuit of more sanctions against Iran at the United Nations Security Council,” he stressed.
In his book titled “The Grand Chessboard,” former Carter National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski said “it is not in America’s interest to perpetuate American-Iranian hostility.”
Both countries share numerous regional strategic and economic interests, he added. “Any eventual reconciliation should be based on the recognition of a mutual strategic interest in stabilizing what currently is a very volatile regional environment for Iran.”
Both sides should pursue it, Brzezinski said. Iran wants it. President Hassan Rohani seeks rapprochement. America and Israel remain hardline. So does France.
Flynt and Hillary Leverett said the US president “should reorient American policy toward Iran as fundamentally as President Nixon reoriented American policy toward the People’s Republic of China in the early 1970s.”
“(D)ecades of US policy toward Iran emphasizing diplomatic isolation, escalating economic pressure, and thinly veiled support for regime change have damaged the interests of the United States and its allies in the Middle East,” they added.
It’s “clearly time for a fundamental change of course in the US approach to the Islamic Republic.”
Washington/Israeli/French policy remains hardline. On November 20, nuclear talks resume in Geneva.
French President Francois Hollande colludes with Israel. He deplores rapprochement. He expressed four demands. They may be tougher than reported.
He wants strict daily international supervision of all Iranian nuclear facilities. He wants uranium enrichment to 20% halted.
He wants Iran’s enriched stockpile reduced. He wants construction of its Arak heavy water reactor terminated. He may have other unannounced demands.
They’re over-the-top. Perhaps they’re intended to sabotage upcoming talks.
Last minute French amendments prevented a reported November 9 agreement. Israel exerted enormous behind the scenes pressure.
Washington went along. Russia wasn’t informed. Foreign Secretary Sergei Lavrov said he opposed the changes.
Senior Iranian lawmaker Mohammad Hassan Asafari said if Congress imposes new sanctions, Tehran will cease negotiating.
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) provisions permit uranium enrichment. President Rohani calls doing so “our redline.”
He seeks rapprochement. So do other senior Iranian officials. They won’t surrender their sovereign rights to get it.
Israel demands it. So does Washington. France is a willing partner. Future prospects look grim.
Regardless of what emerges from this week’s talks, don’t expect longstanding anti-Iranian hostility to end.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His new book is titled How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/
KUDOS TO SHERIFF
AND THE PEOPLE OF
By Chuck Baldwin
November 7, 2013
I realize it is hard for some people to understand (especially those holding political office), but in the United States, “We the People” are the sovereigns. America has no king. In America, “We the People” are Caesar. Someone rightly said, “In America, the people rule; they have the power of the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.” Amen. And in this land of liberty, nothing is more important than the jury box. The right to a speedy trial by a jury of one’s peers is a benchmark principle of a free land.
Juries have immeasurable power. Not only do they have power over the fate of the accused, they have power over the accusers. No one has more authority than a jury–not even the judge. And without hyperbole I can say that a constitutionally literate, fully informed jury is pretty much all that stands between the ballot box and the cartridge box.
In a letter to Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “I consider [trial by jury] as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.” And two years before the first musket shot was fired that started America’s War for Independence, a Boston lawyer by the name of John Adams said, “Representative government and trial by jury are the heart and lungs of liberty. Without them we have no other fortification against being ridden like horses, fleeced like sheep, worked like cattle, and fed and clothed like swine and hounds.”
All of the rhetoric of modern judges notwithstanding, juries have a constitutional duty and obligation to judge, not only the merits of the case before them, but also the merits of the law which brought the accused before them. And America’s Founding Fathers agree with what I just said.
John Adams said, “It is not only his [the juror’s] right, but his duty…to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court.” Again, this is from one of our country’s most celebrated attorneys, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and America’s second President. America’s first Supreme Court Chief Justice agreed with Adams. John Jay wrote, “The jury has the right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy.”
The rest of America’s founders agreed with Adams, Jay, and Jefferson. US Supreme Court Justice and signer of the Declaration, Samuel Chase, wrote, “The jury has the right to determine both the law and the facts.” Patrick Henry said, “Why do we love this trial by jury? Because it prevents the hand of oppression from cutting you off…This gives me comfort, that, as long as I have existence, my neighbors will protect me.”
Protect its neighbors is exactly what a jury in Liberty County, Florida, recently did. The neighbor in the case was none other than the county sheriff, Nick Finch. Infowars.com covers the story:
“Nick Finch, the Florida sheriff arrested in June after he defended the Second Amendment, has been declared ‘not guilty’ of the charges brought against him by the State of Florida, according to [former Graham County, Arizona, Sheriff] Richard Mack.
“The Liberty Co. sheriff was charged with felony ‘official misconduct’ and ‘falsifying public records’ after he released a suspect arrested on an unconstitutional gun charge and removed the arrest file.
“After closing arguments by prosecutors and the defense, the jury took less than 90 minutes to reach its verdict.”
The report continues saying, “During the trial, the sheriff testified that he released Floyd Eugene Parrish, who was arrested for unlawfully carrying a firearm, because he believed the Second Amendment trumped all state gun laws.
“As we reported back in June, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement accused Finch of covering up the arrest of Floyd Eugene Parrish after releasing him from the Liberty County Jail.
“On March 8, Sgt. James Joseph Hoagland of the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office arrested Parrish during a traffic stop after finding a .25 automatic pistol in Parrish’s right front pocket and a holstered revolver in his car, according to court records.
“Parrish was then taken to the county jail.
“After being notified of Parrish’s arrest, Finch took the arrest file and told jailers that Parrish would be released with no charges, according to investigators.
“Finch also ordered both the pistol and revolver be returned.”
See the report: Pro-Gun Sheriff Found Not Guilty
This verdict is one of the most important jury decisions in modern history; and how many reports did you see about it in the mainstream media? Where was ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, or FOX News?
Sheriff Finch is a modern-day Daniel. He stood for his principles, the Constitution, and the liberties of the people of his county; and he was thrown into a den of lions by Republican Governor Rick Scott and the FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement). But an eight-person jury acquitted him of all charges and the sheriff was reinstated.
This is what a jury is supposed to do: protect its neighbors from the oppression of unlawful government. And that is exactly what that Liberty County jury did. They deserve the gratitude of liberty-loving people all over the United States.
It is pathetic and sad that Governor Scott did not stand with Sheriff Finch as he should have done. Scott threw this modern-day Daniel into the lion’s den, but God delivered him. Now the people of Florida should throw Governor Scott into the lion’s den (as King Darius did to Daniel’s accusers) by impeachment and removal from office for not defending the US Constitution, as he took an oath to do. I guarantee you that Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Samuel Chase, and John Jay would have stood with Sheriff Finch. And so would US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. Justice Holmes said, “The jury has the power to bring a verdict in the teeth of both law and fact.”
And bringing “a verdict in the teeth of both law and fact” is exactly what a Liberty County, Florida, jury did. They upheld the constitutional right of people to keep and bear arms, and they repudiated the Florida State gun-control laws that abridge that right under the rubric of license.
In truth, every law-abiding citizen in this country has a right under the US Constitution to carry his or her arms–concealed or open. It is past time for county sheriffs, State governors, and local juries to follow the example of Sheriff Finch and this Liberty County, Florida, jury. It is time for freedom-loving people in all 50 states to demand that these copious State and local gun-control laws that prohibit or restrict the right of the people to keep AND BEAR arms be expunged. That means, if you are called upon to serve on a jury in a case involving a law that restricts the Second Amendment right to freely keep and bear arms, you should do what this Liberty County, Florida, jury did and acquit the accused.
All over America, sheriffs and governors pretend to be supporters of the Constitution. All over America, sheriffs and governors give lip service to the Second Amendment. It is time the American people start demanding more than lip service from their elected officials. We need sheriffs like Nick Finch. And we need governors like…well, like PATRICK HENRY. (Sadly, I can’t think of a single governor today to use as an example.)
Patrick Henry said he depended on his neighbors, when sitting as a jury, to protect him. Happily, Sheriff Finch has some good neighbors. But in truth, juries do more than protect individuals; they protect liberty itself. Any law that infringes on or contradicts the Bill of Rights should be considered null and void by any citizen-jury. In this way, it is the citizen-jury, not the Supreme Court, which is the final arbiter of a law’s constitutionality. Without the veto power of the jury (call it nullification, if you will), America is not a country of, by, and for the People: but a country of, by, and for the politicians and judges.
Kudos to Sheriff Finch and the people of Liberty County, Florida.
If you would like to send personal kudos to Sheriff Finch, here is the website with his contact information:
Florida Sheriffs Association—Sheriff Nick Finch
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© 2013 Chuck Baldwin – All Rights Reserved
Chuck Baldwin is a syndicated columnist, radio broadcaster, author, and pastor dedicated to preserving the historic principles upon which America was founded. He was the 2008 Presidential candidate for the Constitution Party. He and his wife, Connie, have 3 children and 8 grandchildren. Chuck and his family reside in the Flathead Valley of Montana. See Chuck’s complete bio here.
November 4, 2013
Putin Ends NATO Missile Pact,
Warns Military To “Prepare For
By: Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers
A sobering report prepared by the Ministry of Defense (MOD) circulating in the Kremlin today states that the 4 NATO F-16 fighter jets scrambled from Turkey hours ago to harass the Il-20 reconnaissance warplanes flying along Russia’s Black Sea coast on one their routine daily missions was in direct retaliation over President Putin’s abrupt canceling of his cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization over missile defense yesterday.
According to this report, and confirmed by the Voice Of Russia News Service, in another powerful and significant move for peace, Putin cancelled a presidential order which in 2011, had set up an interdepartmental working group under the authority of the Russian Presidential Administration designed to develop ways to establish cooperation with NATO in the sphere of “missile defense”.
Many experts and NATO watchers familiar with the decree, and the attempts by the Russian Federation to develop an equal partnership relationship with NATO on the basis of mutual respect and transparency, may now breathe a collective sigh of relief that Putin has finally run out of patience with the alliance.
This MOD report further states that Putin’s “move for peace” against the US led NATO alliance is meant to show the West that he will “retaliate in force” against what he calls US President Obama’s “insane” plan for global tyranny that is even now threatening to destroy America and the European Union.
Even more grimly, this report continues, was Putin’s ordering the strategic forces to carry out a large-scale surprise military drill last Wednesday launching four nuclear missiles that were closely monitored by US intelligence agencies that included the test launch of two land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and two submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).
In Putin’s further “preparation for war,” this MOD report says, he also ordered this past Friday that the two Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack strategic nuclear bombers currently visiting South America to stay on indefinite patrol should they be needed to strike the United States.
Not just Putin is gravely concerned over Obama’s war moves either, this report continues, as China this past week joined Russia in overtly threatening the United States with nuclear retaliation.
In what this MOD report calls a “war move against the US,” China last week sent a surveillance ship to Hawaiian waters for the very first time in history in an unprecedented move described as a provocative retaliation to the US naval presence in the East China Sea, publicly revealed a view of its mysterious fleet of nuclear submarines, and its state-run media revealed for the first time that its nuclear submarines can, and will, attack American cities as a means to counterbalance US nuclear deterrence in the Pacific.
Of the greatest concern to both Russia and China regarding Obama this report says, is the American Presidents purging of nearly 200 high ranking US military officers, the latest being US Army Col Eric Tilley commander of the largest American base in Japan who was fired by Obama yesterday.
US sources commenting on this unprecedented purging of these officers are warning that in Obama’s America, the military must forsake their constitutional oath in favor of blind allegiance to their new commander.
To the effect(s) Obama’s purge is having upon the US military was recently described by the WND News Service which reports:
“Retired Army Maj. Gen. Patrick Brady, recipient of the U.S. military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, as well as other top retired officers, say President Obama’s agenda is decimating the morale of the U.S. ranks to the point members no longer feel prepared to fight or have the desire to win.
Even more troubling about Obama, this MOD report warns, is that he now appears to be “descending into madness” as new evidence has emerged that he has ordered US military doctors to design innovative new methods of torture to be used against his enemies, and was quoted as gleefully exclaiming to his top aides, “I’m really good at killing people”.
As to how good at “killing people” Obama has become we noted in our 21 October report titled Evidence That 5 Million Americans Have Been “Disappeared” By Obama Shocks Russia and wherein it was noted how the current US regime is actively planning on eliminating at least 25 million of their dissident citizens.
As to why the vast majority of the American people still adhere to a policy of blind obedience to a leader descending into madness, and in turn threatening to destroy their nation, the Guardian News Service warns is due to the Obama regimes unprecedented attack on press freedoms and the news gathering process in the US which the Associated Press says relies on staged propaganda photos and the Obama regime conducting secret meetings with journalists, “psych-background” sessions, in which reporters were not allowed to record, take notes, or directly attribute remarks.
And in, perhaps, the Obama regimes cruelest move against its own people, indeed the whole world, this past week the Democrat Party controlled US Senate actually passed a bill that codifies and expands NSA spying powers even as the shock of what they have done still reverberates around the globe.
So today, and as our world falls ever closer towards all-out war, one of the few voices of honesty and reason left belongs to the NSA and former CIA spy Edward Snowden who yesterday from his home in Russian exile from the brutal and despotic Obama regime told his fellow Americans… “Citizens have to fight suppression of information on matters of vital public importance. To tell the truth is not a crime.”
Sadly, Snowden’s fellow Americans will not hear these words, nor know the grave danger they are in because of the Obama regime, because they are either too blind to see, or too deaf to hear…or more than likely, both.
November 4, 2013 © EU and US all rights reserved. Permission to use this report in its entirety is granted under the condition it is linked back to its original source at WhatDoesItMean.Com. Freebase content licensed under CC-BY and GFDL.
by Paul Craig Roberts
The year 2014 could be shaping up as the year that the chickens come home to roost.
Americans, even well-informed ones, don’t know all of the mistakes made by neoconized and corrupted Washington in the past two decades. However, enough is known to see that the US has lost economic and political power, and that the loss is irreversible.
The economic cost of this loss will be born by what remains of the middle class and the increasingly poverty-stricken lower class. The one percent will have offshore gold holdings and large sums of money in foreign currencies and other foreign assets to see them through.
In the political arena, the collapse of the Soviet Union presented Washington with the grand opportunity to reallocate the Pentagon budget to other uses. Part of the reduction could have been returned to taxpayers for their own use. Another part could have been used to improve worn out infrastructure. And another part could have been used to repair and improve the social safety net, thus insuring domestic tranquility. A final, but perhaps most important part, could have been used to begin repaying the Treasury IOUs in the Social Security Trust Fund from which Washington has borrowed and spent $2 trillion, leaving non-marketable IOUs in the place of the Social Security payroll tax revenues that Washington raided in order to fund its wars and current operations.
Instead, influenced by neoconservative warmongers who advocated America using its “sole superpower” status to establish hegemony over the world, Washington let hubris and arrogance run away with it. The consequence was that Washington destroyed its soft power with lies and war crimes, only to find that its military power was insufficient to support its occupation of Iraq, its conquest of Afghanistan, and its financial imperialism.
Now seen universally as a lawless warmonger and a nuisance, Washington’s soft power has been squandered. With its influence on the wane, Washington has become more of a bully. In response, the rest of the world is isolating Washington.
The prime minister of India, Manmohan Singh, recently declared China and Russia to be India’s “most important partners” with whom India shares “common strategic interests.” Prime Minister Singh said: “ India and Russia have always had a convergence of views on global and regional issues, and we value Russia’s perspective on international developments of mutual interest.”
India joined China in expressing concerns about the Federal Reserve’s practice of printing money in order to cover Washington’s vast red ink. The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) are taking steps to create their own method of settling trade accounts in order to protect themselves from the looming dollar implosion,
China has forcefully called for a “de-Americanized world.” After watching the “superpower” offshore a large part of its GDP to China and then add to the diminished tax base the burden of $6 trillion in wars that brought no booty and served no US interest, China has concluded that American power is spent. The London Telegraph thinks “it is only a matter of time before the renminbi replaces the dollar as the primary currency for trading commodities and resources.”
The Obama regime attempted to attack Syria based on the sort of lies that the Bush regime used to invade Iraq, only to be slapped down by the British Parliament and Russian government. This rebuke was followed by the childishness of the government shutdown and threat of default. Consequently, the Washington morons have lost their monopoly on economic and political leadership. A few days ago the British government announced a historic agreement that permits British investors direct access to China’s markets and allows Chinese banks to expand their operations in Great Britain.
In Australia, the US dollar will no longer be used as the currency in which to settle the Australian trade accounts with China. Instead of dollars, trade will be settled in the Chinese currency.
Washington served as cheerleader, as did most economists and libertarians, while US corporations, greedy for short-term profits and executive bonuses, offshored US industry and manufacturing, calling it free trade. The obvious and predicted result is that China’s demand for resources needed to fuel its industrial and manufacturing power now dominates markets. This means that the US dollar is being displaced as world currency. The only market that America dominates is the market for financial fraud.
When industrial, manufacturing, and tradeable professional service jobs are offshored, they take US GDP and tax base with them. The foreign country gets the benefit of the relocated economic activity. Due to the revenues lost from jobs offshoring, there is a large gap between federal revenues and federal expenditures. As Washington’s irresponsible behavior has raised so many doubts about the dollar’s value and the government’s commitment to stand behind its massive debt, foreign countries with trade surpluses with the US are less and less willing to recycle those surpluses into the purchase of US Treasury debt.
Today the two largest holders of US Treasury debt are not investors or even foreign central banks. The two largest holders are the Federal Reserve and the Social Security Trust Fund.
As for those $6 trillion wars, that’s to pay for national defense to protect us from women, children, and village elders in far away countries devoid of air forces and navies, and to provide those recycled taxpayer monies from the military/security complex that find their way into political contributions.
The Wall Street gangsters sighed for relief over the last minute debt ceiling agreement. This shows how short-term Wall Street’s outlook is. All the October agreement did was to push off the crisis to January and February. The “debt ceiling agreement” did not produce a new debt ceiling that would last beyond February, and it did not resolve the large difference between federal revenues and expenditures. In other words, the can was again kicked down the road. A repeat of the October fiasco won’t play well.
Obamacare is causing the premiums on private insurance polices to rise substantially, almost doubling in some situations unless people move to the uncertain exchanges, and Obamacare’s raid on Medicare payroll tax revenues has resulted in a cut in Medicare payments to health care providers. The result is a further reduction in consumer discretionary income and a further drop in the economy.
This in turn means a larger federal budget deficit and the need for the Federal Reserve to purchase more debt.
Another reason the Federal Reserve is faced with increasing, not tapering, quantitative easing (money printing) is the decline in foreign purchases of US Treasury bills, notes, and bonds. As the instruments pay interest that is less than the rate of inflation, holding Treasury debt makes no sense when the dollar’s value and the potential of default are open questions.
According to reports, not only are foreign governments, such as China, ceasing to buy US Treasury debt, China has started to sell off its holdings, substituting gold in the place of US Treasury debt.
This means that the bonds must be purchased by the Fed or interest rates will rise as the increased supply of bonds on the market drives down bond prices. The only way the Fed can purchase a larger supply of bonds is by printing more money, that is, by more quantitative easing.
With the world moving away from using the dollar to settle international accounts, as the Fed prints more dollars the rate at which foreign holders of dollar assets sell off their holdings will rise.
To get out of dollars requires that the dollar proceeds from selling Treasuries, US stocks and US real estate be sold in the currency markets. The selling of dollars drives down the exchange value of the US dollar and results in rising US inflation. The Fed can print money with which to purchase Treasury debt, but it cannot print foreign currencies with which to purchase dollars.
The decline in the dollar’s exchange value and the domestic inflation that results will force the Fed to stop printing. What then covers the gap between revenues and expenditures? The likely answer is private pensions and any other asset that Washington can get its hands on.
Initially, private pensions will be taxed at a rate to recover the tax-free accumulation in the pensions. The second year a national emergency will be used to confiscate some share of pensions. Those relying on the pensions will find themselves with less income. Consumer spending will decline. The economy will worsen. The deficit will widen.
You can see where this is going, and there seems to be no way out. Policymakers, economists, and corporation executives are in denial about the adverse effects of offshoring, which they still, despite all the evidence, maintain is good for the economy. So nothing will be done about offshoring. Republicans will blame the budget deficit on welfare and entitlements, and if those are cut consumer spending will decline further, widening the budget deficit. Inflation will rise as incomes fall, and social cohesion will break down.
Now you know why Homeland Security purchased 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition, enough ammunition to fight the Iraq war for 12 years, has its own para-military force and 2,700 tanks. If you think the “terrorist threat” in America warrants a domestic armed force of this size, you are out of your mind. This force has been assembled to deal with starving and homeless people in the streets of America.
September employment report: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), September brought 148,000 new jobs, enough to keep up with population growth but not reduce the unemployment rate. Moreover, John Williams (shadowstats.com) says that one-third of these jobs, or 50,000 per month on average, are phantom jobs produced by the birth-death model that during difficult economic times overestimates the number of new jobs from business startups and underestimates job losses from business failures.
The BLS reports that 22,000 of September’s jobs were new hires by state governments, which seems odd in view of the ongoing state budgetary difficulties.
In the private sector, wholesale and retail trade produced 36,900 new jobs, which seems odd in light of the absence of growth in real median family income and real retail sales.
Transportation and warehousing produced 23,400 new jobs, concentrated in transit and ground passenger transportation. This also seems odd unless the price of gasoline and pinched budgets are forcing people onto public transportation.
Professional and business services accounted for 32,000 jobs of which 63% are temporary help jobs.
So here you have the job picture that the presstitutes, hyping “the jobs gain,” don’t tell you. The scary part of the September job report is that the usual standby, the category of waitresses and bartenders, which has accounted for a large part of every reported jobs gain since I began reporting the monthly statistics, shows job loss. Seven thousand one hundred waitresses and bartenders lost their jobs in September. If this figure is not a fluke, it is bad news. It signals that fewer Americans can afford to eat and drink out.
The unemployment rate that is reported is the rate that does not count as unemployed discouraged workers who are unable to find jobs and cease to look. This favored rate, the darling of the regime in power, the presstitutes, and Wall Street, also is not adjusted for the category of “involuntary part-time workers,” those whose hours have been cut back or because they are unable to find a full-time job. Obamacare, as is widely reported, is causing employers to shift their work forces from full time to part time in order to avoid costs associated with Obamacare. The BLS places the number of involuntary part-time workers at 7,900,000.
The announced 7.2% unemployment rate is a meaningless number. The rate can decline for no other reason than people unable to find jobs drop out of the work force. You are not counted in the work force if you are discouraged about finding a job and no longer look for a job.
The phenomena of discouraged workers shows up in the measure of the labor force participation rate, which has declined in the 21st century. The opportunities for American labor are so restricted that a rising percentage of the working age population have given up looking for jobs.
Yet, the Obama regime, the Wall Street gangsters, and the pressitute media tell us how much better the economic situation is becoming as more small businesses close, as memberships decline in golf clubs, as more university graduates return home to live with their parents, who are drawing down their savings to live, as Fed Chairman Bernanke has made it impossible for them to live on interest payments on their savings.
According to the US census bureau, real median household income in 2012 was $51,017, down 9% from $56,080 in 1999, 13 years ago. In contrast, annual compensation in 2012 for US CEOs broke all records. Two CEOs were paid more than $1 billion, and the worst paid among the top ten took home $100 million. When the presstitutes speak of economic recovery, they mean recovery for the one percent.
America is in the toilet, and the rest of the world knows it. But the neocons who rule in Washington and their Israeli ally are determined that Washington start yet more wars to create lebensraum for Israel.
Early in the 21st century the liberal Democrat Senator from New York, Chuck Schumer, and I coauthored an article in the New York Times about the adverse effects on the US economy of jobs offshoring. The article caused a sensation. The Brookings Institution in Washington quickly convened a conference which was covered by C-SPAN. C-SPAN rebroadcast the conference several times. During the conference I said that if jobs offshoring continued, the US would be a third world economy in 20 years.
Wall Street quickly shut up Senator Schumer, but I am sticking by my forecast. Indeed, I think we are already there.
About Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.
October 14, 2013
Russia Responds To Obama
With ABM Missile Killer
A chilling Ministry of Defense (MoD) report circulating in the
Kremlin today confirms that the Strategic Missile Forces (SMF)
sudden, unannounced and successful firing of a Topol ballistic
missile into the Sary-Shagan testing ground in Kazakhstan last
Thursday (10 October) was in “direct response” to President
Barack Obama’s attempt to destroy Charleston, South Carolina
in what military intelligence analysts state was an attempted
“ false flag attack.”
As we had previously reported, the SMF notified both President Putin
and the General Staff this past Tuesday (8 October) that at 01:58:11
GMT/UTC an atomic device was exploded in the seabed off the US
Atlantic Ocean, barely 1,000 km (620 miles) from Charleston, causing
a 4.5 magnitude earthquake measurement that SMF experts equate to
being a 1-kiloton yield, which is equal to the power of 1,000 tons of TNT.
Previous warnings about Obama’s planned false flag attack on Charleston
had been leaked to numerous global organizations including Infowars.com,
France’s highly respected dedefensa.org, and caused US Senator Lindsey
Graham to cryptically tell his fellow South Carolinians that they were
under the threat of a “terrorist nuclear attack.”
Obama’s response to his militaries failure to carry out this false flag attack, the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) reported, was his immediate dismissal of Americans top two military nuclear commanders, US Navy Vice Admiral Tim Giardina and US Air Force Major General Michael Carey, and two of the US Marines top officers, Major General Charles M. Gurganus and Major General Gregg A. Sturdevant.
The US military in kind, this new MoD report says, responded to Obama’s attack against their officers by rapidly returning to America over 500 troops belonging to their elite Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force (SP-MAGTF) that had been stationed in Libya, Italy, Spain and Africa.
The American military does, indeed, now fear Obama, this report continues, as he has become the first President in US history to fire 9 of his most senior officers who refuse to go along with his “master plan” for radically changing his country into a socialist dictatorship.
Even worse, and as we had previously reported on in our reports Pentagon Warns To Expect “Radical” Change In US Government Soon and Obama Retreats To Secret Bunker As “Big Event” Draws Near, the plan Obama envisioned to the American people on 2 July 2008 when as a Presidential candidate he called for the creation and establishment of a “Civilian National Security Force” he promised would be “just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded as the US Military” has now been achieved, this MoD report says.
To how well equipped Obama’s new National Security Force is we can read as reported by Forbes magazine in their article titled 1.6 Billion Rounds Of Ammo For Homeland Security? It’s Time For A National Conversation, and which, in part, says:
“The Denver Post, on February 15th, ran an Associated Press article entitled Homeland Security aims to buy 1.6b rounds of ammo, so far to little notice. It confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security has issued an open purchase order for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition.
As reported elsewhere, some of this purchase order is for hollow-point rounds, forbidden by international law for use in war, along with a frightening amount specialized for snipers. Also reported elsewhere, at the height of the Iraq War the Army was expending less than 6 million rounds a month. Therefore 1.6 billion rounds would be enough to sustain a hot war for 20+ years. In America.
Add to this perplexing outré purchase of ammo, DHS now is showing off its acquisition of heavily armored personnel carriers, repatriated from the Iraqi and Afghani theaters of operation. As observed by “paramilblogger” Ken Jorgustin last September:
“The Department of Homeland Security is apparently taking delivery (apparently through the Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico VA, via the manufacturer – Navistar Defense LLC) of an undetermined number of the recently retrofitted 2,717 ‘Mine Resistant Protected’ MaxxPro MRAP vehicles for service on the streets of the United States.”
Regardless of the exact number of MRAP’s being delivered to DHS (and evidently some to POLICE via DHS, as has been observed), why would they need such over-the-top vehicles on U.S. streets to withstand IEDs, mine blasts, and 50 caliber hits to bullet-proof glass? In a war zone… yes, definitely. Let’s protect our men and women. On the streets of America… ?”
To vast majority of the American people themselves not knowing of Obama’s “master plan” to destroy their country, this report says, has been fully explained in the grim report issued last week by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) that concluded that far from fulfilling his campaign promise to improve transparency, the President has instead presided over an unprecedented campaign to contain leaks and to control media coverage of government operations.
Even the popular American science fiction writer Orson Scott Card has now begun openly warning against Obama by stating:
“Obama is, by character and preference, a dictator. He hates the very idea of compromise; he demonizes his critics and despises even his own toadies in the liberal press. He circumvented Congress as soon as he got into office by appointing “czars” who didn’t need Senate approval. His own party hasn’t passed a budget ever in the Senate.
And, surprisingly, one of America’s top radio broadcasters, Michael Savage, has now joined the global call for the Obama regime to account for the other missing nuclear weapons planned to be used in the upcoming false flag event meant to throw the United States into civil war.
As to Russia’s response to this growing American crisis, this MoD report concludes, last weeks SMF firing of the Topol ICBM that can pierce any anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system, combined with the nuclear submarines now patrolling the Southern Seas for the first time since the Soviet era, have now given the Obama regime a “stark warning” that should their civil war begin to impact the Motherland, a “strong and immediate” response should very well be expected.
October 14, 2013 © EU and US all rights reserved. Permission to use this report in its entirety is granted under the condition it is linked back to its original source at WhatDoesItMean.Com. Freebase content licensed under CC-BY and GFDL.