Extreme Neo-Con Policies In Action
January 15th, 2012
A couple of points about US and European policy. The first is about the European crisis as an assault upon social democracy and the second is about the US and its neo-imperialist wars. I am more in agreement with Hudson than Roberts, I find Roberts to be a bit shrill, but then he has credentials, having worked in the Treasury Dept. The world could easily be plunged into a resource war, with Russia and China backed in a corner by the USA and NATO. Although it is not necessary, China could simply develop Central Asia's resources and Siberia has huge potential. The scenario might simply be one of realignment. It doesn't have to turn into nuclear war. Let us hope it doesn't.
The Iran situation is one of brinkmanship right now. The Democrats might think that the only way to divert attention from the economy might be with a war with Iran. That would be pretty cynical but it would not be beyond them. Especially with the influence that the Zionist hawks have in policy circles. This would outflank the Republicans in warmongering and provide CNN and their ilk with something to focus the public's attention on. Iran certainly is no threat to the USA. Russia and China are not likely to interfere directly, although they are likely to secretly support Iranian efforts at resistance. Saudi Arabia certainly would like to see Iran crushed and Israel is likely to participate or initiate a war by targeting Iranian nuclear facilities, like they did to Iraqi facilities back in the 1980's.
By neutralizing Syria with its domestic problems, the Iranians are deprived of an important ally. What will be interesting to see is if Iraq with its newly trained army comes to the aid of Iran or Syria, or if it collapses into civil war instigated by the US and Saudi aid to Sunni's and Baathists, that would be ironic.
The US leaving Iraq, puts the situation there in an unstable and potentially unreliable position for the Americans if they plan to invade Iran. The hope is that Iraqi self interest keeps them from joining the Iranians despite the current ascendency of the Shiite factions in power.
Egypt on the other hand is now a wild card and may become the new location of support for Palestinian resistance to Israel. Gaza though is not as good a place for resistance than south Lebanon. It doesn't have the water that Israel wants. Egypt can potentially cut Israel off from its Red Sea port. Upsetting the apple cart can have all kinds of consequences but only uprisings of the people can really insure that changes are beneficial for the people and not for the elites.
This is an excerpt from Michael Hudson's article "Europe's Transition from Social Democracy to Oligarchy"
"Disabling Europe's central bank to deprive governments of the power to create money
One of the three defining characteristics of a nation-state is the power to create money. A second characteristic is the power to levy taxes. Both of these powers are being transferred out of the hands of democratically elected representatives to the financial sector, as a result of tying the hands of government.
The third characteristic of a nation-state is the power to declare war. What is happening today is the equivalent of warfare but against the power of government! It is above all a financial mode of warfare and the aims of this financial appropriation are the same as those of military conquest: first, the land and subsoil riches on which to charge rents as tribute; second, public infrastructure to extract rent as access fees; and third, any other enterprises or assets in the public domain.
In this new financialized warfare, governments are being directed to act as enforcement agents on behalf of the financial conquerors against their own domestic populations. This is not new, to be sure. We have seen the IMF and World Bank impose austerity on Latin American dictatorships, African military chiefdoms and other client oligarchies from the 1960s through the 1980s. Ireland and Greece, Spain and Portugal are now to be subjected to similar asset stripping as public policy making is shifted into the hands of supra-governmental financial agencies acting on behalf of bankers and thereby for the top 1% of the population.
When debts cannot be paid or rolled over, foreclosure time arrives. For governments, this means privatization selloffs to pay creditors. In addition to being a property grab, privatization aims at replacing public sector labor with a non-union work force having fewer pension rights, health care or voice in working conditions. The old class war is thus back in business with a financial twist. By shrinking the economy, debt deflation helps break the power of labor to resist.
It also gives creditors control of fiscal policy. In the absence of a pan-European Parliament empowered to set tax rules, fiscal policy passes to the ECB. Acting on behalf of banks, the ECB seems to favor reversing the 20th century's drive for progressive taxation. And as U.S. financial lobbyists have made clear, the creditor demand is for governments to re-classify public social obligations as "user fees," to be financed by wage withholding turned over to banks to manage (or mismanage, as the case may be). Shifting the tax burden off real estate and finance onto labor and the "real" economy thus threatens to become a fiscal grab coming on top of the privatization grab."
January 12, 2012
The Next War on Washington's Agenda
by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Only the blind do not see that the US government is preparing to attack Iran. Washington has deployed missiles directed at Iran in its oil emirate puppet states, Oman and the UAE, and little doubt in the other US puppet states in the Middle East. Washington has beefed up Saudi Arabia's jet fighter force. Most recently, Washington has deployed 9,000 US troops to Israel to participate in "war games" designed to test the US/Israeli air defense system. As Iran represents no threat unless attacked, Washington's war preparations signal Washington's intention to attack Iran.
Another signal that Washington has a new war on its agenda is the raised level of Washington's rhetoric and demonization of Iran. Judging by polls Washington's propaganda that Iran is threatening the US by developing a nuclear weapon has met with success. Half of the American public support a military attack on Iran in order to
prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear capability. Those of us who are trying to awaken our fellow citizens start from a deficit that the minds of half of the US population are under Big Brother's control.
As the International Atomic Energy Agency's reports from its inspectors on the ground in Iran have made clear for years, there is no evidence that Iran has diverted any enriched uranium from its nuclear energy program. The shrill hype coming from Washington and from the neoconservative media is groundless. it is the same level of lie as Washington's claim that Saddam Hussein in Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Every US soldier who died in that war died in behalf of a lie.
It could not be more obvious that Washington's war preparations against Iran have nothing to do with deterring Iran from a nuclear weapon. So, what are the war preparations about?
In my judgment, the US government's war preparations are driven by three factors.
One is the neoconservative ideology, adopted by the US government, that calls for the US to use its superior military and economic position to achieve world hegemony. This goal appeals to American hubris and to the power and profit that it serves.
A second factor is Israel's desire to eliminate all support for the Palestinians and for Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. Israel's goal is to seize all of Palestine and the water resources of southern Lebanon. Eliminating Iran removes all obstacles to Israel's expansion.
A third factor is to deter or slow China's rise as a military and economic power by controlling China's access to energy. It was China's oil investments in eastern Libya that led to the sudden move against Libya by the US and its NATO puppets, and it is China's oil investments elsewhere in Africa that resulted in the Bush regime's creation of the United States Africa Command, designed to counter China's economic influence with US military influence. China has significant energy investments in Iran, and a substantial percentage of China's oil imports are from Iran. Depriving China of independent access to oil is Washington's way of restraining and boxing in China.
What we are witnessing is a replay of Washington's policy toward Japan in the 1930s that provoked the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Japan's bank balances in the West were seized, and Japan's access to oil and raw materials was restricted. The purpose was to prevent or to slow Japan's rise. The result was war.
Despite the hubris in which it wallows, Washington understands the vulnerability of its Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf and would not risk losing a fleet and 20,000 US naval personnel unless it was to gain an excuse for a nuclear attack on Iran. A nuclear attack on Iran would alert both China and Russia that they could suffer the same fate. The consequence would be that the world would face a higher risk of nuclear armageddon than existed in the mutually assured destruction of the US-Soviet standoff.
Washington is getting all of us in over our heads. Washington has declared the "Asia-Pacific" and the South China Sea to be areas of "America's national interest." What sense does this make? It makes the same sense as if China declared the Gulf of Mexico and the Mediterranean Sea to be areas of China's national interest.
Washington has deployed 2,500 Marines, promising more to come, to Australia in order to do what? Protect Australia from China or occupy Australia? Encircle China with 2,500 Marines? It would not mean anything to China if Washington deployed 25,000 Marines in Australia.
When you get right down to it, Washington's tough talk is nothing but a silly pointless provocation of Washington's largest creditor. What if Washington's idiocy causes China to worry that Washington and its UK and European puppets will seize its bank balances and refuse to honor China's holdings of $1 trillion in US Treasury bonds? Will China pull its balances from the weak US, UK, and European banks? Will China decide to strike first, not with nuclear weapons, but by selling its $1 trillion in Treasury bonds all at once?
It would be cheaper than war.
The Federal Reserve would have to quickly print another $1 trillion dollars with which to buy the bonds, or US interest rates would shoot up. What would China do with the $1 trillion in newly printed paper? In my opinion, China would dump it all at once in the currency market, because the Federal Reserve cannot print euros, UK pounds, Japanese yen, Swiss francs, Russian rubles, and Chinese yuan with which to buy up its newly printed currency.
The US dollar would take a beating. US import priceswhich now include, thanks to offshoring, almost everything Americans consumewould rise. The hard-pressed 90% would take a further beating, endearing their Washington oppressors to them to an even greater extent. The rest of the world, anticipating nuclear war, would flee the dollar, as Washington would be a primary attack target.
If the missiles aren't launched, Americans would wake up the next day a bankrupt third world country. If the missiles were launched, few Americans would wake up.
We, as Americans, need to ask ourselves what all this is about? Why is our government so provocative toward Islam, Russia, China, Iran? What purpose, whose purpose is being served? Certainly not ours.
Who benefits from our bankrupt government starting yet more wars, picking this time not on defenseless countries like Iraq and Libya, but on China and Russia? Do the idiots in Washington think the Russian government does not know why Russia is being surrounded with missile bases and radar systems? Do they really believe that the Russian government will fall for its lie that the missiles are directed against Iran? Only American idiots who sit in front of Fox "news" could possible believe that the real issue is an Iranian nuclear weapon.
How much longer will the Russian government permit the US National Endowment for Democracy, a CIA front, to interfere in its elections by financing opposition parties led by the likes of Vladimir Kara-Murza, Boris Nemtsov, and Alexei Navalny, who organize protests of every election that Putin's party wins, alleging without any evidence whatsoever, but providing propaganda for Washington, who no doubt pays well, that the election will be and was stolen?
In the US, such activists would be declared to be "domestic extremists" and be subjected to rough treatment. In America even anti-war activists are subjected to home invasions by the FBI and grand jury investigations.
What this means is that "the criminal state of Russia" is a more tolerant democracy than the US, or for that matter, America's puppet states in Europe and the UK.
Where do we go from here? If not to nuclear destruction, Americans must wake up. Football games, porn, and shopping malls are one thing. Survival of human life is another. Washington, that is, "representative government," consists only of a few powerful vested interests. These private interests, not the American people, control the US government.
That is why nothing that the US government does benefits the American people.
The current crop of presidential contenders, except for Ron Paul, represent the controlling interests. War and financial fraud are the only remaining American Values.
Will Americans again give the sheen of "democracy" to rule by a few by participating in the coming rigged elections?
If you have to vote, vote for Ron Paul or for a more extreme third party candidate. Show that you do not support the lie that is the system.
Stop watching television. Stop reading newspapers. Stop spending money. When you do any of these things, you are supporting evil.