Dov Zakheim: 9/11 Mastermind

Watch and learn


If it's not the same vid as the one that was here below, give us a shout. There's also a playlist, looks like, with a bunch of stuff on 911.


link to youtube playlist with this vid being first



101 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sat, 04 Apr 2009 23:34:50 GMT
The US envoy to the United Nations says that Washington has a duty to fight the growing anti-Israeli sentiments in the world.

In a Friday interview with the Politico, Susan Rice said that the Obama White House was determined to "fight against the anti-Israel crap" at the UN.

The anti-Israeli sentiment began to become commonplace after Tel Aviv launched an all-out military strike against the Gaza Strip using conventional and uncomventional weapons against the Palestinians.

Rice hailed the attempt as a crusade for "the principles we believe in," echoing the former US administrations' staunch and blind support for Israel.

She made the remarks speaking in favor of the White House's decision to re-attend the UN's Human Rights Council.

"We have a record of abject failure from having stayed out. We've been out for the duration and it has not gotten better. It's arguably gotten worse."

The US pulled out of the UNHRC in 2006 complaining later that the body had "squandered its credibility" with repeated attacks on Israel and criticizing it for its "singular focus" on Tel Aviv in place of other "rights abusers" such as "Cuba, Myanmar and North Korea."

The US has also withdrawn from a UN-led anti-racism conference, due in Geneva later in the month. The move followed hectic Israeli attempts to portray the event as anti-Semitic because it brought into focus Israel's ill-treatment of the Palestinians and attempted to pass a resolution likening Zionism to racism.

Washington, Tel Aviv's traditional ally, has so far vetoed over 40 anti-Israeli resolutions sought by the UN Security Council. The US had also walked out of the previous conference in Durban, South Africa in protest at its draft declaration among other things.

Rice said the draft was "substantially" flawed and "rife with anti-Israeli and other problematic substance" and "not a credible basis for a responsible outcome."

"While we got a lot of love, we didn't get any progress on the document," she noted.

HN/MMN

http://www.presstv.com/detail.aspx?id=90479&sectionid=3510203

Anonymous said...

North Korea confirms rocket launch

North Korea has confirmed that it has launched a long-range rocket, defying calls from world leaders.

North Korean state media reported that Pyongyang had sent a satellite into space at 0029GMT on Sunday and that it was now circling the earth.`

Japanese television broadcaster NHK and South Korea's Yonhap news agency earlier reported the launch from the Musudan-ri site.

The UN Security Council is to hold an emergency session on the development later in the day.

The rocket passed over Japan on its way towards the Pacific Ocean.

Pyongyang previously said that it would send a communications satellite into orbit as part of a peaceful space programme.

South Korea, Japan and the US allege that North Korea is using the launch to test its Taepodong-2 long-range missile, which is capable of reaching the US.

The launch has sparked alarm because North Korea has acknowledged it has nuclear weapons.

Barack Obama, the US president, said the launch further isolated North Korea and that the country must abandon its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction to find acceptance in the international community.

Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, and the European Union separately said that the firing of the rocket threatened regional stability.

China, which has close ties to Pyongyang, called on all sides to maintain calm and restraint, and Russia also called for restraint.

Fred Lash, a US state department spokesman, told reporters: "We have had a launch. I don't know the type of missile." Lash called the move a "provocative act" and said the US would "take appropriate steps to let North Korea know that it can't threaten the safety and security of other countries with impunity and acts like these".

"North's Korea's development, deployment and proliferation of missiles, ballistic missile-related materials, equipment and technologies pose a serious threat to the northeast Asia region and to the international community," he said.

South Korea said that the launch was "reckless". "The government cannot but express disappointment and regret over North Korea's reckless act of firing a long-range rocket, which poses a serious threat to security on the Korean peninsula and the world," Lee Dong-Kwan, a South Korean presidential spokesman, said. "The government will deal firmly and resolutely with North Korea's provocative act," Lee said without giving further details.

North Korea says it launched its first satellite, Kwangmyongsong-1 (right), into orbit aboard a Taepodong 1 rocket in 1998. It says the satellite launch was successful, beaming a looped recording of the Song of General Kim Il Sung back to Earth

US space command said at the time it was unable to find any North Korean satellite in orbit

North Korea says it is now preparing to launch the Kwangmyongsong-2 satellite on top of what it has called an Unha-2 rocket

"It is extremely regrettable that North Korea went ahead with the launch ... and we protest strongly," Takeo Kawamura, Japan's chief cabinet secretary, said. "It has flown over Japan so no orders have been issued to intercept or destroy the projectile," he said.

Tensions over the launch have run high. On Saturday, the Japanese government, reported that North Korea had launched the rocket but later retracted the news, blaming a faulty detection device for the erroneous information.

Wayne Hay, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Paju on the South Korean side of the border with the North, said that although it was a satellite launch, South Korea remained cautious.

"I don't think that in this particular launch they would be worried. But South Korea have stuck to the line that this is a cover for a ballistic missile test," he said.

Our correspondent said that South Korea has ordered 655,000 troops to be on high alert to guard against any provocative activity.

Leonid Petrov, a research associate at the School of Pacific and Asian Studies at the Australian National University, said that the launch had been successful.

"It looks like everything is under control and there was a significant development and improvement into the technology ... because previous launches either failed or there was a controlled explosion 42 seconds after launch," he said.

Petrov said the launch sent two strong messages: "One to enemies ... that North Korea has a new technology for deterrence. So nobody should interfere into North Korean domestic affairs, otherwise there will be retaliation.

"And one to friends ... that North Korea is possessing a superior technology not only in satellite launching but also as a duel technology in missile launching," Petrov said.

Pyongyang fired a Taepodong-2 missile in a July 2006 test session but it exploded shortly after launch. It conducted a nuclear weapons test, its only one to date, in October 2006.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia-pacific/2009/04/20094524010906839.html

Anonymous said...

Obama's splendid week is subject to downward revision
THe FTH COLUM/354NIST by P.M. Carpenter

In the months and years to come, President Obama may remember this week with less fondness than the media's generally favorable reviews would indicate.

Some positives are undeniable. In Europe, his public relations tour has been magnificent — no question about it — as well as magnificently covered; and at home, headlines have trumpeted a compliant Congress in the way of his first term's progressive agenda. The verdict: a boffo few days, all the way around, brightening an already polished presidential image of unstoppable action.

Yet the G-20 summit was a mixed brew — true, better than most summits but still tainted with indigestible hesitations that could haunt. The participants agreed to vast new international lending, for instance, though no economic stimulus; they also agreed to global regulation of finance, to be enacted, however, idiosyncratically. As for protectionism? Beyond the pledges, we'll see. But domestic demands to protect the homefolks first have always inclined to the overwhelming.

At the NATO summit in Strasbourg, France, again, the international faces beam and the photo ops glisten and it would seem at a cursory view that we are one with the world. Yet here there's even less accord — far, far less — than there was in London.

In the eyes of Europeans we're no longer the unspeakable renegades we were under the Bush regime, but we do remain a kind of freakish outlier with an overeager reliance on military designs on what is, almost certainly, a foreign immutability.

As the Washington Post understated the matter yesterday: "European leaders have proved reluctant to follow Obama in his first major foreign policy initiative....

"They said Obama is likely to come away from the summit Saturday with a broad endorsement of his idea that stabilizing Afghanistan is a strategic goal for NATO and support for his decision to devote more civilian as well as military resources to eliminating al-Qaeda havens there and in Pakistan. But they also said that summit pleasantries are unlikely to mask Europe's refusal to commit to major new troop deployments."

In the world's most inhospitable trouble spot we effectively are on our own again, just like in Iraq — and just as Iraq is again heating up. (Now there's a surprise.) The hardening contours are both unmistakable and terrifying: Obama's "increasing American troops in Afghanistan to some 68,000 by the end of the year, from 38,000 today," muses the Times, essentially "Americanizes an operation that in recent years had been divided equally between American troops and allied forces."

What, another 4,000 dead and a trillion squandered to achieve some level of tranquility which can then re-blow just as we ready ourselves to leave? Misery loves company, but we don't even have that. Saieth the Europeans, sagely, the misery is all yours.

Turning to the homefront, apropos of Obama's domestic agenda, many a headline and their accompanying ledes — in other words, the full journalistic distance traversed by most readers — were misleading.

"Congress Approves Budget"! bellowed the Post in bold print, followed immediately by, "Congressional Democrats overwhelmingly embraced President Obama's ambitious and expensive agenda for the nation yesterday ... setting the stage for the president to pursue his most far-reaching priorities."

Intoned the Times: "Budget Approved, With No GOP Votes"! — making sure to capture the above-the-fold sensationalism of what's amounting to an increasingly impotent partisan dispute. "The House and Senate approved budgets ... on Thursday with no Republican support, a sign of deep partisan tensions likely to color Congressional efforts to enact major policy initiatives sought by President Obama." Nevertheless both chambers hustled what is "generally in keeping with Mr. Obama’s ambitious agenda."

The real problematic partisanship, however, was internecine, and reflected in the final product. The Politico was less delicate: "Budgets fall short of Obama's mandate."

Even more depressingly direct was Jonathan Karl in ABC News' "The Note," announcing "Little-Noticed Budget Changes Signal Problems Ahead for the Obama Agenda" ...

"The good news for the White House: The budget passed.

"The bad news: Not a single Republican in the House or Senate voted for it one must make some concessions to the meaningless, I suppose.

"The worse news: ... On the major pillars of the Obama agenda — healthcare, energy and climate change, education, and regulatory reform — the signs from Capitol Hill are less than promising." In his conclusion Karl somewhat reversed himself on that regulatory part — "a sweeping change to the way the financial system is regulated" is "the White House's best shot for a major legislative accomplishment this year" — but those other "major pillars" are collapsing.

"Healthcare — ... Congress can agree on how not to pay for it, but not on a viable way to pay for it.

"Energy/Climate Change — ... odds of final passage this year are low. One Democratic Senator who strongly favors the cap and trade bill told me bluntly yesterday, 'It won't happen.'

"Education — There's talk of reforming No Child Left Behind, but no real movement."

Bundle it all together — from the restrained response to a global meltdown to a ceaseless hot spot of unilateral quicksand to impregnable mossbackism at home — and Obama may someday recall the glorious week that wasn't.

http://buzzflash.com/articles/carpenter/354

Anonymous said...

Check out the media spin on NKorean launch. Booga, booga, as WRH Michael Rivero calls it. Anything so long as people huddle in panic and look to their masters for guidance.

Anonymous said...

Mexican president: US authorities 'complicit' in drug trafficking

The President of Mexico has an unfortunate message for Americans still ignorant of the Drug War's cold realities: Some of your politicians are involved.

Yes folks, it is long-past time to start thinking about alternative strategies for combating both the harmful effects of drug addiction and the deadly effects of forcing an economy outside of the law.

"It is impossible to pass tons of drugs and cocaine to U.S. without some great complicity of some American authorities," said Mexican President Felipe Calderon.

Surprising if Mexico also wakes up to US iniquity.

Anonymous said...

Interesting video re 911. In this regard, just in case you missed this on iraq-war.ru:

Chemical Physics Journal (April 2009):

Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center.

By: Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, Kevin R. Ryan, Frank M. Legge, Daniel Farnsworth, Gregg Roberts, James

This is a major breakthrough as it is a peer reviewed scientific paper which proves that 911 was an inside job. The international scientific community cannot ignore this. The last sentance of this scientific article:

“Based on these observations, we conclude that the red layer of the red/gray chips we have discovered in the WTC dust is active, unreacted thermitic material, incorporating nanotechnology, and is a highly energetic pyrotechnic or explosive material.”

The Open Chemical Physics Journal
Volume 2
ISSN: 1874-4125

http://www.bentham-open.org/pages/content.php?TOCPJ/2009/00000002/00000001/7TOCPJ.SGM

Anonymous said...

Russia warns US on Georgia

By MIKE ECKEL

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia sent a strong warning to the United States Thursday about supporting Georgia in the U.S. ally's efforts to rebuild its military following last year's war.

The Foreign Ministry said helping arm Georgia would be "extremely dangerous" and would amount to "nothing but the encouragement of the aggressor."

The warning comes days after Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili stridently vowed to rebuild and prepare his armed forces for missions other than peacekeeping — comments made alongside a top U.S. general.

It also follows Wednesday's first meeting between Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev, where the two leaders tried to mend serious differences that have plagued ties in recent years — including over last year's war in Georgia.

The brief war helped send relations between Moscow and Washington to Cold War lows, as the Russians routed the Georgian army and humiliated Saakashvili.

The Georgian leader has since repeatedly vowed to rebuild his forces. On Monday, Saakashvili told visiting Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the U.S. joint chiefs of staff, that the country would build "modern, significantly higher quality, significantly stronger armed forces."

The forces "have been trained for peacekeeping operations. Now we are preparing qualitatively different armed forces. Let no one have any illusions," he told Cartwright.

The meeting prompted two days of harsh reports on Russian state-run TV, with one anchor calling Saakashvili's announcements "strange," among other things.

The war "proved that it would be extremely dangerous for neighbors, the entire region and Georgia itself to arm the incumbent Georgian administration," ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said.

"Hopefully, the United States, Ukraine and other countries, which regard themselves as responsible international participants, will take that into account in their policies."

Washington found a staunch ally in Saakashvili, giving military and economic aid to Georgia for years, sending military instructors to train Georgian troops and backing its bid to join NATO.

That has worried Moscow, which considers Georgia part of its historical sphere of influence and which fears a greater U.S. presence in the former Soviet Caucasus or Central Asia.

At their first meeting in London Wednesday, Obama and Medvedev discussed the situation in the South Caucasus. U.S. officials said Obama told Medvedev that the separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia — both of which are backed by Russia — would never be recognized as independent by the United States.

Russian troops have remained in part of Abkhazia and Georgia, and Moscow plans on building bases there.

On Thursday, meanwhile, Saakashvili welcomed a visiting U.S. missile frigate — the USS Klakring — to the port of Batumi, saying he had been assured that the Obama administration fully supported him.

"Georgia needs strong allies. Georgia needs the hands of friends for the resolution of further problems," he said. "In this matter, in particular after yesterday's meeting in London, I can practically exclude any Russian military adventures in the future — and Georgia will not be happy until it is free of occupation."

Associated Press writer Misha Dzhindzhikhashvili contributed to this report from Tbilisi, Georgia.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j7BCcjwQoFKKVK-rmNvEpZXk-q6AD97AEER00

Anonymous said...

World Turns its Back on the Dollar, as the U.S. Borrows and Spends its Way Into Bankruptcy

By Peter D. Schiff
Guest Columnist
Money Morning

For a few fleeting, horrifying moments recently, the fault lines that underlie the global economic crisis erupted into plain view. With deft and quick effort, leaders in Washington, Europe and Asia papered over the fissures and fears largely subsided.

But the shock of plain truths that resulted in violent currency movements were the latest reminder that the 21st century economic order will bear little resemblance to the world we now know.

The tremors began in Beijing, where an essay from the governor of the People’s Bank of China seemed to favor the implementation of an International Monetary Fund currency to replace the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve. In Europe, the rotating president of the European Union, outgoing Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, characterized America’s plan to combat the widening global recession as the “road to hell.” At the same time, British Member of the European Parliament Daniel Hannan made headlines the world over with his stinging rebuke of the inflationary and debt-focused policies of the current U.K. government.

As a result of these clearly voiced frustrations, the U.S. dollar suffered a drubbing. However, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and his ministerial counterparts in Berlin, Paris and London did their best to convince everyone that the world is pulling together as one to combat the economic crisis. The charm offensive was effective in restoring calm.

Given the size and scope of the remedies that the Obama administration is cajoling the world to adopt, it is likely that the unease will grow until many countries emerge in open revolt to America’s plans.

U.S. President Barack Obama and the majority of our leadership on both sides of the aisle are confident that the right mix of monetary and fiscal policy can restart the spending party that defined America for a generation. And as the bleary-eyed revelers wisely reach for a cup of black coffee or stumble into a rehab center, Obama is pouring grain alcohol into the punch bowl hoping to lure the walking zombies back onto the dance floor. Europe and Asia fully understand that Obama will ask them to lend the booze. And
Washington is telling us that our problems result from a lack of consumer spending.

Therefore, the solution is for government spending to pick up the slack. However, if Americans are too broke to spend, then how can our government spend for us? The only money they have is taken from us through taxation. To postpone immediate tax hikes (adding interest for good measure) Washington plans to borrow more from abroad. However, if our foreign creditors refuse to pony up, much of the money will simply be printed instead.


Printing money is merely taxation in another form. Rather than robbing citizens of their money, government robs their money of its purchasing power. Many people assume that if government provides the funds we can spend our way back to prosperity. However, it’s not money we lack but production. If the government simply prints money and doles it out, we will not be able to buy more stuff; we will simply pay higher prices. The only way to buy more is to produce more. It is production that creates purchasing power, not the printing press!

Our current predicament resulted, in part, from our efforts to maintain consumer spending at unsustainable levels – primarily by the reckless extension of consumer credit. Pushing up consumer credit to levels not supported by market realities required government subsidies and guarantees. In addition, Wall Street pitched in with securitization and credit default swaps, which created a false sense of confidence among our creditors that high-risk consumer loans could actually be repaid. However, now that all those gimmicks have blown up, the entire farce has been exposed. There is simply no way to sustain an economy based on consumer credit.

The Obama administration argues that more debt will restore growth, which will then allow the repayment of borrowed money. First, our government has never, and will never, repay anything. Second, the assumption that additional borrowing and spending will restore growth is flawed. In fact, more consumer debt and government spending will undermine our economy and restrain growth.

To solve our problems we must first come to terms with their source. That is what the voices from abroad are telling us. We borrowed and spent ourselves to the brink of bankruptcy, and now we must save and produce ourselves back to prosperity.

Of course, this simple solution is rejected by Keynesian economists, who insist that we must keep spending. The “paradox of thrift,” as they call it, holds that if we stop spending the recession will worsen. While this is true, it is hardly a paradox. As they say in the fitness game, “no pain, no gain.”

No one said this was going to be easy, but the only way to rebuild a viable economy is to let the phony one collapse. If we follow the Keynesians, the fault lines will continue to widen until our wealth, our lifestyle, our very ability to prosper is swallowed up. The calls from abroad will only get louder until we face this ugly truth.

http://www.moneymorning.com/2009/04/03/timothy-geithner-2/

Anonymous said...

Barbaric Israel

A nation that has violated “every norm of civilized behavior and international law” since its founding in 1948 is held virtually blameless by the U.S. corporate media – Israel sycophants of the lowest order. “Now members of the Israeli Defense Force themselves are coming forward to admit that they committed war crimes” – but the U.S. press is censoring their confessions! Even when Israeli soldiers openly testify to committing “murder” in Gaza, as reported by the Israeli press, the U.S. corporate media “keeps the people of this country ignorant” of the crimes against humanity bankrolled by American taxpayers.

by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberle

“Every norm of civilized behavior and international law was violated.”
April 04, 2009 "BAR" -- Despite the best efforts of the American corporate media, the Israeli lobby, and compromised politicians, the true nature of Israel’s barbarity towards the Palestinian people is not easily hidden. The massacres of Gaza’s civilian population that were recently carried out by the Israeli Defense Force created a turning point in worldwide public opinion. Only the Israeli and American governments try to deny that war crimes were committed.

The IDF barred the world’s media from witnessing the killings of more than 1,400 people. Every norm of civilized behavior and international law was violated, including the Geneva Conventions prohibition of acts of revenge against civilian populations. Israel kept the borders of Gaza sealed, and would not even allow the population to flee and save their lives. The IDF takes the term “shooting fish in a barrel” very seriously.

Now members of the IDF themselves are coming forward to admit that they committed war crimes. Soldiers have told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that they were ordered to murder civilians without provocation. Haaretz has also revealed that the IDF prepares soldiers to kill civilians by openly condoning the killing of pregnant women and little children.

“1 Shot, 2 Kills” reads one t-shirt routinely worn by IDF soldiers. It depicts a pregnant woman covered by a bulls-eye. Another t-shirt for infantry snipers depicts “the inscription ‘Better use Durex,’ next to a picture of a dead Palestinian baby, with his weeping mother and a teddy bear beside him.” Soldiers wear these shirts only with the approval of their platoon commanders.

“The IDF prepares soldiers to kill civilians by openly condoning the killing of pregnant women and little children.”
The shirts are bilingual, written in Hebrew and in English too. It makes sense that the inscriptions are also in English, because were it not for American financial support, the IDF would not exist or be able to bomb Syria or the Sudan or invade Lebanon or carry out massacres in Gaza.

The United States is the Israeli government’s only friend in the world. While boycotts and protests against Israel are carried out all over the globe, concerned Americans are silenced because the corporate media and the political system have turned their country into Israel’s colony.

The Los Angeles Times carried the story of IDF war crimes revelations, but only after censoring the words of the soldiers themselves.

"When we entered a house, we were supposed to bust down the door and start shooting inside and just go up story by story… I call that murder. Each story, if we identify a person, we shoot them. I asked myself – how is this reasonable?"

The Los Angeles Times felt that the word “murder” was too much for sensitive American eyes and left the sentence out. “‘When we entered a house, we were supposed to bust down the door and start shooting inside and just go up story by story,’ he was quoted as saying. ‘Each story, if we identify a person, we shoot them. I asked myself: 'How is this reasonable?’”

Apparently, “I call that murder,” is just not acceptable, even if the words come straight from the horse’s mouth. The Los Angeles Times knows or thinks it knows that it can go only so far when Israel is the subject of what passes for reporting in the American corporate media.

“Several cardboard boxes full of excrement were left in the house.”
Not only do Israelis kill women and children and use civilians as human shields, but they also occupy Palestinian homes. They routinely desecrate them in ways that are so cruel and malicious, that they must be considered pathological. According to Amnesty International, not only did Israelis in Gaza illegally occupy Palestinian homes, but they left them in a devastated and desecrated condition.

“In one house in the Sayafa area in north Gaza several cardboard boxes full of excrement were left in the house (italics mine) - although there was a functioning toilet which the soldiers could have used. Walls were defaced with crude threats written in Hebrew, such as ‘next time it will hurt more’. In every case the soldiers had smashed holes in the outer walls of the houses to use as lookout and sniper positions.”

Israelis are not inherently worse than other human beings. They behave as they do because they never pay a price for their actions. The American people have paid and will continue to pay the price as targets of hatred and even of terror because their government has made them complicit in Israel’s crimes. But any suffering experienced by Americans is hardly unjust. Americans do not have a greater right to live in peace than do the people of Gaza.

If Gazans wore t-shirts encouraging the killing of women and little babies they would be no worse than the IDF soldiers whose actions are paid for by the American tax payer. Sadly, the Los Angeles Times and their counterparts in the rest of the media are unlikely to explain that very simple fact. This conspiracy of silence is just one of many that keeps the people of this country ignorant and incapable of making the demands and taking the necessary actions that would enable them to help themselves.

Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgandaReport.Com .

Anonymous said...

Obama is the same as Bush, only wrapped into candy floss.
At the G20 summit, he made completely woozy statements,
totally inconsistent. At one time he made a proposal for
a nuclear free world, and only minutes later he spoke of
the necessity of continuously renewing the 'deterrence
potential'.

Anonymous said...

See, Anon 12:54, We're right to call him Zigzag Bananas.

Anonymous said...

OK, USans, Only 177 days to go before the whole thing blows up in your faces. Start preparing.

Anonymous said...

Financial Times: US may cede to Iran’s enrichment plan
IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

US officials are considering whether to accept Iran’s pursuit of uranium enrichment and may cede to "Iran’s nuclear ambitions", Financial Times reports. "As part of a policy review commissioned by President Barack Obama, diplomats are discussing whether the US will eventually have to accept Iran’s insistence on carrying out the process, which can produce both nuclear fuel and weapons-grade material."...Financial Times reported that there is a growing recognition in Washington that the zero enrichment solution is "unfeasible" and that the US may still have zero as its opening position, while recognising it may not be where things stand at the end of a potential agreement....

Anonymous said...

In case someone failed to get the message:

Emancipate Gaza

Liberate the Apartheid State

King

Anonymous said...

Obama Asks Security Council to Punish N. Korea
The United States lies to start a war in Iraq, tortures prisoners to death, has actually USED nuclear weapons against another country, and Korea's communications satellite is the problem?
Israel defies the United Nations 65 times, breaks the cease fire with Gaza on Nov 4th, commits war crimes there, and Iran's power station is the problem?
Mr. Obama, kindly shut the #$%^ up. I didn't think it would be possible, but you are a greater embarrassment to the nation than your predecessor.
The Security Council will not go along with your wishes to pound on North Korea as a distraction from the fall of America. All you will succeed in doing is reinforcing the impression that the United States Government
is simply thrashing about the floor in its death throes, striking out at anything that happens to be in reach. (WRH)

Anonymous said...

Medvedev says Russia irritated by WTO entry holdup, EU
4/4/2009, The Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) — MOSCOW (AP) ? President Dmitry Medvedev says Russia is irritated by the time it is taking to join the World Trade Organization.
Medvedev says Russia has long been ready to join up and says the process has been drawn out. Russia is the world's biggest economy outside the global trading community.
At a London summit earlier this week U.S. President Barack Obama pledged to support Moscow's membership bid. Various issues including anti-piracy commitments are seen as persistent stumbling blocks.
Medvedev was speaking Saturday during a joint news conference with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet in the Kremlin.

http://www.silive.com/newsflash/business/index.ssf?/base/business-0/1238860926166680.xml&storylist=business

Anonymous said...

Mr. Medvedev there is nothing for Russia in joining the zioWest's WTO. Most if not all the cards are in Russia's hand, why should you want to throw them away by joining such a rotten institution that is not in the interest of Russians?

The mammoth which believed it was a mouse?

Anonymous said...

RE: AMAZING FEAT (tentative title)

The west is out of options and time. What a wonderful story this. Remember that in 2000, not too long ago, USA/UK set out to wipe out half the planet and enslave the rest. Inside a decade, the biggest world serial killer has been bled dry and pushed against the wall. Anyone wanna help me write a book on this amazing feat, perhaps the greatest on this planet?

1/4/09 22:55
Anonymous said...
Good points there, poiuytr. Don't know much about how a book gets written, but sure would love to read your "Amazing Feat" if you get the time to put it all down on paper.

Mandolin

We also second Mandolin's comment on "Amazing Feat". You've got the whole thing clear in your head. Write the damn thing. The world will be so much the richer for it.

1/4/09 23:39
Anonymous said...
Dear poiuytr, If you write anything in one of the western languages, there might be no one around to read it anymore in the west. Even those lucky enough to ecape from west debacle will be so assimilated in their new environment, they'll no longer be able to speak or understand their mother tongue. Therefore, please to use Russian, if possible, Mandarin, Arabic or Urdu at a pinch. Best of luck with the book. It's a splendid idea.

King

poiuytr said...
mandolin, king:

what a book it would be, maybe even a film for youtube. but i fear it's beyond my energy levels. i've got 7 articles i've been promising, one on USA cash crash, Africa, etc... and i barely get NBN done. believe me, i'm cursing myself for failing like this.

like today though. i filled my weekly argument quota in one day. and i must say they take toll on me. then you look at news and you either laugh or cry or watch your blood pressure explode over the crimes, endless, absolutely endless crimes.

but that's the thing today. there's a lot of news, as always, and the plot of west collapse is lost and hazy because of them. many blame global collapse which happens apparently cyclically like ice age. many blame what they're told to blame: financial crises. those that dig deeper are told to blame derivative market. noone, absolutely no one knows what that is because derivatives are secret, not just the amounts but the actually investment. that's cuz it's all war cash. but many walk away happy thinking they understand it mumbling to themselves 'derivatives' or 'bank toxicity' like little kids humming nursery rhymes.

those that still want more get crap like bailout, stimulus, housing bubbles, and other bubbles, and mortgage oversight, mark to market policies, easy loans, subprime implosion, and endless such nonsense.

and the more one reads, the less one gets it and the overall picture of the west deliberate taking down is lost. that bothers me!

and i promised articles on some of it and failed like the NWO. in fact, i've got one on NWO, their goals and their results. it's a pitiful balance, thank goodness.

but anyway, so there's this gigantic tale to be told and retold for generations to come. but not many see it because it's lost in the noise of daily tragedies like israel doing a hit on Erdogan. (now this oughtta be funny. one would think that Erdogan's gonna take this one personally.) and other such news, which aren't irrelevant but they blur the whole main issue of the 2006 petrodollar destruction and the flushing of the whole west down the bog, which has been beyond amazing because, notice, west doesn't even know where to fire off its arsenal of nukes.

and yes, it needs be in Mandarin and Russian, Arabic, African languages... not just because USA/UK wouldn't get it at all but they won't be able to afford the paperback by the time it's done.

2/4/09 09:05

Re: Amazing Feat

Now that its tools down time at the ID Forum, I'm willing to give you a hand with above. You provide material and outline, we, the manpower, then you do the editing. Give or take a year and the book will be ready for public perusal. Consider it a task done by the entire ID blogging team.

So what exactly happened in 2000? "Remember that in 2000, not too long ago, USA/UK set out to wipe out half the planet and enslave the rest." George W was pushed down the throats of the US. What else? The book would be simply chronological.

2000 - George W. and all the rest of it.
2001 - 911, Afghanistan and all the rest of it
etc. etc.

If you're really interested, let us know.

Attila

2/4/09 15:56

Anonymous said...
About the book (or documentary film and script):

World Colonisation, plunder, and genocide, the opium wars, and the African slave trade. This stuff runs in the blood of the ZioWest. There you have all the European countries right in the spotlight as an introduction to the carnage described later on.

Of course poiuytr needs to tell us where we are headed. The conclusions, or what the manifesto is all about.

Book to be written by azerty slave labor (The N by N Collective) under the editorial direction of poiuytr.

May I suggest that a special blog page be set up where, with an appropriate draft outline of chapters, we may begin fleshing the flesh, and stuffing the stuff (documents, articles, videos, etc.), and begin discussing where S/S The New World Order is headed.

3/4/09 17:40
poiuytr said...
Attila, you there still?

thanks for the offer. honestly thank! ive got the outline and probably the meat too. it's just the sec'y stuff. i'm no good at that cuz computers keep failing and it's all scattered who knows where. so it's really discipline that i'm lacking. energy and discipline.

if you wanna talk let me know. send me email over the contact form. i just tried it and it worked. but you have to fill the fields with crap and make the email field look like a real email like crap@crap.org or whatever. it works now again and it filed the thing into my spam box.

---------------

17:40 thank you too....
yeah, we should try something like that. it would be a world's first, wouldn't it? totally virtual collective produces stuff.

and yes, different blog would be good actually for that. good idea!

and yes to the crimes you list. absolutely, it has to contain that giving rationale for unplugging it.

what i think is interesting isn't so much the data, although that's needed of course, but it's what's not being said.

for years, for generations, they'll wonder and study this, the west prolapse and it was actually quite simple. and notice no one tells you the reason. no one.

wtf is toxic asset? people think that's the answer but that's just more gibberish. so it would be fun to expose it, blow by blow.

it's really more a celebration of human winning over the beast, outsmarting the monster, making it dive into the Stalingrad traps, manipulating it with such amazing orchestration. it's been such a sweet symphony.

i realise many kids are getting killed but if this hadn't been done, they would have killed half the planet by now.

and to explain how the beast reacts we'd have to explain how west worked. again, tons think that capitalism was some sort of econ system in west and crap like that.

yeah, anyway, shoot me a msg too if you want, and give me your email in it and we'll talk.

film for youtube would be great but totally beyond my capabilities.

4/4/09 11:19
poiuytr said...
add'l

remember, was it Nero? lamenting 'if only Romans had one neck'?

that's exactly it. and amazingly west never learnt this lesson either. and as huge and spread of an octopus the west had become at one point it only had one neck. and that was the dollar.

take that away and you've taken down the entire behemoth juggernaut west monstrosity.

and it's most amusing here because it was the west arrogance that made it globalise west holdings, so they had ultimate control over their lands and slaves. and it was precisely this that made them so vulnerable. and the west morons thought that the attack's gonna come from military and they surrounded themselves with nukes but completely forgot about their own single gigantic aorta that feeds the whole of the west. and all it took was a little unnoticed blade to do the whole west in. once it was slashed in 2006, it became a academic.

and it makes for a very interesting study as to what is the optimal market/nation/monetary zone size. what's the correct monetary density, i guess. stuff like that.


anyway, try using the form and let's see if that works.

4/4/09 11:28

Anonymous said...

RE: Amazing Feat is a cut and paste version of the remarks exchanged on the subject so far. The ideas expressed by 3.4.09, 17:40 sound feasible. A special blog for our combined writing efforts would be a fairly efficient way to communicate without hindrance. In any case, more on this topic tomorrow, I hope.

Attila

Anonymous said...

The G-20 Global Scam: Forget The Sound-Bites - Go Behind The Personalities To Discover Their Real & Final Agenda - By Matthias Chang (6/4/09)
By Matthias Chang
Monday, 06 April 2009 10:28

Below this article posted to the website folder: “Breaking News”, I have deliberately uploaded for your viewing a video presentation of the grave crisis that is sweeping the world, produced by Adrian Salbuchi. I want you to watch this video at the minimum three times!

Since 2006 and in my Book, “The Shadow Money-lenders and the Global Financial Tsunami”, I have been saying that we are witnessing a global systemic meltdown, the equivalent of a “financial tsunami”.

Anyone who went to Acheh, Indonesia and witnessed the destruction wrought by the “natural tsunami” would go away totally devastated by the scope of the destruction. It is beyond the imagination. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed in a matter of minutes when the tidal waves swept inland and then as it retreated, sucked out, literally sucked out and swept back into the ocean, everything in its path.

The coming destruction will be no less devastating. And time is running out.

I am glad that Adrian Salbuchi came out with this video presentation, as Argentina and Malaysia shared some common experiences, but the former suffered more, much more than Malaysia when financial crisis hit her economy. Adrian wrote to me and shared with me his views after reading my articles that were posted to the renowned website www.globalresearch.ca founded by my dear and trusted friend, Professor Michel Chossudovsky.

What is important is that, and as pointed out by Adrian, many economists and citizens of the developed “first world” have never suffered such financial chaos in their entire working lives, save those who have lived through the great depression. Those are few, as the survivors would be in the age bracket between eighty to ninety years.

Why this long introduction?

This is because after following the deliberations of the G-20 and the commentaries by the global mass media, it is obvious that there is a systemic attempt to mislead, misdirect and confuse the common people of the crisis that will devastate their lives in the coming months.

The call by Adrian Salbuchi is timely and should be heeded immediately. The currency, especially the US dollar will be absolutely useless, very soon – toilet paper as how I have been describing it!

The Geithner / Bernanke bailout, following the Paulson / Bernanke bailouts have not worked and will not work. I have exposed this con often enough in my website.

But what have been missing from the jig-saw puzzle as to how this global con-game will be played out are the personalities behind the overall scheme of things.

No doubt, there has been warnings and calls for the restructuring of the global financial system, the need to replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, tougher regulations etc.!

These are good, very good sound bites but are meaningless, if they are being initiated by the very people, the power brokers who are in control of the system and are presently the beneficiaries and will be the ultimate beneficiaries of any “new system” crafted by them. The end result will be the same, as the system will merely have a new name.

Just before the G-20 Summit there has been a call by the Governor of the Chinese Central Bank, Zhou Xiaochuan for a “global super-sovereign reserve currency, based on the IMF special drawing rights.”

The moment I finished reading his statement on “Reforming the International Monetary System”, I smelled the rat!

Then, in an interview given by Geithner to the Council On Foreign Relations (CFR), I watched how Geithner praised Mr Zhou. He supported Zhou’s idea on the role of the IMF special drawing rights as a basis to facilitate the reform of the system. But the US media went on into a frenzy and accused Geithner of abandoning the US dollar. But, Geithner in the interview never said that he wants to abandon the dollar! And I watched the interview six times.

Commentators as “respected” as Ambrose Evans-Pritchard missed the whole point (or may be pretending to miss the point) when he wrote on March 27, 2009 that “US Backing for world currency stuns markets” and as reported in the U.K. Daily Telegraph.

My question is this: Are the world’s financial power-brokers really stunned by this proposal of Mr. Zhou’s?

But will Zhou’s proposal really change the status quo?

Let us examine the key words:

“Super-Sovereign reserve currency”. The critical word is “Sovereign.”

“IMF Special Drawing Rights”.

The word “sovereign” denotes a “national” based currency. The vehicle is the IMF, which is controlled by the same global financial power-brokers which has been wrecking havoc for the past fifty years in developing economies. This was exposed by John Perkins in his ground-breaking book, “The Economic Hitmen.”

Such a proposal, notwithstanding coming from China, cannot be a genuine reform of the global financial architecture.

China is too exposed to the frailties of the US dollar, being the largest creditor to the USA and the biggest investor of US treasuries and assets. Therefore, whatever proposals from China must be viewed (and one cannot really fault them for doing this, as self-interest comes first) from the perspective that in the short to mid-term, she cannot afford a drastic destabilization of the dollar, indeed China wants a strong dollar to protect her interests. And so long as China has a say in the overall scheme of things, the status quo will remain.

I mentioned at the beginning of this article that we must examine the key personnel behind the recent pronouncements on resolving the global financial crisis. Who are these people and why are they so powerful?

What does the following personalities have in common?

1) Paul A Volker – Chairman

2) Jacob A Frenkel – Executive Secretary

3) Stanley Fisher – Governor, Central Bank of Israel, member

4) Timothy Geithner – US Treasury Secretary, member

5) Mervyn King – Governor, Bank of England, member

6) Jean-Claude Trichet – Governor, ECB, member

7) Zhou Xiaochuan – Governor, China Central Bank, member

8) Lawrence Summers – Obama’s Chief Economic Adviser, member

9) Kenneth Rogoff – IMF, Chief Economist (former), member

10) Paul Krugman – Latest Nobel Laureate in economics (and supposedly an opponent of Geithner’s bailouts), member

There are others!

They are all part of the Organisation known as the “Group of Thirty”!

Please tell me after you have googled “Group of Thirty” and gone through the bio-data of each and every member of this international financial power-broker organization whether anything that comes out of this group serves the interests of the global citizens or the global banking and financial interests of the global elites?

So many commentators and analysts have missed the agenda of this powerful group. But, they cannot remain hidden for long. It took pain-staking effort to uncover another effort of the power-brokers to control and dominate. Behind the first layers (such as CFR, the Trilaterals, Bilderberg etc.) are other deeper layers, often overlapping.

And don’t forget that for over a decade, Goldman Sachs’s top guys were at the forefront in the training of China’s new breed of bankers. How many are moles and how many remain loyal and patriotic to their country is an open question.

I take pride in being called a “conspiracy theorist” because I take it to be a solemn duty to uncover and pursue those in power who are hell bent to destroy our lives.

You have a choice. Be a victim of these financial harlots or join me in exposing these scumbags and plunderers!

Anonymous said...

Barry Obama makes speeches galore and wows audiences in Czech Republic. Nothing sensible said. Spin and scam, thouogh delivered in measured tones. Goes on to shoe-rich Turkey.

Italy hit by devastating earthquake.

Britain to control citizens' E mails, internet browsing history and phone calls.

Usual killings round the world in the name of insane interests. Israel out there doing its bit along with the best of 'em. Kill with impunity today, tomorrow the ghosts return.

Anonymous said...

X here. After reading Chang above, my feeling is Russia comes out pretty well from the whole revolting scam. China is trying in its own way, no doubt, but it's strong, silent Russia, endlessly bugged by US rogues, which will probably deliver the final blow.
X

Anonymous said...

http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/

Oshe

Anonymous said...

Thanks Oshe. Interesting. See below.

Bullets from the Drug War
The US has lost the "War on Drugs"

The losing side is usually not the one to decide when a fight is over or how it ends

Unlike other recent defeats, this lost war is a defeat followed by an invasion

Mexico is the natural staging area for the invasion (inconvenient though it is for the Mexicans)
New franchises are being set up to service the North American drug market (which is the biggest in the world)

The CIA has to eat, and all they know how to do competently is run guns and drugs and control thugs; they get a seat at the table

The narcs have to eat too, and all they are trained to do is deal (with) drugs; they get a seat at the table too
As the federales grow weak in the US and Mexico, the battle lines will advance north of the border, leaving Mexico a quiet and largely intact backwater

This is an inter-US conflict, because Americans are the most avid consumers, sellers, and prosecutors of drugs

Life in the USA gives everyone a pain that is for many people simply not survivable without drugs: either alcohol, pharmaceuticals or illegal drugs

Illegal drugs are far more cost-effective than either pharma or alcohol — government-licensed industries which are either excessively lucrative or taxed heavily
As Americans give up hope, they will need to self-medicate in ever-larger numbers

They will be far more able financially to afford illegal drugs than either pharma or alcohol.

Illegal drugs (and moonshine) are two very large post-collapse enrepreneurial opportunities within the fUSA/бСША [Orlov 2005]

This is no longer a war against drugs; it is now a contest between alternative drug distribution systems

One alternative is a centralized, paramilitary organization run by CIA remnants, former military, and former police

Another alternative is ethnic mafias, which will diversify into many other kinds of trade.

The third, nautrally most cost-effective alternative will be provided by informal, local distribution networks based on barter, which will be all that is left once the dust settles

The downside of all this is that it will be hard to find anyone sober enough to operate a light switch

The upside to that is that the national electrical grid will go away, so there will be little need of that
King

Anonymous said...

I am Russian, and so I tend to use my Russian background to look for answers to questions big and small. Sometimes this works rather well for me. It seems that the Russians are better-equipped to survive financial collapse than just about anyone else. They have formidable reserves of gold and foreign currency to soften the downward slide. They have a dwindling but still sizable endowment of things the world still wants, even if at temporarily reduced prices. They have plenty of timber and farmland and other natural resources, and can become self-sufficient and decouple themselves economically should they choose to do so. They have high-tech weaponry and a nuclear deterrent in case other nations get any crazy ideas. After all the upheavals, they have ended up with a centrally-managed, natural resource-based, geographically contiguous realm that is not overly dependent on global finance. Yes, the Russian consumer sector is crashing hard, and many Russians are in the process of losing their savings yet again, but they have managed to survive without a consumer sector before, and no doubt will again.

Corresponds exactly to our own understanding of events.

Anonymous said...

China Takes a Small Step Away from the Dollar
China Takes a Small Step Away from the Dollar
By Neel Chowdhury / Singapore Monday, Apr. 06, 09

The most effective weapons are often the ones never used. Just ask French President Nicolas Sarkozy. In advance of the G-20 summit held in London last week, Sarkozy threatened to storm out of the talks if hedge funds weren't put on a tight leash as part of efforts to cope with the global financial crisis. Leaders agreed to regulate hedge funds more tightly — and Sarkozy remained in his chair.

Now it is China's turn to show it's no pushover. In the G-20 run-up, Zhou Xiaochuan, China's central bank governor, published a paper suggesting that alternative global currencies, like Special Drawing Rights — a unit of exchange used by the International Monetary Fund — be considered to replace the U.S. dollar as the world's de facto reserve currency. While some Washington officials rejected the proposal as impractical, China's leaders have been taking steps to show just how nervous they are about a weaker dollar as the U.S. runs up massive deficits to shore up its crumbling economy and financial system. In the past two weeks, China signed multibillion-dollar currency-swap agreements with Indonesia and Argentina that effectively allow Beijing's two trading partners to bypass the dollar as a medium of exchange. The deals followed similar swaps China has hammered out over the past six months with Malaysia, Hong Kong and South Korea. The combined value of the various swaps — which enable the central banks of China's trading partners to sell yuan to local importers to buy Chinese goods — is nearly $100 billion. (See pictures of the global financial crisis.)

The agreements are an unusual step for China, which has historically used U.S. dollars to conduct its external trade. But with some 70% of its $2 trillion in foreign reserves parked in the U.S. currency, China is searching for ways to diversify. Beijing's main concern is that the dollar will inevitably weaken, eroding the value of its holdings, due to the growing U.S. budget deficit that is expected to swell to more than $1.75 trillion in 2009, the country's largest debt load as a percentage of GDP since World War II. "This is the tip of the iceberg," warns Joseph Tan, the chief Asia economist for private banking at Credit Suisse. "It doesn't look promising for the dollar." (Read "How China Is Capitalizing on the Economic Crisis.")

There have been other recent hassles with dollar-based trade. When U.S. financial institutions like AIG and Lehman Brothers began to disintegrate in 2008, global money markets were so roiled it became expensive for any trade to be done at all in dollars. "What precipitated China's swap agreements was the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the worries over trade financing at that time," says Johanna Chua, a regional economist with Citigroup in Hong Kong. "If the dollar is extremely volatile it costs more to hedge."

The swap agreements China has hashed out circumvent most of these problems. A Malaysian clothing store, for example, that buys shirts and dresses from China can now use its local currency, the ringgit, to pay for its purchases. Because it no longer has to pay a bank a fee to convert ringgit into dollars, transaction costs are reduced. Similarly, a Chinese company buying Malaysian palm oil can make its purchases in yuan. (Read about the economies of South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore.)

There are significant drawbacks for companies taking this route, however. A Malaysian company accepting yuan as payment would have few reasons to hold the currency, which is not fully convertible. "Even if you could own the yuan through these swaps, what would you do with it?" asks Mark Matthews, a Hong Kong–based strategist for Fox-Pitt Kelton Securities. Yuan holders can invest their excess savings in Chinese securities, but only up to a point. The Chinese government said on Dec. 9 that it will triple the amount of domestic securities qualified foreign funds are allowed to purchase to up to $30 billion. But trillions of dollars can be sunk into secure U.S. Treasuries, which have no limits on foreign purchases.

Not surprisingly, the yuan agreements have so far drawn an indifferent response from the private sector. Intel, the world's largest semiconductor maker, has manufacturing facilities in both Malaysia and China. Yet so far Intel hasn't used the currency-swap facility Malaysia has in place with China. Much of Intel's internal trade is still transacted in dollars, according to Loo Cheng Cheng, a Penang-based corporate-affairs executive with Intel. According to Citigroup's Chua, companies in South Korea, which was the first to sign a swap facility with China, have so far also declined to utilize it. Indeed, even if it were used, the $26 billion facility could only absorb a fraction of the trade between South Korea and China, which totaled $168 billion in 2008.

So what is the point of China issuing all these swaps? "This is a contingency plan in case the dollar implodes," says Fox-Pitt Kelton's Matthews. "It is a way of continuing trade with its major trading partners." Other analysts say China is trying to assert itself, through words rather than deeds, on the global economic stage by taking a step toward making the yuan a global currency. "A lot of this is symbolic," says Citigroup's Chua. "China wants to be a player." And one sure way to be a player, as everyone knows, is to threaten to quit the game.

Read "China Takes on the World."

Anonymous said...

Feel the Easter spirit in the air? Everyone's gone on holiday and has no time for blogging.

Anonymous said...

Back from my vacations with the following thoughts to put forward.

Exodus, boycott, print your own money.

Emancipate Gaza.
End the Apartheid Occupation of Palestine.

Anonymous said...

Mass protest in Rome over financial crisis
Agence France-Presse,
04 Apr 2009

Several hundred thousand workers, pensioners, immigrants and students filled a Rome park on Saturday in protest at the Italian government's handling of the financial crisis.

Led by Italy's largest union, the left-wing Italian General Confederation of Labour, many wore red hats or waved the CGIL's red flag as helicopters circled above Rome's Circo Massimo, an ancient hippodrome.

"There's too big a gap between what needs to be done and what is being done," CGIL leader Guglielmo Epifani told the throng, with banners reading "Together to Build a Different Future" and "Down with the New Mussolini."

"It's a pleasure to see the park filled once more," he said, recalling a mass protest in 2002 that drew three million people to the same venue to protest a bill that would have annulled a law protecting against unfair dismissal.

That protest took place under the last government of Silvio Berlusconi, the conservative self-made billionaire who was elected to a third stint as prime minister last year.

Helping swell the numbers at Saturday's protest to 2.7 million according to the CGIL — although just 200,000 according to police — 40 trainloads and nearly 5,000 buses as well as two ships had ferried protesters to Rome from all over Italy.

Opposition Democratic Party leader Dario Franceschini received a rock star welcome at the protest.

"It is a falsehood... to say that since the crisis is global the solutions can only be at an international level," he told reporters. "The crisis must be faced with concrete measures taken by national governments."

Franceschini initially hesitated to attend because of divisions within the Italian union movement, notably over the CGIL's rejection of contract reforms approved by two smaller unions.

Berlusconi has accused the media of exaggerating the crisis and insisted that Italy is doing more than any other country to address the situation.

Italy went into recession in the third quarter of last year, and gross domestic product (GDP) contracted 1.0 percent for the year in the worst downturn since 1975.

The central bank predicts negative growth of 2.6 percent in 2009.

Industry has been hard hit by the crisis, resulting in a spate of temporary layoffs. Job losses totalled some 370,500 in January and February, a 46 percent jump over the same period last year.

One poster, in a reference to the right-wing leadership's tough stance on crime, notably that of Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno, read: "Make the City Safer," with an image of Berlusconi behind bars.

Epifani pledged that the CGIL would keep up the pressure, citing key dates for fresh action including the April 25 national day, Labour Day on May 1, and Republic Day on June 2.

He called for government-labour consultations on industrial and investment policy, particularly in Italy's chronically underdeveloped south, a halt to lay-offs for the duration of the crisis.

In addition, "the fight against tax havens must continue," he said, calling as well for a new "culture of morality" governing salaries and bonuses for top management.

"It's not right for a manager to earn 2,000 times more than a young intern or a temporary worker," he said.

Civil Service Minister Renato Brunetta heaped scorn on the protest, telling reporters in Cernobbio, on northern Lake Como: "It doesn't take a demonstration of 200,000 or 2.7 million to ask for a meeting with the government."

Anonymous said...

Things going so well in Italy, we have at least 179 persons dead, over 1500 injured and a whole town razed to the ground after the powerful earthquake whose early warning signals were blatantly ignored. Yes, Italy is doing particularly well in facing its various problems: hide your head under the pillow and hope by morning they'll all have gone away.

Anonymous said...

Russia Can Never Surrender Her Nukes
07.04.2009

http://mat-rodina.blogspot.com/2009/04/russia-can-never-surrender-her-nukes.html

This past week, following the G20 conference and with a North Korean missile launch as a back ground, the American president Obama made an impassioned plea for the world to be free of nuclear weapons. In his words, America must lead the way: “As a nuclear power – as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon – the United States has a moral responsibility to act". He planned on doing this through a series of measures such as the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. He also proposed gathering up all vulnerable nuclear material, “loose nukes”, within four years.

Now the soft hearted and possibly soft brained in the Duma and in Russian political bodies may see this as a great movement and goal and will no doubt state as much and even seek funding from the US and NATO to help them make this a reality in Russia, itself. To this, I must say stop!

While the idea of a nuclear free world may seem great and sweat and adorable, it is not quite what it seems. To tell the truth, as it stands, Russian nuclear weapons are the only thing that is keeping the country from at best a Western sponsored civil war and at worst, another Patriotic War, this time against the whole of Europe and America.

Though the Anglo-Marxist sphere is dieing, it is a slow death and one that will still have many violent convulsions. As long as American arms are in Europe and Korea and Japan and Georgia, right outside of Russia's borders and are backed up by NATO as a whole, both militarily and economically, we must look rationally and realistically and historically upon what the Americans are proposing.

This, move to disarmament, is nothing new for the Americans. It is not, however, a humanitarian move but a devious ploy that they have used many times on enemies to destroy them. Early on, in America's short history, when the Americans could not conquer one Indian nation or set of tribes or states or another, they would call them to negotiate and would work to find a treaty of friendship and disarmament. In the mean time, not unlike the Islamics and their Hutnas, they would take this time to quickly move soldiers and build forts in the area. They often used plagues by giving other near by tribes infected blankets and other such niceties, to eventually reduce their enemy's strength and then instantly forgot their treaties and attacked. DC signed over 200 treaties with the various nations and tribes of North American Indians and they broke every single one.

After World War One, the US came to rival its former allies for dominance of the world, while pouring hundreds of millions to Lenin and his cronies to keep the Russian civil war going and while Germany shuddered under repayment. Thus the American's biggest rivals in the world were the British, French and Japanese and in comparison to their navies and thus projections of power, the Americans were second rate. Thus came the American crusade to fix that problem.

The goal was sweet enough in concept. The Americans appealed to the three former allies to disarm their navies, along with the Americans, limiting the scope and size of ships and armaments. Officially, this was done to help relieve tensions in Asia between the British and the Japanese, helping them to disarm. Thus by 1921, these powers were seated in Washington and without truly thinking things through, were agreeing to loose their empires and all the Americans to take everything. But Japan and Britain were not the only fools: France, Italy, Belgium, China, Netherlands and Portugal were also signatories.

The Five-Power treaty called for each of the countries involved to maintain a set ratio of warship tonnage which allowed the United States and Britain 500,000 tons, Japan 300,000 tons and France and Italy each 175,000 tons. Several things came out of this: one, the tonnage was measured so that the British could no longer maintain the full strength needed to control their empire. Furthermore, by this point, England was no longer the dominant industrial power and with both Germany and Russia out of the question and the Austro-Hungarians split into a dozen smaller states, America had the biggest industrial capacity.

Thus in one fell move, for a warm hearted and soft brained idea, the Americans were in a position where they could easily catch and strangle the empires of their competitors and take it all for themselves, as they were no longer having to play catch up to the British fleets, while being on parity with that of the Japanese and French and Belgians. They were now parallel with England and able to scale up much faster then anyone else.

Furthermore, this agreement called on signatories to stop building capital ships and reduce the size of their navies by scrapping older ships. Those older ships and capital ships were the very power center of the British navy and here it was negotiated away.

Nothing has changed and the Americans are still at their old game, knowing full well that the soft brained emotionalists in the world, who want peace at any cost, will always buy into their schemes, rather then make the hard sacrifices needed for national defense and thus freedom. Remember this: in it's short history from 1776, the Americans have invaded, annexed or just attacked well over 40 nations (to include the various recognize American Indian nations) and with this number is even greater if one considers the number of revolutions and civil wars they have personally sponsored.

Do not be blinded by the sweet words of the latest face of DC.

For once, good advice for Russia from one who cares.

Anonymous said...

Prez Obama's trip to Turkey was par for the course. Hollywood stuff. Sweet nothings into Turkish ears like US was "never" at war with Islam and the Saudis spreading tales of a man under arrest, meaning to kill the Prez and holding an al-Jazeera identity card. We've grown so tired of the whole fucking BS, we seriously consider suicide whenever the Israelo-American jokers appear on screen.

Anonymous said...

Well, at least no shoes flew on this one. Remember blogger King's recent, "Keyword: patience" and learn the trick of it.

Anonymous said...

Neocons Finally Come Clean About Why We're at War in Iraq
Posted by Thomas DiLorenzo at April 6, 2009

Bill Kristol said on Fox News tonight that he is very disappointed that Abraham Delano Messiah Obama did not explain the following in the speech he gave in Turkey today: "Americans are fighting to save Muslim lives in Iraq and Afghanistan." So thaaaaaaat's why all those Iraqi citizens had to die over the past six years -- so that their lives could be saved. And what American soldier wouldn't want to die for the benefit of Muslim strangers? Now that this has been cleared up I'm predicting a "surge" in military enlistments.

Super! USans are as deluded as their friends the Italians. No wonder. They all get their orders from the same place.

Anonymous said...

Israel^s attacks against the Muslim world must also be considered in the same light: saving Muslims from themselves. Dastardly west policies.

Anonymous said...

Pentagon to suspend F-22 funding and Lockheed Martin reels. Right, 175 days to go till general mayhem in the land of the free.

Anonymous said...

Resist or Become Serfs

By Chris Hedges

April 06, 2009 — America is devolving into a third-world nation. And if we do not immediately halt our elite's rapacious looting of the public treasury we will be left with trillions in debts, which can never be repaid, and widespread human misery which we will be helpless to ameliorate. Our anemic democracy will be replaced with a robust national police state. The elite will withdraw into heavily guarded gated communities where they will have access to security, goods and services that cannot be afforded by the rest of us. Tens of millions of people, brutally controlled, will live in perpetual poverty. This is the inevitable result of unchecked corporate capitalism. The stimulus and bailout plans are not about saving us. They are about saving them. We can resist, which means street protests, disruptions of the system and demonstrations, or become serfs.

We have been in a steady economic decline for decades. The Canadian political philosopher John Ralston Saul detailed this decline in his 1992 book "Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West." David Cay Johnston exposed the mirage and rot of American capitalism in "Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You With the Bill)," and David C. Korten, in "When Corporations Rule the World" and "Agenda for a New Economy," laid out corporate malfeasance and abuse. But our universities and mass media, entranced by power and naively believing that global capitalism was an unstoppable force of nature, rarely asked the right questions or gave a prominent voice to those who did. Our elites hid their incompetence and loss of control behind an arrogant facade of specialized jargon and obscure economic theories.

The lies employed to camouflage the economic decline are legion. President Ronald Reagan included 1.5 million U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine service personnel with the civilian work force to magically reduce the nation's unemployment rate by 2 percent. President Bill Clinton decided that those who had given up looking for work, or those who wanted full-time jobs but could only find part-time employment, were no longer to be counted as unemployed. This trick disappeared some 5 million unemployed from the official unemployment rolls. If you work more than 21 hours a week-most low-wage workers at places like Wal-Mart average 28 hours a week-you are counted as employed, although your real wages put you below the poverty line. Our actual unemployment rate, when you include those who have stopped looking for work and those who can only find part-time jobs, is not 8.5 percent but 15 percent. A sixth of the country is now effectively unemployed. And we are shedding jobs at a faster rate than in the months after the 1929 crash.

The consumer price index, used by the government to measure inflation, is meaningless. To keep the official inflation figures low the government has been substituting basic products it once measured to check for inflation with ones that do not rise very much in price. This sleight of hand has kept the cost-of-living increases tied to the CPI artificially low. The New York Times' consumer reporter, W.P. Dunleavy, wrote that her groceries now cost $587 a month, up from $400 a year earlier. This is a 40 percent increase. California economist John Williams, who runs an organization called Shadow Statistics, contends that if Washington still used the CPI measurements applied back in the 1970s, inflation would be 10 percent.

The corporate state, and the political and intellectual class that served the corporate state, constructed a financial and political system based on illusions. Corporations engaged in pyramid lending that created fictitious assets. These fictitious assets became collateral for more bank lending. The elite skimmed off hundreds of millions in bonuses, commissions and salaries from this fictitious wealth. Politicians, who dutifully served corporate interests rather than those of citizens, were showered with campaign contributions and given lucrative jobs when they left office. Universities, knowing it was not good business to challenge corporatism, muted any voices of conscience while they went begging for corporate donations and grants. Deceptive loans and credit card debt fueled the binges of a consumer society and hid falling wages and the loss of manufacturing jobs.

The Obama administration, rather than chart a new course, is intent on re-inflating the bubble. The trillions of dollars of government funds being spent to sustain these corrupt corporations could have renovated our economy. We could have saved tens of millions of Americans from poverty. The government could have, as consumer activist Ralph Nader has pointed out, started 10 new banks with $35 billion each and a 10-to-1 leverage to open credit markets. Vast, unimaginable sums are being placed into these dirty corporate hands without oversight. And they will use this money as they always have-to enrich themselves at our expense.

"You are going to see the biggest waste, fraud and abuse in American history," Nader warned when I asked about the bailouts. "Not only is it wrongly directed, not only does it deal with the perpetrators instead of the people who were victimized, but they don't have a delivery system of any honesty and efficiency. The Justice Department is overwhelmed. It doesn't have a tenth of the prosecutors, the investigators, the auditors, the attorneys needed to deal with the previous corporate crime wave before the bailout started last September. It is especially unable to deal with the rapacious ravaging of this new money by these corporate recipients. You can see it already. The corporations haven't lent it. They have used some of it for acquisitions or to preserve their bonuses or their dividends. As long as they know they are not going to jail, and they don't see many newspaper reports about their colleagues going to jail, they don't care. It is total impunity. If they quit, they quit with a golden parachute. Even General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner is taking away $21 million."

There are a handful of former executives who have conceded that the bailouts are a waste. American International Group Inc.‘s (AIG) former chairman, Maurice R. Greenberg, told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday that the effort to prop up the firm with $170 billion has "failed." He said the company should be restructured. AIG, he said, would have been better off filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection instead of seeking government help.

"These are signs of hyper decay," Nader said from his office in Washington. "You spend this kind of money and do not know if it will work."

"Bankrupt corporate capitalism is on its way to bankrupting the socialism that is trying to save it," Nader added. "That is the end stage. If they no longer have socialism to save them then we are into feudalism. We are into private police, gated communities and serfs with a 21st century nomenclature."

We will not be able to raise another 3 or 4 trillion dollars, especially with our commitments now totaling some $12 trillion, to fix the mess. It was only a couple of months ago that our expenditures totaled $9 trillion. And it was not long ago that such profligate government spending was unthinkable. There was an $800 billion limit placed on the Federal Reserve a year ago. The economic stimulus and the bailouts will not bring back our casino capitalism. And as the meltdown shows no signs of abating, and the bailouts show no sign of working, the recklessness and desperation of our capitalist overlords have increased. The cost, to the working and middle class, is becoming unsustainable. The Fed reported in March that households lost $5.1 trillion, or 9 percent, of their wealth in the last three months of 2008, the most ever in a single quarter in the 57-year history of record keeping by the central bank. For the full year, household wealth dropped $11.1 trillion, or about 18 percent. These figures did not record the decline of investments in the stock market, which has probably erased trillions more in the country's collective net worth.

The bullet to our head, inevitable if we do not radically alter course, will be sudden. We have been borrowing at the rate of more than $2 billion a day over the last 10 years, and at some point it has to stop. The moment China, the oil-rich states and other international investors stop buying treasury bonds the dollar will become junk. Inflation will rocket upward. We will become Weimar Germany. A furious and sustained backlash by a betrayed and angry populace, one unprepared intellectually and psychologically for collapse, will sweep aside the Democrats and most of the Republicans. A cabal of proto-fascist misfits, from Christian demagogues to simpletons like Sarah Palin to loudmouth talk show hosts, who we naively dismiss as buffoons, will find a following with promises of revenge and moral renewal. The elites, the ones with their Harvard Business School degrees and expensive vocabularies, will retreat into their sheltered enclaves of privilege and comfort. We will be left bereft and abandoned outside the gates.

Anonymous said...

Right, Chris boy, not bad all in all. The figures are straight from the shoulder: 15% unemployment for the baboons, 10% inflation, collective loss of wealth in the trillions. If you'd added a sentence touching on America's population-culling, Israel-friendly wars against the Muslims, however much received wisdom now has it that ending them will cost more than pursuit of butchery, your text would have gained in strength and depth. With "serious" reporting such as this, the place for the baboons can only be outside those Pearly Gates.

Anonymous said...

Obama twists and turns on Iran
By Kaveh L Afrasiabi - 8.4.09

"We will support Iran's right to peaceful nuclear energy with rigorous inspections." Of all of United States President Barack Obama's repeated references to Iran during his near flawless, message-wise, European tour this week, this was undoubtedly the most important, as it signified a new willingness on the US's part to consent to Iran's controversial nuclear fuel cycle.

But, if only Obama could remain consistent and withstand the mounting pressures from various corners, above all Israel and its supporters in the US. These aim to prevent what is increasingly appearing as a logical and necessary adjustment in the US's policy toward Iran in the absence of any evidence of the military diversion of its nuclear program.

Close scrutiny of Obama's speeches and actions with respect to Iran during his European visit leads one to conclude that the administration's policy may be winding down, Yet it is not completely over, and that as a result it is best to describe the US's current Iran policy as a contradictory hybrid in which elements of novelty coexist uneasily with policy continuity with the past.

What is beyond doubt, however, is that by repeatedly referring to Iran in his major foreign policy speeches, such as in Prague and in the Turkish parliament, Obama has prioritized the country and is determined to fulfill his promise of a "new beginning" in relations expressed in his new year message to Iran in March.

A new beginning by relying on old and empirically untenable assumptions is difficult and has the potential to neutralize the new elements in the US's Iran policy. Worse, this may adversely impact US-Russia relations, soured by the US's missile shield in Eastern Europe, which is considered anathema to Russia's national-security interests.

Concerning the latter, despite his warm meeting with his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, at the Group of 20 summit in London last week, Obama's subsequent speeches that reaffirmed the US's commitment to proceed with the anti-missile shied are bound to raise the ire of Moscow, which has announced a major plan to upgrade its nuclear arsenal.

In other words, the fate of upcoming US-Russia strategic talks to formulate a new strategic arms reduction agreement when the existing one expires in December, may hinge on the success of Obama's Iran opening. Yet, that is unlikely to happen as long as Tehran is not convinced that real change in US foreign policy is forthcoming. Indeed, which side has the upper hand in the US's Iran policy - continuity with the past or discontinuity?

For now, the answer to this important question is lost in a thick fog of uncertainty, in light of Obama's repeat references to Iran's "nuclear weapons ambitions" and the threats posed to America's European allies by Iran's ambitions as well as its missile capability.

In Prague, Obama stated: "Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile activity poses a real threat, not just to the United States, but to Iran's neighbors and our allies. The Czech Republic and Poland have been courageous in agreeing to host a defense against these missiles. As long as the threat from Iran persists, we intend to go forward with a missile defense system that is cost-effective and proven. If the Iranian threat is eliminated, we will have a stronger basis for security, and the driving force for missile defense construction in Europe at this time will be removed."

As stated, the Russians, who are concerned about a US strategic ring around them being tightened by the missile defense plan, are unconvinced by such rhetoric on Obama's part and are likely to proceed with their stated counter-plan of stationing new missiles in parts of Russia. At the same time, Medvedev has pledged to work with Obama in containing Iran's nuclear ambitions. It is difficult to imagine how such cooperation can come about as long as gaps exist between Moscow and Washington over the US's radar and missiles in Russia's vicinity.

Interestingly, in his speech at the Turkish parliament on Monday, Obama appeared to be making a pitch to turn Turkey into a closer partner against Iran's nuclear threat by stating:
The peace of the region will also be advanced if Iran forgoes any nuclear weapons ambitions. Now, as I made clear in Prague yesterday, no one is served by the spread of nuclear weapons, least of all Turkey. You live in a difficult region and a nuclear arms race would not serve the security of this nation well. This part of the world has known enough violence. It has known enough hatred. It does not need a race for an ever-more powerful tool of destruction.
Turkey is a major interlocutor in the drama of US-Iran diplomacy and relies heavily on Iran's energy, second only to Russia's gas supplies. Thus, any attempt to break Iran-Turkey relations by relying on Turkey as a junior partner in a grand alliance against Tehran is bound to experience a bumpy ride.

But, perhaps there is a quid pro quo and Obama's explicit recommendation to the European Union to embrace Turkey is part of the scenario. Under this, in response to the US backing Turkey's long-standing bid to join the EU, its leaders would join the US's bandwagon against Iran. A big question, naturally, is what exactly the US's ultimate intention?

The "zero centrifuge" option that is still the official US policy toward Iran is unworkable as Iran has already made rapid progress in installing thousands of centrifuges and in producing more than a ton of "yellow cake", a kind of uranium concentrate used in the preparation of fuel for nuclear reactors. The military option carries the grave risk that Iran would become more determined to pursue the nuclear fuel cycle by going underground.
So, in reality, the only viable option for the West is to recognize Iran's nuclear rights and simply push for enhanced transparency and more stringent verification requirements.

The main problem with this scenario is that Israel is adamantly opposed to it and in the absence of a "secure and lasting peace" between Israel and Palestinians, the Israelis will attempt to focus attention on Iran and thus deflect from their Arab problems. There is no evidence that the new ultra-nationalist government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in any way inclined to making any compromises, despite Obama's call in Ankara on both Israel and the Palestinians to "live up to the commitments they have made".

Already, Israel's new Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has gone on record opposing this idea. As a result, Obama's call will likely fall on deaf ears in Tel Aviv, which will spare no efforts in muddying the White House's Iran overtures. (See Israel muddies US-Iran momentum Asia Times Online, April 1, 2009.)

Still, the worst enemy of Obama's charted path for the US's Iran diplomacy may be the unreconstructed Iran-phobia of Obama himself. He has now recycled British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's recent ultimatum to Iran by giving Tehran the choice of either bracketing its nuclear weapons ambitions or facing "isolation". In a sense, one key result of Obama's European visit may have been the closing of any cognitive dissonance on Iran. (See Europe out of step with US over Iran Asia Times Online, March 26, 2009.)

But Iran is not alone. This past week, fiery Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, with Iran's President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, inaugurated an Iran-Venezuela bank and then went on to express interest in investing in Iran's energy sector. This indicates the difficulties of current US-led efforts to isolate Iran in the international community.

In conclusion, although Obama's reference to Iran's right to a nuclear fuel cycle is a source of renewed optimism in US-Iran relations, his other, more negative, comments serve to freeze those efforts in mid action. This bounces US foreign policy back on the familiar track of coercive diplomacy.

This is a recipe for failure and the way forward is for the US to stop sending mixed signals to Iran and to remain consistent with the US president's new year message to Iran that pledged not to advance the cause of negotiation by issuing threats. Sadly, Obama's speech before the Turkish parliament was only a tiny step short of nullifying that promise.

Kaveh L Afrasiabi, PhD, is the author of After Khomeini: New Directions in Iran's Foreign Policy (Westview Press) . For his Wikipedia entry, click here. His latest book, Reading In Iran Foreign Policy After September 11 (BookSurge Publishing , October 23, 2008) is now available.


http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/KD08Ak02.html

Anonymous said...

LOL, Zigzag Bananas at it again. What price survival?

Anonymous said...

Shock! Where did the Dov Zakheim video go and why?

Anonymous said...

Brazil could make Russian new-generation fighters under license
07/ 04/ 2009
MOSCOW, April 7 (RIA Novosti) - Russia may allow Brazil to produce its fifth-generation fighters under a license in the future, a senior Russian government official said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

"We are discussing with the well-known Brazilian company Embraer the transfer of technology and the construction of facilities for the future licensed production of the aircraft, including the fifth-generation fighter," said Alexander Fomin, deputy director of the Federal Service on Military-Technical Cooperation.

Russia's advanced multirole fighter is being developed by the Sukhoi aircraft maker, part of Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), along with India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), under a preliminary intergovernmental agreement signed in October 2007.

The first prototype is scheduled to make its maiden flight before the end of 2009.

Last November, Russia and Brazil signed a series of agreements on military technology cooperation which emphasize the protection of intellectual property rights and technology secrets.

The agreements will facilitate the transfer of technology and the licensed production of the Russian aircraft in Brazil if Moscow decides to sign a contract with the South American country.

Meanwhile, Russia's Su-35 jet fighter is participating in an ongoing tender for the delivery of over 100 fighters to the Brazilian Air Force.

"We are actively participating in the Brazilian tender, which has been reopened. It involves over 100 fighter planes. Russia has made a bid in the tender with its Su-35 multirole fighter. The tender has stiff requirements, involving not only the sale, but also the transfer of technology. It is a key condition of the deal and Russia is ready to satisfy it," Fomin said.

Brazil wants a multirole fighter to protect its national airspace as well as to keep track of smugglers in the Amazon basin and guard the country's offshore oil rigs. However, it also wants the multi-billion dollar contract to reenergize the domestic defense industry through home-grown production and as much technology transfer as can be afforded.

Anonymous said...

Certainly a cloak of a different color.
Or better yet, a brand new tailor!

Labrys.

Anonymous said...

Indeed, yes, Labrys, a new tailor and a more talented one. Stylish. The cloaks they'll sew will last, unlike the others Brazil used to have a taste for,

Anonymous said...

Russia would share technology with Brazil, but deny China the same privilege? Sometimes the Slavs behave as if blind to who their real friends might be.

Anonymous said...

Chavez urges US apology to Japan
Tue, 07 Apr 2009 14:45:06 GMT
Venezuela's President, praising Obama's promise to free the world from nuclear weapons, calls for US apology to Japan over nuking the country.

"It is very encouraging that the president of the United States called for the end of, and the destruction of, nuclear arms in the world," Hugo Chavez told reporters in Tokyo, where he signed an investment deal with Japan.

"Obama launched a missile — an Obama missile," he added, according to AFP.

Earlier on Sunday at an EU summit in Prague, the US President Barack Obama vowed to lead the quest for a world free from nuclear weapons.

Obama's call to cut stockpiles, restrict testing, cut back on fissile production and to secure loose nuclear material, comes at a time when the US still possesses the largest nuclear arsenal in the world.

The US is “the planet's number one nuclear power. It is also the only country in the world that dropped the atomic bomb,” Chavez said.

“At any rate, I think America should apologize to Japan."

More than 200,000 people died following the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan during the Second World War in 1945.

After striking several investment accords, including gas and oil development deals, with the Japanese, Chavez and his delegation are heading to China in another lag of their trip to the eastern hemisphere.

Presidents Chavez and his US counterpart are to attend a summit of the Americas set to be held in Trinidad and Tobago later this month.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=90708&sectionid=351020704

Not one of us here who wouldn't second that.

Anonymous said...

Swiss slide into deflation signals the next chapter of this global crisis
Watch Switzerland closely. It is tipping into deflation, the first Western country to succumb to Japan's disease.

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Last Updated: 7:17PM BST 05 Apr 2009

Swiss consumer prices fell 0.4pc in March (year-on-year). Swiss CPI will be minus 1pc at least by July, nearing the level where spending psychology changes. By the time you have a self-feeding spiral, it is too late.

"This is something that we must prevent at all costs. The current situation is extraordinarily serious," said Philipp Hildebrand, a governor of the Swiss National Bank. SNB is not easily spooked. It is the world's benchmark bank, the keeper of the monetary flame. Yet even the SNB's hard men have thrown away the rule book, taking emergency action to force down the exchange rate of the Swiss franc.

Here lies the danger. If other countries try to export deflation by this means, we will face a second phase of the global crisis. Taiwan is already devaluing. Korea, Singapore, and Sweden all seem tempted to follow. Japan is chomping at the bit.

"We don't fully realise in the West what a catastrophic collapse Japan has suffered," says Albert Edwards, global strategist at Société Générale. "The West has dumped a large part of its economic downturn onto Japan by devaluing against the yen."

This is about to go into reverse as Tokyo hits the ping-pong ball back across the net. "As the unfolding collapse in the yen gathers pace, the West will see its green shoots incinerated to dust," he said.

Japan's industrial output fell 38pc in February (year-on-year), mostly concentrated into the last four months. No major economy imploded at this speed in the 1930s. The country has been hit by a double shock. As an export power it has taken the brunt of Anglo-Saxon belt-tightening: as the world's top creditor it is cursed by a "safe-haven" currency that soars in moments of danger – largely because the Japanese bring home their wealth till the storm passes. Normally, Japan can cope. This time, the yen's rise has pushed the economy over a cliff.

The yen must come back down to earth, and soon, or Japanese society will start to disintegrate. If necessary, the Bank of Japan will force it down by intervention, as occurred in 2003-2004.

Will China stand idly by as Japanese unleashes a shock to the global system through competitive devaluation? That depends whether you think China's spring recovery is the real thing, or an inventory build-up before the next downward slide. The Communist Party says 20m jobs have been lost since the bubble burst. This cannot be tolerated for long.

It is remarkable that China's fall into deflation has attracted so little notice. China's CPI was minus 1.6pc in February. The country has built too many factories producing goods that the world cannot absorb. The temptation is to shunt this excess capacity abroad. A faction of the politburo is already itching to devalue the yuan.

Of course, Britain has already played the currency card. That is different. The pound's fall, though welcome, is a side-effect of the Bank of England efforts to stem the credit crunch. There has been no currency intervention.

Crucially, Britain has a current account deficit. Many countries toying with devaluation are exporters with surpluses – 15.4pc of GDP for Singapore, 8.4pc for Switzerland, and 6.1pc for China. If these countries refuse to let their imbalances correct, world demand must implode.

Mr Hildebrand denies that the SNB is pursuing a "beggar-thy-neighbour' strategy. Like the yen, the franc suffers from the safe-haven curse: everybody buys it in a storm. This tightens monetary conditions. The SNB cannot easily offset this. It has already cut interest rates to near zero. There are not enough Swiss government bonds in the market to rely on the sort of "QE" asset purchases being carried out by the Bank.

Ultimately, I suspect this crisis may mark the moment when the Swiss franc loses its safe-haven role. Credit default swaps (CDS) measuring risk on five-year government debt have reached 127 for Switzerland, higher than Britain at 118. Norway has the world's lowest CDS at 48, reflecting its status as a petro-democracy.

Switzerland's banks are over-leveraged. Loans to emerging markets equal 50pc of GDP (half to Eastern Europe). Banking secrecy is dying. Fortunately for the Swiss, they have built up $700bn in net foreign assets for a rainy day. Improvident Britons are less lucky. But that is another story. What we risk now is a game of deflation "pass-the-parcel" worldwide. The economic establishment was caught off guard from 2003 to 2007 because it overlooked the way that Asia's unbalanced relationship with the West was feeding a credit bubble.

It may be caught again as the same warped structure leads to a chain of (panicked) devaluations.

Enjoy the "bear-trap" rally on global bourses this spring. But remember, we have only just begun to see the mass lay-offs and hardship caused by this slump. The politicians will act to save their skins. Markets may not like the result.

We've known Evans-Pritchard to be wrong in the past. July will be the moment of truth.

Anonymous said...

NATO backs US escalation of war in Central Asia
Even now what still unites the US and Europe is a common desire to face off any challenge from Russia and China to their global influence. Two new eastern European states joined NATO at Strasbourg: Albania and Croatia. The continued integration of former Warsaw pact countries into NATO has angered Russia, leading to sharp conflicts over US plans to establish its so-called Nuclear Missile Shield stationed in Poland and the Czech Republic and over NATO support for Georgia on the ongoing conflict over Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Moscow, however, knows that it is under threat. During the G20 summit, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned of further NATO expansion eastwards

Anonymous said...

Warnings are not enough. Russia warns, west backs off a second, then starts its tricks again. Their latest destabalisation attempt: Moldova where Communist president Vladimir Voronin won the elections. Hop USA and your colour revolutions.

Anonymous said...

SUFFOCATED BY DEBT
Greece Teeters on the Verge of Bankruptcy
By Manfred Ertel - 7.4.09 - Der Spiegel

Greece is on the brink of bankruptcy despite the fact that the global recession has yet to hit the country with full force. Strikes are paralyzing the country and the EU is putting on the pressure. But the government is still trying to put a positive spin on things.

Anonymous said...

Morning's mixed bag of newsworthy items (or what m. media and others consider as such).

We're-not-at-war-with-Islam Obama promises troop withdrawal by 2011. This time the statement is made in Iraq itself, while ally Merkel from Germany visits Afghanistan with a group of cameramen. Their last photo ops in the two martyred countries?

The D word (deflation or downturn as one is inclined) has now grown respectable. Everyone using it and no one understanding it. But perhaps April will bring enlightenment. One fact seems clear: cities are collapsing throughout the US.

China's tactics to gain total leverage through the IMF. Fiat SDR, made up of a basket of fiat $'s, £'s, yens and pounds would act as the world's reserve currency under IMF control, the said IMF being under Chinese control, i.e. the world's reserves all in Chinese hands. A super idea. At least the Chinese are not spendthrifts like the cutthroats elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

The Anglo-Americans seem to be hysterically soiling themselves as their beloved systems implodes.

Call it the The Shrieking of Vultures.

No more stiff, upper lips, eh?

LOL.

Carry on.

Anonymous said...

Yes indeed, the Shrieking of Vultures is exactly what it is. And god they have shrill voices when they scream.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Irish4Palestine addition to the links. We could never emulate the Palestinians, but if only we could show some guts occasionally. Where's your bottle, man, bottled up?

Anonymous said...

Mark my words, 80% of world brutality is zionist-inspired. The remaining 20% the goyim manage by themselves.

Anonymous said...

Bastard Zigzag tells us not to "vilify Israel". With people of this calibre at their helm, no wonder the US has only a short time left before civil unrest and insurrection begin.

Anonymous said...

G20 piles folly upon folly - Chan Akya (AT, 4.4.09)
In effect, the only tangible result of the G-20 meeting - the tripling of IMF resources - is astounding. The same people who drove the Latin American economy into dust and were responsible for widespread poverty in Asia in the aftermath of the Asian crisis; the very people who encouraged the idiotic accumulation of market-return independent foreign exchange reserves by Asian countries that subsequently caused the asset bubbles of the US and Europe; the very people who had no clue about the impending bubble burst up until the beginning of 2008, are now supposed to gather up the foresight and skills required to end an economic crisis whose only recent historic parallel was the 1929 depression in the United States; an event that took place a good 16 years before the IMF was itself created.
I have the dread feeling that the G20 declaration of April 2, 2009 will achieve notoriety in years to come similar to the non-agression pact with Germany of Sept 30, 1938.

Anonymous said...

FM: Russia to strengthen ties with DR Congo
2009-04-07 - Xinhua English
MOSCOW, April 7 (Xinhua) — Russia favors strengthened relations with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov here Tuesday when meeting his Congolese counterpart Alexis Thambwe Mwamba.
"It is time to step up our relations," the Itar-Tass quoted Lavrov as saying, "We have opportunities for this now. Our contacts are those of partners, and we wish to develop relations in every direction."
"We have themes to discuss in the area of bilateral relations and on Africa's problems, also as regards international efforts to stabilize the situation on the continent," Lavrov said.
Mwamba said his visit will "give the impetus to Russian-Congolese economic cooperation."
The working visit of Mwamba to Russia from April 5 to April 9 is the first of its kind since the two countries established diplomatic ties in July 1960, according to Russian foreign ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko.
Due to the social and economic situation in DR Congo, the Russian government has decided to provide humanitarian aid worth 2million U.S. dollars for the country, said Nesterenko.
The Russian Ministry for Emergencies has contacted the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to work out the range of goods and ways of delivery, he added.

http://english.sina.com/world/2009/0407/231992.html

Anonymous said...

"Go where they do not expect you to go." lao Tze.

Having given this verse its due (in Nigeria), they now extend it to the DRC.

Doubleax

PS LEAP latest here:
http://www.leap2020.eu/Thirteen-questions-and-answers-about-the-future-developments-of-the-global-systemic-crisis-1st-episode_a3099.html

Anonymous said...

Yes, good comment, good read and with Lao Tze one can't go wrong. Hope the Chinese are brushing up on their Tao as well.

poiuytr said...

lots of grimness in the articles... some fun times for the west. everyone's fighting everyone else. war bankers are having it out with west legislators/kings and execs. legislators are rinsing the baboon populations but there's nothing to rinse anymore.

9:15 -- thermite
unfortunately, it's too complicated for the USA baboon's brainstem. they've had 100s of "smoking guns" but it's just all beyond them. there's even a picture that clearly shows some missile hitting the pentagon but baboons prefer to believe lies than their own eyes cuz reality in USA is far too horrid to grasp. that's probably why USA is so late with revolt. they're refusing to see reality.

------------------

18:25 -- USA may cede to Iran nuke programme?

the whole west HAS ceded and done nothing else every step of the way. the vulgarities that accompany west psycho behaviour don't count for anything.

------------------------

17:39 -- Russia sharing tech with Brazil, not China

Brazil makes planes so it's probably easier to just retool and mass produce. besides Brazil needs to start peeling off from the neuter state it's been about USA's rape of SouthAm. finally, the codes and guts of the system are always in Russian hands, no matter who the end client or middleman assembler.

Anonymous said...

Cheers for restoring Zakheim video.

Anonymous said...

Chavez says China part of 'new world order'
Posted 4/8/2009 6:34 AM ET



BEIJING (AP) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says his two-day visit to Beijing this week is part of the creation of a "new world order."
The frequent U.S. critic, who met with China's president and Communist Party leader Hu Jintao on Wednesday, told reporters that power in the world was shifting from America to countries such as Iran, Japan and China.

"We are creating a new world, a balanced world. A new world order, a multipolar world," Chavez said after arriving Tuesday evening.

"The unipolar world has collapsed. The power of the U.S. empire has collapsed," he said. "Everyday, the new poles of world power are becoming stronger. Beijing, Tokyo, Tehran ... it's moving toward the East and toward the South."

Chavez continued his theme in his meeting with Hu, telling the president that "no one can be ignorant that the center of gravity of the world has moved to Beijing."

"During the financial crisis, China's actions have been highly positive for the world. Currently, China is the biggest motor driving the world amidst this crisis of international capitalism," Chavez said in preliminary remarks before reporters were ushered from the room.

Chavez has made Beijing a frequent stop in his global travels to promote his agenda of anti-American world unity, stopping in the Chinese capital six times since taking power in 1998 elections.

His visit follows a sweep through the Middle East last week, including a stop in Iran where he said he has little hope of better relations with Washington under President Obama because the United States was still acting like an "empire" in his eyes.

While China's Communist leaders have been low key in their response to Chavez's political rhetoric, Beijing's state-run industries have been eager to use Venezuela as a jumping-off point for their entry into South America. Chinese companies in the mining and petroleum sector have been especially eager to secure South American mineral resources.

During his visit, Chavez said he planned to review with Chinese leaders a goal of boosting exports of Venezuelan oil to China from 380,000 barrels last year to 1 million barrels by 2013 — part of Venezuela's strategy of diversifying oil sales away from the United States, which buys about half the South American nation's heavy crude despite political tensions.

Included in that strategy are plans for China and Venezuela to build four oil tankers and three refineries in China capable of processing Venezuela's heavy, sulfur-laden crude.

China and Venezuela have also invested in a $12 billion fund to finance joint development projects in areas including oil production, infrastructure and agriculture.

http://content.usatoday.net/dist/custom/gci/InsidePage.aspx?cId=argusleader&sParam=34703042.story

Anonymous said...

After reading Mathias Changs article
on the site I checked the group of thirty.
No wonder the Governor of Chinas Central Bank is calling for the zioIMF to run things.

http ://www.group30.org/workprogram.htm

Anonymous said...

Torn between laughter and despair. Here we think China might help, there we discover the despicable connexion. Are they all part of the ziowest and even as we think our eyes are opening we get taken in? Finally, one gets the feeling the only ones to be trusted are the brave Muslim fighters and intrepid Hugo Chavez. Grim indeed, to use poiuytr's word.

Anonymous said...

Even if each one of them belongs to the ziowest and we're only a handful rooting for the Freeworld, we'll win and string 'em all up someday.

Anonymous said...

Somali pirates hijack US container ship. F. F. to attack yet another country?

Anonymous said...

Blackwater mercenaries are now into the business of tracking down so-called pirate ships. Expect something foul to come out of it.

Anonymous said...

Netanyahu To The West–Destroy Iran Before Israel Destroys You

“What would serve the Jew-hating world better as repayment for thousands of years of massacres but a nuclear winter? Or invite all those tut-tutting European statesmen and peace activists to join us in the ovens? For the first time in history a people facing extermination while the world either cackles or looks away have the power to destroy the world. The ultimate justice?”

–Professor David Perlmutter, writing in the Los Angeles Times, April 7, 2002

“We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets for our air force…We have the capability to take the world down with us, and I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under.”

Anonymous said...

Moldova blames Romania for riots, expels ambassador
By: dragline190d

Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin on Wednesday accused Romania of involvement in the riots in Chisinau, announcing visa restrictions for Romanians and the expulsion of the country's ambassador.

Protests in Moldova's capital against the ruling Communist Party's victory in Sunday's elections turned violent on Tuesday with 5,000 rioters taking control of the presidential residence and nearby parliament building. Some protesters called for the unification of Moldova with Romania.

This nonsense is also being hailed as the first "twitter revolution", LOL.

Anonymous said...

Obama's obscene remarks in Iraq
April 8,
Christopher Dowd

Obama in Iraq - It is hard to know where to begin on Obama's remarks in Iraq yesterday during a visit described unnecessarily by our press as a "surprise" since that is the only sort of visit a US President can make to Iraq. What is more appalling? The casual obscenity of a US President calling upon a nation that the US has been beating, brutalizing, and raping (that is when not using like a pawn in geo political games) for decades to "take responsibility for itself" or the fact that he has absolutely no idea of how much like a criminal sociopath he sounds when making such remarks?

It isn't Obama's fault. He is, after all, a product of the imperial Beltway and thus has never been exposed to anything approaching reality . . . to anything that lies outside the allowable parameter of opinion on Iraq. This parameter runs the gamut from the kook "right wing" belief that still believes Iraq was behind 9/11 and that the WMDs were there but just got moved to Syria . . . to the "left wing" opinion that the Iraq war, though fought for noble reasons and with good intentions, was the wrong war at the wrong time but since "we" are there "we" should make the best out of it.

Not for a second are we ever exposed to the stark reality of Iraq: that DC, in our name, has brought murder, pain, and misery to the lives of millions of Iraqis for self serving opaque agendas that had no good intentions or noble reasons behind them and they hate us, with good and just cause, and want us gone, completely, from their country.

I want to make something clear here. Obama's remarks yesterday in Iraq were not extraordinary or atypical in any way for an American politician, official, or military commander to make. Rather, they were par for the course in their staggeringly narcissistic and sociopath like assumptions.

Within any rhetoric out of our imperial Beltway on Iraq are underlying assumptions such as that Iraqis should be grateful to the United States for invading their country on false pretenses, destroying its infrastructure, and turning their nation into our battle ground for a ludicrous war on a tactic wielded by a largely mythical organization that is conveniently and fluidly defined.

The Iraqis, you see, after decades of suffering the results of American policies that could be described, at best, as having nothing but brutal indifference toward the lives of even the most vulnerable and innocent among them, should be thankful to the United States for finally invading them and "liberating" them.

And it isn't our fault that though they haven't been "killing each other for thousands of years" as is the the idiotic and wrong American sound bite on Iraqi sectarian history that they are now doing so. Nope. We had nothing to do with creating the cauldron of horrendous sectarian violence in Iraq that is ongoing to this day (and that as a ratio of population produces one or two 9/11 type casualty events in Iraq every week- that is when one of the unreported hundreds of US air-strikes in Iraqi urban centers are not doing so).

Obama also called the Iraq war an "extraordinary achievement".

The "extraordinary achievement" that Obama called the Iraq war is a nation that high ranking American officials can't visit pre-announced. It is an "extraordinary achievement" with an "unknown" civilian casualty component- killed civilians by the way- the US military didn't even deem worthy of counting. It is an "extraordinary achievement" with as many as four million people (or nearly 20 percent of the population) either displaced or refugees. It is an "extraordinary achievement" with a capital city being walled off- as if an ancient city under siege- from the rest of the country and only allowing four access points. It is an "extraordinary achievement" still, six years on,without the same levels of pre-war clean drinking water.

But for Obama it is time this country of Iraq, this ungrateful country that has had the good fortune to be blessed with the presence of our moral troops, picked from the cream of our society, who have nothing but respect for them and their culture- to step up and "take responsibility" for their country because we are just so sick of doing such a good job for them.

We are sickened beyond words.

Anonymous said...

All the above simply bluff. Which doesn't mean to say it couldn't turn dangerous. With the ziowest mad dogs one never knows.

Anonymous said...

Russia to build nuclear powered submarine in 2009 - 9 Apr 2009
SEVERODVINSK/RUSSIA: A Russian shipyard has been told to begin construction of a nuclear-powered strategic submarine this year, an official said.

"Russia's Defence Ministry has ordered the shipyard to start construction of the fourth Borey class submarine this year," a Sevmash shipyard official said Wednesday, adding that work could begin either in July or December.

The first Borey class submarine, the Yury Dolgoruky, will start sea trials in June.

The vessel is 170 metres long, has a hull diameter of 13 metres, a crew of 107, including 55 officers, a maximum depth of 450 metres and a submerged speed of about 29 knots. It can carry up to 16 ballistic missiles and torpedoes.

Two other Borey-class nuclear submarines, the Alexander Nevsky and the Vladimir Monomakh, are currently under construction at the Sevmash shipyard and are expected to be completed in 2009 and 2011. Russia is planning to build eight of these submarines by 2015.

All Borey class submarines will be equipped with new Bulava-M (SS-NX-30) intercontinental ballistic missiles, which carry up to 10 nuclear warheads and have a range of 8,000 km.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/International-Business/Russia-to-build-nuclear-powered-submarine-in-2009/articleshow/4378800.cms

Anonymous said...

Anyone feeling happy today I'll swap with the. A singular lack of sanity in the headlines today. Perhaps Dov Zakheim could mastermind another 911. Take our minds of other west crimes.

Anonymous said...

And the poor get poorer
By Wu Zhong, China Editor

HONG KONG - China's wealth gap, which has been expanding tremendously in the 30 years since the country turned towards a capitalist-style economy, is showing little signs of diminishing even as growth slows.
The number of people worth more than 10 million yuan (US$1.4 million) is expected to jump to 320,000 this year from an estimated 300,000 as of the end of 2008, according to a survey by China Merchants Bank and multinational consultancy Bain & Company.
At the other end of the wealth scale, more than 40 million farmers survived on 1,196 yuan or less last year, government figures
show. Officials now admit that if the internationally used poverty threshold of US$1, or 6.83 yuan, per person per day is adopted, the size of China's poor population could exceed 100 million - that is, at least one out of 13 Chinese still live in poverty.
The wealth survey, which polled 700 respondents through face-to-face interviews or questionnaires from late December, found that the country's estimated 300,000 multi-millionaires at the end of last year possessed a total wealth of 8.8 trillion yuan, equal to 29% of China's gross domestic product of about 30 trillion yuan in 2008. The sum was also equivalent to 39.7% of the country's total household bank savings of 22.15 trillion yuan.
By contrast, the 40 million officially acknowledged poor people had only some 48 billion yuan to live on for the year.
Considering that just three decades ago all Chinese were practically equal in regard to personal wealth (or equally poor), the change is remarkable evidence of the tremendous success of late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping's policy of "allowing some people to become rich first".
However, many Chinese who lived through Mao Zedong's egalitarian rule are increasingly unhappy with the fast expanding wealth gap and particularly with the social injustice behind the wealth disparity. Since the Chinese Communist Party still stubbornly upholds the banner of "socialism" albeit with "Chinese characteristics", it has to make efforts to narrow the gap to calm public discontent.
Even Deng said "Poverty is not socialism", and his policy to let some people become rich first was to serve the ultimate goal for "common prosperity for all people".
The Merchants Bank/Bain survey, released early last week, found that each of the interviewees had assets of at least 10 million yuan including cash, stocks, funds, securities and real estate investments. Of the 300,000 multimillionaires, some 10,000 are estimated to have had assets of more than 100 million yuan each.
Despite the assaults of the global financial crisis, these rich Chinese are confident that their wealth will continue to grow this year to surpass 9 trillion yuan, up 7% from 2008.
Southern Guangdong province had the largest number of multi-millionaires, with 46,000, or 15% of the country's total, followed by Shanghai, Beijing, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.
The survey found that 80% of the rich Chinese preferred investment with medium or low risk, contrary to previous assumptions that the rich prefer risky ventures. "The current financial crisis has had no impact on them because most of them are conservative investors," said Ma Hua, deputy director of CCTV.com's research and development center. "Since they create wealth, and have not inherited it, they tend to be conservative in how to use it," Ma told China Daily.
The survey, not surprisingly, caused quite a stir after its release. Some commentaries questioned whether all these rich people made their fortunes legally. Such suspicion is not ungrounded. Many of those who have been included in various lists of the richest Chinese have been convicted of all sorts of economic crimes, so much so that rich people now see it a "bad omen" or "curse" to be included in such lists.
There are business people who have become rich through collusion with corrupt officials, while the public has been angered about executives of state owned enterprises (SOEs) taking advantages of the restructuring of the state sector to enrich themselves first. These SOE executives get their jobs not through fair competition but through assignment by government. While an SOE is invested with taxpayers' money, executives can get shares when the company is listed and also become highly paid. In this way, many SOE executives have become multi-millionaires.
With the survey refreshing public concern over social injustice in the distribution of wealth, attention has been also thus been drawn to the poorest in the country. The poor rural population has also "increased" tremendously, thanks in part to the Chinese government this year adopting a new, higher poverty threshold, by which the rural population considered to be poor would be more than doubled.
The government has in the past regularly hailed one of its great achievements to be that it has drastically reduced the number of rural poor, to 14.79 million by end of 2007 from 250 million in 1978.
These figures have been affected by China adopting until this year two poverty lines for farmers. One, the "absolute poverty line"; the other, the "relative poverty or low-income line". The government's poverty alleviation program of the past 20 years and more has mainly targeted those living under the "absolute poverty line". So the "great achievement in poverty alleviation" in the past 30 years was made possible in no small part by twisting figures.
China started a government poverty alleviation program in 1985 and set the absolute poverty line at 206 yuan per farmer. The low-income line was between 206 yuan and 399 yuan.
Then, while the country's economy grew at an average of more than 10% annually, the government raised the absolute poverty threshold at a snail's pace: to 213 yuan in 1986, 227 yuan in 1987 to 785 yuan in 2007. Likewise, the upper limit of the low-income line was raised to 1,067 yuan in 2007 and 1,196 yuan in 2008. By comparison, the average net per capita income was 4,761 yuan for farmers in 2008 and 15,781 yuan for urban residents, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Aware of the irrationality, Beijing has decided to scrap the "absolute poverty line" and use the "low-income line" as the mark for farmers, according to a report by Caijing magazine. Under the new threshold, the rural poverty population immediately "jumped" to more than 40 million people who now can benefit from the government poverty alleviation program.
By the new standard, the poverty threshold was 1,196 yuan per head in 2008. However, this is still far below the World Bank's new poverty line of US$1.25 a day for 2008.
"With the adoption of the new standard, China's poverty threshold is still a bit too low," said Liu Fuhe, as spokesman for the State Council's Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development. He told Caijing that if the World Bank standard is adopted China's poverty population could well exceed 100 million.
With at least 8% of the whole population still living well under the international poverty line, China has a long way to go to become a truly well-off society, despite the sharp increase in the number of multi-millionaires, despite the prosperous outlooks in coastal cities, and despite inflating nationalistic pride in the country's growing economic muscle.
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China_Business/KD09Cb01.html

Anonymous said...

G-20 makes it worse
By Hossein Askari and Noureddine Krichene
The contrast between the Group of 20 summit communiques of November 2008 and April 2009 is striking. While the first communique recognized that the surest way to restore economic growth was to rely on capitalism, international cooperation and the private sector, the second abandoned these principles and called for unprecedented fiscal-cum-money intervention to restore growth.
US President Barack Obama was not present at the November meeting; his absence, however, created uncertainty among leaders regarding the course of G-20 policy. With Obama leading the April G-20 summit, the group has been pushed to the far left.
While a G-20 subgroup continues to enjoy robust economic growth, large external surpluses and sound financial systems, the
largest subgroup, ironically composed of leading industrial countries, continues to suffer from self-inflicted wounds - namely, it has bankrupted its own financial system thanks to expansionary fiscal and monetary policies and unprecedented credit booms in the past decade.
These policies have now led to gigantic bailouts that will imperil fiscal balances for some time to come, guaranteed bank debts, and to calls for public-private bad banks to buy toxic assets. Economic performances in this group have deteriorated between the two summit dates.
US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's aggressive monetary policy and anti-depression doctrine has pushed interest rates to zero and resulted in the US unemployment rate jumping from 4.3% in 2007 to 8.5% in March 2009. Similar disasters have plagued the UK, the European Union and Japan. Thanks to unrestrained fiscal-cum-monetary policy, these advanced industrial countries are now experiencing contracting output and rising unemployment.
Frustrated by impotent fiscal and monetary stimuli, this group has desperately pushed cheap and unconditional fictitious loans, created from thin air, on developing countries - the international equivalent of the subprime market - in the hope of creating markets for their industrial products. Hence, after saddling their domestic subprime with debt, these G-20 countries have turned to bankrupting developing countries with purely counterfeited money. Such a strategy, while dangerously inflationary, will export unemployment to these developing countries, blow-up their banking systems, trap them in another debt cycle and impair their development process.
The communique reads:
We are undertaking an unprecedented and concerted fiscal expansion, which will save or create millions of jobs which would otherwise have been destroyed, and that will, by the end of next year, amount to US$5 trillion, raise output by 4%, and accelerate the transition to a green economy. We are committed to deliver the scale of sustained fiscal effort necessary to restore growth ... Our central banks have also taken exceptional action. Interest rates have been cut aggressively in most countries, and our central banks have pledged to maintain expansionary policies for as long as needed and to use the full range of monetary policy instruments, including unconventional instruments, consistent with price stability ... Taken together, these actions will constitute the largest fiscal and monetary stimulus and the most comprehensive support programme for the financial sector in modern times. Acting together strengthens the impact and the exceptional policy actions announced so far must be implemented without delay. Today, we have further agreed over $1 trillion of additional resources for the world economy through our international financial institutions and trade finance ... We will conduct all our economic policies cooperatively and responsibly with regard to the impact on other countries and will refrain from competitive devaluation of our currencies and promote a stable and well-functioning international monetary system.
Undeniably, the communique reads as one of Obama's election stump speeches, with the heavy economic and financial imprints of his economic advisor Larry Summers, now Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Bernanke. At home, with a view to creating 4 million jobs, Obama has launched the largest-ever stimulus program at $787 billion; his budget deficit, at $1.85 trillion or 13% of US GDP, has shattered all records and pushed US public debt to unsustainable levels, while the Fed has been creating money out of thin air in the trillions of dollars.
Bernanke has pushed the US monetary policy on a course with incalculable economic costs that could end the era of dollar as a reserve currency. The outright monetization of Obama's fiscal deficits could send the US dollar to record lows and unleash the worst inflation in recent US history.
With Obama's unsound financial policies replicated by the rest of the world, it is impossible to forecast what the state of the world economy will be before the next G-20 meeting. Although G-20 experts were predicting 4% real economic growth, they forget that the private sector had never been subjected to such economic uncertainty and fear. In such a dire financial setting, it is impossible to predict what will be the state of the world economy in the medium-term. How is it possible to regain control of fiscal and money discipline? The G-20 has failed to restore confidence for a growing economy but has instead paved the way towards growing chaos.
The communique stipulates that "Taken together, these actions will constitute the largest fiscal and monetary stimulus and the most comprehensive support programme for the financial sector in modern times."
The G-20 experts failed to realize that over the past decade leading industrial countries have been experiencing the most expansionary policy in their history, yet the "Harvard multiplier" has so far been working in reverse. They forgot these same expansionary policies led to speculation and bankruptcies, pushed oil prices to $147 per barrel, triggered energy and food protests around the world, disrupted airline industries, trucking and marine shipping, played havoc with real economies, and finally ended up with a global economic recession.
Intensifying fiscal and monetary assault will eventually revive the nightmares of 2008 and could cause more financial disorder. While the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has renounced a previously announced 4.2 million barrels a day cut in oil output with a view to stabilizing oil prices and supporting global economic recovery, the G-20 wants to stoke oil prices. With oil prices reflecting persistent upward pressure, prospects for world economic recovery could become dim.
The G-20 experts seem oblivious to the ravages already caused by monetary and fiscal expansion and seem to deny simple truths characterizing these policies. Namely, large fiscal deficits reduce real savings, crowd out private investment and undermine economic growth. Second, monetary expansion has regularly caused speculation and banking crises. Zero interest rates will erode real capital and strangulate banking and financial intermediation.
A simple economic principle evaded those experts: the real aggregate demand is downward sloping: a depreciation of money in the form of a rising general price level depresses real output. Some call it long-term stagflation. In particular, in recession, monetary policy finances pure consumption loans and depletes savings and investment - both necessary for economic growth. It contributes to deepening recession and strengthening inflationary expectations.
The communique announced a world gold rush: "Today, we have further agreed over $1 trillion of additional resources for the world economy through our international financial institutions and trade finance."
The G-20 applauded Mexico's request for $40 billion under the International Monetary Fund's newly created flexible credit line, irrespective of past Mexican debt crises and the country's inability to service its debt. In this atmosphere, maybe the G-20 would even applaud a multi-billion request from Zimbabwe!
While domestic banks should lend against good collateral, conditionality with international loans was meant to enhance the chance of repayment. When conditionality is removed, a lender has no reason for blaming the borrower. All countries will be washed with billions of dollars in reserves created out of nothing and will spend furiously with fake money that has no real counterpart.
With oil reserves depleting in most countries and oil output stacked at 86 million barrels per day, the impact on oil prices will be obvious. In the same vein, with depleting food stocks as noted recently by the head of the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization and pressures on the limited cultivable land, the effect on food prices could be overwhelming. Developing countries will have to run large fiscal deficits and expand domestic money supply to absorb new reserves and mountains of unconditional low interest loans.
When this cheap booze is all gone, they will be left with bankrupt public treasuries, dysfunctional domestic banking systems and a splitting hangover. As in the 1980s and 1990s, their economies will be in a dire state of disintegration, with boatloads of people sinking on their way to finding jobs elsewhere.
The communique became totally far-fetched in stating: "We will conduct all our economic policies cooperatively and responsibly with regard to the impact on other countries and will refrain from competitive devaluation of our currencies and promote a stable and well-functioning international monetary system."
This statement is certainly betrayed by a furious war among leading central banks in competitive devaluation and unorthodox monetary expansion. Each leading central bank has been endeavoring to depreciate its own currency and avoid any appreciation; interest rates have been cut to the lowest seen in the past three centuries. Exchange-rate instability has been at about its highest.
How monetary stability could be promoted in a system of floating rates is a question that may elude economists, with G-20 experts holding the secret! The blunt contradiction is inescapable in this statement: "Our central banks have also taken exceptional action. Interest rates have been cut aggressively in most countries, and our central banks have pledged to maintain expansionary policies for as long as needed and to use the full range of monetary policy instruments, including unconventional instruments." The more central banks engage in exceptional action, the more instability and contraction of trade volumes will be inflicted on the world economy.
Under the nostalgia of the George W Bush credit boom, the G-20 wanted to create an Obama credit boom at even far greater scale than has existed in modern times. The Obama team is beating the drums and making everyone dance the world over. Financial regulation becomes totally irrelevant when central banks are in pursuit of destroying currency. The world is now doomed to medium-term economic instability. So many uncertainties loom ahead. The inflationary consequences of G-20 approach could be devastating and may push vulnerable countries to the brink of starvation as seen in 2008.
Obama was elected to implement change. Unfortunately, his policy gurus have decided only to intensify previous financial policies and spread them far and wide. When insanity spreads you can only hide your sanity. Spreading insanity around the world is itself insanity. The G-20 could have spared the world economy unnecessary suffering. Unfortunately, it chose the continuation of financial disorder. The world cries out for private investment and growth, while the G-20 creates fake money and impairs growth.

Hossein Askari is professor of international business and international affairs at George Washington University. Noureddine Krichene is an economist at the International Monetary Fund and a former advisor, Islamic Development Bank, Jeddah.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/KD08Dj03.html

Anonymous said...

The WASPs--White Anglo-Saxon Predators (or, is that parasites?)--are up their old instinctive tricks, only this time even more insanely genocidal than usual and playing for the ultimate stakes: A true war to end all wars.

One can only hope their plans blow up in their faces and these Anglos will be engulfed in the flames of hell that they so eagerly wish to unleash on the globe.

"London Declares World War III"
http://www.larouchepub.com/other/editorials/2009/3612london_wwiii.html

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has produced a paper titled, "Manning the Barricades," which those committed to saving human civilization would do well to take note of. As a mouthpiece for the London-based financial oligarchy, going all the way back to the U.S. Civil War, when it openly opposed President Abraham Lincoln's war to save the Union, The Economist's "study" should be read as a statement of intent for ushering in a period of global chaos, in which that financial oligarchy maintains its power over a decimated planet.

Anonymous said...

For the above, fervent gratitude. Yes, we've noted the population cull tendencies in the ziobastards. They're even going about it openly now. But never doubt the fighters will win the war to end all wars.

Anonymous said...

This editorial appears in the March 27, 2009 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
London Declares World War III
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has produced a paper titled, "Manning the Barricades," which those committed to saving human civilization would do well to take note of. As a mouthpiece for the London-based financial oligarchy, going all the way back to the U.S. Civil War, when it openly opposed President Abraham Lincoln's war to save the Union, The Economist's "study" should be read as a statement of intent for ushering in a period of global chaos, in which that financial oligarchy maintains its power over a decimated planet.

"There is growing concern about a possible global pandemic of unrest," the report almost gloats.

The study warns that there is a 40% likelihood that the efforts to solve the financial crash, through the bailouts, will fail, and that it could lead to world war. At minimum, The Economist admits that the financial crash has killed globalization, and then moans that a new protectionist wave, like the Smoot-Hawley Tariff in 1930, could prolong the depression. The document attacks President Obama for allowing a "Buy America" clause to be included in the first stimulus package, and warns that he is moving in a populist direction that could cause a far worse crisis, leading to the global political destabilizations the report already forecast.

If protectionism and nationalism do fully erupt, the EIU warns, the world will face "armed rebellions, military coups, civil conflict and even wars between states." Will we once again face "wheelbarrow time?," the report asks, warning of global hyperinflation.
The bulk of the report deals with nation-by-nation ratings of the likelihood of countries being destroyed. The EIU projects that Britain will be in the front line of nations shaken by social upheavals that will topple governments. In Britain, "popular discontent and anger are likely to rise, and populist sentiments to strengthen. The news of big personal payouts to bankers who have failed spectacularly has incensed public opinion." Overall, 95 countries are ranked as being at "high" or "very high" risk.
The top of the list coincides with countries already targetted by Lord Mark Malloch-Brown's and George Soros's destabilizations: Zimbabwe, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cambodia, and Sudan. Three European countries are among the 27 rated as "very high risk": Ukraine, Moldova, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
As for Britain, the EIU points to immigrant labor as a possible flashpoint for unrest. A Financial Times/Harris poll says that almost 80% of British adults believe that immigrants should be asked to leave the country if they do not have a job, and a majority believes that social chaos will lead to the deployment of the British Army onto the streets. Clearly, such a scenario is not limited to Britain alone.
How can such a wish list/scenario be subverted? In fact, only by the very measures which The Economist excoriates—a revival of national sovereignty which leads to cooperation among nations for a new international credit system (not a British monetary system) geared to global economic reconstruction. That means war against the British imperialists—to prevent them from destroying us all. Left to their own devices, the Brits will resort to their longstanding doctrine of "permanent war/permanent revolution," a doctrine forged during the World War I period by British agent Alexander Helphand ("Parvus"), and earlier, by Lord Palmerston's Jacobin duo, Karl Marx and Giuseppe Mazzini.
27.3.09

Anonymous said...

With Moldova at least they seem to be having a high old time over this Easter weekend. Russies still fast asleep?

Anonymous said...

A Political Universe one step beyond logic.

&Mage&

Anonymous said...

One step beyond logic and careening straight towards Bedlam. And we the great unwashed, they'll drag us along till we're all locked up as well.

Anonymous said...

Russia urges proportionate use of force in Afghanistan

MOSCOW, April 9 (Xinhua) — Force should be used carefully and proportionately when solving the Afghan issue, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday.

When preparing the international strategy on Afghanistan, "the fact that it is impossible to resolve this problem solely by force should be taken into account," the Interfax news agency quoted Lavrov as telling the local media.
Lavrov urged the Western troops operating in Afghanistan to minimize civilian casualties because casualties among the civilian population “as a result of inappropriate or wrong actions by the coalition in Afghanistan are huge."
Russia has raised this issue in the UN Security Council, he added.
The settlement of the situation in Afghanistan will largely depend on how the upcoming presidential, regional and parliamentary elections will go, said the top diplomat.
"We believe it is extremely important that these processes be prepared and organized in such a way as no ethnic or political group in Afghanistan feels restricted and (everyone) has the right to be represented," he said.
There is a need to find "a balance of interests between the central administration and the authorities in the provinces, taking into account the multi-ethnic composition of Afghan society," he said.

Anonymous said...

There we have it,EtMageEt, the illogical blooming. Instead of telling the US to get the hell out of Afghanistan (and Moldova), Lavrov talks about "proportionate use of force". Further above, the egalitarian Mao Chinese turn in their graves while Hu Jintao's millionaires make themselves comfortable at the expense of millions. A total absence of commonsense. Similary, the ziowest is weeping and begging people not to blame the wealthy for their woes. Madness. And the fighter jet is always at the ready for Israel's next command. Total insanity. Add them all up and we get the illogical behaviour in 2009 characterising the powers that be. Detachment is our best bet.

Anonymous said...

Fiat workers stage "boss-napping" in Belgium
Fiat workers in Brussels on Thursday briefly held local managers inside their office in a bid to renegotiate terms for planned job cuts, the latest in a spate of so-called "boss-nappings" across Europe.

Anonymous said...

Tens of thousands of protesters thronged Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, today for the start of mass demonstrations against Mikheil Saakashvili, the country's flamboyant but increasingly unpopular President.

Anonymous said...

Globalise the Intifada

Emancipate Gaza

End the Apartheid State

Anonymous said...

Assassination by Air - T. Englehardt - 10.4.09
(The real Star Wars?)
Speaking of controlling those skies, let's get back to UAVs. As futuristic weapons planning went, they started out pretty low-tech in the 1990s. Even today, the most commonplace of the two American armed drones, the Predator, costs only $4.5 million a pop, while the most advanced model, that Reaper -- both are produced by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems of San Diego -- comes in at $15 million. (Compare that to $350 million for a single F-22 Raptor, which has proved essentially useless in America's most recent counterinsurgency wars.) It's lucky UAVs are cheap, since they are also prone to crashing. Think of them as snowmobiles with wings that have received ever more sophisticated optics and powerful weaponry.
They came to life as surveillance tools during the wars over the former Yugoslavia, were armed by February 2001, were hastily pressed into operation in Afghanistan after 9/11, and like many weapons systems, began to evolve generationally. As they did, they developed from surveillance eyes in the sky into something far more sinister and previously restricted to terra firma: assassins. One of the earliest armed acts of a CIA-piloted Predator, back in November 2002, was an assassination mission over Yemen in which a jeep, reputedly transporting six suspected al-Qaeda operatives, was incinerated.
Today, the most advanced UAV, the Reaper, housing up to four Hellfire missiles and two 500-pound bombs, packs the sort of punch once reserved for a jet fighter. Dispatched to the skies over the farthest reaches of the American empire, powered by a 1,000-horsepower turbo prop engine at its rear, the Reaper can fly at up to 21,000 feet for up to 22 hours (until fuel runs short), streaming back live footage from three cameras (or sending it to troops on the ground) --- 16,000 hours of video a month.
No need to worry about a pilot dozing off during those 22 hours. The human crews "piloting" the drones, often from thousands of miles away, just change shifts when tired. So the planes are left to endlessly cruise Iraqi, Afghan, and Pakistani skies relentlessly seeking out, like so many terminators, specific enemies whose identities can, under certain circumstances -- or so the claims go -- be determined even through the walls of houses. When a "target" is found and agreed upon -- in Pakistan, the permission of Pakistani officials to fire is no longer considered necessary -- and a missile or bomb is unleashed, the cameras are so powerful that "pilots" can watch the facial expressions of those being liquidated on their computer monitors "as the bomb hits."
Approximately 5,500 UAVs, mostly unarmed -- less than 250 of them are Predators and Reapers -- now operate over Iraq and the Af-Pak (as in the Afghanistan-Pakistan) theater of operations. Part of the more-than-century-long development of war in the air, drones have become favorites of American military planners. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in particular has demanded increases in their production (and in the training of their "pilots") and urged that they be rushed in quantity into America's battle zones even before being fully perfected.
And yet, keep in mind that the UAV still remains in its (frightening) infancy. Such machines are not, of course, advanced cyborgs. They are in some ways not even all that advanced. Because someone now wants publicity for the drone-war program, reporters from the U.S. and elsewhere have recently been given "rare behind-the-scenes" looks at how it works. As a result, and also because the "covert war" in the skies over Pakistan makes Washington's secret warriors proud enough to regularly leak news of its "successes," we know something more about how our drone wars work.
We know, for instance, that at least part of the Air Force's Afghan UAV program runs out of Kandahar Air Base in southern Afghanistan. It turns out that, pilotless as the planes may be, a pilot does have to be nearby to guide them into the air and handle landings. As soon as the drone is up, a two-man team, a pilot and a "sensor monitor," backed by intelligence experts and meteorologists, takes over the controls either at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona, or at Creech Air Force Base northwest of Las Vegas, some 7,000-odd miles away. (Other U.S. bases may be involved as well.)
According to Christopher Drew of the New York Times, who visited Davis-Monthan where Air National Guard members handle the controls, the pilots sit unglamorously "at 1990s-style computer banks filled with screens, inside dimly lit trailers." Depending on the needs of the moment, they can find themselves "over" either Afghanistan or Iraq, or even both on the same work shift. All of this is remarkably mundane -- pilot complaints generally run to problems "transitioning" back to wife and children after a day at the joystick over battle zones -- and at the same time, right out of Ali Baba's One Thousand and One Nights.
In those dimly lit trailers, the UAV teams have taken on an almost godlike power. Their job is to survey a place thousands of miles distant (and completely alien to their lives and experiences), assess what they see, and spot "targets" to eliminate -- even if on their somewhat antiquated computer systems it "takes up to 17 steps -- including entering data into pull-down windows -- to fire a missile" and incinerate those below. They only face danger, other than carpal tunnel syndrome, when they leave the job. A sign at Creech warns a pilot to "drive carefully"; "this, it says, is 'the most dangerous part of your day.'" Those involved claim that the fear and thrill of battle do not completely escape them, but the descriptions we now have of their world sound discomfortingly like a cross between the far frontiers of sci-fi and a call center in India.
The most intense of our various drone wars, the one on the other side of the Afghan border in Pakistan, is also the most mysterious. We know that some or all of the drones engaged in it take off from Pakistani airfields; that this "covert war" (which regularly makes front-page news) is run by the CIA out of its headquarters in Langley, Virginia; that its pilots are also located somewhere in the U.S.; and that at least some of them are hired private contractors.
William Saletan of Slate has described our drones as engaged in "a bloodless, all-seeing airborne hunting party." Of course, what was once an elite activity performed in person has been transformed into a 24/7 industrial activity fit for human drones.
Our drone wars also represent a new chapter in the history of assassination. Once upon a time, to be an assassin for a government was a furtive, shameful thing. In those days, of course, an assassin, if successful, took down a single person, not the targeted individual and anyone in the vicinity (or simply, if targeting intelligence proves wrong, anyone in the vicinity). No more poison-dart-tipped umbrellas, as in past KGB operations, or toxic cigars as in CIA ones -- not now that assassination has taken to the skies as an every day, all-year-round activity.
Today, we increasingly display our assassination wares with pride. To us, at least, it seems perfectly normal for assassination aerial operations to be a part of an open discussion in Washington and in the media. Consider this a new definition of "progress" in our world.
Proliferation and Sovereignty
This brings us back to arms races. They may be things of the past, but don't for a minute imagine that those hunter-killer skies won't someday fill with the drones of other nations. After all, one of the truths of our time is that no weapons system, no matter where first created, can be kept for long as private property. Today, we talk not of arms races, but of "proliferation," which is what you have once a global arms race of one takes hold.
In drone-world, the Chinese, the Russians, the Israelis, the Pakistanis, the Georgians, and the Iranians, among others, already have drones. In the Lebanon War of 2006, Hezbollah flew drones over Israel. In fact, if you have the skills, you can create your own drone, more or less in your living room (as your basic DIY drone website indicates). Undoubtedly, the future holds unnerving possibilities for small groups intent on assassination from the air.
Already the skies are growing more crowded. Three weeks ago, President Obama issued what Reuters termed "an unprecedented videotaped appeal to Iran... offering a 'new beginning' of diplomatic engagement to turn the page on decades of U.S. policy toward America's longtime foe." It was in the form of a Persian New Year's greeting. As the New York Times also reported, the U.S. military beat the president to the punch. They sent their own "greetings" to the Iranians a couple of days earlier.
After considering what Times reporters Rod Nordland and Alissa J. Rubin term "the delicacy of the incident at a time when the United States is seeking a thaw in its relations with Iran," the U.S. military sent out Col. James Hutton to meet the press and "confirm" that "allied aircraft" had shot down an "Iranian unmanned aerial vehicle" over Iraq on February 25th, more than three weeks earlier. Between that day and mid-March, the relevant Iraqi military and civilian officials were, the Times tells us, not informed. The reason? That drone was intruding on our (borrowed) airspace, not theirs. You probably didn't know it, but according to an Iraqi Defense Ministry spokesman, "protection of Iraqi airspace remains an American responsibility for the next three years."
And naturally enough, we don't want other countries' drones in "our" airspace, though that's hardly likely to stop them. The Iranians, for instance, have already announced the development of "a new generation of 'spy drones' that provide real-time surveillance over enemy terrain."
Of course, when you openly control squads of assassination drones patrolling airspace over other countries, you've already made a mockery of whatever national sovereignty might once have meant. It's a precedent that may someday even make us distinctly uncomfortable. But not right now.
If you doubt this, check out the stream of self-congratulatory comments being leaked by Washington officials about our drone assassins. These often lead off news pieces about America's "covert war" over Pakistan ("An intense, six-month campaign of Predator strikes in Pakistan has taken such a toll on Al Qaeda that militants have begun turning violently on one another out of confusion and distrust, U.S. intelligence and counter-terrorism officials say..."); but be sure to read to the end of such pieces. Somewhere in them, after the successes have been touted and toted up, you get the bad news: "In fact, the stepped-up strikes have coincided with a deterioration in the security situation in Pakistan."
In Pakistan, a war of machine assassins is visibly provoking terror (and terrorism), as well as anger and hatred among people who are by no means fundamentalists. It is part of a larger destabilization of the country.
To those who know their air power history, that shouldn't be so surprising. Air power has had a remarkably stellar record when it comes to causing death and destruction, but a remarkably poor one when it comes to breaking the will of nations, peoples, or even modest-sized organizations. Our drone wars are destructive, but they are unlikely to achieve Washington's goals.
The Future Awaits Us
If you want to read the single most chilling line yet uttered about drone warfare American-style, it comes at the end of Christopher Drew's piece. He quotes Brookings Institution analyst Peter Singer saying of our Predators and Reapers: "[T]hese systems today are very much Model T Fords. These things will only get more advanced."
In other words, our drone wars are being fought with the airborne equivalent of cars with cranks, but the "race" to the horizon is already underway. By next year, some Reapers will have a far more sophisticated sensor system with 12 cameras capable of filming a two-and-a-half mile round area from 12 different angles. That program has been dubbed "Gorgon Stare", but it doesn't compare to the future 92-camera Argus program whose initial development is being funded by the Pentagon's blue-skies outfit, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Soon enough, a single pilot may be capable of handling not one but perhaps three drones, and drone armaments will undoubtedly grow progressively more powerful and "precise." In the meantime, BAE Systems already has a drone four years into development, the Taranis, that should someday be "completely autonomous"; that is, it theoretically will do without human pilots. Initial trials of a prototype are scheduled for 2010.
By 2020, so claim UAV enthusiasts, drones could be engaging in aerial battle and choosing their victims themselves. As Robert S. Boyd of McClatchy reported recently, "The Defense Department is financing studies of autonomous, or self-governing, armed robots that could find and destroy targets on their own. On-board computer programs, not flesh-and-blood people, would decide whether to fire their weapons."
It's a particular sadness of our world that, in Washington, only the military can dream about the future in this way, and then fund the "arms race" of 2018 or 2035. Rest assured that no one with a governmental red cent is researching the health care system of 2018 or 2035, or the public education system of those years.
In the meantime, the skies of our world are filling with round-the-clock assassins. They will only evolve and proliferate. Of course, when we check ourselves out in the movies, we like to identify with John Connor, the human resister, the good guy of this planet, against the evil machines. Elsewhere, however, as we fight our drone wars ever more openly, as we field mechanical techno-terminators with all-seeing eyes and loose our missiles from thousands of miles away ("Hasta la Vista, Baby!"), we undoubtedly look like something other than a nation of John Connors to those living under the Predators. It may not matter if the joysticks and consoles on those advanced machines are somewhat antiquated; to others, we are now the terminators of the planet, implacable machine assassins.

Anonymous said...

The most intense of our various drone wars, the one on the other side of the Afghan border in Pakistan, is also the most mysterious. We know that some or all of the drones engaged in it take off from Pakistani airfields; that this "covert war" (which regularly makes front-page news) is run by the CIA out of its headquarters in Langley, Virginia; that its pilots are also located somewhere in the U.S.; and that at least some of them are hired private contractors.

The Russians are supposedly buying drones from Israel. What a cosy arrangement.

Anonymous said...

Europe Will Not Fight in Afghanistan - P. Buchanan

"No one will say this publicly, but the true fact is we are all talking about our exit strategy from Afghanistan. We are getting out. It may take a couple of years, but we are all looking to get out."
Thus did a "senior European diplomat" confide to the New York Times during Obama’s trip to Strasbourg.
Europe is bailing out on us. Afghanistan is to be America’s war.
During what the Times called a "fractious meeting," NATO agreed to send 3,000 troops to provide security during the elections and 2,000 to train Afghan police. Thin gruel beside Obama’s commitment to double U.S. troop levels to 68,000.

Anonymous said...

2009 - Year of The Slave
'So, what is a slave? How do we define a slave? What test do we use to tell if someone is a slave. What makes them different from free people?
Free people can say "no". Free people can refuse demands for their money, time, and children. Slaves cannot. There is no freedom without the freedom to say "no". If someone demands that you do something and you can say "no" and refuse to do it, then you are a free human being. If you can be forced to do something or surrender something that you do not wish to, then you are a slave.
No other test need be applied. Freedom is the freedom to say "no".'

Anonymous said...

Obscene Good Friday News

- The drone wars alive and thriving. And people dying daily.
- The stockmarket takes another queer jump and we all get excited.
- Israel is busy with thoughts of "transfer", expelling Palestinians from Palestine and everyone nods sagely.
- 6th anniversary of the fall of Baghdad and at least mass protests in Iraq. Here we prefer to talk about the death of one man at the G20 protests.
- Britain, apart from showing greatness over Ian Tomlinson^s death, has discovered an "al-Quaida" Easter plot to bomb the country to extinction.
Yes the year of the slave or rather the years of the slaves. We Bedlam inmates wouldn't know what freedom was if it upped and nipped us in the leg.

Anonymous said...

The Emperor's new clothes: Mr Change's recent European trip - 10.04.2009 Pravda.Ru
By Hans Vogel

Do you remember Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale about the Emperor's new clothes?
After spending dazzling fortunes on a new set of exquisite clothes, made by the world's finest tailors, the emperor decided to parade through the streets of his capital, dressed in his new outfit. In fact, his tailors had fooled him and used the money they received for anything but the promised delicate materials. They just pretended to be cutting, sewing and adjusting imaginary fabrics. Thus the emperor went on parade stark naked, with the entire court pretending to admire his clothes. The populace was stunned to see their respected ruler in the buff, but nobody dared to admit what he was seeing. Except for this little boy who exclaimed the emperor went around naked. Only then did the crowd dare to say that, indeed, it was seeing a crowned, but naked man, instead of their emperor dressed in full sartorial splendor.

The Emperor's new clothes: Mr Change's recent European trip
It would seem the celebration of NATO's sixtieth anniversary is a modern version of this fairy tale. “Mr Change” Obama had come to the party to ask for help from his clients in fighting the hopeless war in Afghanistan. Mr. Change did not come to ask for small change but real big time money. Millions of dollars and Euros in fact, in order to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan. And in addition he sought more men, more weapons and a firm pledge of help from the “NATO partners” that had always been ever so obsequious.
While parts of the city of Strasbourg were being set ablaze by angry protesters shouting “NO TO NATO”, the NATO political and military leaders were listening politely to Mr. Change's frantic calls for help and trying to find ways to avoid giving it. One NATO country pledged a dozen police officers to help train the struggling Afghan constabulary, soon outdone by another member promising to send 35 police officers. France, that has just rejoined NATO's military structure after withdrawing from it in 1966, would send no more than 150 fresh troops to Afghanistan. Surely Mr. Change must have returned to the White House a very, very disappointed man. For the first time since NATO was founded in 1949, a US president has met with a virtual rebuff from his European vassals. Sounds a bit like rebellion does it not?

Anonymous said...

Apr 10, 2009 Appeasement and decline
By Peter Morici
The US trade deficit for February is likely to be up marginally to US$36.5 billion from January's $36 billion, according to the consensus forecaast before the Commerce Department releases balance of trade data onThursday.
In February, oil prices rose but the quantity of oil imports fell, and slack consumer spending is breaking nonoil imports. Imports from China usually take a seasonal dip in February but overall these have remained strong, even as purchases from other regions have slacked off.
China has beefed up currency intervention, suppressing the value of the yuan to boost exports, and increased other export subsidies. This strategy keeps China growing by exporting some of the worst effects of the recession to the United States and other industrial countries.
Essentially, China is exporting unemployment - the ruinous strategy most countries tried but failed to accomplish during the Great Depression. The principal difference this time is that China has been given a pass. No one dared challenge China at the recent Group of 20 summit in London, least of all President Barack Obama.
The wages of this appeasement are simple. Unemployment is moved from the coastal provinces of China to the US industrial heartland spanning from western Pennsylvania and New York to eastern Minnesota and south to Missouri, as well as to industrial areas in the US southeast. It is notable that President Obama's economic team has little relevant experience working or even consulting in these areas.
China's principal threat is that it will sto
buying US Treasury securities if the United States takes steps to offset its currency and other subsidies. The Obama administration is foolish to buy it.
To undervalue the yuan, the People's Bank of China prints yuan and trades those for dollars, removing dollars from circulation; then, not having enough places to spend or invest those dollars, the People's Bank purchases Treasury securities, returning the dollars into circulation.
If the People’s Bank instead held the dollars, it would remove those from circulation, and the Federal Reserve could simply print additional dollars to buy the Treasury securities. The net effect is that the Federal Reserve would collect the interest instead of its Chinese counterpart, and US borrowing costs would be lower. That would benefit, not hurt, the United States.
The trade deficit remains 3.6% of GDP, down from more than 5% at the peak of the economic expansion in 2007. However, as the US, Chinese and other countries' stimulus packages rev up the global economy, the price of oil will rise and US imports of Chinese products will again exceed 5%, thanks in large measure to China's currency and other export subsidies.
The trade deficit, even at current depressed levels, pulls the economy down more than Obama stimulus package lifts it. Once the effects of the stimulus package wear off, the trade deficit will thrust US economy back into recession.
Thanks to dysfunctional banks and the trade deficit, the US economy has entered a depression that compares with the 19th century "long depression." From October 1876 through June 1897, the US economy contracted in 161 of 285 months. Unemployment peaked at more than 14% in 1876 and 18.4% in 1894.
Then, as now, bank failures and the dollar were central concerns. Either we fix the banks and exchange rates, or we can look forward to a similar experience.

Puzzling piece. So US has clean hands and China is the dastardly villain?

Anonymous said...

The Freeworld expects that every man (woman and child) will do their duty. So enough of this desperation and more of that serenity of hope.

Mandolin

Anoymous said...

RE: Apr 10, 2009 Appeasement and decline

More America media swill that stands reality on its head. Must be from the Wall Street Urinal or their ilk?

Here's the true appeasement--appeasing America, that is. It's how the world panders to that parasite system known as American Dollar imperialism.

But don't expect the Ameriscum "free press" to ever admit even the existence of the American Dollar Empire.

For them, this American Dollar Vampire is a pious force for free market democracy and fair trade the world over. (Just ignore Enron, AIG, Bear Stearns, Bernie Madoff, Chicago School economics, or the Washington Consensus, etc.)

But then again, lies are to be expected from these same American manipulators who brought us "Weapons of Mass Destruction," the "War on Terror," and American self-inflicted terrorism like Sept. 11th.

"Super Imperialism: The Origin and Fundamentals of U.S. World Dominance"
by Michael Hudson
http://www.michael-hudson.com/books/super_imperialism_II.html

"America: Host or Parasite?" Interview with Michael Hudson.
http://www.kpfa.org/archives/index.php?arch=19173

"Us Dollar Hegemony: The Soft Underbelly Of Empire (And What Can Be Done To Use It!)"
http://www.sacw.net/free/rohini_marinella30012005.html

The Hidden Hand of American Hegemony: Petrodollar Recycling and International Markets by David Spiro.
http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/cup_detail.taf?ti_id=3231

Anonymous said...

One critical thing about dealing with America or the West in general is to dissect and understand the reality that is obscured by their Newspeak phrases.

When America or its media apologists nervously whine about how the Dollar is in decline or the possibility that other nations will no longer purchase US Treasury (in)Securities, what is that really about?

This goes straight to the very nature of the American Dollar Vampire and how the Fiat Dollar has enabled America to extort and exploit what is nothing less than ... the greatest economic free ride in history.

And like most parasites, America is enraged at the thought that this system might end with the refusal of other nations to subsidize the USA through their purchase of US T-Bills.

More below:

"The Treasury-bond standard of international finance has enabled the United States to obtain the largest free lunch in history. Whereas the world's financial system formerly rested on gold, central bank reserves now are held in the form of U.S. Treasury IOUs that can be run up without limit. America has been buying up Europe, Asia and other regions with paper credit that it has informed the world it has little intention of ever paying off. That is the essence of today's "paper gold," and there is little Europe or Asia can do about the situation except reject the dollar and create their own alternative financial system.

What makes today's Super Imperialism different from past "private enterprise" imperialism

Michael Hudson's Super Imperialism: The Origins and Fundamentals of U.S. World Dominance explains how forcing the dollar off gold in 1971 obliged the world's central banks to finance the U.S. balance-of-payments deficit by using their surplus dollars to buy U.S. Treasury bonds, whose volume now exceeds America's ability or willingness to pay.

These payments finance the U.S. Government's domestic budget as well. The larger America's balance-of-payments deficit grows, the more dollars end up in the hands of European, Asian and Near Eastern central banks, and the more money they must recycle back to the United States by buying its Treasury bonds, whose interest rates have fallen steadily. Over the past decade American savers have been net sellers of these bonds, putting their own money into the higher yielding stock market, real estate and corporate bonds.

[...]

U.S. officials claim that the world's dollar glut has become the "engine" driving the international economy. Where would Europe and Asia be, they ask, without the U.S. import demand? Do not dollar purchases help other countries employ labor that otherwise would stand idle?

This kind of rhetorical question fails to acknowledge the degree to which America imports foreign goods, buys foreign assets and pumps dollars into the world economy without providing any quid pro quo. The important question to be asked is why European and Asian central banks don't create their own domestic credit to expand their markets. Why can't they increase their consumption and investment levels rather than relying on the U.S. economy to buy their consumer goods and capital goods for surplus dollars that have no better use than to accumulate in the world's central banking system as excess reserves?

The answer is that Europe and Asia suffer from a set of economic blinders known as the Washington Consensus. It is a cover story to perpetuate America's free ride at global expense by pretending that the Treasury bill standard is something other than an exploitative free ride. The idea is to block other countries from creating their own credit, while enabling the United States to do so at will.

http://www.michael-hudson.com/books/super_imperialism_II_press_release.htm

Anonymous said...

Brief, but excellent dissection of the Washington Consensus along with requisite biblio. Drive a stake through the heart of the vampire empire.

Anonymous said...

A necklace of garlic might not be a bad idea either.

Anonymous said...

There is also the possibility that the dollar, after its recent show of strength, will again weaken in value against other major currencies, eroding its attractiveness as a reserve currency. Confidence in the health of the U.S. economy, and therefore the U.S. dollar, could plunge because of continued large U.S. current-account deficits, an unstable banking sector and a recession-busting, expansionist monetary policy. The budget deficit, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates will reach $1.8 trillion this fiscal year, or 13% of GDP, is reaching heights not seen since World War II. (See the top 10 worst business deals of 2008.)


The dollar has also been supported recently by the deleveraging taking place within the U.S. financial system. Desperate for cash, U.S. financial institutions have been liquidating foreign assets and repatriating the funds, pushing up the value of the dollar. As that process plays out, a key support of the dollar's value could be removed. Currency markets are clearly jittery. In late March, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sent the dollar tumbling when he said he was "actually quite open" to China's proposal for a greater role for SDRs. The dollar lost 1.3% against the euro within 10 minutes of Geithner's unexpected comment. (The greenback recovered a short time later, after Geithner said he expected the dollar to remain the top global currency.) "The chance of a very abrupt fall in the dollar is quite possible," says Harvard University economist Jeffrey Frankel.

Despite all the nervousness, the dollar is not necessarily destined to decline. Large budget deficits don't automatically lead to weaker currencies. In the early 1980s, the dollar strengthened even as the Reagan Administration embarked on a spending spree, because higher interest rates attracted foreign money, pushing the dollar up. The budget deficit "is not at the center of thinking about the dollar," says Richard Portes, an economist at the London Business School.

The greenback has also shown surprising resilience amid the financial meltdown, since investors continue to see it as a safe haven in bad times. Even after some recent losses, the dollar is 15% stronger against the euro than it was in mid-2008. The dollar has maintained its popularity in part because most major currencies don't look much more attractive. Investors judge the value of a currency relative to others. Though the U.S. economy may be in its worst condition in almost 30 years, the rest of the industrialized world isn't any better off. "The dollar should be much weaker," says Nouriel Roubini, the bearish chairman of research firm RGE Monitor in New York City. "The problem is, not all currencies can fall relative to each other."

A quick replacement of the dollar as the world's No. 1 currency doesn't seem likely either. Statistics from the IMF show that the percentage of global currency reserves held in dollars has been declining in recent years — but only marginally. Dollars accounted for 64% of the world's currency reserves at the end of 2008, down from 67% three years earlier. There remains great incentive for countries with large dollar reserves, like China and Japan, to continue to invest in dollar assets to preserve the value of their holdings. Besides, replacing the dollar would demand a level of cooperation among the world's major economic powers that is difficult to achieve. Although China and Russia reiterated their calls for reform of the global currency system at last week's G-20 summit in London, the issue barely got any talk time. (See pictures of London protesting the G-20 summit.)

And what would take the greenback's place? Economists say that China's suggestion of turning to SDRs might be viable, since SDRs are already considered a core part of central-bank reserves. But global traders would have to begin denominating transactions in SDRs instead of dollars, and there is no sign of that happening anytime soon. Portes of the London Business School says using SDRs as the top international currency is "not impossible," but he adds that "the fundamental problem is that the issuer of the international currency also has to be the lender of last resort. The IMF does not have the legitimacy to do that."

Whatever world leaders decide, some economists believe that the dollar cannot avoid some deterioration. As other nations and regions gain in wealth and economic influence, the U.S. economy will slowly lose its preeminence and the dollar its stature as the undisputed world currency. Harvard's Frankel foresees that the supremacy of the dollar will erode over the next 15 years or so, with other currencies, like the euro, making inroads and forming a system in which multiple currencies share the world stage. "This is the last major crisis in which the dollar is viewed as a safe haven," Frankel predicts. Maybe next time I'm in Tashkent, I'll take along some Chinese yuan.

http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1889588-2,00.html

Anonymous said...

Russia buys superior Israeli drones as it cannot manufacture quality UAV's
By: BBC Online on: 10.04.2009
Russia buys superior Israeli drones as it cannot manufacture quality UAV's

Russia has signed a deal to buy Israeli unmanned spy planes to help the country improve its own drones, reports say.

The news comes after reports that Moscow was unhappy with the performance of similar Russian aircraft during the conflict last year with Georgia.

An industry source in Israel said Russian generals had been impressed with the Israeli drones used by Georgia in the conflict.

Reports say the Israeli planes will cost a total of $50m (£35m).

Russia's deputy defence minister, Vladimir Popovkin, was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying the military had signed a contract to buy an unspecified number of pilotless drones.

"I was in Israel and even operated one," RIA-Novosti quoted him as saying.

He added that Russia wanted to study the technology of the drones in an effort to improve its own pilotless planes, which came under criticism during the Georgia conflict.

Mr Popovkin said Russia had used a Tipchak drone during the fighting with Georgia, but that it had "very many problems", RIA-Novosti reported.

"You could hear it flying from 100km away," RIA-Novosti quoted him as saying. "It returned all shot up."

The chief of staff of Russia's armed forces said in December that Moscow was negotiating with Israel to buy a batch of spy drones.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7994076.stm

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