In Syria, Putin Calls Obama’s Bluff, Joins War Against ISIS

Eric Zuesse

According to German Economic News (September 1st, based on reports from ynetnews and others), Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has apparently decided to establish in Syria a military base with thousands of soldiers and sufficient air power to do in Syria what the Obama Administration won’t, which is to defeat ISIS and the other jihadists.

On the same day, washingtonsblog bannered, “Former CIA Boss and 4-Star General: U.S. Should Arm Al Qaeda,” and linked to several sources indicating that not only David Petraeus favors arming Al Qaeda, but much of the American establishment (who have sponsored Petraeus’s entire career) also does. The British aristocracy likewise does. In fact, that academic propaganda-piece, The Russia Challenge, discusses “the stark choices Western governments face in their policies towards Russia,” while it says nothing about “the stark choices” that Russia now faces in its policies toward the U.S. aristocracy, and toward Britain’s and other U.S-allied aristocracies. That British academic propaganda-piece comes from Chatham House, otherwise called the Royal Institute of International Affairs, which, since early in the 20th Century, has been allied in the U.S. with the Rockefellers’ and Morgans’ Council on Foreign Relations, and, post-WWII, also with the Bilderberg group, and with the Rockefellers’ Trilateral Commission (which brought the Japanese aristocracy into the overall U.S.-led plan for global conquest). However, there are additionally many other front-organizations for this operation, such as the Brookings Institution. Brookings has always championed American empire, and I reported even recently on a Brookings ‘study’ of this type, by headlining “Brookings Wants More Villages Firebombed in Ukraine’s ‘Anti Terrorist Operation’.” (It’s actually an operation against the residents of the part of Ukraine that had voted 90%+ for the Ukrainian leader whom the Obama Administration had just overthrown. The residents there had refused to accept Obama’s imposed regime.) The intended defeat of Russia is to come not only in the competition over oil and gas (such as between the Arabic oil potentates and Russia), but also by extending NATO right up to Russia’s borders, such as by installing next-door in Ukraine a rabidly anti-Russian government, via a coup in February 2014. (John Fitzgerald Kennedy didn’t like it when Nikita Khrushchev tried something similar against the United States in 1962. It was called “the Cuban Missile Crisis.”) The evidence is clear and overwhelming, though almost entirely absent in U.S. ‘news’ media, that America’s aristocracy place vastly higher priority upon defeating Russia than upon defeating Islamic jihad. (The implicit message to the families of America’s 9/11 victims is: “Just get lost.” But that subtle message from the aristocrats isn’t on America’s ‘news,’ either. Only their PR is.)

In fact, I provided essential background for this development, on August 16th, headlining “How & Why the U.S. Media Do Propaganda Against Russia.” This is a position by the U.S. “Establishment,” which is the entire network of think tanks and other fronts that are financed by the U.S. aristocracy (tax-free, moreover, to the aristocrats who finance these operations) so as to conquer Russia in order that the U.S. aristocracy will win unchallengeable global control, over every other nation’s aristocracy. I documented there that not only the Republican Party but the Obama-Clinton or “Establishment” wing of the Democratic Party, have been fully in agreement with Mitt Romney’s infamous 2012 statement against Russia, which Obama publicly condemned at the time, that, “this is, without question, our number one geopolitical foe”; and Obama’s very public attack against that statement helped him win the 2012 election, though Obama’s second Administration has actually been carrying out Romney’s policy there.

Obama has many cheerleaders in this global-conquest program, such as his advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, who is proud to have helped start today’s Islamic jihad movement in order to defeat the Soviet Union. After the Soviet Union ended, Brzezinski’s hatred of Russians drove him to continue on as if it hadn’t. The war against “communism” has turned out to have been just a cover-story for these aristocrats’ war for global control, somewhat like the war against Islamic jihadists later morphed into a war against the residents of Ukraine’s pro-Russian far-east. Brzezinski was born to Polish nobility, and he retains that hatred from his childhood, which is why he has been so useful to America’s aristocrats, in order to help make the defeat of Russia into a “bipartisan” issue, and not merely an issue for Romney and the great bulk of America’s aristocrats, who are Republicans.

Basically, what Putin is apparently doing here is to go beyond the theatrics of Western aristocracies, the aristocracies that are led by America’s, and finally now to lay down the gauntlet, in Syria, against Islamic jihad. As I have previously documented, Islamic jihad is financed virtually entirely by multimillion-dollar individual contributions not only by the Saudi royal family, but also by the royals of the other Arabic oil countries. Without that constant flow of funds, the Sauds’ operation on their own side for global empire would collapse. Theirs is to be an Islamic global empire, much like America’s Dominionist Christions have (though far less successfully) aspired to creating a global Christian empire. Ever since 1945, the U.S. aristocracy and the Saudi royal family have been united together. Increasingly in the decades after the end of communism, the only thing that remains after the beast of “The Cold War” is the skeleton of expanding the American aristocracy’s empire, still married to the skeleton of the Sauds’ imperial ambitions. It could become an Earth-killing embrace: skeletons all-around and everywhere.

In one of the rare mainstream U.S. news reports about the unity between Arabic royals and the international Islamic jihad movement, America’s PBS “Frontline” documented that Islamic jihad is taught in schools that are financed by the Saudi royal family.

If the current report in German Economic News is true, then America’s President Obama will need to reassess his entire foreign policy, which has — overtly now, during his second Administration (after he had successfully fooled the American public to think that he didn’t agree with Romney) — been virtually obsessed with defeating Russia.

The U.S. regime has even bragged about its ability to stir up fear against Russia around the world.

America’s alliance with the Islamic jihad movement seems now to be directly challenged by Putin. If Obama is to continue his effort to replace the secular Shiite Syrian regime by an Islamic Sunni regime (one that will be controlled by the Sauds, and/or by the Qatari royal family the Thanis), the U.S. will then face the prospect of war against Russia, much as Obama has already built in Ukraine via his 2014 coup there, which is still prohibited from being reported about in the West — except via a few independent authentic news media (the few that aren’t controlled by aristocrats), which few (such as you are now reading) are allowed because they have only small audiences. As with the samizdat literature during the former Soviet Union, the truth is thus marginalized in the now overwhelmingly fascist-controlled, U.S.-dominated, West.

For further background on this, see my August 13th report, “Meet the ‘Moderates’ the U.S. Is Supporting in Syria: They’re al-Qaeda.”

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Posted in Business / Economics, Energy / Environment, General, Media, Politics / World News, propaganda | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

10 Lessons of the Iran Deal

By the latest count, the nuclear agreement with Iran has enough support in the U.S. Senate to survive. This, even more than stopping the missile strikes on Syria in 2013, may be as close as we come to public recognition of the prevention of a war (something that happens quite a bit but generally goes unrecognized and for which there are no national holidays). Here, for what they’re worth, are 10 teachings for this teachable moment.

  1. There is never an urgent need for war. Wars are often begun with great urgency, not because there’s no other option, but because delay might allow another option to emerge. The next time someone tells you a particular country must be attacked as a “last resort,” ask them politely to please explain why diplomacy was possible with Iran and not in this other case. If the U.S. government is held to that standard, war may quickly become a thing of the past.
  1. A popular demand for peace over war can succeed, at least when those in power are divided. When much of one of the two big political parties takes the side of peace, the advocates of peace have a chance. And of course now we know which senators and Congress members will shift their positions with partisan winds. My Republican Congressman opposed war on Syria in 2013 when President Obama supported it, but supported greater hostility toward Iran in 2015 when Obama opposed it. One of my two Democratic Senators backed peace for a change, when Obama did. The other remained undecided, as if the choice were too complex.
  1. The government of Israel can make a demand of the government of the United States and be told No. This is a remarkable breakthrough. None of the actual 50 states expects to always get its way in Washington, but Israel does — or did until now. This opens up the possibility of ceasing to give Israel billions of dollars worth of free weapons one of these years, or even of ceasing to protect Israel from legal consequences for what it does with those weapons
  1. Money can make a demand of the U.S. government and be told No. Multibillionaires funded huge advertising campaigns and dangled major campaign “contributions.” The big money was all on the side opposing the agreement, and yet the agreement prevailed — or at least now looks like it will. This doesn’t prove we have a corruption-free government. But it does suggest that the corruption is not yet 100 percent.
  1. Counterproductive tactics employed in this victorious antiwar effort may end up making this a Pyrrhic victory. Both sides in the debate over the agreement advanced baseless claims about Iranian aggression and Iranian attempts to create nuclear weapons. Both sides depicted Iranians as completely untrustworthy and menacing. If the agreement is undone or some other incident arises, the mental state of the U.S. public regarding Iran is in a worse position than it was before, as regards restraining the dogs of war.
  1. The deal is a concrete step to be built on. It is a powerful argument for the use of diplomacy — perhaps even less hostile diplomacy — in other areas of the globe. It is also a verifiable refutation to future assertions of an Iranian nuclear threat. This means that U.S. weaponry stationed in Europe on the basis of that alleged threat can and must be withdrawn rather than remain as an open act of aggression toward Russia.
  1. When given the choice, the nations of the world will leap at an opening for peace. And they will not easily be brought back again. U.S. allies are now opening embassies in Iran. If the United States backs away from Iran again, it will isolate itself. This lesson should be borne in mind when considering violent and non-violent options for other countries.
  1. The longer a war with Iran is avoided, the stronger an argument we have for continuing to avoid it. When a U.S. push for war on Iran has been stopped before, including in 2007, this has not only put off a possible catastrophe; it has also made it more difficult to create. If a future U.S. government wants war with Iran, it will have to go up against public awareness that peace with Iran is possible.
  1. The nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) works. Inspections work. Just as inspections worked in Iraq, they work in Iran. Other nations, such as Israel, North Korea, India, and Pakistan, should be encouraged to join the NPT. Proposals for a nuclear-free Middle East should be pursued.
  1. The United States should itself cease violating the NPT and lead by example, ceasing to share nuclear weapons with other nations, ceasing to create new nuclear weapons, and working to disarm itself of an arsenal that serves no purpose but threatens apocalypse.
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Why Did Oil Prices Just Jump By 27 Percent In 3 Days?

Oil prices have posted their strongest rally in years, jumping an astounding 27 percent in the last three trading days of August.

While much of the recent price movement defies reason and is enormously magnified by speculative movements by traders to take and cover their bets on oil, still, there were a series of rumors, events, and fresh data that helped contribute to the spike.

For example, on August 31, the oil markets woke up to the news that Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet his counterpart from Venezuela to discuss “possible mutual steps” to stabilize oil prices. The meeting will take place in China on September 3. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has already called for an emergency meeting of OPEC, a call that has fallen on deaf ears, at least in the most important country of Saudi Arabia.

It is still highly unlikely, but the one country that might be able to change the minds of Saudi oil officials is Russia. Again, even if Russia promised to cut back oil production to boost prices (which it has not shown a willingness to do), Saudi Arabia has little trust in Moscow to follow through on those promises. Similar understandings to cooperate in the past have fallen apart, making coordinated action unlikely.

Related: Sun Edison’s Stock Has Been Slammed. Is the Sell Off Justified?

Moreover, it is not at all clear that Russia’s best move is to cut back on production. Sure, it wants higher oil prices, but selling less oil will arguably offset price gains. And the depreciation of the ruble has cushioned the blow of low oil prices – Gazprom just reported a 29 percent gain in net profit for the second quarter compared to a year earlier, largely due to a weaker ruble. So, Russia is eager for oil prices to rebound, but the Kremlin is not as desperate as Venezuela.

Yet, bringing Russia to the table was enough to raise the prospect of OPEC production cuts, at least for oil traders, which bid up the price of oil on August 31.

Adding to the speculation was a new OPEC bulletin, which included a commentary about the state of the oil markets, entitled, “Cooperation holds the key to oil’s future.” Most of the article was unremarkable analysis about rising oil demand, but the article concludes with this:

“Cooperation is and will always remain the key to oil’s future and that is why dialogue among the main stakeholders is so important going forward. There is no quick fix, but if there is a willingness to face the oil industry’s challenges together, then the prospects for the future have to be a lot better than what everyone involved in the industry has been experiencing over the past nine months or so.”

Related: We Could See An Economic Collapse As Debt Defaults Pile Up

In all likelihood, that is a throwaway line paying lip service to collective action, with no substance behind it. But the oil markets saw a glimmer of hope in a reevaluation of the group’s strategy, possibly portending a production cut. No doubt the Venezuela-Russia meeting added fuel to that speculation. Oil markets, as irrational as they are, don’t need confirmation to bid up prices. Oil prices jumped by more than 8 percent on the last day of August.

But another major reason that oil prices shot up at the end of August was due to very significant revisions by the EIA on U.S. oil production data, pointing to sharper contraction than was previously assumed. The EIA released new survey-based data, which is more accurate than their mere estimates based on extrapolation, and the new data showed that between January and May, the U.S. actually produced 40,000 to 130,000 fewer barrels per day than the agency previously reported. Then, in June, oil production dropped by 100,000 barrels per day from the month before, hitting just 9.3 million barrels per day (mb/d).

The largest downward revision came from Texas, which has been producing 100,000 to 150,000 fewer barrels than previously reported for the first half of this year.

To put that in perspective, consider the agency’s own weekly data, which comes out every Wednesday, and although it is less accurate than the retrospective looks, oil prices move up and down in response to the results. In its weekly data, the EIA shows U.S. oil production above 9.5 mb/d through the middle of July. For the week ending August 21, the EIA says the U.S. is producing 9.33 mb/d, above what the agency now says the U.S. produced in June.

Related: Oil Prices Tank Over Mediocre Chinese Economic Data

In other words, for several months the oil markets had believed the U.S. was producing much more oil than it actually was. Instead of continuing to climb through much of the spring and leveling off into the summer, oil production actually peaked in April and has declined consistently since then. When the EIA released this latest revision on August 31, oil prices shot up.

Finally, although probably not quite as important as the OPEC rumors and the EIA data revisions, Canada suffered some outages at its oil facilities that could lead to a disruption in supplies. Canadian Oil Sands had to shut down production of its synthetic crude oil facility after a fire damaged equipment. And Nexen Energy, an oil producer in Canada and subsidiary of China’s CNOOC, had to close 95 pipelines after inspectors found problems with them. Neither company offered specifics on what the disruptions mean for their production levels, but if the outages persist, they could cut down on supplies. Canada’s benchmark for synthetic crude rallied on the news.

Citigroup analysts think the recent rebound is overdone, calling it a “false start,” and the 27 percent gain in just three days was “driven by a misread of market data and financial headlines.” Indeed, the largest three-day price rally since 1990 was driven by headlines, but given the severe volatility and huge price swings, oil prices are not trading on the fundamentals right now. Nobody knows what will happen next.

By Nick Cunningham of Oilprice.com

Posted in Business / Economics, Energy / Environment | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Sheep Led To The Slaughter: The Muzzling Of Free Speech In America

By John Whitehead, constitutional and human rights attorney, and founder of the Rutherford Institute.

“If the freedom of speech be taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”—George Washington

The architects of the American police state must think we’re idiots.

With every passing day, we’re being moved further down the road towards a totalitarian society characterized by government censorship, violence, corruption, hypocrisy and intolerance, all packaged for our supposed benefit in the Orwellian doublespeak of national security, tolerance and so-called “government speech.”

Long gone are the days when advocates of free speech could prevail in a case such as Tinker v. Des Moines. Indeed, it’s been 50 years since 13-year-old Mary Beth Tinker was suspended for wearing a black armband to school in protest of the Vietnam War. In taking up her case, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”

Were Tinker to make its way through the courts today, it would have to overcome the many hurdles being placed in the path of those attempting to voice sentiments that may be construed as unpopular, offensive, conspiratorial, violent, threatening or anti-government.

Consider, if you will, that the U.S. Supreme Court, historically a champion of the First Amendment, has declared that citizens can exercise their right to free speech everywhere it’s lawful—online, in social media, on a public sidewalk, etc.—as long as they don’t do so in front of the Court itself.

What is the rationale for upholding this ban on expressive activity on the Supreme Court plaza?

“Allowing demonstrations directed at the Court, on the Court’s own front terrace, would tend to yield the…impression…of a Court engaged with — and potentially vulnerable to — outside entreaties by the public.”

Translation: The appellate court that issued that particular ruling in Hodge v. Talkin actually wants us to believe that the Court is so impressionable that the justices could be swayed by the sight of a single man, civil rights activist Harold Hodge, standing alone and silent in the snow in a 20,000 square-foot space in front of the Supreme Court building wearing a small sign protesting the toll the police state is taking on the lives of black and Hispanic Americans.

My friends, we’re being played for fools.

The Supreme Court is not going to be swayed by you or me or Harold Hodge.

For that matter, the justices—all of whom hale from one of two Ivy League schools (Harvard or Yale) and most of whom are now millionaires and enjoy such rarefied privileges as lifetime employment, security details, ample vacations and travel perks—are anything but impartial.

If they are partial, it is to those with whom they are on intimate terms: with Corporate America and the governmental elite who answer to them, and they show their favor by investing in their businesses, socializing at their events, and generally marching in lockstep with their values and desires in and out of the courtroom.

To suggest that Harold Hodge, standing in front of the Supreme Court building on a day when the Court was not in session hearing arguments or issuing rulings, is a threat to the Court’s neutrality, while their dalliances with Corporate America is not, is utter hypocrisy.

Making matters worse, the Supreme Court has the effrontery to suggest that the government can discriminate freely against First Amendment activity that takes place within a government forum. Justifying such discrimination as “government speech,” the Court ruled that the Texas Dept. of Motor Vehicles could refuse to issue specialty license plate designs featuring a Confederate battle flag because it was offensive.

If it were just the courts suppressing free speech, that would be one thing to worry about, but First Amendment activities are being pummeled, punched, kicked, choked, chained and generally gagged all across the country.

The reasons for such censorship vary widely from political correctness, safety concerns and bullying to national security and hate crimes but the end result remains the same: the complete eradication of what Benjamin Franklin referred to as the “principal pillar of a free government.”

Officials at the University of Tennessee, for instance, recently introduced an Orwellian policy that would prohibit students from using gender specific pronouns and be more inclusive by using gender “neutral” pronouns such as ze, hir, zir, xe, xem and xyr, rather than he, she, him or her.

On many college campuses, declaring that “America is the land of opportunity” or asking someone “Where were you born?” are now considered microaggressions, “small actions or word choices that seem on their face to have no malicious intent but that are thought of as a kind of violence nonetheless.”  Trigger warnings are also being used to alert students to any material or ideas they might read, see or hear that might upset them.

More than 50 percent of the nation’s colleges, including Boston University, Harvard University, Columbia University and Georgetown University, subscribe to “red light” speech policies that restrict or ban so-called offensive speech, or limit speakers to designated areas on campus. The campus climate has become so hypersensitive that comedians such as Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld refuse to perform stand-up routines to college crowds anymore.

What we are witnessing is an environment in which political correctness has given rise to “vindictive protectiveness,” a term coined by social psychologist Jonathan Haidt and educational First Amendment activist Greg Lukianoff. It refers to a society in which “everyone must think twice before speaking up, lest they face charges of insensitivity, aggression or worse.”

This is particularly evident in the public schools where students are insulated from anything—words, ideas and images—that might create unease or offense. For instance, the thought police at schools in Charleston, South Carolina, have instituted a ban on displaying the Confederate flag on clothing, jewelry and even cars on campus.

Added to this is a growing list of programs, policies, laws and cultural taboos that defy the First Amendment’s safeguards for expressive speech and activity. Yet as First Amendment scholar Robert Richards points out, “The categories of speech that fall outside of [the First Amendment’s] protection are obscenity, child pornography, defamation, incitement to violence and true threats of violence. Even in those categories, there are tests that have to be met in order for the speech to be illegal. Beyond that, we are free to speak.”

Technically, Richards is correct. On paper, we are free to speak.

In reality, however, we are only as free to speak as a government official may allow.

Free speech zones, bubble zones, trespass zones, anti-bullying legislation, zero tolerance policies, hate crime laws and a host of other legalistic maladies dreamed up by politicians and prosecutors have conspired to corrode our core freedoms.

As a result, we are no longer a nation of constitutional purists for whom the Bill of Rights serves as the ultimate authority. As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we have litigated and legislated our way into a new governmental framework where the dictates of petty bureaucrats carry greater weight than the inalienable rights of the citizenry.

It may seem trivial to be debating the merits of free speech at a time when unarmed citizens are being shot, stripped, searched, choked, beaten and tasered by police for little more than daring to frown, smile, question, challenge an order, or just breathe.

However, while the First Amendment provides no tangible protection against a gun wielded by a government agent, nor will it save you from being wrongly arrested or illegally searched, or having your property seized in order to fatten the wallets of government agencies, without the First Amendment, we are utterly helpless.

It’s not just about the right to speak freely, or pray freely, or assemble freely, or petition the government for a redress of grievances, or have a free press. The unspoken freedom enshrined in the First Amendment is the right to think freely and openly debate issues without being muzzled or treated like a criminal.

Just as surveillance has been shown to “stifle and smother dissent, keeping a populace cowed by fear,” government censorship gives rise to self-censorship, breeds compliance and makes independent thought all but impossible.

In the end, censorship and political correctness not only produce people that cannot speak for themselves but also people who cannot think for themselves. And a citizenry that can’t think for itself is a citizenry that will neither rebel against the government’s dictates nor revolt against the government’s tyranny.

The end result: a nation of sheep who willingly line up for the slaughterhouse.

The cluttered cultural American landscape today is one in which people are so distracted by the military-surveillance-entertainment complex that critical thinkers are in the minority and frank, unfiltered, uncensored speech is considered uncivil, uncouth and unacceptable.

That’s the point, of course.

The architects, engineers and lever-pullers who run the American police state want us to remain deaf, dumb and silent. They want our children raised on a vapid diet of utter nonsense, where common sense is in short supply and the only viewpoint that matters is the government’s.

We are becoming a nation of idiots, encouraged to spout political drivel and little else.

In so doing, we have adopted the lexicon of Newspeak, the official language of George Orwell’s fictional Oceania, which was “designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thought.” As Orwell explained in 1984, “The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of IngSoc [the state ideology of Oceania], but to make all other modes of thought impossible.”

If Orwell envisioned the future as a boot stamping on a human face, a fair representation of our present day might well be a muzzle on that same human face.

If we’re to have any hope for the future, it will rest with those ill-mannered, bad-tempered, uncivil, discourteous few who are disenchanted enough with the status quo to tell the government to go to hell using every nonviolent means available.

However, as Orwell warned, you cannot become conscious until you rebel.

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China: Doomed If You Do, Doomed If You Don’t

Many commentators have ably explained the double-bind the central banks of the world find themselves in. Doing more of what’s failed is, well, failing to generate the desired results, but doing nothing also presents risks.

China’s double-bind is especially instructive. While there an abundance of complexity in China’s financial system and economy, we can boil down China’s doomed if you do, doomed if you don’t double-bind to this simple dilemma:

If China raises interest rates to support the RMB ( a.k.a. yuan) and stem the flood tide of capital leaving China, then China’s exports lose ground to competing nations with weaker currencies.

This is the downside of maintaining a peg to the U.S. dollar. The peg provides valuable stability and more or less guarantees competitive exports to the U.S., but it ties the yuan to the soaring dollar, which has made the yuan stronger simply as a consequence of the peg.

But if China pushes interest rates down and floods its economy with cheap credit, the tide of capital exiting China increases, as everyone attempts to escape the loss of purchasing power as the yuan is devalued.

This is the double-bind China finds itself in: weakening the yuan to shore up exports incentivizes capital flow out of China, forcing the central bank to torch reserves to mediate the flood tide of capital fleeing China.

But efforts to support the yuan crush exports based on a cheap currency, creating the potential for mass layoffs in sectors with razor-thin margins and convoluted black box financing. Nobody knows how many times the stuff in warehouses has been pledged as collateral, or how much debt is floating around the shadow banking system in China.

Forget the Fake Statistics: China Is a Tinderbox (August 10, 2015)

Doomed if you do, doomed if you don’t: trash your currency and watch capital gush out of your economy and financial sector, or support your currency and watch your export sector’s sales and profitability crater.

Whichever option China chooses, it loses. Doing nothing doesn’t work, either, as the central planners’ incompetence and cluelessness is now on display. The flood of money leaving China will pick up speed due to uncertainty and fear of central planning desperation, and attempts to support the yuan are the equivalent of a chemical fire burning down the export sector.

Life is tricky that way.

 

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Former CIA Boss and 4-Star General: U.S. Should Arm Al Qaeda

Former CIA boss and 4-star general David Petraeus – who still (believe it or not) holds a lot of sway in Washington – suggests we should arm Al Qaeda to fight ISIS.

He’s not alone …

As we’ve previously shown, other mainstream American figures support arming Al Qaeda … and ISIS.

The U.S. actually did knowingly support Al Qaeda in Libya. And also in Syria.

And we actually ARE supporting ISIS to some extent.

Truly, America’s foreign policy is insane.

Posted in Politics / World News | 2 Comments

OPINION: Why Every American Should Vote for Bernie Sanders

Eric Zuesse, commenting about Thad Beversdorf’s article about Sanders’s record

On August 19th, the brilliant Thad Beversdorf opened by posting a five-minute-long 2003 video of Vermont’s then-congressman Bernie Sanders, who was interrogating the deified Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, and ripping to shreds Greenspan’s record — and Sanders pointed out Greenspan’s falsely opening his response by Greenspan’s saying then, “Congressman, we have the highest standard of living in the world.” Bernie immediately shot back against that, “No, we don’t,” and he promptly cited several nations whose standard of living is, in fact, higher than ours. And that’s just for starters.

Beversdorf followed this video by his own documentation, which showed that everything which was being cited by Sanders in this exchange with Greenspan was true, including what Sanders was predicting would become the increasing problems for the U.S. economy up until the present time, now under both  a Republican and  a Democratic President.

Beversdorf then pointedly observed, “essentially every accusation Sanders lays on Greenspan could be repeated today to our subsequent central banking gods.”

However, Sanders there is implicitly ripping to shreds not only Greenspan, and the current Fed chief Janet Yellen, but the two Presidents who appointed them both. Sanders was doing this back in 2003, partly as a historian about the past, and partly as a prophet about the future — the present that we’re experiencing today. It’s today’s news, but described twelve years ago by Sanders.

This is the type of person America needs in the Oval Office: someone who not only recognizes what the nation’s real problems are in the present, but whose diagnosis of where the current policies are taking this country has already been confirmed by the subsequent 12 years of American history following the prediction. Unlike other politicians who are basically poll-driven blather, Sanders is a proven progressive leader, somebody with both insight and guts, which is exactly what this nation needs.

After watching that brief video, all the ‘progressives’ who complain that Sanders isn’t 100% in accord with the views that those particular individuals hold, and who say that this supposed progressive imperfection of Sanders is reason they won’t vote for him, will just be displaying their arrogance, because they think they’re so ‘progressive,’ and so  correct in everything they believe, so that only someone who is 100% in agreement with them  is ‘adequate’ to vote for. Let such perfectionist ‘progressives,’ then, go off to some dictatorship, where a ‘progressive’ fool who suits them because he or she is 100% in agreement with them, is trying to ram down everyone else’s throats their particular ideas and policies and calling this ‘democracy’ instead of dictatorship — which it would be. Nobody has an overall record of actions, not mere words, that’s better than Sanders’s. He is so real, in both words and deeds, that he has always said what he believes, and believed what he said, and done what he promised — even up till today. It’s an authentically remarkable political record.

I say this though I’ve often disagreed with Sanders’s deference to many of President Obama’s international policies that I consider to be atrocious. But I also understand the political reasons why it might be an unconstructive waste for Sanders to take issue with those policies until he is inside the White House and in a very different position, where he can change Washington, and not merely complain about it (which isn’t his objective; he has never pandered). On all matters where Sanders has supported Obama’s wrong foreign policies, almost 100% of Congress also did. Sanders would have achieved nothing by either speechifying or voting against it. He did vote against our invading Iraq. Hillary Clinton voted for that catastrophic invasion. But that’s the smallest of the differences between his record and Hillary’s. (After all, Obama in 2002 spoke out against invading Iraq, but as President, he has actually invaded, and perpetrated coups and attempted coups, in perhaps more countries than any other President. Hillary participated eagerly in this.)

Sanders isn’t merely a bit  better than any Democratic Presidential candidate in a very long time; he’s enormously  better, and it’s shown in his record in public office, not by mere words. But it has also been shown in words.

Sanders has always said: after the 2008 crash, all the bailouts should go, and should have gone, to Main Street (consumers and workers), not to Wall Street. Beversdorf, in his explanation of America’s continuing economic malaise up to the present time, noted especially the soaring consumer debt that has accompanied the soaring stock market, which are the two opposite sides of the Obama-Bernanke-Yellen continuation of the Bush-Greenspan-Bernanke policies of trickle-down instead of percolate-up economics. Beversdorf said: “The above chart depicts that every worker in America today has increased their consumer debt levels by about 40% since the ‘end’ of the credit crisis [in 2009]. Think about that for a moment.” The more that the rich have become rich, the more that everyone else has gone into debt to the rich. The Fed’s low-interest-rate policies haven’t reduced interest-rates for consumers, but have instead boosted corporate profits and the stock market, and CEO pay. (The entire theory behind it is trickle-down.) Meanwhile, wages have declined. Where will the money come from to pay those soaring consumer debts? Beversdorf concludes: “There is no other end than a bad one and I’m sorry my friends but that is a (simple) mathematical certainty.” Bernie was predicting all of this back in 2003. Furthermore, even Warren Buffett, long in contention for being the world’s wealthiest person, admitted on 26 November 2006, “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” With a little help from their friends. And, even some insiders have admitted that the people at the top are gangsters. Books have even been written about it. And yet it’s the people at the top who received the bailouts. The result has been a $7 trillion increase in the U.S. federal debt since 2009. So: not only consumers’ debts have soared, but so has the debt that future Americans will be paying in their taxes — all going to today’s mega-gang.

As Jeffrey Sachs said (12:30 on the video): “I meet a lot of these people on Wall Street on a regular basis right now. I’m going to put it very bluntly. I regard the moral environment as pathological. And I’m talking about the human interactions that I have. I’ve not seen anything like this, not felt it so palpably. These people are out to make billions of dollars and nothing should stop them from that. They have no responsibility to pay taxes. They have no responsibility to their clients. They have no responsibility to people, counterparties in transactions. They are tough, greedy, aggressive, and feel absolutely out of control, you know, in a quite literal sense. And they have gamed the system to a remarkable extent, and they have a docile president, a docile White House, and a docile regulatory system that absolutely can’t find its voice. It’s terrified of these companies.” And that’s why people like Greenspan and Yellen are at the Fed. After all, gangsters were even able to hire a hit-team with impunity to murder a retired CIA chief. If Sanders will get the bodyguards he needs, who will pay them? He’s an incredibly courageous person, and needs the public’s support — our votes, if not also donations of time and/or money.

At least (as shown in that video which Beversdorf presented) Greenspan later acknowledged that the views that he had championed while he was the Fed chief were wrong. But will those of today’s ‘progressive’ voters that are rejecting Sanders, come to recognize they too were wrong? Or, are their views even more set in cement than Greenspan’s libertarian views were? Sanders needs all of them to join his battle, because Wall Street, Big Oil, Big Ag, etc., will be supporting the other candidates. Sanders is not for sale; he’s for serious. We, the people, will be make-or-break for him, because he has always been, and is, make-or-break for us, in this extremely corrupt country.

Here is that superb and thought-provoking article from Beversdorf:

http://www.firstrebuttal.com/an-almost-perfect-predictor-of-gdp-growth-and-bernie-lays-the-boots/

If you’re going to leave a reader-comment that objects to something said here, please click on the links first. Too many people don’t do that, and so leave objections that were already answered. The links are the documentation, which is intended to respond to any possible objections. If you haven’t read the links, please don’t waste the time of the readers of comments here.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Posted in Business / Economics, Energy / Environment, General, Media, Politics / World News, propaganda | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Michael Hudson’s New Book: Wall Street Parasites Have Devoured Their Hosts — Your Retirement Plan and the U.S. Economy

By Pam Martens, Wall Street On Parade. Link to Article.

Author and Economist, Michael HudsonThe riveting writer, Michael Hudson, has read our collective minds and the simmering anger in our hearts. Millions of American have long suspected that their inability to get financially ahead is an intentional construct of Wall Street’s central planners. Now Hudson, in an elegant but lethal indictment of the system, confirms that your ongoing struggle to make ends meet is not a reflection of your lack of talent or drive but the only possible outcome of having a blood-sucking financial leech affixed to your body, your retirement plan, and your economic future.

In his new book, “Killing the Host,” Hudson hones an exquisitely gripping journey from Wall Street’s original role as capital allocator to its present-day parasitism that has replaced U.S. capitalism as an entrenched, politically-enforced economic model across America.

This book is a must-read for anyone hoping to escape the most corrupt era in American history with a shirt still on his parasite-riddled back.

Hudson writes from his most powerful perch in chapters describing how these financial parasites have tricked our society into accepting them as a normal, productive part of our economy. (Since we write about these thousands of diabolical tricks four days a week at Wall Street On Parade, poignant examples came springing to mind with every turn of the page in “Killing the Host.” From the well-placed articles in the Wall Street Journal to a front group’s pleas for more Wall Street handouts in a New York Times OpEd, to the dirty backroom manner in which corporate speech was placed on a par with human speech in the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, to Wall Street’s private justice system and the Koch brothers’ multi-million dollar machinations to instill Ayn Rand’s brand of “greed is good” in university economic departments across America — America has become a finely tuned kleptocracy with a sprawling, sophisticated public relations base.)

How else to explain, other than kleptocracy, the fact that Wall Street’s richest mega banks collect the life insurance proceeds and tax benefits on the untimely deaths of their workers – all codified into law by the U.S. Congress – making death a profit center on Wall Street. Or, as Frontline revealed, that two-thirds of your 401(k) plan over a working lifetime is likely to be lost to financial fees.

Hudson writes: “A parasite’s toolkit includes behavior-modifying enzymes to make the host protect and nurture it. Financial intruders into a host economy use Junk Economics to rationalize rentier parasitism as if it makes a productive contribution, as if the tumor they create is part of the host’s own body, not an overgrowth living off the economy. A harmony of interests is depicted between finance and industry, Wall Street and Main Street, and even between creditors and debtors, monopolists and their customers.”

What has evolved, says Hudson, is that Wall Street banks have “become the economy’s central planners, and their plan is for industry and labor to serve finance, not the other way around.”

To gloss over the collapse of this depraved economic model in 2008, Hudson says these Wall Street central planners simply depict “any adverse ‘disturbance’ as being self-correcting, not a structural defect leading economies to fall further out of balance. Any given development crisis is said to be a natural product of market forces, so that there is no need to regulate and tax the rentiers.”

Similarly, when citizens rise up en masse to demand a realignment of their economy, as happened with the Occupy Wall Street movement, first the public relations masterminds dismiss them as an unhinged gathering of smelly hippies, followed by their violent eviction in the middle of the night, with military precision, by the Praetorian Guard of the kleptocracy. In Manhattan, the Praetorian Guard (NYPD) has a high-tech surveillance center mutually staffed by cops and Wall Street personnel – and mainstream media find nothing unusual about this.

Hudson correctly calls 2008 a “dress rehearsal,” writing that “Wall Street convinced Congress that the economy could not survive without bailing out bankers and bondholders, whose solvency was deemed a precondition for the ‘real’ economy to function. The banks were saved, not the economy.” Hudson adds that the “debt tumor” was left in place. (This is the nightmare we are presently watching unfold.)

The result of the systemic disabling of regulations on Wall Street has resulted in the following, says Hudson: “…the wealthiest One Percent have captured nearly all the growth in income since the 2008 crash. Holding the rest of society in debt to themselves, they have used their wealth and creditor claims to gain control of the election process and governments by supporting lawmakers who un-tax them, and judges or court systems that refrain from prosecuting them. Obliterating the logic that led society to regulate and tax rentiers in the first place, think tanks and business schools favor economists who portray rentier takings as a contribution to the economy rather than as a subtrahend from it.” (But, of course, those business schools are financially incentivized to think that way.)

The outgrowth of these tricks to make parasites appear to be a natural appendage to a well-functioning economy results in a “veritable Stockholm Syndrome.” Hudson explains:

“Popular morality blames victims for going into debt – not only individuals, but also national governments. The trick in this ideological war is to convince debtors to imagine that general prosperity depends on paying bankers and making bondholders rich – a veritable Stockholm Syndrome in which debtors identify with their financial captors.”

Hudson has much to say on the perversity of corporations buying back their own stock. In one chapter, Hudson writes:

“In nature, parasites tend to kill hosts that are dying, using their substance as food for the intruder’s own progeny. The economic analogy takes hold when financial managers use depreciation allowances for stock buybacks or to pay out as dividends instead of replenishing and updating their plant and equipment. Tangible capital investment, research and development and employment are cut back to provide purely financial returns.”

On the timely debate over wealth and income inequality, Hudson writes that “Asset-price inflation is the primary dynamic explaining today’s polarization of wealth and income. Yet most newscasts applaud daily rises in the stock averages as if the wealth of the One Percent, who own the great bulk of stocks and other financial assets, is a proxy for how well the economy is doing. What actually occurs is that financing corporate buyouts on credit factors interest payments and fees into the prices that companies must charge for their products.”

Where this leads, says Hudson, is that “Paying these financial charges leaves less available to invest or hire more labor. Likewise for the overall economy, the effect of a debt-leveraged real estate bubble and asset-price inflation is that interest payments and fees to bankers and bondholders leave less available to spend on goods and services. The financial overhead rises, squeezing the ‘real’ economy and slowing new investment and hiring.”

Hudson is clearly on to something. The U.S. seems to be crashing like clockwork every 8 years with the crashes gaining in intensity. The 2000 dot.com crash wiped $4 trillion out of investment accounts while, 8 years later, the 2008 crash brought down the whole financial system, the U.S. and global economy, and it’s still producing a dead weight on economic growth. Next year will mark the eighth year since the 2008 crash and if last week’s market convulsions were any indication, we’re in for some very rough sledding.

Chapter 8 of “Killing the Host” begins with this quotation from John Maynard Keynes: “When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done.” Hudson expands further:

“Instead of warning against turning the stock market into a predatory financial system that is de-industrializing the economy, [business schools] have jumped on the bandwagon of debt leveraging and stock buybacks. Financial wealth is the aim, not industrial wealth creation or overall prosperity. The result is that while raiders and activist shareholders have debt- leveraged companies from the outside, their internal management has followed the post-modern business school philosophy viewing ‘wealth creation’ narrowly in terms of a company’s share price. The result is financial engineering that links the remuneration of managers to how much they can increase the stock price, and by rewarding them with stock options. This gives managers an incentive to buy up company shares and even to borrow to finance such buybacks instead of to invest in expanding production and markets.”

The net result of this, says Hudson, is an effective “debt-financed takeover from within.”

Hudson writes about the revealing September 2014 Harvard Business Review article by William Lazonick, who noted:

“Consider the 449 companies in the S&P 500 index that were publicly listed from 2003 through 2012. During that period those companies used 54% of their earnings—a total of $2.4 trillion—to buy back their own stock, almost all through purchases on the open market. Dividends absorbed an additional 37% of their earnings.”

“This management strategy created financial wealth by elevating the stock price,” writes Hudson,  “not by producing more goods. Earnings per share rose not because companies actually earned more, but because there were fewer shares outstanding among which to spread the earnings. Many of the companies downsized and outsourced their employment and production. The immediate beneficiaries were corporate officers exercising their stock options.”

Hudson quotes another prolific writer on the subject of our bankster-controlled society, Paul Craig Roberts, who has noted the following about corporations buying back their own stock: “The debt incurred will have to be serviced by future earnings. This is not a picture of capitalism that is driving the economy by investment.”

Hudson says that what is happening today in corporate America is very different from the corporate raiders of the 1980s who used leveraged buyouts to gobble up companies. Today, says Hudson, “corporate executives raid their own company’s revenue stream. They are backed by self-proclaimed shareholder activists. The result is financial short-termism by managers who take the money and run. The management philosophy is extractive, not productive in the sense of adding to society’s means of production or living standards.”

Make no mistake about it: this is a dangerous book to the status quo. It is truth-telling at its finest in America’s darkest age of entrenched lies. Michael Hudson has clanged the alarm bells over more continuity government from the likes of Hillary Clinton and her fellow Wall Street Democrats. He’s also scuttled the chances that Donald Trump will be able to reengineer America from “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” to the evil fortress that kicks out infants by directing hatred and blame for America’s woes to impoverished immigrants running from their own leeches.

Hudson’s masterful book comes at the perfect juncture of stock market convulsions and an early election season when Americans are turning out by the tens of thousands to hear what the candidates for the Oval Office plan to do to return the wealth and the soul of America to the people.

“Killing the Host” is available as an e-book at CounterPunch and in print at Amazon.com.

Posted in Business / Economics, Politics / World News | 5 Comments

The World’s First Clean Oil Sands Project: An Interview With Dr. Gerald Bailey

After decades of exhaustive attempts to overcome the dirty reputation of oil sands, we finally have an environmentally-friendly and low cost method to tap into these vast resources in the state of Utah—good news both for Mother Nature and all oil and gas investors.

MCW Energy Group’s CEO, former Exxon President of the Arabian Gulf region, Dr. R. Gerald Bailey, tells Oilprice.com in an exclusive interview that his hunt for an innovative technology that simultaneously makes money and cleans up the environment is over. The race to capitalize on Utah’s vast oil sands resources is on, and only the ‘clean’—both financially and environmentally—will survive.

Coming hot off of the successful launch of clean oil sands operations in Utah, while other oil sands projects are under fire from protesters, Dr. Bailey discusses:

The difference between Utah and Alberta when it comes to oil sands resources.

How new technology can—and is—extracting oil sands without harming the environment.

Why the new technology is as much about remediation as it is about extraction

How to create new revenue streams and use the resulting clean sand for other purposes.

Why it’s finally possible to make money extracting oil from oil sands cleanly—despite the current world’s depressed oil prices.

What Alberta’s tailings ponds look like now, and what could be done to clean them up—eventually.

Interview by James Stafford of Oilprice.com

James Stafford: After many years of oil companies attempting to develop Utah’s vast oil sands deposits without harming the environment, where are we now?

Gerald Bailey: Right now, we’re experiencing an exciting moment in the history of oil sands technology. For the first time, we can finally extract oil from Utah’s oil sands without any environmental damage. And significantly, we can do it at a cost that makes sense, even in this depressed oil price environment. It’s taken decades for someone to come up with this technology and actually make it commercially viable; and it was these elements that attracted me to MCW Energy. I wanted to get involved in this project while it was still new and largely off investor radar—now it’s poised to explode as an additional source for independent American oil production.

Related: Canada’s Oilfield Service Sector Battered By Low Prices

James Stafford: So, oil sands don’t necessarily have to be dirty?

Gerald Bailey: No, oil sands in themselves are not dirty. It is quite simply sand that contains oil, just like sand underground in an oilfield contains oil. They are dark with oil. The word ‘dirty’ has been derived from the fact that most current extraction processes use hot water or steam, which results in an oily water stream that leaves behind toxic tailings ponds.

James Stafford: How is this new proprietary extraction technology developed by MCW Energy different? How does it work?

Gerald Bailey: It’s really quite simple. The technology works in the same way as soap takes grease off plates: The grease adheres to the soap and pulls it away and off the plate. Our technology—which focuses on proprietary solvents—works in the same way. It adheres to the oil and pulls it away from the sand.

James Stafford: What happens with the sand after this process?

Gerald Bailey: Well, that depends on what other local market uses there are. Generally speaking, we wash the sand with our solvents and then return it to the earth 99.9% clean. You can grow plants on it and it is no longer contaminated with oil.

James Stafford: And are there any other uses for this sand? Is there any kind of a market for this once it’s been cleaned up?

Gerald Bailey: As I mentioned, for now the sand is usually returned to the earth—clean and safe. But there are other potential applications that we are exploring. One possibility is to sell the cleaned sand as frack sands, which is a spin-off business that’s growing as fracking activities in America increase. Frack sands require certain quantities of silicon and not all sands are equal in this respect. Much of the desired frack sand comes from the Midwest—from Wisconsin and Michigan, for instance. For years Utah oil sands containing bitumen/asphalt have been used in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado to build roads and highways.

James Stafford: So the immediate term goal is to focus on ramping up production in Utah and then licensing the technology for global application?

Gerald Bailey: Yes. MCW has achieved commercial viability already through a fully operational oil sands plant in Asphalt Ridge, in the heart of the Utah oil reserves both in sands and in conventional reservoirs, near the town of Vernal. It’s termed “America’s first environmentally-friendly oil sands extraction project.” Since the beginning of this year, we have been cleaning Utah’s oil sands and selling the oil to the market.

James Stafford: Why Utah?

Gerald Bailey: Asphalt Ridge is one of Utah’s 8 major oil sand deposits. Asphalt Ridge alone is believed to hold some 1 billion barrels of recoverable oil. Utah has some 55% (Department of Energy Estimate: 32 billion barrels) of the United States oil sands deposits.

Related: Why Saudi Arabia Won’t Cut Oil Production

James Stafford: How much is the project producing now and what are the forecasts?

Gerald Bailey: The project is producing 250 barrels a day right now at a very reasonable production cost of $30 per barrel, with plans to build a 5,000/bpd plant, which could bring costs down to $20 per barrel. Even in this current world market, those numbers mean profit. While Alberta’s oil sands are expensive to produce oil using their existing technologies, and are very troubled right now, MCW can make a profit on Utah’s oil sands even with oil at $40 per barrel. And that’s what today’s market is all about—innovations that spell profit even in times of crisis. Finding a company that has no debt—such as MCW—in this atmosphere was a huge selling point for me.

James Stafford: How do you convince the public of the prospects of clean oil sands for Utah given the international outcry about Canada’s dirty oil sands?

Gerald Bailey: That is the challenge. Certainly, Canada has given oil sands a bad name and that is unfortunate, but the process and situation in Utah is entirely different and the two cannot be compared.

Utah oil sands are found in a different position—much of Utah’s oil sands deposits lie from surface to just 400 feet. You can just scoop up the oil sands with a front loader and then process it with MCW’s proprietary solvents. The oil comes out and you sell the oil and put the sand back in the environment.

In comparison, Canada’s oil sands have to be mined because they are several hundred feet deep and the oil needs to be extracted with steam. The resultant polluted water returns to surface with residual oil that cannot be separated. This dirty water and sludge is stored in huge tailings ponds, so large I understand they can be seen from space. Utah’s sands are oil wet, rather than water wet, eliminating the need for tailings ponds.

James Stafford: What does this really mean for the environment?

Gerald Bailey: We are here to clean up the oil sands business—for now, starting in Utah. And any savvy investor knows that technology that is environmentally friendly and commercially viable rules the day. This is already a proven, cost-effective technology. Our main technology process advantage is that we require no water to extract hydrocarbons from the oil sands. Almost all other technologies require up to 3 barrels of water for every barrel of oil produced.

Utah being largely a desert state, usage of water for resource development is an extremely touchy issue. Our system features a closed-loop technology….nothing leaves the system except the cleaned sands and oil. And after tweaking our process, we’ve managed to dramatically reduce our labor costs, decrease the costs of the petroleum products we use in extraction and, increase our process efficiencies —all which result in the lowest production costs in the industry. Our next step is to share this technology with the rest of the world. For now, that means anywhere that has oil sands deposits similar to Utah’s.

James Stafford: Are you talking about a technology that extracts oil sands in an environmentally- friendly manner, or does it have broader environmental applications?

Gerald Bailey: Oh, the environmental applications are much broader. Our process may also be viewed as a remediation technology. This is not just an opportunity to get in on another source for oil, but also an opportunity to clean up the land after disasters or the resulting polluted tailings ponds resulting from other less efficient extraction processes

Related: Canada’s Oilfield Service Sector Battered By Low Prices

James Stafford: Are you suggesting such a technology could have played a role in cleaning up the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, for example?

Gerald Bailey: I am. We could have applied our technology there and cleaned up significant areas of the contaminated beach. If you go there right now, you can still find a lot of polluted sand behind the beach dunes and in the adjoining swamps. This technology will certainly add value for its wider remediation applications.

James Stafford: For now, though, MCW’s technology seems to be flying under the radar—where many will not have heard of it.

Gerald Bailey: You know, I recognized this when I joined the company that MCW had a technology that nobody else had. I also recognized that it could make a huge splash on the world oil scene. Now it’s ready to reach out to the public. This comes at a time when oil sands extraction is a tense issue in Utah, with protesters attempting to block an oil sands project owned by another company, which is using a water-based technology. Educating the public on the different processes of extracting oil sands will be key to pushing an environmentally friendly agenda forward.

There has been no protest to our Asphalt Ridge project in Utah to date because we emit nothing to the air or soil and there is no water to discard. MCW has worked very closely with the Energy Development Department in Utah, meeting or exceeding all environmental requirements. We’re working under the guidelines of their Responsible Resource Development Program, which is proof that resources may be safely developed with placing the environment at risk. Nonetheless, the general public still needs to be made aware of both the environmental and economic possibilities here for the future.

James Stafford: What is the long-term goal here? Building plants around the world, or licensing the technology?

Gerald Bailey: MCW is prepared to go several routes. We can build a plant for others, or we can build and operate these extraction plants as a joint venture. However, licensing is definitely an excellent way to deploy our technology worldwide. This unique MCW technology has major global applications. You can create an attractive revenue stream for everybody who implements it. Russia, China, Afghanistan, Dominican Republic, Namibia, Jordan and Trinidad—these are all great potential license purchasers with considerable oils sands deposits.

Eventually, we could even potentially clean up Alberta’s tailings ponds by de-watering the abandoned sludge and applying our new solvents to squeeze the rest of the oil out.

It is actually surprising that nobody discovered this before… it is like the Wright Brothers, they found a way and they proved the process. Someone always comes along to solve the problem. MCW has accomplished this…Our technology works; there is no pollution; nothing toxic goes back into the ground or into the air. We will be driving a lot of cars on the refined gasoline that comes from these huge reserves. This is a national and historical first—one I am willing to bet my 50-year reputation on.

Interview by James Stafford of Oilprice.com

Posted in Business / Economics, Energy / Environment, General, Science / Technology | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Why So Much Oil Price Volatility? Blame The Speculators

Oil prices crashed last week only to rebound at lightning speed. On August 28, oil prices surged 10 percent, the largest one-day gain in seven years. So, what happens next for oil prices?

On the face of it, the crash and massive rebound makes little sense, with many oil market analysts undoubtedly left shaking their heads.

But there is a logic to what unfolded, just not the logic of the physical market for crude. Oil prices, as if we needed a reminder, are largely driven by speculation. Why else would oil prices plummet by five percent, then spike by 10 percent just a few days later? Not much changed in terms of actual supply and demand of oil in the intervening days.

Sure, Royal Dutch Shell declared force majeure on some oil shipments from Nigeria, as two pipelines had to be shut down. That could interrupt some oil supplies. But other than that, the physical market for crude didn’t see a whole lot of change in just a few days’ time.

Related: Can Oil Continue To Rally Like This?

In financial markets, however, a lot changed. Last Monday, fears that the meltdown of China’s stock market would lead to global contagion sparked a worldwide sell off. Crude prices suffered a massive one-day fall.

Several days later, on August 26, the EIA reported that oil storage levels declined by 5.4 million barrels for the week, the steepest drop in weeks. That stopped crude prices from sliding further. Then on August 27, the U.S. Department of Commercereported surprisingly strong GDP figures – the U.S. economy expanded at an annualized rate of 3.7 percent, a huge upward revision from previous estimates. Oil prices shot up by more than 10 percent, the largest gain since 2008.

But it wasn’t just the inventory data and the GDP figures, which are ostensibly linked to physical realities in the market. Lower inventories and higher GDP point to actual demand for oil moving higher.

The rally went beyond those factors, however. In fact, much of the gain was related to speculative movements and the decisions of oil traders moving barrels of oil on paper. Speculators had taken a near-record level of short positions on oil, predicting that oil prices would continue to fall. And they did fall, for about two months between June and August. However, with such a large preponderance of short positions, the timing was right for a correction.

Related: OPEC Divorce And Self-Destruction Thanks To Saudi Oil Strategy?

The GDP figures arguably was a spark, but the huge covering of short positions was the real reason that oil prices jumped by 10 percent. Reuters analyst John Kemp has watched this situation closely and had been expecting a correction was coming, although the timing and magnitude were impossible to predict. He noted in an Aug. 17 column that traders were taking more and more short positions through July and August even though prices continued to fall. Short positions totaled the equivalent of 193 million barrels of oil as of mid-August.

Such a phenomenon is counterintuitive because as prices fall, there is less room for them to fall further. If prices are already low, at some point they are theoretically nearing a bottom, so traders should logically start to pull back from their short positions. But short positions continued to mount. Kemp noted that between July 16 and August 11, WTI lost 28 percent, but short positions increased from 83 to 193 million barrels. In other words oil prices tanked, but more and more traders expected them to tank further.

That was an unsustainable trend. At some point it had to reverse. “But remaining so bearish when prices are already low is risky since a short-covering rally could commence at any time and experience suggests it does not require a fundamental trigger, just a shift in the balance of opinion,” Kemp wrote presciently on August 17.

Related: Oil Prices Compound Iraq’s Stability Concerns

Last week that short-covering rally commenced, and oil prices shot up 10 percent.

The seesaw in prices is a reminder how detached price movements are from thefundamentals. Prices do rise and fall based off of some vague notion of what’s going on in the physical market. For example, if it appears that supply is exceeding demand, oil prices will drop. But they could drop way beyond what is justified, as traders push prices lower. Then, once speculators realize the market has oversold, prices whipsaw back in the other direction, even if the surplus in the physical market remains.

“It’s all very similar to blackjack,” Thomas Rollinger, the chief investment officer of Chicago-based Red Rock Capital, told Reuters, referring to the risk of oil speculation. “Basically you’re not going to win at every hand.”

By Nick Cunningham, Oilprice.com

Posted in Business / Economics, Energy / Environment, General | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Let’s Try to Get the U.S. Institute of Peace to Do Something for Peace

The U.S. Institute of Peace has a great name, our tax dollars, and a terrible record. Let’s move it in a better direction.

If you’ve never heard of the U.S. Institute of Peace, please keep reading. It works everyday with your money in a fancy new building next to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. It just doesn’t work for peace.

USIP-FB

If you know the USIP’s record and consider it a lost cause, please keep reading. This institute can be made to do some good. A number of us will be meeting with USIP in late September and bringing along this petition. Please click here to sign it.

The petition to USIP reads: “We urge you to oppose U.S. militarism and begin working for an end to U.S. war-making by providing to Congress and the public information on the disastrous results of recent U.S. wars and the superior results of nonviolence and diplomacy. We ask that you recommend to the President of the United States the removal from your board of Stephen Hadley, Eric Edelman, and Frederick M. Padilla, and their replacement by three seasoned peace activists, along with a recommendation to maintain at least three seasoned peace activists on your board at all times — right now there are none.”

The U.S. Institute of Peace is a federal government institute created by a bill signed into law in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan and funded annually by Congress as well as sometimes receiving funding from the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the military.[1] The law states that the “Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and the Director of Central Intelligence each may assign officers and employees of his respective department or agency, on a rotating basis to be determined by the Board, to the Institute.”

The Institute has never opposed a U.S. war and claims that it can only support things, not oppose them. But in fact, the law only forbids it from seeking “to influence the passage or defeat of legislation … except that the personnel of the Institute may testify or make other appropriate communication when formally requested to do so by a legislative body, a committee, or a member thereof.” Most U.S. wars, including the war on Libya, the newly revived war on Iraq (and Syria), and the drone wars on Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen, have been launched without legislation. And, even if there were legislation involved, it would not be at all difficult for USIP to ask a single member of Congress to request its opinion, thereby freeing it to provide its views and its research. USIP makes no claim that it cannot provide the public with information on the negative results of U.S. wars; it simply fails to do so.

The Institute in fact makes recommendations to Congress, including in formally presented testimony, it just recommends things like supporting the Syrian opposition, training and arming troops to fight both ISIS and the Syrian government, and creating a “no fly zone” in Syria, rather than working toward an arms embargo or aid or diplomacy.[2] The Institute has recommended diplomacy with Iran, and could do so in a dozen other cases, although its notion that weapons sales is part of diplomacy may be less than helpful.[3]

The law requires that the USIP Board include 15 voting members, including the Secretaries of State and “Defense,” the President of the National “Defense” University, and 12 members appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, and each having “practical or academic experience in peace and conflict resolution.” The law also states that “No member of the Board may participate in any decision, action, or recommendation with respect to any matter which directly and financially benefits the member or pertains specifically to any public body or any private or nonprofit firm or organization with which the member is then formally associated or has been formally associated within a period of two years.” There are a number of mechanisms for removing a board member, including 8 or more board members making that recommendation to the President.

The USIP does do some work aimed at peace, including hosting speakers and producing publications aimed at peace, sending skilled mediators into conflict zones, making research grants, holding essay contests, and conducting conflict-resolution trainings, but such efforts are deeply compromised by the following concerns:

USIP board member and chairman, Stephen Hadley, urges the bombing of Syria and the militarization of Ukraine, while encouraging European nations to double their military spending, and himself profiting from war as a board member of Raytheon.[4]

USIP board member Eric Edelman, a former undersecretary at the Pentagon, promotes higher military spending, an attack on Iran, and deployment of nuclear weapons to nations on Russia’s border.[5]

USIP board member Major General Frederick M. Padilla, USMC, is career military.

USIP promotes the overthrow of the Syrian government.[6]

USIP is not known to have ever opposed a U.S. war, U.S. weapons exports, U.S. foreign bases, or U.S. military spending.[7]

USIP promotes trade embargoes, economic austerity programs, and electoral interventions as tools of aggression, not peace building.[8]

USIP funds many more supporters than opponents of militarism.[9]

USIP hosts pro-war talks by leading war advocates.[10]

Appropriate board members for USIP exist in large numbers, and many of them would no doubt be happy to serve. Here are a few examples of the many possible names: Kathy Kelly, Michael McPhearson, Ann Wright, Paul Chappell, Noura Erekat, Dennis Kucinich, David Vine, Matt Daloisio, John Dear, Bruce Gagnon, Phil Donahue, Mel Duncan, David Hartsough, Mubarak Awad, Leslie Cagan, Roy Bourgeois, Cornell West, Lennox Yearwood, Osagyefo Sekou, Phyllis Bennis, Andy Shallal, Helena Cobban, Noam Chomsky, Elliott Adams.

Appropriate events that USIP could host might include:
How to Finally End the Korean War,
Abolition of Armed Drones,
A Plan to Close Overseas Bases,
Why Does NATO Still Exist?,
How Can the Kellogg-Briand Pact Be Complied With?,
What Could $2 Trillion a Year Buy Instead of War?,
Military Abolition and the Costa Rican Model,
Pondering Polling: How Did the U.S. Become Seen as the Greatest Threat to World Peace?,
Pinkerism and the Myth that War Is Vanishing,
WMD Tales From Iraq to Iran,
Vietnam Syndrome: Illness or Health?,
Benefits of Joining the International Criminal Court,
If War Makes Us Less Safe Why Can’t We Stop?,
The Economic and Moral Benefits of Transition to Peaceful Industries,
The ICCPR Ban on War Propaganda,
Diplomacy in Iran: Why Not in Eight Other Places?,
Why Arm Dictatorships?,
Whose Land Is Guantanamo?,
The Convention on the Rights of the Child – Why Not?,
What Is Preventing Spacefaring Powers from Banning Weapons in Space?,
Why Not Reinstate the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty?,
Should Palestinians Have Human Rights?,
Remembering the Maine, the Lusitania, Tonkin Gulf . . . What Would Accurate History Change?,
What Would Compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Look Like?

Reports USIP could usefully write include:
U.S. arms sales to each foreign nation, as compared to the sales of other nations — a report the Congressional Research Service has ceased producing.
U.S. military spending, as compared to non-military government spending — a report the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency has ceased producing.

Initial Signers of the Petition Are:
David Swanson
Coleen Rowley
Heinrich Buecker
Robert Fantina
David Hartsough
Medea Benjamin
Gael Murphy
Kevin Zeese
Jodie Evans
John Heuer
Norman Solomon
Elizabeth Murray
Thomas Drake
Ann Wright
Todd Pierce
Alice Slater
Kent Shifferd
Jeff Cohen
William Binney
Ray McGovern
Kevin Martin
Barbara Wien
Leah Bolger
Patrick Hiller
Jim Haber

Footnotes:
1. http://bit.ly/1JuMmJo
2. http://bit.ly/1KCzVzu
3. http://bit.ly/1LQTvtv
4. http://bit.ly/1JJcvrz
5. ibid
6. http://bit.ly/1EyQM5s
http://bit.ly/1XaJnPN
http://bit.ly/1hQPRDs
7. http://wapo.st/1ig9VPw
8. http://bit.ly/1KCAQA6
9. ibid
10.http://bit.ly/1L0oRYP

Posted in General | 2 Comments

The Oligarch Recovery – Low Income Americans Can’t Afford to Live in Any Metro Area

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 3.02.51 PM

We were told we needed to bail out Wall Street in order to save Main Street. Well the results are in…

Wall Street has never done better, and Main Street has never done worse.

From the Huffington Post:

Low-income workers and their families do not earn enough to live in even the least expensive metropolitan American communities, according to a new analysis of families’ living costs published Wednesday.

The analysis, released by the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute, is an annual update of the think tank’s Family Budget Calculator that reflects new 2014 data. The Family Budget Calculator is a formula designed to determine the income “required for families to attain a secure yet modest standard of living” in 618 different communities across the country that the U.S. Census Bureau defines as metropolitan areas. The formula uses data collected by the government and some nonprofit groups to measure costs of housing, food, child care, transportation, health care, “other necessities” like clothing, and taxes for families of 10 different compositions in these specific locales.

The updated Family Budget Calculator shows that even the most affordable metropolitan areas in the country are beyond the reach of millions of American families with incomes above the official federal poverty level. The official federal poverty level for a family of two parents and two children in 2014 was $24,008, according to the EPI. But the least expensive metropolitan area in the country for this family type is Morristown, Tennessee, where a family needs an income of $49,114, according to the Economic Policy Institute’s budget calculator.

The Economic Policy Institute also estimates that minimum-wage workers — who almost universally earn less than the federal poverty level — lack the income needed to make an adequate living in any of the communities surveyed, even if they are single and childless. The think tank notes that this includes minimum-wage workers living in cities or states with a higher minimum wage than the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour, or $15,080 a year for a full-time worker.

Even families with incomes closer to the middle of the earnings spectrum lack the means to maintain an adequate standard of living. The nation’s median household income was $51,939 in 2013 — the most recent year in which data were available — not much higher than the cost of living in the relatively inexpensive Morristown.

Where’s our hero when you need him?

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 3.21.02 PM

Posted in Business / Economics, Politics / World News | 10 Comments

Massive Central Bank Intrusion Means Ever Increasing System Fragility

In markets distorted by permanent manipulation the most powerful incentive is to borrow as much money as you can and leverage it as much as you can to maximize your gains in risk-on asset bubbles.

A core dynamic is laying waste to global financial markets: the greater the level of central bank/government manipulation, the greater the systemic fragility.

One key characteristic of this fragility is that it invisibly accumulates beneath the surface stability until some minor disturbance cracks the thinning layer of apparent stability. At that point, the system destabilizes, as it has been hollowed out by ceaseless manipulation, a.k.a. intervention.

There are a number of moving parts to this dynamic of steadily increasing fragility.

One is that any system quickly habituates to the manipulation, that is, the system soon adds the manipulation to its essential inputs.

For example: if you lower interest rates to near-zero, the system soon needs near-zero interest rates to remain stable. Raising rates even a mere percentage point threatens to fatally disrupt the entire system.

Another is that permanent intervention (i.e. manipulation, or to use a less threatening word, management) strips the system of resilience. When participants are rescued from risk by central bank/central state authorities, they take bigger and bigger gambles, knowing that if the bet goes south, the central bank/state will rush to their rescue.

One of the core sources of resilience is a healthy fear of losses. If you’re going to face the consequences of your actions and choices, prudence forces you to either hedge your bets or diversify very broadly, so if bets in one sector go south you won’t be wiped out.

Thanks to the permanent manipulation of central banks and states, trillions of dollars have concentrated in high-risk, high-yield carry trades that are now blowing up.

A third source of fragility in manipulated financial systems is the perverse incentives generated by cheap credit and assets bubbles. In markets distorted by permanent manipulation–near-zero interest rates, central bank asset purchases, quantitative easing, etc.–the most powerful incentive is to borrow as much money as you can and leverage it as much as you can to maximize your gains in risk-on asset bubbles.

Why this increases system fragility is obvious: when the bubbles pop, the debt has to be paid back. But once the assets drop enough, selling won’t raise enough money to pay back the debt.

At that point, the borrowers are bankrupt, and the dominoes of debt topple the entire financial system.

Dave of X22Report and I discuss these dynamics in Central Banks Have Manipulated The Markets Which Will Ultimately Crash: (42:48)

view it on YouTube

 

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Fascism From West Point

This headline in the Guardian is completely accurate: West Point professor calls on US military to target legal critics of war on terror.

But it hardly covers to content of the 95-page paper being reported on: see the PDF.

The author makes clear that his motivation is hatred of Islam. He includes the false myth of origins of Western Asian violence toward the United States lying in antiquity rather than in blowback. He includes the lie, now popular on all sides, of Iran pursuing nuclear weapons.

He announces, after the recent U.S. losses in Iraq and Afghanistan, that U.S. armies always win. Then he admits that the U.S. is losing but says this is because of insufficient support for the wars and for making the wars about an “economic system, culture, values, morals, and laws.”

The key weapon in this war, he says, is information. U.S. crimes are not the problem; the problem, he writes, is any information distributed about U.S. crimes — which information is only damaging because the United States is the pinnacle of support for the rule of law. It wouldn’t matter if you spread news about crimes by some more lawless nation. But when you share news about crimes by the United States it hurts the U.S. cause which is upholding the rule of law and leading the world to lawfulness. The United States is the all-time world champion of the rule of law, we’re told, in a 95-page screed that never mentions the Kellogg-Briand Pact and only belatedly brings up the United Nations Charter in order to pretend that it permits all U.S. wars.

You can pack a lot of existing lies about U.S. wars and some new ones into 95 pages. So, for example, Walter Cronkite lost the Tet Offensive (and by the logic of the rest of this article, should have been immediately murdered on air). The mythical liberal media is busy reporting on the U.S. killing of civilians, and the worst voices in public discourse are those of treasonous U.S. lawyers. They are the most damaging, again, because the United States is the preeminent leader of lawibidingness.

The treasonous antiwar lawyers number 40, and the author hints that he has them on a list. Though whether this is a real list like Obama’s kill list or something more like McCarthy’s is not clear. I lean toward the latter, primarily because the list of offenses run through to fill up 95 pages includes such an array that few if any lawyers have been engaged in all of them. The offenses range from the most modest questioning of particular atrocities to prosecuting Bush and Cheney in court. Nobody doing the latter has any voice in U.S. corporate media, and a blacklist for Congress or for the U.S. Institute of “Peace” would hardly be needed if created.

The 40 unnamed treasonous scholars are, in this treatise, given the acronym CLOACA, which in good fascist form of course means a sewer or an orifice for excreting feces or urine. Their supposed crimes include:

  • failing to concede that violations of the Laws of Armed Conflict by Muslims permit the waiving of those laws for the U.S. government;
  • interpreting the supposed standards of “distinction” and “proportionality,” which the author admits are totally open to interpretation, to mean something the author doesn’t like;
  • opposing lawless imprisonment and torture;
  • opposing murder by drone;
  • supporting the supposed duty to warn people before you kill them;
  • counting dead bodies (which is too “macabre” even though the U.S. is supposedly devoted to “minimizing civilian casualties” not to mention Western scientific superiority);
  • upholding laws; pointing out facts, laws, or counterproductive results;
  • filing suits in court;
  • or criticizing war advocates.

The heart of the matter seems to be this: opposing war amounts to supporting war by an enemy. And, nonetheless, among the reasons offered to explain CLOACA joining the enemy are “anti-militarism,” and “pernicious pacifism.” So actual opposition to war drives people to oppose war, which amounts to supporting war for the enemy. I think I’ve got it.

The prescriptions to heal this illness center on waging total war. The author proposes both dropping nuclear bombs and capturing hearts and minds. No doubt as part of his leading support for lawfulness, he demands that there be no restraint on U.S. warmaking against Muslims. That means no limit in time or place, a rewriting of any laws of war by the U.S. military, and no trust in the “marketplace of ideas.” The U.S. must use PSYOPS, must impose loyalty oaths, must fire disloyal scholars from their jobs, must prosecute them for “material support of terrorism” and for treason, and must proceed to murder them in any time and place.

I suppose that when I point out that this illustrates the madness of militarism I should breathe a deep sigh of relief that I have no law degree.

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Nazis Riot Again in Kiev to Force Resuming War

Poroshenko Lies About Ukrainian Public Opinion,

in Order to Justify Resuming Invasion of Donbass

Eric Zuesse

On Monday, August 31st, racist fascists (nazis) who hate Russians rioted in front of Ukraine’s parliament building to demand resumption of the unlimited bombing campaign against the breakaway former Ukrainian region, Donbass, which had voted 90%+ for the neutralist Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, whose government these nazis had helped the U.S. to overthrow in February 2014. A rabidly anti-Russian government was installed in its stead, and these demonstrators want this government to violate the Minsk II accords that Ukraine had signed, and to return to full-scale war.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=81&v=u6zrTOQPyjQ

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According to the report from Russian Television, “At least 10 special forces troops have been injured as a grenade exploded during clashes in front of the parliament in the Ukrainian capital.”

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko, who won no votes from anyone in the breakaway Donbass former region of Ukraine, and who is widely hated there for bombing them, persistently asserts that he will ultimately succeed at retaking that region. He said on Saturday, August 29th, “I was elected by people to protect the integrity of Ukraine, and will do everything in my power to return the land to Ukraine.”

But his claim to be doing what the people of Ukraine want him to do on this is a lie. Here is the actual polling regarding the matter:

On 6-18 May 2015, the Ukrainian polling organization Sofia reported their poll of the Ukrainian public, as follows:

The majority (61.8%) of respondents believe that the main thing is to stop the war, even if you have to give up the occupied territories. The share of those who favor the continuation of hostilities until complete liberation of the occupied territories was 22.9%. (15.3% could not answer.)

Almost half (45.2%) of respondents consider it possible to make certain concessions in the negotiations to end the war in Donbass and normalize relations with the Russian Federation. Meanwhile, 38.6% of respondents are of the opinion that concessions must not be made. (16.2% could not answer.)

Poroshenko is doing this because Barack Obama, the man who installed the present regime in Ukraine, during a violent February 2014 coup, wants Poroshenko to continue bombing that area.

Furthermore, in the U.S., not only congressional Republicans but congressional Democrats, and the entire U.S. aristocracy, are united in this demand to slaughter the residents in Donbass. The pro-regime Kyiv Post headlined on August 29th, “Daschle: Obama should visit, US should supply arms to Ukraine,” and reported that the lobbyist, and former Democratic Majority Leader in the U.S. Senate, Tom Daschle, was urging: “supplying Ukraine with $3 billion in military aid, including a mix of lethal and non-lethal weapons, a step thus far opposed by Obama as potentially prompting Russia to escalate its war against Ukraine. … Daschle thinks a $3 billion package of lethal and non-lethal assistance, touted by the Atlantic Council and Brookings Institution, is the way to go.” In other words: If the earlier bombings weren’t enough, America’s aristocracy have organized a PR campaign to do it more. As I headlined on 3 February 2015, “Brookings Wants More Villages Firebombed in Ukraine’s ‘Anti Terrorist Operation’.”

I reported on 30 August 2015, that, “U.S. Publicly Splits v. EU on Ukraine War.” EU leaders do not want yet another invasion of Donbass by Ukraine, but Obama now clearly does want it; and Poroshenko is doing what Obama says. Thus, for example, on August 27th, “Obama’s Ukrainian Forces Break Minsk Agreement: Resume Invasion.”

France’s Francois Hollande, and Germany’s Angela Merkel, are again trying to stop Obama’s war in Ukraine. But Poroshenko is taking his instructions from Obama, not from anyone in the EU. And probably the EU will, too, as usual. Today’s nazi rioting has been organized to give more ‘democratic’ legitimacy to resuming the war.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Posted in Media, Politics / World News, propaganda | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments