By Paul Craig Roberts
June 24, 2009
Hat tip: Information Clearing House
The American media’s one-sided and propagandistic coverage of the Iranian election has made an American hero out of the defeated candidate, Mousavi.
This leaves one wondering if anyone anywhere in the US media or US government knows that Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who served as prime minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran from 1981 to 1989, the decade following the overthrow of the American puppet government by Khomeini, has been fingered as the Butcher of Beirut, responsible for the bloody attacks on the US embassy and Marine Corps barracks in Beirut during the Reagan administration that blew to pieces 241 US Marines, Sailors, and Army troops.
According to Jeff Stein writing in the June 22, 2009, CQ Politics, Mousavi “personally selected his point man for the Beirut terror campaign, Ali Akbar Mohtashemi-pur,” who presided over the terror cell responsible for the attacks.
The National Security Agency had a tap on the Iranian ambassador to Lebanon, according to Admiral James Lyons who was deputy chief of Naval Operations at the time. Admiral Lyons told Jeff Stein that “the Iranian ambassador received instructions from the foreign minister to have various groups target US personnel in Lebanon, but in particular to carry out a ‘spectacular action’ against the Marines.”
Stein reports that Lyons “also fingered Mousavi for the 1988 truck bombing of the US Navy’s Fleet Center in Naples, Italy.”
Bob Baer, a CIA Middle East field officer at the time, says that Mousavi “dealt directly with Imad Mughniyah,” the person responsible for both attacks.
All of these facts have gone into the Memory Hole. The US media and government have turned Musavi, the bloody butcher of US servicemen, into the would-be liberator of Iran from theocracy.
by Stephen Lendman
When politicians plan reform, it’s wise to be skeptical and hold on to your wallets. So fixing the economy by bailing out Wall Street is wrecking it, and Obama’s proposed health care reform taxes more, provides less, places profits above human need, avoids the most vital solutions, and leaves a broken system in place.
Now there’s “Financial Regulatory Reform, A New Foundation: Rebuilding Financial Supervision and Regulation” – announced June 17 with Obama saying he’ll send Congress a plan to create new government agencies, give the private banking cartel Federal Reserve more power, and address five major problems needing regulatory and legislative measures to fix.
Addressing business executives in the White House East Room, he said:
“A culture of irresponsibility took root from Wall Street to Washington to Main Street” with no mention that months of it worsened on his watch. “A regulatory regime basically crafted in the wake of a 20th century economic crisis – the Great Depression – was overwhelmed by the speed, scope and sophistication of a 21st century global economy.” In fact, 30 years of deregulation since the late 1970s, not technology, caused speculative excesses, market bubbles, and inevitable collapses that always follow.
Hat tip: legitgov.org
Gov. Sanford Admits Affair and Explains Disappearance
24 Jun 2009
Mark Sanford, the governor of South Carolina, apologized in a rambling news conference on Wednesday for having an extra-marital affair with a woman in Argentina, ending a mystery over his week-long disappearance that had infuriated lawmakers and seemed to put his rising political career in jeopardy. Governor Sanford admitted he had been in Buenos Aires, Argentina, since Thursday, not hiking on the Appalachian Trail as he told his staff. Mr. Sanford announced on Wednesday that he was resigning his position as chairman of the Republican Governors Association.
by Chris Hedges
June 22, 2009
Iranians do not need or want us to teach them about liberty and representative government. They have long embodied this struggle. It is we who need to be taught. It was Washington that orchestrated the 1953 coup to topple Iran’s democratically elected government, the first in the Middle East, and install the compliant shah in power. It was Washington that forced Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, a man who cared as much for his country as he did for the rule of law and democracy, to spend the rest of his life under house arrest. We gave to the Iranian people the corrupt regime of the shah and his savage secret police and the primitive clerics that rose out of the swamp of the dictator’s Iran. Iranians know they once had a democracy until we took it away.
The fundamental problem in the Middle East is not a degenerate and corrupt Islam. The fundamental problem is a degenerate and corrupt Christendom. We have not brought freedom and democracy and enlightenment to the Muslim world. We have brought the opposite. We have used the iron fist of the American military to implant our oil companies in Iraq, occupy Afghanistan and ensure that the region is submissive and cowed. We have supported a government in Israel that has carried out egregious war crimes in Lebanon and Gaza and is daily stealing ever greater portions of Palestinian land. We have established a network of military bases, some the size of small cities, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Kuwait, and we have secured basing rights in the Gulf states of Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. We have expanded our military operations to Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Egypt, Algeria and Yemen. And no one naively believes, except perhaps us, that we have any intention of leaving.
We are the biggest problem in the Middle East. We have through our cruelty and violence created and legitimized the Mahmoud Ahmadinejads and the Osama bin Ladens. The longer we lurch around the region dropping iron fragmentation bombs and seizing Muslim land the more these monsters, reflections of our own distorted image, will proliferate. The theologian Reinhold Niebuhr wrote that “the most significant moral characteristic of a nation is its hypocrisy.” But our hypocrisy no longer fools anyone but ourselves. It will ensure our imperial and economic collapse.
This is an excerpt from the essay, “Wage Interventionism, Gruppa Bezdelnikov, and Universal Education” by Jeffrey Braddock. In this essay, Braddock explains the motivation behind Obama’s plan for universal education, and what that will do to the real wages and unemployment of the United States.
A Sleight of Hand
“Why universal education now?” There is no demand, quantitatively, for more university graduates. There is, however, a demand for employees with higher literary skills. Perhaps President Obama and the Congress are attempting to raise the literary skills of the nation – yet this cannot be so, since any increase in the quantity of graduates necessitates a decrease in educational quality. I posit that President Obama, and the Congress, are attempting to mask the unemployment problem at the taxpayers’ expense. Let us consider – the labor force participation rate for full-time four year university students is around 42% and around 55% for full-time two year university students. Another way to read the data is that 58% and 45% of four and two year students, respectively, were not employed (full or part time) or actively seeking employment. The unemployment rate for high school graduates and dropouts is 26.7% and 39.5% in 2008, respectively.
Now, Mr Obama’s universal education program reduces unemployment by allocating educational subsidies. How is this accomplished? First, the subsidy is extremely generous – enough to pay for the whole cost of the educational program and provide an additional subsidy to cover living expenses, such that the students will opt out of participating in the labor force. Given the generous size of the subsidy, many unemployed high school graduates, dropouts, and a sizeable number of employed high school graduates choose to resume their studies. More positions are freed by the increased capacity of frivolous volunteer programs, which offer educational subsidies in return for community service. Many recent college graduates are then able to take positions vacated by students. In the short term, unemployment is reduced as some citizens who were considered unemployed by the Bureau for Labor Statistics cease actively searching for work and transition to full-time student status; others find employment in those positions vacated by those citizens who opted to resume their studies. The American public, historians, indeed, the entire world applaud Mr Obama’s administrative genius and vision for reducing the official unemployment rate to historic lows while guaranteeing universal post-secondary education. Yet it is little more than a sleight of hand. Some four to six years later, a nasty shock ensues as the graduates finish their studies or return from their volunteer/internship experiences. The United States achieves the highest proportion of university graduates, but due to wage interventionism, those graduates cannot find work commensurate with their wage/educational expectations. The disillusioned graduates return to the government, demanding more social programs, more benefits, and more government intervention. The next administration, the next round of legislators, acquiesces without a struggle.
by Paul Craig Roberts
A number of commentators have expressed their idealistic belief in the purity of Mousavi, Montazeri, and the westernized youth of Terhan. The CIA destabilization plan, announced two years ago (see below) has somehow not contaminated unfolding events.
The claim is made that Ahmadinejad stole the election, because the outcome was declared too soon after the polls closed for all the votes to have been counted. However, Mousavi declared his victory several hours before the polls closed. This is classic CIA destabilization designed to discredit a contrary outcome. It forces an early declaration of the vote. The longer the time interval between the preemptive declaration of victory and the release of the vote tally, the longer Mousavi has to create the impression that the authorities are using the time to fix the vote. It is amazing that people don’t see through this trick.
As for the grand ayatollah Montazeri’s charge that the election was stolen, he was the initial choice to succeed Khomeini, but lost out to the current Supreme Leader. He sees in the protests an opportunity to settle the score with Khamenei. Montazeri has the incentive to challenge the election whether or not he is being manipulated by the CIA, which has a successful history of manipulating disgruntled politicians.
There is a power struggle among the ayatollahs. Many are aligned against Ahmadinejad because he accuses them of corruption, thus playing to the Iranian countryside where Iranians believe the ayatollahs’ lifestyles indicate an excess of power and money. In my opinion, Ahmadinejad’s attack on the ayatollahs is opportunistic. However, it does make it odd for his American detractors to say he is a conservative reactionary lined up with the ayatollahs.
Commenators are “explaining” the Iran elections based on their own illusions, delusions, emotions, and vested interests. Whether or not the poll results predicting Ahmadinejad’s win are sound, there is, so far, no evidence beyond surmise that the election was stolen. However, there are credible reports that the CIA has been working for two years to destabilize the Iranian government.
Ellen Brown, June 18th, 2009
While contrarians are screaming “hyperinflation!”, the money supply is actually shrinking. This is because most money today comes into existence as bank loans, and lending has shrunk substantially. That means the Fed needs to “monetize” debt just to fill the breach.
On June 3, 2009, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke assured Congress, “The Federal Reserve will not monetize the debt.” Bill Bonner, writing in The Daily Reckoning, said it had a ring to it, like President Nixon’s “I am not a crook” and President Clinton’s “I did not have sex with that woman.” Monetizing the debt is precisely what the Fed will do, says Bonner, because it has no other choice. The Chinese are growing reluctant to lend, the taxpayers are tapped out, and the deficit is at unprecedented levels. “Even good people do bad things when they get in a jam. The Feds are already in pretty deep . . . and they’re going a lot deeper.”
But Mr. Bernanke denied it. “Either cuts in spending or increases in taxes will be necessary to stabilize the fiscal situation,” he said.
Both alternatives will be vigorously opposed, leaving Congress in the same deadlock California has been in for the last year. That makes the monetization option at least worth a look. What is wrong with it? Bill Bonner calls it “larceny on the grandest scale. Rather than honestly repaying what it has borrowed, a government merely prints up extra currency and uses it to pay its loans. The debt is ‘monetized’ . . . transformed into an increase in the money supply, thereby lowering the purchasing power of everybody’s savings.”
So say the pundits, but in the past year the Fed has “monetized” over a trillion dollars worth of debt, yet the money supply is not expanding. As investment adviser Mark Sunshine observed in a June 12 blog:
“[W]hile media talking heads were ranting about how the Fed was running their printing presses overtime to push up money supply, the facts were very different. M1 has actually declined since the middle of December, 2008. During the same six month period M2 has only risen by a little less than 3%.”
Hat tip: snardfarker.ning.com
“I am sure that Americans would favour the emergence from the present situation of a truly popularly based government and it is very appropriate for the president to make clear that that is what he favours. Now if it turns out that it is not possible for a government to emerge in Iran that can deal with itself as a nation rather than as a cause then we have a different situation, then we may conclude that we must work for regime change in Iran from the outside but if I understand the president correctly he does not want to do this as a visible intervention in the current crisis.”
Ralph Nader & Ron Paul Agree: Ballot Access Laws are Rigged Against Independent & Third Party Candidates
Hat tip: Free and Equal Elections
Ralph Nader and Ron Paul, two of the most outspoken political leaders of our time, don’t agree all that often. But one thing they both understand is that the American political system is rigged against independent and third party candidates.
Restrictive ballot access laws across the nation prevent voters from having a real choice in who they vote for.
And the Democratic and Republican machines intend to keep it that way.
Former Nader campaign manager Theresa Amato’s new book Grand Illusion presents a scathing indictment of the current state of ballot access in America.
Grand Illusion recounts the story of the Democratic Party’s attempt to boot Nader out of the 2004 Presidential election, and offers insight into other recent independent and third party campaigns. Amato also lays out specific reform steps that can be taken to improve the state of ballot access in this country.
In this video, Ralph Nader lays the failures of our government at the feet of the Two-Party Tyranny. He encourages Americans to read the Grand Illusion and to get motivated to take our nation back from the two corporate controlled parties.
Click Here to Watch Ralph Nader on the Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny
In a statement released last week, Congressman Ron Paul commended the work of Free & Equal Elections, and also endorsed Amato’s new book.