by Prof. James Petras
Hat tip: Global Research, March 8, 2010
The Obama Administration has heightened tensions with China through a series of measures which can only be characterized as major provocations designed to undermine relations between the two countries. These provocations include political support for separatist movements, such as the US-funded theocratic-monk led Tibetan secessionists and the Washington-based Uyghur secessionists, as well as through the $6.4 billion-dollar advanced arms sales to Taiwan, a virtual protectorate of the US Navy. President Obama has publicly met with and openly backed these separatist and secessionists groups, flaunting Washington’s refusal to recognize China’s existing borders. This is part of the US strategy of encouraging the physical break-up of independent nations, which are viewed as ‘obstacles’ to its program of global military empire building.
In addition to continuing and escalating the hostile policies of his predecessor, the Obama Administration has exploited several other issues in order to rally American public opinion and mobilize overseas allies behind its confrontational posture. First, the Obama Administration claims that China’s currency (the Renminbi) is artificially undervalued to give Chinese exports an unfair price advantage, thus undercutting US manufacturing exports and costing “millions of American jobs”. And secondly, the Administration claims that, after the US had opened its domestic manufacturing market to Chinese firms, the Chinese would not ‘reciprocate’ and open their financial sectors to Wall Street investment banks.
In retaliation for growing Chinese exports, Washington has raised protective tariffs on steel pipes and automobile tires, and issued Congressional threats of further protectionist measures.
More US military personnel have taken their OWN lives than have died in action
Here is a shocking statistic that you won’t hear in most western news media: over the past nine years, more US military personnel have taken their own lives than have died in action in either the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. These are official figures from the US Department of Defense, yet somehow they have not been deemed newsworthy to report. Last year alone, more than 330 serving members of the US armed forces committed suicide – more than the 320 killed in Afghanistan and the 150 who fell in Iraq (see wsws.org).
Since 2001, when Washington launched its so-called “war on terror”, there has been a dramatic year-on-year increase in US military suicides, particularly in the army, which has borne the brunt of fighting abroad. Last year saw the highest total number since such records began in 1980. Prior to 2001, the suicide rate in the US military was lower than that for the general US population; now, it is nearly double the national average.
A growing number of these victims have been deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan. What these figures should tell us is that there is something fundamentally deranged about Washington’s “war on terror” – which is probably why western news media prefer to ignore the issue. How damning is it about such military campaigns that the numbers of US soldiers who take their own lives outnumber those killed by enemy combatants.
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released its 2009 list of Washington’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians.” The list, in alphabetical order, includes:
- Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT): This marks two years in a row for Senator Dodd, who made the 2008 “Ten Most Corrupt” list for his corrupt relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and for accepting preferential treatment and loan terms from Countrywide Financial, a scandal which still dogs him. In 2009, the scandals kept coming for the Connecticut Democrat. In 2009, Judicial Watch filed a Senate ethics complaint against Dodd for undervaluing a property he owns in Ireland on his Senate Financial Disclosure forms. Judicial Watch’s complaint forced Dodd to amend the forms. However, press reports suggest the property to this day remains undervalued. Judicial Watch also alleges in the complaint that Dodd obtained a sweetheart deal for the property in exchange for his assistance in obtaining a presidential pardon (during the Clinton administration) and other favors for a long-time friend and business associate. The false financial disclosure forms were part of the cover-up. Dodd remains the head the Senate Banking Committee.
- Senator John Ensign (R-NV): A number of scandals popped up in 2009 involving public officials who conducted illicit affairs, and then attempted to cover them up with hush payments and favors, an obvious abuse of power. The year’s worst offender might just be Nevada Republican Senator John Ensign. Ensign admitted in June to an extramarital affair with the wife of one of his staff members, who then allegedly obtained special favors from the Nevada Republican in exchange for his silence. According to The New York Times: “The Justice Department and the Senate Ethics Committee are expected to conduct preliminary inquiries into whether Senator John Ensign violated federal law or ethics rules as part of an effort to conceal an affair with the wife of an aide…” The former staffer, Douglas Hampton, began to lobby Mr. Ensign’s office immediately upon leaving his congressional job, despite the fact that he was subject to a one-year lobbying ban. Ensign seems to have ignored the law and allowed Hampton lobbying access to his office as a payment for his silence about the affair. (These are potentially criminal offenses.) It looks as if Ensign misused his public office (and taxpayer resources) to cover up his sexual shenanigans.
By James Petras
Axis of Logic
Wednesday, Mar 3, 2010
The principle propaganda mouthpiece of the Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (PMAJO), the Daily Alert (DA), has come out in full support for Israel’s practice of extra-judicial, extra-territorial assassination.
In the face of world-wide governmental condemnation (except from the Zionist-occupied White House and US Congress), the PMAJO slavishly backs any brutal murder committed by the Israeli secret police anywhere in the world and at anytime. The recent assassination of Hamas leader, Mahmoud Mabhouh, in Dubai is a case in point. The PMAJO has defended all of Mossad’s criminal actions leading up to the murder, including extensive identity theft and the stealing or falsification of passports and official documents from several European countries, presumably allied to the Zionist state. Among the Mossad agents who entered Dubai to kill Mabhouh, twelve agents used stolen or forged British passports, three Australian, three French, one German and six Irish. These agents assumed the identity of European citizens in order to commit murder in a sovereign nation.
Once again the PMAJO demonstrate that its first loyalty is to the Israeli secret police, even when they violate the sovereignty of major US allies. No doubt the PMAJO would readily support the Israeli Mossad, even if it were shown to have used U.S. documents to assassinate Mabhouh. In fact, two of the 26 Israeli assassins, carrying fake Irish and fake British passports, are known to have entered the United States after the killing and may still be here.
The US Economy is Set for a “Double-Dip” Recession
by Paul Craig Roberts
Happy news! The government has come up with a 5.9 percent GDP growth rate in the fourth quarter of 2009. The recession is over.
Or is it?
Statistician John Williams has informed us that 69 percent of this growth, or 4.1 percentage points, is the result of inventory accumulation. That leaves a 1.8 percent growth rate, and the 1.8 percent is likely due to the underestimate of inflation and other statistical problems.
The Federal Reserve’s own monetary evidence contradicts the recovery assurances from Fed chairman Ben Bernanke. The Federal Reserve continues to pour massive reserves into the banks. The monetary base, which consists of currency in circulation and bank reserves (the basis for new loans), has surged from $850 billion in 2009 to $2.2 trillion on February 24.
Despite this potential for massive new money creation, the broadest measure of money growth is still contracting.The banks are too impaired and so are consumers for the banks to create new money by making loans.
The economy, in other words, is going nowhere.
by Prof. Marc W. Herold
Hat tip: Global Research
Future U.S wars in the Third World will involve massive use of drones to police the territory, employ local satrap forces (like those of Karzai’s Afghan Army) and once the territory has been pacified sufficiently, the deployment of “Government Ready-to-Rule (GRR)” kits. The drones provide the critical and the weak link: critical insofar as they represent the ultimate American-style war where only the “Others” (opponents and civilians) die but weak insofar as this type of warfare only works against an opponent without any anti-drone/aircraft capability. In other words, this type of technological warfare can only be carried out upon weak opponents lacking independent industrial capacities (not against China, Russia, and India). This approach represents the culmination of disconnecting the delivery of deadly force – the rain of Hellfire missiles – upon the Others and incurring no human (physical or psychological – PTSD) costs. Or put in other terms, it represents the quintessential American way of “solving” problems with technological short-cuts, a military effort begun in 1942 with the Allied fire-bombing of German cities. The current American war in Afghanistan is a harbinger of what is to come, America’s electronic, troop-less war.
Prophetically the first victims in 2010 of Obama in his Afghan war were a teacher in a government school, Sadiq Noor, and his nine-year old son, Wajid as well as three other persons. Both were killed on Sunday night, January 3, 2010 in a U.S. drone strike involving two missiles fired into the home of Sadiq Noor in the village of Musaki, North Waziristan in Pakistan. During January 2010, a record number of twelve deadly missile strikes were carried out on Pakistan’s tribal areas. Three Al-Qaeda leaders were killed and 123 innocent civilians. During 2009, 44 U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan killed 708 people but only five Al Qaeda or Taliban; that is for each enemy fighter 140 civilian Pakistanis had to die.
Those who pull the gray trigger to fire are located in Nevada, Kandahar, or Pakistan. As Philip Alston points out, “Young military personnel raised on a diet of video games now kill real people remotely using joysticks. Far removed from the human consequences of their actions, how will this generation of fighters value the right to life?” In early 2010, the U.S. Air Force had more drone operators in training than fighter and bomber pilots.
Hat tip: Mises Daily
by Mark Thornton
Thursday, November 14, 2002
For a few billion dollars you might expect to be able to bribe some small third world country into cleaning up its act, to defend the property rights of its citizens, to provide a stable currency, and to establish a non-interventionist economic and foreign policy.
With little Switzerlands and industrial revolutions developing around the globe, the U.S. could provide the examples that would establish a classical liberal world order within one generation with less than 1% of the federal budget.
Alas, Americans are united in their opposition to foreign aid—and with good reason! Foreign aid, military aid, debt relief, economic development assistance, and even disaster assistance money—all with “strings attached” to ensure proper behavior—are associated with “fraud, waste, and abuse.”
U.S. aid designed to bring about peace in the Middle East is an ideological seedbed of hatred, war, and terrorism. The big players in foreign aid, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, are more likely to bring about economic meltdown and social calamity than economic stability.
Ludwig von Mises pointed out (Planning for Freedom) that foreign aid doesn’t create friends in foreign lands, it creates ideological enemies who wish to do us harm:
The United States, they think, is aiding them because its people have a bad conscience. They themselves pocket this bribe but their sympathies go to the socialist system. The American subsidies make it possible for their governments to conceal partially the disastrous effects of the various socialist measures they have adopted.
Mises is here referring to our “friends” in Europe, but the same could be applied to the Middle East, Africa, the Western Hemisphere, and Asia, with the only possible exception being countries like Vietnam and Australia who receive limited or no foreign aid from the United States or the international organizations that we control.
The fraud and failure of foreign aid is now so obvious that it has ended up in the pages of the American Economic Review!
Hat tip: Project Censored
Read the rest here.
by (Name Withheld)
I just returned from Haiti with Hebler. We flew in at 3 AM Sunday to the scene of such incredible destruction on one side, and enormous ineptitude and criminal neglect on the other.
Port of Prince is in ruins. The rest of the country is fairly intact. Ours was a rescue team and we carried special equipment that locates people buried under the rubble. There are easily 200,000 dead, the city smells like a charnal house. The bloody UN was there for 5 years doing apparently nothing but wasting US Taxpayers money. The ones I ran into were either incompetent or outright anti-American. Most are French or French speakers, worthless every d*mn one of them. While 18oo rescuers were ready willing and able to leave the airport and go do our jobs, the UN and USAID (another organization full of little Obamites and communists that openly speak against America) These two organizations exemplared their parochialism by:
- USAID, when in control of all inbound flights, had food and water flights stacked up all the way to Miami, yet allowed Geraldo Rivera, Anderson Cooper and a host of other left wing news puppies to land.
- Pulled all the security off the rescue teams so that Bill Clinton and His wife could have the grand tour, whilst we sat unable to get to people trapped in the rubble.
- Stacked enough food and water for the relief over at the side of the airfield then put a guard on it while we dehydrated and wouldn’t release a drop of it to the rescuers.
- No shower facilities to decontaminate after digging or moving corpses all day, except for the FEMA teams who brought their own shower and Decon equipment, as well as air-conditioned tents.
by Chuck Baldwin
February 26, 2010
There is a classic story about how no one had been able to capture a herd of wild hogs that was rooting up crops from numerous farms. It got so bad that rewards had been posted for anyone clever enough to corral the critters. But even this resulted in only limited success.
One day a stranger (who was a wily old trapper) came into town and–entering the general store–ordered a truckload of fence posts and fencing, along with some feed. When asked what he was going to use it for, he said, “I’m going to get those wild hogs y’all are having trouble with.” Of course, everyone in the store laughed at the overconfident stranger. A few weeks later, however, the stranger rode into town with the back of his truck tightly packed with the smelly swine.
When asked how he was able to accomplish what no one else had been able to do, the old trapper replied, “Simple. I started putting the feed out in a small clearing and the hogs began freely eating the feed. It didn’t take long and they were there every day. Then I put up the fence posts, but with no fencing. At first the hogs were a little skittish, but it wasn’t long and they ignored the posts. Then I began putting the fence up, but I left the gate off. Again, the hogs were skittish at first, but soon realized they could come and go freely, and before long, they were devouring the free food with a vengeance. Then, one day when the hogs were aggressively consuming the vittles, I slammed the gate closed.”
Ladies and gentlemen, I submit that what the old trapper did to the wild hogs is exactly what our soon-to-be oppressors are doing to us! What is worse, most Americans seem about as oblivious to the whole thing as that bunch of pigs. For anyone who is paying attention, however, the signs of growing enslavement are everywhere.