In 1964, the U.S. had for years been involved in covert operations in Vietnam designed to destabilize the North Vietnamese leadership and goad them into attacking American and South Vietnamese targets. On August 4th, U.S. naval authorities reported one of two recent “torpedo attacks” in the Gulf of Tonkin, torpedo attacks which were later admitted to be entirely faked in order to provide pretext for an open American invasion.
While Lyndon Johnson was declaring a “police action” in the region (essentially a war declared without the authority of Congress) CIA Station Chief Peer DeSilva was organizing Vietnam operations around a new strategy called “counter-terrorism”. This strategy held that terrorism, used in the hands of “the good-guys”, was not only acceptable, but necessary in order to undermine the support structures of the enemy. CIA counter-terror units were formed using mostly South Vietnamese nationals as well as men from surrounding countries. These hit teams, called Provincial Reconnaissance Units (PRU’s) were coordinated and led by U.S. special operations officers and CIA liaisons under the umbrella of ICEX – the Intelligence Coordination and Exploitation Program, meant to create perfect information sharing and centralization between various teams. The entire horrifying edifice would eventually be called “The Phoenix Program”:
The Phoenix Program is defended to this day by the CIA as nothing more than a practical counter-insurgency methodology meant to win the war faster, and with fewer casualties:
In fact, some in the mainstream still argue that Phoenix tactics should be used in Afghanistan and Iraq:
But Phoenix went far beyond aspirations of “winning” in Vietnam. The program utilized a “by any means necessary” strategy to warfare that included the use of random assassination and the FABRICATION of enemy atrocities in order to rally the civilian population around U.S. forces. PRU operators routinely targeted the backwater villages of Vietnam, killing at least 20,000 civilians as later admitted by CIA Director William Colby, and 40,000 civilians as estimated by the South Vietnamese Government. The slaughter of villages was frequently blamed on the Vietcong, while PRU’s ran rampant in the jungles, physically mutilating victims in order to draw greater emotional reactions from Southern citizens as well as oblivious Americans back home.
All of this took place under the close supervision of the CIA. Torture was often applied in CIA substations with high tech security. CIA officers carefully selected PRU troops, specifically seeking out ARVN deserters, VC traitors, and South Vietnamese criminals looking for a reduction in their prison sentences. The CIA planned and mapped operations, including death squad operations. They created teams of monsters and unleashed them upon Vietnam, not just to win against the North, but to create the illusion that the U.S. military presence was justified.
Skip ahead about 20 years…
The same exact theater was used in the 1980′s by the CIA in El Salvador. Militants and fascist political leaders, including El Salvadorian dictator-by-election-fraud Roberto D’Aubuission,trained at the Fort Benning, Georgia’s “School of the Americas” (also known as the School of the Assassins) where they learned the same “counter-terror” methods used during the Phoenix Program. This resulted in the formation of the Mano Blanco (the White Hand), a network of ruthless death squads utilized against Salvadorian citizens, killing tens of thousands in a bloodbath that was covertly endorsed by the U.S. government.
Skip ahead another 30 years…
The techniques and technology have become more sophisticated, but the general strategy remains identical.
The Syria crisis is swiftly escalating with the advent of yet another unverified chemical weapons attack on the civilian population that is being used as a broad permit for the Obama Administration to enter into open operations against the Assad government. A previous chemical attack at the beginning of this summer was left unverified, though the establishment went to great lengths to convince the American public that the Assad government was responsible. It certainly didn’t help that the UN was relying purely on “samples” from a French evening newspaper called Le Monde rather than an officially sanctioned source, and that the UN was forced to acknowledge that the Syrian insurgents may have been involved.
Today, the mainstream media and the U.S. government references “strong indications that Syria’s government used chemical weapons in attacks that opposition groups claimed killed more than 1,100 people” as if their version of events is already considered concrete reality:
But where are these “strong indications”? Where is this unassailable evidence of Assad’s involvement? The American public hasn’t been given a scrap of verifiable data concerning the attack and its origin. Once again, we are being asked to accept on simple “faith” that our government is telling us the truth and that military intervention must be supported.
Here is what we DO know for a fact…
The Syrian insurgency is made up primarily of Al Qaeda operatives (terrorists and criminals).
The CIA trained and supported these operatives using Bengahzi as a base for at least a year before the Bengahzi attacks.
Syrian insurgents have been caught on numerous occasions committing startling crimes, including the torture and murder of civilians, and the mutilation of prisoners and even their corpses. Captured Syrian soldiers are commonly executed.
The U.S. government continues to support the insurgents despite their death squad mentality, supplying heavy weapons including anti-aircraft missiles.
Syrian insurgents impose their own fanatical system of theological governance in regions where they have total control. Anyone remotely suspected of being an Assad supporter is tortured, and the civilian population is carefully vetted.
Clearly, Phoenix Program methods are being used by the CIA in Syria. The only difference in Syria is that the establishment has chosen to use the faction in rebellion as a tool for destabilization and war rather than a prevailing puppet government. Reports are now beginning to surface in the mainstream exposing direct U.S. and Israeli involvement on the ground in the Syrian theatre:
“According to our information, the regime’s opponents, supervised by Jordanian, Israeli and American commandos moving towards Damascus since mid-August. This attack could explain the possible use of the Syrian president to chemical weapons.
According to information obtained by Le Figaro , the first trained in guerrilla warfare by the Americans in Jordan Syrian troops reportedly entered into action since mid-August in southern Syria, in the region of Deraa. A first group of 300 men, probably supported by Israeli and Jordanian commandos, as well as men of the CIA, had crossed the border on August 17. A second would have joined the 19. According to military sources, the Americans, who do not want to put troops on the Syrian soil or arming rebels in part controlled by radical Islamists form quietly for several months in a training camp set up at the border Jordanian- Syrian fighters ASL, the Free Syrian Army, handpicked.
According to this expert on the region, the idea proposed by Washington would be the possible establishment of a buffer zone from the south of Syria, or even a no-fly zone, which would cause opponents safely until the balance of power changes. This is the reason why the United States has deployed Patriot batteries and F16 in late June Jordan.”
This report from Le Figaro has not yet been confirmed by a secondary source, but it fits perfectly with the Phoenix paradigm. The so called “rebels” have been trained by CIA operatives and U.S. interests. The rebels are armed and funded by the U.S. government. The rebels are vicious and amoral in their tactics, frequently targeting innocent civilians in death squad fashion. And finally, the rebels, it appears, are being directed on the ground by U.S. assets. The natural next step in this process would be a false flag, and what better way than to use chemical weapons against non-combatants; a “red line” which Barack Obama previously stated “cannot be crossed”?
As I have pointed out in numerous articles dealing with engineered disaster events, if you aren’t examining who benefits, you aren’t seeing the big picture.
Who REALLY benefits from the latest chemical weapons attack in Syria? Assad, already nearing victory against the insurgents, gains absolutely nothing from killing hundreds if not thousands of his own people with Sarin gas on the same exact day that a UN inspections team arrives in the country. However, the insurgents gain immense military support from the West if Assad is successfully labeled a war criminal. The establishment gains a pretext for air strikes, no-fly zones, and eventually a physical invasion of the region, which is something they have obviously wanted for quite some time given the fact that they have manipulated the Syrian revolution from its very inception.
It’s all happened before, with different players, different faces, and different ideologies, but always the same winner – the global elites. Call it the “Phoenix Program”, call it the “School Of The Americas”, call it the “Arab Spring”; it doesn’t really matter. The endgame is predictable. Unilateral war without the approval of the American people or even Congress. Collapse of a nation or multiple nations resulting in the deaths of tens of thousand, hundreds of thousands, or perhaps millions. Severe economic and social implications reverberating throughout the rest of the world. And American culture takes several steps closer to a totalitarian hell on Earth
I have been predicting the use of Syria as a catalyst for wider war for years:
And in recent months, I reiterated my concerns and predictions, many of which are coming true as you read this:
I do believe that the Obama Administration is going to steamroll forward with overt U.S. action in Syria, Iran, and likely Egypt. I do believe that the consequences economically and politically in America will be catastrophic. I believe that if extended U.S. or Israeli strikes occur in Syria, they will be accompanied by subsequent attacks here at home (false flag or otherwise). I believe that a Syrian strike should be considered a Red Alert event for those in the Liberty Movement preparing for the worst. We may not be able to stop the landslide of devastation that will be triggered in coming months, but we can still decide the outcome. Make yourselves ready now, and do not waver.
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
Washington and its British and French puppet governments are poised to yet again reveal their criminality. The image of the West as War Criminal is not a propaganda image created by the West’s enemies, but the portrait that the West has painted of itself.
The UK Independent reports that over this past week-end Obama, Cameron, and Hollande agreed to launch cruise missile attacks against the Syrian government within two weeks despite the lack of any authorization from the UN and despite the absence of any evidence in behalf of Washington’s claim that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against the Washington-backed “rebels”, largely US supported external forces, seeking to overthrow the Syrian government.
Indeed, one reason for the rush to war is to prevent the UN inspection that Washington knows would disprove its claim and possibly implicate Washington in the false flag attack by the “rebels,” who assembled a large number of children into one area to be chemically murdered with the blame pinned by Washington on the Syrian government.
Another reason for the rush to war is that Cameron, the UK prime minister, wants to get the war going before the British parliament can block him for providing cover for Obama’s war crimes the way that Tony Blair provided cover for George W. Bush, for which Blair was duly rewarded. What does Cameron care about Syrian lives when he can leave office into the waiting arms of a $50 million fortune.
The Syrian government, knowing that it is not responsible for the chemical weapons incident, has agreed for the UN to send in chemical inspectors to determine the substance used and the method of delivery. However, Washington has declared that it is “too late” for UN inspectors and that Washington accepts the self-serving claim of the al Qaeda affiliated “rebels” that the Syrian government attacked civilians with chemical weapons. http://news.antiwar.com/2013/08/25/obama-administration-accepts-rebels-account-on-syria-prepares-for-war/ See also http://news.antiwar.com/2013/08/25/syria-accepts-un-inspectors-us-spurns-call-as-too-late/
In an attempt to prevent the UN chemical inspectors who arrived on the scene from doing their work, the inspectors were fired upon by snipers in “rebel” held territory and forced off site, although a later report from RT says the inspectors have returned to the site to conduct their inspection. http://rt.com/news/un-chemical-oservers-shot-000/
The corrupt British government has declared that Syria can be attacked without UN authorization, just as Serbia and Libya were militarily attacked without UN authorization. In other words, the Western democracies have already established precedents for violating international law. “International law? We don’t need no stinking international law!” The West knows only one rule: Might is Right. As long as the West has the Might, the West has the Right.
In a response to the news report that the US, UK, and France are preparing to attack Syria, the Russian Foreign Minister, Lavrov, said that such unilateral action is a “severe violation of international law,” and that the violation was not only a legal one but also an ethical and moral violation. Lavrov referred to the lies and deception used by the West to justify its grave violations of international law in military attacks on Serbia, Iraq, and Libya and how the US government used preemptive moves to undermine every hope for peaceful settlements in Iraq, Libya, and Syria.
Once again Washington has preempted any hope of peaceful settlement. By announcing the forthcoming attack, the US destroyed any incentive for the “rebels” to participate in the peace talks with the Syrian government. On the verge of these talks taking place, the “rebels” now have no incentive to participate as the West’s military is coming to their aid.
In his press conference Lavrov spoke of how the ruling parties in the US, UK, and France stir up emotions among poorly informed people that, once aroused, have to be satisfied by war. This, of course, is the way the US manipulated the public in order to attack Afghanistan and Iraq. But the American public is tired of the wars, the goal of which is never made clear, and has grown suspicious of the government’s justifications for more wars.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll finds that “Americans strongly oppose U.S. intervention in Syria’s civil war and believe Washington should stay out of the conflict even if reports that Syria’s government used deadly chemicals to attack civilians are confirmed.”http://news.yahoo.com/syria-war-escalates-americans-cool-u-intervention-reuters-003146054.html However, Obama could not care less that only 9 percent of the public supports his warmongering. As former president Jimmy Carter recently stated, “America has no functioning democracy.” http://rt.com/usa/carter-comment-nsa-snowden-261/ It has a police state in which the executive branch has placed itself above all law and the Constitution.
This police state is now going to commit yet another Nazi-style war crime of unprovoked aggression. At Nuremberg the Nazis were sentenced to death for precisely the identical actions being committed by Obama, Cameron, and Hollande. The West is banking on might, not right, to keep it out of the criminal dock.
The US, UK, and French governments have not explained why it matters whether people in the wars initiated by the West are killed by explosives made of depleted uranium or with chemical agents or any other weapon. It was obvious from the beginning that Obama was setting up the Syrian government for attack. Obama demonized chemical weapons–but not nuclear “bunker busters” that the US might use on Iran. Then Obama drew a red line, saying that the use of chemical weapons by the Syrians was such a great crime that the West would be obliged to attack Syria. Washington’s UK puppets, William Hague and Cameron, have just repeated this nonsensical claim. http://rt.com/news/uk-response-without-un-backing-979/ The final step in the frame-up was to orchestrate a chemical incident and blame the Syrian government.
What is the West’s real agenda? This is the unasked and unanswered question. Clearly, the US, UK, and French governments, which have displayed continuously their support for dictatorial regimes that serve their purposes, are not the least disturbed by dictatorships. They brand Assad a dictator as a means of demonizing him for the ill-informed Western masses. But Washington, UK, and France support any number of dictatorial regimes, such as the ones in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and now the military dictatorship in Egypt that is ruthlessly killing Egyptians without any Western government speaking of invading Egypt for “killing its own people.”
Clearly also, the forthcoming Western attack on Syria has nothing whatsoever to do with bringing “freedom and democracy” to Syria any more than freedom and democracy were reasons for the attacks on Iraq and Libya, neither of which gained any “freedom and democracy.”
The Western attack on Syria is unrelated to human rights, justice or any of the high sounding causes with which the West cloaks its criminality.
The Western media, and least of all the American presstitutes, never ask Obama, Cameron, or Hollande what the real agenda is. It is difficult to believe than any reporter is sufficiently stupid or gullible to believe that the agenda is bringing “freedom and democracy” to Syria or punishing Assad for allegedly using chemical weapons against murderous thugs trying to overthrow the Syrian government.
Of course, the question wouldn’t be answered if asked. But the act of asking it would help make the public aware that more is afoot than meets the eye. Originally, the excuse for Washington’s wars was to keep Americans safe from terrorists. Now Washington is endeavoring to turn Syria over to jihad terrorists by helping them to overthrow the secular, non-terrorist Assad government. What is the agenda behind Washington’s support of terrorism?
Perhaps the purpose of the wars is to radicalize Muslims and, thereby, destabilize Russia and even China. Russia has large populations of Muslims and is bordered by Muslim countries. Even China has some Muslim population. As radicalization spreads strife into the only two countries capable of being an obstacle to Washington’s world hegemony, Western media propaganda and the large number of US financed NGOs, posing as “human rights” organizations, can be counted on by Washington to demonize the Russian and Chinese governments for harsh measures against “rebels.”
Another advantage of the radicalization of Muslims is that it leaves former Muslim countries in long-term turmoil or civil wars, as is currently the case in Iraq and Libya, thus removing any organized state power from obstructing Israeli purposes.
Secretary of State John Kerry is working the phones using bribes and threats to build acceptance, if not support, for Washington’s war crime-in-the-making against Syria.
Washington is driving the world closer to nuclear war than it ever was even in the most dangerous periods of the Cold War. When Washington finishes with Syria, the next target is Iran. Russia and China will no longer be able to fool themselves that there is any system of international law or restraint on Western criminality. Western aggression is already forcing both countries to develop their strategic nuclear forces and to curtail the Western-financed NGOs that pose as “human rights organizations,” but in reality comprise a fifth column that Washington can use to destroy the legitimacy of the Russian and Chinese governments.
Russia and China have been extremely careless in their dealings with the United States. Essentially, the Russian political opposition is financed by Washington. Even the Chinese government is being undermined. When a US corporation opens a company in China, it creates a Chinese board on which are put relatives of the local political authorities. These boards create a conduit for payments that influence the decisions and loyalties of local and regional party members. The US has penetrated Chinese universities and intellectual attitudes. The Rockefeller University is active in China as is Rockefeller philanthropy. Dissenting voices are being created that are arrayed against the Chinese government. Demands for “liberalization” can resurrect regional and ethnic differences and undermine the cohesiveness of the national government.
Once Russia and China realize that they are riven with American fifth columns, isolated diplomatically, and outgunned militarily, nuclear weapons become the only guarantor of their sovereignty. This suggests that nuclear war is likely to terminate humanity well before humanity succumbs to global warming or rising national debts.
Source: Paul Craig Roberts
Translated from As-Safir (Lebanon)…
A diplomatic report about the “stormy meeting” in July between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan concluded that the region stretching from North Africa to Chechnya and from Iran to Syria — in other words, the entire Middle East — has come under the influence of an open US-Russian face-off and that “it is not unlikely that things [will] take a dramatic turn in Lebanon, in both the political and security senses, in light of the major Saudi decision to respond to Hezbollah’s involvement in the Syrian crisis.”
The report starts by presenting the conditions under which the Russian-Saudi meeting was convened. It states that Prince Bandar, in coordination with the Americans and some European partners, proposed to Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz that Bandar visit Moscow and employ the carrot-and-stick approach, which is used in most negotiators, and offer the Russian leadership political, economic, military and security enticements in return for concessions on several regional issues, in particular Syria and Iran.
King Abdullah agreed with the proposal and contacted President Putin on July 30. In a conversation that lasted only a few minutes, they agreed to Bandar’s visit and to keep it under wraps. Bandar arrived in Moscow. The visit was secret. The Saudi Embassy did not follow the usual protocol for Saudi officials visiting Russia.
In Moscow, a preliminary session was held at Russian military intelligence headquarters between Bandar and the director of Russian Military Intelligence, Gen. Igor Sergon. The meeting focused on security cooperation between the two countries. Bandar then visited Putin’s house on the outskirts of the Russian capital, where they held a closed-door bilateral meeting that lasted four hours. They discussed the agenda, which consisted of bilateral issues and a number of regional and international matters in which the two countries share interest.
At the bilateral level, Bandar relayed the Saudi king’s greetings to Putin and the king’s emphasis on the importance of developing the bilateral relationship. He also told Putin that the king would bless any understanding reached during the visit. Bandar also said, however, that “any understanding we reach in this meeting will not only be a Saudi-Russian understanding, but will also be an American-Russian understanding. I have spoken with the Americans before the visit, and they pledged to commit to any understandings that we may reach, especially if we agree on the approach to the Syrian issue.”
Bandar stressed the importance of developing relations between the two countries, saying that the logic of interests can reveal large areas of cooperation. He gave several examples in the economic, investment, oil and military arenas.
Bandar told Putin, “There are many common values and goals that bring us together, most notably the fight against terrorism and extremism all over the world. Russia, the US, the EU and the Saudis agree on promoting and consolidating international peace and security. The terrorist threat is growing in light of the phenomena spawned by the Arab Spring. We have lost some regimes. And what we got in return were terrorist experiences, as evidenced by the experience of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the extremist groups in Libya. … As an example, I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us, and they will not move in the Syrian territory’s direction without coordinating with us. These groups do not scare us. We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role or influence in Syria’s political future.”
Putin thanked King Abdullah for his greetings and Bandar for his exposition, but then he said to Bandar, “We know that you have supported the Chechen terrorist groups for a decade. And that support, which you have frankly talked about just now, is completely incompatible with the common objectives of fighting global terrorism that you mentioned. We are interested in developing friendly relations according to clear and strong principles.”
Bandar said that the matter is not limited to the kingdom and that some countries have overstepped the roles drawn for them, such as Qatar and Turkey. He added, “We said so directly to the Qataris and to the Turks. We rejected their unlimited support to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and elsewhere. The Turks’ role today has become similar to Pakistan’s role in the Afghan war. We do not favor extremist religious regimes, and we wish to establish moderate regimes in the region. It is worthwhile to pay attention to and to follow up on Egypt’s experience. We will continue to support the [Egyptian] army, and we will support Defense Minister Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi because he is keen on having good relations with us and with you. And we suggest to you to be in contact with him, to support him and to give all the conditions for the success of this experiment. We are ready to hold arms deals with you in exchange for supporting these regimes, especially Egypt.”
Economic and oil cooperation
Then Bandar discussed the potential cooperation between the two countries if an understanding could be reached on a number of issues, especially Syria. He discussed at length the matter of oil and investment cooperation, saying, “Let us examine how to put together a unified Russian-Saudi strategy on the subject of oil. The aim is to agree on the price of oil and production quantities that keep the price stable in global oil markets. … We understand Russia’s great interest in the oil and gas present in the Mediterranean Sea from Israel to Cyprus through Lebanon and Syria. And we understand the importance of the Russian gas pipeline to Europe. We are not interested in competing with that. We can cooperate in this area as well as in the areas of establishing refineries and petrochemical industries. The kingdom can provide large multi-billion-dollar investments in various fields in the Russian market. What’s important is to conclude political understandings on a number of issues, particularly Syria and Iran.”
Putin responded that the proposals about oil and gas, economic and investment cooperation deserve to be studied by the relevant ministries in both countries.
Bandar discussed the Syrian issue at length. He explained how the kingdom’s position had evolved on the Syrian crisis since the Daraa incident all the way to what is happening today. He said, “The Syrian regime is finished as far as we and the majority of the Syrian people are concerned. [The Syrian people] will not allow President Bashar al-Assad to remain at the helm. The key to the relations between our two countries starts by understanding our approach to the Syrian issue. So you have to stop giving [the Syrian regime] political support, especially at the UN Security Council, as well as military and economic support. And we guarantee you that Russia’s interests in Syria and on the Mediterranean coast will not be affected one bit. In the future, Syria will be ruled by a moderate and democratic regime that will be directly sponsored by us and that will have an interest in understanding Russia’s interests and role in the region.”
Russia’s intransigence is to Iran’s benefit
Bandar also presented Saudi Arabia’s views about Iran’s role in the region, especially in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Yemen, Bahrain and other countries. He said he hoped that the Russians would understand that Russia’s interests and the interests of the Gulf states are one in the face of Iranian greed and nuclear challenge.
Putin gave his country’s position on the Arab Spring developments, especially about what has happened in Libya, saying, “We are very concerned about Egypt. And we understand what the Egyptian army is doing. But we are very cautious in approaching what’s happening because we are afraid that things may slide toward an Egyptian civil war, which would be too costly for the Egyptians, the Arabs and the international community. I wanted to do a brief visit to Egypt. And the matter is still under discussion.”
Regarding Iran, Putin said to Bandar that Iran is a neighbor, that Russia and Iran are bound by relations that go back centuries, and that there are common and tangled interests between them. Putin said, “We support the Iranian quest to obtain nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes. And we helped them develop their facilities in this direction. Of course, we will resume negotiations with them as part of the 5P+1 group. I will meet with President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the Central Asia summit and we will discuss a lot of bilateral, regional and international issues. We will inform him that Russia is completely opposed to the UN Security Council imposing new sanctions on Iran. We believe that the sanctions imposed against Iran and Iranians are unfair and that we will not repeat the experience again.”
Erdogan to visit Moscow in September
Regarding the Turkish issue, Putin spoke of his friendship with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan; “Turkey is also a neighboring country with which we have common interests. We are keen to develop our relations in various fields. During the Russian-Turkish meeting, we scrutinized the issues on which we agree and disagree. We found out that we have more converging than diverging views. I have already informed the Turks, and I will reiterate my stance before my friend Erdogan, that what is happening in Syria necessitates a different approach on their part. Turkey will not be immune to Syria’s bloodbath. The Turks ought to be more eager to find a political settlement to the Syrian crisis. We are certain that the political settlement in Syria is inevitable, and therefore they ought to reduce the extent of damage. Our disagreement with them on the Syrian issue does not undermine other understandings between us at the level of economic and investment cooperation. We have recently informed them that we are ready to cooperate with them to build two nuclear reactors. This issue will be on the agenda of the Turkish prime minister during his visit to Moscow in September.”
Putin: Our stance on Assad will not change
Regarding the Syrian issue, the Russian president responded to Bandar, saying, “Our stance on Assad will never change. We believe that the Syrian regime is the best speaker on behalf of the Syrian people, and not those liver eaters. During the Geneva I Conference, we agreed with the Americans on a package of understandings, and they agreed that the Syrian regime will be part of any settlement. Later on, they decided to renege on Geneva I. In all meetings of Russian and American experts, we reiterated our position. In his upcoming meeting with his American counterpart John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will stress the importance of making every possible effort to rapidly reach a political settlement to the Syrian crisis so as to prevent further bloodshed.”
As soon as Putin finished his speech, Prince Bandar warned that in light of the course of the talks, things were likely to intensify, especially in the Syrian arena, although he appreciated the Russians’ understanding of Saudi Arabia’s position on Egypt and their readiness to support the Egyptian army despite their fears for Egypt’s future.
The head of the Saudi intelligence services said that the dispute over the approach to the Syrian issue leads to the conclusion that “there is no escape from the military option, because it is the only currently available choice given that the political settlement ended in stalemate. We believe that the Geneva II Conference will be very difficult in light of this raging situation.”
At the end of the meeting, the Russian and Saudi sides agreed to continue talks, provided that the current meeting remained under wraps. This was before one of the two sides leaked it via the Russian press.
Even after seven years of writing macroeconomic analysis for the liberty movement and bearing witness to astonishing displays of financial and political stupidity by more “skeptics” than I can count, it never ceases to amaze me the amount of blind faith average Americans place in the strength of the U.S. dollar. One could explain in vast categorical detail the history of fiat currencies, the inevitable destruction caused by inflationary printing and the conundrum caused when any country decides to monetize its own debt just to stay afloat — often, to no avail.
Bank bailouts, mortgage company bailouts, Treasury bond bailouts, stock market bailouts, bailouts of foreign institutions: None of this seems to faze the gibbering bobbleheaded followers of the Federal Reserve cult. Logic and reason and wisdom bounce like whiffle balls off their thick skulls. They simply parrot one of two painfully predictable arguments:
- Argument No. 1: There is no way foreign countries will ever dump the U.S. dollar because they are so dependent on American consumers to buy their export goods.
- Argument No. 2: There is no way the dollar’s value will ever collapse because it is the dominant petro-currency, and the entire world needs dollars to purchase oil.
I have written literally hundreds of articles over the years dismantling the first argument, pointing out undeniable signals that include:
- China’s subtle dumping of the dollar — using bilateral trade agreements with other developing nations and, more recently, major economic powers like Germany and Japan
- The massive gold-buying spree undertaken by China and Russia — even in the face of extreme market manipulation by JPMorgan Chase and Co. and CME Group Inc.
- The dumping of long-term U.S. Treasuries by foreign creditors in exchange for short-term Treasuries that can be liquidated at a moment’s notice.
- The fact that bonds now are supported almost entirely by Fed stimulus. When the stimulus ends, America’s ability to honor foreign debts will end and faith in the dollar will crumble.
- Blatant statements by the International Monetary Fund calling for the end of the dollar’s world reserve status and the institution of special drawing rights (SDRs) as a replacement.
The second argument held weight for a short time, only because the political trends in the Mideast had not yet caught up to the financial reality already underway. Today, this is quickly changing. The petrodollar’s status is dependent on a great number of factors remaining in perfect alignment, socially, politically and economically. If a single element were to fall out of place, oil markets would explode with inflation in prices, influencing the rest of the world to abandon the greenback. Here are just a few of the primary catalysts and why they are an early warning of the inevitable death of the petrodollar.
Egyptian Civil War
She asked why I had waited until this year to make the prediction and why I had not called for such an event after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, as many mainstream pundits had. The question bears merit. Why didn’t Egypt ignite with violent widespread internal conflict after Mubarak was deposed? It seemed perfectly plausible, yet the mainstream got the timing (and the reasons) horribly wrong.
My response was simple: The Mideast is being manipulated by elitist organizations towards instability, and this instability is a process. The engineered Arab Spring, I believe, is not so much about the Mideast as it is about the structure of the global economy. An energy crisis would be an effective tool in changing this structure. Collapse in the Mideast would provide perfect opportunity and cover for a grand shift in the global paradigm. However, each political step requires aid from a correct economic atmosphere, and vice versa.
If you want to identify a possible trend within a society, you have to take outside manipulation into account. You have to look at how economic events work in tandem with political events and at how these events benefit globalization as a whole. The time was not right after Mubarak’s overthrow. The mainstream media jumped the gun. If the target is the U.S. dollar and Egypt is the distraction, this year presented perfect opportunity with the now obvious failure of quantitative easing stimulus being exposed.
As the situation stands, the Egyptian military regime that overthrew Mohammed Morsi has completely cut the Muslim Brotherhood out of the political process and murdered at least 450 protesters, including prisoners already in custody.
Morsi supporters have responded by torching government buildings and shooting police personnel. But the real fighting will likely begin soon, as the current government calls for a ban on the Muslim Brotherhood itself. Simultaneously, hatred for the United States and its continued support of the Egyptian power base — regardless of who sits on the throne — is growing to a fever pitch throughout the region. This is not healthy for the life of the petrodollar in the long run.
It is important for Americans to understand when examining Egypt that this is not about taking sides. The issue here is that circumstances are nearly perfect for war and that such a war will spread and will greatly damage oil markets. The Suez Canal accounts for nearly 8 percent of the world’s ocean trade, and 4.5 million barrels of oil per day travel the corridor. Already, oil prices have surged due to the mere threat of disruption of the Suez (as I predicted). And this time, the nation is not going to recover. A drawn-out conflict is certain, given the nature of the military coup in place and the adamant opposition of the Muslim population.
Strangely, there are still some in the mainstream arguing that the Suez will “never close” because “it is too important to the Egyptian economy,” The importance of the Suez to the Egyptian government is irrelevant in the midst of all-out revolution. The Suez will close exactly because there will be no structure left to keep the canal open. In the meantime, oil prices will continue to rise and distrust of the United States will continue to fester.
Saudi Arabia Next?
The relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia is at once symbiotic and parasitic, depending on how one looks at the situation. The very first oil exploration and extraction deal in Saudi Arabia was sought by the vast international oil cartels of Royal Dutch Shell, Near East Development Company, Anglo-Persian, etc., but eventually fell into the hands of none other than the Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company. The dark history of Standard Oil aside, this meant that Saudi business would be handled primarily by American interests. And the Western thirst for oil, especially after World War I, would etch our relationship with the reigning monarchy in stone.
A founding member of OPEC, Saudi Arabia was one of the few primary oil-producing nations that maintained an oil pipeline that expedited processing and bypassed the Suez Canal. (The pipeline was shut down, however, in 1983). This allowed Standard Oil and the United States to tiptoe around the internal instability of Egypt, which had experienced ongoing conflict which finally culminated in the civil war of 1952. Considered puppets of the British Empire at the time, the ruling elites of Egypt were toppled by the Muslim Brotherhood, leading to the eventual demise of the British pound sterling as the top petro-currency and the world reserve. The British economy faltered and has never since returned to its former glory.
On the surface, Saudi Arabia seems to have avoided the effects of the Arab Spring climate, but all is not as it seems. The defection of Saudi Prince Khalid Bin Farhan Al-Saud has brought up startling questions as to the true state of the oil producing giant.
I believe this defection is only the beginning of Saudi Arabia’s troubles and that America’s largest oil partner is soon to witness domestic turmoil that will disrupt oil shipments around the world. America’s support for a monarchy that is so brutal to its population will only hasten the end of the dollar’s use in global oil trade, especially if these puppet regimes are toppled.
For those who doubt that Saudi Arabia is in line for social breakdown, I would ask why the nation felt it necessary to pump billions of dollars into the new Egyptian military junta.
While the country is surely being used in some cases as a proxy by the West, the Saudi government itself is fearful that success of dissenting elements will spread to its own borders. Little do they understand that this is part of the globalist game plan. Without control over Saudi petroleum, the United States loses its last influential foothold in the oil market, and there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the dollar will fall as the petro-currency soon after. The desperation caused by such an energy crisis will make international markets beg for a solution, which global banking cartels led by the IMF are more than happy to give.
Iranian Wild Card
The U.S. government’s outright creation of the Syrian insurgency and its funding and armament of al-Qaida agents have understandably angered numerous Mideast nations, including Iran. Iran sits on the most vital oil shipping lane in the world: the Strait of Hormuz. About 20 percent of the world’s annual oil exports are shipped through Hormuz, and the narrow inlet is incredibly easy to block using nothing but deliberately sunken freighters. In fact, this tactic is exactly what Iran has been training for in order to frustrate a U.S./Israeli invasion.
A U.S. or NATO presence on the ground or in the air above Syria, Egypt or Iran will most likely result in the closure of the Strait of Hormuz, causing sharp rises in gasoline costs that Americans cannot afford.
Russia/China Oil Deal
Finally, just as most bilateral trade deals removing the dollar as world reserve have gone ignored by the mainstream media, so has the latest sizable oil deal between Russia and China. Russia has been contracted by the Chinese to supply 25 years of petroleum, and this deal follows previously established bilateral guidelines — meaning the dollar will not be used by the Chinese to purchase this oil.
I expect that this is just the beginning of a chain reaction of oil deals shunning the dollar as the primary trade mechanism. These deals will accelerate as the Mideast sees more internal strife and as the popular distaste for the United States becomes a liability for anyone in power.
The Dollar Is A Paper Tiger
Some might argue that oil discoveries in the Midwestern U.S. could be used to counter the disruption of oil pipelines in the Middle East, and certainly, there is much untapped oil in America. However, to claim that this oil would somehow negate a crisis is naive, primarily because oil supply is not the ultimate issue; the dollar’s petro-status IS the ultimate issue. That status is dangerously reliant on the continued stability of Western friendly regimes in the East. We can produce all the oil we want within our own borders, but if the dollar loses global standing as the world reserve, we will STILL see a massive debasement of our currency’s value, we will still see collapse, and I guarantee, most of our domestic oil will end up being exported as payment to foreign creditors just to satisfy outstanding debts.
The dollar is no more invincible than any other fiat currency in history. In some ways, it is actually far weaker than any that came before. The dollar is entirely reliant on its own world reserve status in order to hold its value on the global market. As is evident, countries like China are already dumping the greenback in trade with particular nations. It is utterly foolish to assume this trend is somehow “random” rather than deliberate. Foreign countries would not be initiating the process of a dollar dump today if they did not mean to follow through with it tomorrow. All that is left is for a cover crisis to be conjured. Existing tensions in the Mideast signal a pervasive crisis, most likely an energy crisis, in the near term.
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
In times of crisis people strive for easy answers to complex situations. In Egypt this has resulted in absurdly digestible sound bites, where one side is labeled “good”(the Muslim Brotherhood), the other “bad” (the army), and the revolution as a whole is condemned as an atrocity. But the situation in Egypt is especially contradictory, and untying the social-political knots of the revolution requires avoiding pre-packaged catchphrases.
Contrary to the claims of many, reports of the revolution’s death are greatly exaggerated. Those who predict that Egypt will inevitably enter a long period of military dictatorship forget that the Egyptian revolution destroyed such a dictatorship in 2011, and helped topple Morsi’s authoritarian government in July. The people in Egypt have not been cowed into submission, they are still in the streets, unafraid, consciously aware of their power. The Egyptian military is very aware of this fact, as their actions testify.
Although it’s a tragedy that innocent people have been killed, it’s also true that the Muslim Brotherhood represents not the revolution, but its adversary. Especially confusing is that another opponent of the revolution — the military generals — are leading the attack against the Brotherhood, which raises the question: why would one enemy of the revolution be attacking another?
The current, bizarre-seeming situation in Egypt is actually common in the history of revolutions, having started in the modern era with Napoleon Bonaparte, who, during the French Revolution, consolidated his power by aligning with certain social classes against rival sections, and switching allegiances when necessary to offset the power of his former allies, until all political rivals were weakened, allowing him and his army to act as arbitrator and ruler.
This now common feature of revolutions is often referred to as “Bonapartism” in honor of its founder and is a reflection of society in revolutionary upheaval, where different social classes are powerfully asserting themselves, though unable to out-power their adversaries, allowing the military to act as the Bonapartist “arbitrator.”
Bonapartism is also a sign of the political weakness of the military, which is not able to rule without aligning with certain segments of the population (this is why the Egyptian generals recently asked for mobilizations to signal “permission” to put down the Brotherhood’s civil disobedience actions, essentially using Egypt’s political left against the political right).
Bonapartism has been practiced by military dictatorships since Napoleon. In fact, Egypt’s popular military President Gamal Abdul Nasser — who instituted many progressive measures in Egypt — was himself a classic Bonapartist, though one who uncharacteristically leaned left.
For example, after surviving an assassination attempt from the Muslim Brotherhood, Nasser used the military to destroy the Brotherhood, while enjoying support from the political left in Egypt due to his progressive policies. After dealing with the Brotherhood, Nasser consolidated his power against the growing revolutionary left, by attacking both the communist party and trade unions. This political balancing act between political left and right is the hallmark of Bonapartism.
Nasser’s successor, Sadat, also used a Bonapartist strategy when he invited the Muslim Brotherhood back into Egypt to use as a right wing political battering ram against the Egyptian left. Sadat needed the Brotherhood as a political prop to help him reverse the progressive policies implemented under Nasser.
Mubarak, too, used the Brotherhood in this fashion, for the same reasons as Sadat. It’s true that both Mubarak and Sadat used aggressive measures against the Brotherhood at times, but they both allowed the group greater freedom for political organization than any other group, since the Brotherhood was a politically perfect compliment to the president’s right-wing, neo-liberal policies.
This pro-Brotherhood favoritism led to the situation where, after the fall of Mubarak, the Brotherhood was virtually the only organized political force in Egypt. After being dragged into the revolution kicking and screaming by their youth wing, the Brotherhood then opportunistically took power, while sharing none of the goals or vision of the revolutionaries.
One common way that commentators have been confusing the situation in Egypt is by portraying the Muslim Brotherhood as Ghandian revolutionaries striving to restore democracy. But in the same breath these analysts say, correctly, “God forbid” if the Brotherhood is allowed to implement their vision of a fundamentalist Islamic State in Egypt, since doing so would automatically reduce the liberties of women, non-fundamentalist Muslims, and religious minorities.
Yet another common mistake in assessing Egypt is to portray the conflict as secularists against Muslims. The Muslim Brotherhood does not have a monopoly over Islam in Egypt. Out of the millions of people who demanded the ouster of Morsi on June 30th, the vast majority of them were Muslims of the Sunni variety, just like the Muslim Brotherhood. But the Brotherhood’s fundamentalist version of Sunni Islam remains a minority opinion among Egypt’s Sunni majority.
A further flaw in analyzing current events in Egypt lies in forgetting how the situation developed, which requires that we delve into the not-too-distant past of June 30th, when millions of Egyptians demanded the departure of then-President Morsi. These massive demonstrations were obviously at least as large as the ones that toppled Mubarak, yet the Muslim Brotherhood failed to get the message, and have attempted to use militant civil disobedience in order to reinstate the unquestionably unpopular Morsi.
The military moved against the Brotherhood because they believed, correctly, that the majority of the population was behind them and against the Brotherhood, as evidenced by the much larger demonstrations that responded to the call of the military, not to mention mountains of other evidence documenting that opinion in working class Cairo neighborhoods has turned against the Muslim Brotherhood.
And although there are many who simply dismiss the June 30th demonstration of millions as a “conspiracy,” it’s impossible to force people to attend demonstrations with one united demand, “Morsi must go,” if they don’t want to be there. Many “pro-conspiracy” analysts simply seem not to understand the profound political significance of demonstrations of that size, as if they’re somehow common and not symptoms of a powerful revolution.
It’s true that the Egyptian generals — not to mention plotting foreign countries — are trying to implement their own agenda throughout the crisis, which always entails some conspiratorial maneuvering, but the demands of June 30th made it very clear where Egyptians stand on the issue: they spoke with their own voice.
Although the majority of Egyptians are now anti-Muslim Brotherhood, the military’s recent actions create new problems for Egypt’s revolutionaries. The power of the Brotherhood will be shattered, but the power of the military will be enhanced. To prevent the generals from abusing their power against the Egyptian working class, revolutionaries need to quickly plan a way to protect themselves while furthering the demands of the revolution.
Because the Egyptian left remains insufficiently organized, they must utilize the political strategy of the United Front, which unites broad sections of the population behind a limited number of popular demands. By doing this, the military generals will be powerless in the face of a united mass movement that is putting forth a positive program, as opposed to the current dynamic that is united around what Egyptians reject. A united front mass movement will win the hearts and minds of the rank-and-file Egyptian soldier, while also preventing the Brotherhood’s fundamentalism from gaining a fresh batch of recruits.
In Egypt the most immediate needs of the population — bread, jobs, social services, etc. — are the demands that continue to fuel the revolution and be the most uniting. If the political left put forth a plan using revolutionary methods to achieve these demands — reversing the privatizations, raising the tax rates on the wealthy, public works for employment, etc. — then the broader Egyptian working class would rally to achieve these goals, some of which were realized under President Nasser and reversed by Sadat and Mubarak.
The Egyptian revolution does not have years to solve these problems; the economy of Egypt is facing catastrophe, and drastic action must be taken immediately. This is one of the reasons Morsi was ejected from power: he thought he could continue the Mubarak attitude of doing nothing substantial for the majority of the population, half of which lives in abject poverty and the other half scrambling madly to avoid such a fate.
The higher expectations and new hopes inspired by the revolution must be accompanied by bold revolutionary actions capable of achieving these new expectations. Politics as usual is a thing of the past in Egypt. The revolution can avoid the fate of entrenched Bonapartism only if it is unequivocally aimed at addressing the pressing basic economic needs of the vast majority of the Egyptian population.
The really important news from Egypt is not the “martyrdom” of some hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters and underage human shields set up for sacrifice by their leaders. It is not the brutality of the security forces fighting the emergence of a Khalifate within the state. It is the targeting of dozens of Christian churches, institutions and individuals all over Egypt by the MB, instigated by the leaders and eagerly carried out by the rank-and-file.
The Brotherhood has finally shown its terrorist character (a host of Western news editors excusing and implicitly justifying its acts as “reprisal attacks” notwithstanding). Attacking the helpless infidel has always been the essence of the MB’s scriptural sources of inspiration, the record of its predecessors through history, and the practice of its contemporary peers. As assorted jihadists fight Assad in Syria, the Christians suffer the most by far proportionate to their numbers. In Libya there were no Christians left after Gaddafy’s fall, so several Allied war cemeteries were vandalized. In Iraq, Saddam’s pious Shiite successors and their Sunni foes have effectively destroyed the two-million-strong Christian community, one of the oldest in the world.
At least the “Bulgarian Massacres” of 1878 and the Turkish genocide of a million-plus Armenians in 1915 and thereafter had a grim logic to it, following the Russian victories at Plevna and in the Caucasus respectively. The logic of the Brotherhood’s assault on Egypt’s Christians is to be found in chapter 9, verse 5, of the Kuran and in the example set by Muhammad and his early successors, the four “rightly guided” khalifs. That logic outweighs the pragmatic need not to dissipate forces and not to lose foreign support—not that the West cares. Had a Christian mob put to torch fifty-plus mosques and Islamic centers in Russia, say, that would have been the MSM lead story for days and weeks, never mind the dead. But the persecution, violence and bloodshed that is the daily lot of Christians in most majority-Muslim countries is under-reported or else grotesquely misrepresented.
As Wael Nawara, a former fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School, pointed out in an excellent article last Wednesday, the question is not “Why was it so necessary to clear the sit-ins fully knowing that the blood toll was to be high,” but rather, “If it’s not too important, why did the Muslim Brothers’ react by setting the whole country on fire?” For six weeks, Nawara explains, the Rabia al-Adawiya encampment gradually expanded its borders, creeping to claim mile after mile of neighboring streets, including the highway which connects much of Cairo to the airport. The “sit-in” gradually morphed into a sprawling, fortified city-state with its own police force, complete with torture chambers and border guards. It came to manifest the MB’s “Parallel State,” and its conflict with the state of Egypt has now reached an existential phase “where for one to survive, the other had to go, at least ideologically and organizationally:
Over the past two and half years of the Egyptian revolution, several sit-ins were dispersed in Tahrir and other squares, with very few casualties, if any. It was never a big deal. But this was not just a sit-in, this was the flashpoint in an 85-year conflict between two states, the Muslim Brotherhood’s with its promised Caliphate state and the Egyptian national state, the oldest state history has known. Political factions can negotiate and split seats of power; people from different races, faiths and walks of life can coexist, but two states trying to govern the same people on the same piece of land cannot be together. This is the nature of the conflict now in Egypt and this is one explanation why the Brotherhood fights this battle as if it was Armageddon.
Three weeks ago Secretary of State John Kerry declared that the Egyptian army did not carry out a coup on July 3 but was only “restoring democracy.” (He retracted it with some waffle a day later.) That is nonsense. There had never been any democracy in Egypt so there is nothing to restore. The Muslim Brotherhood in general—as manifested by Morsi’s year in power—and its assault on the dwindling Coptic community in particular, are the living testimonial to the incompatibility of Islam with democracy as it is commonly understood in the postmodern West.
It cannot be otherwise. As Pope Benedict XVI said in his now famous lecture at the University of Regensburg six years ago, not to act reasonably—not to act with logos—is contrary to the nature of God. For a Muslim, God is absolutely transcendent, however; his will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality. Indeed, it is impossible to have total transcendence and self-limitation at the same time. Logos cannot be assumed in a supreme being that is so transcendent as to be devoid of personality. As then-Cardinal Josef Ratzinger wrote in 1979, “the unrelated, unrelatable, absolutely one could not be a person. There is no such thing as a person in the categorical singular.” The result is a moral philosophy and a legal code that excludes the possibility of judgment based on any other source of authority but itself: the letter of revealed law and the precedent. Analogies thus derived stand above reason, conscience, or nature. A Muslim knows that a thing is right or not simply because Allah says so, or because his prophet has thus said or done. No other standard can be invoked.
The political consequences are crucial for all societies that derive their concept of authority from this image. Any notion of politics distinct from that implicit in complete submission to Allah is forbidden and sinful. A polity not based on Sharia is infidel ab initio; the notion of a society not based on the revealed will of Allah is haram. Any Western concept of justice, prudence, equality, or individual freedom—either Christian or derived from some deist-atheist construct—is incompatible with Islam. For Muslims to live together as sovereign individuals—the hallmark of today’s West—is literally unimaginable. It is beyond incompatible with the ideal of ummah, it is its diametrical opposite. The sovereignty of the individual is inconceivable. In his 1970 Islamic Declaration the Bosnian jihadist leader Alija Izetbegovic wrote that “A Muslim generally does not exist as an individual. If he wishes to live and survive as a Muslim, he must create an environment, a community, an order; change the world or be changed himself.”
The sovereignty of the people was accepted by the Muslim Brotherhood as a perfect tool to other ends—a step on the irreversible road to Sharia—but it was always seen by Morsi and his ilk as a sinful rebellion against the sovereignty of Allah. Hence their contempt and arrogance, hence their sophistry and duplicity. Only Allah creates our acts and enables us to act, not constitutions and assemblies and courts, which can and should be manipulated and twisted to suit his will.
The result goes beyond politics. An ikhwani a priori has no capacity for logical thought. Disjointed discourse is the norm. Conspiracy theorizing passes for serious discussion. This is the result of the theological and philosophical foundations of mainstream Sunnite Islam, as they were developed in the ninth and tenth centuries. They were tantamount to an “intellectual suicide” which remains at the root of the problem to this day. Since Allah is Pure Will, outside and above reason or nature. Literally everything is possible in a world in which there is no cause and effect, where man’s thoughts and actions are subsidiary and contingent, and Allah is the only actor.
For a self-confident West of yore, confronting such confused civilization would be a breeze. “Democracy” has changed the West, however, and the rot is proceeding apace. Roger Scruton thus finds the essence of the West in what he calls the “personal state,” which he approvingly describes as characterized by constitution, rule of law, and rotation of office-holders. As I noted last fall, such “society of individuals” is the bane of the West, the poison at its core. However defined, it is also incompatible with Islam. At one level the problem is Sharia. Its key concepts are “blasphemy” and “apostasy,” both incurring the death penalty. The whole edifice is based on the basic inequality between Muslims and non-Muslims, men and women, free men and slaves.
More fundamentally, Western-style democracy—Scruton’s Personal State—is impossible in the Muslim world because the affairs of men do not belong to men in the universe not governed by natural laws. In this universe, “democracy” is reduced to the act of voting, on the one-way street to Sharia. It is an advanced form of mob rule. “Creation is not imprinted with reason,” Robert Reilly noted of Islamic voluntarism in The Closing of the Muslim Mind, and therefore cannot reflect what is not there. There is no rational order, there are only the second-to-second manifestation of God’s Will. By contrast, “democracy” presupposes an ordered universe, a Cosmos, with a detached clock-maker or an impersonal set of natural circumstances as its spiritus movens, with Man’s self-validating reason as the final check and balance.
The gap between these two Weltanschauungen is unbridgeable. An orthodox Muslim will see each act in itself as fitting an occasion rather than as a link in a chain of cause and consequence. It is blasphemous to assert that Sun will rise in the east tomorrow morning, without adding “insh’Allah!” There is no logos, no law, no freedom separate from His divine caprice. Submitting, and touching the carpet in the direction of Mecca, is the only freedom possible.
The implications are dire. On the one side the “democratic” West has divorced reason from faith and subsequently sank into moral, cultural and demographic self-destruction resulting from its embrace of an unnatural and unworkable political creed. Western decrepitude is allowing the Brotherhood and its ilk to continue divorcing faith from reason with centuries-long gusto. They are impervious now, and will always be, to the concept of democracy based on the tenet of individual freedom. In addition to demography and fanaticism, this immunity is their greatest asset in its expectation of a victory of world-historical proportions some time later this century.
The Egyptian generals sense that this world would be unpleasant in general, and dangerously uncertain for themselves personally. They have much more at stake than The New York Times editorialists and American politicians. Hence the Brotherhood’s comeuppance, well deserved and long overdue. May the state of emergency in Egypt last for another thirty years.
On July 3, President Mohamed Morsi was ousted. Coup authority replaced him. It did illegitimately. His supporters want him reinstated. They’ve been camped out in Cairo for weeks. SCAF threatened to roust them.
Tensions remained high. Morsi supporters have been repeatedly attacked. Hundreds died earlier. Many others were injured. Scores are imprisoned. Arrests follow regularly.
Ahead of Wednesday’s action, Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said:
“Law and order has to be in place, and people need to have access to their homes and work and so on.”
“Ultimately, this situation has to be resolved very soon.” He claimed efforts to end sit-ins would be “consistent with the law.” He lied saying so. More on that below.
Interim President Adly Mansour convened an emergency National Security Council meeting. Top SCAF and civilian officials attended.
Crackdowns were planned. Muslim Brotherhood officials urged Morsi supporters to join sit-ins. They called on Egyptian security forces to remain nonviolent, saying:
“We remind our sons and brothers from the great Egyptian army and the men of the Interior Ministry to not attack their peaceful brothers or besiege them or shed their blood.”
Morsi’s under house arrest. He’s at an unknown location. State agency Mena said he’s charged with conspiring with Hamas, killing prisoners and officers “deliberately with prior intent,” kidnapping officers and soldiers, spying, attacking public buildings, and setting fire to Wadi el-Natroun prison.
It claimed doing so helped him escape. During 2011 anti-Mubarak protests, he and other Muslim Brotherhood members were arrested and detained. Morsi said local residents freed them.
Ahead of Wednesday’s crackdown, SCAF threatened to “turn its guns” on pro-Morsi supporters, saying:
“We will not initiate any move, but will definitely react harshly against any calls for violence or black terrorism from Brotherhood leaders or their supporters.”
Its officials warned of civil war. What follows Wednesday’s crackdown remains to be seen.
On August 14, AP headlined “Egypt police storm 2 Pro-Morsi Camps in Cairo,” saying:
“Egyptian security forces, backed by armored cars and bulldozers, swept in Wednesday to clear two sit-in camps of supporters of the country’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi, showering protesters with tear gas as the sound of gunfire rang out at both sites.”
Numbers killed and injured aren’t confirmed. Muslim Brotherhood (MB) spokesman Walid Al-Haddad said 600. Another 9,000 were wounded, he added. Scores were arrested.
Another MB spokesman, Gehad El-Haddad claimed up to 2,000 killed and 10,000 injured. Intensive gunfire was heard. Official reports downplay numbers. Bodies were taken to makeshift morgues.
Senior MB leader Mohammed el-Beltagy estimated 300 deaths. He called on police and military forces to rebel. He urged Egyptians to protest publicly, saying:
“Oh, Egyptian people, your brothers are in the square. Are you going to remain silent until the genocide is completed?”
Hours later he was arrested. Witnesses said security forces used live fire on Morsi supporters. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton’s spokesman, Michael Mann, said:
“The reports of deaths and injuries are extremely worrying. We reiterate that violence won’t lead to any solution, and we urge the Egyptian authorities to proceed with utmost restraint.”
Most EU countries are NATO members. Belligerence and other forms of violence are official policy. Ashton’s concern for Egyptian lives lacks credibility.
She, other EU leaders and Washington don’t give a damn about SCAF ruthlessness. They care plenty about it making world headlines.
They want reports of state-sponsored violence suppressed. They want business as usual continued. They want it out of sight and mind abroad.
They want Israeli interests addressed. They include destroying Gaza’s tunnel economy, keeping Rafah crossing closed, and joint IDF/SCAF attacks on Sinai-based pro-Morsi Islamists.
Days earlier, SCAF promised to roust Morsi supporters. Around 7AM, they acted. Clashes occurred in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, Aswan, Assiut, Minya, and other cities nationwide.
By mid-morning, state television said security forces finished breaking up Cairo sit-ins. Bulldozers began clearing makeshift camps.
Major roads into Cairo are blocked. Railway authority officials said trains in and out of the city were stopped. So are others serving major cities nationwide. It’s “for security reasons to prevent people from mobilizing,” they said.
Egypt’s Interior Ministry said security forces have “total control” over Nahda Square. “Police forces removed most tents.”
Access to the area was blocked. Egypt’s major state daily Al Ahram said the interim government warned “it would react sternly to acts of sabotage and attacks against state institutions.”
An official statement said:
“In accordance with government instructions to take necessary measures towards the sit-ins at Rabaa Al-Adawiya and Nahda, and for the safety of the country, security forces started taking measures to disperse the sit-ins early Wednesday.”
“The government insists on moving forward with the future roadmap in a way that guarantees that no faction will be excluded from participating in the political process which will achieve a democratic transition.”
It bears repeating. Egypt’s no democracy. Junta power rules. Appointed President Adly Mansour and other interim officials serve at its pleasure.
Events are fast moving. Egypt’s central bank ordered commercial banks to close branches in conflict areas. Some had power shut off.
The Ministry of Antiquities ordered Giza Pyramids closed to visitors. Cairo’s Egyptian museum was closed. MB officials are charged with inciting violence and/or conspiring to kill protesters.
MB’s London office said:
“The world cannot sit back and watch while innocent men, women and children are being indiscriminately slaughtered. The world must stand up to the military junta’s crime before it is too late.”
Egypt’s a tinderbox. Cairo’s a virtual war zone. Ousting Morsi along with unaddressed major grievances has millions nationwide enraged.
Blaming victims is policy. Egypt’s government made baseless accusations, saying:
“The government holds (MB) leaders fully responsible for any spilt blood, and for all the rioting and violence going on.”
Egypt’s Interior Ministry claimed it intercepted phone calls calling on supporters to attack police stations. Planned assaults were foiled, it added.
MB officials were arrested. Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayeb urged restraint. He did so on state television. He opposed Morsi. He backed his ouster. He comments lack credibility.
Clashes erupted across Egypt. Minya, Assiut and Sohag Christian Coptic Churches were torched.
In Bani Suef south of Cairo, police cars were set ablaze. Clashes threaten to continue.
Interim President Mansour said diplomacy ended. SCAF gloves are off. Egyptian security forces are notoriously hardline.
Ahead of Wednesday’s crackdown, Robert Fisk asked:
“Why does the Egyptian crisis appear so simple to our political leaders yet so complicated when you actually turn up in Cairo?”
State media create “fantasies.” They claim SCAF “follow(ed) the will of the people” ousting Morsi. They exaggerated opposition crowds. They called them “the largest political demonstration(s) in history.”
Numbers reported suggested over half the adult working age population turned out. Unlike early 2011, “the country kept running.”
John Kerry claimed SCAF intervened to restore democracy. “Thank God for the Egyptian army,” Fisk added. He did so with tongue in cheek.
Le Monde’s Alain Gresh headlined his latest article “Shadow of the army over Egypt’s revolution,” saying:
The Muslim Brotherhood “faced a destabilisation campaign by the former regime, with the dissolution of the elected parliament, the police refusing to maintain public order and protect its premises (significantly the interior minister was reinstated in office after 30 June), and the courts acquitting former Mubarak officials.”
Media pluralism didn’t follow Morsi’s ouster, said Gresh. Some TV stations were banned. Journalists were arrested.
Ruling officials are hostile to critical foreign media. Interim leaders maintain “a ministry of information.” Doing so’s not a good sign.
State media ignore pro-Morsi demonstrations. Hundreds of thousands participate nationwide.
“A textbook example is the coverage of the repression of a sit-in organised by the Brotherhood on 8 July outside the headquarters of the Republican Guard, during which at least 50 people were killed,” said Gresh.
“Army spokesman Colonel Ahmed Mohammed Ali told the Associated Press: ‘What excessive force? It would have been excessive if we killed 300.’ ”
“The English-language website Madamasr has posted damning witness statements, especially one by a cameraman working for an opposition television station, which showed images of soldiers shooting at the crowd, for no reason.”
Interim President Mansour has links to the Mubarak regime and Saudi Arabia. He worked there for over a decade.
He published a constitutional declaration. It gives him full executive and legislative powers for six months. It does so ahead of elections.
Egypt’s government is dominated by neoliberal hardliners. They force-feed austerity on millions of poor people. They have added pain in mind. Doing so risks turning a tinderbox into a raging inferno.
Observers wonder “whether Egypt will ever see pluralist elections again, now that its first democratically elected president has been overthrown,” said Gresh.
Mansour and other interim officials remain silent about MB repression. Ignoring it means support.
Mohamed ElBaradei’s an apparent exception. He resigned saying:
“(T)he beneficiaries of what happened today are those who call for violence, terrorism and the most extreme groups.”
“It has become difficult for me to continue bearing responsibility for decisions that I do not agree with and whose consequences I fear. I cannot bear the responsibility for one drop of blood.”
ElBaradei wants to be Egypt’s president. Perhaps he believes resigning now makes it possible later. Allying with state-sponsored repression assures rejection.
Gresh wonders what’s next for Egypt. “How long will it be before people are put on trial for having demanded Mubarak’s resignation in 2011,” he asked?
“Perhaps the aim is to provoke the Brotherhood into resorting to violence, so as to allow a reinstatement of the state of emergency in the name of the war on terror.”
“Or the excuse may be the instability of the Sinai region, which predates Morsi.”
All sides vying for power and influence must “learn from their failures.” They must “abandon their secretive culture.”
Shutting MB and other Islamists out risks “pushing them on to a radical path that could cost Egypt dear(ly),” Gresh concluded.
On Wednesday, a state of emergency was declared. Martial law’s in effect. Major city 7:00PM – 6:00AM curfews were imposed. It’s effective until further notice.
MB supporters won’t back down. They pledged to die rather than quit. One Morsi protester perhaps spoke for others, saying:
“We don’t care about death. We believe in one thing. When your time to die comes, you will die.”
“So will you die as a courageous martyr, or as a coward? That’s the point: we want to die as martyrs.”
They want Morsi reinstitated. Civil war’s possible follow. MB spokesman Gehad El-Haddad twittered:
“8 hours of mass killings & not a single sane person in Egypt or in world 2 stop this!! Over 2,000 killed and & over 10,000 injured & world watches.”
Egypt’s a virtual war zone. Anything ahead is possible.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Obama didn’t initiate conflict to end it. At issue now is what’s next. Insurgent invaders are no match for Syria’s superior military. Guerrilla fighting can continue interminably.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned about America embroiled “in a significant, lengthy, and uncertain commitment.”
Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey said:
“Once we take action, we should be prepared for what comes next. Deeper involvement is hard to avoid.”
At the same time, he outlined multiple options. They’re not cheap, he stressed. At least 1$ billion monthly’s required, he said.
They include limited air strikes, no-fly zone implementation, involvement of “hundreds of aircraft, ships, submarines, and other enablers,” as well as “thousands” of US troops.
Some Pentagon sources believe about 70,000 are needed. According to Dempsey, controlling Syria’s chemical weapons requires “thousands of special operations forces and other ground forces…to assault and secure critical sites.”
At the same time, whatever’s tried may fail, he said. The entire effort may backfire. Syria’s a cauldron of violence and instability. It’s much like post-Gaddafi Libya. It’s spilling cross-borders. The entire region’s threatened.
William Kristol co-founded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). The Foreign Policy Initiative’s its new incarnation. It’s just as belligerent. Kristol’s one of four board members.
They’re neocon extremists. They’re ideologically over-the-top. They support permanent wars. They urge them to advance America’s imperium.
On August 9, Kristol headlined ”Feebleness in the Executive,” saying:
“(T)wo years ago (Obama said) Assad must go. He hasn’t gone. President Obama said a year ago that if Assad crossed certain red lines there would be ‘enormous consequences.’ There have been no consequences.”
Kristol wants full-scale war on Syria. Violence and instability rage throughout parts of the Middle East, North Africa and Eurasia.
Kristol’s mindless about making a bad situation worse. He blames Obama for “limit(ed use) of American power.” He made the wrong choice, he said.
“We need to resist it for the next three and a half years,” said Kristol. “We need to reverse if on January 20, 2017.”
William Inboden headed George Bush’s National Security Council strategic planning. He held senior State Department positions.
He co-edits Foreign Policy magazine’s Shadow Government initiative. It contributes opinion pieces. On August 8, he headlined ”The Obama Administration’s Diplomatic Deficit,” saying:
“Obama’s past hollow threats and ‘red lines’ on Syria have eroded American credibility and now regrettably make a diplomatic solution to that war all but impossible.”
In other words, war is the only solution.
Washington Post editors urge “robust” US intervention in Syria. “(I)t’s time for Mr. Obama to recognize that the war in Syria threatens vital US interests,” they say.
They urge direct US intervention. They’ve done so all along. They’re mindless of potential consequences. They may get their wish.
On August 12, the Defense Department said Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey arrived in Israel. It’s his first stop before heading to Jordan.
He’ll meet with senior Israeli and Jordanian officials. He’ll “discuss the unwavering US commitment to Israel’s security, in addition to potential threats from Iran, the ongoing civil war in Syria and uncertainty in the Sinai.
“In Jordan, (he) plans to visit US troops and to gain a richer understanding of how the conflict in Syria is affecting Jordan and the region.”
Pentagon air defense missiles are deployed in Jordan. US F-16 pilots patrol its airspace and Syrian border.
On August 13, Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) headlined ”Dempsey in Israel, Jordan, to tie last ends before Obama decides finally on US military action in Syria.”
Dempsey’s meeting with Netanyahu, Defense Secretary Moshe Ya’alon and IDF Chief of Staff General Benny Gantz. Parallel talks in Jordan will follow.
According to DF, he came “to lay the ground ahead of (Obama’s) final decision to embark on limited US military (Syrian) intervention.”
His plan “involve(s) Saudi Arabia, Emirates, Israel, Jordan and possibly Turkey.” DF claims it includes:
(1) US, UK, French, Saudi and UAE no-fly zone implementation “over central and southern Syria.” Israeli and Jordanian border areas as well as Damascus will be patrolled.
(2) Israeli warplanes will provide “air cover from Syrian air space.”
(3) “A 40-kilometer deep military buffer zone will be drawn from the Jordanian-Israeli borders up to the southern and western outskirts of Damascus.”
“The military units controlling this zone will hold the entire area of the capital within artillery range.”
(4) Washington’s war on Syria began in Deraa. It’s in southern Syria. It’ll “be declared capital of Liberated Syria.”
(5) US troops won’t be deployed in buffer zone areas. Anti-Assad insurgents will instead.
(6) Forces will consist of around 3,000 US-trained fighters. Jordanian special forces will direct them. They’ll operate under US control.
(7) The Pentagon built a “huge (Jordanian) training camp and logistical system.” Weapons and equipment for war are readied there.
(8) US Brig. General John Wright’s in charge. He heads America’s Amman-based Syrian operational command center. He’s an Afghanistan/Iraq/Libyan combat veteran.
(9) US warplanes are positioned for no-fly zone implementation. They’re in various regional locations. They’re ready to act on 36 hours notice.
(10) A special “Druze unit” will be a “key (insurgent force) component.”
(11) Regional US forces will be readied for possible reprisals.
Whether DF’s right remains to be seen. Know the source. It’s reports are mixed. Some are credible. Others aren’t.
Nothing good can come from direct US intervention. Doing so assures escalated regional conflict. It promises greater mayhem than already.
Bush and Obama belligerence bear testimony to imperial arrogance writ large. It reflects failed policy initiatives.
Afghanistan is America’s longest war. It rages. It shows no signs of ending. Things get worse, not better.
Iraq’s a cauldron of violence. Multiple car bombings throughout the country occur daily. In July, nearly 1,000 died. Many others were injured.
Libya’s a nation state in name only. Conditions are anarchic. They’re out-of-control. Fear and panic grip the country. It’s up for grabs. Gun battles, bombings and assassinations occur daily.
Libya’s so-called government deployed dozens of armored vehicles to protect Tripoli. Chances of success are slim to none.
Egypt’s in turmoil. Civil war perhaps is possible. Bahrainis have been struggling against Al Khalifa despotism for over two and half years. They show no signs of quitting.
Tunisians want justice. Opposition leader Mohamed Brahmi’s July 25 assassination unleashed a wave of protests.
Tens of thousands chant “We have to topple the government.” Political deadlock shows no signs of ending.
Jordanians are restless. Protests occur intermittently. Longstanding grievances are unaddressed.
Jordanians want Americans out. Signs read “No to the presence of American forces in Jordan.” Egypt’s coup heightened tensions.
Intermittent protests rock Saudi Arabia. They’ve been ongoing for over two years. Little gets reported. Whether they’ll escalate further remains to be seen.
Brutal crackdowns try to prevent it. On August 12, Russia Today headlined “Saudi prince defects: ‘Brutality, oppression as govt scared of Arab revolts.’ ”
Khaled Bin Farhan Al-Saud spoke to RT. He did so from Dusseldorf, Germany. He confirmed reports of extreme repression.
Tens of thousands of political prisoners languish in Saudi’s gulag. They face torture and other forms of abuse.
Khaled Bin Farhan “accused the monarchy of corruption and silencing all voices of dissent.”
No independent judiciary exists. Evidence is fabricated. Defense attorneys are prohibited. Guilt by accusation is policy. No one the regime targets is safe inside or outside the country.
People take so much before exploding. Saudi’s monarchy risks day of reckoning justice. Some observers predicted it for years.
Major grievances can’t go unaddressed forever. It’s true throughout the region. US intervention exacerbates things.
War on Syria assures no good ending. Attacking Iran reflects madness. Whether Obama’s willing to risk it remains to be seen.
His permanent war policy makes anything possible. The price of his imperial arrogance may be greater than humanity can bear.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
A row between the US and Moscow over Snowden’s extradition has reached a new level of tension after Barack Obama canceled a long-planned summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, again showing the adherence of US to double-standard politics.
This goes back to Putin finally deciding to give temporary asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, specifically ignoring Obama’s personal directive that Snowden should be handed over to the US. With this measure, Putin echoes Russia’s and the world’s growing weariness with America’s hegemonic carrot-and-stick strategy, and its double talk.
Both presidents had agreed to hold a summit in Moscow next month to discuss bilateral issues but, reading between the lines, one can clearly sense the increasing frustration the US and its key global allies feel towards Russia and China, the only two major powers that can stand up to them, bringing some measure of traditional balance-of-power to today’s world; even if uneasy and fragile
As with Julian Assange, the case involving Edward Snowden is well-known around the world: both men were in a position to access credible behind-the-curtain information, together with the documentation backing it up, and they both came out boldly disclosing it to the public.
If the proof is in the pudding, then America’s rage and ire, as well as that of its allies’, are proof that these disclosures are in fact true, which is why such a large portion of global public opinion hail Snowden and Assange as true heroes and freedom fighters.
For when it comes to assessing the true motives and unconfessable activities and goals behind much of US, UK and Israeli foreign and domestic policies, millions of modern-day Hamlets can smell that there is definitely something very rotten and not precisely in the State of Denmark.
If, as we believe, the supranational global power elites are embedded deep inside the public and private power structures of key nations – notably the United States and the United Kingdom – then clearly their Achilles Heel is any and all disclosure of their crimes, their meddling in the internal affairs of other countries, their direct or indirect involvement in false-flag attacks, their support of genocidal regimes when it serves their purpose, their murderous invasions and occupations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Libya, and their obscene funding and support of terrorists, guerrillas and mafias in Syria and elsewhere, under the PsyOps cover of ‘Arab Spring’.
Now, if giving temporary asylum to a disgruntled 30-year-old former National Security Agency (NSA) operative like Snowden has such impact on the US power structure – so much so that it led the president of the United States to cancel a key summit with the President of Russia – then one can only wonder at the fear and trembling they must feel when assessing potentially much more serious ‘security breaches’.
What if a really organized group of truly powerful insiders-turned-outsiders were to decide to confront Washington, New York, London and Tel-Aviv with unquestionable evidence and proof of their crimes and their criminal perpetrators? What if, say, somebody comes up with total and undisputable proof on the truth behind 9/11? Or Iraq and Libya? Or Wall Street in 2008? Or London 7/7…?
Russia and China: America’s 21st-century foes
Naturally global hegemons abhor anyone standing up to them, which is clearly what Russia has been doing for the past decade. At the UN, where Russia had been more accommodating to many US interests, after the US-backed monstrous assassination of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on live TV and the rape of Libya in 2011, its appears Moscow got really fed up.
Assassinating global leaders to the chuckling of Hillary Clinton on CBS News is definitely not on Moscow’s agenda.
A key change in Russian foreign policy can thus be clearly seen in the cases of Iran and, more significantly, in Syria – a traditional Russian ally.
The US, UK and Israel know full well that even if they continue to finance the worst terrorists, mafias, murderers, arms-dealers and Al-Qaeda operatives – whom they collectively dub as ‘freedom fighters’ - against the legitimate government of Bashar Assad, Russia just won’t budge.
Putin’s message is clear: the West will not have its way in Syria. Period.
Many readers are probably asking, what about China? Isn’t China supposed to be the key Pentagon target in the years to come because it continues to grow and grow, and its economy will soon surpass that of the US?
Yes, but that’s just the economy and, yes, China does hold almost $2 trillion in US Treasury Bills, which gives them the potential to wreak havoc on the US by just liquidating them short-term in the major global financial markets. China could, if it wanted, send the US Dollar crumbling down like the World Trade Center twin towers did in 2001.
But the US knows China will not do that; not now, anyway, as they have much more to lose from a US financial collapse than they have to win. China knows that triggering the mass devaluation of those Treasuries would backfire and explode in their own face.
Besides, China has never had, nor has today, global hegemonic aims. China seems quite happy to be and remain the undisputed power in South East Asia and the Western Pacific, something that is in sharp contrast with the US/UK/Israel, which together insist on running the whole world: politically, territorially, financially, even trying to impose its courts and laws.
In addition, China has few issues for open conflict: Tibet, Taiwan, a couple of disputed islands with Japan, perhaps, but that’s basically it. Their struggle lies on the economic and resources stage.
Now, compare that to the permanent conflicts the US and its allies stir up in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Central Europe etc.
China does not really need to be contained; it is self-contained. The US and its allies, however, must be contained and, seeing the way things are going, in the long run they must be stopped.
Russia might have far less economic clout than the US, however the Kremlin has always had clear long-term geopolitical objectives; intelligently designed and planned ever since the times of the tsars, later under the Bolsheviks, and today under its mature, coherent and consistent leadership.
For Russia not only has global aims, Russia understands the world and its multicultural complexities far better than the US. On this, Russia is only rivaled by Britain… and China.
So is the US now slipping back into ‘Evil Empire’, Russia-standing-in-the-way-of-‘democracy’; Russia-supporting-the-bad-guys rhetoric?
The truth is that Russia is helping to unmask American social and political decadence, financial weakness, and psychopathic imperial overdrive.
When Russia stands up to America, it shows strength, personality and self-respect. The world looks on and applauds.
On August 7, Obama appeared on Jay Leno’s popular ‘Tonight Show’, whining and complaining about Putin, accusing Moscow of slipping back into “Cold-War mode”. He listed US grievances against Russia: missile defense and arms control, trade relations, global security, human rights, civil society… and advising President Putin not to look at the past but to “think about the future as there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to cooperate.”
Obama doesn’t seem to understand that to think correctly about the future, requires learning from the experience of the past. Addressing the Snowden Affair in isolation is but another example of US double-standards and double talk.
As journalist Glenn Greenwald of London’s The Guardian newspaper reminded his readers on that same day, whilst Obama and the mainstream media today express so much distress over Snowden’s Russian asylum, they seem to forget past cases where the tables were turned, and which did not involve a young, mild-mannered whistleblower, but rather where the US protected the worst criminals and murderers.
For instance, the US refused to heed an extradition request from Italy for two CIA agents indicted in the alleged 2003 abduction of an Egyptian cleric in Milan (New York Times, February 28, 2007); later, when CIA agent Robert Seldon Lady was released in Panama, he was flown back to the US to avert the possibility he might be extradited to Italy (Washington Post, July 19, 2013).
Then we have America’s refusal to extradite former CIA-supported Bolivian President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada – who for all practical purposes was given US asylum – so he could stand trial for genocide and war crimes in Bolivia (The Guardian, September 9, 2012). Or the case of Luis Posada Carriles, whose extradition to Venezuela was also refused by the US, over his alleged role in the 1976 terror bombing of a Cuban jetliner that killed 73 people (El Paso Times, December 30, 2010).
The list does not stop there. In recent years, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Brazil filed repeated requests and legal summons asking the US to give up one Sir Henry A. Kissinger, wanted for questioning over his decades-long involvement with CIA-backed military regime murders in those countries during the 1970s, under a mass genocide strategy which later became known as ‘Plan Condor’.
But again, the Global Power Elite always stands behind its problem children like Sir Henry to the very end. Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón went so far as to ask Interpol to arrest Kissinger for questioning during a visit to London but – Alas! – to no avail.
And we won’t even mention the repeated extradition requests filed by Belgian Courts against former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for his war crimes and crimes against humanity, filed by Lebanese victims of his 2001 killing sprees.
The list is far too long. But the double standards are glaringly obvious, which does not seem to unduly bother the Global Hegemons, for they are far too used to always having their way.
And even when they do take some risk they use their overpowering leverage to play their game safely, as if saying “let’s flip a coin: heads we win; tails you lose”.
Adrian Salbuchi is a political analyst, author, speaker and radio/TV commentator in Argentina
Wars of aggression follow. False arrests target innocent victims. Terror threats repeat. They’re strategically timed. They change the subject. They divert attention.
They fool most Americans. They do so most of the time. Here we go again. Media scoundrels march in lockstep. They regurgitate Big Lies.
On August 2, The New York Times headlined “Qaeda Messages Prompt US Terror Warning,” saying:
“The United States intercepted electronic communications this week among senior operatives of Al Qaeda, in which the terrorists discussed attacks against American interests in the Middle East and North Africa, American officials said Friday.”
“The intercepts and a subsequent analysis of them by American intelligence agencies prompted the United States to issue an unusual global travel alert to American citizens on Friday, warning of the potential for terrorist attacks by operatives of Al Qaeda and their associates beginning Sunday through the end of August.”
Al Qaeda’s a longstanding US asset. It’s used strategically as enemy and ally. Terror threats are fabricated. Bin Ladin was used as “Enemy Number One” years after he died.
Obama didn’t kill him. He was seriously ill with kidney disease. He had other illnesses. In December 2011, he died naturally. The Pakistan Observer reported it. So did BBC and Fox News.
In July 2002, The New York Times said he’s been dead for “almost six months.” He was “buried in the mountains of southeast Afghanistan.”
On August 1, 2013, The State Department headlined “Temporary Post Closures and Worldwide Travel Alert.” It’s like previous ones. They’re fake.
“The following posts normally open on Sunday will be closed” on August 3 and 4, 2013. It’s because of “increased security concerns.”
“For further information, please click on the links below. A Worldwide Travel Alert has also been issued.”
US Embassy Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
US Embassy Algiers, Algeria
US Embassy Amman, Jordan
US Embassy Baghdad, Iraq
US Consulate Basrah, Iraq
US Embassy Cairo, Egypt
US Consulate Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
US Embassy Djibouti, Djibouti
US Embassy Dhaka, Bangladesh
US Embassy Doha, Qatar
US Consulate Dubai, United Arab Emirates
US Consulate Erbil, Iraq
US Consulate Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
US Embassy Kabul, Afghanistan
US Embassy Khartoum, Sudan
US Embassy Kuwait City, Kuwait
US Embassy Manama, Bahrain
US Embassy Muscat, Oman
US Embassy Nouakchott, Mauritania
US Embassy Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
US Embassy Sana’a, Yemen
US Embassy Tripoli, Libya
According to an unnamed senior American official,”more than the usual chatter” was intercepted. Specifics were omitted. There are none. They don’t exist.
They come at Ramadan’s close. They followed Russia granting Snowden asylum. They came three days after fake Israeli/Palestinian peace talks began.
They’re during worsening economic crisis conditions. They affect growing millions. They’re when Washington threatens escalated war on Syria.
They’re at the same time administration officials try justifying institutionalized global spying. Meta-data mining is standard practice. NSA monitors everyone it targets all the time everywhere.
Russell Tice is a former Office of Naval Intelligence/Defense Intelligence Agency/NSA analyst. His career spanned 20 years.
In December 2005, he accused NSA and DIA of unconstitutionally wiretapping US citizens. He got national attention, saying:
“Everyone at NSA knew what they were doing was illegal, because it’s drilled into our heads over and over that it’s against NSA policy, that you do not do that. The choice is to speak out and get fired.”
On August 1, he was interviewed on PBS’ News Hour. He said NSA collects “everything.” It accumulates content “word for word, everything of every domestic communication in this country.”
Every phone call, email, and other personal communication is gathered and stored. Nothing escapes its scrutiny. It lies claiming otherwise. Meta-data collection is official policy. It’s longstanding. It’s done with technological ease.
Earlier he said NSA “targets, sucks-in, stores and analyzes illegally obtained content from the masses in the United States.”
Elected officials are monitored. So are federal judges. Candidate Obama’s phone was tapped. His private emails were read.
Public awareness grows. Fearmongering diverts attention. False flags shift attention from what matters. Administration officials take full advantage.
On August 2, Russia Today headlined “US issues global travel alert over al-Qaeda attack threat,” saying:
It “warn(ed) US citizens about the ‘continued potential for terrorist attacks’ in the Middle East and North Africa.”
It comes weeks ahead of the 12th 9/11 anniversary. It’s also the Benghazi, Libya first anniversary.
The travel alert remains throughout August. The State Department “alert(ed) US citizens to the continued potential for terrorist attacks, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa and possibly occurring and emanating from the Arabian Peninsula.”
“Current information suggest that al-Qaeda and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorists attacks booth in the region and beyond and they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August.”
Americans were warned about potential dangers on subways, air travel, railways, ships, other forms of public transportation, and prime tourist sites.
Media scoundrels regurgitate fearmongering. They do it ad nauseam. On August 3, CNN headlined “US issues global travel alert, to close embassies due to al Qaeda threat.”
Embassy closings and travel alert warning remain in place. Britain and Germany said they’ll “close their embassies in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, on Sunday and Monday. The UK Foreign Office said it was a precautionary measure.”
An unnamed US senior official in Yemen called the threat there “much worse than it has (been) in a long time.”
According to other unnamed US officials:
“Various Western targets – not just those tied to the United States -are under threat.”
Former US ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill said:
“There have been incidents where they’ve closed down a number of embassies in the Middle East because the information is not specific enough to say that ‘embassy X’ got to be closed as opposed to other embassies.”
“But I think this, closing all of these embassies in the Middle East to North Africa, is in fact unprecedented. At least, I didn’t see this during my career.”
Unsubstantiated fearmongering lacks credibility. The usual “experts” hype it. US broadcasters and cable channels feature them. So do major broadsheets.
Notable past terror attacks were false flags. Perhaps Obama has another one in mind. Perhaps multiple ones. Maybe something major.
Last April’s Boston Marathon bombing was a black ops scheme. It was state-sponsored terrorism. Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were set up. They were innocent patsies.
They had nothing to do with it. Police murdered Tamerlan in cold blood. Dzhokhar faces longterm hard time.
The FBI bears responsibility for US terror plots. So does CIA. It’s longstanding policy. Post-9/11, it escalated.
Bush declared war on terrorism. Obama continues what he began. Washington needs enemies. When none exist, they’re invented.
Muslims are America’s target of choice. Innocent victims are entrapped. Doing so lets FBI operatives claim fabricated war on terror victories.
It lets NSA officials saying spying uncovers plots before they hatch. It lets America get away with murder. It does so on a global scale.
Lies, damn lies, and repeated lies facilitate state sponsored terrorism. It remains ongoing. Lots more is planned. America’s waging war on humanity. It’s longstanding US policy.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
The U.S. policy on Egypt is in disarray, and both camps distrust America—the Muslim Brotherhood by default, its opponents from experience. Hillary Clinton was widely perceived as Morsi’s key foreign aider and abettor during his attempt to grab complete power in the aftermath of last year’s presidential election, and with good reason. She came to Cairo last July, only two weeks after the presidential election, and declared her support for “the military’s return to a purely national security role.” In the ensuing weeks she exerted a great deal of pressure on Egypt’s generals not to challenge Morsi’s assumption of full authority, while ignoring the fact that he came to power because the Muslim Brotherhood broke its pledge to stay out of the presidential race. She quietly supported Morsi’s ploy last fall to reconvene the constitutional assembly previously declared illegal by the courts because it was packed with the Muslim Brotherhood deputies posing as independents.
When Morsi issued a decree last November giving himself unprecedented authority, including immunity to any judicial oversight, hundreds of thousands took to the streets. Clinton’s State Department responded lamely, by urging “all Egyptians to resolve their differences… peacefully and through democratic dialogue.” On November 28, her spokeswoman Victoria Nuland further irritated millions of Egyptians by declaring that Morsi was seeking dialogue “with other stakeholders in Egypt” and that he was not an autocrat—escalating attacks against the Coptic Christian community, growing media censorship, and dictatorial decrees notwithstanding.
After Clinton’s departure the substance of policy has not changed. Last March Secretary of State John Kerry came to Cairo to express his support for Morsi and announced a $250 million aid package with no strings attached. In May the White House overrode a Congressional bid to withhold military funding to Egypt and tie the assistance to the respect for human rights. The news was ignored in the U.S. but it was given a great deal of prominence in Egypt and cemented the impression that Washington was supporting a repressive Islamist regime. Last June the demonstrations that led to Morsi’s downfall saw many placards accusing Obama of allying himself with “terrorists” and supporting a “fascist regime in Egypt.” On June 30 Cairo witnessed the biggest mass protest in history, but the State Department did not issue an equivalent to its February 2011 statement that the Egyptian people’s “grievances have reached a boiling point.”
The events of the past four weeks prove that autocracy is the only way to rule Egypt. Its “deep state” institutions—the military and the security services—have remained intact under Morsi. We are back to the spirit of 1952, when Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser overthrew the monarchy and instituted the army’s self-perception as the guardian of the nation and the final arbiter of its best interests. As Nasser himself put it three years after the coup, “We felt with every fiber of our being that this task was our burden to bear, and that if we did not fulfill it, it would be as if we turned down a sacred task that Providence itself has imposed upon us.”
The same spirit was in evidence when General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, 58-year-old chief of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, addressed the nation after the July 3 coup. He repeatedly referred to the legitimacy the people have given to military action, but clearly implied that Egypt is too important to be ruled by its people. Many Egyptians now liken Sisi to Nasser, and the former seems keen to promote the parallel. Posters featuring Sisi and Nasser side by side have appeared all over Egypt. Another echo of the Nasser era is evident in the fierceness with which security forces have dealt with the Islamists in recent weeks. Sisi’s long-term aspirations remain unknown. He claims to have no political ambitions, but he may well change his mind if there is a “call from the people” for him to run for presidency.
“An arena of electoral democracy will be constructed,” according to a popular Egyptian blogger, “but many matters of grave national import will be outside its purview. And anyway, its outcomes can always be reversed.” The army understands what Morsi did not: that the Egyptian state is a complex, somewhat ramshackle institution in which divergent interests are mediated and reconciled by formal mechanisms and (more importantly) informal means, and not an object of heavy-handed Islamist experimentation which excluded many key stakeholders.
The true challenge to Egypt’s military is not the Muslim Brotherhood—its street protests can and will be contained—but the economy. Urgent reforms are needed to avoid starvation—currently postponed by injections of Saudi money—and Egypt’s descent into some form of Hobbesian nightmare. Those reforms would have to entail the army giving up its 20-percent-plus stake in the national economy. It should be possible for the officers to maintain their numerous privileges without necessarily running factories that make pasta, air conditioners, bed linen, and a host of other most un-military articles. Only then would it be possible to tackle Egypt’s many structural problems: lack of natural resources, demographic boom, inefficient land use, and institutionalized corruption at all levels. In the absence of comprehensive economic reforms and increased yields in the Nile Delta, Egypt’s prospects are grim.
The era of Arab Spring euphoria is long ended, having devolved into doubt, confusion or wholesale rejection. Libya and Syria put an abrupt end to the Arab Spring celebrations, with the current situation in Egypt adding to the frustration.
Part of the problem in deciding whether a particular side in these conflicts deserves support or rejection is a lack of criteria that can help to clearly define what is happening. Thus, different analysts describe the same events as a coup, revolution, or civil war. These definitions are totally different perspectives as to what is happening, and imply that the situations should include different levels of political support or rejection.
In Syria the question remains: is the situation a revolution or a civil war? What should be the basis for judging whether or not a situation in general is “revolutionary,” and why does it matter?
Below is an attempt to put forth a common sense definition of revolution and apply it to the events in Syria. When such a basic criterion is applied to Syria, it becomes clear that the ongoing events in Syria should not be labeled a revolution.
The label “revolution” is critically important because it implies that the overwhelming majority of people have decided and are dedicated to a specific path for society. This means that the “masses” are passionately intervening to change society, overcoming fear and repression until their objectives are met.
In this sense revolution is the highest form of democracy, since it’s the clearest expression of the People’s will, expressed through ongoing massive deliberate action, as opposed to the non-participatory form of democracy that is the western hallmark. The label “revolution” is especially important because a movement that has earned a clear revolutionary mandate should be supported without condition, albeit not without criticism.
In order to judge whether a revolution is afoot the evidence should be examined. Clues must be unearthed to decipher the attitudes, feelings, and energy of the social movement in question. Studying revolution is an attempt to gauge mass consciousness — not an exact science but a politically crucial one. All politicians do this as they attempt electoral campaigns, and all dictatorships gauge revolutionary consciousness to see if they have the power to crush it.
What are ways to gather evidence into revolutionary mass consciousness? In some ways the old adage, “you’ll know it when you see it,” is helpful in describing revolution, since revolutions produce floods of people all expressing pent up emotions, fighting in a united cause, which creates new forms of social solidarity that’s impossible to form during non-revolutionary situations. These surreal scenes made no one question whether the toppling of the dictator Mubarak was a “revolution.” It was simply obvious.
More specific evidence of revolutionary mass consciousness may include: gigantic demonstrations with united demands, mass civil disobedience, mass labor and student actions and strikes, occupations of public buildings, new forms of direct democracy (which may include new labor unions, new political parties, neighborhood committees, etc.) and other bold actions taken by masses of people who otherwise would take no such actions, such as confronting police and/or military, fighting off right-wing attacks, civil disobedience, ignoring military curfew rules, etc. Through these types of extraordinary experiences the majority of the population undergoes a personal transformation during the course of revolution.
The ultimate sign that a situation has entered a revolutionary period is that the masses have directly intervened into social life as an independent, powerful force, through ongoing collective action. The people seek to actualize their power, creating a dynamic that shifts the balance of power away from the elites and their institutions. Governments becomes “destabilized,” elite authority is lost, and enforcement of laws becomes difficult or impossible. Even martial law is easily defeated by a strong revolution of the majority. Governments melt away.
Whether or not the social power can be fully and permanently shifted depends on the success or failure of the revolution; but the path of revolution has been entered when social equilibrium has tilted — the elites cannot rule in the same way. The people have invested in ongoing, mass actions to change society. The targeted regime thus becomes unbalanced and splits, unable to act collectively to suppress the revolution or neutralize it through concessions; every step the regime takes to resolve the situation only pushes the revolutionary movement forward. The surest sign of a revolution is its effect on the targeted regime, which becomes splintered and ineffective, its power made powerless.
Revolution is a display of power by working and poor people, who collectively choose to assert themselves into public life in order to change it. In non-revolutionary times working people do not actualize their power; they aren’t even aware that they have any, as they passively ignore any role in social life as individuals, silently delegating their political power to corporate-bought politicians.
There is no other social power equal to a revolutionary movement in modern society, since revolutions are famous for exposing the weakness of the elite and the elite-run state: armies crumble under revolutionary pressure as soldiers refuse to fire on peaceful protestors; police repression motivates the people to repress the police; secretive “security” agencies are shown powerless, and long-standing elite political parties are smashed. If successful in the long term, a revolutionary movement can fundamentally change society.
Let us now apply these basic criteria of revolution to Syria.
The first essential threshold of revolution was not crossed in Syria: the movement was not able to intervene in a way that was powerful enough to alter the power dynamic of society. The revolutionary movement did not grow large enough to truly challenge the Syrian government, and very soon the “revolutionaries” took the path of a guerrilla war — led not by the Syrian people, but a minority of religious extremists.
The evidence of this is plain to see: the only two social forces currently exercising their power in Syria are completely outside the control of working people — the Syrian government and the Islamist extremist militias. There is no third option for victory here, because the masses have not been powerful enough to assert themselves in an independent way — a basic precondition of revolution.
The two largest cities in Syria — Damascus and Aleppo — never experienced the mass demonstrations that you see in Cairo, Egypt. In fact, there have been several enormous pro-Assad demonstrations in Syria’s two largest cities, a fact always ignored by those who argue that there is a revolution afoot in Syria. A similar dynamic occurred in Libya, which showcased anti-government demonstrations in the eastern city of Benghazi, but never occurred in the Libyan capital in Tripoli. Obama thus declared that Libya as a whole was undergoing a “revolution,” so that the United States could militarily intervene.
The rebellion in Syria also never found soil in the other religious and ethnic minorities, who remain either passive or dedicated to the Syrian government for fear of ethnic-religious cleansing from the Sunni extremist rebels. The one exception is the Kurds, who have used the conflict to set up an autonomous zone that they are vigorously defending against the Islamist extremist ‘rebels.’
The uprising remains a largely Sunni Islam uprising, dominated by Sunni extremists who are armed and funded from the heartland of religious extremism, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and their paymaster the United States (a true axis of evil in regards to Middle East policy). This is a fact that many on the left refuse to see, or dangerously minimize in order to maintain their pro-rebel support.
Most Syrian analysts, however, admit that the most effective fighting force among the Syrian rebels is Jabhat al-Nursa, religious extremists that use terrorist tactics and are directly affiliated with al-Qaeda. But now this group’s dominance is being threatened by another Islamist extremist terror group, Ahrar al-Sham, which is funded and populated by Qatar and which is thought to have 10,000-20,000 fighters in Syria.
A list of the top ten powerful militias in Syria — with the exception of the Kurds — are fighting predominantly for an Islamic state, i.e., they are religious extremists who want nothing to do with democracy, equality or freedom. The Muslim Brotherhood cannot be characterized as a “moderate” group in Syria.
This is a crucial fact. The Islamist extremists are not mere “players” under an umbrella of rebel groupings. The extremists are the motor force of the rebels, who do the vast majority of the fighting, who dominate the “liberated” areas of Syria where fundamentalist Sharia law has been implemented, and who will rule the rest of the country if the Syrian government falls. In essence, they have become what claims to be the “revolution.”
By defining the extremists as mere “players” in the anti-Assad “coalition,” the true nature of the rebels is distorted: a political movement is defined by who leads it, who exercises power, and by the pursuit of specific political goals. By this more accurate definition the “rebels” must be described as Islamic extremists, who receive support from other minor political players who seek to oust the Syrian government.
In the rebel-controlled regions of Syria one can be executed for “blasphemy” or adultery, lose a limb for minor theft and other misdemeanors, and if you’re a woman you’ll be relegated to a permanent state of house arrest, except for the moments where a close male relative chooses to escort you out of the house, assuming you are completely hidden behind clothing.
To focus only on the “moderate” rebels and “revolutionary” minority is to purposely blind oneself to the lead actors in this drama, thus giving invaluable political cover to the most reactionary groups in existence, who make the current Syrian government look like liberals.
These facts are crucially important, and must be considered when comparing the current Syrian government — where women have many freedoms similar to American women — to its alternative, which places women as property of men without any semblance of civil rights. If the rebels of Syria are to be called “revolutionaries,” they are of the reactionary type.
It is true that there are smaller, non-extremist militias amongst the rebels, or those that function to protect neighborhoods, etc., but these militias do not constitute a powerful social force. They are essentially non-entities in this conflict amongst giants, and focusing almost exclusively on these groups ignores the fundamental reality of the conflict and purposely distorts what is actually happening.
The local “democratic” militias cannot be used as a justification for further militarizing a conflict that will inevitably bring western-backed religious zealots to power, to the detriment of all Syrians. To demand that these rebels be armed is to demand that Syria be fragmented and destroyed in an Iraqi-like fashion.
While glorifying the smaller militias, pro-rebel analysts also overstate the number of Syrian soldiers who’ve defected to the rebels. The exact number is impossible to know at this time. There are, of course, defectors in all wars, especially civil wars, but the myth that the Syrian rebels are densely populated by defecting soldiers of the Syrian army is best exposed by the fact — recognized by nearly all observers — that the Syrian army has remained very cohesive. A true “flood” of defectors is blatantly inconsistent with this fact, though always ignored by the pro-rebel groups.
Revolutions are notorious for cracking armies like eggs, especially in a prolonged revolutionary upheaval. The firmness and stability of the Syrian army offers yet more damning evidence against labeling the conflict a “revolution.”
This fact is rationalized away by pro-rebel analysts who argue that the Syrian military’s cohesiveness is due to the army’s dominance by Shia Muslims, specifically President Assad’s Alawite sect — and are therefore unquestionably loyal to the government, making them an especially unique sectarian army.
In reality, the Syrian military is composed overwhelmingly of Sunni Muslims, who constitute the majority of Syrians. It’s true that the Alawites have an over-representation in the military’s upper echelons, but the rank-and-file solider is predominantly Sunni, many from Syria’s countryside. A majority of these stereotypical Syrian soldiers would not mindlessly mow down their countrymen as the western media claims they have done.
The Syrian defectors’ story was mostly a useful propaganda piece for western countries — the U.S. specifically — to push people’s attention away from the Islamist extremists who make up the overwhelming majority of the armed struggle. Although there have been a couple of high-level defectors from the Syrian government, they’ve never expanded beyond token amounts, as the unity of the Syrian government continues to testify. The regime as a whole remains united and stable, which would be impossible if it were confronted by an ongoing nationwide powerful revolution.
More proof that Syria has not entered a revolutionary phase is the non-participation of the Syrian labor movement. All revolutions attract the attention and powerfully affect the nation’s labor movement. But Syria’s labor movement has either been passive or pro-Assad. The pro-rebel groups blame this fact on the labor movement’s blatant subservience to the Syrian government, but this explanation lacks obvious merit.
For example, before Egypt’s revolution the Egyptian labor movement was deeply connected to the Egyptian government, as was the Venezuelan labor movement’s connection to its government in pre-revolutionary Venezuela. But revolutions transform labor movements in the same way they splinter armies. Syria’s labor movement would have bent under the pressure of a real revolutionary movement, as all labor movements do when faced with the force of a real revolution.
It’s also untrue that Syria’s labor movement has been totally subservient to the Syrian government. Syria’s labor movement has directly confronted the government several times over the years, after the Assad government began adopting a privatization agenda and other neoliberal reforms in the country, which has put negative pressure on working class Syrians. Syrian unions are perfectly capable of acting independently and would have done so if they believed a revolution existed in their country that would have benefited working class Syrians.
More proof that Syria is not undergoing a revolution can be found by asking a simple question: how can the “revolutionary” movement in Syria realize its goals?
For example, if we accept the false premise that the revolutionary movement was “forced to take up arms,” and then accept the fact that Islamic extremists completely dominate the rebel battlefield, then we must conclude that the “revolution” has ended, since any prospect for a truly revolutionary conclusion is excluded from the basic math of the conflict.
Initially, the pro-democracy revolutionaries were united with other rebels that operated under the umbrella demand to oust President Assad; but now the “revolutionary” demand of the Islamists — who control the rebels — is the demand for an Islamic state.
The demand for an Islamic state should have instantly shattered any alliance between pro-democracy revolutionaries and the Islamists, but the pro-democracy rebels have largely refused to do this. They haven’t rejected the Islamists because without them they would be completely powerless. Zero evidence of a revolution would exist. If there are revolutionaries fighting under the Islamic black flag in extremist militias, they are doing a disservice to themselves and the future of their country.
The revolution thus finds itself without a way forward, since there is no independent demand that can currently be realized by the Syrian pro-democracy revolutionaries, who are currently unable to assert their power against the Islamic extremists or the Assad government. This “revolution” is a car without an engine or gas, stalled. A precondition of revolution is the ability for the masses to powerfully assert themselves into social life. A revolution without a revolutionary movement is no revolution.
It is thus highly irresponsible to demand that the Syrian rebels be armed, while at the same time insisting that Syria be protected from “western intervention.” In fact, supplying arms to the rebels is a strategic form of U.S. intervention; arming, funding, and training rebels doesn’t happen without strings attached, loyalties and alliances created, promises made, and pro-western geo-political goals pursued.
To insist that the NATO or Gulf monarchies supply arms to the rebels is, in essence, to invite the United States to directly participate in the Syrian conflict on a deeper level (the Obama administration is already neck-deep involved, supplying thousands of tons of arms to the Syrian rebels covertly through the CIA).
The U.S. is already buying and trafficking arms, training and funding rebel fighters, all of which are considered U.S. investments in the future of the conflict, which, at any time, can be paid with interest via a direct U.S. military invasion — starting with a “no fly zone.” In fact, without the massive rebel support from the U.S. and its allies this conflict would have ended long ago and thousands of lives would have been spared. Demanding that this bloodletting continue — especially without ANY prospect for a successful end — is to demand the destruction of Syria.
The last refuge of the pro-rebel analysis argues that, because there are “revolutionary democratic structures” that have been created in rebel-held areas, then we have indisputable evidence of revolution, and thus the rebel cause must be supported. Often cited as proof is the Local Coordinating Committees (LCC) in rebel areas, which are credited with food distribution and other forms of local administration.
But in a conflict covered in depth by cell phone videos and other means of communication, evidence of mass-based local coordinating committees — i.e. a revolutionary democratic structures — is scant. The LCCs have a snazzy website that puts forth the occasional pro-rebel statement — and YouTube videos of rebel military assaults — but it’s otherwise difficult to find any convincing evidence of a powerful revolutionary organization, nor is any ever offered by pro-rebel writers who champion the righteous cause of the LCC’s.
This is not to say that LCC’s do not exist, but like the neighborhood militias, their relevance has been greatly exaggerated in an attempt to define the Syrian situation as revolutionary and thus grant it a status of “unconditional support.”
In reality, all semi-objective media observers have noted that local administration and food distribution in rebel-held areas is dominated by the ruling political and military groups of the Islamic extremists. This fact relegates the LCC’s to a minor role at best, if they can even be considered politically relevant at all.
It’s certainly true that civilian democratic structures exist in Syria where there are power vacuums, much like civilian militias to protect neighborhoods. But temporary power vacuums should not be glorified as proof of a real revolutionary movement; it can just as easily prove that a country is being physically destroyed. These vacuums are filled, as they were in the city of al-Raqqa, when the Islamists enter the void.
A real revolution does not need to search for evidence of its existence; it displays its power for all to see in massive mobilizations that shake the power of the targeted regime. But in Syria’s greatest city, Damascus, there does not exist a whimper, let alone a roar of revolution. If it’s true that the people in Damascus are “too scared” to openly rebel — as some pro-rebel groups claim — then they have obviously not yet entered the path of revolution, since overcoming fear is one of the first preconditions of revolution; without it there can be no revolutionary movement or action.
Without accepting some of the above criteria for judging a situation as “revolutionary,” a political analysis can run into deep trouble. The pro-rebel analysis has no real criteria that can decide when this “revolution” ceases to be revolutionary. By their method of analysis it seems possible to conclude that the revolution will go on forever — the situation will always remain “revolutionary” so long as certain revolutionary-appearing democratic structures can be unearthed, regardless of how well attended, effective, or whether or not they have any semblance of actual power. This watered down definition of a revolution would qualify the U.S. Occupy Movement as a revolution, which of course it was not.
A revolutionary movement is inevitably a battle for power. It is the people asserting their power in order to change the power dynamic of society in their favor. For a revolution to exist the people must be in a position to assert their power. At this point President Assad can only be removed by either the Islamic extremists or the U.S. military.
A nation can be inhabited by entirely revolutionary-minded people, but there is no revolution unless people are massively asserting their power in the streets, workplaces, and neighborhoods. This is not the situation in Syria, where no revolution exists at this time.
Cairo — Hundreds of thousands of people turned out outside Cairo’s Rabaa mosque yesterday to protest against the coup d’état in Egypt, while hundreds of thousands poured into Tahrir Square to support their favourite general, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who staged the coup-that-we-mustn’t-call-a-coup.
Grotesque, unprecedented, bizarre. Call it what you like. But the helicopters swooping happily over Tahrir, and the line of visor-wearing riot police and troops standing opposite the Muslim Brotherhood’s barricades, told their own story. Journalists should not be merchants of gloom, but things did not look too good in Cairo last night.
The saddest thing – the most tragic, if you like – was that the crowds in Nasr City, close to the airport road where the mosque stands, were as cheerful and welcoming as the masses in Tahrir who regard their opposite numbers as “terrorists” rather than supporters of Mohamed Morsi, the legally and democratically elected President of Egypt who was overthrown by the army three weeks ago. The tens of thousands of Egyptians crossing the Nile River bridges or sweating in the 40C heat on the highway to the airport were so happy they could have been heading for a football match.
But there the jollity ends. The Muslim Brotherhood men and women carried Morsi’s picture and had painted Stars of David on the military barracks near the mosque. The Brotherhood had piled thousands of sandbags around their tent encampment and piles of stones to hurl at anyone trying to move them. But the soldiers down the road – also, it has to be said, cheerful and quite friendly – were holding automatic weapons beside French and American-made armoured vehicles, and they also held wooden batons and were flanked by policemen in shoddy black uniforms.
It looked as if they were only a few hours away from moving in on the Brotherhood, and no matter how many bearded men were reading the Koran on the roadway – and they were quite literally doing that – it was difficult to imagine the coming hours being anything but deadly.
One point that stood out – and it may be unfashionable to say so – is that the Brotherhood supporters were generally poor and looked poor in their grubby abayas and plastic sandals. Some of the Tahrir demonstrators, who were truly revolutionaries against Mubarak in 2011, trooped over the Nile bridges waving posters of General al-Sisi. And one has to say, painful as it is to do so, that the sight of well-heeled people holding aloft the photograph of a general in sunglasses – albeit a wonderful and very democratic general – was profoundly depressing. What really happened to the 25 January 2011 revolution?
“We love the soldiers but we don’t need the general,” a scarved woman shouted near the Rabaa mosque, but Sisi is now a well-known face, the man who will return Egypt to its true revolutionary path, if you can forget for the time being that the first genuinely elected president in modern Egyptian history is probably incarcerated in one of those barracks we drive by so blithely on the way to the airport.
But Egypt does need a government. Driving back from Nasr City to central Cairo tonight, my car was blocked in a traffic jam because rival families were fighting a gun battle across the highway. About 1,000 Cairenes had joined in by throwing stones from an overpass. Two miles further on, a middle-aged woman was driven down by a motorcycle and lay on the road in great pain. Many of the drivers who saw her carried on their journeys, the noses of their families pressed to the window as this lady lay spread-eagled on the highway in her black dress. The near future does not look good.
Source: Robert Fisk | The Independent
But these are fictions. There is no such thing as rule by everybody or by “the voice of every citizen.”
Politicians and their cronies, of course, know this. So one of their jobs is to present illusions of “togetherness.” These illusions are crafted. They are long-term covert ops.
PR people and propagandists and educators and media pundits are deployed for the purpose of painting pictures of “free democracy,” whatever that means. (Note: it doesn’t refer to the Bill of Rights, because that was part of designing a constitutional Republic.)
In a democracy, organizations of citizens are put together. These groups then reach out to government with their agendas. Each group becomes a faux individual seeking…what? Key symbols and phrases are deployed to answer that question—and one of the most potent is JUSTICE.
Groups are going to government to find justice.
This action becomes part of the mythology of what democracy is.
Hundreds, thousands of groups in the democracy seek justice, which simply means: favorable treatment. I’m talking about every kind of favor, from government-funded gender-changing surgery all the way to massive corporate tax breaks…and everything in between.
If you add up all the long-term effects and outcomes of this seeking, you discover that much of what the groups win for themselves doesn’t last. It deteriorates over time. Planned obsolescence is built into the system.
The quality of individual, free, independent, responsible, ethical life, for example, certainly doesn’t improve. Instead, we get politically correct life, in which people are expected to talk and act in ways that reflect “care, concern, mutual admiration, acceptance, passivity.”
This charade is promoted as progress. It’s really a program. It’s a script. It’s a stage play. It’s called democracy.
It supports small, medium, large, and jumbo crimes. Paid for by taxes.
What’s actually happening in democracy is consolidation of power at the top. The top includes both corporations and governments. But what’s out front is share and care. That’s the flag rippling with all its stars to obscure the true operation.
If a constitutional republic, with severely limited government, can exist at all, it requires eyeballs looking at each other close up. It requires small populations, educated and dynamically charged with living ideals, not dead ones.
The covert op called democracy, on the other hand, requires groups seeking so-called justice to be pitted against each other to fight over a limited pie.
Here is a cameo. In the early 1980s, I interviewed a dean of students at UCLA about the mood and attitude on campus, in the wake of the Vietnam war.
He told me that, during the late 60s and early 70s, students were united in their protests against the war, but once the forced military draft was called off, the students broke up into groups seeking justice (money) from the University.
The competition among groups, he said, was quite nasty and vicious. It involved character attacks, wild accusations, and threats.
This might seem like a vindication of the unity that had prevailed during Vietnam, but it doesn’t take a genius to see that the military industrial complex made out quite well during that war; and various wars and police actions since Vietnam—Iraq and Afghanistan the most extensive—have continued to line the pockets of military-industrial mongers.
Here is the elite psyop formula:
- endlessly promote democracy;
- create and empower groups that will seek justice from government;
- grant some groups favors, reject others;
- set these groups against each other;
- in the ensuing conflict, pretend to appeal for unity;
- grab more and more power at the top.
By osmosis, the individual learns what works in a democracy. He must have a cause, and that cause must reflect an unjust and disadvantaged status. He needs to seek redress and help from government. He needs to chisel and cheat and game the system.
He also needs to vote. He needs to vote for the side most likely to give him favors and breaks and loopholes and $$.
Many individuals will conclude that, in this hustle, the superior choice is to work for the government. A few years ago, I compiled a very rough tally of numbers of Americans who work for some form of the State. The total was 1 out of every 9 people.
In a small nation, that might be shocking. In a large country like America, it’s disastrous.
During a recent radio interview out of Norway, I was told that nearly 50% of Norwegians work for the government. We’re not there yet, but we’re moving in that direction.
The concept of democracy, once you peel back the layers on the covert op, is a scam. But the even greater problem comes when overwhelmingly numbers of people organize their own minds to match that scam.
They assemble and coordinate their own mental processes for the job of living and winning inside a massive crime-bubble.
Obama, like every president, operates as a PR front man for the op called democracy. The difference is, he’s made the PR into a religion. He’s taken it to a new level.
It may seem strange, but a person living out of an Obama-welfare cell phone, and a Wall Street investment banker dealing from an office high in Manhattan, are both working from the same basic mental playbook.
Their situations are vastly different, but they’re making moves inside the crime-bubble.
And if, by some miracle, they could sit down and talk long enough and honestly enough, they would see, emerging out of the fog, familiar game plans.
Yes, Virginia, there is true injustice in this country. It comes from the power grab at the top, and it leaks down to every person. But you won’t find that injustice revealed in the ubiquitous PR-op. There you’ll only find lies and groups toiling to push the rock to the top of the hill, while fighting a war of attrition against each other.
There you’ll only find the great hustle, the con, short and long, and layers of operators telling us “we’re all in this together” to remedy wrongs.
One of the keys to breaking out of mass mind control is being able to see and make the distinction between the real thing and a fake copy.
To survive and meet scheduled payoffs and bribes and deliver calculated favors and demean the independent individual, a democracy must fly the highest flags of ideals. The songs must be sung by pros. Every drop of sympathy must be wrung out of that rag-flag. Every soap opera story must be elevated to tragic heights.
And every mind must confuse this with the real thing.
Which takes us to education of the young, and the preparatory mind-control programs for living as an adult in a democracy.
I won’t bother to run down the various teaching tools for this job. I’ll simply remind you of how willing and open the young mind is.
When I was 12 or 13, my parents took (dragged) me to a lecture. The speaker was Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrey. I dreaded the all-too-predictable pain I was in for. I would rather have been eating a casserole of spinach, broccoli, liver, and cockroaches.
On this night, in a jammed hall with a few hundred people, I listened to the Senator for two hours. He spoke about progress and humanity and hope and share and care.
I was riveted. Nailed to my chair. In a contest, that version of Humphrey would put Obama away cold and turn him upside down.
I saw visions of a new world. I saw humanity rise as one and conquer all obstacles. I saw liberalism and all it stood for as a god on Earth.
Those were the days when the Humph was at the absolute top of his game. He was on fire. He ascended one mountain range after another. He stood on a troubled sea and opened up the sky.
It took me a decade to realize I’d been conned by a master.
The op works. It taps into oceanic impulses in every mind and diverts them along channels that turn poetry into fake religion. It freezes poetry and sculpts it into idols and symbols of a labyrinth that eventually dumps you out into an alley at midnight with empty pockets.
You’re chewing on a dream of stale bread and figuring out how to get home.
People say that in a modern society, poetry no longer has meaning or force. This is one of the titanic jokes of the age. Poetry always strikes the deepest chords. It always parts the sea of the mind.
The only issue is, to what ends is it put? Does it rest there on the page and on the tongue and ear with its own fierce beauty, to be absorbed and re-imagined by the reader and the listener? Or is it run along channels where wardens of the State patrol, catching souls in their nets?
This is an MKULTRA rarely spoken of. It has stood the test of time.
It feeds on rubes and yokels and sleepwalkers and the desperate, from freezing caves in prehistoric Asia, down to the deserts of ancient Egypt, over to dank cathedral vaults of Europe, across to the streamlined consumer paradise of America.
It winds up as: Democracy. Progress. Enlightenment. Equality. Sharing.
Neon signs in the bought and paid for sky.
The great civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, the marches, the rallies, the protests, the suffering, the pain, the violence, the legislation—all based on a simple premise: equal protection and opportunity under the law.
Groups sought redress and justice from the government.
The movement celebrated victories. And then it was taken and twisted down other train tracks and turned into a slow-motion crash the likes of which we’re seeing splattered across television screens and the pages of newspapers around the world today.
How did that happen? How did the civil rights movement come to Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman?
Through careful planning. Through manipulation of people and ideas, to transform honor into great misery.
The Statist machine gives, and the machine takes away. True justice is never its goal.
It preys on the worst human instincts and praises them as legitimate. It sets the agenda for democracy and gives the mob the drug of hope based on, yes, poetics.
Understanding the frequencies along which that hope is broadcast to the populace, and how the populace sponges up those transmissions, is a step out of the maze.
When you hear the particular strains of music that convey widely held sentiments, and you know the music is made for tin ears, because your ears aren’t tin, you’re regaining a species of true hope most people can’t understand.
You get a piece of the immortal joke that has traveled through eons and dipped into countless places, ever since the universe was dreamed up as a holographic blueprint on somebody’s notepad.
The author of two explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED and EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, Jon Rappoport was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com
Source: Jon Rappoport | No More Fake News
“Tikun Olam” – This story keeps getting weirder and more interesting: RT reports based on a “reliable source” that Turkey allowed Israeli air-force jet bombers to use one of its military bases to attack the Syria port of Latakia, where the government had stored Russian-made Yakhonts anti-ship missiles. Israel believed the armaments were destined for Hezbollah, which would use them in the next war in Lebanon to neutralize Israel’s naval forces. For a discussion of the weapons system and the role it might play in such a battle, read this report.
Given that this story keeps getting curiouser and curiouser, I believe the story is very possibly true. So now we have to ask ourselves a number of questions:
Why would a Turkish government nursing a deep grudge against Israel for killing 9 of its citizens in the Mavi Marmara massacre, all of a sudden turn around and lend an air base for an attack on a third country? Further, why would Turkey cooperate with Israel in attacking Syrian missiles destined for Hezbollah? Turkey has no quarrel with the Lebanese militant group.
There are several answers. Turkey is opposed to the Assad government and anything that will weaken it may cause Turkey to relax its former animosity toward Israel. Also, Hezbollah has escalated its involvement in the Syrian conflict by sending thousands of its fighters to capture Qusayr. This would be a way for Turkey to make the Islamist group pay a steep price for its intervention. It would be yet another way for both Israel and Turkey to say to Assad that he faces a looming alliance among former enemies who are now united (at least covertly) in their opposition to his rule.
Second, if Israel wanted to attack Syria without violating its airspace it could just as easily have flown north from Israel to a point west of Latakia and attacked from the Mediterranean. Why did the Israeli air force feel it needed to attack from Turkey? The answer may lie in the fact that attacking from Turkey would allow Israel to attack from the north rather than the west. Syria would not have expected an attack on Latakia from the north and therefore might not have defended against it. This would give the Israeli attackers an element of surprise.
If this account is true, it proves that Middle East relations are based far more on shared interests than on principles. In other words, pragmatism and even cynicism is the rule of the day. Turkey, which trumpets its dedication to the Palestinian cause and its implacable opposition to Israel’s Occupation, can do the unthinkable and allow Israeli military forces to use its sovereign territory to attack an enemy. So much for the notion of Muslim solidarity. And so much for the Islamist criticism of Muslim states (Saudi Arabia, etc.) that allow non-Muslim military forces (U.S., etc.) to attack fellow Muslim states, thereby betraying Islam.
For Erdogan, the opportunity to bloody Assad’s nose trumped all those considerations. The other problem with Turkey’s decision is that it will give Israel the impression that since Turkey granted access to its military bases, it will also fold regarding its support of the Palestinians.
Alternately, we may see that Israel retracts its opposition to paying $1-million to each of the families of the victims of the Mavi Marmara attack. Israeli capitulation on that score may signal a quid pro quo for Turkey’s help in attacking Latakia.
One way to gauge this is by whether Erdogan follows through on his commitment to visit Gaza. He was supposed to come last month. But the turmoil in both Egypt and Turkey caused a delay. If he does visit Gaza Israel should know this alliance is extremely tactical and targeted at a very narrow range of issues. If he doesn’t, then we’ll know that Israel has succeeded in co-opting yet another opponent of Occupation.
Finally, it’s interesting that the source for this report is a Russian media outlet. Remember that Russia’s missiles were targeted and destroyed in Israel’s attack. Vladimir Putin has not responded in any way to this. Alex Fishman, in yesterday’s Yediot, took his silence as a confirmation that Putin is at heart nothing but a cynical weapons merchant who doesn’t care what happens to his weapons as long as he’s paid for them. As with so much of what he wrote in that article, I think it’s a crock.
Israel’s attack is an affront not only to Hezbollah and Assad, but to Russia as well. Putin is not the disinterested arms dealer Fishman makes him out to be. There will be an accounting for this act of aggression by Israel. The only question is where and when and under what circumstances. If RT’s reporter learned her information from a Russian intelligence source, I wouldn’t be at all surprised.
I am trying through DC and Turkey-based journalists with U.S. or Turkish military-intelligence sources to confirm this story.
In the years 2006 and 2007, the underlying stability of the global economy and the U.S. credit base in particular was experiencing intense scrutiny by alternative economic analysts. The mortgage-driven Xanadu that was the late 1990s and early 2000s seemed just too good to be true. Many of us pointed out that such a system, based on dubious debt instruments animated by the central banking voodoo of arbitrary fractional reserve lending and fiat cash creation, could not possibly survive for very long. A crash was coming, it was coming soon, and most of our society was either too stupid to recognize the problem or too frightened to accept the reality they knew was just over the horizon.
The Federal Reserve had cheated America out of an economic reset that was desperately needed. The 1980s had brought us utter destruction disguised as “globalization.” Our industrial center, the very heart of the American middle class that generated enormous wealth and decades of opportunity, had been dismantled and shipped overseas to the lowest bidder. It was then that the U.S. economy actually died; we just couldn’t see it. From that point forward, Americans were fully dependent on the charity of central bank money creation and international bank lending standards. The collapse that should have occurred in the 80s was delayed and thus made more volatile as the Fed artificially lowered interest rates and allowed trillions upon trillions of dollars in dubious loans to be generated. Free money abounded, and average citizens were suckered royally. Their greed was used against them, as they collateralized homes they could not afford to buy more crap they didn’t need. Of course, you know the rest of the story…
Today, credit markets remain frozen. Lending is nowhere near the levels reached in 2006. The housing market is showing signs of life; but that’s only because most home purchases are being made by banks, not regular people, for pennies on the dollar, as bankrupt properties are then reissued on the market for rent rather than for sale. If you are lucky, maybe one day you’ll get to borrow the keys to the house you used to own. And, millions of higher-paying full-time jobs have been lost and then replaced with lower-paying part-time-wage slavery positions. The image of American prosperity carries on, but it is nothing but a cruel farce; and anyone with any sense should question how long this false image can be given life before the truth dawns.
The novice will question why it is necessary to re-examine all of this information. Is it not widely known? Am I not simply preaching to the choir a message heard over and over again since the crash of 2008? Maybe – or maybe it is time for us to finally apply some foresight given our knowledge of the recent past.
Why did 2008 creep up on so many people? Weren’t there plenty of economists out there “preaching to the choir” at that time? Weren’t there plenty of signals? Weren’t there plenty of practical conclusions being made about the future? And yet, the world was left stunned.
The truth is, human beings have a nasty habit of ignoring the cold hard facts of the present in the hopes of using apathy as a magical elixir for future prosperity. They want to believe that disaster is a mindset, that it is a boogeyman under their bed that can be defeated through blind optimism. They refuse to accept that disaster is a tangible inevitability of life that pays no heed to our naïve, happy-go-lucky attitudes. The American people allowed themselves to be caught off guard in 2008, just as they are setting themselves up to be caught off guard again today.
Again, the reality is clear; the Federal Reserve has propped up equities and bonds using money created out of thin air — so much so that both markets have become totally reliant and disturbingly addicted to fiat injections. The distribution of this fiat threatens the continued dominance of the dollar as the world reserve currency and will invariably lead to currency collapse and hyperstagflation. This process is much more likely to climax in the near term given the accelerated rate of quantitiative easing within our system to date and the accelerated rate at which our primary lenders (namely China) are dumping the dollar in bilateral trade with each other. The endgame is obvious, but I still fear millions of people within this country and around the world will be shell-shocked once again by a renewed crash.
The argument is always the same: “Yeah, things might get dicey, but it won’t be as bad as all the doom-mongers claim, and probably not for many years.”
Similar statements were made by naysayers before the Great Depression and before the 2008 crash. So why are the skeptics wrong again this time around?
The Stimulus Fantasy
Let’s put this in the simplest terms possible: Stimulus is now the lifeblood of our economy. There is nothing else sustaining our nation. Period. Stimulus in the form of bailouts and QE are keeping the stock market and bonds afloat. This means that the continued existence of equities, and the continued existence of healthy treasuries, and thus the foundation of our currency, our general economy, and a functioning (or barely functioning) government, is completely dependent on the Fed continuing to print.
In recent weeks, the Fed hinted at possible intentions reduce or remove stimulus measures, which would effectively shut down the life-support machine and let the patient drown in his own fluids.
Day traders and common investors are not very bright, but they do understand well that no stimulus means no stock market and no bond market. In response, indexes have become erratic, shifting on the slightest rumor that the central bank might continue QE for a little longer. Pathetically, the Dow Jones now rallies upward whenever bad financial news hits the wire, as insane investment groups pour in money in the hopes that dismal economic developments might cause the Fed to extend the bailout bonanza.
In our modern nightmare era of hyper-centralized economy, one word or rumor from Ben Bernanke now determines whether stocks dramatically rise or fall. This is NOT the behavior of a healthy and vibrant fiscal system.
The anatomy of American finance and trade has been horribly mutilated; and clearly, such a monstrous creation cannot last. Stocks are supposed to perform based on the true profitability of individual businesses as well as the political and social health of the overall culture. The wild printing of paper money by private banking magnates is not a catalyst for a successful economy. Whether the Fed actually ends QE is ultimately irrelevant. No fiscal structure can survive when it abandons fundamentals for fantasy. Either QE continues, becoming less and less effective in staving off negative results in equities, inspiring a flight from the dollar leading to a crash, or QE ends, exposing the inevitability of negative results in equities, leading to a crash. If the Fed ends stimulus, the process of collapse will merely take place slightly faster than if stimulus remains.
But every historic economic crisis has a defining moment, a moment in which the tide turned overwhelmingly sour for a majority of the public. The question now becomes what, exactly, will trigger the avalanche?
Precious Metals Signal Secret Shift To Asia
As I have discussed in numerous articles over the years, China’s shift away from the U.S. consumer and the U.S. dollar is well under way. Over half of the world’s major economies now have bilateral trade agreements in place which remove the dollar as the world reserve currency in trade with China and the ASEAN economic bloc. China is issuing trillions in Yuan and Yuan denominated bonds around the globe, setting the stage for a higher Yuan valuation and allowing Chinese consumer markets to replace American consumer markets as the number one driver of manufacturing in export countries. At the same time, China has increased its purchases of precious metals exponentially to the point that the nation is now set to become the largest holder of gold and silver in the world in the next two years. This is clearly in preparation for a currency crisis event…
The buying spree in Asia seems to directly contradict the “paper market” value of metals in recent weeks. Demand for gold and silver has only increased throughout most of the world, even in light of Federal Reserve suggestions that QE might end. Manipulations within metals markets by the CME and JP Morgan explain half the story, but there may be another issue at work.
It is very possible that the COMEX is now essentially broken, and that gold and silver ETF’s (paper gold and silver) are decoupling from the street value of physical metals during the last gasp of a failing system. In the near term, I believe that premiums on physical coins and bars will skyrocket, even as the official market prices of those metals is held down. At the same time, China, Russia, and other countries heavily invested in gold may break from Western COMEX valuations completely using their own metals markets to establish their own prices.
As the dollar loses its world reserve status, the countries holding the most physical gold in their coffers stand to weather the storm most effectively, and because U.S. gold stores have never been officially audited, we have no idea if America has any reserve whatsoever.
Crushing Energy Prices Coming Soon?
While China continues a careful strategy of decoupling from the dollar and the U.S. consumer through bilateral agreements and trading blocks, another issue is arising: the issue of energy. I would like to note that despite globally diminishing oil demand caused by the 2008 credit collapse, gas prices have experienced little to no deflation. I would also like to note that after the Federal Reserve hinted at shutting down QE, oil was one of the few commodities that continued to rise.
This has not been caused by a lack of supply, as many American-based companies ramp up production. (I am aware of all the arguments behind peak oil. As soon as a peak oil proponent can show me an example of oil demand not being met because of a legitimate lack of supply, then I’ll be happy to consider that peak oil is the main cause of price increases.)
The fact is current regressive global demand and ample supply should have led to lower gas prices, not higher. If speculation was the cause, then price shifts within the oil market should have been far more volatile, with increases lasting weeks or perhaps months, but certainly not years. The only plausible explanation for this kind of commodity activity is a weakening of the currency it is directly tied to. The petrodollar is slowly but surely coming to an end.
I believe the next market exodus may be triggered by the weakening effects of stimulus (or the removal of stimulus altogether) along with extreme energy prices cause by steady inflation and a global political crisis in the near future.
China, being strangely and consistently prophetic when it comes to economic calamity, has recently established an astonishing oil trade deal with Russia, which plans to supply China with an alternative petroleum source for the next 25 years. (This news went almost completely unnoticed by the mainstream media.)
Now, keep in mind that in 2010, China and Russia signed an agreement completely removing the U.S. dollar in bilateral trade. The dollar has been the world reserve and the only currency used to purchase petroleum for decades. The Russia/China oil deal changes everything. It sets a trend toward the removal of the petrodollar function of the Greenback which ultimately destroys any credibility the currency has left. This news flies in the face of dollar proponents who consistently claim that the dollar’s ties to oil make it invincible. Apparently, there are some weaknesses in the armor.
Ongoing social unrest in Egypt has also made oil markets jumpy, being that the Suez Canal oversees the transfer of a significant portion of the world’s oil shipping. Clearly, there are two opposing factions within the country vying for power, and regardless of who is best suited to U.S. interests, the Egyptian people overall have no love for the West. There is a distinct chance of a shooting war, similar to Syria, in the coming months in Egypt.
Meanwhile, the engineered conflict in Syria continues to go exactly as I predicted in my article ‘The Terrible Future Of The Syrian War’.
Syria remains an explosive trigger point for regional war which will, in the end, draw in Iran and result in the closure of the Strait of Hormuz, which annually handles the shipping of about 20 percent of the world’s oil. All trends point toward higher gas prices over the horizon, and the U.S. economy is barely able to survive on the cost of energy we have today.
So Close They Can’t See It
Reduced stimulus combined with adversely high oils prices may very well be the tumbling boulders that bring down the mountain. We are close now. Beyond the undeniable economic factors, the very fabric of American government is crumbling. Corruption is openly rampant. Scandals are exposed daily. The establishment leadership is unapologetic and grows even more despotic with each truth that escapes into the open air. They are becoming MORE bold, not less bold, and those of us who seek transparency in all things, from politics, to economics, to surveillance, are being attacked as the source of the problem rather than the solution.
Collapse, from a historical perspective, seems to occur when the searchlights of the individual mind are dimmest, when the threat is the greatest, and when we are most comfortable in our ignorance. In 2008, the U.S. public was mostly oblivious to the danger, and they were painfully stung. Today, I hope that the liberty movement, the alternative media, and alternative economic analysts have created a window of opportunity by which millions of people can this time see the writing on the wall and prepare accordingly. At this point, there is no question that Americans have been warned. Whether or not they pay heed, is out of our hands.
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market