There’s a new front opening up in the war on your wealth. If you haven’t heard yet of the “bail-in,” you will. Even if you have, you need to know the latest…
The bail-in is another weapon in the government’s arsenal of capital controls meant to reward Wall Street cronies and separate you from your money.
We’ve long been familiar with capital controls, such as daily limits on bank withdrawals. Add that to seven years of microscopic interest rates cannibalizing savers’ nest eggs combined with planned inflation stealing your money while you sleep. But unlike the drip-drip we’re used to, the bail-in will come upon you quickly, harshly, and with finality.
As the world faced a complete financial meltdown in 2008, Congress ponied up fresh taxpayer money – $800 billion for openers and trillions since – to bail-out favored banks and industries. Out-of-favor institutions were allowed to fail. Jobs, fortunes, and futures disappeared while unborn generations were saddled overnight with unpayable debt.
Congress and bankers noted the sharply disagreeable taxpayer reaction. So they recycled an old idea from the Great Depression’s playbook – next time, just steal bank depositors’ life savings.
That tried and true tactic took a new name: the bail-in. The easy part – the laws they needed had been in place for decades. But for added cover, they passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, a 1930’s-styled, bank heist blueprint with a feel-good name.
Those laws altogether say your money in your bank account in your name is not your money. Those laws say the bank owns your deposited money, not you.
Court cases have upheld for decades that putting your money in savings, a CD, or other banking products means you’ve become an “unsecured creditor.”
Your deposit is actually an unsecured loan to the bank with all the problems of counterparty risk! Instead of being presented with collateral, you get an IOU that pays a pittance in interest, or in many cases nothing.
A busted bank doesn’t have to return your principal deposits. Unlike when YOU are the borrower and THE BANK is the lender, the bank didn’t tender you a lawyered up promissory note or offer you a lien on its assets. Legally speaking, you may as well have handed your money to a stranger in the alley.
“Unsecured creditor” means just what it says: “no security.”
As banks went belly up during the Great Depression, slaughtering depositors’ life savings, Congress offered reassurance that banks could be safe by creating the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC. For decades thereafter, careful depositors walked the tightrope of spreading their deposits among various banks to qualify for insurance protection.
Every depositor should now be aware of the FDIC’s congressional mandate to handle the next global economic meltdown. Readers can read that entire scheme here.
It’s not an easy read because it was never meant to be. Here are some notes that might help…
The Scheme’s Fine Print Reads: Bank Depositors Are Screwed
It’s a joint plan with the Bank of England. Bankers see the next meltdown again going global. The title accurately names the sole intended survivors – “Globally Active, Systemically Important Financial Institutions.” The document reveals a future meltdown was anticipated, discussed, and coordinated years before the publication date of December 10, 2012.
The language “top of the group” refers to creditors, stock holders, and bond holders. They are first in line for slaughter (p. ii, p. iii).
“Resolution tools” and “resolution powers” are used throughout the document. “…applying resolution tools to different parts of the group” means FDIC has authority to make it up as they go (p.1, para 3). “…resolution authorities must not be constrained in exercising discretion” means FDIC decisions carry absolute legal authority (p.1, para.4).
FDIC doesn’t like the word “save,” as in “save bad banks.” FDIC substitutes the word “resolve” 18 times.
And then there’s you, the “unsecured creditor.”
As it happens, “unsecured creditors” are quite important with the FDIC, appearing 11 times in the 18 page document. “…unsecured creditors should thus expect that their claims would be written down to reflect any losses that shareholders did not cover” means we’ll tell you how much you lost after we divvy up the take (p.6, para 12). That could also point to lowered insurance limits without notice, if any insurance is left at all.
“…it will take time for losses to be assessed for purposes of recapitalization” strongly hints at freezing any loot in accounts left behind (p.8, para 35).
Your consolation prize, if there’s one at all, might be some government-issued bank stock you can’t sell.
FDIC congratulates itself 9 times for not “exposing taxpayers,” never mentioning FDIC itself would be bankrupt after the first $50 billion in claims, leaving taxpayers to bail-out the very FDIC created in 1933 to shield their savings deposits. One single zombie bank could easily swallow $50 billion. Estimates of currently insured FDIC deposits exceed $6 trillion.
Bail-in Scheme Has Been Tested and Is Ready for Use
The bail-in ripoff scheme has been successfully tested. Depositors in Cyprus found their savings largely wiped out early in 2013. That infamous bail-in was a test run, leaving the U.S. government’s fingerprints all over Cyprus. It is significant to note Cypriot authorities claimed, on their website, the legal authority to change rules mid-stream at any time, just as the FDIC claims.
Low withdrawal limits stopped panicked depositors’ last minute bank runs. As banks stole their deposits, no citizens stormed banks with pitchforks, no guillotines were hauled into the village square. Bankers from Cyprus to New York congratulated themselves all around.
Poland quickly followed, stealing not bank accounts but private pension funds. Authorities took 50% of Polish retirement funds overnight with the click of a mouse.
Bail-in plans have been adopted by Canada, Australia, and throughout Europe for future use. The G-20, representing the twenty largest national economies, rubber stamped approval for global bail-ins late last year, as has the International Monetary Fund. Just last week, Austria suddenly dumped its version of FDIC insurance altogether.
Governments facing economic annihilation across the globe are now legally authorized to seize banking depositors’ savings, either all or in part, overnight, and without notice. The bail-in is a treasure map for bankers and governments at the next hint of worldwide economic calamity.
They know the next meltdown will be your grandfather’s Great Depression.
Unlike the 1930’s, there will be no point standing in long lines with hat in hand to ask for your money. By the time you hear the news, your money in the bank will already be gone.
“The U.S. must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests…..We must, however, be mindful that…Russia will remain the strongest military power in Eurasia and the only power in the world with the capability of destroying the United States.”
“For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia…and America’s global primacy is directly dependent on how long and how effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained.”
-THE GRAND CHESSBOARD – American Primacy And It’s Geostrategic Imperatives, Zbigniew Brzezinski, page 30, Basic Books, 1997
The Laussanne negotiations between Iran and the so called P5+1 group (the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany) have nothing to do with nuclear proliferation. They are, in fact, another attempt to weaken and isolate Russia by easing sanctions, thus allowing Iranian gas to replace Russian gas in Europe. Laussanne shows that Washington still thinks that the greatest threat to its dominance is the further economic integration of Russia and Europe, a massive two-continent free trade zone from Lisbon to Vladivostok that would eventually dwarf dwindling US GDP while decisively shifting the balance of global power to Asia. To counter that threat, the Obama administration toppled the elected government of Ukraine in a violent coup, launched a speculative attack on the ruble, forced down global oil prices, and is presently arming and training neo-Nazi extremists in the Ukrainian army. Washington has done everything in its power to undermine relations between the EU and Russia risking even nuclear war in its effort to separate the natural trading partners and to strategically situate itself in a location where it can control the flow of vital resources from East to West.
Laussanne was about strategic priorities not nukes. The Obama administration realizes that if it can’t find an alternate source of gas for Europe, then its blockade of Russia will fail and the EU-Russia alliance will grow stronger. And if the EU-Russia alliance grows stronger, then US attempts to extend its tentacles into Asia and become a major player in the world’s most prosperous region will also fail leaving Washington to face a dismal future in which the steady erosion of its power and prestige is a near certainty. This is from an article titled “Removing sanctions against Iran to have unfavorable influence on Turkey and Azerbaijan”:
“If Washington removes energy sanctions on Iran…then a new geopolitical configuration will emerge in the region. Connecting with Nabucco will be enough for Iran to fully supply Europe with gas…
Iran takes the floor with inexhaustible oil and gas reserves and as a key transit country. Iran disposes of the 10% of the reported global oil reserves and is the second country in the world after Russia with its natural gas reserves (15%). The official representatives of Iran do not hide that they strive to enter the European market of oil and gas, as in the olden days. Let’s remember that the deputy Minister of Oil in Iran, Ali Majedi, offered to revive project of Nabucco pipeline during his European tour and said that his country is ready to supply gas to Europe through it…
“Some months earlier the same Ali Majedi reported sensational news: ‘two invited European delegations’ discussed the potential routes of Iranian gas supply to Europe,” the article reads.” … It is also noted that the West quite materially reacted to the possibility of the Iranian gas to join Nabucco.” (Removing sanctions against Iran to have unfavorable influence on Turkey and Azerbaijan, Panorama)
So, is this the plan, to provide “energy security” to Europe by replacing Russian gas with Iranian gas?
It sure looks like it. But that suggests that the sanctions really had nothing to do with Iran’s fictitious nuclear weapons program but were merely used to humiliate Iran while keeping as much of its oil and gas offline until western-backed multinationals could get their greasy mitts on it.
Indeed, that’s exactly how the sanctions were used even though the nuclear issue was a transparent fake from the get go. Get a load of this from the New York Times:
“Recent assessments by American spy agencies are broadly consistent with a 2007 intelligence finding that concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program years earlier, according to current and former American officials. The officials said that assessment was largely reaffirmed in a 2010 National Intelligence Estimate, and that it remains the consensus view of America’s 16 intelligence agencies.” (U.S. Agencies See No Move by Iran to Build a Bomb, James Risen, New York Times, February 24, 2012)
See? The entire US intelligence establishment has been saying the same thing from the onset: No Iranian nukes. Nor has Iran ever been caught diverting nuclear fuel to other purposes. Never. Also, as nuclear weapons physicist, Gordon Prather stated many times before his death, “After almost three years of go-anywhere see-anything interview-anyone inspections, IAEA inspectors have yet to find any indication that Iran has — or ever had — a nuclear weapons program.”
The inspectors were on the ground for three freaking years. They interviewed everyone and went wherever they wanted. They searched every cave and hideaway, every nook and cranny, and they found nothing.
Get it? No nukes, not now, not ever. Period.
The case against Iran is built on propaganda, brainwashing and bullshit, in that order. But, still, that doesn’t tell us why the US is suddenly changing course. For that, we turn to an article from The Brookings Institute titled “Why the details of the Iran deal don’t matter” which sums it up quite well. Here’s a clip:
“At heart, this is a fight over what to do about Iran’s challenge to U.S. leadership in the Middle East and the threat that Iranian geopolitical ambitions pose to U.S. allies, particularly Israel and Saudi Arabia. Proponents of the deal believe that the best way for the United States to deal with the Iranian regional challenge is to seek to integrate Iran into the regional order, even while remaining wary of its ambitions. A nuclear deal is an important first step in that regard, but its details matter little because the ultimate goal is to change Iranian intentions rather destroy Iranian capability.” (Why the details of the Iran deal don’t matter, Brookings)
Notice how carefully the author avoids mentioning Israel by name although he alludes to “the threat that Iranian geopolitical ambitions pose to U.S. allies”. Does he think he’s talking to idiots?
But his point is well taken; the real issue is not “Iranian capability”, but “Iran’s challenge to U.S. leadership in the Middle East”. In other words, the nuclear issue is baloney. What Washington doesn’t like is that Iran has an independent foreign policy that conflicts with the US goal of controlling the Middle East. That’s what’s really going on. Washington wants a compliant Iran that clicks its heals and does what its told.
The problem is, the strategy hasn’t worked and now the US is embroiled in a confrontation with Moscow that is a higher priority than the Middle East project. (The split between US elites on this matter has been interesting to watch, with the Obama-Brzezinski crowd on one side and the McCain-neocon crowd on the other.) This is why the author thinks that easing sanctions and integrating Iran into the predominantly US system would be the preferable remedy for at least the short term.
Repeat: “The best way for the United States to deal with the Iranian regional challenge is to integrate Iran into the regional order.” In other words, if you can’t beat ‘em, then join ‘em. Iran is going to be given enough freedom to fulfill its role within the imperial order, that is, to provide gas to Europe in order to inflict more economic pain on Russia. Isn’t that what’s going on?
But what effect will that have on Iran-Russia relations? Will it poison the well and turn one ally against the other?
Probably not, mainly because the ties between Iran and Russia are growing stronger by the day. Check this out from the Unz Review by Philip Giraldi:
“Moscow and Tehran are moving towards a de-facto strategic partnership, which can be easily seen by the two groundbreaking announcements from earlier this week. It’s now been confirmed by the Russian government that the rumored oil-for-goods program between Russia and Iran is actually a real policy that’s already been implemented, showing that Moscow has wasted no time in trying to court the Iranian market after the proto-deal was agreed to a week earlier. Providing goods in exchange for resources is a strategic decision that creates valuable return customers in Iran, who will then be in need of maintenance and spare parts for their products. It’s also a sign of deep friendship between the two Caspian neighbors and sets the groundwork for the tentative North-South economic corridor between Russia and India via Iran.” (A Shifting Narrative on Iran, Unz Review)
But here’s the glitch: Iran can’t just turn on the spigot and start pumping gas to Europe. It doesn’t work that way. It’s going to take massive pipeline and infrastructure upgrades that could take years to develop. That means there will be plenty of hefty contracts awarded to friends of Tehran –mostly Russian and Chinese–who will perform their tasks without interfering in domestic politics. Check this out from Pepe Escobar:
“Russia and China are deeply committed to integrating Iran into their Eurasian vision. Iran may finally be admitted as a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at the upcoming summer summit in Russia. That implies a full-fledged security/commercial/political partnership involving Russia, China, Iran and most Central Asian ’stans’.
Iran is already a founding member of the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB); that means financing for an array of New Silk Road-related projects bound to benefit the Iranian economy. AIIB funding will certainly merge with loans and other assistance for infrastructure development related to the Chinese-established Silk Road Fund…” (Russia, China, Iran: In sync, Pepe Escobar, Russia Today)
Get the picture? Eurasian integration is already done-deal and there’s nothing the US can do to stop it.
Washington needs to rethink its approach. Stop the meddling and antagonism, rebuild relations through trade and mutual trust, and accept the inevitability of imperial decline.
Asia’s star is rising just as America’s is setting. Deal with it.
Western culture, Europe and America, formerly God fearing, obedient, humble inhabitants of the creation, have now rejected the Creator of the Universe and His Law replacing it with the individually arbitrary opinions of the humanist religion.
This arrogant mistake is setting the stage for a new dark age with the world under the control of powerful satanic elements whose debauchery has gone unchallenged by God’s human regent on earth, the Church of Jesus Christ.
In this creation, stemming the vitiation of the culture is a duty of the Christian Church. But when God’s servants place their personal success and comfort ahead of the clear pronouncement of Truth and righteousness the results are disastrous.
The latest assault on God’s Law by the gay and lesbian army has not been greeted with an overwhelming clergy-lead counter attach but instead has been rewarded with sympathy for policies that God hates and His Word forbids.
The last issue of the Magazine published by my college alma mater contained a lead story about a lesbian female graduate whose efforts had helped encoded legislation legitimatizing same sex marriage. The theme of the article was equity – such unions are the only fair thing to do. The college was founded by Christians and is garnished with the name of a famous Christian evangelist.
A snippet of my response to the Editor: “The title ‘A Question of Fairness’ is as misleading as the content of the article. It is not a question of fairness but a question of morality. What is fair to one is often unfair to another. Justice loses its meaning when it is defined by the anarchic minds of men (or women). One person’s justice becomes another’s injustice. It is frightening that a University that is vested with the duty to convey truth would make such an egregious error.” My letter was received without comment.
With a most precise use of the prime humanistic virtue of reason R. J. Rushdoony writes “… no disestablishment of religion as such is possible in any society. A church can be disestablished, and a particular religion can be supplanted by another, but the change is simply to another religion. Since the foundations of law are inescapably religious, no society exists without a religious foundation or without a law-system which codifies the morality of its religion.”
Can you see, gentle reader, that when the Christian religion is banned from the culture it is not replaced by a void but by another religion? As laws have been passed banning prayer in public meetings and the teaching of Christianity in public schools the religion of humanism (under girded by law of human origin) is a result. Now we are faced with a vicious army of homosexual men and women who have achieved legal jurisdiction over the Christian Church and are attempting to force it to worship the satanic god of this world.
Severe persecution of the Christian Church is being allowed to go forward by God Himself and the only antidote is repentance and change. He seeks and obedient people – He has sought an obedient people from the beginning. Abram believed God and obeyed when God said, “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house to the land which I will show you and I will make you a great nation and I will bless you and make your name great.”
It was obedience that God sought from His chosen people – obedience to His Law (His Commandments). Obedience brings blessing; disobedience brings cursing. God is patient; the blessing takes time as does the cursing. It is a curse that causes the Church of Jesus Christ to fall under the dominion of gays and lesbians.
There were embers of obedience alive in colonial America but these embers were not aroused with combustible material. Instead they were extinguished by the lawless doctrine of Dispensationalism. Without the standard of obedience the Church became a misdirected monstrosity so shy that it was useless in the battle for righteousness. Without Law it was weaponless and was defeated without a fight.
Disobedience to God’s Commandments brings curses not only because it kindles God’s anger but also because we are sinners who cannot live orderly and peaceful lives without the aid of an absolute, unchangeable legal authority. God’s Law is the ballast that steadies the ship of life. When humanists begin to override God’s immutable Law chaos is the immediate result. Reason is worthless without ballast. When men reason in a void they are unable to discern right from wrong. They are then confronted with the reasoning of others who also believe they have the right answer. The result is tyranny where power overcomes righteousness and destroys everyone’s freedom.
As we watch the tentacles of an imperial state begin to seek an obedient non-confrontational populace we see the mechanisms of tyranny being prepared. President Obama has only to say the word and martial law will completely destroy freedom and place everyone under the authority of a satanic government. Camps have been constructed to contain dissidents; soldiers have been prepared to round up their fellow citizens; and local policemen have been militarized and equipped with weapons of war. The stage has been set.
While all this preparation is being made our clergy is absent. Church leaders are too busy being churchy to sacrifice their reputations on the table of righteousness. They are busy preaching an expository sermon when they and their congregations should be conducting massive, peaceful protests against the disobedience that has resulted in the cesspool in which we live. Gays and Lesbians are better practitioners of their faith than the leaders of the church of Jesus Christ.
This is the reason God is allowing the captivity of His people. There is not zeal, no real commitment to God, no inclination to obey Him. American churches have become social centers that seek acceptance by society before the blessing of God. Obedience is far from the mind or will of our churches and their leaders. It is not popular and will not bring humanistic rewards. They are going along to get along and God has long ago left their presence.
The antidote to the fatal disease that now afflicts the United States of America is obedience to God’s Law. No teaching is necessary the antidote is easy to understand: “The sword of the Spirit and the Breastplate of Righteousness”. Righteousness is obedience to God’s Law; disobedience is sin. When Christians begin to go forth with the good news that Jesus has died for their sins and now they are to begin to obey God in their homes, in their entertainments, and in their government. When they begin to take that message outside the church walls and challenge the greater society with an undefeatable army, things will change.
If Christians fail we will live in bondage until God’s curse abates and He decides to set up free.
On a recent trip to Germany I took a day off to visit Sigmaringen, on the upper Danube some 20 miles north of Lake Constance. This town of ten thousand with a massive castle towering over it – or, more precisely, this castle with a town attached – interested me as the site of a little known, eight-month long melodrama at the end of Second World War.
It was here that Marshal Philippe Pétain, Chef de l’État Français, and several hundred Vichy government officials and prominent German sympathizers and collaborators of different hues, were brought by the Wehrmacht on 8 September 1944, as the Allies advanced across France. The leaders were installed in the castle, other ranks in the town below. They were followed by their wives, hangers-on, and mistresses. By the end of September a veritable French enclave was in place, some two thousand strong, which survived until the long-dreaded arrival of de Gaulle’s First French Army on 24 April 1945.
The initial impression is operetic: pure Leharian pastiche, an unreal world in which France’s prominent collabos are but a parody of their former selves. There is also a more sinister image, however: Sigmaringen as a trap, an open prison in which the principals go on with their performance, but at the same time watch helplessly as the end of the show – and for many the end of their lives – is approaching steadily, relentlessly.
This town and those bizarre eight months are erased from France’s collective memory. They belong to the past which many older Frenchmen would rather forget, while the young neither know that past nor care for it. “Fench Sigmaringen” is relegated to the margins of memory. The Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen family are back home. The castle’s magnificent halls and about a tenth of its 300 rooms are open to guided tours, but there are no Petainist mementos of any kind. A richly appointed color book about the castle disposes of the French episode matter-of-factly in a single sentence.
That episode started on the night of 17-18 August 1944, when the Germans evacuated Vichy. The first stop was Belfort, in French Alsace, but after only two weeks the Allies’ rapid advance made the move to Germany necessary. The 88-year-old “Lion of Verdun,” Marshal Pétain, did not want to go. He claimed he’d rather stay on France’s soil and defend his record, come what may; but the Germans decided otherwise. From that moment he declared that he regarded himself as a German prisoner, and cut off all formal contacts with German officials. He communicated with the outside world through Dr. Bernard Ménétrel, his personal physician and confidant, the widely detested “Cerberus of the Seventh Floor.”
Sigmaringen was a far cry from the summer of 1940, when Pétain offered France “the gift of his person” in the aftermath of the military collapse of the French army – and the political and moral collapse of the Third Republic. The old soldier embarked on a “national revolution,” a belated attempt to purge the defeated country not only of its party-political intrigues, leftist radicalism, masonry and corruption, but also – more ambitiously – of the legacy of 1789 and the subsequent “anti-France” (in the memorable phrase of Charles Maurras). He became part-monrach, part-father of the nation. His image was everywhere. Maréchal, nous voilà! became the de facto anthem of the French State (no longer la République). Liberté, égalité, fraternité were replaced by the distinctly anti-Jacobin sloganTravail, Famille, Patrie. Marianne was gone, replaced (informally) by the saintly image of the Maid of Orleans. The countryside was celebrated as the source of national strength, and the Catholic Church was brought back into public life. The ancient Francisca became the official coat of arms.
Pétain’s problem was that the proponents of outright collaboration with Germany had no time for such romantic pursuits. They accused Pétain of attentisme which could deny France her rightful place in the New European Order. They were divided into two camps: the more moderate collaborateurs – embodied in the opportunistic figure of Pierre Laval, who was appointed prime minister in early 1942 – and an array of fanatical collaborationistes, based in Paris, who wanted a clean break with Pétain’s “reactionary paternalism” and an outright alliance with Hitler. With the Wehrmacht occupying France’szone libre in November 1942 they became more powerful. The Germans – ever mistrustful of the French – were nevertheless careful to keep all three groups evenly balanced in an elaborate cadrille, conducted by the Reich’s ambassador in Paris (and self-avowed Francophile) Leo Abetz.
The members of these three factions, Pétainists, collaborateurs and collaborationistes, hated each others’ guts. Suddenly, at Sigmaringen, they found themselves sharing the same quarters and facing a similar, unpleasant future. The maréchal, occupying the palatial seventh floor of the castle, would pretend not to see Laval (the sixth floor occupant) if he passed him in the courtyard on the way to his car which was taking him out of town, every day after lunch, for walks in the countryside.
Those walks were elaborate affairs. Alone among the exiles Pétain had a Citroen and a driver, but he was not allowed far from town. Followed by his Gestapo detail in two black Opels, he would stop 5-6 miles outside Sigmaringen and start a brisk walk through the woods accompanied by one of his military orderlies. The Germans would follow at a respectful distance. After an hour and a half he’d be back, in time to return to the castle for the afternoon radio news.
Laval, “L’Auvergnat,” suddenly forced into inactivity, busied himself preparing his defense for the trial in Paris which he knew awaited him sooner or later. The former Socialist practiced speeches to the imaginary jury in front of his wife Jeanne and a young private secretary. (All his documents and notes were taken away when he was eventually arrested, as he repeatedly complained at the trial.) He had created too many enemies during his long political career, and especially during the 28 months as prime minister at Vichy. Hardly anyone talked to him.
On the third floor are the quarters of the Government Commission, the five-member cabinet in exile formally known as the Commission gouvernementale française pour la défense des intérêts nationaux. It can do little and does even less, but its members are jealous of their theoretical turfs and prerogatives. Like in earlier years back home they continue to denounce their political and personal enemies to the Germans, less to score some points, more out of pure spite.
The Commission’s chairman, the devious Marquis de Brinon, succeeds in having Dr. Ménétrel arrested by the Gestapo in November 1944 on the false accusation of contact with the Allied intelligence services. (Ménétrel survived the war, but was promptly arrested on his return to France in May 1945.) Brinon cracks jokes about Pétain, refers to him as “notre poster girl” (in English). “France is a country of disasters and lunches,” he quips one day after a less than satisfactory meal ofKartofels. “There are no more lunches now, only the disasters remain…”
Joseph Darnand, an ultracollabo, is the Commission’s Secretary of Interior Affairs (“except there’s no interior and no affairs,” Brinon comments). Decorated World War I hero, far right activist in the 1930’s (Action Française, then Croix-de-feu, and a Cagoulard to boot), and an SS Sturmbannführer, in 1942 he founded the volunteer Service d’ordre légionnaire (SOL). It became the dreaded Milice française– directly subordinated to him – in January 1943. He has brought some 10,000 faithful Milice members to the barracks in nearby Ulm, and plans to use them for a last stand. “Brave but obtuse,” according to Brinon.
Marcel Déat, the “minister of labor,” is for some reason the only member of the Commission with the rank of ministre. A Great War veteran and officer of the Légion d’honneur, a socialist until 1933 and a far right activist thereafter, he founded the pro-Nazi Rassemblement national populaire (RNP) in occupied Paris in 1941, and the French Legion of Volunteers (Légion des volontaires français, LVF) a year later. In 1944 it was incorporated into the French SS division Charlemagne.
Journalist Jean Luchaire, commissar for propaganda and information, is more polished than these two gentlemen but ideologically close to them. He starts a local radio station (somewhat ironically called Ici la France!), and a daily newspaper, predictably called La France, which was published until April 1945.
Freiherr Cécil von Renthe-Fink, Ribbentrop‘s envoy to Vichy, was also there, with little to do. The Ambassador is no longer welcome at Pétain’s table. M-me Laval, an open Germanophobe, does not allow him to the sixth floor either. He nevertheless soldiers on, busying himself with the procurement of provisions for the enclave amidst the looming collapse of the Reich.
In the town below there are several well known names from the world of French arts and letters. Actor Robert Le Vigan, openly homosexual and a drug addict, is the chief announcer for Ici la France. Poet Abel Bonnard, with similar proclivities (hence his nickname, “la Gestapette”) and the only member of the Academie to be expelled from its ranks, is a famous wit. On the account of frequent moves, he calls the Germans “notre agence Thomas Cook.” Laval is for him l’Auvergnat de Danube, Pétain “our dethroned monarch.”
Famous writer and virulent antisemite Louis-Ferdinand Céline is also there. After the war he wrote a hallucinatory novel about Sigmaringen, Castle to Castle (D’un château l’autre). Céline’s Sigmaringen is a dramatic stage and a paranoid anteroom for De Gaulle’s épuration légale trials which are already under way. The atmosphere of quiet desperation was briefly interrupted by a week of hope at Christmas 1944, during the initial stage of the German offensive in the Ardennes. Only Pétain maintains calm dignity in his self-imposed isolation, eating well and sleeping soundly. For Céline, Sigmaringen was the perfect backdrop for a romantic German tragedy or a Wagnerian musical drama, with a touch of Hollywood.
Commission officials and their wives eat together in the sumptuous dining hall. The fare is mediocre, even though they have menus based on four ration cards each. The atmosphere is morbid. In the evening they gather at the salon des dammes, not because they cherish each other’s company (quite the contrary) but because it is warm. Their cavernous rooms are not. Déat obsessively plays the lexicon, a version of scrabble, for hours on end. Darnand smokes his pipe in silence and reads papers. The ladies play cards. In the evening they listen to Radio Paris, and the news is grim. On 9 November they learn that journalist and Pétain’s biographer Georges Suarez was executed. On 6 February it was the turn of Robert Brasillach, whose last, sarcastic words were “Long live France, anyway!” (Vive la France, quand meme!) They had no command responsibility and no official functions. If they were shot on the account of their writing, the denizens of the castle could expect no mercy.
And so their lives went on, for eight long months, until a few days before the arrival of de Gaulle’s First Army on 24 April 1945. Only Pétain returns to France voluntarily, where a trial and a death sentence await him, commuted to life in view of his extreme old age and Great War record. Céline, his wife and cat manage to reach Denmark, where he lays low for some years after the war. No such luck for Brinon, who fails to get a Swiss visa and ends up before a firing squad in 1947. Laval managed to reach Spain on the very last German plane out, but Franco – pressured by de Gaulle – sends him back for a quick, brutal trial and execution on 7 October 1945. Darnand is captured in northern Italy in June, tried, and executed three days after Laval. Luchaire is recognized quite by accident in Innsbruck on 18 May 1945 by a French officer who had been a Gestapo agent in Paris until July 1944. “Haven’t you been shot?” asks Luchaire. “No, but you will be!” is the answer. Of the leading castle denizens only Déat and Bonnard, both sentenced to death in absentia, evade the firing squad. The former lived under an assumed name in Italy, the latter under his own in Spain.
Schloss Sigmaringen, like the Alcazar of Toledo, is one of those places which have a physical presence and a metaphysical quality. The French enclave of Sigmaringen was no longer life, not yet death. As such it is an apt metaphor for all of us, here, today.
So you thought that the unimaginable could not happen. The signal is heard loud and clear. Keeping your money in a fiduciary account will not only earn no interest; there will be an actual cost of parking your funds in a bank relationship. The madness that has engulfed the financial sector is preparing to escalate the systematic looting of saved capital. Ponder the consequences of negative bank rates and ask, what exactly can anyone do or where can they place their money for safekeeping. The first objective of entrusting your funds to a financial institution is to have the ability to obtain access to the return of your capital.
The Less Than Zero article analysis explains accordingly.
“Since central banks rates provide a benchmark for all borrowing costs across a country’s economy, yields on a range of fixed-income securities – including government bonds of countries like France and Germany – also slipped below zero. Banks are reluctant to pass on negative rates to retail depositors for fear of losing customers, even though that hurts their profit.
In theory, interest rates below zero should reduce borrowing costs for companies and households, driving demand for loans. In practice, there’s a risk that the policy might do more harm than good.”
Only a dullard would believe that banking institutions will not eventually drop their interest rate pay outs to depositors, as their own costs are taxed or central banking policy demands that the value of the currency must be diminished.
The example that Australia Wants To Tax Bank Deposits: Will The US Follow? This report poses an obvious question for anyone keeping money in the depository system.
“Several months ago, the government of Australia proposed to tax bank deposits up to $250,000 at a rate of 0.05% (5 basis points). To be clear, the proposal seems to plan on taxing the banks based on the amount of deposits they’re holding—but it’s pretty obvious this will be passed on to consumers in the form of lower interest rates.”
- Taxes on bank deposits are generally the same as negative interest rates.
- Taxes always start small… then increase over time.
- Taxes are rarely used for their stated purpose.
- If this can happen in Australia, is anyone foolish enough to think it can’t happen in the US or Europe?
Reuven Brenner, in The Potentially Devastating Consequences of Negative Rates, published in Real Clear Markets, the admittedly benedictory of this planned policy.
“The fact that the U.S. stock market has been – at least nominally – at an all-time high is not particularly surprising in such an environment. The problem is that stock-market signals no longer convey the information they did during normal times of positive interest rates. According to Bloomberg, companies have been buying back their shares at $5 billion per day, or roughly 2 percent of the value of shares traded on U.S. exchanges. Since 2009, they have bought back more than $2 trillion of their shares, spending about 95% of their earnings on buybacks and dividends, while issuing bonds at the low interest rates. Central banks’ zero interest rate experiment brought about the profitable financial engineering and increased nominal stock prices. The latter do not signal improved real prospects, but only that the buying of one’s own shares is a good investment with zero or negative interest rates.”
Individual net wealth has declined and real income has been in the tank since the 2008 meltdown is indisputable for the average family. Retirees have been hurt the most. The Negotium essay, Low Interest Rates Impoverish Savers makes the case that minuscule interest rates harm savers and concludes: “The submissive banking customer needs to take a hard look on continuing their depositing relationship with the commercial saving establishment.”
This determination is based upon pure common sense. The tangible purchasing power of the U.S. Dollar in this deflationary income scenario is buffeted by higher prices for staple and necessary costs. The end result is a loss of wealth and dim prospects of recouping the decrease in value of their cash.
What actions can be taken while your paper money can still be used to buy assets?
Even if a dramatic implosion of the international financial system can be forestalled or in a perfect world, avoided; the slow drop by drop decline in the marginal liquidity of the personal resources will accelerate even faster. All fantasyland prospects of prosperity returning as indebtedness continues are pure poppycock.
Going to cash presents another risk as author, Pater Tenebrarum’s assessment in The Consequences of Imposing Negative Interest Rates, indicates. “In the US, private persons who are found in possession of large amounts of cash must fully expect that it will be confiscated without trial or any evidence of a crime by means of the “civil forfeiture” procedure.”
Even if ready Federal Reserve notes are not stolen, the other danger is a currency recall. The “crayola currency” substitution, which has already taken place with hardly a whimper from the public, trained the population for a very real possibility that the U.S. Dollar may go extinct and a new fiat medium with a substantially lower purchasing power would be introduced.
Protecting capital in equities or bonds keeps your money at the mercy of the Corporatocracy. Stashing your notes in a saving account where a charge for keeping a deposit is certainly painful. None of these options are safe much less foolproof.
Buying physical metals has a strong historic record of preserving your remaining wealth. However, how long do you think it will take to criminalize holders of gold when the financial dam busts?
The only certainty known is that only the NWO elites have prepared their vision for global enslavement through the credit and debit paper transactions that they control. Populism demands a new era of monitory accountability and honest money.
Only from the ashes of central banking pillage through a political realignment of decentralized power can the world crawl back to solvency.
Sadly, Orientalism has not yet run its course. On the contrary, it has assumed different forms and has gained momentum in recent years.
No doubt, this love child of Imperialism which has helped create an inconceivable chasm between the East and the West has naturally done away with any possibly constructive interfaith and intercultural interaction in the world.
In fact, the emergence of extremist groups such as Daesh or ISIL in the name of Islam is a byproduct of this systematic effort by the West. By way of cementing its misrepresentation of the East in general and Islam in particular, Imperialism proceeds with its long-pursued agenda of creating stereotypes in the world and portraying the easterners as ‘despotic and clannish’ when they are placed in positions of power and conniving and sycophantic when in subservient positions. No wonder, extremism is generously funded and promoted by the West.
Lending an absurd quality of strangeness to the easterners, Imperialism generally depicts women as the beleaguered class and the dissidents as victims of the most monstrous forms of human rights violations while it itself masquerades as champion of truth and freedom.
As Edward Said encapsulates this notion in his seminal work Orientalism (1978), this attitude reflects a political vision of reality whose structure promotes the difference between the familiar (Europe, West, us) and the strange (the Orient, the East, “them”).
Thus, demonizing and otherizing the easterners serve as effective tools in the hands of Imperialism. After all, the ulterior motive behind Orientalism is the intellectual colonization of public opinion on the one hand and on the other, a ravenous desire to seek a safety-valve to the colonization of the natural resources of a certain country.
To Demonize or not to Demonize; that is the Question
Demonizing operates on two levels: they demonize you because they simply wish to colonize you; 2. they demonize you because they dread your increasing power, i.e. they are afraid of your emerging power which they fear to confront or/and which they find impossible to subjugate.
As part of this pernicious practice, Islamophobia can be defined as any concerted effort to demonize the glorious faith as monolithically bad, to consequently fabricate a fear of it and all that is considered Islamic and to ultimately dispel the mounting spread of the faith in the world.
In a similar vein, Iranophobia can be viewed as an extension of the demonization process by the West and as a new form of neo-Orientalism.
The new harbingers of neo-Orientalism sometimes infiltrate the Muslim communities under the guise of scholars, philosophers and intellectuals. Some of them are either well paid by Imperialism or they may be following their own fiendish agenda which may spring from their inveterate fear of or loathing to the Muslims or the easterners.
In modern times, these self-styled intellectuals infiltrate the eastern communities through modern means such as seminars, conferences and symposiums in order to avail themselves of a double pleasure, that is, to visit the country and subsequently deliver a ‘believably’ twisted account of their observations in the first place and to quench their voyeuristic quest for adventurism for the Orient which has long been on their wish list in the second.
Something Wicked this Way Comes
In November 2014, Harvard scholar Stephen Greenblatt readily accepted an offer to serve as the keynote speaker to the First International Shakespeare Conference in Iran at the University of Tehran without asking for any honorarium or travel costs as is the wont especially for someone of his fame and in view of his “busy schedule”.
“In April 2014 I received a letter from the University of Tehran, inviting me to deliver the keynote address to the first Iranian Shakespeare Congress.”
This came rather as a big surprise to one of the organizers who initially broke the matter to him as a shot in the dark, for his earlier efforts to invite other celebrated scholars to lecture at the Shakespeare Conference had failed like water off a duck’s back due to the lack of financial support.
So, Greenblatt was more than available and he was a well-known scholar in the field to boot. Besides, he had made some name in New Historicism School which made him even a far better candidate for the job. Given that, the organizers took the bait and decided to go on with necessary arrangements without thinking even for a moment that the Harvard scholar might be pursuing other than anything academic. Parenthetically, the professor had in his first email expressed his insatiable passion to visit the land of his dreams and how he was fascinated as a child by the photos he had seen of Isfahan and Persepolis.
That was how he had shrewdly obliterated any room for mistrust. Of course, once by way of dismissing any gaping suspicion, he had briefly asked who would pay for him or if any of his costs would be covered by the conference only after all arrangements had been made. And he secretly gloated over his easy triumph in outsmarting the organizers.
Eventually the promised day arrived and he deplaned at one in the morning at Imam Khomeini International Airport while the first organizer against whom he later spewed out his spiteful diatribe in an unmanly essay received him warmly at the airport.
“And there, waiting for me when I deplaned at 1:00 AM, was none other than the author of the articles denouncing the secret Zionist investors who controlled the world. He was smiling, gregarious, urbane.”
Eventually, the next morning, Greenblatt delivered a rather incoherent keynote speech at the conference as though he had not even spent a reasonable amount of time in preparing himself to deliver a decent lecture and later paid a two-day luxury visit to Isfahan and Shiraz to fulfill his dreams which inflicted an exorbitant cost on the University of Tehran.
Once back home, Greenblatt declined to convey even a word of gratitude to the first organizer who had spent two sleepless nights because of him through email or through any means of communication hitherto invented by human beings. That was extremely odd especially for a man who made a display of etiquette and gentlemanly manners to be so precociously unappreciative.
Et tu, Brute?
A few weeks later, the professor wrote an essay titled ‘Shakespeare in Tehran’ in the New York Review of Books and made a relentless attack on the first organizer and censured him to extremity, exhausting all his linguistic competence to this end. Unlike the established code of conduct by critics, Greenblatt numerously quoted him out of context from the different articles he had written in condemnation of Israeli atrocities. In the attitude of traditional Orientalists, he had cherry-picked some anti-Zionist rhetoric which seemed to have enormously pained the professor.
To everyone’s chagrin, Greenblatt implicitly voiced his support for Israel and Zionism.
“Did my prospective host—someone who had presumably grappled with the humane complexity of Shakespeare’s tragedies—actually believe these fantasies reminiscent of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion? A simple check online showed me that one of the scholars who signed my letter of invitation had written, in addition to essays on “The Contradictory Nature of the Ghost in Hamlet” and “The Aesthetic Response: The Reader in Macbeth,” many articles about the “gory diabolical adventurism” of international Zionism. “The tentacles of Zionist imperialism,” he wrote, “are by slow gradation spread over [the world].” “A precocious smile of satisfaction breaks upon the ugly face of Zionism.” “The Zionist labyrinthine corridors are so numerous that their footprints and their agents are scattered everywhere.”
Of course, that was the beginning of Greenblatt’s invasion on the organizer’s personality which can be interpreted as an egregious instance of character assassination.
There was a time when I transiently presumed that the age of stereotyping and otherizing is over but unfortunately, Greenblatt’s essay proves that the Orientalist viewpoint still prevails, that there is a cosmic gap between the West and the East and that this trend of stereotyping is painfully promoted by some western scholars.
One May Smile, and Smile, and be a Villain
Now it tragically transpired to everyone that the scholar who seemed so politically naïve, never expressed a political word and persistently presented himself as an agreeably smiling man with intellectual resources suddenly proved to a be a covert pro-Zionist who may even garner a medal of honor from Mr. Netanyahu.
Unfortunately, his superficial account did not end here.
Apparently overwhelmed by paranoid fear and ‘New Historical’ conspiracy theories, he saw himself surrounded by spies and intelligence agents at the faculty site.
“I also noticed among the men a few who stood apart and did not seem to be either students or faculty. It was not difficult to imagine who these might be.”
At the dinner table, when I asked him about Shakespeare’s anti-Semiticism (without consciously trying to hurt his delicacy as he was a Jew; besides, Greenblatt seemed affable and somehow likeable), he felt extremely agitated, saying that “Shakespeare was just curious about the Jews.” It was then when I came to understand the multilayered meanings of curiosity which was until then to me a naked word.
However, another instance of Greenblatt’s brazenly distorted representation of Iran is about Bagh-e Fin in Kashan:
“I wanted to see the late-sixteenth-century Baghe Fin, one of the walled enclosures that in old Persian were called “paradises.” (Other English borrowings from Persian include the words peach, lemon, and orange, along with cummerbund, kaftan, and pajama.)”
Here, the professor ridicules this paradise which was to him “a relatively small, dusty, square garden with very old cedar trees lined up in rows along very straight paths. A twinge of disappointment is built into the fulfillment of any desire that has been deferred for too long, so it is not surprising that my experience of paradise, in the form of the Bagh-e Fin, was a slight letdown.”
To deliver Greenblatt from his cocoon of ignorance as to the wonders of Iran, it should be noted that Bagh-e Fin is a garden in the midst of the desert. Iranians are noted and praised for their exceptional talent in building paradisal gardens in the heart of the desert such as Bagh-e Fin in Kashan and Bagh-e Shazd-e in Kerman.
But how can a man evidently endowed with critical intelligence fail to understand this simple fact?
What, Can the Devil Speak True?
In his depiction of Iran, Greenblatt is judgmentally biased and even before coming to the country, he had carried with him his baggage of pride and prejudice but what he observed in Iran fiercely challenged his entrenched expectations and dealt a heavy blow to his hidebound beliefs as well as to the hatred he had so keenly harbored in his heart in years about the Islamic Republic of Iran.
To his bewilderment just before him stood women and men who spoke courageously, intelligently, and boldly. Before his very eyes, he beheld women and men whom he had surreptitiously denigrated.
“… and there began a question period, a flood of inquiries and challenges stretching out for the better part of another hour. Most of the questions were from students, the majority of them women, whose boldness, critical intelligence, and articulateness startled me.”
But now his eyes reeled and his head swam when he found himself incapacitated to imbibe all that grandeur of a great nation where he had come with an agenda pushed under his arm by the Zionists before coming to Iran. In fact, the illusion of ‘American Exceptionalism’ which was clearly discernible in his condescending attitude towards the Iranian scholars and students as well as the conference organizers was shattered to smithereens.
That is how the scholar’s neo-Orientalist mission failed altogether. There are serious responses to his illogical and biased essay in Iran and abroad. Even Iranian runaway malcontents like Hamid Dabashi have blasted him for his essay.
The similitude of Greenblatt is as the similitude of a non-practicing scholar whom the Persian poet Sa’di compares to “a bee without honey. Tell that harsh and ungenerous hornet/As thou yield no honey, wound not with thy sting.”
The Rest Is Silence
In Literary Theory Course for PhD program which I am teaching this semester, my students vehemently refused to cover any of Greenblatt’s theories, insisting that I skip him as a critic in our course which I welcomed as I perceived their wounded pride and their monumental mistrust of New Historical theories and other lies represented by Greenblatt.
This commendable display of resilience and patriotism on the part of Iranian students evinced an unbreakable bond between them and their country as well as an overpowering repugnance to the enemies of Iran and those who wish to tarnish the image of the nation.
I can’t say for sure if I for one regard any respect for Stephen Greenblatt as a scholar not because he has made craven efforts to assassinate my character in his cabalistically dictated essay but because he has unforgivably insulted my nation. As William Shakespeare rightly put it, “To be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand.”
The misplaced reverence to the ill formulated U.S Constitution and hidden subjugation back to the City of London is one aspect of history that is not taught in government schools or discussed in institutes of higher education. This subject is probably new to most observers of the legacy from the Founding Father’s biggest mistake. Regular readers of BREAKING ALL THE RULES are familiar with the arguments made in the essays, In the beginning: Let there be the Articles of Confederation and Articles of Confederation was Preferable. Now the case for the betrayal of the purpose of the American Revolution needs to be explored.
Cited on the US Constitution Gave Legal Ownership and Control of the United States to London site is an assessment by Michael Edward.
“Neither the American people nor the Queen of Britain own America. The Crown Temple owns America through the deception of those who have worn their allegiance by oath to the Middle Templar Bar. The Crown Bankers and their Middle Templar Attorneys rule America through unlawful contracts, unlawful taxes, and, contract documents of false equity through debt deceit, all strictly enforced by their completely unlawful, but ‘legal,’ Orders, Rules and Codes of the Crown Temple Courts Our so-called ‘judiciary’ in America. This is because the Crown Temple holds the land titles and estate deeds to all of North America.”
An examination of The Templars of the Crown provides elaboration on this appraisal. For an even more in-depth analysis, review the material that probes AMERICAN LAND OWNERSHIP, A TRUE OXYMORON, which deals with the work of James Montgomery.
“Many of you are aware that the laws of this nation and it’s states, were made to be in compliance and submission to the laws of England, only modified by state and federal law. You will see in this last Chapter state statutes from just a few of the original colonies, that this is the case. Are these what are called ancient statutes? Yes. However, since the king’s Corporation is alive and well as are his heirs, so is his Trust and the law used to create and govern it. The law that governs his Trust can only be amended, no law could be enacted contrary to the king’s will and cestui que trust, the main corporate sole where office is always found, the Crown. The king’s practice of granting lands in this country to those loyal to him continues, along with their land grants being protected by state ancient statutes which are still on the books. We are governed by the king’s nobles just as in times of old England, self proclaimed nobles, and corporate trusts. They rule this country and the world. The huge corporations have been granted power and liberty not known by the common man. The nobles, real and the created, occupy their possessions as fiduciaries and trustees of the king’s grants; only if they remain loyal to the system, their privilege and life style are their reward.”
Invest the time in discovering all the historic accounts, legal rulings and linkages that go back to the Crown, AKA, the City of London.
If you are unfamiliar with The (British) Crown Empire and the City of London Corporation take a quick refresher course on the actual nature of the financial foundation and codified sanction that purports to be lawful. Jurisprudence may be legal by the definition and formulations of the judicious barrister class, but it certainly is not founded on the basic principles of natural law.
Julian Websdale concludes: “The whole Earth is governed by The Crown, through Crown Colonies which belong to The City – The Crown Empire. It governs Africa and still governs China and India. The colonies of the Earth are really just Crown Colonies – The United States of America are states of The Crown.”
Now this interpretation may seem bizarre to most and the plot thickens in the The construe Powers – Behind the Global Empire piecing together a long account of legalized equity mandates.
“The signed treaties and charters between Britain and the United States reveals that King James the 1st was not only famous for translating the Bible, but for signing the first charter of Virginia in 1606. That charter granted America’s British forefathers a license to settle and colonize America and guaranteed future kings and queens of England to have sovereign authority over citizens and colonized land in America. The treaty of 1783 identifies the king of England as the prince of the United States. King George the 3rd gave up most of his claims over American colonies, but he kept his right to continue receiving payment for his business venture of colonizing America.”
The next element to consider has The Top of the Pyramid: The Rothschilds, the British Crown and the Vatican Rule the World. Read this account and trace back the historic lineage of some of the Englishmen who founded America.
“To have the Declaration of Independence recognized internationally, Middle Templar King George III agreed in the Treaty of Paris of 1783 to establish the legal Crown entity of the incorporated United States, referred to internally as the Crown Temple States (Colonies). States spelled with a capital letter ‘S,’ denotes a legal entity of the Crown.
At least five Templar Bar Attorneys under solemn oath to the Crown, signed the American Declaration of Independence. This means that both parties were agents of the Crown.”
As time proceeds, the sell out of the “shot heard around the world” revolution deepens.Two Constitutions in the United States. 1st was illegally suspended in favor of a Vatican “Crown” corporation in 1871. This approving assessment of the Federal Constitution views a Shadow Government in place since 1871.
“Since 1871 the United States president and the United States Congress has been playing politics under a different set of rules and policies. The American people do not know that there are two Constitutions in the United States. The first penned by the leaders of the newly independent states of the United States in 1776. On July 4, 1776, the people claimed their independence from the Crown (temporal authority of the Roman Catholic Pope) and Democracy was born. And for 95 years the United States people were free and independent. That freedom ended in 1871 when the original “Constitution for the United States for America” was changed to the “THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”.
The Congress realized that the country was in dire financial straits, so they made a financial deal with the devil – the Crown (a.k.a. City of London Corporation – est. by the Catholic Church on Jan 1, 1855 ) thereby incurring a DEBT to the Pope. The conniving Pope and his bankers were not about to lend the floundering nation any money without some serious stipulations. So, they devised a way of taking back control of the United States and thus, the Act of 1871 was passed. With no constitutional authority to do so, Congress created a separate form of government for the District of Columbia.
With the passage of “the Act of 1871” a city state (a state within a state) called the District of Columbia located on 10 sq miles of land in the heart of Washington was formed with its own flag and its own independent constitution – the United States’ secret second constitution.”
Lastly, Three Corporations run the world: City of London, Washington DC and Vatican City list the City of London houses as including:
Rothschild controlled ‘Bank of England’
Lloyds of London
The London Stock Exchange
All British Banks
The Branch offices of 384 Foreign Banks
70 USA Banks
Fleet Streets Newspaper and Publishing Monopolies
Headquarters for Worldwide Freemasonry
Headquarters for the worldwide money cartel known as ’THE CROWN’
Conclusion: “City of London directly and indirectly controls all mayors, councils, regional councils, multi-national and trans-national banks, corporations, judicial systems (through Old Bailey, Temple Bar and the Royal Courts of Justice in London), the IMF, World Bank, Vatican Bank (through N. M. Rothschild & Sons London Italian subsidiary Torlonia), European Central Bank, United States Federal Reserve (which is privately owned and secretly controlled by eight British-controlled shareholding banks), the Bank for International Settlements in Switzerland (which is also British-controlled and oversees all of the Reserve Banks around the world including our own) and the European Union and the United Nations Organization.”
This introduction to the actual influence and pompous legal authority that underpins the financial hierarchy is based upon a historic explanation that is foreign to most Americans. The implications are staggering and for this reason alone, most are not willing to do their own research. Do not get caught up in the uncanny departure from the usual rendering of reality. Remember that the City of London’s coat-of-arms reads in Latin – Domine Dirige Nos – which translates, Lord, direct us. The true question, asks just which deity do the soldiers of the Crown adore?
“In order to survive and preserve its leading role on the international stage, the US desperately needs to plunge Eurasia into chaos, (and) to cut economic ties between Europe and Asia-Pacific Region … Russia is the only (country) within this potential zone of instability that is capable of resistance. It is the only state that is ready to confront the Americans. Undermining Russia’s political will for resistance… is a vitally important task for America.”
-Nikolai Starikov, Western Financial System Is Driving It to War, Russia Insider
“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”
-The Wolfowitz Doctrine, the original version of the Defense Planning Guidance, authored by Under Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, leaked to the New York Times on March 7, 1992
The United States does not want a war with Russia, it simply feels that it has no choice. If the State Department hadn’t initiated a coup in Ukraine to topple the elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, then the US could not have inserted itself between Russia and the EU, thus, disrupting vital trade routes which were strengthening nations on both continents. The economic integration of Asia and Europe–including plans for high-speed rail from China (“The New Silk Road”) to the EU–poses a clear and present danger for the US whose share of global GDP continues to shrink and whose significance in the world economy continues to decline. For the United States to ignore this new rival (EU-Russia) would be the equivalent of throwing in the towel and accepting a future in which the US would face a gradual but persistent erosion of its power and influence in world affairs. No one in Washington is prepared to let that happen, which is why the US launched its proxy-war in Ukraine.
The US wants to separate the continents, “prevent the emergence of a new rival”, install a tollbooth between Europe and Asia, and establish itself as the guarantor of regional security. To that end, the US is rebuilding the Iron Curtain along a thousand mile stretch from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. Tanks, armored vehicles and artillery are being sent to the region to reinforce a buffer zone around Europe in order to isolate Russia and to create a staging ground for future US aggression. Reports of heavy equipment and weapons deployment appear in the media on nearly a daily basis although the news is typically omitted in the US press. A quick review of some of the recent headlines will help readers to grasp the scale of the conflict that is cropping up below the radar:
“US, Bulgaria to hold Balkans military drills”, “NATO Begins Exercises In Black Sea”, “Army to send even more troops, tanks to Europe”, “Poland requests greater US military presence”, “U.S. Army sending armored convoy 1,100 miles through Europe”, “Over 120 US tanks, armored vehicles arrive in Latvia”, “US, Poland to Conduct Missile Exercise in March – Pentagon”
Get the picture? There’s a war going on, a war between the United States and Russia.
Notice how most of the headlines emphasize US involvement, not NATO. In other words, the provocations against Russia originate from Washington not Europe. This is an important point. The EU has supported US-led economic sanctions, but it’s not nearly as supportive of the military build up along the perimeter. That’s Washington’s idea and the cost is borne by the US alone. Naturally, moving tanks, armored vehicles and artillery around the world is an expensive project, but the US is more than willing to make the sacrifice if it helps to achieve its objectives.
And what are Washington’s objectives?
Interestingly, even political analysts on the far right seem to agree about that point. For example, check out this quote from STRATFOR CEO George Friedman who summed it up in a recent presentation he delivered at The Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs. He said:
“The primordial interest of the United States, over which for centuries we have fought wars–the First, the Second and Cold Wars–has been the relationship between Germany and Russia, because united there, they’re the only force that could threaten us. And to make sure that that doesn’t happen.” … George Friedman at The Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs, Time 1:40 to 1:57)
Bingo. Ukraine has nothing to do with sovereignty, democracy or (alleged) Russian aggression. That’s all propaganda. It’s about power. It’s about imperial expansion. It’s about spheres of influence. It’s about staving off irreversible economic decline. It’s all part of the smash-mouth, scorched earth, take-no-prisoners geopolitical world in which we live, not the fake Disneyworld created by the western media. The US State Department and CIA toppled the elected-government in Ukraine and ordered the new junta regime to launch a desperate war of annihilation against its own people in the East, because, well, because they felt they had no other option. Had Putin’s ambitious plan to create a free trade zone between Lisbon to Vladivostok gone forward, then where would that leave the United States? Out in the cold, that’s where. The US would become an isolated island of dwindling significance whose massive account deficits and ballooning national debt would pave the way for years of brutal restructuring, declining standards of living, runaway inflation and burgeoning social unrest. Does anyone really believe that Washington would let that to happen when it has a “brand-spanking” trillion dollar war machine at its disposal?
Heck, no. Besides, Washington believes it has a historic right to rule the world, which is what one would expect when the sense of entitlement and hubris reach their terminal phase. Now check out this clip from an article by economist Jack Rasmus at CounterPunch:
“Behind the sanctions is the USA objective of driving Russia out of the European economy. Europe was becoming too integrated and dependent on Russia. Not only its gas and raw materials, but trade relations and money capital flows were deepening on many fronts between Russia and Europe in general prior to the Ukraine crisis that has provided the cover for the introduction of the sanctions. Russia’s growing economic integration with Europe threatened the long term economic interests of US capitalists. Strategically, the US precipitated coup in the Ukraine can be viewed, therefore as a means by which to provoke Russian military intervention, i.e. a necessary event in order to deepen and expand economic sanctions that would ultimately sever the growing economic ties between Europe and Russia long term. That severance in turn would not only ensure US economic interests remain dominant in Europe, but would also open up new opportunities for profit making for US interests in Europe and Ukraine as well…
When the rules of the competition game between capitalists break down altogether, the result is war—i.e. the ultimate form of inter-capitalist competition.” (The Global Currency Wars, Jack Rasmus, CounterPunch)
See? Analysts on the right and left agree. Ukraine has nothing to do with sovereignty, democracy or Russian aggression. It’s plain-old cutthroat geopolitics, where the last man left standing, wins.
The United States cannot allow Russia reap the benefits of its own vast resources. Oh, no. It has to be chastised, it has to be bullied, it has to be sanctioned, isolated, threatened and intimidated. That’s how the system really works. The free market stuff is just horsecrap for the sheeple.
Russia is going to have to deal with chaotic, fratricidal wars on its borders and color-coded regime change turbulence in its capital. It will have to withstand reprisals from its trading partners, attacks on its currency and plots to eviscerate its (oil) revenues. The US will do everything in its power to poison the well, to demonize Putin, to turn Brussels against Moscow, and to sabotage the Russian economy.
Divide and conquer, that’s the ticket. Keep them at each others throats at all times. Sunni vs Shia, one ethnic Ukrainian vs the other, Russians vs Europeans. That’s Washington’s plan, and it’s a plan that never fails.
US powerbrokers are convinced that America’s economic slide can only be arrested by staking a claim in Central Asia, dismembering Russia, encircling China, and quashing all plans for an economically-integrated EU-Asia. Washington is determined to prevail in this existential conflict, to assert its hegemonic control over the two continents, and to preserve its position as the world’s only superpower.
Only Russia can stop the United States and we believe it will.
Even a seasoned cynic sometimes gasps in disbelief. “President Putin misinterprets much of what the U.S. is doing or trying to do,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told a press conference in Geneva on March 2. “We are not involved in ‘numerous color revolutions’ as he asserts. In the case of Ukraine, such assumptions are also wrong. The United States support international law with respect to the sovereignty and integrity of other people.”
This is akin to Count Dracula asserting his strict adherence to a vegan diet and his principled respect for the integrity of blood banks worldwide.
Various quasi-NGOs funded by American taxpayers and funneled through organizations such as the National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House and the National Democratic Institute, not to mention George Soros’s Open Society Foundations (partly funded by U.S. and other Western governments), have been actively engaged in dozens of “regime-change” operations for a decade and a half. Their work is conducted in disregard of international law and in violation of the sovereignty and integrity of the people whose governments are thus targeted.
The overthrow of Slobodan Milosevic in Belgrade (October 2000) provided the blueprint, in strict accordance with Gene Sharp’s manual. Widespread popular discontent was manipulated by the U.S./Soros funded and trained Otpor! network to bring to power a government subservient to Western political and economic interests. The moderately patriotic yet hapless new president, constitutional lawyer Vojislav Kostunica, was used as a battering ram to bring Milosevic down. Once that goal was achieved, Kostunica was promptly marginalized by Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic and his successors – Serbia’s two-term president Boris Tadic in particular – who turned the country into a pliant tool of foreign interests. Wholesale robbery of Serbia’s state and public assets promptly followed the 2000 coup, resulting in the Balkan country’s comprehensive de-industrialization. Official Belgrade was forced to accept Kosovo’s de facto “independence” in the name of the elusive goal of joining the European Union.
Georgia’s 2003 “Rose Revolution” was carried out by the Kmara (“Enough”) network, a carbon copy of Serbia’s “Otpor,” including the clenched fist logo. Its activists were trained and advised by the U.S.-affiliated Liberty Institute and funded by the Open Society Institute. It brought to power Mikhel Saakashvili, a corrupt “pro-Western” politician currently wanted by Georgia’s government on multiple criminal charges. The coup was largely financed by Soros’s network, which spent $42 million in the three months before the coup preparing the overthrow of the government of Eduard Shevardnadze. The most important geopolitical result was Georgia’s NATO candidacy, supported by Washington, which is currently stalled but which has the potential to be as perniciously destabilizing as the crisis in Ukraine.
Speaking in Tblisi in June 2005, Soros said: “I am very pleased and proud of the work of the Foundation in preparing Georgian society for what became a Rose Revolution, but the role of the Foundation and me personally has been greatly exaggerated.” The new government, as it happens, included Alexander Lomaia, former Secretary of the Georgian Security Council and minister of education and science, who at the time of the coup was Executive Director of the Open Society Georgia Foundation. David Darchiashvili, ex-chairman of the Committee for European Integration in the Georgian parliament, was also an executive director of the Foundation. As former Georgian foreign minister Salomé Zourabichvili wrote in 2008, “all the NGO’s which gravitate around the Soros Foundation undeniably carried the revolution… [A]fterwards, the Soros Foundation and the NGOs were integrated into power.” Interestingly, the U.S. Ambassador in Georgia at the time of the 2003 regime-change operation, Richard Miles, was the Ambassador in Belgrade at the time of Milosevic’s downfall three years earlier.
The march of history continued with the 2004 “Orange Revolution” in Ukraine – that grand rehearsal for the Maidan coup a decade later – and the 2005 “Cedar Revolution” in Lebanon, which was given its name by then-U.S. Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Paula J. Dobriansky. Also in 2005 the “Tulip Revolution” in Kyrgyzstan had as its chief foreign advisor Givi Targamadze, an official of Georgia’s aforementioned Liberty Institute, who at the time chaired Saakashvili’s parliamentary committee on defense and security.
In 2006 Congress passed the Iran Freedom and Support Act which provided taxpayer funding for groups opposed to the Iranian government, and then-Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns said the administration was “taking a page from the playbook” on Ukraine and Georgia. A year later the George W. Bush administration authorized a $400 million covert operation budget to foment unrest in Iran. In 2012 Seymor M. Hersh wrote that the U.S. has provided funding and training to the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, a militant group which had been listed by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organization,
In 2012 President Obama authorized U.S. government agencies to support violent regime change in Syria. By early 2013 the Administration was helping the “moderate” rebels – i.e. jihadists with no overt links to al-Qaeda – to the tune of $250 million, and that figure has been at least doubled since. The result has been disastrous for the Syrian people (Christians in particular), and hugely detrimental to U.S. security interests in the region. The insurgency against Bashar al-Assad has directly contributed to the rise of ISIS, with no end to the latest war in sight.
Last month Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro gave a televised speech in which he alleged systematic U.S. involvement in destabilization attempts against his government. The U.S. Department of State called his claims “baseless” and “false.” “The United States does not support political transitions by non-constitutional means,” read the statement from Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki. Indeed. One of the leaders of the failed anti-Chavez coup d’etat in 2002, Rear Admiral Carlos Molina, has stated that he was acting with US support. Ditto the CIA-supported regime-change operation in Nicaragua in 2009.
As for the Maidan Revolution, crowned by “political transition by non-constitutional means” par excellence, Victoria Nuland readily admitted that its preparation cost the U.S. taxpayers some $5 billion over the preceding decade. The result is the most dangerous geopolitical crisis of the post-Cold War era, systematically engineered and conducted by the regime-changing exceptionalists in Washington D.C. who believe that they are exempt from historical forces and legal restraints that apply to merely mortal countries.
Former U.S. Ambassador in Moscow Michael McFaul boasted to The New York Times a week after taking duty in January 2012 that he would make his “pro-democracy” mark in Moscow “in a very, very aggressive way.” Some months earlier, McFaul declared that “even while working closely with Putin on matters of mutual interest, Western leaders must recommit to the objective of creating the conditions for a democratic leader to emerge in the long term.” This was a regime-change agenda expressed with brutal bluntness: we need to “de-Putinize” Russia, he declared. It would be interesting to see the U.S. reaction if a similar statement (“We need to to de-Obamanize America!”) were to be made by an incoming Russian ambassador in Washington.
In Russia the regime-change program did not work, however. First and foremost, there was no popular support: hundreds of “activists” demonstrating against Putin in 2012 could be turned into “thousands” in Western post-election media reports, but that was still far below the tens, let alone hundreds, of thousands needed to kick-start a regime-change op. Infuriatingly for the planners, Russia simultaneously enacted a law regulating foreign “NGO” activities which was patterned directly on the American Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which regulates activities of the agents of foreign governments in the United States. Enacted in the 1930’s to require disclosure of Americans working on behalf of Nazi Germany, and used to control Soviet agents thereafter, FARA requires full public disclosure of those same activities that the U.S. government had tried to fund in Russia. The Federal Election Campaign Act flatly prohibits foreign involvement in American elections – yet it was touted as legitimate when conducted in Russia by Washington’s protégés under the guise of promoting democracy.
The regime-change mania will go on and on. It is inseparable from the psychotic belief in one’s indispensability and exceptionalism. It is a form of self-defeating grandomania that can only stop with America’s long-overdue abandonment of the global hegemony experiment.
And yes, John Kerry is a liar.
The first two months of 2015 have seen turmoil in the currency markets extend from Russia and Ukraine to the heart of Europe.
“Central Banks Now Open 24/7 Fighting Currency Wars and Deflation,” blared a February 12th Bloomberg headline. Against this backdrop, precious metals have been on the rise in terms of all currencies except the Swiss franc and the U.S dollar.
In January, the Swiss National Bank shocked markets by announcing that it would de-link its currency from the euro. The move came one week ahead of the European Central Bank’s $1.1 trillion Quantitative Easing announcement. Swiss officials decided it would be too costly to keep accumulating depreciating euros in order to maintain the currency peg. The Swiss franc surged by the most ever in a single day.
With the exception of Switzerland, all other countries in Europe (and many others around the world) are trying to depreciate their currencies.
Since January 1, the following central banks have announced interest rate cuts or other monetary easing measures: European Central Bank, Reserve Bank of Australia, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Monetary Authority of Singapore, and the central banks of India, Canada, Denmark, and Sweden.
On February 12th, the Swedish Riksbank announced a surprise rate cut from 0% to below 0%. “To ensure that inflation rises towards the target, the Riksbank is prepared to quickly make monetary policy more expansionary, even between the ordinary monetary policy meetings,” the world’s oldest central bank said in a statement.
Sweden joins the European Central Bank and the central banks of a handful of other countries in pushing benchmark interest rates into negative territory. These central bankers are all aiming to revive inflation. “Investors” who are buying bonds yielding less than nothing (a negative rate) are apparently convinced that central bankers won’t succeed in depreciating their currencies.
Insanity! Investors Now Paying for the “Privilege” of Lending to Broke Governments
This could go down as one of the oddest, most irrational asset bubbles in history. Trillions of dollars are now tied up in debt instruments that promise to return less than the invested principal. According to a report issued by J.P. Morgan, $3.6 trillion in government bonds around the world now carry negative yields.
It raises the obvious question; why would so many people be willing to accept a negative rate of return?
You’d think that institutional investors would start getting wise to holding gold as a hard-currency alternative to cash instruments that yield less than zero. The fact that gold has no interest rate is actually an advantage in an environment where competing rates are negative! Plus, unlike most of the bonds issued in this upside-down interest rate market, gold has significant appreciation potential.
If inflation rises even modestly to the 2% target of European and U.S. central bankers, then bonds issued at rates of below 2% will all be losers. The two-year Treasury note yields only 0.63%. Even the recent 10-year yield of 1.98% fails to match the Federal Reserve’s inflation ambitions.
The fact that gold has no interest rate is actually an advantage in an environment where competing rates are negative!
In this environment of ultra-low nominal yields or even negative real yields, precious metals as a reserve asset look very attractive. Many central bankers around the world agree and are busily accumulating gold. According to a report issued by the World Gold Council in February, governments around the world added 477.2 metric tons of gold to their reserves in 2014. That haul was the second biggest in 50 years.
When inflation fears return to the market, as they eventually will, precious metals will become one of the premier asset classes to hold. Even now, they are performing better than virtually all other world currencies.
The end game of these ongoing currency wars is that all fiat currencies will be debased. And a true flight to quality will accelerate – with assets fleeing depreciating currencies (and debt instruments denominated in them) and piling into gold and silver.
Will the Fed Chicken Out on Rate Hikes?
Of course, right now it’s deflation fears that are dominating headlines. But the inflationary policy responses from the European Central Bank and others that have followed the ECB’s lead have lifted gold and silver prices markedly in terms of euros and other currencies.
As confidence in European currencies plunges, there’s only so much corresponding dollar strength the Federal Reserve is willing to tolerate. There’s been much talk of rate hikes coming later this year, and that widespread expectation has been priced into the market. Any rhetorical or policy disappointments from the Fed in the months ahead could cause traders to sell the dollar.
Whether later this year or further down the road, it’s only a matter of time before currency turmoil spreads to the United States.
The U.S. has a higher debt-to-GDP ratio than some troubled European countries. It has higher levels of unfunded liabilities (estimated to be in excess of $100 trillion) than any other country. The dollar’s status as world reserve currency has allowed the U.S. to become financially overextended. But that vaunted status is slowly deteriorating as Russia, China, and other countries form economic alliances that bypass the dollar.
When these chickens come home to roost, you don’t want to be wholly dependent on the U.S. government’s promises or its currency. Sizeable holdings in physical precious metals will help make you financially resilient in the face of the spreading global currency crisis.
It was supposed to be a phone call for Obama administration ears only. But hear it the radio host did, she says. And what she heard should make your blood run cold — and perhaps your rage hot. Obama’s amnesty plan is to use illegal aliens as “seedlings,” said the federal officials. They will “navigate, not assimilate,” as they “take over the host,” create a “country within a country” and start “pushing the citizens into the shadows.”
Welcome to the “fundamental transformation” of America.
The above was alleged by WCBM radio co-host Sue Payne in an interview with talk giant Mark Levin last Thursday. Payne says that while at an immigration rally, she became privy to three conference calls in which 16 Obama administration officials — including Cecilia Muñoz, director of Obama’s White House Domestic Policy Council — discussed plans for what could only be called the final destruction of traditional America and the cementing of leftist hegemony. Muñoz, by the way, is perfectly suited to this task; she was once a senior vice president for the anti-American Hispanic lobbying organization the National Council of La Raza.
Oh, la raza means “the race” (I guess the whole “‘Hispanic’ is an ethnicity” thing doesn’t cut much ice with them).
Payne opened the interview by explaining that what Obama actually did on November 21 — the day he signed his supposed executive amnesty — was create the “Task Force on New Americans” (TFNA) for the purposes of implementing his legalization scheme. And it won’t be applied to just 5 million illegals, but “13 to 15 million to give protection [to] and move…on to citizenship,” reports Payne.
Payne then said that the illegals, labeled “seedlings,” would eventually “take over the host.” She continued, “And the immigrants will come out of the shadows, and what I got from the meetings was that they would be pushing the citizens into the shadows. They would be taking over the country; in fact, one of the members of the task force actually said that we would be developing a country within a country.”
To this nefarious end, the goal of the TFNA is to create a “welcoming feeling” in illegal-seeded localities, which would be redesignated “receiving communities.” They’d subsequently be transformed (fundamentally, I suppose) into what are labeled “emerging immigrant communities” — or as some would say, México Norte.
The officials also said, reports Payne, that for the seedlings to “grow” they needed “fertile soil” (a.k.a. your tax money). The officials stated that the legalized aliens needed to be redesignated as “refugees” and be given cash, medical care, credit cards for purchasing documents and — since many illegals will be older — Social Security so they can “age successfully within their country within a country,” to quote Payne. As she then put it, it’s “as if we were funding our own destruction here.”
Some may point out that Payne has no smoking gun (that we know of) in the form of, let’s say, a recording of the calls. But Levin vetted her and found her credible, calling the scheme “stunning” and reflective of “Mao’s China.” I believe her as well, but it doesn’t even matter. She simply confirms what I’ve been warning of for years and years over and over again: The Left is importing their voters, engaging indemographic warfare and authoring the death of the republic.
Mind you, legal immigration itself is a sufficient vehicle for this. Ever since the Immigration Reform and Nationality Act of 1965, 85 percent of our immigrants have hailed from the Third World and Asia, thus growing leftist constituencies that vote for socialistic Democrats by approximately a four-to-one margin; in contrast and as Pat Buchanan pointed out, “[N]early 90 percent of all Republican votes in presidential elections are provided by Americans of European descent.” This, along with hatred and bigotry, is a major reason why Obama and his ilk want to destroy white America.
But liberals crave immediate gratification, and amnesty greatly accelerates this process. Legalize 15 million socialist voters clamoring for handouts, have them bring in relatives via chain migration — give them Social Security numbers which they can use to vote (as is Obama’s plan) — and tomorrow’s leftist dystopia is today. I predicted this in 2008, by the way, writing:
The coup de grace Obama will use against rightist opposition is mostly embodied in one word: amnesty. This, along with some other measures, will both grow the Hispanic voting block and ingratiate Obama to it. This will enable him to create a powerful coalition of blacks, young voters and Hispanics that, along with the older whites he will be able to retain, will constitute an insurmountable electoral force. And this is why amnesty has long been a dream of the Democrats. Even easier than brainwashing new voters (which the media and academia specialize in) is importing them.
Admittedly, I can be criticized since the above article is titled “How Obama Will Ensure His Victory in 2012.” But titles are hooks as much as anything else. And since I don’t have a crystal ball, just a not yet crystallized brain, I’d never claim to be able to perfectly predict timing. It also turned out that Obama and the 2009 to 2011Democrat House and Senate were preoccupied with instituting ObamaCare, and that the liberal legislators were perhaps too cowardly to face re-election having passed amnesty. Regardless, I have another prediction, one I hope you’ll take seriously:
The chances are slim to nil that Obama’s amnesty will be stopped legislatively.
Obama against John Boehner is the Beltway Brawler vs. the Beltway Bawler. Moreover, I suspect establishment Republicans — who just refused to defund Obama’s scheme — want executive amnesty. Why? Because the issue has been an albatross around their necks. And while they don’t have the guts or desire to really stand against Invasion USA, they also know voting for amnesty would mean electoral disaster. So, let Obama act unilaterally, huff and puff a bit with a wink and a nod while doing nothing of substance, and “Voila!” The issue is off the table with plausible deniability of complicity.
And the courts? They may uphold the recent injunction against Obamnesty, but there’s no saying Obama won’t ignore the courts (he assuredly understands that judicial review is a jurist invention). And, anyway, amnesty was always only a matter of time with today’s cultural trajectory. Yet this cloud does have a silver lining.
The Left was very successful boiling the frog slowly with the legal importation of socialist voters and the gradual transformation of our culture via entertainment, the media and academia. But liberals’ childish haste may have led to a tactical error. By going all in on executive orders and amnesty — by transitioning from evolutionary to revolutionary change and turning the burner up high — the Left risks rousing that frog from his pan. And how should it jump?
Obama said after the November Republican victory that it was his “profound preference and interest to see Congress act on a comprehensive immigration reform bill” (emphasis added), but otherwise he’ll work via executive orders. He also offered the GOP a deal: “You send me a bill that I can sign, and those executive actions go away.”
Translation: My preference is to follow the Constitution.
But my will be done — one way or the other.
How to respond? Question: what do you do when someone says “My preference is to follow the game’s rules, but if I can’t win that way, I’ll have to cheat”? You can:
- Continue losing; be a Charlie Brown sucker who keeps thinking that this time Lucy won’t pull the football away.
- Cheat right back (hard to do without judges in your pocket).
- Stop playing the game.
Now, conservatives, consummate ladies and gentlemen that they are, consistently choose option one. Far be it from them to violate the “law” even when it’s unconstitutional and therefore lawless. But I prefer option three.
This means nullification. Note that the Constitution is the contract Americans have with each other. And what happens when one party subject to a contract continually violates it in order to advantage itself, aided and abetted by corrupt judges?
The contract is rendered null and void.
Remember, cheaters don’t stop cheating until forced to. Governors and their legislatures need to man-up and tell the feds, “You like acting unilaterally and unconstitutionally? Two can play that game.” And this means not just ignoring Obama’s amnesty dictates, but nullifying a multitude of other things as well.
The other option is demographic and cultural genocide and the politics attending that. The Left knows this, too. Obama noted that growing “diversity hinders conservative priorities,” wrote the DC last month. Congressman Kurt Schrader (D-OR) said recently that amnesty “will decide who is in charge of this country for the next 20 or 30 years.” And an ex-advisor to former Prime Minister Tony Blair confessed in 2009 that the goal of the British Labour Party’s massive culture-rending immigration was to “rub the Right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date.”
Do you get it yet?
Defy and Nullify.
The alternative is to walk legally and quietly into that good night, going out not with a bang but a whimper, muttering something about 2016, the Supreme Court and pixie dust.
“The collapse of the Soviet Union removed the only constraint on Washington’s power to act unilaterally abroad…. Suddenly the United States found itself to be the Uni-power, the ‘world’s only superpower.’ Neoconservatives proclaimed ‘the end of history.’”
— Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury
“Don’t blame the mirror if your face is crooked.”
— Russian proverb
Vladimir Putin delivered a speech at the 43rd Munich Security Conference that created a rift between Washington and Moscow that has only deepened over time. The Russian President’s blistering hour-long critique of US foreign policy provided a rational, point-by-point indictment of US interventions around the world and their devastating effect on global security. Putin probably didn’t realize the impact his candid observations would have on the assembly in Munich or the reaction of powerbrokers in the US who saw the presentation as a turning point in US-Russian relations. But, the fact is, Washington’s hostility towards Russia can be traced back to this particular incident, a speech in which Putin publicly committed himself to a multipolar global system, thus, repudiating the NWO pretensions of US elites. Here’s what he said:
“I am convinced that we have reached that decisive moment when we must seriously think about the architecture of global security. And we must proceed by searching for a reasonable balance between the interests of all participants in the international dialogue.”
With that one formulation, Putin rejected the United States assumed role as the world’s only superpower and steward of global security, a privileged position which Washington feels it earned by prevailing in the Cold War and which entitles the US to unilaterally intervene whenever it sees fit. Putin’s announcement ended years of bickering and deliberation among think tank analysts as to whether Russia could be integrated into the US-led system or not. Now they knew that Putin would never dance to Washington’s tune.
In the early years of his presidency, it was believed that Putin would learn to comply with western demands and accept a subordinate role in the Washington-centric system. But it hasn’t worked out that way. The speech in Munich merely underscored what many US hawks and Cold Warriors had been saying from the beginning, that Putin would not relinquish Russian sovereignty without a fight. The declaration challenging US aspirations to rule the world, left no doubt that Putin was going to be a problem that had to be dealt with by any means necessary including harsh economic sanctions, a State Department-led coup in neighboring Ukraine, a conspiracy to crash oil prices, a speculative attack of the ruble, a proxy war in the Donbass using neo-Nazis as the empire’s shock troops, and myriad false flag operations used to discredit Putin personally while driving a wedge between Moscow and its primary business partners in Europe. Now the Pentagon is planning to send 600 paratroopers to Ukraine ostensibly to “train the Ukrainian National Guard”, a serious escalation that violates the spirit of Minsk 2 and which calls for a proportionate response from the Kremlin. Bottom line: The US is using all the weapons in its arsenal to prosecute its war on Putin.
Last week’s gangland-style murder of Russian opposition leader, Boris Nemtsov, has to be considered in terms of the larger geopolitical game that is currently underway. While we may never know who perpetrated the crime, we can say with certainly that the lack of evidence hasn’t deterred the media or US politicians from using the tragedy to advance an anti-Putin agenda aimed at destabilizing the government and triggering regime change in Moscow. Putin himself suggested that the killing may have been a set-up designed to put more pressure on the Kremlin. The World Socialist Web Site summed up the political implications like this:
“The assassination of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov is a significant political event that arises out of the US-Russia confrontation and the intense struggle that is now underway within the highest levels of the Russian state. The Obama administration and the CIA are playing a major role in the escalation of this conflict, with the aim of producing an outcome that serves the global geo-political and financial interests of US imperialism….
It is all but obvious that the Obama administration is hoping a faction will emerge within the Russian elite, backed by elements in the military and secret police, capable of staging a “palace coup” and getting rid of Putin….
The United States is not seeking to trigger a widespread popular revolt. (But) are directed entirely at convincing a section of the oligarchy and emerging capitalist class that their business interests and personal wealth depend upon US support. That is why the Obama administration has used economic sanctions targeting individuals as a means of exerting pressure on the oligarchs as well as broader sections of the entrepreneurial elite….
It is in the context of this international power struggle that one must evaluate Nemtsov’s murder. Of course, it is possible that his death was the outcome of his private dealings. But it is more likely that he was killed for political reasons. Certainly, the timing of the killing—on the eve of the opposition’s anti-Putin demonstration in Moscow—strongly indicates that the killing was a political assassination, not a private settling of accounts.” (“Murder in Moscow: Why was Boris Nemtsov assassinated?“, David North, World Socialist Web Site)
Just hours after Nemtsov was gunned down in Moscow, the western media swung into action releasing a barrage of articles suggesting Kremlin involvement without a shred of evidence to support their claims. The campaign of innuendo has steadily gained momentum as more Russia “experts” and politicians offer their opinions about who might be responsible. Naturally, none of the interviewees veer from the official storyline that someone in Putin’s charge must have carried out the attack. An article in the Washington Post is a good example of the tactics used in the latest PR campaign to discredit Putin. According to Vladimir Gel’man, Political Scientists European University at St. Petersburg and the University of Helsinki:
“Boris Nemtsov, one of the leaders of political opposition, was shot dead nearby the Kremlin. In my opinion, it has all the hallmarks of a political assassination provoked by an aggressive Kremlin-induced campaign against the “fifth column of national traitors”, who opposed the annexation of Crimea, war with the West over Ukraine, and further decline of political and civil freedoms in the country. We may never know whether the Kremlin ordered this killing, but given the fact that Nemtsov was one of the most consistent critics not only of the Russian regime as such but also of Putin in person, his dissenting voice will never upset Putin and his inner circle anymore.” (“What does Boris Nemtsov’s murder mean for Russia?“, Washington Post)
The article in the Washington Post is fairly typical of others published in the MSM. The coverage is invariably long on finger-pointing and insinuation and short on facts. Traditional journalistic standards of objectivity and fact-gathering have been jettisoned to advance a political agenda that reflects the objectives of ownership. The Nemtsov assassination is just the latest illustration of the abysmal state of western media.
The idea that Putin’s agents would “whack” an opposition candidate just a stone’s throw from the Kremlin is far fetched to say the least. As one commenter at the Moon of Alabama blog noted:
“Isn’t the image of a dead political opponent lying on a bridge overlooked by the Kremlin a bit rich? I mean, short of a dagger lodged between his shoulder blades with the inscription “if found, please return to Mr Putin”, I can’t think of a more over-egged attempt at trying to implicate the Government. And on the night before an opposition rally Nemtsov hoped to lead. I mean, come on.”
While there’s no denying that Moscow could be involved, it seems unlikely. The more probable explanation is that the incident is part of a larger regime change scheme to ignite social unrest and destabilize the government. The US has used these tactics so many times before in various color-coded revolutions, that we won’t reiterate the details here. Even so, it’s worth noting that the US has no red lines when it comes to achieving its strategic goals. It will do whatever it feels is necessary to prevail in its clash with Putin.
The question is why? Why is Washington so determined to remove Putin?
Putin answered this question himself recently at a celebration of Russia’s diplomatic workers’ day. He said Russia would pursue an independent foreign policy despite pressure in what he called “today’s challenging international environment.”
“No matter how much pressure is put on us, the Russian Federation will continue to pursue an independent foreign policy, to support the fundamental interests of our people and in line with global security and stability.” (Reuters)
This is Putin’s unforgivable crime, the same crime as Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, Syria and countless other nations that refuse to march in lockstep to Washington’s directives.
Putin has also resisted NATO encirclement and attempts by the US to loot Russia’s vast natural resources. And while Putin has made every effort to avoid a direct confrontation with the US, he has not backed down on issues that are vital to Russia’s national security, in fact, he has pointed out numerous times not only the threat that encroaching NATO poses to Moscow, but also the lies that preceded its eastward expansion. Here’s Putin at Munich again:
“I would like to quote the speech of NATO General Secretary Mr. Woerner in Brussels on 17 May 1990. He said at the time that: “the fact that we are ready not to place a NATO army outside of German territory gives the Soviet Union a firm security guarantee….
Where are these guarantees?”
Where, indeed. Apparently, they were all lies. As political analyst Pat Buchanan said in his article “Doesn’t Putin Have a Point?”:
“Though the Red Army had picked up and gone home from Eastern Europe voluntarily, and Moscow felt it had an understanding we would not move NATO eastward, we exploited our moment. Not only did we bring Poland into NATO, we brought in Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, and virtually the whole Warsaw Pact, planting NATO right on Mother Russia’s front porch. Now, there is a scheme afoot to bring in Ukraine and Georgia in the Caucasus, the birthplace of Stalin….
… though Putin gave us a green light to use bases in the old Soviet republics for the liberation of Afghanistan, we now seem hell-bent on making those bases in Central Asia permanent.
… through the National Endowment for Democracy, its GOP and Democratic auxiliaries, and tax-exempt think tanks, foundations, and “human rights” institutes such as Freedom House,… we have been fomenting regime change in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet republics, and Russia herself….
These are Putin’s grievances. Does he not have a small point?” “(Doesn’t Putin Have a Point?”, Pat Buchanan, antiwar.com)
Now the US wants to deploy its missile defense system to Eastern Europe, a system which–according to Putin “will work automatically with and be an integral part of the US nuclear capability. For the first time in history, and I want to emphasize this, there are elements of the US nuclear capability on the European continent. It simply changes the whole configuration of international security…..Of course, we have to respond to that.”
How can Putin allow this to happen? How can he allow the US to situate nuclear weapons in a location that would increase its first-strike capability and undermine the balance of deterrents allowing the US to force Russia to follow its orders or face certain annihilation. Putin has no choice but to resist this outcome, just as has no choice but to oppose the principle upon which US expansion is based, the notion that the Cold War was won by the US, therefore the US has the right to reshape the world in a way that best suits its own economic and geopolitical interests. Here’s Putin again:
“What is a unipolar world? However one might embellish this term, it refers to a type of situation where there is one center of authority, one center of force, one center of decision-making. It is world in which there is one master, one sovereign. At the end of the day, this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within…..
I consider that the unipolar model is not only unacceptable but also impossible in today’s world…. the model itself is flawed because at its basis there is and can be no moral foundations for modern civilization….” (Munich, 2007)
What sort of man talks like this? What sort of man talks about “the moral foundations for modern civilization” or invokes FDR in his address?
Putin: “‘Security for one is security for all’. As Franklin D. Roosevelt said during the first few days that the Second World War was breaking out: ‘When peace has been broken anywhere, the peace of all countries everywhere is in danger.’ These words remain topical today.”
I urge everyone to watch at least the first 10 minutes of Putin’s speech and decide for themselves whether they think the characterization (and demonization) of Putin in the media is fair or not. And pay special attention to Minute 6 where Putin says this:
“We are seeing a greater and greater disdain for the basic principles of international law. And independent legal norms are, as a matter of fact, coming increasingly closer to one state’s legal system. One state and, of course, first and foremost the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way. This is visible in the economic, political, cultural and educational policies it imposes on other nations. Well, who likes this? Who is happy about this?” (“Vladimir Putin’s legendary speech at Munich Security Conference“)
While Putin is making this statement, the camera pans to John McCain and Joe Lieberman who are sitting stone-faced in the front row seething at every word uttered by the Russian president. If you look close enough, you can see the steam emerging from McCain’s ears.
This is why Washington wants regime change in Moscow. It’s because Putin refuses to be pushed around by the United States. It’s because he wants a world that is governed by international laws that are impartially administered by the United Nations. It’s because he rejects a “unipolar” world order where one nation dictates policy to everyone else and where military confrontation becomes the preferred way for the powerful to impose their will on the weak.
Putin: “Today we are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of force that is plunging the world into an abyss of permanent conflicts…The United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way….And of course this is extremely dangerous. It results in the fact that no one feels safe. I want to emphasize this — no one feels safe.” Vladimir Putin, Munich 2007
Putin isn’t a perfect man. He has his shortcomings and flaws like everyone else. But he appears to be a decent person who has made great strides in restoring Russia’s economy after it was looted by agents of the US following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. He has lifted living standards, increased pensions, reduced poverty, and improved education and health care which is why his public approval ratings are currently hovering at an eye-watering 86 percent. Even so, Putin is most admired for standing up to the United States and blocking its strategy to pivot to Asia. The proxy war in Ukraine is actually a struggle to thwart Washington’s plan to break up the Russian Federation, encircle China, control the flow of resources from Asia to Europe, and rule the world. Vladimir Putin is at the forefront of that conflagration which is why he has gained the respect and admiration of people around the world.
As for “democracy”, Putin said it best himself:
“Am I a ‘pure democrat’? (laughs) Of course I am. Absolutely. The problem is that I’m all alone, the only one of my kind in the whole world. Just look at what’s happening in America, it’s terrible—torture, homeless people, Guantanamo, people detained without trial or investigation. And look at Europe—harsh treatment of demonstrators, rubber bullets and tear gas used in one capital after another, demonstrators killed on the streets….. I have no one to talk to since Gandhi died.”
Well said, Vladimir.
Varoufakis vs. The Troika…
“Will the United States, Germany, the rest of the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund – collectively constituting the International Mafia – allow the new Greek leaders of the Syriza party to dictate the conditions of Greece’s rescue and salvation? The answer at the moment is a decided “No”.
— William Blum, The Greek Tragedy, Veracity Voice
“The Greek economy is finished…. There is no power, no force within the Greek economy, within Greek society that can avert – it’s like – imagine if we were in Ohio in 1931 and we were to ask: What can Ohio politicians do to get Ohio out of the Great Depression? The answer is nothing.”
— Yanis Varoufakis, Greek Finance Minister
A disagreement over the terms of a deal to provide a bailout extension for Greece, has set the stage for a final clash between the Eurogroup and members of the Greek ruling party, Syriza. Although the agreement was approved on Tuesday when a list of reforms were submitted by Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis to the Eurogroup, Varoufakis believes that changes to the original program give him greater flexibility to implement policies that will end austerity, reduce the ailing country’s primary budget surplus, and ease the humanitarian crisis that has persisted for 6 years. Regrettably, no one at the ECB, the European Commission or the IMF shares Varoufakis’s views on the subject. The so called “troika” thinks that Greece has signed on to essentially the same program that was in place before the negotiations, give or take a few cosmetic changes in the language. And because the program is the same, they think Varoufakis should stick with the same policies as his predecessor and ignore mounting public opposition to austerity. Given the irreconcilable differences between the two parties, there’s bound to be a violent confrontation in the near future that will lead to heated recriminations and, eventually, a Grexit.
To illustrate the widening chasm between Varoufakis and the members of the Eurogroup, consider the fact that, going into the negotiations, Varoufakis was determined to end the bailouts and secure a “bridge” loan that would shield Greece from default for a six month period of adjustment after which basic changes to the current austerity regime would be re-negotiated. While the Eurogroup agreed to change the term “program” to “agreement” and “troika” to “institutions”, in the minds of the EU finance minsters, the substance of the original deal, which was laid out in the hated Memorandum of Understanding, remained the same. Take a look at this excerpt from a letter from ECB president Mario Draghi and Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem and you’ll see how this is playing out:
“I assume that it is clear, that the basis of concluding the current review, and also any future arrangements, will be the existing commitments in the current Memorandum of Understanding and The Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP). In this context we note that the commitments outlined by the authorities differ from existing programme commitments in a number of areas. In such cases, we will have to assess during the review whether measures which are not accepted by the authorities are replaced with measures of equal or better quality in terms of achieving the objectives of the programme.” (Naked Capitalism)
What Draghi is saying is that Varoufakis’s changes will be put under a microscope to see if they conform with the memorandum which Varoufakis believes no longer applies. The way this will work on a practical basis, is that additional money will only be meted out incrementally depending on compliance with, you guessed it, the old agreement. In other words, Varoufakis will not have a 4 month grace period to experiment with his pro-growth, anti-austerity economic policies. He’ll be expected to toe the line from Day 1.
Varoufakis either doesn’t understand what he signed or thinks he can implement his own plan without too much interference from the Eurogroup. Either way, there’s probably going to be a confrontation given the vast disparity in the way the agreement is being interpreted. In a Tuesday interview with CNBC, Varoufakis said that the new deal is fundamentally different than the previous agreement. He said:
“Some people have been insisting that the program that we’ve been under must surely be the program that we shall remain under simply refuse to understand that this has changed. So they keep insisting that that program is still on-going. Let me give you a very simple number. The program that we challenged compelled to the Greek government to extract 4.5% of the primary surplus every year in a depressed economy. We’ve changed that. Now surely that is not dismissed as simply a non-event and it’s business as usual, so it’s not business as usual we have a fresh start and now what matters is to use the opportunity of that fresh start in order to build something good on top of it. And we will endeavor to do this.” (“CNBC Exclusive Interview: Greek Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis“, CNBC)
See? He sincerely believes that the old deal is history. But the troika, the Eurogroup, and the majority of people who have analyzed the new arrangement, disagree. They think everything is the same (which explains why critics on the right and left have repudiated the deal as a “climb-down, a capitulation and a sellout.)
In an interview with Nikos Hatzinikolaou on REAL FM, Greece, Varoufakis rejected the Memorandum while claiming that the new agreement represents “a huge success’ in ending the “recessionary measures” that are needlessly prolonging Greece’s Great Depression. Here’s what he said:
Varoufakis: “The current government (Syriza) wants to say things with their name. I will explain it to you in very simple terms, Mr. Hatzinikolaou. As long as our debt is what it is, as long as Greece was bounded within this iron cage of primary surpluses that were impossible to achieve without killing whatever is left in the private sector, and as long we have a negative sign in investments (essentially, real investments), it was impossible to achieve this exit.
What we are trying to do – and have succeeded in doing so; it was a huge success, I’d say – is to create a four-month bridge during which we achieve the following:
First, the cancelation of the recessionary measures and the implementation of a transitional program we ourselves have made, one the Greek society will be able to withstand. This will help us negotiate during this four-month period a new contract between us and our partners with the goal of solving this system of three equations with three unknowns.
Hatzinikolaou: Thus, we are talking about a new Memorandum? ….
Varoufakis: OK. Let us be careful with the words. What does the Memorandum mean? … Let me remind you of what it comprises. It comprises the logic of continuous domestic [or internal] devaluation, of huge primary surpluses in an economy that does not have a real credit system, where investments are negative, and at the same time where we have a series of measures that empower this recession. This is the MoU. It is the automation, the a-politicization, and the subjection to the crisis.” (“The juicy interview of Greek Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis“, Greek Analyst)
Varoufakis appears to be saying that, in his view, the new agreement constitutes a rejection of the memorandum and, thus, is a de facto repudiation of austerity. The question is whether Varoufakis is stretching the facts to give himself greater latitude to relieve Greece’s humanitarian crisis and to put Greece back on a sound path to growth. While those are worthy goals, they are not likely to win the Eurogroup’s support. Check out this excerpt from a letter from the IMF to Dijsselbloem concerning the vagueness of Varoufakis’s reform package:
“In quite a few areas, however, including perhaps the most important ones, the letter is not conveying clear assurances that the Government intends to undertake the reforms envisaged in the Memorandum on Economic and Financial Policies. We note in particular that there are neither clear commitments to design the envisaged comprehensive pension and VAT policy reforms, nor unequivocal undertakings to continue already-agreed policies for opening up closed sectors, for administrative reforms, for privatization, and for labor market reforms. As you know, we consider such commitments and undertakings to be critical for Greece’s ability to meet the basic objectives of its Fund-supported program, which is why these are the areas subject to most of the structural benchmarks agreed with the Fund.” (Excerpt IMF letter posted at Naked capitalism)
Repeat: “We consider such commitments and undertakings to be critical for Greece’s ability to meet the basic objectives of its Fund-supported program.” In other words, Greece should not expect to get its loan extension unless it follows the troika’s explicit orders on pensions, VAT (sales taxes), government cutbacks, privatization and labor market reforms.
So, what is Varoufakis’s approach to these benchmarks?
Let’s take a look at pension reform. In an interview with CNBC’s Julia Chatterley on Tuesday, Chatterley asked Varoufakis point blank, “So you’re ruling out pension cuts?”
Varoufakis: “Of course over the next four months there will be no such thing.” (CNBC)
How about raising the VAT tax?
Same thing. And in the interview on REAL FM Varoufakis covered the other policies that the troika sees as “critical”. Listen to this exchange:
Hatzinikolaou: My fundamental question about the e-mail is whether or not it entails layoffs in the public sector …, if it entails pension reductions … if it entails wage reductions?
Varoufakis: I will answer to all these questions, since these are very specific questions, and it is best that we speak forthrightly. My answer to all of these questions is NO, in NO WAY.”
Let’s summarize: No pension cuts, no higher VAT taxes, no lower wages for public workers, and no layoffs. While I admire what Varoufakis is suggesting, I can’t figure out how he’s going to convince the troika to give him more money. Apparently, he thinks that streamlining the government and aggressively pursuing tax cheats will do the trick. Or maybe he has something else up his sleeve, like ignoring the terms of the agreement long enough to generate growth in the economy, lower unemployment, and create an improved environment for foreign investment. He might think that that will force the troika to acknowledge that austerity has failed and that pro-growth Keynesian strategies actually produce positive results. Of course, that’s just a guess on my part. It’s impossible to know for sure.
Here’s more of the interview with CNBC:
Varoufakis: “The reason why we have this 4 month period is to re-establish bonds of trust between us and our European partners as well as the IMF in order to build a new, we call it, contract between us and our partners so as to put an end to this spiral, the debt inflationary spiral; reform Greece; and make sure that CNBC doesn’t care about Greece anymore, because we don’t want to be in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.” (“CNBC Exclusive Interview: Greek Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis“, CNBC)
The “bonds of trust” are going to put to the test if Varoufakis doesn’t comply with the troika’s diktats, that’s for sure.
Varoufakis assumes that the troika doesn’t understand the impact of its belt-tightening policies. He seems to think that the punishment that’s being inflicted on Greece is just the unfortunate byproduct of debt reduction policy and not a deliberate attempt to crush the unions, roll back progressive reforms, decimate the welfare state, and reduce the country to a condition of “permanent colonial dependency.” But that viewpoint is shockingly naïve, after all, the IMF has been in the looting biz for a long time and has a pretty good grasp of the effects its toxic policies. They know what they’re doing, just like know that austerity is just a refinement of the “shock doctrine” which is the traditional way the elites exploit crises by imposing harsh, economy-demolishing reforms that only benefit themselves and their class. The men who conjure up these thieving schemes aren’t likely to be hoodwinked by Varoufakis’s vague reforms. They’re going to force Varoufakis to jump through all their respective hoops before he gets one dime of their precious money. Here’s Varoufakis again:
“There is going to be a great deal of toing and froing between us and the institutions and our partners but what we have established through stubborn refusal to succumb to the notion that elections change nothing over the past couple of months or weeks I should say is the notion that this government deserves to have a degree of room for policy-making that allows us to reform Greece and to carry the great multitude out there with us. This is the government for the first time in Greece that has the people behind it and it would be a terrible waste not just for us but for our partners to allow this wave of support to dissipate through non-action.” (CNBC)
Does Varoufakis really think he can pull this off? Does he really think he can out-fox the slimy, authoritarian brigands and leg-breakers who run these extortionist institutions and who will use every means possible to extract the last drop of blood from their victim be he an aspiring, but penniless student at the university or a destitute pensioner huddling homeless and frozen in an abandoned doorway in downtown Athens?
This isn’t going to end well. Varoufakis had one card to play–the threat of leaving the Euro–and he failed to play it. Now his leverage is gone and the roof is about to cave in. Just wait and see.
The troika isn’t going to convene another dreary round of negotiations to rehash the same old nonsense. Those days are over. They’re simply going to withhold the money, curtail liquidity assistance, and torpedo the Greek banking system. Kaboom! That’s the way this thing is going to go down. The mood among the EZ finance ministers has soured considerably since the last meeting. They want to put this whole thing behind them. They’re sick of it. They want closure. They’re not going to quibble over issues they’ve already gone over and clarified a million times. Varoufakis will either have to get with the program or face the consequences. That’s the way it works in Mafia-land; you either pay the piper or you find yourself in the East River in cement booties.
Who knows: maybe this is what Varoufakis wanted from the beginning, a ferocious clash ending in banishment, a Grexit. Well, he won’t have to wait long now.
Some things not to forget, which the new Greek leaders have not…
American historian D.F. Fleming, writing of the post-World War II period in his eminent history of the Cold War, stated that “Greece was the first of the liberated states to be openly and forcibly compelled to accept the political system of the occupying Great Power. It was Churchill who acted first and Stalin who followed his example, in Bulgaria and then in Rumania, though with less bloodshed.”
The British intervened in Greece while World War II was still raging. His Majesty’s Army waged war against ELAS, the left-wing guerrillas who had played a major role in forcing the Nazi occupiers to flee. Shortly after the war ended, the United States joined the Brits in this great anti-communist crusade, intervening in what was now a civil war, taking the side of the neo-fascists against the Greek left. The neo-fascists won and instituted a highly brutal regime, for which the CIA created a suitably repressive internal security agency (KYP in Greek).
In 1964, the liberal George Papandreou came to power, but in April 1967 a military coup took place, just before elections which appeared certain to bring Papandreou back as prime minister. The coup had been a joint effort of the Royal Court, the Greek military, the KYP, the CIA, and the American military stationed in Greece, and was followed immediately by the traditional martial law, censorship, arrests, beatings, and killings, the victims totaling some 8,000 in the first month. This was accompanied by the equally traditional declaration that this was all being done to save the nation from a “communist takeover”. Torture, inflicted in the most gruesome of ways, often with equipment supplied by the United States, became routine.
George Papandreou was not any kind of radical. He was a liberal anti-communist type. But his son Andreas, the heir-apparent, while only a little to the left of his father, had not disguised his wish to take Greece out of the Cold War, and had questioned remaining in NATO, or at least as a satellite of the United States.
Andreas Papandreou was arrested at the time of the coup and held in prison for eight months. Shortly after his release, he and his wife Margaret visited the American ambassador, Phillips Talbot, in Athens. Papandreou later related the following:
I asked Talbot whether America could have intervened the night of the coup, to prevent the death of democracy in Greece. He denied that they could have done anything about it. Then Margaret asked a critical question: What if the coup had been a Communist or a Leftist coup? Talbot answered without hesitation. Then, of course, they would have intervened, and they would have crushed the coup.
Another charming chapter in US-Greek relations occurred in 2001, when Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street Goliath Lowlife, secretly helped Greece keep billions of dollars of debt off their balance sheet through the use of complex financial instruments like credit default swaps. This allowed Greece to meet the baseline requirements to enter the Eurozone in the first place. But it also helped create a debt bubble that would later explode and bring about the current economic crisis that’s drowning the entire continent. Goldman Sachs, however, using its insider knowledge of its Greek client, protected itself from this debt bubble by betting against Greek bonds, expecting that they would eventually fail.
Will the United States, Germany, the rest of the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund – collectively constituting the International Mafia – allow the new Greek leaders of the Syriza party to dictate the conditions of Greece’s rescue and salvation? The answer at the moment is a decided “No”. The fact that Syriza leaders, for some time, have made no secret of their affinity for Russia is reason enough to seal their fate. They should have known how the Cold War works.
I believe Syriza is sincere, and I’m rooting for them, but they may have overestimated their own strength, while forgetting how the Mafia came to occupy its position; it didn’t derive from a lot of compromise with left-wing upstarts. Greece may have no choice, eventually, but to default on its debts and leave the Eurozone. The hunger and unemployment of the Greek people may leave them no alternative.
The Twilight Zone of the US State Department
“You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. Your next stop … the Twilight Zone.” (American Television series, 1959-1965)
State Department Daily Press Briefing, February 13, 2015. Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki, questioned by Matthew Lee of The Associated Press.
Lee: President Maduro [of Venezuela] last night went on the air and said that they had arrested multiple people who were allegedly behind a coup that was backed by the United States. What is your response?
Psaki: These latest accusations, like all previous such accusations, are ludicrous. As a matter of longstanding policy, the United States does not support political transitions by non-constitutional means. Political transitions must be democratic, constitutional, peaceful, and legal. We have seen many times that the Venezuelan Government tries to distract from its own actions by blaming the United States or other members of the international community for events inside Venezuela. These efforts reflect a lack of seriousness on the part of the Venezuelan Government to deal with the grave situation it faces.
Lee: Sorry. The US has – whoa, whoa, whoa – the US has a longstanding practice of not promoting – What did you say? How longstanding is that? I would – in particular in South and Latin America, that is not a longstanding practice.
Psaki: Well, my point here, Matt, without getting into history –
Lee: Not in this case.
Psaki: – is that we do not support, we have no involvement with, and these are ludicrous accusations.
Lee: In this specific case.
Lee: But if you go back not that long ago, during your lifetime, even – (laughter)
Psaki: The last 21 years. (Laughter.)
Lee: Well done. Touché. But I mean, does “longstanding” mean 10 years in this case? I mean, what is –
Psaki: Matt, my intention was to speak to the specific reports.
Lee: I understand, but you said it’s a longstanding US practice, and I’m not so sure – it depends on what your definition of “longstanding” is.
Psaki: We will – okay.
Lee: Recently in Kyiv, whatever we say about Ukraine, whatever, the change of government at the beginning of last year was unconstitutional, and you supported it. The constitution was –
Psaki: That is also ludicrous, I would say.
Lee: – not observed.
Psaki: That is not accurate, nor is it with the history of the facts that happened at the time.
Lee: The history of the facts. How was it constitutional?
Psaki: Well, I don’t think I need to go through the history here, but since you gave me the opportunity –- as you know, the former leader of Ukraine left of his own accord.
Leaving the Twilight Zone … The former Ukrainian leader ran for his life from those who had staged the coup, including a mob of vicious US-supported neo-Nazis.
If you know how to contact Ms. Psaki, tell her to have a look at my list of more than 50 governments the United States has attempted to overthrow since the end of the Second World War. None of the attempts were democratic, constitutional, peaceful, or legal; well, a few were non-violent.
The ideology of the American media is that it believes that it doesn’t have any ideology
So NBC’s evening news anchor, Brian Williams, has been caught telling untruths about various events in recent years. What could be worse for a reporter? How about not knowing what’s going on in the world? In your own country? At your own employer? As a case in point I give you Williams’ rival, Scott Pelley, evening news anchor at CBS.
In August 2002, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz told American newscaster Dan Rather on CBS: “We do not possess any nuclear or biological or chemical weapons.”
In December, Aziz stated to Ted Koppel on ABC: “The fact is that we don’t have weapons of mass destruction. We don’t have chemical, biological, or nuclear weaponry.”
Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein himself told CBS’s Rather in February 2003: “These missiles have been destroyed. There are no missiles that are contrary to the prescription of the United Nations [as to range] in Iraq. They are no longer there.”
Moreover, Gen. Hussein Kamel, former head of Iraq’s secret weapons program, and a son-in-law of Saddam Hussein, told the UN in 1995 that Iraq had destroyed its banned missiles and chemical and biological weapons soon after the Persian Gulf War of 1991.
There are yet other examples of Iraqi officials telling the world, before the 2003 American invasion, that the WMD were non-existent.
Enter Scott Pelley. In January 2008, as a CBS reporter, Pelley interviewed FBI agent George Piro, who had interviewed Saddam Hussein before he was executed:
PELLEY: And what did he tell you about how his weapons of mass destruction had been destroyed?
PIRO: He told me that most of the WMD had been destroyed by the U.N. inspectors in the ’90s, and those that hadn’t been destroyed by the inspectors were unilaterally destroyed by Iraq.
PELLEY: He had ordered them destroyed?
PELLEY: So why keep the secret? Why put your nation at risk? Why put your own life at risk to maintain this charade?
For a journalist there might actually be something as bad as not knowing what’s going on in his area of news coverage, even on his own station. After Brian Williams’ fall from grace, his former boss at NBC, Bob Wright, defended Williams by pointing to his favorable coverage of the military, saying: “He has been the strongest supporter of the military of any of the news players. He never comes back with negative stories, he wouldn’t question if we’re spending too much.”
I think it’s safe to say that members of the American mainstream media are not embarrassed by such a “compliment”.
In his acceptance speech for the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature, Harold Pinter made the following observation:
Everyone knows what happened in the Soviet Union and throughout Eastern Europe during the post-war period: the systematic brutality, the widespread atrocities, the ruthless suppression of independent thought. All this has been fully documented and verified.
But my contention here is that the US crimes in the same period have only been superficially recorded, let alone documented, let alone acknowledged, let alone recognized as crimes at all.
It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.
Cuba made simple
“The trade embargo can be fully lifted only through legislation – unless Cuba forms a democracy, in which case the president can lift it.”
Aha! So that’s the problem, according to a Washington Post columnist – Cuba is not a democracy! That would explain why the United States does not maintain an embargo against Saudi Arabia, Honduras, Guatemala, Egypt and other distinguished pillars of freedom. The mainstream media routinely refer to Cuba as a dictatorship. Why is it not uncommon even for people on the left to do the same? I think that many of the latter do so in the belief that to say otherwise runs the risk of not being taken seriously, largely a vestige of the Cold War when Communists all over the world were ridiculed for blindly following Moscow’s party line. But what does Cuba do or lack that makes it a dictatorship?
No “free press”? Apart from the question of how free Western media is, if that’s to be the standard, what would happen if Cuba announced that from now on anyone in the country could own any kind of media? How long would it be before CIA money – secret and unlimited CIA money financing all kinds of fronts in Cuba – would own or control almost all the media worth owning or controlling?
Is it “free elections” that Cuba lacks? They regularly have elections at municipal, regional and national levels. (They do not have direct election of the president, but neither do Germany or the United Kingdom and many other countries). Money plays virtually no role in these elections; neither does party politics, including the Communist Party, since candidates run as individuals. Again, what is the standard by which Cuban elections are to be judged? Is it that they don’t have the Koch Brothers to pour in a billion dollars? Most Americans, if they gave it any thought, might find it difficult to even imagine what a free and democratic election, without great concentrations of corporate money, would look like, or how it would operate. Would Ralph Nader finally be able to get on all 50 state ballots, take part in national television debates, and be able to match the two monopoly parties in media advertising? If that were the case, I think he’d probably win; which is why it’s not the case.
Or perhaps what Cuba lacks is our marvelous “electoral college” system, where the presidential candidate with the most votes is not necessarily the winner. If we really think this system is a good example of democracy why don’t we use it for local and state elections as well?
Is Cuba not a democracy because it arrests dissidents? Many thousands of anti-war and other protesters have been arrested in the United States in recent years, as in every period in American history. During the Occupy Movement two years ago more than 7,000 people were arrested, many beaten by police and mistreated while in custody. And remember: The United States is to the Cuban government like al Qaeda is to Washington, only much more powerful and much closer; virtually without exception, Cuban dissidents have been financed by and aided in other ways by the United States.
Would Washington ignore a group of Americans receiving funds from al Qaeda and engaging in repeated meetings with known members of that organization? In recent years the United States has arrested a great many people in the US and abroad solely on the basis of alleged ties to al Qaeda, with a lot less evidence to go by than Cuba has had with its dissidents’ ties to the United States. Virtually all of Cuba’s “political prisoners” are such dissidents. While others may call Cuba’s security policies dictatorship, I call it self-defense.
The Ministry of Propaganda has a new Commissar
Last month Andrew Lack became chief executive of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees US government-supported international news media such as Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks and Radio Free Asia. In a New York Times interview, Mr. Lack was moved to allow the following to escape his mouth: “We are facing a number of challenges from entities like Russia Today which is out there pushing a point of view, the Islamic State in the Middle East and groups like Boko Haram.”
So … this former president of NBC News conflates Russia Today (RT) with the two most despicable groups of “human beings” on the planet. Do mainstream media executives sometimes wonder why so many of their audience has drifted to alternative media, like, for example, RT?
Those of you who have not yet discovered RT, I suggest you go to RT.com to see whether it’s available in your city. And there are no commercials.
It should be noted that the Times interviewer, Ron Nixon, expressed no surprise at Lack’s remark.
- William Blum, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions Since World War II, chapters 3 and 35
- “Greek Debt Crisis: How Goldman Sachs Helped Greece to Mask its True Debt”, Spiegel Online (Germany), February 8, 2010. Google “Goldman Sachs” Greece for other references.
- U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing, February 13, 2015
- Overthrowing other people’s governments: The Master List
- CBS Evening News, August 20, 2002
- ABC Nightline, December 4, 2002
- “60 Minutes II”, February 26, 2003
- Washington Post, March 1, 2003
- “60 Minutes”, January 27, 2008
- Democracy Now!, February 12, 2015, Wright statement made February 10
- Al Kamen, Washington Post, February 18, 2015
- Huffington Post, May 3, 2012
- New York Times, January 21, 2015
This month, former Mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani said, “I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that that President Obama loves America,” said Giuliani at a New York dinner. “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”
As a red-blooded American who loves my country, I second Giuliani’s assessment of Barack Hussein Obama. We do not know Obama. We question his origins, his fraudulent Social Security number, his forged-backdated Selective Service number, his hidden college records, his foreign beneficiaries as to money for Columbia and Harvard, his mediocre grades that led to those top colleges accepting him, and his whereabouts during his formative years. He spent millions of dollars to seal his high school records, his college records, his passport and more. No one steps forth to talk about any high school or college classrooms he shared with them. He’s a ghost on the American landscape, but he’s in charge of leading our country.
We know that he wrote a book, Audacity of Hope, where on page 261, he said, “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”
That single statement illustrates his deepest Islamic religious cognitive choices that violate every single aspect of the American Way of Life and our Constitution. His Koran’s ultimate prime directive seeks to destroy free thought, freethinking, free choice of religion, free choice of governance and women’s rights. In other words, according to his quoted words, he loves the holy call of the music of Islam over the Stars and Stripes, our Pledge of Allegiance and our national anthem.
His father(s), whether it was Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. or Frank Marshal Davis, whom he resembles without question or his stepfather, LoLo Soetoro, all devoted themselves to Islam, proving itself to be the most violent-barbaric religion on the planet.
Lolo Soetoro lawfully adopted and changed Obama’s name to Barry Soetoro as an official Indonesian citizen. When Obama applied for scholarships to Columbia University, he used his Indonesian citizenship to gain scholarships. That single fact alone makes Obama ineligible to serve as an American president.
Nobody knows the reality of Obama’s childhood because every single legal record remains locked up in sealed records. At some point, history will uncover the mystery of Barack Obama. It won’t be pretty.
In the meantime, in six years, he subverted the American worker by not enforcing our immigration laws at the border or internally by arresting employees of illegal aliens. He knowingly assisted and continues to assist illegal aliens jumping our borders and already working within our country in violation of our laws.
He broke our U.S. Constitution numerous times ending lately in overstepping his Constitutional authority by granting a counterfeit amnesty for 20 million illegal aliens.
He continually lied to the American public via the Benghazi cover-up where he personally failed to act, which led to four Americans being killed by Muslims. Ironically, Obama hired eight Muslims in his immediate circle to help him with Islamic prime directives to dismantle America’s dominate religious base: Christianity. Obama remains intent on turning our country into an Islamic refugee holding pen—that sooner or later will erupt in major violence, much like in Europe.
In fact, Obama scoffs at Christians when he defends Muslims for their barbaric violence, which manifested in Paris, France in January and this month of a Jordanian pilot being burned to death in a cage with cameras rolling.
And yet, Barack Hussein Obama chastises our country in favor of the violence of Islam: “Lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.” Fact: Europeans fought the Muslims in the Crusades. Fact: Muslim women remain slaves in their own countries with no rights.
He covered-up, along with his U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the “Fast and Furious” gun trafficking at our borders that killed more of our border patrol officers. The cover-up continues as of this date.
While in office, he understood that African-Americans suffer job losses and depressed wages at the hands of endless legal and illegal immigration—yet does nothing to solve the problem. A mind numbing 1 in 4 Black American males cannot secure a job. A stunning 73 percent of African-American “out of wedlock” children face life with a single mother living on welfare, which equates to complete disintegration of Black American families. Instead of taking action favoring our suffering African-American millions living in poverty, Obama plays more golf and takes more vacations than any other president. He follows the Black Caucus in Congress that plays a similar game of doing nothing for Black constituents across America.
While in office, Obama watched food stamp recipients jump from 36 million in 2008 to 48 million in February, 2015. In other words, he hasn’t and won’t do anything to bring jobs to those Americans, but he will engage illegal acts against our Constitution in favor of 20 million illegal aliens and their employers.
Obama never served in our U.S. military. He doesn’t know a platoon from a company. He never worked a job in his life, thus doesn’t know what American workers must endure.
Whatever Obama loves, it’s not America or Americans. His words, his “Islamic gang sign” that he features prominently in his trips around the world shows that he loathes America and Americans. I for one, as a red-blooded American, would like to see Barack Hussein Obama brought up on charges of failure to defend our country, our way of life and our citizens. I would like to see him tried, convicted and impeached.
“Though it’s happening to a stricken country, on the edge of Europe, the choices presented to Greece are being understood throughout Europe… Obey or leave.”
— Paul Mason, Channel 4 News Blog
It’s not easy to negotiate with a gun to your head. Nevertheless, that’s the situation Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis found himself in on Friday preceding a crucial meeting with the Eurogroup. According to one report, the objective of the last-ditch confab “was to prepare a consensus text that would be the basis for the discussion” with the EU’s finance ministers. That might sound innocent enough, but it doesn’t come close to explaining the real purpose of the meeting which was far more sinister. Check out this blurb from Costas Efimeros at the Press Project:
“According to a Greek official who doesn’t want to be named, the Greek delegation were yesterday subject to outright blackmail. Our ‘partners’ informed us that if Eurogroup doesn’t result in an agreement, on Tuesday the Greek government will be forced to implement capital controls. It seemed that they had taken the decision to strangle the Greek economy by cutting off funding to the banks through the ELA system. Furthermore, it seemed that the big Greek banks already knew this. Leaks from the ECB, after all, had suggested that they were preparing for a GREXIT.” (“Europe trashed democracy“, Costas Efimeros, The Press Project)
It’s nice to know that EU leaders ascribe to the same basic moral code as Don Corleone, isn’t it?
The fact is, a slow motion bank run has been underway in Greece for more than a month draining roughly 40 billion euros from the Greek banking system. If a deal hadn’t been struck on Friday, the ECB would have pulled the plug on its liquidity assistance program and blown the whole system to kingdom come. That’s how the Eurocrats planned to say goodbye to their long-struggling member, Greece, by giving them a sharp jolt to the groin before razing their economy to the ground. That tells you everything you need to know about the Eurogroup.
If Greece got the boot on Friday, it’s humanitarian crisis would have deepened overnight while the blow to the capital markets would have paved the way for another financial crisis. Fortunately, the catastrophe was averted mainly because Varoufakis was able to cobble together a viable plan for meeting the Eurogroup’s basic requirements while creating significant opportunities to ease conditions in Greece. Don’t get me wrong; this isn’t a perfect deal by any stretch, but it is the best deal that could have been reached given the circumstances and the unbridled hostility from German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble who was eager to scuttle the whole project and throw Greece to the wolves. Varoufakis managed to out maneuver the irascible Schaeuble and get some of what he wanted, but only through stiff-necked resolve and significant compromise. As a result, Greece is still a member of the Eurozone, but just barely. A rejection of its reform package today (Monday) could push the beleaguered country out of the 19-member Union for good.
Keep in mind, the Eurogroup made it perfectly clear from the beginning that they weren’t going to restructure Greece’s debts or end the austerity program. The issues weren’t even on the table. So, those who think that Varoufakis should have given the Eurogroup an ultimatum (“Reduce our debts or we’ll leave.”) simply don’t understand the nature of the negotiations. Varoufakis was forced to operate within very strict parameters. Given those limitations, he nabbed a very respectable deal. Even so, it’s only natural for people to feel let-down, especially since Syriza had promised much more than they could deliver. But that doesn’t mean Varoufakis is a traitor or a sellout. Not at all. It merely means that Syriza’s belief that it could end austerity but keep Greece in the Eurozone proved to be unfounded. In fact, German opposition has made it nearly impossible. The larger point is this: Syriza had no mandate to spearhead a Grexit. That is not what the people voted for or what they want. Varoufakis’s was asked to do the impossible, square the circle. In that regard, he failed. But still, the deal he hammered out should mitigate Greece’s slump to some extent, although one should not expect a full-blown economic recovery, not without a healthy dose of fiscal stimulus which is nowhere in sight.
Varoufakis managed to change the terms of the deal which is now referred to as the “existing arrangement” rather than a “program”. According to Norbert Haring, this new “arrangement”…”is not a “technical” extension of the “program” any more, but an extension of the funding arrangement, plus vague conditionality.” (“Was it worth it? Concessions to Greece relative to the rejected draft of 16 February“, Nobert Haring)
It all sounds very tedious and legalistic, but the change is significant. You see, the real fight between Varoufakis and the Eurogroup was over this precise issue, that is, changing the inflexible, ironclad austerity “program” into a looser “arrangement” where polices can be altered via–what Varoufakis dubbed –“constructive ambiguity.” Varoufakis objective is to create enough gray area for Greece to regain sovereign control over its own economic policies. Constructive ambiguity will help to achieve that, provided the reforms meet the Eurogroup’s fiscal targets.
Here’s more from Haring’s post: “There is no mention any more of “successful conclusion of the program”, nor of “program” in the text. Instead a successful conclusion of the review of the “conditions in the current arrangement” is the new condition. This allows the Greek government to continue to say that the old program cannot be successful. It also allows for changes in the program, as “conditions of the arrangement” is deliberately more vague.” (“Was it worth it? Concessions to Greece relative to the rejected draft of 16 February”, Nobert Haring)
This isn’t just legal claptrap. It’s a critical change in the way the policy is implemented. Once again, Varoufakis has loosened the financial straitjacket in which Greece finds itself, which can only be seen as progress.
The new deal also allows Greece to decide its own reform package rather than the troika dictating what government expenses to cut or which publicly owned assets to sell. Here’s another excerpt from Haring’s post: “Most important change of the whole document: Addition of “The institutions will, for the 2015 primary surplus target, take the economic circumstances in 2015 into account.” Excessive, self-defeating austerity is off. Only the target for 2015 is mentioned, because everything further out would have to be part of a new arrangement, still to be negotiated.”
So Varoufakis has achieved his goal of reducing austerity. Not only is there greater flexibility operationally but, also, Greece will control the levers of decision-making in the “field of tax policy, privatisation, labour market reforms, financial sector, and pensions”. Naturally, the lower the primary surplus, the more fiscal stimulus is available for economic growth. (Running a surplus during a depression is absolute madness, but this is the lousy hand Varoufakis was dealt.)
Haring’s final comments are a good summary of Varoufakis’s achievement:
“Was it worth the hassle to reject the draft of 16 February, just to accept the statement four days later? For Athens it most certainly was. It got the promise that no self-defeating, excessive austerity would be asked of it any more, the assurance that it could devise its own economic and social policies, as long as they did not impact negatively on the interests of its partners, rather than having to execute and leaving in place all the measures accepted by the former government and strongly rejected by the people. These are huge improvements for Athens, with no significant counterbalancing downside compared to 16 February.” (“Was it worth it? Concessions to Greece relative to the rejected draft of 16 February”, Nobert Haring)
Clearly, this is a good deal for Greece, but let’s not go overboard; the basic situation still stinks to high heaven, mainly because the Eurogroup would rather lecture and punish than give a struggling member a helping hand. Had the Eurozone evolved into a viable political union that distributed fiscal transfers to the weaker states on the periphery, Greece would have emerged from its recession years ago. Instead, the fiasco drags on endlessly punctuated by infrequent outbursts from EU leaders who vehemently defend belt-tightening measures that have only made matters worse. If anything, this experience should help the Greek people decide whether there’s a future for them and their children in the Eurozone or not. Dealing with authoritarian boneheads (The Eurogroup) may eventually prove to be more trouble than its worth. (A Grexit looks better by the day!)
As for Varoufakis, well, he passed the finance minister’s test with flying colors. He distinguished himself as a capable horse trader and managed to squeeze more concessions out of the EU’s austerity-obsessed representatives than anyone thought possible. The man proved that he’s neither a “sell out” or a “traitor”.(as some claim.) Quite the contrary, he kept his word and did exactly what the Greek people asked of him.
At the very least, he deserves credit for a valiant effort.