US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia In Alliance with Al Qaeda…
The Syrian war stalemate appears to be over. The regional powers surrounding Syria — especially Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, and Jordan — have re-ignited their war against the Syrian government. After over 200,000 dead and millions of refugees, the U.S. allies in the region recently re-committed to deepening the war, with incalculable consequences.
The new war pact was made between Obama’s regional darlings, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, who agreed to step up deeper military cooperation and establish a joint command in the occupied Syrian region of Idlib.
Turkey and Saudi Arabia are now openly backing Islamic extremists under the newly rebranded “Conquest Army” The on-the-ground leadership of this “new” coalition consists of Jabhat al-Nusra — the “official” al-Qaeda affiliate — and Ahrar al-Sham, whose leader previously stated that his group was the “real al-Qaeda.”
The Huffington Post reports:
“The Turkish-Saudi agreement has led to a new joint command center in the northeastern Syrian province of Idlib. There, a coalition of groups — including Nusra and other Islamist brigades such as Ahrar al-Sham that Washington views as extremist — are progressively eroding Assad’s front. The rebel coalition also includes more moderate elements of the Free Syrian Army that have received U.S. support in the past.”
The article admits that the Free Syrian Army — that Obama previously labeled as “moderates” and gave cash and guns to — has been swallowed up by the extremist groups.
This dynamic has the potential to re-engulf the region in violence; deep Saudi pocketbooks combined with reports of looming Turkish ground forces are a catastrophe in the making.
Interestingly, the Saudi-Turkish alliance barely raised eyebrows in the U.S. media. President Obama didn’t think to comment on the subject, let alone condemn it.
The media was focused on an odd narrative of Obama reportedly being “concerned” about the alliance, but “disengaged” from what two of his close allies were doing in a region that the U.S. has micromanaged for decades.
It seems especially odd for the media to accept that Obama has a “hands off” approach in Syria when at the same time the media is reporting about a new U.S. program training Syrian rebels in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
It’s inconceivable that Obama would coordinate deeply with Turkey to set up a Syrian rebel training camp on Turkish soil, while at the same time be “disengaged” from the Turkish-Saudi war coalition in Syria.
One possible motive behind the fake narrative of “non-cooperation” between Obama and his Turkish-Saudi allies is that the U.S. is supposed to be fighting a “war on terrorism.”
So when Turkey and Saudi Arabia announce that they’re closely coordinating with terrorists in Syria — like al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham — Obama needs an alibi to avoid being caught at the crime scene. He’s not an accomplice, simply “disengaged.”
This is likely the reason why Obama has insisted that his new “moderate” rebels being trained in Turkey will fight ISIS, not the Syrian government. But this claim too is ridiculous.
Is Obama really going to throw a couple hundred newly-trained “moderate” Syrian rebels at ISIS while his Turkish-Saudi allies focus all their fire on the Syrian Government? The question answers itself.
The media has made mention of this obvious conundrum, but never bothers to follow up, leaving Obama’s lame narrative unchallenged. For example, the LA Times reports:
“The White House wants the [U.S. trained rebel] proxy force to target Islamic State militants, while many of the Syrian rebels — and the four host nations [where Syrian rebels are being trained] — want to focus on ousting Syrian President Bashar Assad.”
The article simply shrugs its shoulders at the irreconcilable. The article also fails to mention that Obama’s “new” training camps aren’t new at all; he’s been arming and training Syrian rebels since at least 2012, the only difference being that the “new” training camps are supposedly meant to target ISIS, compared to the training camps that were openly used to target the Syrian government.
Here’s the LA Times in 2013:
“The covert U.S. training [of Syrian rebels] at bases in Jordan and Turkey began months before President Obama approved plans to begin directly arming the opposition to Syrian President Bashar Assad, according to U.S. officials and rebel commanders.”
This is media amnesia at its worse. Recent events can’t be understood if the media doesn’t place events in context. In practice this “forgetfulness” provides political cover to the Obama administration, shielding his longstanding direct role in the Syrian war, allowing him to pretend to a “passive,” “hands off” approach.
When it was reported in 2012 that the Obama administration was funneling weapons to the Syrian rebels, the few media outlets that mentioned the story didn’t bother to do any follow up. It simply fell into the media memory hole. After the weapons funneling report came out, Obama incredulously stated that he was only supplying “non lethal” support to the rebels, and the media printed his words unchallenged.
Consequently, there was no public discussion about the consequences of the U.S. partaking in a multi-nation proxy war against Syria, a country that borders war ravaged Iraq.
In 2013 when Obama announced that he would be bombing the Syrian government in response to a supposed gas attack, the U.S. media asked for no evidence of the allegation, and strove to buttress Obama’s argument for aggression.
And when Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh wrote an article exposing Obama’s lies over the aborted bombing mission, the article didn’t see the light of day in the U.S. media. Critically thoughtful voices were not welcome. They remain unwelcome.
In 2015 direct U.S. military intervention in Syria remains a real possibility. All the conditions that led to Obama’s decision to bomb Syria in 2013 remain in place.
In fact, a U.S. intervention is even more likely now that Turkey and Saudi Arabia are fighting openly against the Syrian government, since the Saudi-Turkish alliance might find itself in a key battle that demands the special assistance that only the U.S. air force can offer.
Unsurprisingly, there has been renewed discussion of a U.S. enforced “no fly zone” in Syria. ISIS doesn’t have an air force, so a no fly zone would be undeniably aimed at the Syrian government to destroy its air force. The new debate over a “no fly zone” is happening at the same time as a barrage of new allegations of “chemical weapons” use are being made against the Syrian government.
If a no fly zone is eventually declared by the Obama Administration it will be promoted as a “humanitarian intervention, that strives to create a “humanitarian corridor” to “protect civilians” — the same rhetoric that was used for a massive U.S.-led NATO bombing campaign in Libya that destroyed the country and continues to create a massive refugee crisis.
As the Syrian war creates fresh atrocities the Obama administration will be pressured to openly support his Saudi-Turkish allies, just as he came out into the open in 2013 when he nearly bombed the Syrian government.
History is repeating itself. But this time the stakes are higher: the region has already been destabilized with the wars in Iraq, Libya, and Syria, and the regional conflicts have sharpened between U.S. allies on one hand, and Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Russia on the other.
Such a volatile dynamic demands a media willing to explain the significance of these events. The truth is that Obama has been a proxy war president that has torn apart the Middle East as badly as his predecessor did, and if the U.S. public remains uninformed about developing events, an even larger regional war is inevitable.
The CVS Pharmacy at the corner of North and Pennsylvania Avenue in Baltimore is a burnt-out shell. You probably saw the video last week. An angry mob carried the store’s inventory out by the armload, then set fire to whatever was left. Company officials are still deciding whether or not to rebuild.
Looting is not good for business in Baltimore. But it is absolutely fantastic for business in Washington DC.
Legions of political fundraisers are busily drafting letters to the faithful. Politicians are weaving the riots into their rhetoric. There is nothing like this kind of red meat to get people voting and writing checks.
The Republicans seemingly have the upper-hand in the political debate. The Democrat Party has had an iron grip on the City of Baltimore, running things from top to bottom for nearly 50 years. It’ll be harder for political leftists to assign the blame elsewhere, but that won’t stop them from trying.
Every politician will tell you what the problems are and propose a solution. There will be buckets of diagnoses and prescriptions from all over the spectrum. Devotees will shout about welfare, schools, unemployment, poverty, police militarization, and more. There is one issue, however, that isn’t going to get so much as a whisper in either Democratic or Republican fundraising letters.
Corrupt Money System Causes America to Rot from Within
We’re referring to the subject of honest money. Neither party wants to bring it up.
Democrats may have spent the past 5 decades building the dystopia that is Baltimore today. But they couldn’t have done it without the bipartisan effort in Washington DC to build our modern welfare/warfare state using oceans of freshly printed dollars and mountains of debt.
Politicians of every stripe love dishonest money. It’s the ultimate accountability dodge. It’s how you make promises to voters without even asking them to pay.
One side will moan about American jobs being sent overseas, disproportionately impacting minorities and the lower class. They’ll blame it on greedy corporations. They won’t mention their party’s undying support of Fed money creation and limitless borrowing – the very foundation of massive and perpetual trade deficits. Don’t expect them to admit that a whole lot of the unbacked dollars they adore effectively filled the cargo holds of ships instead of U.S. manufactured goods. And then sailed abroad to be swapped for goods made elsewhere.
The other side will screech about welfare. But they aren’t going to screech about Richard Nixon (R) – who slammed the gold window and made the dollar completely irredeemable. No way. Their party happily puts those fiat dollars to work funding wars and defense contractors. And they used them to outfit police departments across America with armored vehicles, military grade weapons, and training on how to use them against the disaffected masses marching in our streets.
The Republican Establishment, too, likes the option to bail out banks and the well connected without having to raise taxes or send real money for the purpose. And, despite the rhetoric, they have yet to defeat a single bill hiking the debt ceiling. In fact, they are almost certain to quietly hike it again later this year when Obama and his Treasury Secretary come calling.
GOP fundraising letters won’t discuss the direct relationship between the dishonest money the party loves – the printing and borrowing – and the wasteful spending it purports to hate. The government’s myriad of free money programs will be blamed on those darned “Socialists” across the aisle instead. In reality, both parties are responsible.
The events in Baltimore make great fodder. Rest assured, DC fundraisers have gone into overdrive. They say that your contribution is urgently needed. We suggest you support sound money instead.
“Political Ponerology” is the name given by Polish psychiatrist Andrzej M. Łobaczewski to an interdisciplinary study of the founders (i.e., Karl Marx) and supporters of 20th century totalitarian political regimes. His study utilizes data from psychology, sociology, philosophy, and history to account for the propagation of man’s inhumanity to man through such phenomena as terrorism, aggressive war, ethnic cleansing, ostracism, genocide, and despotism:
“As many as 7 million Ukrainians were starved in Soviet Socialist dictator Joseph Stalin’s artificial, forced famine in Ukraine in 1932 and 1933. This is approximately the total population of Manitoba, Newfoundland, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.” (Inky Mark, M. P. Dauphin – Swan River House of Commons 2 June 1998, Famine-Genocide in Ukraine 1932-1933)
“Moscow employed the famine as a political weapon against the Ukrainians in the years 1932-1933. The famine was in its entirety artificially induced and organized.” (ibid, Investigation of Communist Takeover and Occupation of the Non-Russian Nations of the U.S.S.R p. 35)
“… On one side, millions of starving peasants, their bodies often swollen from lack of food; on the other, soldiers, members of the GPU carrying out the instructions of the dictatorship of the proletariat. They had gone over the country like a swarm of locusts and taken away everything edible; they had shot or exiled thousands of peasants, sometimes whole villages; they had reduced some of the most fertile land in the world to a melancholy desert.” (ibid, Malcolm Muggeridge, “War on the Peasants,” Fortnightly Review, 1 May, 1933)
“Food is a weapon.” (ibid, Maxim Litvinov – Soviet Commissar of Foreign Affairs)
According to the authors of “The Black Book of Communism,” Communist and Socialist regimes did not just commit criminal acts but were criminal enterprises in their very essence:
“…all ruled lawlessly and without regard for human life (and) one particular feature of many Communist regimes (was) their use of famine as a weapon. The Bolsheviks had decided to eliminate…any challenge or resistance, even if passive, to their absolute power. This strategy applied not only to groups with opposing political views, but also to such social groups as the nobility, the middle class, the intelligentsia…the clergy…military officers and the police.” (pp. xvii, 8-9)
A coalition of atheist pagan Jews (Bolsheviks) and atheist pagan Gentiles (Marxist Communists) systematically stole the personal property of Russians and sexually perverted their children and conditioned them to hate the Trinity, Jesus Christ God Incarnate in particular, as well as their own parents, the Christian church and their homeland. The sons of Belial undermined and destroyed the traditional family, unleashed a holocaust of abortion, homosexualized culture, desecrated and blasphemed churches, crucified thousands of nuns and priests and in general, committed monstrous crimes against humanity which took the lives of more than sixty-million men, women, and children. For example:
“About 200,000 clergy, many crucified, scalped and otherwise tortured, were killed during the approximately 60 years of communist rule in the former Soviet Union, a Russian commission reported this week. In addition, another 500,000 religious figures were persecuted and 40,000 churches destroyed in the period from 1922 to 1980, the report said. Half the country’s mosques and more than half the synagogues were also destroyed” Clergymen were crucified on churches’ holy gates, shot, scalped [and] strangled,” said Alexander Yakovlev, head of the Commission for the Rehabilitation of the Victims of Political Repression. The commission prepared the report for Russian President Boris Yeltsin. “I was especially shocked by accounts of priests turned into columns of ice in winter,” Yakovlev said. “It was total cruelty.” (paulbogdanor.com)
“Persecution and martyrdom of Christians under 20th century totalitarianism–mainly of Russian Orthodox Christians under Bolshevism–is by far the greatest crime in all of recorded history….Attempts at “killing the soul” started only months after the Revolution of 1917.” Persecution and martyrdom was, “several times greater than the Holocaust in terms of innocent lives brutally destroyed. It has killed more Christians in a few decades than all other causes put together in all ages, with Islam a distant second as the cause of their death and suffering. And yet it still remains a largely unknown, often minimized, or scandalously glossed over crime.” (New Martyrs of the East and Coming Trials in the West, Srdja Trifkovic, OrthodoxyToday.com)
In this light we can understand why Lobaczewskis’ original manuscript quickly went into the furnace just minutes before a secret police raid. In 1984 the manuscript was reassembled, but according to Lobaczewski, its publication was blocked by technocratic globalist Zbigniew Brzezinski. After half a century of suppression it is finally available.
Though Lobaczewski’s study is a clinically accurate description of the nature of human evil it falls into the error of attributing evil to biological causes rather than the sin nature of man. Despite this failing, Political Ponerology is a shocking account of large scale evil super-heated by hatred of the Holy God and burning with envy and will to power—or what Lobaczewski terms ‘ponerogenic processes’ that overtook modern Russia and have overtaken whole societies and nations since time immemorial.
When ponerogenic processes have finally saturated a society’s entire ruling class and opposition from morally convicted people has been crushed, then we are dealing with what Lobaczewski calls Macrosocial Evil or a “macrosocial ponerologic phenomenon.” (p. 121)
Ponerogenic processes are synonymous with the unfettered, vastly inflamed sin nature of man beginning with inflated pride issuing in covetousness, selfishness, ingratitude, jealousy, resentment and hate, all of which early Church Fathers combined into the cold-blooded vice known as envy. Thus when ‘macrosocial ponerologic phenomenon’ has saturated a nation’s ruling class and most of its society it means that a tyranny of evil fueled by poneros has overtaken it. Poneros is:
“The passion which causes evil, the father of death, the first entrance for sin, the root of wickedness, the birth of sorrow, the mother of misfortune, the basis of disobedience, the beginning of shame. Envy
banishes us from paradise….Envy made Joseph a slave. Envy is the death-dealing sting, the hidden weapon, the sickness of nature, the bitter poison, the self-willed emaciation, the bitter dart, the nail of the soul, the fire in the heart, the flame burning on the inside…” (Life of Moses, Gregory of Nyssa, quoted in Death by Envy, Fr. George R.A. Aquaro, p. 74)
“Scripture combines envy with jealousy, covetousness and stinginess, into a single concept that is a manifestation of idolatry (narcissism) of self and belief that there is a limited supply of good.” (ibid)
Scripture attributes poneros to the Evil One, the leader of all forces of evil. The Evil One is the spirit of rebellion and negation, the father of lies, “the adversary” “the accuser,” “calumniator” and undiluted essence of envy who works through the principle of negation and rebellion in the fallen souls of lawless natural men:
“The evil man out of his evil treasure bringeth forth evil (poneros) things” Matthew 12:35
Poneros has played a part in human dynamics ever since the Evil One persuaded the envy-bitten Cain to murder his brother Abel, Judas to betray Jesus Christ and the Pharisees to crucify Him, and Saul to suddenly throw his spear at David in a murderous attempt at pinning him to a wall. (1 Sam. 18:11) In fact, the envy-bitten Saul tried three times to kill David with a javelin (1 Sam. 18:10-11, 19: 9-10) and to bring about David’s death by the Philistines. (1 Sam. 18:25)
Poneros is also the spirit animating British philosopher Adam Smith’s sophistry, that is, his phony concern postured in sophisticated questions and ‘evidence’ such as,
“Is having a loving family an unfair advantage?” “Should parents snuggling up for one last story before lights out be even a little concerned about the advantage they might be conferring?”
“Evidence shows that the difference between those who get bedtime stories and those who don’t – the difference in their life chances – is bigger than the difference between those who get elite private schooling and those that don’t.” (Parents reading to kids blasted as ‘unfair,’ Joe Kovacs, WND, May, 2015)
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. captures the spirit of poneros in his brilliantly conceived short story, “Harrison Bergeron,”
“THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.”
As a tyranny of poneros had overtaken and led to the degradation and implosion of ancient Greek society, an exploration of Greek thought with regard to types of envy will prove enlightening. The first type is ‘zelos,’ a kind of envy stirred up by any perceived superiority (inequality). In the poem, ‘Work and Days,’ Isocrates presents the spirit of zelos as “with grim face and screaming voice, who delights in evil” and causes Decency and Respect to flee. (1) The anonymous author “Michael Swift” warns of this very thing in a widely circulated article called “Gay Revolutionary.” In prose that chills the spine Swift warns the envied straight community that the men of Sodom shall be victorious,
“..because we are filled with the ferocious bitterness of the oppressed who have been forced to play seemingly bit parts in your dumb, heterosexual shows throughout the ages…We too are capable of firing guns and manning barricades of the ultimate revolution….Tremble, hetero swine, when we appear before you without our masks.” (Spirit Wars: Pagan Revival in Christian America, Peter Jones, p. 255)
Empowered by spineless, accommodating jellies throughout our seminaries, pulpits, government and courts, the envy-bitten men and women of modern Sodom maliciously terrorize Christian bakers, florists, bed and breakfast owners and other decent, law-abiding straight males and females, forcing them to either submit or be crushed even as the men of Sodom openly rape the souls and bodies of their sons and daughters in churches, schools, and elsewhere. (Envy and the Greeks: A Study of Human Behavior, Peter Walcot, pp. 2-3 from Death by Envy, Fr. George R. A. Aquaro, p. 12)
As the Holy Triune God is the “moral monster” responsible for the poor choices, weaknesses, sin nature and failures of the self-pitying, self-absorbed and envy-bitten, zelos is also the spirit behind the ‘murder’ of the Christian God, the closing off of the supernatural dimension and the Way to Paradise with the requisite suppression of His Revelation to man, the miracle of Special Creation, Original Sin, Moral Law, immutable Truth, judgment, and hell. Thus zelos is the lying, hateful, intolerant spirit behind the elevation of evolutionary scientism above the inerrant Word of God.
Zelos animates back-stabbing gossip, slander, snooping, spying, tale-bearing, the politics of personal destruction as well as special rights and privileges for the so-called oppressed (envy-bitten). Zelos demands redistribution of wealth, egalitarian sameness issuing in loss of gender identity (i.e., mother, father, husband, wife) in favor of gender-neutral terms such as ‘partner.’ It demands same-sex marriage, absolute inclusion and tolerance, ‘legalized’ illegal immigration, the mandated sexualization and perversion of our youth by pan-sexual and omni-gendered sexologists, and a hob-nailed boot viciously crushing the faces of envied “oppressors.”
Morally, zelos is the venom behind America’s reigning Pharisaic legalism: political correctness, hate crime laws, speech codes, gender equality, economic equality, and sensitivity training. In ‘political’ terms, green-eyed zelos is the spirit of green multiculturalism, green ecology, green sustainability, green ‘family planning,’ green global warming/cooling/change, green socialism and green diversity.
In “Diversity': The Idol of Academia,” Jack Kerwick describes diversity as a ‘god’ that is as educationally invidious as it is false:
“Diversity” is not just a good in the academic world. It is the supreme good, the one good before which all other considerations must yield….”cultural diversity” not only doesn’t correspond to a rise in intellectual diversity; it invariably corresponds to a rise in political uniformity. This is crucial, for the promotion of “cultural diversity” is nothing more or less than the promotion of a left-wing ideological agenda.” (June 26, 2014 Jack Kerwick, Front Page Magazine)
Zelos in its every malignant, sadistic permutation is the green-eyed spirit behind left-wing ideology and its’ totalitarian fantasy:
“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” (Winston Churchill, British orator, author and Prime Minister during World War II, 1874-1965)
“When I say that Marxism is based on envy, I mean that the glorious revolution of the proletariat…was really a promise to put a final end to all the conditions that make for envy.” (Joseph Epstein, author and former editor of The American Scholar, from Truths about Socialism, Coral Ridge Ministries, p. 66)
After zelos come philotimia and hybris. In Greek mythology, philotimia is narcissism–love of self, love of attention, love of self-affirmation, love of self-gratification– while hybris is the arrogance, insolence, contempt, insult, shame, hatred and mistreatment of human objects of envy by a sadistic narcissist. In Greece, philotemia and hybris were on display when the gods and their earthly counterparts punished inferior ‘subhumans’ for usurping their authority as well as when they struggled amongst themselves for positions of primacy. In America, philotimia and hybris are visible when America’s left-right ‘ruling class’ god-men try to destroy each other in their vicious power struggles among themselves. These two green-eyed monsters, philotemia/hybris are on display whenever the god-men’s lapdog media engage in vicious psychological bullying and other malicious forms of mistreatment of stupid, unevolved hominids –the hard-working middle class, especially the Tea Party and God-fearing orthodox Christians and faithful Jews—the so-called oppressors.
Philotimia/hybris is also the spirit animating the intolerant, hateful attitudes of evolutionary theologians toward defenders of the Revealed Word of God beginning with the Genesis account of creation ex nihilo.
Phthonos is the fourth type of envy/covetousness. Phthonos seeks to deprive envied ‘other’ of possessions, honor, status, spiritual gifts and virtues. Phthonos for example, is the diabolical Darwinian reductionism of man in his Creator’s spiritual image to ape. It is the green-eyed totalitarian spirit of Agenda 21 together with save the earth and re-wilding schemes that elevate crocodiles, trash fish, and other creatures above the welfare of human beings. Phthonos animates carbon footprint schemes, population control plans, passive euthanasia (refusal of health care to targeted Obama care recipients), the attempted theft of Bundy’s ranch and other private property and resources. Phthonos is driven not just to ostracize and confiscate but to use psychological manipulation (i.e., lies, false guilt, slander, propaganda, scape-goating) and other terroristic force to take or deprive ‘other’ of whatever is coveted/envied.
Phthonos will even drive a man (i.e., Cain) to murder his own brother, to “murder” the Holy God (i.e., Nimrod, Karl Marx) and Jesus Christ God Incarnate (Nietzsche).
After ancient Greece had been overtaken by the spirit of poneros, the egalitarian, collectivist, or leveling impulse served to help relieve an envy-torn culture by leveling all men down to the lowest common denominator. This was enforced by character destruction and the threat of ostracism.
“…one had to watch not only the malevolent actions of envious friends and enemies, but the very real threat of ostracism by the democratic community. Philanthropy had much less to do with (love of man) as it had with….avoiding other people’s phthonos of one’s success.” (Death by Envy, p. 14)
The fifth type of envy is vaskonia or Evil Eye (ophthalmos poneros) and means something even more malignant than phthonos. Vaskonia bespeaks an evil spirit associated with demonic possession and the malign touch or glance of which leaves a soiled imprint and implies instant victimization and death. Vaskonia is inherently sudden, meaning one wrong word, one wrong expression, or the impulse of a moment is all it takes to become the victim of the Evil Eye.
As a whole, Scripture combines envy with hatred of the Holy God and one’s brother, which means that there can be no love whatsoever where there is envy and hatred in one’s heart.
Today increasing numbers of Americans at every level of society, on both left and right, Christian and secular, are controlled by their passions unfettered from the restraint of transcendent moral law. Adding to the problem are culturally relevant church models attended by thousands of Americans that cater to felt-needs and self-indulgent emotional feel-goodism (2 Tim. 4: 1-220). Thus America is “a nation ruled by its passions,” said Reb Bradley, author of “Born Liberal Raised Right.” This is why heinous acts,
“…of casual disregard for life, unheard of fifty years ago, have become a familiar item on the evening news; students killing classmates, children murdering their playmates….these gruesome crimes are merely symptomatic of a breakdown of moral fiber…” ( pp. 2-3)
The most frightening aspect of America’s descent into moral imbecility, narcissism, heresy, apostasy, pathological lying, and lawlessness is that our society is being overtaken by “ponerological processes.” Through the White House, State Department and other federal agencies, legislatures, media, Hollywood, courts, academia, pentagon, seminaries and even pulpits, the spirit of poneros is encompassing our society, suppressing and demonizing orthodox Christians, faithful Jews and other morally informed people, and overspreading our nation with a “macrosocial ponerologic phenomenon.” This will lead inevitably to a tyranny of evil, persecution and martyrdom:
“The New Martyrs’ example and their legacy is precious, because in this, 21st century, it will be the turn of Western Christians to experience martyrdom. In Western Europe they will be persecuted by the unholy alliance between the postmodern, Christophobic velvet totalitarianism of the therapeutic hyper-state, and a resurgent Islam which already accounts for a quarter of all newborns in France. In the United States they will be persecuted for refusing to accept the destruction of the moral foundation of the society, currently epitomized by abortion, by “gay marriage,” and by the ever-expanding speech and thought codes. Instead of being thrown to the lions or sent to Siberia, the resisters will be subjected–by some monstrous mechanism devised by an ever more activist judiciary–to the mandatory “sexual diversity orientation sessions,” or feminist-led pro-abortionist “right-to-choose education workshops,” or “immigrant rights sensitivity training,” after which the continuing refusal to recant will lead to compulsory “therapy” and forced medication. This scenario is not farfetched on either side of the Atlantic. Western Christians should be prepared for martyrdom.” (ibid, Srdja Trifkovic)
In “Idols for Destruction” Herbert Schlossberg proposes that we use idolatry as a framework for comprehension of the evil and persecution sweeping over and through our post-Christian society. (p. 34) The biblical explanation for moral imbecility and narcissism in connection with the end of society resides in the concept of judgment upon an idolatrous people (Ro. 1:28-32):
“Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you…saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which you have not known…” (Deut. 13: 13; Judges 19: 22, 20:13; 1 Sam. 1:16, 2:12, 10:27, 25:17, 25:25, 30:22; 2 Sam. 16:7, 20:1, 23:6; 1 Kings 21:10, 21:13; 2 Chron. 6:15, 13:7)
Scripture depicts a societies’ people as either having submitted themselves to the Triune God or else as idolaters (sons of Belial) who having rebelled against Him have been delivered by Him over to worthless, useless, hardened, loveless minds. This is how the Old Testament portrays Israel. Israel had become an evil nation of idolaters fully deserving the judgment the Lord brought against it. Its’ rebellion was accompanied by a turning to idols (which can also be idols of mind such as scientism and evolutionary cosmogonies) and this idolatry brought the nation to it’s’ end.
The Decalogue shows that the beginning of idolatry is pride (preference for self over the Holy Trinity and neighbor). The will of the proud man is not in submission to the Trinity but self, thus having made an idol out of himself he assumes he possesses honor and rights. This is why pride leads to contempt for truth, law, wisdom, norms, authority, standards, rules, institutions and other people in combination with any or all of the following vices: pathological lying, treachery, murderous thoughts, gluttony, greed, covetousness, lust, hate, cheating, promiscuity, sadism, sodomy, pederasty, pedophilia, adultery, theft and the dehumanization of other people resulting in psychological and physical slavery, population control schemes, abortion, brutality, terror, mass-murder (genocide) and man-made famines.
In the final analysis, malice and envy towards the Holy Trinity compels man to destroy creation and to annihilate his God-given soul/spirit by imagining himself as ‘one’ with the evolving universe of matter and energy. This is the definition of damnation, said Fr. Aquaro. Hell is not a punishment meted out by a hateful Holy God as some would think, but an absolute refusal of a pardon granted all mankind. It is impossible to receive good from a person one envies, and so it is that one cannot be saved if one resents the Holy Triune God. This is the message of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32 when the elder brother refused to enter the house upon his brother’s return. It is also the underlying meaning of CS Lewis’s pointed observation that the door to hell will be slammed and locked from inside:
“The man wakes from the final struggle of death, in absolute loneliness…Not a hint, not a shadow of anything outside his consciousness reaches him…Soon misery will beget on his imagination a thousand shapes of woe, which he will not be able to rule, direct, or even distinguish from real presences.” (C.S. Lewis: George MacDonald, an Anthology, p. 61)
1. Death by Envy, Fr. George R.A. Aquaro
What is America’s greatest threat? Some would say it is illegal immigration. Some would say the Muslim people. Some would say homosexual marriage. Some would say ISIS. But none of these are America’s greatest threat.
At the expense of sounding preachy, America’s greatest threat is GOD. Rightly did Benjamin Franklin say, “God governs in the affairs of men.” And, rightly did Thomas Jefferson say, “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.” Amen.
But the understanding of the Natural Law principles by which God governs in the affairs of men and upon which His justice and judgment are predicated is mostly lost to this generation of Americans–including America’s pastors and Christians.
The life of Old Testament Israel’s King David affords many illustrations of the principles that God has ordained for nations and governments. As a personal note, King David is my very favorite Bible character. My appetite for studying his life is insatiable. Unquestionably, he is one of the three greatest men of the Old Testament (Abraham and Moses are the other two). I can even say that David is my hero. With all of his faults and failures, God yet inspired the New Testament writer to say that David was “a man after mine own heart.” He is a man after my heart, as well.
As with others in the Bible, Holy Writ is not shy about recording the misdeeds of God’s servants, including King David. This is intended for our own “learning.” We should earnestly seek to mimic the goodness of these men and avoid their sins. Perhaps no man of antiquity demonstrates the polar extremes of success and failure more so than David.
To my non-Christian friends, please bear with me: this column has an extremely relevant message to what is happening in our country.
When almost everybody broaches the subject of King David’s failures, they almost always go immediately to the story of Bathsheba and Uriah. But, at the risk of inducing the ire of my fellow Christians, that was NOT David’s greatest failure. It might have been his greatest personal failure as a MAN, but it was not his greatest failure as a KING. In fact, the vast majority of pastors and Christians have completely overlooked David’s greatest failure. I dare say that the vast majority of you Christian folks who are reading this column right now have NEVER heard a message from the life of David regarding this tragic failure in David’s life and the implication it has for our country today.
I preached a message last Sunday on this very subject to the people of Liberty Fellowship. You can find it here:
The failure to which I speak resulted in the deaths of 70,000 men in the nation of Israel. (That is at least seven times more than were killed in the judgment upon Sodom and Gomorrah.) This was the single greatest plague that God inflicted upon Old Testament Israel. Think about the inference of that fact for a few minutes.
Again, Jefferson rightly said, “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.” God’s justice didn’t sleep in David’s time; and it is not sleeping in our time, either.
The story is recorded in II Samuel 24. The chapter begins with these words, “And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.”
As a result of God’s anger toward the people of Israel, he allowed their leader’s heart to be overcome with an awful motivation. And, remember, this leader was King David: the man after God’s own heart.
Ladies and gentlemen, America’s problem is NOT Barack Obama, Muslims, liberals, etc. Our problem is US. WE are the problem. God’s anger against the people (especially the Christian people) of this country has caused Him to give us evil leaders such as George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and Harry Reid (and Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush, should either of them be elected).
The evil motivation to which King David succumbed is the same evil motivation that America’s leaders are succumbing to today; and it portends America’s GREATEST threat.
The above-referenced chapter records how David unlawfully numbered the people of Israel, the prophet’s warning against it, King David’s repentance, and God’s judgment upon the nation. But, again, most pastors and Christians have completely overlooked this episode in David’s life–and the significance of this crime to our nation today. As a result, America is teetering on the precipice of the same plague.
To help readers understand the terrible significance of David’s sin, I here quote the famous scholars Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset, and David Brown commentary on the Bible published in 1871. This is the commentary that famed English pastor Charles Spurgeon said is the one commentary a minister should possess, if he could possess but one. They write:
“The act of numbering the people was not in itself sinful; for Moses did it by the express authority of God. But David acted not only independently of such order or sanction, but from motives unworthy of the delegated king of Israel; from pride and vainglory; from self-confidence and distrust of God; and, above all, from ambitious designs of conquest, in furtherance of which he was determined to force the people into military service, and to ascertain whether he could muster an army sufficient for the magnitude of the enterprises he contemplated. It was a breach of the constitution, an infringement of the liberties of the people, and opposed to that divine policy which required that Israel should continue a separate people.”
Notice, this great sin of David included “ambitious designs of conquest.” The legal name for this sin is “The Crime of Aggression.” It is so grievous a sin, that God plagued Israel with the deaths of 70,000 men. And only David’s awakening to this crime, and his humility in repenting of it, saved the nation from the deaths of untold more. Plus, this is David’s last recorded act; he died soon after.
Ladies and gentlemen, The Crime of Aggression is currently America’s greatest threat. Many of the lesser threats against our country (ISIS, for example) are the result of this great crime. And since it is extremely doubtful that any U.S. presidential candidate (with the exception of maybe Rand Paul) would issue a national “repentance” of the neocons’ wars of aggression around the world, the same Death Angel that stood with sword drawn above Israel is doubtless standing above the United States as we speak.
Make no mistake about it: the neocons are governing America’s foreign policy regardless of which political party is in control of the White House and Congress. And they have been in complete control ever since George H.W. Bush was President. And the vast majority of our congressmen and senators, as well as those who will be running for POTUS in 2016, are in lock-step, I mean LOCK-STEP, with the neocon agenda regarding foreign policy. And, sadly, so are most Christians and conservatives. It is also no hyperbole to say that FOX News is totally and absolutely nothing more than a propaganda ministry for the neocon foreign policy agenda.
To help put this issue in perspective, and to try and further help readers to understand the seriousness of what I am saying, I want to quote some excerpts from an attorney who is attempting to stop the neocons’ Crime of Aggression via legal action and restore justice (GOD’S justice, I might add) to American government. I’m sure almost no one has heard anything about this case. The propaganda media is even more expert at NOT reporting news as they are propagandizing the news they do report.
Listen to attorney Inder Comar. He titles these remarks, “Saleh V Bush And Precedent For The Crime Of Aggression”:
“First, some brief background about the case. In 2013, my client [Sundus Shaker Saleh], who is an Iraqi refugee, filed a lawsuit in San Francisco, California, in the Northern District of California, which is a federal court, alleging the crime of aggression. The defendants in that case are the six highest ranking Bush administration officials: George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, and Paul Wolfowitz. So she is suing them in a civil case for her damages as a victim of the war, in much the same way that she would sue anybody for any cause of action.
“To make it very simple, if George Bush had hit her in a car, for example, there would be no controversy that she could sue him if she were injured. It’s a similar type of claim that we’re making: his conduct and his actions caused her monetary damage and under the American system, she has a right to seek her tort damages, her tort relief.
“The basis of the lawsuit in the United States is a very old law dating from 1789, the first year of our republic, known as the Alien Tort Claims Act. The first Congress in the United States passed this law to permit non-U.S. citizens–non-Americans–the ability to go to the United States courthouse and file claims against anybody for violations of international law. So you have to allege violations of international law in order to use this law.
“For about 200 years, people have used this law for piracy cases, for example. More recently, in the 1970s and 1980s, people started to use the Alien Tort Claims Act for claims of torture or for claims of crimes against humanity.
“In this case, we’ve alleged the ‘supreme crime,’ the crime of aggression, as Ms. Saleh’s international law claim. What this suggests is that just as you could pursue a pirate under this law, or just as you could pursue a torturer under this law, you must be able to pursue those who commit the ‘supreme crime’–the crime of aggression. In this case, she’s pursuing the six people who caused the Iraq War. As we know from Nuremberg, you don’t get to sue the soldiers who committed the aggression: they’re not responsible. The people who are responsible are the leaders who caused the aggression. And those are the people who are giving the orders, who are planning and executing these crimes.
“We filed the lawsuit. The United States Department of Justice headed by President Obama moved to immunize these defendants soon thereafter. They requested that the federal court immunize them under domestic law, on the basis that these defendants were acting under the scope of their valid employment when they planned and waged the Iraq War.
“We fought that certification for more than a year and a half. But unfortunately, in December of last year, the District Court agreed that they were immune and immunized these defendants from further proceedings. We’ve since appealed that order, and right now that case is on appeal in the Federal Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco.
“At the end of next month, we’re due to submit a brief arguing a very specific point of law on appeal: whether or not a domestic immunity applies to allegations of aggression.
“Now for those of you who are familiar with Nuremberg, you may recall that this was the exact defense–or one of the defenses–raised by the German defendants. They argued that everything they had done was valid under German law and, as a result, they couldn’t be held guilty for something like aggression.
“One of the things that we’ll be raising in our brief next month is that that issue was decided already at Nuremberg: domestic defendants do not get to raise that as a defense.
“What I’d like to offer are some thoughts as to how we can take this battle now on the offensive and go into courthouses, go find venues where we can try and do our best. Ultimately, I think, we can convince judges that this is the law—and to not follow it would not only upset Nuremberg, it would validate the defenses made by the Nazi defendants, who argued that this type of law could never exist, that everything they did was completely legitimate, that they were simply following orders.
“If those things don’t give you a chill, they ought to, because these are the exact defenses that the government is making in my case: that everything these defendants did was valid, that the court shouldn’t scrutinize war making, because war making is outside the scope of what the sovereign can be liable for.”
See the complete address here:
Folks, I hope you understand the significance of this case. For all intents and purposes, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, Obama, et al., are behaving EXACTLY as did Germany’s National Socialists (Nazis). If the U.S. government prevails in this case, it will mean that the Nazis’ defense at Nuremberg was RIGHT, and that the allied courts were WRONG to indict them.
Ask yourself, why would Republican senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain viciously attack Rand Paul’s foreign policy like they have? Graham and McCain went on national television last week and said that Rand’s foreign policy was WORSE than Barack Obama’s. Why would Republicans laud a liberal Democrat above a fellow Republican, not once, but over and over? Why? Because these men are governed by the same neocon (Nazi-like) agenda. Rand Paul is not. Democrat and Republican mean NOTHING. As long as he or she allows him or herself to be controlled by the neocon foreign policy, he or she will receive the approbation and support of the governing establishment. And, while what I am about to say is NOT an official endorsement, the ONLY candidate for President who, so far, is not willing to grovel before the neocon foreign policy agenda is Rand Paul. You can bet that the political and media establishments will do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING to keep Rand from obtaining the Republican nomination, because, to them, IT’S ALL ABOUT MAINTAINING NEOCON CONTROL OF AMERICA’S FOREIGN POLICY.
(The pressure on Rand Paul to capitulate his policy of non-aggression is massive. It will be a miracle if he can maintain his convictions on this matter. His dad, Ron Paul, was able to do it. I hope Rand can. I am earnestly praying for him.)
The Crime of Aggression was the crime that King David was guilty of planning in his heart in II Samuel 24. It was the crime that caused a divine plague of 70,000 deaths and the end of David’s reign. It is the same crime that the vast majority of America’s leaders are currently guilty of. And it is the same sin that a seeming majority of America’s pastors and Christians are willing to tolerate and support.
Someone must see the Angel with sword drawn standing above America. Someone must be willing to call out our leaders for these crimes–as King David’s personal chaplain was willing to do to him. This is one reason why King David was such a great man: not because he never failed, but, because the times when he did fail, he was willing to repent and take personal responsibility for his failure. And, remember, David’s failure upon which we are currently focused was predicated upon the fact that God was angry with THE PEOPLE.
You can bet we are going to see NO REPENTANCE from the vast majority of America’s political leaders or from the vast majority of those who want to be our next President. If the pastors of America don’t call out the crimes of our nation’s leaders, who will?
Right now, there is an attorney in the Ninth Circuit who is trying to do it. For the most part, he is a voice in the wilderness. And, no, I know nothing of his personal faith. It doesn’t matter. This is a matter of Natural Law. This is a matter of national justice. And law and justice apply equally to ALL PEOPLE.
No wonder that King David’s last words were: “He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.” (II Sam. 23:3)
People who love justice and who have the fear of God in their hearts are the kinds of people spiritually qualified to be a nation’s leaders. Right now, the vast majority of our leaders have neither. And their almost universal endorsement of The Crime of Aggression proves it.
But, be not deceived: this national crime is bringing America to the brink of divine judgment, the likes of which this country has never seen. It happened to David’s Israel; it happened to Caesar’s Rome; it happened to Hitler’s Germany; and it will happen to Bush/Clinton/Obama/Boehner/
Obama’s “No Growth, No Jobs, No Recovery”
The world’s biggest economy ground to a standstill in the first quarter of 2015 wracked by massive job losses in the oil sector, falling personal consumption, weak exports and droopy fixed investment. Real gross domestic product (GDP), the value of the production of goods and services in the US, increased at an abysmal annual rate of just 0.2 percent in Q1 ’15 according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis demonstrating conclusively that 6 years of zero rates and Large-Scale Asset Purchases (LSAP)– which have enriched stock speculators, inflated the largest asset-price bubble in history, and exacerbated inequality to levels not seen since the Gilded Age– have done nothing to improve the real economy, boost demand or reduce unemployment. As the BEA data illustrates, the US economy is basically DOA, a victim of criminal congressional negligence and Central Bank chicanery.
From the BEA release: “The deceleration in real GDP growth in the first quarter reflected a deceleration in PCE, downturns in exports, in nonresidential fixed investment, and in state and local government spending, and a deceleration in residential fixed investment that were partly offset by a deceleration in imports and upturns in private inventory investment and in federal government spending.”
Translation: The economy is in the shitter. Consumers aren’t spending because the crap-ass jobs they landed after the crisis pay half as much as the jobs they lost when Wall Street blew up the financial system. Personal savings are up and spending is down because households face an uncertain future where pensions are being trimmed and Social Security is under attack. Also, spending is impacted by the historic low (employment) participation rate which indicates that joblessness is much higher than the government’s phony numbers suggest. When workers are unemployed they don’t spend, activity drops, and the economy tanks. It’s that simple. Today’s data just confirms what most people already know, that the economy stinks and that they’re being ripped off by a voracious oligarchy that’s stacked the deck in their favor.
The US economy is stuck in the mud because our bought-and-paid-for congress has relinquished all authority and handed over the management of the economy to the industry-controlled Federal Reserve. Whereas our current budget deficits are in the range of 2 percent per annum, the government should be spending a lot more to compensate for the slowdown in private sector spending and investment. In the past, the congress and president would initiate sensible Keynesian fiscal stimulus programs to keep the economy sputtering along while households repaired their balance sheets or businesses struggled with weak demand. Those tried-and-true remedies have been jettisoned for the new monetarist orthodoxy that requires that all the nation’s wealth be filtered through the Wall Street casino so that the pampered thieves who destroyed the country with their mortgage-securities-Ponzi-scam be further rewarded for their insatiable greed.
Manufacturing, retail sales, MBA purchase applications, business investment etc, are all in the toilet. There’s a very good chance the economy is already in recession which will undoubtedly send stocks even higher since every proclamation of bad news generates a buying frenzy by clever speculators who anticipate that the Fed will continue to extend the zero rates and easy money to infinity.
It’s worth noting that the economy had been hanging on by the skin of its teeth mainly do to strong activity in the oil patch where credit expansion, intensive corporate investment, and high-paying jobs (which supported 4 additional jobs in the local economy!) contributed more than $200 billion per year to GDP. Now domestic oil production is in deep distress. Layoffs recently surpassed the 100,000 milestone (See: Oil Layoffs Hit 100,000 and Counting, Wall Street Journal) and borrowing has dried up. Economist Warren Mosler explains the impact the cutbacks in domestic oil have had on GDP in this video from RT that I have transcribed:
“The price drop in oil has turned out to be the unambiguous negative that we had talked about before….where income saved by the consumer, is lost by another consumer. For every dollar not spend by one consumer, another doesn’t get it. ..so you’re just left with the collapse in capital expenditures. (business investment) It turns out, there was about $150 borrowed in the sector last year, driving what modest growth we had last year. Since that disappeared, all the numbers have been going straight down. Unless something steps up to the plate to replace the lost borrowing-to-spend from chasing $100 oil, I see no hope whatsoever.” (Warren Mosler Interview, RT)
Economic recovery requires credit expansion, business investment and jobs. All three of these were severely impacted by the Obama’s goofy plan to push down oil prices in order to destroy the Russian economy. Here’s a brief summary:
“John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, allegedly struck a deal with King Abdullah in September under which the Saudis would sell crude at below the prevailing market price. That would help explain why the price has been falling at a time when, given the turmoil in Iraq and Syria caused by Islamic State, it would normally have been rising.” (Stakes are high as US plays the oil card against Iran and Russia, Larry Eliot, Guardian)
As indicated by today’s ghastly GDP data, Obama not only shot himself in the foot, he might have blown off his whole leg. Aside from the colossal growth in private inventories–which will be a drag on future growth–todays report was nothing short of a disaster.
“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.
Water and air are the most important resources on the planet. Breathing clean air seems to be accepted as a noble goal and the cost attributed to its improvement is usually universally accepted. However, the same cannot be said about access to fresh water as big business interests often argues. Many corporate interests contend that private ownership of public water out- weighs the rights of actual property owners. Corporate agriculture is quite different from traditional family farming. Yet, the factory farms that have taken over agribusiness demonstrate little regard for preserving a viable water supply.
Tilling the back forty is no longer the face of farming. Adding concern to an already parched situation is the California delta’s water mysteriously missing amid drought, news has come to light.
“Delta farmers don’t deny using as much water as they need. But they say they’re not stealing it because their history of living at the water’s edge gives them that right. Still, they have been asked to report how much water they’re pumping and to prove their legal rights to it.
At issue is California’s century-old water rights system that has been based on self-reporting and little oversight, historically giving senior water rights holders the ability to use as much water as they need, even in drought. Gov. Jerry Brown has said that if drought continues this system built into California’s legal framework will probably need to be examined.”
So what is all this water extraction being used for? Manuel Ramirez from K&M Press is an exporter in the Imperial Valley is quoted by the BBC in the account, California drought: Why farmers are ‘exporting water’ to China.
“The last few years there has been an increase in exports to China. We started five years back and the demand for alfalfa hay has increased,” he says.
“It’s cost effective. We have abundance of water here which allows us to grow hay for the foreign market.”
Japan, Korea and the United Arab Emirates all buy Californian hay. The price is now so high that many local dairy farmers and cattle ranchers can’t afford the cost when the rains fail and their usual supplies are insufficient.”
California Food Facts – Production & Crops lists the state’s leading export crop as almonds. Widely described in Mother Jones is the amount of water needed to produce a list of crops. A single almond requires 1.1 gallons of water. The lunacy of exporting a product that consumes such a high water usage is typical of an environment that has ignored the wasteful use of water resources for decades.
Even more alarming is contained in the CBS news report, Farmers May Sell Water Meant For Growing Crops During California’s Drought.
“Instead of growing crops, some California farmers will sell their water to other farms during the fourth year of the state’s drought.
Not all farmers will use their allocated amount of water this year, and several irrigation districts will allow farmers to sell their extra water.”
The practice of selling water may seem on the surface a free market transaction. Nonetheless, the dubious corporatist claim on a vanishing water supply defies rational policy. Now that California Governor Jerry Brown Orders Statewide Water Restrictions, and issued a decree, “The order calls on local water agencies to implement tiered water pricing that charges higher rates as more water is used and requires agricultural users to report more water use information to state regulators”, fails to rein in big agriculture.
Of course as with setting an enlightened public policy, especially when addressing an emergency, not all the blame should be placed on farming. Notwithstanding, their abuses, the underlying failure in allowing exporting crops that use up our domestic water reserves is the key failure in the Governor Brown executive order.
The National Geographic quotes from a Governor Brown statement:
“Some have questioned the production of so much food for export during a water shortage. Even as many farmers struggle to meet their crops’ demand for water in drought-stricken California, every year they also send billions of virtual gallons to other countries—in the form of the food and animal feed grown with that water.
The United States exports about 82 trillion gallons of water a year–more than twice as much virtual water as any other country. That’s largely because American farms are a big supplier of the global food chain.”
California is currently getting media attention. But when compared to global conditions, Water Usage & Privatization, makes some astounding warnings.
“About 90 percent of the world’s freshwater stocks currently remain under public control, but privatization is becoming more common as revenue-strapped governments increasingly cannot afford to maintain and repair crumbling municipal water purification and delivery systems often built decades ago. Historically, however, in places where privatization has been established, it has proven to be another cause of—rather than a solution to—chronic water shortage problems. That is, because corporations are (by their nature) more concerned with making money than serving people’s and communities’ best interests, water privatization has led to corruption, lack of corporate accountability, loss of local agency, weakened water quality standards, and steep rate hikes that eliminate poor people’s access to water.”
Government oppression is always a prime concern with public policy. Still, the greed of corporatist farming plays a destructive role when water usage is misused with flagrant disregard for the public welfare. As long as state and local office holders ignore balance and prudent measures to curb flushing freshwater down a wasteful hole, the prospects of a prosperous civilized society will be brought into question.
However long weather conditions remain that diminishes replenishment in ground water, the need to act now becomes more important. As expected corporatist interests will fight every inch to keep control of every drop. The globalists warming cultists will spin their fear agenda, but will do little to confront the destructive practices of the “Free Trade” sellout. The proper role of lawful government is absent. Heed this example of the special interests control of our future, through their influence of bad public policy.
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?
The saga of continuous deployment and a garrison empire is a long and sad state of affairs. Using the trumped up fright that America’s enemies are geared up to bomb malls and sporting venues, builds a phony fear that the only response to combat the threat is to wage continuous foreign campaigns. What put such sophistry to rest are the facts that such uninterrupted carnage just feeds the fields of growing hostility towards America. If the War on Terror was winnable, why not start by stopping the War of Terror that is the center piece of aggressive projection of bellicose power.
The militarist over at Red States warns that Obama is gumming up the works. In the article, Obama’s AUMF is Actually a DUMF the horror that placing a limit on the use of expansionist support deeply offends the warmongers. Folks, their positions are not a fair or representative reflection of true and traditional conservative foreign policy.
“The AUMF proposed by Obama, on the other hand, explicitly repeals the 2002 AUMF and furthermore explicitly states that ground troops cannot be used, as they can be used (and have been used by Obama) under the 2002 AUMF. It furthermore contains an automatic three year expiration, which is not contained in the currently active AUMF.
In other words, this is not even fairly called an Authorization for the Use of Military Force. It’s actually a Deauthorization for the Use of Military Force. Republicans in Congress should start referring to it as the DUMF (pronounced DUMB-f) so that people will be reminded what sort of person would be convinced that Obama takes confronting the threat of ISIS seriously.”
In order to have a sound and constitutional approach to safeguarding the Republic, the first step is to be honest with ourselves. The preservation of the sole superpower mantra is far more dangerous than any suicide bomber. Yet, the internationalists will never be content until they manufacture or invent a new advocacy to keep the full spectrum dominance machine rolling along. Such a mind-set and way of thinking is psychotic.
For those who hope the Obama administration is actually operating on a more balanced level; don’t believe that spin for a minute. The essential reality is that there are only two positions in gauging foreign policy. The first is the bipartisan establishment agreement that “Politics Stops at the Water’s Edge”. Even the Council on Foreign Relations admits in the essay, American Foreign Policy Is Already Post-Partisan the following.
“Yet how deep is the partisan divide over the place of multilateralism in U.S. foreign policy? To explore this question, in the past year we sent a survey to foreign policy professionals: 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats, who had served in a mid-level or higher foreign policy position in the Clinton, Bush, or Obama administrations, or on Capitol Hill. The respondents included 23 Democrats and 20 Republicans.
The results of our study reveal that the parties are not as divided about multilateralism as the conventional wisdom suggests. First, strong majorities of both Republican and Democratic respondents said they believed that working closely with other nations serves U.S. interests and makes the country’s foreign policy more effective. Second, foreign policy leaders from both parties agreed that international economic institutions and free trade agreements are valuable, and that working with regional and global multilateral organizations such as NATO and the UN is important.”
Such a response is expected from the echo chamber for the New World Order.
The second perspective accepts the wisdom of the historic and guarded non-interventionism approach to foreign affairs. Based upon power politics exponents, who are in control of government agencies and influence institutions, their defiance for a reason and true national security, attacks such advocates for halting the unending cycle as domestic terrorists. The recent BATR RealPolitik Newsletter, Israel Owns Congress, illustrates a significant factor behind the driving pressure that exports violence from the Nefarious Warrior Organism. Yes this fitting description for the New World Order characterizes the essence of the establishment.
Daniel Larison writes in the American Conservative, Paul and the Right’s Ideological Enforcers.
“Michael Brendan Dougherty comments on the silly reaction of some “pro-Israel” hard-liners to Rand Paul’s insufficiently zealous applause for Netanyahu:
“And I understand the suspicion. If I ever exerted myself so frantically on behalf of a cause, if lobbying for it required investing so many millions of dollars, and if maintaining party discipline on it required “brutal” ad drops on congressional obscurities, I would worry that some of the response I sought was perfunctory and insincere. The sonnets you receive don’t sound as sweet. The applause seems forced. Almost like they are faking it.”
Unfortunately, this ludicrous ideological policing seems to work only too well. Paul’s response in the last two days has been to reaffirm how enthusiastically “pro-Israel” he really is. Even though the fixation on the intensity of his clapping at Tuesday’s disgraceful spectacle ought to have made clear that he will never be able to do or say (or clap) enough to satisfy his party’s hard-liners, he made sure to emphasize his “pro-Israel” bona fides by talking up his co-sponsorship of Corker’s Iran bill and the number of times (50) he has joined in standing ovations for Netanyahu. We can already hear the hard-liners’ response: “He gave only 50 standing ovations? He should have given at least 70.”
This goes to the heart of the establishment’s primacy principle, American adventurism benefits Israel First interests. The reason the United States is engulfed in perpetual war is to keep the power elites in control. The permanent war of terror has the domestic public as the target. Why is this so? Plainly speaking, the globalists who have completed their takeover of the apparatus of governance have eliminated even the semblance of the rule by law.
In the Ron Paul video from a GOP Presidential debate, Let Iran Have Nukes. No Sanctions, No War, you heard for the last time a common sense and prudent approach to counter the NeoCon and NewLib mantra of continual threat of war or actual combat.
Stopping the interventionism of the foreign policy establishment like in their Ukrainian coup d’état, would require a total repudiation of the entire power structure that perverts the body politic. The lawlessness, that is the staple of the Obama administration, just made a pivot in rhetoric from the “Mission Accomplished” absurdity under Bush.
All the time the same drum beat to a truly global conflict marches on because the fundamental axioms upon which, rest the internationalist system, is based has proven beyond any reasonable doubt, to be false and deadly.
We live under a reign of terror from our own illegitimate authorities. The domestic police state is a reflection of tactics used and perfected in Iraq. The creation of ISIL was achieved by western intelligence. The need for a new enemy becomes obvious when the old one turns out to be a phony menace.
If Obama would really sunset the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, it might be the only worthwhile initiative of his years in office. However, in order to judge the feasibility and sincerity of his intentions, one might need to access the private emails of the former Secretary of State. Fat chance! Dragging out the goods from the heroine of culture concealment brings back all the memories of the former Klinton era.
That’s the way the guardians of the establishment work. Brew up mind numbing scandals, while the existential global tragedies of designed world domination, are ignored. The ease upon whom the war of terror is sold to the public is dreadful.
Listing all the transgressions upon lawful restrains, imposed on the country since the 911 Wag the Dog scenarios, would take a book. How long will repeating the same strategy of failure continue to get favorable support? As long as confused conservatives accept that the bogyman is overseas and are not able to focus on the architects of treason at home, the NWO will just waltz its way to the symphony they compose.
The absence of the formerly vocal anti-war movement in the way the Viet Nam war galvanized is a great regret. Adopting a non-interventionist doctrine should not be a left-right dichotomy. It needs to become a unified and committed cause that each citizen will actively adopt.
The pathetic peer pressure used on a Rand Paul to become an Israel-First supporter needs to be condemned. If it was not for the internationalist and globalist lobby, our troops could and should be stationed on our own borders.
Perpetual war to justify a permanent war of terror will destroy all that was once unique about America. The fifth column and systemic treason that passes as “PC” policy, is the enemy. Waking up is not enough. The blowback coming must be against the establishment. In order for the nation to rise from the ashes of destruction, the public needs to defeat the reign of terror conducted in our name.
Andrew Kreig’s book reviews are always to the point and chock full of carefully honed points bolstered with facts. You can count of this when reading his work because his training is both in law, he is a licensed attorney in Washington D.C., and journalism. Andrew takes up subjects many won’t touch.
This being the case I ordered my copy of, “Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked the World — An Insider’s View,” by J. Michael Springmann, former State Department foreign service officer immediately.
If Andrew says a book is going to be shocking and timely, and make a, “credible circumstantial case that ties the U.S. training of Islamic radicals to our nation’s major foreign policy disasters in the Mideast during the past quarter century,” it is a book to read, given how many emails on the subject are coming through my Inbox on the subject.
Andrew’s review provided direct quotes from author Springmann, former chief of the visa section of the U.S. Consulate located in Saudi Arabia, who last week launched his book tour at the prestigious National Press Club in D.C.
Springmann said, ““It’s past time to expose murder, war crimes and human rights violations by the United States of American and its ‘intelligence’ services.” Continuing, Springman, said claiming “national security,” as a justification was dubious.
These claims have been made by both the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency (NSA). Springmann said these agencies were responsible for coups and destabilization acts around the world, “most notably,” in the middle east.
Springmann says governments were overthrown, assassinations carried out and ordinary citizens murdered on their orders. This chain of events began, he continued, with the Carter Administration. These acts took place, Springmann says, with the knowledge of the president of the United States and the executive branch but also our two other branches of government,“from Libya to Iran.”
Springmann knows because he personally saw “illegal visas issues to large numbers of U.S.-backed Islamic fundamentalists transiting through Jeddah from multiple Islamic nations so they could visit the United States for secret purposes.” Covert training took place at a CIA facility in Williamsburg, Virginia for “vagabond Islamic mercenaries, revolutionists and jihadists — an “Arab-Afghan Legion” — who could be unleashed on America’s enemies.”
Blowback was not taken into account but deniability was ensured. Today, when war has become continuous, this is a book you need to read.
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.
Our Constitution has become a suicide pact.
That’s the view of Thomas Jefferson, expressed in an 1819 letter to jurist Spencer Roane, when he said “If this opinion be sound, then indeed is our constitution a complete felo de se” (suicide pact). The opinion Jefferson referred to is the legitimacy of judicial review, the idea, as he put it, that “gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres.” He warned that accepting such a doctrine makes “the Judiciary a despotic branch” that acts as “an oligarchy.”
That “opinion” has been accepted. The despotism has befallen us. The oligarchy reigns.
In recent times federal judges have ruled that Arizona must provide driver’s licenses for illegal aliens, states such as Utah and Alabama must allow faux marriage, and a Wisconsin voter-identification law is unconstitutional. And these are just a few examples of judicial usurpations that continue unabated and go unanswered. But the answer, which needs to be given first and foremost by governors, is simple:
No — I will not abide by the court’s unjust ruling. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land and, insofar as the central government or judiciary violates it, it renders itself illegitimate. As the governor of my state and head of its executive branch, I am charged with the enforcement of its laws. And we will recognize no more unconstitutional juridical or federal dictates.”
(Note: while my main focus here is our much abused judicial review, I’m advocating the same course with respect to all unconstitutional dictates.)
If this seems radical, note that even Abraham Lincoln agreed, saying in his first inaugural address, “[I]f the policy of the government, upon the vital questions affecting the whole people, is to be irrevocably fixed by the decisions of the Supreme Court…the people will have ceased to be their own masters, having to that extent resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.”
The process I’m advocating here is known as nullification. And should anyone still think it radical or unprecedented, know that we’d only be taking a leaf out of the Left’s book. Explanation?
What do you think “sanctuary cities” are?
They’re places where liberals have decided they’re simply going to resist federal immigration law.
What do you think is happening when states (e.g., Colorado) and leftist municipalities ignore federal drug laws? Nullification is happening.
Yet no matter how egregious, un-American, unconstitutional and despotic the federal or judicial usurpations, the conservative response is typified by what Utah governor Gary Herbert said — feeling oh-so principled, I’m sure — after the federal faux-marriage ruling: “[U]ltimately we are a nation of laws and we here in Utah will uphold the law.” Yes, we’re supposed to be a nation subject to the rule of law.
Not the rule of lawyers.
And our governors are allowing subjection to the latter, feeling noble playing by rules the Left laughs at.
It’s not surprising that revolutionary spirit has been cornered by liberals. The only consistent definition of “liberal” is “desire to change the status quo” — it is revolutionary by definition. In contrast, the only consistent definition of “conservative” involves something antithetical to revolution: the desire to maintain the status quo. Of course, it completely eludes conservatives that today’s status quo was created by yesterday’s liberals. And one modern status quo is to lose culture-war and political battles to the Left. And, boy, do conservatives ever maintain that one. They’re like a guy who goes into a fight, gets poked in the eyes and kicked in the kneecaps, loses, and then the next time still thinks he’s got to follow Queensbury rules.
We hear a lot of talk about “states’ rights.” Ex-Texas governor Rick Perry was a good example of a big talker. But where’s the beef? Merely flapping lips doesn’t sink big-government ships. There have been nullification efforts by state legislatures, mainly regarding federal gun-control law, and many sheriffs across the country have vowed not to enforce such law. And Alabama’s Judge Roy Moore is currently defying a federal faux-marriage ruling. This is laudable, but why are the chief executives MIA? If only we had a governor with the guts of a good sheriff.
We’re meant to be a nation of states, not a nation state. But rights mean nothing if you’re not eternally vigilant in their defense, if you don’t actively stand against those who would trample them. In 2013, Attorney General Eric Holder threatened Kansas with legal action over a new anti-federal-gun-control state law. If the courts ruled against the state, what would Governor Sam Brownback do? Make some “principled” comments about the rule of law(lessness) and then assume the prone position?
This is why I say not one governor is truly qualified to be president: If a chief executive will not oppose federal tyranny while the head of a state government, why should we think he’d oppose federal tyranny once head of the federal government?
History teaches that entities don’t willingly relinquish power; it didn’t happen in 1776 and it won’t happen now. People are generally quite zealous about increasing their power, though. This returns us to the courts’ usurpations. Do you know where the power of “judicial review” came from? It was declared in the 1803 Marbury v. Madison decision — by the Supreme Court.
That’s right: the Supreme Court gave the Supreme Court the Supreme Court’s despotic power.
Of course, unilateral declarations of power are not at all unusual historically. It’s what happened whenever an agent of tyranny — whether it was a conquering king, communist force or crime syndicate — took over. But these despotisms were enforced, as Mao put it, “through the barrel of a gun.” It wasn’t usually the case that the subjects rolled over like trained dogs lapping up lawyer-craft. Oh, it’s not that I don’t see the crafty lawyers’ position. I might like to crown myself Emperor of America, but, should I insist I possess this unilaterally-declared status with enough conviction, I may get a stay in a mental institution. The courts get to dictate to everyone else and spread insanity all the way around.
Perhaps it needn’t be stated, but the power of judicial review isn’t in the Constitution. So is it any wonder that a federal court, concerned about Barack Obama’s comments relating to the judiciary, asked his administration in 2012 to submit a formal letter indicating whether or not it recognized the power? Judicial review, being an invention, is dependent upon the acquiescence of the other two branches of government.
Oh, and what is Obama’s actual position? He believes in the court’s power — when it serves his agenda. Otherwise, he’s willing to ignore court rulings himself, as he did when suing Texas over voter ID in 2013. (In fact, never mind the courts. Obama ignores duly enacted federal law he doesn’t like.)
We can even learn from Obama.
The idea of judicial review is thoroughly un-American. As Jefferson also pointed out, judges are not morally superior to anyone else, having “with others the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps.” Despite this, he wrote in his letter to Roane, while we’re meant to have “three departments, co-ordinate and independent, that they might check and balance one another,” judicial review has given “to one of them alone, the right to prescribe rules for the government of the others”; moreover, he continued, this power was given to the very branch that “is unelected by, and independent of the nation.” Jefferson then warned that this has made the Constitution “a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist, and shape into any form they please.” And our country is being twisted along with it as patriots twist in the wind.
Jefferson’s position is just common sense. We cannot be a government of, by and for the people if 9 unelected Americans in black robes can act as an oligarchy and impose their biased vision of the law on 317 million Americans. That is not what the Founding Fathers intended.
Nonetheless, most conservatives are waiting for the next election or the next court ruling or the next president to right the ship, but they and their republic will die waiting when remedial action can be taken now. Nullification — when properly exercised, it’s a fancy way of saying “standing up for the law of the land.” Were I a governor, I’d tell the feds to pound sand and that if they didn’t like it, to send in the troops. I might ultimately end up in federal prison, but I’d light a fire and spark a movement — and become a hero and martyr to millions.
It’s waiting there for you, governors, glory and God’s work. We just need a leader, someone with greater passions for principle than “for party, for power.” It’s waiting.
Rise, American hero, rise.
Ironman Varoufakis’s Revolutionary Plan for Europe…
“The ongoing dispute between the German and Greek governments is nothing less than a democratic revolution against German hegemony and the attempt of the Germans and their paladins in the EU to dictate Greek domestic policy.”
–Mathew D. Rose, It’s a revolution, Stupid! Naked Capitalism
“Germany is eating itself over Greece. It is eroding its moral authority, and seems prepared to destroy the eurozone’s integrity just to make a point.”
–Paul Mason, Germany v Greece is a fight to the death, a cultural and economic clash of wills, Guardian
If you haven’t been following developments in the Greek-EU standoff, you’re really missing out. This might be the best story of the year. And what makes it so riveting, is that no one thought that little Greece could face off with the powerful leaders of the EU and make them blink. But that’s exactly what’s happened. On Monday, members of the Eurogroup met with Greece’s finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, to decide whether they would accept Greece’s terms for an extension of the current loan agreement. There were no real changes to the agreement. The only difference was semantics, that is, the loan would not be seen as a bailout but as “a transitional stage to a new contract for growth for Greece”. In other words, a bridge to a different program altogether.
In retrospect, Varoufakis’s strategy was pure genius, mainly because it knocked the EU finance ministers off balance and threw the process into turmoil. After all, how could they vote “thumbs down” on loan package that they had previously approved just because the language was slightly different? But if they voted “thumbs up”, then what?
Well, then they would be acknowledging (and, tacitly, approving) Greece’s determination to make the program less punitive in the future. That means they’d be paving the way for an end to austerity and a rethink on loan repayment. They’d also be conceding that Greece’s democratically-elected government had the right to alter the policies of the Eurogroup. How could they let that happen?
But, then again, how could they vote it down, after all, it was basically the same deal. As Varoufakis pointed out in a press conference on Monday:
“We agree to the terms of our loan agreements to all our creditors”. And we have “agreed to do nothing to derail the existing budget framework during the interim period.”
See? It’s the same deal.
This is the conundrum the Eurogroup faced on Monday, but instead of dealing with it head-on, as you would expect any mature person to do, they punted. They put off the loan extension decision for another day and called it quits. Now maybe that was the smart thing to do, but the optics sure looked terrible. It looked like Varoufakis stared them down and sent them fleeing like scared schoolchildren.
Now, remember, Monday was the absolute, drop-dead deadline for deciding whether the Eurogroup would approve or reject the new terms for Greece’s loan extension. That means the Eurogroup’s task could not have been more straightforward. All they had to do was vote yes or no. That’s it.
Instead, they called ‘Time Out’ and kicked the can a little further down the road. It was not a particularly proud moment for the European Union. But what’s even worse, is the subterfuge that preceded the meetings; that’s what cast doubt on the character of the people running EU negotiations. Here’s the scoop: About 15 minutes before the confab began, Varoufakis was given a draft communique outlining the provisions of the proposed loan extension. He was pleasantly surprised to find that the document met all his requirements and, so, he was prepared to sign it. Unfortunately, the document was switched shortly before the negotiations began with one that backtracked on all the crucial points.
I’m not making this up. The freaking Eurogroup tried to pull the old switcheroo on Varoufakis to get him to sign something that was different than the original. Can you believe it? And it’s only because Varoufakis studiously combed through the new memo that he was able to notice the discrepancy and jam on the brakes. As it happens, the final copy was just a rehash of the same agreement that Varoufakis has rejected from the onset. The only difference was the underhanded way the Eurogroup tried to slip it by him.
Now you tell me: Would you consider people who do something like that “trustworthy”?
Of course not. This is how people behave when they don’t care about integrity or credibility, when all that matters is winning. If the Eurogroup can trick the Greeks into signing something that’s different than what they think they’re signing; then tough luck for the Greeks. “Caveat emptor”. Buyer beware. The Eurogroup has no problem with that kind of shabby double-dealing. That’s just how they play the game.
But their trickery and bullying hasn’t worked, mainly because Varoufakis is too smart for them. And he’s too charismatic and talented too, which is a problem for the EU bigwigs who resent the fact that this upstart Marxist academic has captured the imaginations of people around the world upsetting their little plan to perpetuate Greece’s 6-year long Depression. They never anticipated that public opinion would shift so dramatically against them, nor had they imagined that all of Europe would be focused laserlike on the shady and autocratic workings of the feckless Eurogroup. That’s not what they wanted. What they wanted was carte blanche to impose their medieval policies on the profligate Greeks, just like the good old days after Lehman Brothers tanked. After all, that’s how a “anti-democratic imperialist project” like the EU is supposed to work, right?
Right, except now Varoufakis and his Marxist troopers have thrown a wrench in the Eurogroup’s plans and put the future in doubt. The tide has turned sharply towards reason, solidarity and compassion instead of repression, exploitation and cruelty. In just a few weeks, the entire playing field has changed, and Greece appears to be getting the upper hand. Who would have known?
If you look at the way that Varoufakis has handled the Eurogroup, you have to admire the subtlety, but effectiveness of his strategy. In any battle, one must draw attention to the righteousness of their cause while exposing the flaws in the character of their adversary. The incident on Monday certainly achieved both. While David never really slayed Goliath, Goliath is certainly in retreat. And that’s alot better than anyone expected.
As for the “cause”, well, that speaks for itself. The Greek bailout was never reasonable because the plan wasn’t designed to create a path for Greece to grow its way out of debt and deflation. No. It was basically a public relations smokescreen used to conceal what was really going on behind the scenes, which was a massive giveaway to the banks and bondholders. Everyone knows this. Check this out from Naked Capitalism:
“According to the Jubilee Debt Campaign, 92% of €240 billion Greece has received since the May 2010 bailout went to Greek and European financial institutions.” (Naked Capitalism)
Yep, it was all just one big welfare payment to the moocher class. Meanwhile, the Greeks got zilch. And, yet, the Eurogroup wants them to continue with this same program?
As far as Greece’s finances are concerned, they’ve gotten progressively worse every year the bailout has dragged on. For example, Greece’s debt-to-GDP ratio has gone from 115 percent in 2010 more than 170 percent today. The country is headed in the wrong direction, which is what makes Varoufakis’s remedies so compelling. It’s because everyone knows that ‘if you are already in a hole, stop digging’. That’s the logic behind Varoufakis’s position; he simply wants to “stop digging.” But that can’t be done by borrowing more money to repay debts that only get bigger with each new bailout. And it can’t be done by implementing excruciating belt-tightening measures that increase unemployment and shrink the economy. It can only be done by reducing one’s debts and initiating programs that help to grow the economy back to health. This isn’t rocket science, but it is anathema to the retrograde ideology of the European Union which is one part bonehead economics and one part German sanctimony. Put the two together and you come up with a pre-Keynesian dystopia where one of the wealthiest regions in the world inches ever-closer to anarchy and ruin for the sole purpose of proving that contractionary expansion actually works. Well, guess what? It doesn’t, and we now have six years of evidence to prove it.
It’s worth noting that the Eurogroup hasn’t budged one inch from its original position. In other words, there really haven’t been any negotiations, not in any meaningful sense of the word. What there has been is one group of pompous blowhards reiterating the same discredited mantra over and over again, even though austerity has been thoroughly denounced by every reputable economist on the planet. Of course that doesn’t matter to the ex-Goldman swindlers at the ECB or their hairshirt counterparts in Berlin. What they want is to extract every last drop of blood from their Greek victims. That’s their game. And, of course, ultimately what they want to do is annihilate the entire EU welfare state; crush the unions, eviscerate pensions, wages and health care, and privatize everything they can get their greasy hands on. That’s the real objective. Greece’s exorbitant debts are just a means to an end, just a way to decimate the middle class in one fell swoop.
Keep in mind, the EU just narrowly avoided a triple-dip recession in the third quarter, which would have been their third slump in less than six years. How do you like that track record? It just illustrates the stunning mismanagement of the Union’s economic affairs and the incompetence of the bureaucrats making the decisions. Even so, these same leaders have no qualms about telling Greece to step in line and follow their diktats to the letter.
Can you believe the arrogance?
Fortunately, Greece has broken from the herd and set out on a new course. They’ve disposed of the mealy-mouth, sellout politicians who used to run the country and put the A-Team in their place. And, boy, are they happy with the results. Syriza’s public approval ratings are through the roof while Varoufakis has become the most admired man in Europe. The question is whether this new troupe of committed leftists can deliver the goods or not. So far, there’s reason for hope, that is, if we can agree about what Varoufakis’s strategy really is.
In earlier writings, Varoufakis said that he wants a New Deal for Greece. He said:
“Unless we have a new deal for Europe, Greece is not going to get a chance….It’s a necessary condition that the eurozone finds a rational plan for itself…. until and unless the eurozone finds a rational plan for stopping this train wreck throughout the European Union, throughout the eurozone, Greece has no chance at all.” Naked Capitalism)
Okay, so Varoufakis wants to stay in the EU, but he wants a change in policy. (Reducing the debts, ending austerity, and boosting fiscal stimulus.) But he also has more ambitious plans of which no one in Brussels, Frankfurt or Berlin seems to be aware. He wants to change the prevailing culture of the Eurozone; gradually, incrementally, but persistently. He wants a Europe that is more democratic and more responsive to the needs of the member states, but he also wants a Europe that is more united via institutions and programs that will strengthen the union. He believes that success will only be achieved if concrete steps are taken “to unify the banking system”, mutualize debt (“the Federal Government having its own debt over and above states.”) …”And thirdly we need an investment policy which runs throughout the Eurozone… a recycling mechanism for the whole thing. Unless we have these things,… I’m afraid there is absolutely nothing to avert the continuation of this slow motion derailment.” (Naked Capitalism)
So, there you have it. Nationalize the banking system, create a Euro-wide bond market, and establish mechanisms for fiscal transfers to the weaker states like we do in the US via welfare, food stamps, gov contracts, subsidies etc. to create some balance between the very rich and productive states like California and New York and the poorer states like South Dakota and Oklahoma. That’s what it’s going to take to create a viable United States of Europe and escape these frustratingly recurrent crises. Varoufakis knows this, but of course he’s not pushing for this. Not yet at least.
Instead, he’s decided to take it slowly, one step at a time. Incremental change, that’s the ticket. Just keep plugging away and building support until the edifice cracks and democracy appears.
That’s Varoufakis’s plan in a nutshell: Revolution from within. Just don’t tell anyone in Berlin.
Another toxic spill took place into the Yellowstone River on January 17 of this year. It was not the first. An earlier break took place several years ago.
The break occurred, according to Bridger Pipeline, LLC, at 10a.m. The company shut down the pipeline at 11am.
It is in the first hour after a break the most toxic materials escape. This includes Benzene, a carcinogen which may cause cancer. Bridger announced only 300 – 1,200 oil barrels had been spilled into the riber. State estimates the spill as 50,000 US gallons of spilled oil. Benzene was ten to fifteen parts per billion. An EPA official commented that,“anything above five parts per billion is considered a long-term risk.”
It was two days later, January 19th, that 6,000 people from the nearby town of Glendive were told not to use the town’s municipal waterdue to the elevated levels of benzene which had percolated through the Yellowstone River and into their tap water. The city supplied bottled water to residents for four days, declaring the municipal water safe on January 23.
Paul Peronard, an employee of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency told residents to open their taps and run the water to flush out residual contamination. Peronard also said, “If it doesn’t smell anymore you have cleaned it out, you’re good. Citizens can start drinking it…”
The level at which Benezene is known to be dangerous is five parts per billion. Most people can smell Benzene at levels of 60,000 parts per billion.
Following Peronard’s advice Glendive resident Roseann Koepke ran the taps in her trailer home Thursday after her landlord told her the contamination had been cleared. She turned off the water after the strong smell of oil gave her a headache. Unaware of the facts about Benzene Koepke said, “I ran it for about ten minutes and had to open up the door for five minutes to get the smell out,” she said. “My God, did I end up getting a headache.”
Ms. Koepke said she would try again.
In no instance has an oil company monitored the outpouring of deadly gases in the first hour. Under estimating the size of the spill, failing to provide medical services to impacted residents, or even pay for their drinking water is also standard operating procedure for oil companies as is neglecting to provide Hazmat protection for workers. Get the picture?
The West presents Putin as a bloodthirsty warmonger with grand imperial ambitions. The reality is that Putin wants a stable, federalized Ukraine—anything else would be too costly for Russia
In February, it is a long way to the spring, lamented Joseph Brodsky, the poet. Indeed, snow still falls heavily in Moscow and Kie
Tired by the siege and by intermittent shelling, the rebels disregarded the snow and took the strategic Donetsk airport. This airport with its Stalin-built tunnels, a symbol of solid Soviet defence work, presented a huge challenge for the under-equipped militia. Its many-leveled underground facilities were built to sustain a nuclear attack; still, the rebels, after months of fighting, flushed the enemy out and took it.
In a bigger offensive, they trapped Kiev’s troops in the Debaltsevo pocket, and Kiev is already suing for a cease-fire. The rebels hope to dislodge the enemy from their lands altogether; as now they hold only about one third of Donbass; but Russia’s president is still groping for the brakes. He prefers a bad peace to a good war. For him, the Ukraine is important, but not a sine qua non, the only problem in the world. This attitude he shares with the American leader. There is a big difference: Russia wants peaceful Ukraine, Americans prefer one at war.
Russia would prefer to see Ukraine united, federal, peaceful and prosperous. The alternative of splitting Donbass is not very tempting: Donbass is strongly connected to the rest of Ukraine, and it is not easy to sever its ties. The war already has sent millions of refugees from Donbass and from the rump of Ukraine to Russia, overloading its systems. Putin can’t cut loose and forget about Donbass – his people would not allow him anyway. A cautious man, he does not want to get into an open-ended war. So he has to navigate towards some sort of peace.
I had a meeting with a well-informed and highly-placed Russian source w
- Russia supported the West-brokered agreement of February 21, 2014, but the US still pushed for the next day (February 22) coup, or “had brokered a deal to transition power in Ukraine” , in Obama’s words.
- After the coup, the South-East Ukraine did not submit to the new Kiev regime and seceded. Still, Moscow asked the Donbass rebels to refrain from carrying out their May referendum. (They disregarded Putin’s appeal).
- Moscow recognised the results of sham May elections carried out by Kiev regime after the coup, and recognised Poroshenko as the president of the whole Ukraine – though there were no elections in the South East and opposition parties were banned from participating.
- Moscow did not officially recognise the results of November elections in Donbass, to the chagrin of many Russian nationalists.
These steps were quite unpopular in Russian society, but Putin made them to promote a peaceful solution for Ukraine. Some war-like Donbass leaders were convinced to retire. In vain: Putin’s actions and intentions were disregarded by the US and EC. They encouraged the ‘war party’ in Kiev. “They never found a fault with Kiev, whatever they do”, said the source.
Peace in Ukraine can be reached through federalisation, my source told me. That’s why the two most important parameters of the Minsk accords (between Kiev and Donetsk) were those we never hear about: constitutional and socio-economic reforms. Russia wants to secure the territorial integrity of the Ukraine (minus Crimea) but it can be achieved only through federalisation of Ukraine with a degree of autonomy being given to its regions. Its west and east speak different languages, worship different heroes, have different aspirations. They could manage together, just, if the Ukraine were a federal state, like the US or Switzerland or India.
In Minsk, the sides agreed to establish a joint commission for constitutional reforms, but the Kiev regime reneged on it. Instead, they created a small and secretive constitutional
As for integration, it was agreed in Minsk to reintegrate Donbass within Ukraine. This was disappointing for Donbass (they would prefer to join Russia), but they accepted it, – while Kiev laid siege to Donbass, cut off its banks, ceased buying Donbass coal, and stopped paying pensions. Kiev troops daily shell Donetsk, a city of a million inhabitants (in peaceful times!). Instead of amnesty for rebels, as agreed in Minsk, there are more government troops pouring eastwards.
The Russians did not give up on Minsk accords. The Minsk agreements could bring peace, but they have to be implemented. Perhaps president Poroshenko of Kiev would like to, but Kievwar party with its western support will unseat Poroshenko if he goes too far. Paradoxically, the only way to force him to peace is through war, – though Russia would prefer the West to put pressure on its clients in Kiev. The rebels and their Russian supporters used warfare to force him to sign the Minsk accords: their offensive against Mariupol on the Sea of Azov was hugely successful, and Poroshenko preferred to go to Minsk in order to keep Mariupol. Since then, Kiev and Donetsk had a few cease-fires, they exchanged POWs, but Kiev refuses to implement the constitutional and socio-economic demands of Minsk accord.
It does not make sense to agree to a cease-fire, if Kiev only uses it to regroup and attack again. The Cease-fire should lead to constitutional reform, said my source, a reform negotiated in an open and transparent dialogue of the regions and Kiev. Without reform, Donbass (or Novorussia) will go to war. So the Debaltsevo operation can be considered a way to force Poroshenko to sue for peace.
Russia does not intend to take part in the war, or in peace negotiations, said the source. The Russians are adamant to stay out, while the Americans are equally adamant to present Russia as a side to conflict.
Meanwhile, the Russian-American relations were moved forty years back to the Jackson-Vanik amendment of 1974 by the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014. US Secretary of State John Kerry considered this act an unfortunate development, but a temporary one. The Russians are not that optimistic: for them, the Act codified anti-Russian sanctions. The US has tried to turn other states against Russia, with some success. In one sweep the German Kanzlerin Angela Merkel eliminated all organisations, structures and ties built between Germany and Russia over many years. Every visit of Joe Biden causes a conflagration.
The Russians are upset with the story of the Malaysian Boeing. In every high-level encounter with the Americans, they are reminded of the hysterical accusations and claims that the liner was downed by the rebels using Russian missiles. Six months have passed since the tragedy; still the Americans have not presented a single shred of evidence of Russian and/or rebel involvement. They have not presented photos from their satellites, nor records of their AWACS aircraft hovering over Eastern Europe. My source told me that the American high-ranking officials do not insist anymore that Russians/rebels are involved, but they stubbornly refuse to apologise for their previous baseless accusations. They never say they are sorry.
Still, the Americans want to play the ball. They insist that they do not seek Russian ‘surrender’, that they find the confrontation costly and unwelcome; meanwhile, the US needs Russian support for dealing with Iran’s nuclear programme, the removal of Syrian chemical weapons, and the Palestinian problem. The Russians retort they have heard it all during the Libyan affair and aren’t impressed.
Differences of opinion between Russia and the US are considerable. But there is one common feature: from Syria to Donbass, Russians endorse peace, Americans push for war. Now the Russians have invited opposition figures and government representatives from Syria for talks in Moscow. They came, talked, went away and will come again. They could probably settle but the US representatives say that they will never accept Assad’s presidency and will fight to the last Syrian for his dismissal. It is not that Americans are bloodthirsty; war makes sense for them: every war on the globe supports the US dollar and invigorates Dow Jones, as capital seeks safe haven and finds it in the US.
They do not think about the fate of Syrians who flee to Jordan—or of Ukrainians who escape to Russia in ever increasing numbers. What a shame for two wonderful countries! Syria was peaceful and prosperous, the diamond of the Middle East until ruined by the US-supported Islamists; the Ukraine was the wealthiest part of the former Soviet bloc, until being ruined by the US-supported far-right and oligarchs. Joseph Brodsky bitterly predicted in 1994, as the Ukraine declared its independence from Russia, that the shifty Ukrainians will still evoke Russian
The edifice of world post-1991 order is collapsing right now before our eyes. President Putin’s decision to give a miss to the Auschwitz pilgrimage, right after his absence in Paris at the Charlie festival, gave it the last shove. It was good clean fun to troll Russia, as long as it stayed the course. Not anymore. Russia broke the rules.
Until now, Russia, like a country bumpkin in Eton, tried to belong. It attended the gathering of the grandees where it was shunned, paid its dues to European bodies that condemned it, patiently suffered ceaseless hectoring of the great powers and irritating baiting of East European small-timers alike. But something broke down. The lad does not want to belong anymore; he picked up his stuff and went home – just when they needed him to knee in Auschwitz.
Auschwitz gathering is an annual Canossa of Western leaders where they bewail their historic failure to protect the Jews and swear their perennial obedience to them. This is a more important religious rite of our times, the One Ring to rule them all, established in 2001, when the Judeo-American empire had reached the pinnacle of its power. The Russian leader had duly attended the events. This year, they will have to do without him. Israeli ministers already have expressed their deep dissatisfaction for this was Russia’s Red Army that saved the Jews in Auschwitz, after all. Russia’s absence will turn the Holocaust memorial day into a parochial, West-only, event. Worse, Russia’s place will be taken by Ukraine, ruled by unrepentant heirs to Hitler’s Bandera.
This comes after the French ‘Charlie’ demo, also spurned by Russia. The West hinted that Russia’s sins would be forgiven, up to a point, if she joined, first the demo, and later, the planned anti-terrorist coalition, but Russia did not take the bait. This was a visible change, for previously, Russian leaders eagerly participated in joint events and voted for West-sponsored resolutions. In 2001, Putin fully supported George Bush’s War on Terrorism in the UN and on the ground. As recently as 2011, Russia agreed with sanctions against North Korea and Iran. As for coming for a demonstration, the Russians could always be relied upon. This time, the Russians did not come, except for the token presence of the foreign minister Mr. Lavrov. This indomitable successor of Mr. Nyet left the event almost immediately and went – to pray in the Russian church, in a counter-demonstration, of sorts, against Charlie. By going to the church, he declared that he is not Charlie.
For the Charlie Hebdo magazine was (and probably is) explicitly anti-Christian as well as anti-Muslim. One finds on its pages some very obnoxious cartoons offending the Virgin and Christ, as well as the pope and the Church. (They never offend Jews, somehow).
A Russian blogger who’s been exposed to this magazine for the first time, wrote on his page: I am ashamed that the bastards were dealt with by Muslims, not by Christians. This was quite a common feeling in Moscow these days. The Russians could not believe that such smut could be published and defended as a right of free speech. People planned a demo against the Charlie, but City Hall forbade it.
Remember, a few years ago, the Pussy Riot have profaned the St Saviour of Moscow like Femen did in some great European cathedrals, from Notre Dame de Paris to Strasbourg. The Russian government did not wait for vigilante justice to be meted upon the viragos, but sent them for up to two years of prison. At the same time, the Russian criminal law has been changed to include ‘sacrilege’ among ordinary crimes, by general consent. The Russians do feel about their faith more strongly than the EC rulers prescribe.
In Charlie’s France, Hollande’s regime frogmarched the unwilling people into a quite unnecessary gay marriage law, notwithstanding one-million-strong protest demonstrations by Catholics. Femen despoiling the churches were never punished; but a church warden who tried to prevent that, was heavily fined. France has a long anti-Christian tradition, usually described as “laic”, and its grand anti-Church coalition of Atheists, Huguenots and Jews coalesced in Dreyfus Affair days. Thus Lavrov’s escape to the church was a counter-demonstration, saying: Russia is for Christ, and Russia is not against Muslims.
While the present western regime is anti-Christian and anti-Muslim, it is pro-Jewish to an extent that defies a rational explanation. France had sent thousands of soldiers and policemen to defend Jewish institutions, though this defence antagonises their neighbours. While Charlie are glorified for insulting Christians and Muslims, Dieudonné has been sent to jail (just for a day, but with great fanfare) for annoying Jews. Actually, Charlie Hebdo dismissed a journalist for one sentence allegedly disrespectful for Jews. This unfairness is a source of aggravation: Muslims were laughed out of court when they complained against particularly vile Charlie’s cartoons, but Jews almost always win when they go to the court against their denigrators. (Full disclosure: I was also sued by LICRA, the French Jewish body, while my French publisher was devastated by their legal attacks).
The Russians don’t comprehend the Western infatuation with Jews, for Russian Jews have been well assimilated and integrated in general society. The narrative of Holocaust is not popular in Russia for one simple reason: so many Russians from every ethnic background lost their lives in the war, that there is no reason to single out Jews as supreme victims. Millions died at the siege of Leningrad; Belarus lost a quarter of its population. More importantly, Russians feel no guilt regarding Jews: they treated them fairly and saved them from the Nazis. For them, the Holocaust is a Western narrative, as foreign as JeSuisCharlie. With drifting of Russia out of Western consensus, there is no reason to maintain it.
This does not mean the Jews are discriminated against. The Jews of Russia are doing very well, thank you, without Holocaust worship: they occupy the highest positions in the Forbes list of Russia’s rich, with a combined capital of $122 billion, while all rich ethnic Russians own only $165 billion, according to the Jewish-owned source. Jews run the most celebrated media shows in prime time on the state TV; they publish newspapers; they have full and unlimited access to Putin and his ministers; they usually have their way when they want to get a plot of land for their communal purposes. And anti-Semitic propaganda is punishable by law – like anti-Christian or anti-Muslim abuse, but even more severely. Still, it is impossible to imagine a Russian journalist getting sack like CNN anchor Jim Clancy or BBC’s Tim Willcox for upsetting a Jew or speaking against Israel.
Russia preserves its plurality, diversity and freedom of opinion. The pro-Western Russian media –Novaya Gazeta of oligarch Lebedev, the owner of the British newspaper Independent – carries the JeSuis slogan and speaks of the Holocaust, as well as demands to restore Crimea to the Ukraine. But the vast majority of Russians do support their President, and his civilizational choice. He expressed it when he went to midnight Christmas mass in a small village church in far-away province, together with orphans and refugees from the Ukraine. And he expressed it by refusing to go to Auschwitz.
Neither willingly nor easily did Russia break ranks. Putin tried to take Western baiting in his stride: be it Olympic games, Syria confrontation, gender politics, Georgian border, even Crimea-related sanctions. The open economic warfare was a game-changer. Russia felt attacked by falling oil prices, by rouble trouble, by credit downgrading. These developments are considered an act of hostility, rather than the result of “the hidden hand of the market”.
Russians love conspiracia, as James Bond used to say. They do not believe in chance, coincidence nor natural occurrences, and are likely to consider a falling meteorite or an earthquake – a result of hostile American action, let alone a fall in the rouble/dollar exchange rate. They could be right, too, though it is hard to prove.
Regarding oil price fall, the jury is out. Some say this action by Saudis is aimed at American fracking companies, or alternatively it’s a Saudi-American plot against Russia. However, the price of oil is not formed by supply-demand, but by financial instruments, futures and derivatives. This virtual demand-and-supply is much bigger than the real one. When hedge funds stopped to buy oil futures, price downturn became unavoidable, but were the funds directed by politicians, or did they act so as Quantitative Easing ended?
The steep fall of the rouble could be connected to oil price downturn, but not necessarily so. The rouble is not involved in oil price forming. It could be an action by a very big financial institution. Soros broke the back of British pound in 1991; Korean won, Thai bath and Malaysian ringgit suffered similar fate in 1998. In each case, the attacked country lost about 40% of its GDP. It is possible that Russia was attacked by financial weapons directed from New York.
The European punitive sanctions forbade long-term cheap credit to Russian companies. The Russian state does not need loans, but Russian companies do. Combination of these factors put a squeeze on Russian pockets. The rating agencies kept downgrading Russian rating to almost junk level, for political reasons, I was told. As they were deprived of credit, state companies began to hoard dollars to pay later their debts, and they refrained from converting their huge profits to roubles, as they did until now. The rouble fell drastically, probably much lower than it had to.
This is not pinpoint sanctions aimed at Putin’s friends. This is a full-blown war. If the initiators expected Russians to be mad at Putin, they miscalculated. The Russian public is angry with the American organisers of the economical warfare, not with its own government. The pro-Western opposition tried to demonstrate against Putin, but very few people joined them.
Ordinary Russians kept a stiff upper lip. They did not notice the sanctions until the rouble staggered, and even then they shopped like mad rather than protested. In the face of shrinking money, they did not buy salt and sugar, as their grandparents would have. Their battle cry against hogging was “Do not take more than two Lexus cars per family, leave something for others!”
Perhaps, the invisible financiers went too far. Instead of being cowed, the Russians are preparing for a real long war, as they and their ancestors have historically fought – and won. It is not like they have a choice: though Americans insist Russia should join their War-on-Terrorism-II, they do not intend to relinquish sanctions.
The Russians do not know how to deal with a financial attack. Without capital restrictions, Russia will be cleaned out. Russian Central bank and Treasury people are strict monetarists, capital restrictions are anathema for them. Putin, being a liberal himself, apparently trusts them. Capital flight has taken huge proportions. Unless Russia uses the measures successfully tried by Mohammad Mahathir of Malaysia, it will continue. At present, however, we do not see sign of change.
This could be the incentive for Putin to advance in Ukraine. If the Russians do not know how to shuffle futures and derivatives, they are expert in armour movements and tank battles. Kiev regime is also spoiling for a fight, apparently pushed by the American neocons. It is possible that the US will get more than what it bargained for in the Ukraine.
One can be certain that Russians will not support the Middle Eastern crusade of NATO, as this military action was prepared at the Charlie demo in Paris. It is far from clear who killed the cartoonists, but Paris and Washington intend to use it for reigniting war in the Middle East. This time, Russia will be in opposition, and probably will use it as an opportunity to change the uncomfortable standoff in the Ukraine. Thus supporters of peace in the Middle East have a good reason to back Russia.