Control oil and you control nations,” said US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the 1970s. “Control food and you control the people.”
Global food control has nearly been achieved, by reducing seed diversity with GMO (genetically modified) seeds that are distributed by only a few transnational corporations. But this agenda has been implemented at grave cost to our health; and if the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) passes, control over not just our food but our health, our environment and our financial system will be in the hands of transnational corporations.
Profits Before Populations
Genetic engineering has made proprietary control possible over the seeds on which the world’s food supply depends. According to an Acres USA interview of plant pathologist Don Huber, Professor Emeritus at Purdue University, two modified traits account for practically all of the genetically modified crops grown in the world today. One involves insect resistance. The other, more disturbing modification involves insensitivity to glyphosate-based herbicides (plant-killing chemicals). Often known as Roundup after the best-selling Monsanto product of that name, glyphosate poisons everything in its path except plants genetically modified to resist it.
Glyphosate-based herbicides are now the most commonly used herbicides in the world. Glyphosate is an essential partner to the GMOs that are the principal business of the burgeoning biotech industry. Glyphosate is a “broad-spectrum” herbicide that destroys indiscriminately, not by killing unwanted plants directly but by tying up access to critical nutrients.
Because of the insidious way in which it works, it has been sold as a relatively benign replacement for the devastating earlier dioxin-based herbicides. But a barrage of experimental data has now shown glyphosate and the GMO foods incorporating it to pose serious dangers to health. Compounding the risk is the toxicity of “inert” ingredients used to make glyphosate more potent. Researchers have found, for example, that the surfactant POEA can kill human cells, particularly embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells. But these risks have been conveniently ignored.
The widespread use of GMO foods and glyphosate herbicides helps explain the anomaly that the US spends over twice as much per capita on healthcare as the average developed country, yet it is rated far down the scale of the world’s healthiest populations. The World Health Organization has ranked the US LAST out of 17 developed nations for overall health.
Sixty to seventy percent of the foods in US supermarkets are now genetically modified. By contrast, in at least 26 other countries—including Switzerland, Australia, Austria, China, India, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Greece, Bulgaria, Poland, Italy, Mexico and Russia—GMOs are totally or partially banned; and significant restrictions on GMOs exist in about sixty other countries.
A ban on GMO and glyphosate use might go far toward improving the health of Americans. But the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a global trade agreement for which the Obama Administration has sought Fast Track status, would block that sort of cause-focused approach to the healthcare crisis.
Roundup’s Insidious Effects
Roundup-resistant crops escape being killed by glyphosate, but they do not avoid absorbing it into their tissues. Herbicide-tolerant crops have substantially higher levels of herbicide residues than other crops. In fact, many countries have had to increase their legally allowable levels—by up to 50 times—in order to accommodate the introduction of GM crops. In the European Union, residues in food are set to rise 100-150 times if a new proposal by Monsanto is approved. Meanwhile, herbicide-tolerant “super-weeds” have adapted to the chemical, requiring even more toxic doses and new toxic chemicals to kill the plant.
Human enzymes are affected by glyphosate just as plant enzymes are: the chemical blocks the uptake of manganese and other essential minerals. Without those minerals, we cannot properly metabolize our food. That helps explain the rampant epidemic of obesity in the United States. People eat and eat in an attempt to acquire the nutrients that are simply not available in their food.
Glyphosate’s inhibition of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes is an overlooked component of its toxicity to mammals. CYP enzymes play crucial roles in biology . . . . Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body. Consequences are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
More than 40 diseases have been linked to glyphosate use, and more keep appearing. In September 2013, the National University of Rio Cuarto, Argentina, published research finding that glyphosate enhances the growth of fungi that produce aflatoxin B1, one of the most carcinogenic of substances. A doctor from Chaco, Argentina, told Associated Press, “We’ve gone from a pretty healthy population to one with a high rate of cancer, birth defects and illnesses seldom seen before.” Fungi growths have increased significantly in US corn crops.
Glyphosate has also done serious damage to the environment. According to an October 2012 report by the Institute of Science in Society:
Agribusiness claims that glyphosate and glyphosate-tolerant crops will improve crop yields, increase farmers’ profits and benefit the environment by reducing pesticide use. Exactly the opposite is the case. . . . [T]he evidence indicates that glyphosate herbicides and glyphosate-tolerant crops have had wide-ranging detrimental effects, including glyphosate resistant super weeds, virulent plant (and new livestock) pathogens, reduced crop health and yield, harm to off-target species from insects to amphibians and livestock, as well as reduced soil fertility.
Politics Trumps Science
In light of these adverse findings, why have Washington and the European Commission continued to endorse glyphosate as safe? Critics point to lax regulations, heavy influence from corporate lobbyists, and a political agenda that has more to do with power and control than protecting the health of the people.
In the ground-breaking 2007 book Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation, William Engdahl states that global food control and depopulation became US strategic policy under Rockefeller protégé Henry Kissinger. Along with oil geopolitics, they were to be the new “solution” to the threats to US global power and continued US access to cheap raw materials from the developing world. In line with that agenda, the government has shown extreme partisanship in favor of the biotech agribusiness industry, opting for a system in which the industry “voluntarily” polices itself. Bio-engineered foods are treated as “natural food additives,” not needing any special testing.
Jeffrey M. Smith, Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, confirms that US Food and Drug Administration policy allows biotech companies to determine if their own foods are safe. Submission of data is completely voluntary. He concludes:
In the critical arena of food safety research, the biotech industry is without accountability, standards, or peer-review. They’ve got bad science down to a science.
Whether or not depopulation is an intentional part of the agenda,widespread use of GMO and glyphosate is having that result. The endocrine-disrupting properties of glyphosate have been linked to infertility, miscarriage, birth defects and arrested sexual development. In Russian experiments, animals fed GM soy were sterile by the third generation. Vast amounts of farmland soil are also being systematically ruined by the killing of beneficial microorganisms that allow plant roots to uptake soil nutrients.
In Gary Null’s eye-opening documentary Seeds of Death: Unveiling the Lies of GMOs, Dr. Bruce Lipton warns, “We are leading the world into the sixth mass extinction of life on this planet. . . . Human behavior is undermining the web of life.”
The TPP and International Corporate Control
As the devastating conclusions of these and other researchers awaken people globally to the dangers of Roundup and GMO foods, transnational corporations are working feverishly with the Obama administration to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement that would strip governments of the power to regulate transnational corporate activities. Negotiations have been kept secret from Congress but not from corporate advisors, 600 of whom have been consulted and know the details. According to Barbara Chicherio in Nation of Change:
The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) has the potential to become the biggest regional Free Trade Agreement in history. . . .
The chief agricultural negotiator for the US is the former Monsanto lobbyist, Islam Siddique. If ratified the TPP would impose punishing regulations that give multinational corporations unprecedented right to demand taxpayer compensation for policies that corporations deem a barrier to their profits.
. . . They are carefully crafting the TPP to insure that citizens of the involved countries have no control over food safety, what they will be eating, where it is grown, the conditions under which food is grown and the use of herbicides and pesticides.
Food safety is only one of many rights and protections liable to fall to this super-weapon of international corporate control. In an April 2013 interview on The Real News Network, Kevin Zeese called the TPP “NAFTA on steroids” and “a global corporate coup.” He warned:
No matter what issue you care about—whether its wages, jobs, protecting the environment . . . this issue is going to adversely affect it . . . .
If a country takes a step to try to regulate the financial industry or set up a public bank to represent the public interest, it can be sued . . . .
Return to Nature: Not Too Late
There is a safer, saner, more earth-friendly way to feed nations. While Monsanto and US regulators are forcing GM crops on American families, Russian families are showing what can be done with permaculture methods on simple garden plots. In 2011, 40% of Russia’s food was grown on dachas (cottage gardens or allotments). Dacha gardens produced over 80% of the country’s fruit and berries, over 66% of the vegetables, almost 80% of the potatoes and nearly 50% of the nation’s milk, much of it consumed raw. According to Vladimir Megre, author of the best-selling Ringing Cedars Series:
Essentially, what Russian gardeners do is demonstrate that gardeners can feed the world – and you do not need any GMOs, industrial farms, or any other technological gimmicks to guarantee everybody’s got enough food to eat. Bear in mind that Russia only has 110 days of growing season per year – so in the US, for example, gardeners’ output could be substantially greater. Today, however, the area taken up by lawns in the US is two times greater than that of Russia’s gardens – and it produces nothing but a multi-billion-dollar lawn care industry.
In the US, only about 0.6 percent of the total agricultural area is devoted to organic farming. This area needs to be vastly expanded if we are to avoid “the sixth mass extinction.” But first, we need to urge our representatives to stop Fast Track, vote no on the TPP, and pursue a global phase-out of glyphosate-based herbicides and GMO foods. Our health, our finances and our environment are at stake.
Ellen Brown is an attorney, president of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books, including the best-selling Web of Debt. In The Public Bank Solution, her latest book, she explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Her blog articles are at EllenBrown.com.
Source: Ellen Brown | CounterPunch
There is a new normal in America: our government may shut down, but our wars continue. Congress may not be able to pass a budget, but the U.S. military can still launch commando raids in Libya and Somalia, the Afghan War can still be prosecuted, Italy can be garrisoned by American troops (putting the “empire” back in Rome), Africa can be used as an imperial playground (as in the late nineteenth century “scramble for Africa,” but with the U.S. and China doing the scrambling this time around), and the military-industrial complex can still dominate the world’s arms trade.
In the halls of Congress and the Pentagon, it’s business as usual, if your definition of “business” is the power and profits you get from constantly preparing for and prosecuting wars around the world. “War is a racket,” General Smedley Butler famously declared in 1935, and even now it’s hard to disagree with a man who had two Congressional Medals of Honor to his credit and was intimately familiar with American imperialism.
War Is Politics, Right?
Once upon a time, as a serving officer in the U.S. Air Force, I was taught that Carl von Clausewitz had defined war as a continuation of politics by other means. This definition is, in fact, a simplification of his classic and complex book, On War, written after his experiences fighting Napoleon in the early nineteenth century.
“Forever war is forever profitable.”
The idea of war as a continuation of politics is both moderately interesting and dangerously misleading: interesting because it connects war to political processes and suggests that they should be fought for political goals; misleading because it suggests that war is essentially rational and so controllable. The fault here is not Clausewitz’s, but the American military’s for misreading and oversimplifying him.
Perhaps another “Carl” might lend a hand when it comes to helping Americans understand what war is really all about. I’m referring to Karl Marx, who admired Clausewitz, notably for his idea that combat is to war what a cash payment is to commerce. However seldom combat (or such payments) may happen, they are the culmination and so the ultimate arbiters of the process.
War, in other words, is settled by killing, a bloody transaction that echoes the exploitative exchanges of capitalism. Marx found this idea to be both suggestive and pregnant with meaning. So should we all.
Following Marx, Americans ought to think about war not just as an extreme exercise of politics, but also as a continuation of exploitative commerce by other means. Combat as commerce: there’s more in that than simple alliteration.
In the history of war, such commercial transactions took many forms, whether as territory conquered, spoils carted away, raw materials appropriated, or market share gained. Consider American wars. The War of 1812 is sometimes portrayed as a minor dust-up with Britain, involving the temporary occupation and burning of our capital, but it really was about crushing Indians on the frontier and grabbing their land. The Mexican-American War was another land grab, this time for the benefit of slaveholders. The Spanish-American War was a land grab for those seeking an American empire overseas, while World War I was for making the world “safe for democracy” — and for American business interests globally.
Even World War II, a war necessary to stop Hitler and Imperial Japan, witnessed the emergence of the U.S. as the arsenal of democracy, the world’s dominant power, and the new imperial stand-in for a bankrupt British Empire.
Korea? Vietnam? Lots of profit for the military-industrial complex and plenty of power for the Pentagon establishment. Iraq, the Middle East, current adventures in Africa? Oil, markets, natural resources, global dominance.
In societal calamities like war, there will always be winners and losers. But the clearest winners are often companies like Boeing and Dow Chemical, which provided B-52 bombers and Agent Orange, respectively, to the U.S. military in Vietnam. Such “arms merchants” — an older, more honest term than today’s “defense contractor” — don’t have to pursue the hard sell, not when war and preparations for it have become so permanently, inseparably intertwined with the American economy, foreign policy, and our nation’s identity as a rugged land of “warriors” and “heroes” (more on that in a moment).
War as Disaster Capitalism
Consider one more definition of war: not as politics or even as commerce, but as societal catastrophe. Thinking this way, we can apply Naomi Klein’s concepts of the “shock doctrine” and “disaster capitalism” to it. When such disasters occur, there are always those who seek to turn a profit.
Most Americans are, however, discouraged from thinking about war this way thanks to the power of what we call “patriotism” or, at an extreme, “superpatriotism” when it applies to us, and the significantly more negative “nationalism” or “ultra-nationalism” when it appears in other countries. During wars, we’re told to “support our troops,” to wave the flag, to put country first, to respect the patriotic ideal of selfless service and redemptive sacrifice (even if all but 1% of us are never expected to serve or sacrifice).
We’re discouraged from reflecting on the uncomfortable fact that, as “our” troops sacrifice and suffer, others in society are profiting big time. Such thoughts are considered unseemly and unpatriotic. Pay no attention to the war profiteers, who pass as perfectly respectable companies. After all, any price is worth paying (or profits worth offering up) to contain the enemy — not so long ago, the red menace, but in the twenty-first century, the murderous terrorist.
Forever war is forever profitable. Think of the Lockheed Martins of the world. In their commerce with the Pentagon, as well as the militaries of other nations, they ultimately seek cash payment for their weapons and a world in which such weaponry will be eternally needed. In the pursuit of security or victory, political leaders willingly pay their price.
Call it a Clausewitzian/Marxian feedback loop or the dialectic of Carl and Karl. It also represents the eternal marriage of combat and commerce. If it doesn’t catch all of what war is about, it should at least remind us of the degree to which war as disaster capitalism is driven by profit and power.
For a synthesis, we need only turn from Carl or Karl to Cal — President Calvin Coolidge, that is. “The business of America is business,” he declared in the Roaring Twenties. Almost a century later, the business of America is war, even if today’s presidents are too polite to mention that the business is booming.
America’s War Heroes as Commodities
Many young people today are, in fact, looking for a release from consumerism. In seeking new identities, quite a few turn to the military. And it provides. Recruits are hailed as warriors and warfighters, as heroes, and not just within the military either, but by society at large.
Yet in joining the military and being celebrated for that act, our troops paradoxically become yet another commodity, another consumable of the state. Indeed, they become consumed by war and its violence. Their compensation? To be packaged and marketed as the heroes of our militarized moment. Steven Gardiner, a cultural anthropologist and U.S. Army veteran, has written eloquently about what he calls the “heroic masochism” of militarized settings and their allure for America’s youth. Put succinctly, in seeking to escape a consumerism that has lost its meaning and find a release from dead-end jobs, many volunteers are transformed into celebrants of violence, seekers and givers of pain, a harsh reality Americans ignore as long as that violence is acted out overseas against our enemies and local populations.
Such “heroic” identities, tied so closely to violence in war, often prove poorly suited to peacetime settings. Frustration and demoralization devolve into domestic violence and suicide. In an American society with ever fewer meaningful peacetime jobs, exhibiting greater and greater polarization of wealth and opportunity, the decisions of some veterans to turn to or return to mind-numbing drugs of various sorts and soul-stirring violence is tragically predictable. That it stems from their exploitative commodification as so many heroic inflictors of violence in our name is a reality most Americans are content to forget.
You May Not Be Interested in War, but War Is Interested in You
As Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky pithily observed, “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” If war is combat and commerce, calamity and commodity, it cannot be left to our political leaders alone — and certainly not to our generals. When it comes to war, however far from it we may seem to be, we’re all in our own ways customers and consumers. Some pay a high price. Many pay a little. A few gain a lot. Keep an eye on those few and you’ll end up with a keener appreciation of what war is actually all about.
No wonder our leaders tell us not to worry our little heads about our wars — just support those troops, go shopping, and keep waving that flag. If patriotism is famously the last refuge of the scoundrel, it’s also the first recourse of those seeking to mobilize customers for the latest bloodletting exercise in combat as commerce.
Just remember: in the grand bargain that is war, it’s their product and their profit. And that’s no bargain for America, or for that matter for the world.
The infamous Trilateral Commission still exists. Many people think the TC, created in 1973 by David Rockefeller, is a relic of an older time. Think again.
Patrick Wood, author of Trilaterals Over Washington, points out there are only 87 members of the Trilateral Commission who live in America. Obama appointed elevenof them to posts in his administration.
Keep in mind that the original stated goal of the TC was to create “a new international economic order.” Knowing that you have to break eggs to make an omelette, consider how the following TC members, in key Obama posts, can help engender further national chaos; erase our sovereign national borders; and install binding international agreements that will envelop our economy and money in a deeper global collective: a new world order:
- Tim Geithner, Treasury Secretary;
- James Jones, National Security Advisor;
- Paul Volker, Chairman, Economic Recovery Committee;
- Dennis Blair, Director of National Intelligence.
In the run-up to his inauguration after the 2008 presidential election, Obama was tutored by the co-founder of the Trilateral Commission, Zbigniew Brzezinski.
In Europe, the financially embattled nations of Greece and Italy brought in Lucas Papademos and Mario Monti as prime ministers. Both men are Trilateral members, and Monti is the former European chairman of the Trilateral Commission.
In the US, since 1973, author Wood counts eight out of 10 US Trade Representative appointments, and six out of eight World Bank presidencies, as American Trilateral members.
Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote, four years before birthing the TC with his godfather, David Rockefeller:
“[The] nation state as a fundamental unit of man’s organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force. International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation state.”
Several other noteworthy Trilateral members: George HW Bush, Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney, Al Gore. The first three men helped sink the US further into debt by fomenting wars abroad; and Gore’s cap and trade blueprint would destroy industrial economies, while vastly increasing the numbers of people in Third World countries who have no access to modern sources of energy.
Does all this offer a clue as to why the US economy has failed to recover from the Wall Street debacle of 2008, why the federal bailout was a handout to super-rich criminals, and why Obama took actions which prevented a recovery?
A closer look at Tim Geithner’s circle of economic advisers reveals the chilling Trilateral effect: Paul Volker; Alan Greenspan; E. Gerald Corrigan (director, Goldman Sachs); and Peter G Peterson (former CEO, Lehman Brothers, former chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations). These men are all Trilateral members.
How many foxes in the hen house do we need, before we realize their Trilateral agenda is controlling the direction of our economy?
The TC has no interest in building up the American economy. They want to torpedo it, as part of the end-game of creating a new international currency, ushering in a de facto Globalist management system for the whole planet.
Any doubt on the question of TC goals is answered by David Rockefeller himself, the founder of the TC, in his Memoirs (2003):
“Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure—one world, if you will. If that is the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”
Even in what many people mistakenly think of as the TC’s heyday, the 1970s, there were few who realized its overarching power.
Here is a close-up snap shot of a remarkable moment from out of the past. It’s a through-the-looking-glass secret—in the form of a conversation between a reporter, Jeremiah Novak, and two Trilateral Commission members, Karl Kaiser and Richard Cooper. The interview took place in 1978. It concerned the issue of who exactly, during President Carter’s administration, was formulating US economic and political policy.
The careless and off-hand attitude of Trilateralists Kaiser and Cooper is astonishing. It’s as if they’re saying, “What we’re revealing is already out in the open, it’s too late to do anything about it, why are you so worked up, we’ve already won…”
NOVAK (the reporter): Is it true that a private [Trilateral committee] led by Henry Owen of the US and made up of [Trilateral] representatives of the US, UK, West Germany, Japan, France and the EEC is coordinating the economic and political policies of the Trilateral countries [which would include the US]?
COOPER: Yes, they have met three times.
NOVAK: Yet, in your recent paper you state that this committee should remain informal because to formalize ‘this function might well prove offensive to some of the Trilateral and other countries which do not take part.’ Who are you afraid of?
KAISER: Many countries in Europe would resent the dominant role that West Germany plays at these [Trilateral] meetings.
COOPER: Many people still live in a world of separate nations, and they would resent such coordination [of policy].
NOVAK: But this [Trilateral] committee is essential to your whole policy. How can you keep it a secret or fail to try to get popular support [for its decisions on how Trilateral member nations will conduct their economic and political policies]?
COOPER: Well, I guess it’s the press’ job to publicize it.
NOVAK: Yes, but why doesn’t President Carter come out with it and tell the American people that [US] economic and political power is being coordinated by a [Trilateral] committee made up of Henry Owen and six others?After all, if [US] policy is being made on a multinational level, the people should know.
COOPER: President Carter and Secretary of State Vance have constantly alluded to this in their speeches.
KAISER: It just hasn’t become an issue.
Source: Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management, ed. by Holly Sklar, 1980. South End Press, Boston. Pages 192-3.
Of course, although Kaiser and Cooper claimed everything being manipulated by the Trilateral Commission committee was already out in the open, it wasn’t.
Their interview slipped under the mainstream media radar, which is to say, it was ignored and buried. It didn’t become a scandal on the level of, say, Watergate, although its essence was far larger than Watergate.
US economic and political policy run by a committee of the Trilateral Commission—the Commission had been been created in 1973 as an “informal discussion group” by David Rockefeller and his sidekick, Zbigniew Brzezinski, who would become Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor.
When Carter won the presidential election, his aide, Hamilton Jordan, said that if after the inauguration, Cy Vance and Brzezinski came on board as secretary of state and national security adviser, “We’ve lost. And I’ll quit.” Lost — because both men were powerful members of the Trilateral Commission and their appointment to key positions would signal a surrender of White House control to the Commission.
Vance and Brzezinski were appointed secretary of state and national security adviser, as Jordan feared. But he didn’t quit. He became Carter’s chief of staff.
Now consider the vast propaganda efforts of the past 40 years, on so many levels, to install the idea that all nations and peoples of the world are a single Collective.
From a very high level of political and economic power, this propaganda op has had the objective of grooming the population for a planet that is one coagulated mass, run and managed by one force. A central engine of that force is the Trilateral Commission.
Angela Merkel is not a charismatic leader. She lacks Margaret Thatcher’s zeal, Benazir Bhutto’s looks (Berlusconi once commented on her lack of feminine charms in his inimitably discourteous manner), or Indira Gandhi’s carefully cultivated caring touch. She wears one of her dull jackets with dark trousers every day. When asked about her biggest youthful mistake, she recalled the day she climbed a tree and ruined a new tracksuit. She is buzz-free and speaks like a Gymnasium chemistry teacher. She looks like a Hausfrau next door and seems comfortable about it.
The Germans like her just the way she is: matter-of-fact, pragmatic and reliable, promoting consensus over conflict. The ruling center-right Christian Democratic Union, CDU (together with its Bavarian partner, CSU) took 42 percent of the vote at the general election last Sunday, the party’s best showing since Konrad Adenauer’s heyday in 1957. Such strong showing was largely due to Merkel’s personal appeal to the voters. That is good news for the Federal Republic and for her neighbors: the Chancellor’s popularity indicates that Germans are permanently weary of charismatic leaders with a talent for public speaking. Former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt once said that any politician who says he has a “vision” should see a doctor.
The irony of Merkel’s success is that she has fallen just short of the simple majority, and the likely new coalition will be far less to her liking than the old one. The FDP, her pro-business, socially liberal coalition partners, have suffered a debacle, dropping from 14 percent of the vote in 2009 to under 5 percent now. This means the party will not be represented in the Bundestag for the first time since its founding shortly after World War II, and therefore it will not be able to play its traditional role of the ruling party’s junior partner. Its destiny was sealed by Merkel’s failure to call on CDU/CSU supporters to “donate” their second vote to the FDP (Germans get one vote for an individual parliamentary seat and a second that goes to the national list)—which she probably regrets now.
Theoretically three parties of the left will have a majority, but neither the SPD nor the environmentalist Greens want to join forces with the smallest of the four parties represented in the new Bundestag, the Left (Die Linke); the successors to the East German ruling SED have also ruled out that possibility.
The Social Democrats (SPD) have also done poorly—at just over 27 percent they have barely improved their dismal 2009 score—but they will exact a steep price for agreeing to join another grand coalition led by Merkel. They did so in 2005, and were punished for that by their voters four years later. A party spokesperson said that “the SPD is not waiting in line or competing for this, after Frau Merkel ruined her previous coalition partner.” The SPD will insist on raising tax rates on incomes above 100,000 euros to 49 from 42 percent and on introducing a nationwide minimum wage of 8.50 euros per hour, a key plank of their campaign platform. It is an even bet that the SPD will get at least two key ministries, finance and foreign affairs, when the negotiations are over.
The FDP’s undoing was partly due to the rise of the Euroskeptic Alternative for Germany (AfD), which came one-tenth of one percent short of the 5% parliamentary threshold. Founded only seven months ago, the party advocates dumping the euro, reinstating the Deutschmark, and leaving the Club Med to the tender mercies of the global marketplace. The new party attracted a disproportionate share of FDP votes.
That the AfD did not do even better is due to the fact that most Germans understand (although few will say so openly) that the euro experiment has been very good for Germany. Its economic ascendancy over Europe is beyond challenge. In the old days less efficient economies could devalue their currencies, or manipulate interest rates, or both, to stay competitive. Locked into the German-dominated European Central Bank shackles, they are now permanently dependent on Merkel’s grudging willingness to bail them out when absolutely necessary, while lecturing them on the need to further tighten their belts. Referring to Germany’s ability to keep its unit labor costs low and maintain competitiveness, Merkel said “What we have done, everyone else can do.” This is not so. The southern eurozone countries are now permanently vulnerable to Germany’s domination of their domestic markets for industrial products and permanently unable to kick-start growth by stimulating aggregate demand.
Most Germans agree with Merkel, however, and don’t care that Greece’s economy has shrunk by 25 percent in recent years, that Italy has not grown in a decade, or that Spain’s youth unemployment exceeds 50 percent. It would be in Germany’s interest to rethink the single-minded austerity regime imposed on the southern eurozone for two reasons. Continuing slump would reduce the demand for German goods, and it may enhance anti-EU and anti-German sentiment which would be detrimental to the long-term maintenance of political status quo. Merkel’spax Germanica demands more subtle fine-tuning of the edifice. The Social Democrats understand that much, which may produce another irony of the election result: by making Germany marginally more flexible, the new grand coalition may enhance its open-ended dominance of the Old Continent.
Goldman Sachs is the epitome of the word “evil.” If one wants to know what the evil central bankers are up to, one only needs to pay attention to the actions of Goldman Sachs. The power elite residing inside of this country does not begin and end with the Federal Reserve, that privilege is reserved for the interrelationship between Goldman Sachs, the Federal Reserve, the corrupt World Bank and the IMF. And now, Goldman Sachs is running the European financial system into the ground as another Goldman Sachs boy, “Super” Mario Monti, has taken over Italy to finish off what is left of the Italian financial system. Monti is also the head of the European Trilateral Commission as well as a Bilderberg member. And yet another Goldman Sachs boy is finishing off the job in Greece. It is the mission of Goldman Sachs to implode the global economy with massive debt arising from the failed derivatives market, in which the debt totals 16 times the total GDP of the planet and that debt has been passed on to the governments of the world. There is no way that any country will ever pay off this debt. The world’s financial system will be collapsed and then reorganized under the Bank of International Settlement. Goldman Sachs is merely the grim reaper in this unholy process.
The Goals of Goldman Sachs
The purpose of this article is to expose the three pronged attack, directed at the American people, by Goldman Sachs, and its partners at the Federal Reserve, the US Treasury Department, the IMF and the World Bank. These central banker controlled institutions are engaged in a plot which is designed to accomplish the following:
- The destruction of America’s domestic economy through the introduction of derivative debt which is 16 times greater than the world’s GDP. This goal has been accomplished as evidenced by the fact that America now has more workers on welfare (101 million) as opposed to actual full time workers (97 million).
- Setting the chessboard in such a way that WWIII is a foregone conclusion. This is near completion as the US and Israel are poised to go to war with China and Russia, over Syria and Iran, in order to preserve the Petrodollar.
- Initiating a false flag event which will culminate in martial law and the elimination to all opposition to both the coming WWIII and the imposition of a tyrannical world government as well as a one world economic system.
It is no secret that Goldman Sachs runs Wall Street. After the first bail out, Goldman Sachs cut the head off of Shearson Lehman and several other Wall Street competitors when they used their undue influence to determine winners and losers after the first round of TARP. Even Ray Charles could see that Goldman Sachs is in near complete control of our government as evidenced by the former Goldman Sachs gangsters who have run our economy into the ground (e.g., Clinton’s Secretary of Treasury Goldman Sachs’ Rubin, Bush’s Secretary of Treasury Goldman Sachs’ “too big to fail” Hank Paulson, etc.). Make no mistake about it, the introduction of the massive derivatives debt was a power consolidation move designed to collapse the economy and hand over essential control to Goldman Sachs and its partners.
History Repeats Itself
Today’s events parallel the imperialists of the early 2oth Century which resulted in World War I. The Wall Street led depression of the 1930’s led to the rise of political extremism and ultimately to World War II. Today, Goldman Sachs and their fellow Wall Street cronies are currently running, or dare I say ruining the global economy and the consequences are going to result in the culmination of World War III from which these same gangster bankster’s will profit from the buildup, the death and destruction of billions of innocent people as well as profiting from the lucrative clean up which follows every war.
The ultimate prize for the coming war will be the ruination of the planet in order that the power structure of the earth can be reinvented in a manner that not even George Orwell could imagine. Remember, as the globalists like to say in reference to their favorite Hegelian Dialectic quote, “Out of chaos comes order.” Of course, it won’t be Goldman Sachs’ money that pays for the destruction of humanity in the coming world war. This coming war and its subsequent blood money will be your money and my money. It goes without saying that it won’t be the executives of Goldman Sachs children who are pressed into military service and will be eventually sacrificed on the battlefields of WWIII. It will be your children and my children who will be sacrificed in the name of furthering the bottom line of the Goldman Sachs Mafia and their masters at the Bank of International Settlement. Meanwhile, the Goldman Sachs children who will be safely tucked away as the world’s final chapter plays out as we know it.
Goldman Sachs Destroying the American Middle Class
This swath of international destruction being promulgated by Goldman Sachs is also being visited upon the daily lives of the American public here at home. Courtesy of the Goldman Sachs gangsters, there are no more safe financial havens for American citizens. Your bank account, your pension fund, your investment accounts and your home mortgages are no longer safe. These collective funds are not in jeopardy because of the risk of falling victim to the failing economy as much as these funds are subject to confiscation by Goldman Sachs and its shell corporations along with the complicit support of the federal government. Most of these public officials are former Goldman Sachs employees. A clear case in point lies in what happened with MF Global.
MF Global, a shell corporation beholding to Goldman Sachs, was led to the slaughter by the former Goldman Sachs executive and former New Jersey Governor and senator, John Corzine. Corzine’s criminal actions directly victimized 150,000 Americans by stealing an estimated $900 million dollars of his clients’ money from their supposedly secure private accounts. There is also another $600 million missing dollars from MF Global which is still unaccounted for today. Meanwhile, Corzine avoids sharing a prison cell with Bernie Madoff by purchasing a “get-out-of-jail card” through the sponsorship of a $35,000 per plate fundraiser for that great Wall Street puppet, Barack Hussein Obama. And what are the government watch dogs doing to protect our money from this new generation of robber barons? The short answer is that key federal officials are actually partners with Goldman Sachs in this monumental violation of the public trust. Take Gary Gensler, a former Goldman Sachs executive partner, who like so many other Goldman Sachs gangsters, have been placed into key governmental oversight positions in order to protect the Goldman Sachs co-conspirators from prosecution as they continue their reign of terror upon the global economy.
…but a Goldman Sachs cop on the take.
Gary “the gangster” Gensler is the former Undersecretary of the Treasury(1999-2001) and Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (1997-1999) and the current director of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. In his position at the time of the MF Global debacle, Gensler had the authority to go after Corzine for his role in the MF Global theft of customer funds and order restitution. However, Gensler has decided to protect a fellow member of the Goldman Sachs Mafia by not looking into the massive fraud and theft by Corzine and his cronies. Your tax dollars, paying the salary of federal officials, are overseeing the most massive illegal private transfer of wealth in the history of the planet. And this debt is payable to Goldman Sachs and their criminal enterprise partners.
You may not be one of the current 150,000 Goldman Sachs/MF Global victims. However, this Robin Hood-in-reverse-scenario, in which the rich are plundering what’s left of the middle class, will soon be visited upon your bank account, your home mortgages and your pensions. Whether it is the MERS mortgage fraud or the theft being perpetrated upon Federal employee retirement accounts, these criminal banksters are in the process of stealing it all and what are you going to do about it? Our nation of entrenched sheep will do nothing. The American citizens are going to lie down and take their beating in the face of the largest unfolding criminal syndicate in human history.
While you and the rest of America are trying to collectively remove your “deer in the headlight” glaze, you, as an American, have far more serious issues to concern yourself with and you are not going to have to wait long to have your worst fears to be born out.
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Some, who have heard my expressed sense of outrage, have asked me if I favor a violent overthrow the United States Government. To that question, I answer in the negative. However, show me a way to be involved in the overthrow of the gangsters who have hijacked my country’s government, and I will be the first in line. However, before that day arrives, we have some very formidable obstacles to face with regard to what is looming just around the corner.
Goldman Sachs Is the Financial Kingpin of False Flag Attacks
If one wants to predict the next false flag attack, one merely has to watch the actions and the money movements of Goldman Sachs.
In the days leading up to the attacks on 9/11, Goldman Sachs “shorted” the sale of airline stocks which plummeted in the aftermath of the attacks. Just a coincidence you say?
In the days leading up to the housing bubble, Goldman Sachs shorted housing stocks which ignited the bubble. The Federal government fined Goldman Sachs, but in typical fashion, nobody went to jail. Just another coincidence you say?
As I documented in my seven part series, The Great Gulf Coast Holocaust, Goldman Sachs executed a “put option” for preferred insiders invested in Transocean stock, thus protecting the profits of these preferred insiders on the morning of the explosion. Transocean was the owner of the ill-fated oil rig. Goldman Sachs also sold the lion’s share of its stock less than two weeks before that fateful day on April 20, 2010. Nalco was the subsidiary of Goldman Sachs and BP at the time of the explosion. Who is Nalco? Nalco was the exclusive manufacturer of the deadly oil dispersant, Corexit. Corexit has done more to wreck the ecology of the Gulf as well as the health of the Gulf Coast residents than the oil spill itself. Again, this is all documented in my seven part series. By the way, I count another three coincidences in this paragraph alone and if you are keeping score, we are looking at a total of five amazing coincidences. But wait, there is more!
The moral of this story is clear, if there is to be a significant false flag event, the financial actions of Goldman Sachs will prove to be the key. And Goldman Sachs’ actions have signaled yet another oncoming false flag. As I reported on in April, Goldman Sachs instructed its brokers to sell short on gold stocks. And then after the bulk of the gold market panicked and the price of gold plummeted in a massive sell off, the Goldman Sachs boys did it again. The Goldman Sachs brokers began to purchase gold in massive amounts, for its elite clients, at a greatly depressed price. By the way, Goldman Sachs employed the EXACT same strategy with regard to the Gulf Oil tragedy. When Goldman Sachs sold off BP stock in the days before the explosion, they purchased massive amounts of BP stock at a greatly reduced price in June of 2010. The coincidence meter is now up to seven.
Why Goldman Sachs Cornered the Gold Market
The global elite would only want massive amounts of gold because something bad is about to happen to the dollar. When the dollar collapses, the elite, courtesy of the Goldman Sachs brokers will be sitting in a great position in which they hold the only sustainable medium of exchange following the collapse. But when will the collapse come? What form will it take?
As I reported, less than two weeks ago, the Bank of International Settlement ordered the central banks, including the Federal Reserve, to greatly decrease loans as a protection to the coming bad financial times. So, now we are getting warned and the narrowing down of where this is leading, is getting easier to predict.
It is important to remember that Goldman Sachs and the rest of the international banking community desperately want to wage war in Syria and eventually Iran over the demise of the Petrodollar caused by Iran in which they are selling oil for gold to India, China and Russia. There is also big money to be made by the banks in an upcoming global conflict. More importantly, and just as the world witnessed in the aftermath of WWII, consolidation of power can be achieved following a major war. Additionally, Goldman Sachs and the rest of the international bankers are not about to let China and Russia thumb their noses at the prevailing economic system. Gold will not be allowed to be used as a medium of exchange for nation states, because a nation on the gold standard, is a nation that controls its debt levels and financial security. This is unacceptable to the central bankers who kill national leaders, such as Gadaffi and Sadam Hussein, for daring to break from the plan and achieve financial independence. What the globalists also need is a game changing event which will destroy all opposition to the coming war. And the financial intentions of Goldman Sachs clearly speaks to the fact that a false flag attack is imminent which will implicate Syria and Iran and provide the pretext for the US and Israel to attack.
The Nature of the Coming False Flag Attack
The coming false flag attack which will plunge America into martial law, for our own protection of course, will result in WWIII. The false flag event could take two forms. It was reported two weeks ago, that the US was missing a nuclear weapon from a military base in Texas. This prompted Senator Lindsay Graham to state that the harbor in Charleston, SC. would be nuked if the US did not attack Syria. This is the first scenario.
The other scenario, and the far more likely one, has the power grid going down on November 13th. The Grid Ex II drill being conducted by DHS, FEMA, 150 corporations and the 50 governors, will simulate a power grid take down by terrorists on that same date. How many times have we witnessed a drill which turns into a false flag attack? This happened with 9/11, the 7/7 bombings and the Boston Marathon. There is a good chance it is going to happen here
In this scenario, once the grid is taken down, a banking collapse can be instituted and most will not notice because by the third day of a blackout, total chaos will ensue and nobody will be paying attention to the banks. Martial law will be imposed and Syria and Iran will be blamed.
The CEO of Goldman Sachs, Llloyd Blankfein, is on the record stating that an economic collapse is imminent. Need I say more?
Regardless of the form that an upcoming false flag event will follow, Goldman Sachs has tipped their false flag hand. A false flag event is coming and it is a safe bet that it will culminate in martial law. This would certainly explain DHS’ collecting of 2.6 billion rounds of ammunition and 2700 armored personnel carriers. There is also going to be a resulting third world war. The globalists know humanity is waking up. They are running out time and they are desperate. This could all be over in a few months. Do you not feel the collective sense of dreaded anticipation that has overtaken the country? At the unconscious level, we all know what is coming.
The November power grid drill is worth watching and I predict in the upcoming weeks, there will be many articles written about how to survive the coming events. I would advise all to pay attention, but most of all, I would advise people to get their spiritual affairs in order. We come into the world with nothing and all we leave with is the sum total of our spiritual experiences. It is time to attend to that detail in the present time frame.
Source: The Common Sense Show
Harold Wilson was right: A week is a long time in politics. The one just behind us—the longest of Barack Obama’s presidency thus far—has provided a mix of drama, bravado, mendacity and stupidity unseen since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
That crisis was a more serious affair than Obama’s Syrian gambit—thermonuclear war was a real possibility—but there are interesting parallels concerning the adversaries’ decision-making skills and strategies. It would be wrong, however, to compare Obama to John F. Kennedy. In fact the roles between Moscow and Washington were reversed last week. It was Obama who acted recklessly when he painted himself into the corner; and it was Putin who offered Obama an exit strategy, much in the manner of JFK offering the Soviets a face-saving formula 51 years ago.
Back then the American red line—the naval quarantine around Cuba—was upheld. The Soviets backed down and agreed to dismantle their missiles on the island in exchange for two U.S. commitments: not to invade Cuba, and to remove American medium-range Jupiter nuclear missiles from Turkey and Italy. Those concessions were cost-free for the Administration: after the Bay of Pigs no invasion remained on the cards, while Jupiter missiles were obsolete and slated for removal even before the crisis.
It was likewise no real sacrifice for the Russians to offer the removal of Bashar al-Assad’s chemical arsenal. He has no pressing military need of those weapons, in any event he cannot use them without risking American attack, and he will therefore observe the Geneva agreement reached by Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Bashar cannot afford to alienate Russia, whose continued supplies of conventional weaponry are a matter of life and death for his government; and the terms of the agreement leave little room for ambiguity, contrary to the warmongers’ claims.
Kennedy emerged victorious from the Cuban affair and his crisis management skills enhanced his reputation at home and abroad. Khrushchev was fatally wounded and less than a year later his colleagues on the Politburo had him removed from power. One of their criticisms concerned his “erratic” behavior, a veiled reference to the risky and ultimately untenable Soviet position during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Obama will not be impeached, but his standing is now much weakened by the manner in which he was refused Congress’s share of the responsibility for the attack and had to grab the Russian lifeline. His speech to the nation last Tuesday, full of distortions and half-truths, was arguably his least successful such performance to date. His grimaces were bizarre. His assurances that he opposes excessive executive power (“after a decade that put more and more war-making power in the hands of the president … while sidelining the people’s representatives from the critical decisions about when we use force”) should enter the annals of presidential hypocrisy, coming from the man who waged a seven-month air campaign against Libya two years ago without congressional authorization and who claimed constitutional authority to do so “in the best interest of American foreign policy and national security goals.”
Obama has avoided the consequences of his blunder by accepting Russia’s return to the table as a key Middle Eastern player for the first time since the era of Gorbachev. He should use that presence to look for the means of managing the Syrian civil war, rather than “ending” it. The United States and Russia have a joint interest in preventing a jihadist victory in Syria. That interest is more pronounced in Russia, which does not want yet another extremist hotbed in the proximity of the Caucasus, but a Syria controlled by al-Qaeda affiliates would also threaten stated U.S. interests by destabilizing Lebanon and Iraq immediately and Jordan eventually. Contrary to the arguments used by Netanyahu’s friends in Washington in their campaign in favor of the air strikes, a jihadist victory in Syria would also present a real, albeit more long-term threat to Israel.
In his April 12 address, Obama said he was working with U.S. allies to “provide humanitarian support, to help the moderate opposition and to shape a political settlement” for ending the war in Syria. The first and the last of those three objectives are incompatible with the middle one. Instead of helping the elusive “moderate opposition” Obama should consider the possibility of a protracted freeze on the battle lines, with neither side able to secure outright victory. It is worth exploring, now that returning to the option of air strikes at a later date is unlikely. Seasoned realists like Putin and Lavrov may find it interesting.
“The European race’s last three hundred years of evolutionary progress have all come down to nothing but four words: selfishness, slaughter, shamelessness and corruption.”
It only took the rest of the world 300 years to catch on to the evil that masquerades as “western civilization,” or perhaps it only took the rise of new powers with the confidence to state the obvious. Anyone doubtful of America’s responsibility for the evil needs to read The Untold History of the United States by Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick.
The “New American Century” proclaimed by the neoconservatives came to an abrupt end on September 6 at the G20 meeting in Russia. The leaders of most of the world’s peoples told Obama that they do not believe him and that it is a violation of international law if the US government attacks Syria without UN authorization.
Putin told the assembled world leaders that the chemical weapons attack was “a provocation on behalf of the armed insurgents in hope of the help from the outside, from the countries which supported them from day one.” In other words, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Washington–the axis of evil.
China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Indonesia, and Argentina joined Putin in affirming that a leader who commits military aggression without the approval of the UN Security Council puts himself “outside of law.”
In other words, if you defy the world, obama, you are a war criminal.
The entire world is waiting to see if the Israel Lobby can push obama into the role of war criminal. Many are betting that Israel will prevail over the weak american president, a cipher devoid of all principle. A couple of decades ago before the advent of the american sheeple, one of the last tough Americans, Admiral Tom Moorer, Chief of Naval Operations and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, publicly declared that “no US president can stand up to Israel.” America’s highest ranking military officer could not get an honest investigation of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty.
We are yet to see an american president who can stand up to Israel. Or, for that matter, a Congress that can. Or a media.
The obama regime tried to counter its smashing defeat at the G20 Summit by forcing its puppet states to sign a joint statement condemning Syria. However the puppet states qualified their position by stating that they opposed military action and awaited the UN report.
Most of obama’s bought-and-paid-for “supporters” are impotent, powerless. For example obama counts the UK as a supporting country because of the personal support of the discredited UK prime minister, david cameron, despite the fact that cameron was repudiated by the British Parliament in a vote that prohibits British participation in another of Washington’s war crimes. So, although cameron cannot bring the British people and the British government with him, obama counts the UK as a supporter of obama’s attack on Syria. Clearly, this is a desperate count of “supporting countries.”
The Turkish puppet government, which has been shooting its peacefully demonstrating citizens down in the streets, with no protest from obama or the Israel Lobby, supports “holding Syria accountable,” but not itself, of course, or Washington.
The puppet states of Canada and Australia, powerless countries, neither of which carry one ounce of world influence, have lined up to do the bidding of their Washington master. The entire point of having the top government job in Canada and Australia is the payoff from Washington.
The obama cipher also claims the support of Japan and the Republic of Korea, another two countries devoid of all diplomatic influence and power of any kind. Helpless Japan is on the verge of being destroyed by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, for which it has no solution. As the radiation leaks spread into the aquifer upon which Tokyo and surrounding areas rely, Japan is faced with the possibility of having to relocate 40 million people.
Saudi Arabia, implicated in the transfer to al-Nusra rebels of the chemical weapons used in the attack, supports Washington, knowing that otherwise its tyranny is toast. Even the neoconservatives headed by obama’s shrill National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, want to overthrow the Saudis.
Obama claims also to have support from France and Germany. However both Hollande and Merkel have stated clearly that a diplomatic solution, not war, is their first choice and that the outcome rests on the UN.
As for Italy and Spain’s support, both governments are hoping to be rewarded with the Federal Reserve printing enough dollars to bail out their indebted economies so that both governments are not overthrown in the streets for their acquiescence to the looting of their countries by international banksters. Like so many Western governments, those of Italy and Spain, and, of course, Greece, support the international banksters, not their own citizens.
The president of the European Commission has declared that the European Union, the central overlord over Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, does not support a military solution to the Syrian Crisis. “The European Union is certain that the efforts should be aimed at a political settlement,” Jose Manuel Barroso told reporters at the G20 meeting. The EU has the power to issue arrest warrants for the heads of EU governments that participate in war crimes.
What this reveals is that the support behind the liar obama is feeble and limited. The ability of the Western countries to dominate international politics came to an end at the G20 meeting. The moral authority of the West is completely gone, shattered and eroded by countless lies and shameless acts of aggression based on nothing but lies and self-interests. Nothing remains of the West’s “moral authority,” which was never anything but a cover for self-interest, murder, and genocide.
The West has been destroyed by its own governments, who have told too many self-serving lies, and by its capitalist corporations, who offshored the West’s jobs and technology to China, India, Indonesia, and Brazil, depriving the Western governments of a tax base and the support of its citizens.
It is difficult to know whether citizens in the West hate their corrupt governments any less than do Muslims, whose lives and countries have been devastated by Western aggression, or than do citizens of third world countries who have been impoverished by being looted by predatory First World financial organizations.
The idiot Western governments have pissed away their clout. There is no prospect whatsoever of the neoconservative fantasy of US hegemony being exercised over Russia, China, India, Brazil, South Africa, South America, Iran. These countries can establish their own system of international payments and finance and leave the dollar standard whenever they wish. One wonders why they wait. The US dollar is being printed in unbelievable quantities and is no longer qualified to be the world reserve currency. The US dollar is on the verge of total worthlessness.
The G20 Summit made it clear that the world is no longer willing to go along with the West’s lies and murderous ways. The world has caught on to the West. Every country now understands that the bailouts offered by the West are merely mechanisms for looting the bailed-out countries and impoverishing the people.
In the 21st century Washington has treated its own citizens the way it treats citizens of third world countries. Untold trillions of dollars have been lavished on a handful of banks, while the banks threw millions of Americans out of their homes and seized any remaining assets of the broken families.
US corporations had their taxes cut to practically nothing, with few paying any taxes at all, while the corporations gave the jobs and careers of millions of Americans to the Chinese and Indians. With those jobs went US GDP, tax base, and economic power, leaving Americans with massive budget deficits, a debased currency, and bankrupt cities, such as Detroit, which once was the manufacturing powerhouse of the world.
How long before Washington shoots down its own homeless, hungry, and protesting citizens in the streets?
Washington represents Israel and a handful of powerful organized private interests. Washington represents no one else. Washington is a plague upon the American people and a plague upon the world.
Source: Paul Craig Roberts
When struggling consumers hear about offshore banking, they naturally think such assets only apply to the rich. Secret bank accounts issued in the name of a confidential number, often portrayed in mystery movies, are less prevalent than a stake in an oversea property estate. Cash in a financial institution is an easy reporting task for foreign banks. Although, most Americans do not possess such wealth, many do have an interest in real property or chattel ownership in portable entities that are outside the physical soil of the country. Even if you are not one of these fortunate beneficiaries, the principle behind the (FATCA) statue can certainly apply a broad interpretation domestically.
The provisions commonly known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act became law in March 2010.
• FATCA targets tax non-compliance by U.S. taxpayers with foreign accounts
• FATCA focuses on reporting:
• By U.S. taxpayers about certain foreign financial accounts and offshore assets
• By foreign financial institutions about financial accounts held by U.S. taxpayers or foreign entities in which U.S. taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest
• The objective of FATCA is the reporting of foreign financial assets; withholding is the cost of not reporting. Notice 2013-43 revises the implementation timeline and provides additional guidance
Clarification for individual’s states:
Taxpayers with a total value of specified foreign financial assets below a certain threshold do not have to file Form 8938
If the total value is at or below $50,000 at the end of the tax year, there is no reporting requirement for the year, unless the total value was more than $75,000 at any time during the tax year
“The IRS anticipates issuing regulations that will require a domestic entity (corporations, partnerships, trusts, or estates)to file Form 8938 if the entity is formed or used to hold specified foreign financial assets and the total asset value exceeds the appropriate reporting threshold.”
If you have insomnia, try some bedtime reading - Basic Questions and Answers on Form 8938. Especially, note Question 5.
Q5. I am a beneficiary of a foreign estate. Do I need to report my interest in a foreign estate on Form 8938?
Generally, an interest in a foreign estate is a specified foreign financial asset that is reportable on Form 8938 if the total value of all of your specified foreign financial assets is greater than the reporting threshold that applies to you.
The IRS clarification in Q3 states, ”Foreign real estate is not a specified foreign financial asset required to be reported on Form 8938“, seems to provide relief for real property ownership. Notwithstanding, the purpose and intent of the FATCA is to cast a broad net around the eventual reporting of any negotiable instrument that citizens hold worldwide.
Imagine the next incremental step might well be a yearly financial statement under penalty of perjury. The exemption caveat being, if you do not have sufficient income that requires the filing of a Federal tax return, you can forgo the torment of the 8938 torture.
Make no mistake about the implications of tracking down the last penny of treasure. The Caribbean buccaneers stole pieces of eight from the colonial empires who promoted the slave trade. Today the practice of trading on the flesh of labor is substituted with the taxation on the ”financial assets“ of the incarnated serfs that need to pay tribute to their feudal lord.
Through the Intergovernmental Agreement Model 1 & 2, the IGA provides for a partnership agreement between the U.S. and a FATCA Partnership jurisdiction, namely France, Germany, Italy and Spain with the United Kingdom first to sign the IGA agreement and model 2 IGA reflects the framework that was described in the joint statements by U.S. and Switzerland and U.S. and Japan.
Now this multilateral global financial compliance is spreading back to the islands of the erstwhile pirates. This go around is practiced by computer keystrokes instead of wheeling a saber. The significance of the Cayman, US agree on reporting of Americans’ assets, is to eliminate one of the last refuges of financial privacy.
“The Cayman Islands says it has reached agreement with the United States to provide information on accounts held by American citizens to comply with a sweeping U.S. law designed to combat tax evasion.
The British Caribbean territory, considered the world’s sixth largest financial center and a major haven for mutual funds and private equity, said the texts of the new pacts will be made public once an official signing ceremony is held.
The Cayman government said the pacts are tied to a U.S. law called the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which was enacted in 2010 and expected to take effect next year. The law targets non-tax compliance by U.S. citizens with foreign accounts around the globe, and Washington is pressing nations to provide client data.”
Oddly reminiscent of “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Seems like the Pelosi logic extends to the Grand Cayman financiers . . . the moneychangers seldom service the discretion of their customers.
When the NSA scoops up every wire transfer, fax instruction or email message, who can maintain the privacy of their personal papers? Just because the technocratic dragnet stretches globally, the inalienable right of private property still maintains the moral high ground.
If FATCA is merely a legitimate cooperative coordination, many people would eagerly support closing the door on the wealth sheltering hidden assets in foreign depositories. However, the encompassing scope of defining financial assets to be whatever serves the interests of the taxman, should disturb every citizen.
Recollect how different our lives are today from a century ago before the Revenue Act of 1913. The past century has assaulted privacy rights to the point that the average person simply accepts that the government is acting properly. When filling out Form 8938 becomes routine, the surrender of what is left of your meager fortune is sealed. The greed of the real pirates never ends.
A row between the US and Moscow over Snowden’s extradition has reached a new level of tension after Barack Obama canceled a long-planned summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, again showing the adherence of US to double-standard politics.
This goes back to Putin finally deciding to give temporary asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, specifically ignoring Obama’s personal directive that Snowden should be handed over to the US. With this measure, Putin echoes Russia’s and the world’s growing weariness with America’s hegemonic carrot-and-stick strategy, and its double talk.
Both presidents had agreed to hold a summit in Moscow next month to discuss bilateral issues but, reading between the lines, one can clearly sense the increasing frustration the US and its key global allies feel towards Russia and China, the only two major powers that can stand up to them, bringing some measure of traditional balance-of-power to today’s world; even if uneasy and fragile
As with Julian Assange, the case involving Edward Snowden is well-known around the world: both men were in a position to access credible behind-the-curtain information, together with the documentation backing it up, and they both came out boldly disclosing it to the public.
If the proof is in the pudding, then America’s rage and ire, as well as that of its allies’, are proof that these disclosures are in fact true, which is why such a large portion of global public opinion hail Snowden and Assange as true heroes and freedom fighters.
For when it comes to assessing the true motives and unconfessable activities and goals behind much of US, UK and Israeli foreign and domestic policies, millions of modern-day Hamlets can smell that there is definitely something very rotten and not precisely in the State of Denmark.
If, as we believe, the supranational global power elites are embedded deep inside the public and private power structures of key nations – notably the United States and the United Kingdom – then clearly their Achilles Heel is any and all disclosure of their crimes, their meddling in the internal affairs of other countries, their direct or indirect involvement in false-flag attacks, their support of genocidal regimes when it serves their purpose, their murderous invasions and occupations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Libya, and their obscene funding and support of terrorists, guerrillas and mafias in Syria and elsewhere, under the PsyOps cover of ‘Arab Spring’.
Now, if giving temporary asylum to a disgruntled 30-year-old former National Security Agency (NSA) operative like Snowden has such impact on the US power structure – so much so that it led the president of the United States to cancel a key summit with the President of Russia – then one can only wonder at the fear and trembling they must feel when assessing potentially much more serious ‘security breaches’.
What if a really organized group of truly powerful insiders-turned-outsiders were to decide to confront Washington, New York, London and Tel-Aviv with unquestionable evidence and proof of their crimes and their criminal perpetrators? What if, say, somebody comes up with total and undisputable proof on the truth behind 9/11? Or Iraq and Libya? Or Wall Street in 2008? Or London 7/7…?
Russia and China: America’s 21st-century foes
Naturally global hegemons abhor anyone standing up to them, which is clearly what Russia has been doing for the past decade. At the UN, where Russia had been more accommodating to many US interests, after the US-backed monstrous assassination of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on live TV and the rape of Libya in 2011, its appears Moscow got really fed up.
Assassinating global leaders to the chuckling of Hillary Clinton on CBS News is definitely not on Moscow’s agenda.
A key change in Russian foreign policy can thus be clearly seen in the cases of Iran and, more significantly, in Syria – a traditional Russian ally.
The US, UK and Israel know full well that even if they continue to finance the worst terrorists, mafias, murderers, arms-dealers and Al-Qaeda operatives – whom they collectively dub as ‘freedom fighters’ - against the legitimate government of Bashar Assad, Russia just won’t budge.
Putin’s message is clear: the West will not have its way in Syria. Period.
Many readers are probably asking, what about China? Isn’t China supposed to be the key Pentagon target in the years to come because it continues to grow and grow, and its economy will soon surpass that of the US?
Yes, but that’s just the economy and, yes, China does hold almost $2 trillion in US Treasury Bills, which gives them the potential to wreak havoc on the US by just liquidating them short-term in the major global financial markets. China could, if it wanted, send the US Dollar crumbling down like the World Trade Center twin towers did in 2001.
But the US knows China will not do that; not now, anyway, as they have much more to lose from a US financial collapse than they have to win. China knows that triggering the mass devaluation of those Treasuries would backfire and explode in their own face.
Besides, China has never had, nor has today, global hegemonic aims. China seems quite happy to be and remain the undisputed power in South East Asia and the Western Pacific, something that is in sharp contrast with the US/UK/Israel, which together insist on running the whole world: politically, territorially, financially, even trying to impose its courts and laws.
In addition, China has few issues for open conflict: Tibet, Taiwan, a couple of disputed islands with Japan, perhaps, but that’s basically it. Their struggle lies on the economic and resources stage.
Now, compare that to the permanent conflicts the US and its allies stir up in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Central Europe etc.
China does not really need to be contained; it is self-contained. The US and its allies, however, must be contained and, seeing the way things are going, in the long run they must be stopped.
Russia might have far less economic clout than the US, however the Kremlin has always had clear long-term geopolitical objectives; intelligently designed and planned ever since the times of the tsars, later under the Bolsheviks, and today under its mature, coherent and consistent leadership.
For Russia not only has global aims, Russia understands the world and its multicultural complexities far better than the US. On this, Russia is only rivaled by Britain… and China.
So is the US now slipping back into ‘Evil Empire’, Russia-standing-in-the-way-of-‘democracy’; Russia-supporting-the-bad-guys rhetoric?
The truth is that Russia is helping to unmask American social and political decadence, financial weakness, and psychopathic imperial overdrive.
When Russia stands up to America, it shows strength, personality and self-respect. The world looks on and applauds.
On August 7, Obama appeared on Jay Leno’s popular ‘Tonight Show’, whining and complaining about Putin, accusing Moscow of slipping back into “Cold-War mode”. He listed US grievances against Russia: missile defense and arms control, trade relations, global security, human rights, civil society… and advising President Putin not to look at the past but to “think about the future as there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to cooperate.”
Obama doesn’t seem to understand that to think correctly about the future, requires learning from the experience of the past. Addressing the Snowden Affair in isolation is but another example of US double-standards and double talk.
As journalist Glenn Greenwald of London’s The Guardian newspaper reminded his readers on that same day, whilst Obama and the mainstream media today express so much distress over Snowden’s Russian asylum, they seem to forget past cases where the tables were turned, and which did not involve a young, mild-mannered whistleblower, but rather where the US protected the worst criminals and murderers.
For instance, the US refused to heed an extradition request from Italy for two CIA agents indicted in the alleged 2003 abduction of an Egyptian cleric in Milan (New York Times, February 28, 2007); later, when CIA agent Robert Seldon Lady was released in Panama, he was flown back to the US to avert the possibility he might be extradited to Italy (Washington Post, July 19, 2013).
Then we have America’s refusal to extradite former CIA-supported Bolivian President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada – who for all practical purposes was given US asylum – so he could stand trial for genocide and war crimes in Bolivia (The Guardian, September 9, 2012). Or the case of Luis Posada Carriles, whose extradition to Venezuela was also refused by the US, over his alleged role in the 1976 terror bombing of a Cuban jetliner that killed 73 people (El Paso Times, December 30, 2010).
The list does not stop there. In recent years, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Brazil filed repeated requests and legal summons asking the US to give up one Sir Henry A. Kissinger, wanted for questioning over his decades-long involvement with CIA-backed military regime murders in those countries during the 1970s, under a mass genocide strategy which later became known as ‘Plan Condor’.
But again, the Global Power Elite always stands behind its problem children like Sir Henry to the very end. Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón went so far as to ask Interpol to arrest Kissinger for questioning during a visit to London but – Alas! – to no avail.
And we won’t even mention the repeated extradition requests filed by Belgian Courts against former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for his war crimes and crimes against humanity, filed by Lebanese victims of his 2001 killing sprees.
The list is far too long. But the double standards are glaringly obvious, which does not seem to unduly bother the Global Hegemons, for they are far too used to always having their way.
And even when they do take some risk they use their overpowering leverage to play their game safely, as if saying “let’s flip a coin: heads we win; tails you lose”.
Adrian Salbuchi is a political analyst, author, speaker and radio/TV commentator in Argentina
“If real is what you can feel, smell, taste and see, then ‘real’ is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.” — Morpheus, The Matrix.
As long as you are plugged into the computer program that is running your reality, you can’t escape its hold over your life. You are literally programming and reprogramming yourself, without your conscious will, to toe the line of some very sneaky potentates who would like for you to forget just how powerful a being you truly are.
As long as you are subservient to the status quo — the belief that you must slave away for the monarchy, namely the Rockefeller/Vatican/Gates/J.P. Morgan/World Bank delusionists, then you will not ever truly know that you can change your reality in the blink of an eye. The world in its current state is not meant to be your experience of life, yet playing the computer game that has been set before you keeps you disillusioned and deluded. It’s time to wake up. Following are 5 of the practically infinite ways by which the powers that be keep you thinking you are small, helpless and powerless, when in fact, you are Infinite in scope:
1. They are hypnotizing you with their agenda. If you participate in the mainstream media — watching its television programs, sitting in front of its Hollywood movies, or even leaving the tube on as you go to sleep, then you are programming your brain with the entirely ‘wrong’ frequency. Of course, it’s a choice. There really is no wrong or right — we can continue to portray minorities, women and any person who isn’t rich and white as less intelligent or capable, or portray endless scenes of violence and bigotry, hate and racism, but we have to ask ourselves what purpose this truly serves. It seems if we are fighting against one another, because of the color of our skin, our religious or cultural backgrounds, our sexual preferences or our gender, then we can’t really focus on the true ‘enemy’, which is really only like Oz behind a curtain.
CBS and ABC both have officials that have top positions in the Obama administration. Monsanto and several large Big Ag, Big Pharma, and Big Oil corporations have cronies in almost every leg of the mainstream media. These people don’t report the truth. They promote their own greedy agendas. With just a little crack in the looking glass, you can see that there is another reality. David Icke’s The People’s Voice Network is just such an example. It’s literally time for a different program. Cut your addiction to mainstream media. They are keeping you enslaved to a decaying paradigm.
2. They are poisoning the enlightenment right out of you. Big Corporations are poisoning your water with fluoride, heavy metals and endless other toxins. Big Ag is poisoning your food with GMO crops. Big Pharma is supplying you with drugs that actually make your food-induced cancer or heart disease worse, as well as dumbing down entire generations with autism, while quietly paying out families for the damage that MMR vaccinations have caused. The secret of the Matrix is that these addictive patterns — high fructose corn syrup, McDonald’s Happy Meals and nutrition-less foods — do more than make you fat and sick. They literally block your ability to have an enlightened experience of the world — explicitly one which allows you to see outside the Matrix. These companies provide the pain and then feed you the pain-killers, which are really just another way to kill you. You are not a depressed, dark, lonely individual. You are a creature of light and hope, love and prosperity beyond your current imagining. Don’t let them drug you into oblivion. Eat wholesome foods, detox your pineal gland — the seat of enlightenment — and participate in age-old natural healing. It is not only for your physical well being, but for your spiritual ascension — and a great and final unplugging from the Matrix.
3. They use religion to perpetuate a lie. This is a hot button for many people. The truth is that use of religion alone is one of the easiest ways that they can divide and conquer. Every religion has at its core, a message of truth and LOVE, not the bastardized, quantified, you-need-me-to-get-to-God message that so many people mistakenly proselytize to the masses in order to keep them in check. The leaders of great religious movements know that we can only survive together as one. There are sites around the world that teach an integrated, accepting approach to realizing the Great Mystery of which we are all a part. Thanksgiving Square, for example, has been visited by the Dalai Lama, Catholic nuns including Mother Theresa, Zen Monks, famous Hindu yogis, Muslim and Christian spiritual leaders, and so forth. It is time to elevate our spirituality to one of inclusiveness instead of segregation and division. Realizing this is a great way to shun the Matrix lie that there is only one pathway to God.
4. They indoctrinate you early in public school. Henry Louis Mencken puts it so perfectly:
“The aim of public school is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry [slaves to the Matrix], to put down dissent and originality.”
There are numberless geniuses who were able to skip a ‘cursory’ education and, instead, used their own curiosity and creativity to guide them through the material world. Michael Faraday opened a famous bookshop without any formal education, but he also experimented with electricity, magnetism and other sciences on his own. William Herschel, a musical composer with no formal education in astrophysics, discovered the planet Uranus and was only later called an ‘astronomer’ for his discovery. Don’t let them tell you what you can know or limit your genius. This is another tactic to keep you enslaved to the Matrix. Teach your children to think for themselves and seriously question whether they need to attend public school at all.
5. They convince you that this is the only ‘REALity.’ You can create a world that does not poison its people, pollute its oceans, rivers and streams, air and soil. You can create a world where people do not engage in endless wars and genocides. You can create a world where a few greedy bastards don’t run the whole show. You have the choice to run another program. It starts with waking up to the reality that has been forced upon you so that you can choose differently.
Kurt Vonnegut once said in Mother Night:
“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.”
You are just pretending this reality right now. You can just as easily choose another. As long as you have the belief that you are stuck in this version of reality, you will be. They reinforce this belief in every way they possibly can. Though our minds have a hard time conceiving of Infinity, it exists. Start expanding it to new levels, and suspend your disbelief. This will help you to untie your bondage ropes to the Matrix.
“How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?” — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Source: Christina Sarich | Waking Times
They’re strip-mining Greece for profit. It’s the epicenter of global pillage. Ordinary people have no say. They’re victims of force-fed harshness.
The more Athens borrows, the greater its debt burden, the harder it is to get out from under. Greece is dying. It’s practically a corpse already. Only its obituary remains to be written.
Official unemployment tops 27%. It’s likely higher. Youth unemployment approaches 65%. An entire generation’s lost. It’s being systematically destroyed. It’s dying on the alter of pay bankers first. Whatever they want they get.
Greece’s New Democracy/PASOK coalition plans thousands more layoffs by yearend. On July 17, it enacted its seventh austerity package since 2010.
It calls for firing 15,000 state workers. About 25,000 will be gone by yearend. Up to 150,000 will be sacked by yearend 2014.
Troika scoundrels demand their pound of flesh. They insist in return for emergency loans. They reflect loan shark economics writ large.
Greek economist Yanis Varoufakis calls “Bankruptocracy in the Greek Sector of Bailoutistan” destructive. It’s “progressing in leaps and bounds.”
It’s doing so with “European taxpayers loan guarantees providing the capital and a bonfire of the Greek people’s hopes for the future supplying the energy.”
Greece is a black hole of inequity. It’s burning. It’s a model of self-destruction. It’s birthrate’s in decline. Stillbirths rose 20% since 2008.
Greece spends much less on education than other OECD countries on average (8.3% compared to 13.1%). It doesn’t matter. In mid-July, parliament approved thousands more teacher layoffs. They promise recovery ahead. Things do from bad to worse.
Around 40% of households lack healthcare. A late March Lancet study said Europe’s financial crisis poses major threats to health.
Greece is hardest hit of all. So are Spain, Portugal and Italy. Suicides and infectious disease outbreaks “are becoming more common in these countries, and budget cuts have restricted access to health care.”
Public health’s in crisis. Policy makers are largely silent. They’re dismissive. They’re indifferent to human need. John Pilger calls willfully destroying social justice the “Age of Regression.” Police state harshness enforces it.
It’s vicious. It’s the new normal. It reflects nations gone mad. Potemkin societies replace real ones. Black hole harshness reflects them. Greece is prologue for what’s deepening.
It’s spreading across Europe. It’s hammering Americans. It affects Canadians. It’s coming to a community near you. Imagine unaffordable basic services. Imagine unavailable healthcare when ill.
On April 20, the TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) IP Policy Committee addressed Greece’s healthcare crisis. It did so by open letter to coalition officials, saying:
“This letter is an attempt by Greek scholars and physicians from diverse academic areas of specialization to raise our concerns regarding the current, dire, state of Health Care services in Greece.”
“Our country has fallen into a dismal state, and it is constantly challenged by extrinsic and intrinsic pressures, while the economic and social climate deteriorates further each day.”
“The Greek government, in total obedience to the irrational demands of the Troika, focuses on the obligations of the citizens towards the state, and seems to forget or ignore its own obligations towards its citizens.”
“The Government has imposed a brutal and self-defeating fiscal austerity; in a confiscatory manner, it tries to collect extra revenue from an already impoverished and afflicted populace, while it neglects its main role, as specified by the Constitution: The Protection of the Rights and the Welfare of the Citizen Body.”
Greece’s black hole deepens. Coalition partners shrank GDP by 25%. Doing so’s a shocking indictment of corrupt mismanagement.
Public health’s in disarray. It’s “collapsing on all fronts.” The health of an entire population is “seriously undermine(d).”
Mortality and morbidity are increasing. Troika subservience demands vital service cuts. Medical staff numbers are reduced.
Essential equipment deteriorates. Everything’s in short supply. “Patients now have to pay for consumables, for medical tests, and for surgeries.”
“This is all on top of what they already paid through their insurance funds.”
“Those who suffer from chronic diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, are forced to pay a 25% deductible for the cost of their medication, while prior to the crisis this deductible stood at 5%.”
“Cancer and kidney failure patients suffer not only due to the increased costs of specialized treatments, but also the general rundown of these facilities, loss of key personnel and dramatic shortages in medications.”
“Unable to receive treatment at home anymore, they have to travel far away for dear life, and wait in endless queues in the corridors of bureaucratic health-insurance offices and/or hospital clinics.”
Mental health services are greatly diminished. “Psychiatric hospitals in Greece can no longer perform at the level required to provide even basic treatment to patients diagnosed with serious mental illnesses.”
“Standard (surgery) rates” force patients to pay about 20% in advance for materials and services.
Doing so “makes both emergency and elective surgeries virtually unapproachable for a broad segment of the population.”
Millions of unemployed and underemployed Greeks have inadequate resources for expensive treatment. Many can’t afford rent, utilities, enough nourishing food, other basics, and other living expenses easily affordable years earlier.
Greece’s poor, unemployed and retired “have no choice but to forego basic, life-saving drugs and healthcare monitoring.”
They do it to afford minimal sustenance. Thousand of medical and other professionals emigrated. Prior to crisis conditions, Greece’s National Health System (ESY) provided exceptional services.
It now lacks basic resources. It has too few trained professionals. It’s “besieged at every level.” It’s “plundered with your consent.”
It’s dying a slow death. So is Greece. It’s beholden to foreign bankers. It’s “not a government of Greeks for Greeks.”
“The disastrous policies that undermine even the basic health of the Greek population must come to an end.”
Greece represents the worst of neoliberal harshness. Social services across the board are disintegrating. They’re in disarray. They’re disappearing in plain sight.
In 2013, martial law was imposed three times. Coalition gangsters wage war on their own people.
Central Athens demonstrations are banned. Police state harshness targets nonbelievers. Courageous people initiate change, said Pilger.
There’s no other way. They’re responsible for “taking back their own lives against (long) odds.” Civil disobedience is a noble tradition. Pilger says read Percy Shelley. “Ye are many; they are few.”
Victor Hugo said nothing’s stronger than “an idea whose time has come.” Seize it. “(D)o it,” said Pilger. The alternative is deepening dystopian harshness.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
On July 1 Croatia became the 28th country to join the European Union, and on current form there will be no further enlargement for many years to come. A look at the glaring dysfunctions in Croatia’s accession, compared to the double standards Brussels imposes on Serbia and Ukraine, is indicative of the peculiar mitteleuropäisch view of what constitutes “Europe” which still dominates the political and media elite thinking in Berlin and Vienna.
After the disappointing experience with Bulgaria and Romania, which joined the EU in 2007 but continue to be plagued by unstable governments and all-pervasive corruption, many experts have expressed doubts about Croatia’s readiness for membership. On its entry a month ago it became the third-poorest nation in the EU, with unemployment hovering around 20 percent. Of those who work, one-third are employed in the public sector. If it joins the eurozone in three years, Croatia would also become a prime candidate for an eventual bailout.
According to Transparency International, Croatia is ranked below Rwanda, Namibia, Jordan or Cuba in its 1012 graft index. Former prime minister Ivo Sanader, who played a key role in negotiating the EU membership, was sentenced to ten years in jail last year for accepting multi-million bribes from foreign companies. Last March the European Commission expressed concern over Croatia’s low level of legal penalties in corruption cases and its effectiveness in battling human trafficking and organized crime. “Widespread political and economic corruption persist, and its courts often show an overly lax attitude toward due process,” The New York Times editorialist warned on June 28. “The fact is that the Union may well be about to repeat the mistakes of the last round of accessions,” he warned, thus jeopardizing Croatia’s own future, diminishing membership prospects for other Balkan states, and stalling further enlargement for the next decade or more.
It is no secret in Brussels that Germany wanted Croatia in for its own geopolitical reasons, however, and that was the end of the debate. There is also an economic interest. Since their products have become significantly more competitive with the elimination of the 20 percent tariff on EU goods, German manufacturers and merchants in particular stand to profit from Croatia’s entry. They cherish the prospect of over four million potential new customers who are traditionally fond of German brands.
Many Croatians remain deeply skeptical about the benefits of joining the Union. In last year’s referendum on EU membership, only 43 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots and exactly two-thirds voted in favor of the union—a mere 28 percent of Croatia’s electorate. Recent polls show that only 39 percent welcomed the accession. State-funded celebration in Zagreb notwithstanding, Croatian accession was marked by all-pervasive gloom among its people as well as across the EU. Some Croats fear that tough competition from the north will drive many struggling companies out of business. Even Greece, Bulgaria and Romania are in better financial shape than Croatia, according to World Bank statistics.
For a country facing serious demographic decline, the most serious likely consequence of EU membership will be an exodus of educated young people when work restrictions expire in two years from now. Among Croatia’s under-25s unemployment rate exceeds 50 percent. A massive brain drain has already happened to Poland after it joined the EU in 2004, and to Bulgaria and Romania after 2007.
Croatian Euroskeptics say that just getting ready for EU entry has crippled their country in the same manner as Brussels’ neoliberal ideology has damaged the “Club Med.” Croatia cannot join the eurozone immediately, but it is maintaining a fixed euro-kuna exchange rate to qualify for membership in three years’ time. This denies it an opportunity to devalue and make its exports and tourist industry more competitive. On current form, Croatia’s tourist infrastructure can hardly compete with that of Italy, Spain, or Greece.
“Croatian governments have followed obediently the EU’s austerity advice, even before the accession.” Srecko Horvat and Igor Stiks wrote in an op-ed for the Guardian. The country’s foreign debt now exceeds $60 billion, more than $13,000 for each of Croatia’s 4.4 million people. It now has virtually no industry and relies heavily on tourism, which accounts for 20 percent of GNP. All this, Horvat and Stiks say, means that “Croatia has not actually joined only the EU; in reality, it has become a fully fledged member of the EU periphery.” One of the EU’s longest external land borders at 800 miles, they add, will necessarily cut Croatia off from its immediate and natural surroundings and bring further isolation from its neighbors.
By entering the EU Croatia has lost its membership in the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), which now consists of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro and Serbia. The loss of customs privileges and trade benefits in those markets will cost the country at least 220 million dollars a year in lost exports, according to the Croatian Chamber of Commerce. Other analysts say that some 4,000 people will become unemployed as a result of Croatia losing CEFTA membership, with no compensating benefits in the highly competitive EU markets.
Last but not least, EU membership creates a major problem for thousands of Croats who make their living from fishing along the country’s Adriatic coast. They will face competition from much larger and better equipped fishing vessels from other EU countries—above all Italy—which are now free to operate in Croatian waters. In addition, they will have to invest heavily into new, EU-compliant trawl nets and safety equipment. Most of their gear is not in accordance with the EU’s Common Fishing Policy (CFP), whose regulations were modeled mostly on fishing in the Atlantic Ocean. Local fishers complain that successive Croatian governments did not even try to protect their interests and that they face bankruptcy.
For better or worse, Croatia is in the EU while other aspirants, like Serbia to the east, will stay out for many years to come—or, in the case of Ukraine, are not yet even in discussions for membership. Enlargement fatigue is all-pervasive among old and new Union members alike. The fact that it is particularly strong in Germany is what really matters. (Several smaller countries share the sentiment, notably Austria and Benelux.) German preferences largely explain the unequal treatment by Brussels of other countries in the former Yugoslavia and in Europe’s “eastern neighborhood.” What is sauce for the Croatian goose is no sauce for the Serbian or Ukrainian gander. Unlike in earlier rounds of accession, the EU no longer offers a specific timetable for achieving the promise of membership made at the summit in Thessaloniki ten years ago. Rather, the process remains open-ended and indeterminate. EU Commissioner for Enlargement Štefan Füle claims that enlargement will continue, but officials in Brussels privately concede that this is not the case.
Last April Serbia had to sign a humiliating, EU-brokered deal with Kosovo’s secessionist government in order to obtain a “conditional” date for the opening of accession negotiations next January. Effectively giving up one-seventh of one’s sovereign territory for the sake of the elusive “Date” was both a crime and a mistake, but even that does not promise the government in Belgrade that it will be any closer to full EU membership a decade from now than it is today. Turkey has been a candidate since 1999, and yet it will never be allowed to join the EU. Skopje-Macedonia (FYROM) has had a candidate status for the past eight years, with the final goalpost nowhere in sight.
Even after Serbia’s capitulation last April, German lawmakers came up with a list of seven additional demands which Belgrade would need to complete in order to be given a date for the commencement of accession negotiations. They wanted the Serbian authorities “to find and prosecute the demonstrators who attacked the German embassy in Belgrade in February 2008” (a day after Berlin recognized Kosovo’s independence), which is well-nigh impossible because the German government has refused to give the Serbs any surveillance camera footage. More egregiously, the Bundestag demanded that the Serbs accept, and not deny, that “genocide” was committed in Srebrenica; to apply pressure on northern Kosovo Serbs to “actively cooperate” with EULEX and Kfor; and to display “visible readiness for legally binding normalization of relations” with Kosovo.
Brussels’ lack of straight dealing is equally glaring in the case of Ukraine, which is not even being offered the prospect of EU membership anytime soon. Kiev has been struggling since 2007 to obtain the more limited Association Agreement with the EU. At the 15th Ukraine-EU Summit in December 2011, the EU leaders and President Yanukovych announced that they had reached “a common understanding on the text of the Association Agreement,” and in March 2012 the chief negotiators of the European Union and Ukraine initialed the text of the Agreement. Stefan Füle announced at that time that the Agreement could be finally signed after the Ukrainian general election in October 2012. It did not happen. Additional demands and conditions keep emerging instead.
Topping the list is the case of Yulia Tymoshenko, a former prime minister, who is serving a seven-year jail sentence for corruption and is facing murder charges for the 1996 killing of a political opponent. Even though the case against the richest woman in Ukraine seems strong, Brussels has taken the position that it was politically motivated. The EU has also criticized Ukrainian authorities for failing to conduct last October’s parliamentary elections “in line with international democratic standards.” With Germany again the lead skeptical voice on the EU side, the question of whether the Association Agreement will be signed at the Vilnius summit this November remains uncertain. If it is not signed, it will not be for lack of trying from the Ukrainian side.
Unequal treatment of different countries by the EU’s old core—and above all by Germany—reflects some old prejudices and cultural preferences which will not go away. Of course, no German politician will ever admit that his or her judgment is impacted by the fact that the Croats were German allies in both world wars, while the Serbs or Ukrainians were no
Damascus — It may well have seemed like a fine idea at the European Union’s Foreign Ministers cocktail reception in Brussels, where ample alcohol freely flowed the night before last week’s vote to blacklist the “military wing” of Hezbollah. But shortly after the vote the EU appeared to be experiencing a severe hangover as the stark reality of its impetuous decision began to soak in.
After periodical discussion of the US-Israel demand for blacklisting Hezbollah for more than a year, and adding its name to the EU list of 26 organizations and 11 individuals currently being designated as ‘terrorists’ is in becoming clearer by the day the EU actions may not have been in anyone’s interest except possibly Israel’s.
It is true there was never much enthusiasm at EU HQ for taking the blacklisting step given some fundamental uncertainties of what it would mean in reality. But American and British pressure, and headlines from Israel screaming: “We told you about rising anti-Semitism from Europe” following the EU decision to blacklist illegal Zionist colonies implanted on the West Bank portion of occupied Palestine, weeks earlier. To round up EU votes, the US State Department staff designated to lobby the 28 EU foreign ministries also focused on the unproven Bulgaria bus attack, and Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria as reasons to go along with the blacklisting decision which required a unanimous vote for the 28 EU countries foreign ministers.
Minutes after the EU vote, problems began to appear and it became obvious that buying into the US-UK Hezbollah “military wing” blacklisting project was not an attractive product after all.
Some of the reportedly emphasized ‘talking points’ to the EU Foreign Ministries from Washington and London included the following:
· The EU blacklisting Hezbollah’s military wing would “compensate” Israel, as it has been demanding, for the EU vote early this month that essentially boycotted Zionist colonial projects throughout the illegally occupied West Bank
· The action would not affect UNIFIL or UNSCR 1701 because Hezbollah has good relations with UNIFIL and they would likely continue to work with the 15 European countries nations making up UNIFIL including the five EU members ,France, Spain, Italy, Poland and Ireland who have troops patrolling the Lebanon-Palestine border;
· Israel would be assuaged and can claim a victory in its war with Hezbollah;
· The Lebanese political parties backed by certain EU member states and the Gulf Countries such as Saudi Arabia would benefit in terms of establishing a new pro-March 14th dominated government, significantly pressuring Hezbollah’s delegation in Parliament and at the ballot box by the blacklisting—although it was not spelled out precisely how to would work;
· US-led western aid to the Lebanese army would likely increase and Hezbollah’s international reputation would suffer;
· There would be no damage to EU-Lebanese relations and any negative reactions would soon dye down.
However great all this may have sounded in some capitols before the ill-considered vote, a rude awakening began to dawn almost immediately after the votes were counted. Criticisms, complications and doubts from the EU action are continuing to be voiced and second thoughts are spreading despite efforts of the EU Ambassador to Lebanon, Ms. Angeline Eichhorst at damage control.
Even before the EU’s decision to blacklist Hezbollah’s “military wing” was publicly released, Ms. Eichhorst sought and was granted appointments with Hezbollah’s Ammar al-Musawi, Liaison for International Relations, and Minister of State Mohammad Fneish, at which she repeatedly offered assurances that the EU vote will have zero effect on relations with the group’s “civilian wing.” She assured the gentlemen that the EU votes do not reflect on the Lebanese government in any way, explaining that the EU “has no problem with Hezbollah participating in any future government.”
Ambassador Eichhorst declared that “this decision is a political message to Hezbollah for the attack in Burgas, Bulgaria, which is a terrorist attack on European soil.”
She added, however, that this does not reflect on the Lebanese government in any way, explaining that the EU “has no problem with Hezbollah participating in any future government.” After her meeting with Hezbollah’s minister in the current caretaker government, she stated, “Financial assistance will continue, of which Minister Fneish’s ministry gets a sizable share, and we want for this cooperation to continue.”
For his part, and ever gracious towards the EU’s well-meaning Ambassador , who appeared to understand some of the diplomatic complications the EU action unlearned, Hezbollah MP Fneish reminded the ambassador that “Israel occupied our land for many years, and we did not hear a single objection (from the EU) “we were careful to maintain good relations with Europe, despite the terrible legacy Europe left behind among our people – from the Palestinian cause to colonialism – and despite this, you choose to remind us again of this painful history.”
Minister Fneish reiterated Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah’s statement that the European decision will provide Israel with political cover for any future attack on Lebanon, in which case Hezbollah would consider the EU a partner in such a crime. Eichhorst replied that the EU decision has nothing to do with Resistance to Israel or Lebanese sovereignty.”
Both Musawi and Fneish stood their ground in their discussions with EU ambassador Eichhorst, insisting that the decision was an insult to the Resistance. They dismissed the decision as politically motivated, particularly given that the outcome of the Burgas investigation is rooted in allegations and conjecture, even by the admission of the ambassador herself who conceded that there are no firm results regarding responsibility for the Burgas incident that cost innocent lives.
Ms. Eichhorst’s hosts were reportedly far too polite to ask the EU ambassador just how the EU planned to somehow go about distinguishing a “civil wing” and a “military wing”.
And they are not alone in appearing a bit puzzled. According to a lawyer at the American Society of International Law in Washington DC, the EU decision was a big mistake from an international law standpoint and could be an international lawyer’s worst nightmare or a dream come true. Which would depend if the lawyer was representing the EU in trying to unravel the civil-military conundrum or advising thousands of EU member states businesses and agencies wanting to continue any business with the Lebanese government, UNIFIL, or countless NGO’s who regularly interact with Hezbollah.
“It’s a real legal mess!” the ASIL source explained, as he described the legal confusion the EU action caused. “The best thing for EU credibility and international relations right now on this subject would be for the EU to forget what it did and to desist from any implementation whatsoever. And then let the designation be removed after the six months trial period as provided by EU regulations. Otherwise, their decision will swamp courtrooms and complicate Middle East-European political and economic relations with challenges from all points on the compass with uncertain outcomes to say the least.”
It is not only Hezbollah, the leader of the National Lebanese Resistance and American international lawyers who have expressed concerns about the EU action last week. It seems that nearly everyone else does too and this reaction is adding to the EU’s ‘morning after’ queasiness.
Many citizens of Lebanon are expressing concern that the EU brush stroke aimed at Hezbollah’s “military wing” may tar them as well due to the ‘terrorism’ label toxicity these days. A Sunni taxi driver wondered if his children could now get visas to Europe because of the ruling. Lebanon is very sensitive to the issue of Visas as they see fellow citizens are being forced out of Gulf countries due to fabricated claims of association with Hezbollah. In these countries hundreds of thousands of Lebanese have had visas for decades. It is the uncertainly among many-understandably paranoid Lebanese living and working abroad than is causing near panic among some in Lebanon.
It’s hard to find in Lebanon, even among Hezbollah detractors, a political party that is publicly endorsing the EU decision because they basically see no advantage for Lebanon of their own tightly controlled sects, whether Christian, Muslim, or Druze.
On 7/27/13 Former premier Fouad Saniora, head of al-Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc, no friend of Hezbollah, voiced “concern and regret over the reasons that led the European Union to take the decision of putting Hezbollah’s so-called military wing on its terror list.” Saniora added in a statement released from his party’s media office:
“We had commented on this issue in the bloc’s statement and voiced our regret and also our concern over the reasons that led the EU to take such a decision, especially that we in Lebanon have ties of solid friendship with 28 European countries, and thus none of us would have liked to see this happening.”
Saniora’s friend and colleague, Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel argued over the week-end that the European Union’s decision to blacklist Hezbollah’s military wing is “ambiguous,” pointing out that it will have a negative impact on the country. In an interview with Voice of Lebanon radio (100.5) he argued that “The decision confused the Lebanese situation and will constitute negative repercussions on all matter especially the cabinet formation process,” Gemayel said. He pointed out that the decision targets Hezbollah members who his party considered “ghosts,” saying: “The members that are responsible for Hezbollah’s military action are unknown.”
Even Israeli officials have problems with the EU’s decision. Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman and MK Avigdor Lieberman slammed the EU’s decision to put military wing of Hezbollah on terrorist list, saying that not only military wing, but the entire organization should be blacklisted. “
As usual, Lieberman found some antisemitism lurking among the Europeans, claiming that they were satisfied with going only halfway, and like the West Bank Settlements EU decision, the EU wants to punish not the terrorists but those (like-Israel!) who reject terrorism and fight it. Half a dozen other Israeli officials including the ever garrulous Shimon Peres chimed in to form a chorus condemning the EU.
Far be it for this observer to advise the European Union’s Foreign Ministry or to promote an American association’s legal analysis and advice. However, the American Society of International Law lawyer, quoted above, makes a valid point.
The best move for the EU now, as it tries to recover from the current self-inflicted debacle is to do nothing to inflame the situation by cooking up some dubious terrorist lists. Rather, in six months the EU should assure that this month’s blacklisting decision acquiesced in under US-Israel pressure, lapses.
Headlines cheered America’s June report. Bloomberg said “US Employers Added More Workers in June Than Forecast.”
“Employment roared ahead in June.” America’s “economy is poised for faster growth as it shakes off the impact of tax increases and budget cuts.”
The Wall Street Journal headlined “Job Gains Show Staying Power,” saying:
June showed “solid promise.” Doing so suggests “the economy might be strong enough to grow with less help from the Federal Reserve.” More on that below.
Bond investors “rush(ed) to sell.” Ten-year Treasuries spiked above 2.7%. In May, yields were about 1.6%. Friday’s level was the highest since August 2011.
According to ED&F Man Capital Markets fixed income analyst Tom di Galoma:
“A huge bond bubble was created, and that will take some time to resolve itself.”
Thirty-year Treasury yields jumped from 3.45% in April to 4% in June. Junk bonds spiked from 5.79% in April to 7.72% in June.
Vanguard Group bond manager Gregory Nassour expects trouble. “The market is saying (it) think(s) tapering is going to happen much faster than anticipated and that cash flows are going to get very negative.”
Fixed income analyst Mike Larson compared what’s happening to the dot.com bust.
He calls the bond bubble bigger than late 1990s tech mania. Follow the money, he says. The more speculative investment in asset classes, the greater the risk.
Values skyrocket to irrational levels. “(W)hen everyone (piles in), you can be sure valuations will get ridiculous, and that the groundwork will be laid for a painful bust.”
From 2009 through April 2013, investors poured $1.15 trillion into bonds. Doing so excludes ETF investments. They include around another $300 billion.
Last month, another $80 billion overall was added. Bond bubble mania awaits unwinding. It’ll likely come incrementally. Expect many months south ahead. Forewarned is forearmed.
Irrational exuberance affects equity investors. Momentum profits don’t last forever. Analyst Graham Summers understands. He knows bubbles when he sees them.
He warns about ugly times ahead. He expects worse trouble than 2008. Perhaps it already began, he suggests. No one rings a bell and says so. Markets fluctuate.
Ordinary investors stick with what works. They’re mindless of huge risks. Most don’t know they’ve been had until too late. Current problems are too important to ignore.
China faces a potential liquidity crisis. It’s slowing its economy to avoid greater trouble later on. Despite unprecedented QE, Japan’s economy shows weakness.
Multiple indicators flash America’s economy heading south. Corporate profits are down. Europe’s back in crisis mode.
Disruptive protests rage in Egypt and Turkey. Others do intermittently in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, and elsewhere across Europe.
Washington’s war on Syria rages. It spilled cross border to Lebanon. It threatens regional stability.
QE may slow sooner than expected. Economist David Rosenberg expects it.
It’s no longer justifiable, he said. He’s not alone saying so. More on that below.
Paul Craig Roberts commented on Friday’s job report. “No Hope on The Jobs Front: Rising Unemployment in America,” he headlined.
“For the umpteenth consecutive month and year,” he said, June’s report was less than meets the eye. High-paying/good benefit jobs weren’t created. They haven’t been for years. America’s being thirdworldized.
June added 195,000 jobs. Hold the cheers. A Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reportexplained, saying:
Leisure and hospitality: +75,000
Professional and business services: +37,000
Healthcare (mostly ambulatory services): +20,000
Financial activities: +17,000
Federal government: -5,000 (down 65,000 year-over-year)
“Employment in most other major industries, including mining and
logging, construction, manufacturing, and transportation and
warehousing, showed little change in June.”
In other words, except for modest financial services gains and some highly sought skill areas, virtually zero high-quality jobs were created.
The average workweek and overtime hours were unchanged. Year-over-year hourly earnings rose 2.2%. At around 9% based on 1980s calculations, inflation is multiple times higher than official numbers.
According to economist John Williams, full-time June employment plunged by 240,000. “Economic issues accounted for 75% of” part-time jobs. “Payroll gains were warped heavily by inconsistent seasonal factors.”
Discouraged workers rose by 197,000. Involuntary part-time ones spiked by 322,000. Real unemployment’s 23.4%. The headline 7.6% figure is fake.
According to Roberts:
“This deplorable report provided the cover for the market riggers to take the stock market up and the gold market down.”
“Remember that economic theory about ‘rational markets?’ Another deception.”
For weeks, Fed officials suggested slowing QE ahead. Only its timing remains uncertain. According to Graham Summers, investors hoping for continuity “are in for a rough surprise.”
QE did wonders for equity investors. It didn’t land on Main Street. When consumers have money, they spend it. Doing so stimulates growth. Jobs are created. Maybe better ones than now.
Central banks are losing control, said Summers. Big trouble ahead looms, he suggests.
Martin Feldstein’s an establishment economist. He’s National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) president emeritus. On July 1, he headlined ”The Fed Should Start to ‘Taper’ Now,” saying:
It shouldn’t wait. It “should emphasize that the pace of quantitative easing must adjust to the likely effectiveness of the program itself, and to the costs and risks of continuing to buy large quantities of bonds.”
“Although the economy is weak, experience shows that further bond-buying will have little effect on economic growth and employment.”
“Meanwhile, low interest rates are generating excessive risk-taking by banks and other financial investors.”
Doing so “could have serious adverse effects on bank capital and the value of pension funds.”
“In Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s terms, the efficacy of quantitative easing is low and the costs and risks are substantial.”
Where was Feldstein earlier? QE’s been ongoing since late 2008. Mortgaged-backed securities (MBS) were bought. QE continued wrongly directed. It’s done nothing for economic growth.
Bernanke suggested slowing it weeks earlier. He reiterated doing it in June. He made it conditional on labor market improvement. He said judgment depends on more than the (U-3) unemployment rate.
Year-over-year, there’s been “no increase in the ratio of employment to population, no decline in the teenage unemployment rate, and virtually no increase in the real average weekly earnings of those who are employed,” said Feldstein.
“The decline in the number of people in the labor force in the past 12 months (way) exceed(s) the decline in the number of unemployed (based on U-3 calculations).”
Real unemployment’s the highest in decades. It reflects Depression levels. It’s shows a troubled economy. It’s getting worse, not better. Half of more of US households are impoverished or bordering on it.
Social safety net protections are eroding when increasing them is vital. Force-fed austerity assures harder than ever hard times. Growing millions are affected.
Creating money for speculation excludes it for economic growth. America’s economy is weak, not strong. Conditions are bleak. Nothing ahead looks promising.
Manufacturing is slowing. Exports are down. So is personal income. Corporate profits are declining. Aggregate demand’s weak. Rising interest rates spell trouble. Investors accepting significant risks do so at great peril.
“The danger of mispricing risk is that there is no way out without investors taking losses,” said Feldstein. “And the longer the process continues, the bigger those losses could be.”
“That’s why the Fed should start tapering this summer before financial market distortions become even more damaging.” He suggests ending it entirely by mid-2014.
Equitable QE works. Bernanke spurned it. He’s Wall Street’s man in Washington. He threw money at banks. He’s doing it now. What can’t go on forever, won’t.
Wrongheaded policy continues. It’s been that way far too long. Greenspan and Bernanke prioritized money printing/bond buying recklessness. Push eventually meets shove. A day of reckoning looms.
The longer money printing madness continues, the greater the eventual trouble. Feldstein’s partly right. Money printing madness should be slowed en route to ending it altogether. It should be done as quickly as possible.
At the same time, he omitted explaining what matters most. Money printing works when done responsibly. David Stockman was Reagan’s Office of Management and Budget Director.
In late 2010, he said:
QE “is injecting high grade monetary heroin into the financial system of the world, and one of these days it is going to kill the patient.”
In early 2009, Michael Hudson said America “reached its debt limit and is entering its insolvency phase. We are not in a cycle but (at) the end of an era. The old world of debt pyramiding to a fraudulent degree cannot be restored.”
Delaying the inevitable postpones a painful day of reckoning. QE helped wreck America’s economy. It didn’t have to be this way. Responsible officials would have prevented it. America’s not run that way.
Monied interests alone are served. Popular needs go begging. Safety net protections are quaint and out-of-date. Speculative gains matter most.
Money printing madness reflects one of the greatest disconnects of all time. It robs poor Peter to benefit rich Paul. It prioritizes rising markets. It’s done so at the expense of economic and human wreckage.
QE works when used constructively. Money injected responsibly into the economy creates growth. America once was sustainably prosperous. It can be again. It won’t be with rogues making policy. Feldstein didn’t explain.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Almost two months have passed since the death of Giulio Andreotti, arguably the most powerful politician in Italy’s post-World War II history. In recent weeks I have struggled with a draft obituary of this complex man who deserves to be better known abroad, but the task proved daunting. There are too many loose ends, strange events, and unexplained mysteries in Andreotti’s long life that require detailed expert knowledge of the setting and dramatis personae, harking all the way back to the Fascist era; so I’ve asked Slobodan Janković, a research fellow at Belgrade’s Institute of International Politics and Economy, an alumnus of Rome’s La Sapienza and a leading expert on Italian politics, to help me tell the story.
That story needs to start with Italy’s current predicament. Since April 28 the country has had a new government, headed by “a new Mario Monti,” Enrico Letta (46). This man, oddly charmless for an Italian, is a fanatical Eurocrat, a participant in the deliberations of the Trilateral Commission, an associate of the Bilderberg Group, and vise-president of the Aspen Institute in Italy; in other words, a member of the globalist elite par excellence. As a prominent leader of Italy’s “center-left,” in 2006-2007 he was Secretary to the Council of Ministers in the second Prodi Cabinet. (Interestingly, he was preceded and succeeded in that post by his uncle Gianni Letta, a stalwart Berlusconi loyalist.)
Having started his political career in 1990 in the youth organization of the Italian Christian Democrats, Enrico Letta quickly rose to the presidency of the youth division of the European People’s Party (EPP), a conservative bloc in the European Parliament. By the mid-1990’s, however, he moved to the Partito Popolare Italiano, which marked his decisive turn to the left following the collapse of Christian Democracy (DC). At 31 he became the PPI’s deputy leader. Within years he joined a motley crew of ex-communists and leftists to form the Ulivo (olive tree) party, on whose list he was elected first to the European Parliament and then to the Italian parliament, before rising to the senior government post under Prodi. In 2007, Ulivo joined the former communists to form the Democratic Party (PD). Once again, Letta was in the middle of the action, as Der Spiegel’s commentator has noted; but when he set out to become party leader, he was badly beaten: “When it came time to tally the ballots—which were filled out not only by party members but by all interested citizens—he ended up with just 11 percent, putting him in third and last place. His victorious rival Walter Veltroni received about 75 percent of the vote. By the time he was nominated … for Rome’s top political office, he had more or less put his career in party politics behind him.”
Letta’s career indicates the extent to which Italy is ruled by men who are devoid of popular support, whose sole ideology is power, and who are servile to supranational interest groups in order to enjoy the privileges that come with such servility. As Slobodan Janković says, how else can we explain the fact that Emma Bonino was first considered for the post of the President of Italy, and then on April 28 was appointed the country’s foreign minister, in spite of her crushing defeat in the general election of February 24-25, when her list received one-fifth of one percent (0.20%) of the popular vote? How can someone so odious to Italy’s voters be in the race for presidency, and then receive a key cabinet post? “Maybe for that very reason,” according to Janković. “Perhaps this was the way to give yet another European nation a slap in the face, to tell that nation that such choices are not made by her people but by someone else.” Bonino’s appointment was suggested by another protégé of the transnational elite, former prime minister Mario Monti.
This was a strange choice, coming from the man who last February headed an electoral list that included the remnant of the Christian Democratic remnant. “Bonino is a prominent hater of life,” Janković points out. “She was Italy’s leading advocate of free abortion on demand in the 1970’s, ostentatiously taking part in illegal abortions well before the procedure was made lawful in 1978, and gloating that she’d have a good laugh while throwing fetuses into trash.” Bonino was arrested once, having been caught red handed while performing ‘vacuumization’ with a bicycle pump, but was let off scot free. She went into politics instead of going to jail, making a name for herself as an advocate of “LGBT rights,” euthanasia, and legalization of hard drugs. Far from being “a radical rebel,” Bonino soon became a participant in the Bilderberg Group meetings, a friend of George Soros, and the recipient of his Open Society Foundation’s annual award for 2004. Bonino’s career is but one of countless examples of Italy’s multifaceted decline, Janković says:
“If the process of Italy’s transformation from a traditional Roman Catholic country into the current spiritually and materially devastated land is to be linked to a single name, that name is Giulio Andreotti . . . The life-long Senator died last May 6, and took many secrets to the grave. For decades he was the éminence grise of Italian politics, helping make it what it is today. On top of that, there is ample evidence that for much of his political career Andreotti was the true capo di tutti capi.“
The extent of Andreotti’s power is incomprehensible without some grasp of the remarkable influence of Freemasonry, first on the Risorgimento, and later on the political, economic and social life of modern Italy. Giuseppe Mazzini, the founder of Young Italy and the prophet of Risorgimento, became a mason as a student and died a 33rd degree master. An early advocate of the United States of Europe, in 1831 Mazzini joined the Carbonari, a secret society dedicated to Italy’s unification, which was strongly anti-Catholic and organized in the fashion of Masonic lodges. His vision of a future united Italy was reflected in the crude mockery of Christian rites he staged at the Vatican on Easter Sunday 1849.
Giuseppe Garibaldi was the best known grand master of the Grand Orient of Italy, receiving the highest, 33rd degree of initiation in 1864. His landing in Messina, and his subsequent conquest of Sicily and the South, would not have been possible without the help of local British masons among the merchant expatriate community, and the support from The Royal Navy. The capture of Rome in 1870 was the moment of triumph of Freemasonry over the Catholic Church. The pope was confined to the walls of the Vatican, and the new Kingdom became part-Masonic El Dorado, part-Tammany Hall.
The Vatican’s reconciliation with the Italian state became possible only after 1925, when Mussolini simultaneously and successfully clamped down on rural banditry in the South and outlawed Freemasonry. The latter paved the way for the Concordat of 1929. As Janković points out, at the time of the Concordat for the first time since the fall of the Western Roman Empire Italy had a strong central power—but Italian Freemason émigrés did not give up: “In the 1930’s they regrouped in exile. One of their leaders, Randolfo Pacciardi (a 30th degree initiate) went to Spain in 1937 to lead the Italian battalion Garibaldi, an important unit within the notorious International Brigades which fought Franco’s forces.”
After the Spanish Civil War Pacciardi repeatedly visited the United States. After 1945 he was a prominent member of four successive Italian governments, most of that time as defense minister (1948-1953). In that capacity he arranged Italy’s entry into NATO, campaigned against monarchy, and enthusiastically supported the country’s accession to the European Coal and Steel Community. In these endeavors he worked closely with two fellow Masons who spent the war years in the United States, foreign minister Carlo Sforza and Italy’s first postwar ambassador in Washington Alberto Tarchiani.
“It is widely assumed that the Allied landing in Sicily was carried out in coordination with the Mafia.” Janković says, “It defies logic that an organization thoroughly suppressed by Mussolini could play a significant role, yet it did because the Americans wanted it that way.” Had Biaggio Max Corvo had his way, Janković adds, this would not have happened. Born in Sicily but raised in the United States since the age of 8, Corvo volunteered for the U.S Army in 1941 and on his own initiative drew up plans for operations against Mussolini. His work impressed senior officers, and he was soon transferred to the Italian Secret Intelligence branch of the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA. A devout Catholic and a life-long antifascist, in addition to rejecting contacts with the Mafia, Corvo was also opposed to cooperation with the Masonic Mazziniani—the approach favored by the British—or with the Communist-dominated resistance forces. He established links with the Catholic secret group Pro Deo (founded in Portugal in 1941) instead, and maintained friendly relations with Don Luigi Sturzo, the 1919 founder of the Italian People’s Party (Partito Popolare Italiano, PPI), who spent the war in exile in the U.S. Through his Vatican connections Corvo even managed to contact Japanese diplomats who had realized that their country was doomed and wanted to establish channels of communication with the U.S.; but in early 1945 Washington severed the link. According to Janković,
“Young Corvo was rewarded for his work with the papal Lateran Cross, but he had powerful enemies on both sides of the Atlantic. The British preempted his efforts to save Mussolini’s life in April 1945 and to obtain the trove of documents the fallen dictator was carrying on his person during that doomed trip north. Yes, the story of the British-American rivalry in Italy in the final days of the Second World War is yet to be told. In the United States Corvo’s enemies included Allen Dulles, James Jesus Angleton, and the Office of Naval Intelligence, which unabashedly cultivated the Mafia connection. In 1943 the ONI released 850 Mafia members imprisoned by Mussolini in Palermo, and subsequently relied on the advice of Lucky Luciano and Calogero Vizzini in political and personnel matters.”
Other trusties, who became uomini d’onore after the war, included personal translator to Col. Charles Poletti, the 46th governor of New York and the U.S. Army civil affairs officer in Italy. This was none other than “don” Vito Genovese, who had fled New York in the 1930s to escape prosecution for murder and subsequently became il capo di tuti capi. Another was Max Mugniano, who was placed in charge of all U.S. Army medical warehouses in Italy at a time when penicillin was worth many times its weight in gold (as per The Third Man), and who subsequently became Luciano’s superintendant of the narcotics trade.
The Mafia was backin action, after two lean decades under Mussolini. In Italy’s 1947 Peace Treaty with the Allies, a short but highly significant provision—Article 16—was inserted almost as an afterthought: “Italy shall not prosecute or molest Italian nationals, including members of the armed forces, solely on the ground that during the period from June 10, 1940, to the coming into force of the present Treaty, they expressed sympathy with or took action in support of the cause of the Allied and Associated Powers.” Of course “including members of the armed forces” was just a smokescreen. The real benefactors were the “sympathizers” and “activists” in the Allied cause, like Genovese, Mugniano, their 850 cohorts from the Palermo jail, and many other persons south of Naples, known and unknown. The Italian authorities were prevented from seeing, let alone vetting, the names of those “Italian nationals” protected by the Treaty.
After Mussolini’s murder, which was carried out by communists but arranged by the British, power was taken by an uneasy alliance of Christian Democrats and Freemasons—the latter group including Pacciardi, the International Brigades commander who duly became a born-again anticommunist. The party’s leader was Alcide De Gasperi, one of the founders of what is today the European Union. A veteran leader of the Popular Party after the Great War, persecuted by the fascist regime, De Gasperi recruited a student by the name of Giulio Andreotti into the ranks of the semi-clandestine Italian Catholic Federation of University Students (Federazione Universitaria Cattolica Italiana, FUCI) in 1941. According to Andreotti’s account, they met by chance in the Vatican Library, where De Gasperi worked at the time, and Andreotti was looking for some books. The Federation’s president was Aldo Moro, a young lecturer in law and devout Catholic from Apulia. When Moro was drafted into the Italian army in 1942, Cardinal Cesare Montini—who was to become pope Paul VI—supported De Gasperi’s suggestion that Andreotti be appointed to the newly vacant post.
In the turbulent months of 1945 De Gasperi appointed Andreotti to the provisional National Advisory Council, the precursor of Italy’s republican parliament. In 1947, at the age of 28, Andreotti became a junior minister in the prime minister’s office. In that position he had more real power and patronage than some cabinet members. “It caused envy in other politicians,” he later remembered, which caused them to wonder about the source of his power. Even as a young man, he struck others as cynical and devoid of passion. His un-Italian disdain of grimaces and gestures helped cultivate the image of focused power. His sardonic quips could be viciously funny, mostly at other people’s expense. Aloof and secretive, he was disliked by his peers but respected by the senior party leaders as a hard worker. He was elected to the Constitutional Assembly in 1947 and remained a member of parliament for 66 years; he died as a senator-for-life. Andreotti stayed as De Gasperi’s undersecretary in several successive governments (1947-1954), when at the age of 34 he became minister of the interior. In the ensuing decades he occupied one ministerial post or another 27 times, eight times as minister of defense. He was Italy’s prime minister an unprecedented seven times, known as divo Giulio to friends and enemies alike—not because he was touched by divine grace, but because he was inordinately powerful. As Andreotti acquired reputation for sinister dealings, his foes dubbed him Beelzebub. “Giulio is so capable in everything,” De Gasperi said in the late 1940’s, “that he could become capable of anything.” Many decades later Margaret Thatcher wrote in her memoirs that Andreotti “seemed to have a positive aversion to principle.”
Aldo Moro was a different type of person: deeply but unostentatiously pious, witty, scholarly. He survived the war and returned to politics, while initially maintaining a teaching position at the University of Bari. (Andreotti, by contrast, had no fall-back professional option: all his life he was a full-time politician.) Moro also was destined to occupy influential posts in the years to come. He, too, was a deputy of the constituent assembly and a lawmaker until his early death. He became head of the Christian Democrat parliamentary group in 1953, DC party secretary (1959-1964), and president from July 1976 until his murder in 1978. He was Italy’s prime minister five times. “The two men came to embody two faces of Italy’s Christian Democracy,” Janković says, “as well as Italy’s two divergent post-war paths”:
“Moro was a statesman and a patriot. In the 1950’s he put together a team of men focused on Italy’s development, on her industrialization and technological advance, and who were committed to enhancing her weight and reputation in international affairs. Moro was also a Catholic traditionalist—a political moderate and economic reformer, but culturally a conservative. Andreotti was opposed to Moro’s strategy of state-guided economic recovery, favoring foreign private investors instead. He was an economic ‘neoliberal’ in the 1950’s-60’s meaning of the term. He also opposed the 1962 Christian Democratic-Socialist (DC-PSI) coalition, which gave Italy over a decade of relative stability and unprecedented prosperity.”
Moro’s policy of creating large public enterprises, especially in the energy sector, was the foundation of Italy’s economic miracle. The banks were encouraged to provide easy credit to domestic investors, with the central bank (Banca d’Italia) playing an active role. Between 1951 and 1972 Italy’s average growth rate was 5.3 percent, slightly below that in Germany (5.7 percent) but well above that in Britain and the United States. The DC-PSI coalition reformed the dysfunctional taxation system, secured years of industrial peace through long-term agreements with the unions, and put Italy on the map as a global economic player.
By the early 1960′s Andreotti emerged as the informal leader of opposition to Moro’s strategy on the Christian Democratic “right.” Heavily Masonic in composition, Andreotti’s wing of the party included individuals connected with large multinational corporations, especially in the energy sector. There is strong evidence that some of these people were involved in the murder of Enrico Mattei in 1962. A Catholic resistance veteran, in 1945 Mattei was put in charge of dismantling the state petroleum company Agip (Azienda Generale Italiana Petroli), founded by the Fascist regime in 1926. He changed his mind about the project, however, when he realized that several U.S. oil companies were eagerly waiting to grab Agip’s assets for a song. Mattei reorganized the company into the National Fuel Trust (Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi, ENI) instead. Under his direction ENI negotiated key oil concessions in the Middle East and a drilling agreement with the Soviet Union, all of which helped break the previous stranglehold of the “Seven Sisters” (a term he coined to refer to the dominant oil companies) on the oil industry. To the multinationals’ horror, Mattei also inaugurated the ENI rule that any country in which it operated would receive 75 percent of the profits. This secured important concessions in Iran and North Africa. By the late 1950’s ENI was competing with giants like Esso andShell. In 1960, after concluding the agreement with the Soviet Union and while negotiating with China, Mattei publicly declared that the American oil monopoly was over.
On October 27, 1962 on a flight from Catania to Milan, Mattei’s executive jet crashed and all three men on board were killed: Mattei, his pilot, and an American journalist. The official inquiry—personally overseen by Giulio Andreotti, Italy’s defense minister at the time—declared it “an accident.” It is now known that crucial evidence was immediately destroyed at the crash site, and all flight instruments were dissolved in acid. In October 1995, the exhumation of Mattei’s remains resulted in the discovery of metal debris fragments—indicative of an explosion—embedded deep in his bones. In 2005 the incident was reclassified as homicide, with perpetrator(s) unknown.
(An additional mystery connected with this case remains unresolved. While working on the documentary The Mattei Affair in 1970, Francesco Rosi asked Mauro De Mauro, a prominent investigative journalist, to join the project. De Mauro soon obtained what he termed important evidence about Mattei’s final days, but disappeared eight days later without a trace. His body has never been found. Several investigators involved in the search for De Mauro were later killed, including the Carabinieri general Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa.)
Mattei’s murder did not interrupt Italy’s longest period of calm and prosperity in modern history. Starting in 1969, however, a wave of terrorist attacks hit the country, allegedly perpetrated by the far left or the far right. Most of them remain unresolved to this day. Two fascists were convicted in 1995 of planting a bomb at the railway station in Bologna which killed 85 people and wounded 200 others in August 1980. We still do not know who ordered the attack and with what motive in mind. We do know that the probe was side-tracked for 15 years by Andreotti’s associate Licio Gelli, who later gained notoriety as the grand master of the secretive Propaganda Due (P2) masonic lodge. In November 23, 1995, Italy’s Court of Cassation convicted Gelli and three other Masons, Francesco Pazienza and SISMI officers Pietro Musumeci and Giuseppe Belmonte, of obstructing investigation into the Bologna Massacre. (“He was a politician highly trained and honest, ready to tackle the tasks that were entrusted to us,” Gelli (93) said upon learning of Andreotti’s death. “He knew how to keep the secrets that were entrusted to him. Andreotti did his duty, using the secrets to promote the well-being of the people. He kept the secrets, and he took them with him. What a man…”)
One of those secrets concerns Andreotti’s role in setting up and developing a clandestine NATO “stay-behind” network in Italy during the Cold War known as Operation Gladio. The role of the CIA in sponsoring Gladio and its involvement in terrorist attacks during Italy’s Years of Lead remains contentious. The origin of the operation itself is not: it was based on confidential “NATO protocols,” committing the secret services of all member states to prevent communist parties from coming to power. A briefing minute of June 1, 1959, reveals that Gladio, “in case of a Soviet military invasion,” would organize resistance by internal subversion. More significantly, it was to play “a determining role… also in the politics of emergency.” Secret arms arsenals were set up and personnel recruited and sworn to secrecy.
Giulio Andreotti, Italy’s defense minister at the time of the 1959 memorandum, denied “unequivocally” Gladio’s existence under oath on two occasions—in 1974 and 1978—to judges investigating the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing. On October 24, 1990, as Prime Minister, Andreotti finally acknowledged Gladio’s existence to the Chamber of Deputies; by that time it had ceased to be a secret. In his admission Andreotti described Gladio as a “structure of information, response and safeguard,” with arms caches and reserve officers. He gave the parliamentary commission in charge of investigations on bombings, a list of 622 civilians who were allegedly part of Gladio; but the list subsequently proved to be incomplete. Andreotti said that 127 arms depots had been dismantled.
Following the revelation, the P2 Lodge treasurer, General Siro Rosetti, launched a spirited defense of Gladio’s concept and importance. Later that year, a decade after the Bologna massacre, Judge Libero Mancuso—who had led the investigation and secured the initial convictions of the bombers—broke his silence to the (London) Guardian: “We [investigators] are isolated, and the objects of a campaign of aggression. This is what has happened to the commission into the P2, and to the magistrates. The personal risks to us are small in comparison to this offensive of denigration, which attempts to discredit the quest for truth. In Italy there has functioned for some years now a sort of conditioning, a control of our national sovereignty by the P2—which was literally the master of the secret services, the army and our most delicate organs of state.”
In the course of his 1990 admission, Andreotti assured the deputies that Gladio had not been involved in any of the terrorist attacks. A decade later, however, in 2000, the Italian Senate published a report which stated that “[t]hose massacres, bombs, and military actions had been organized or promoted or supported by men inside Italian state institutions and, as has been discovered more recently, by men linked to the structures of United States intelligence.” The report claimed that US intelligence agents were informed in advance about several attacks, including the December 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing in Milan and the Piazza della Loggia bombing in Brescia five years later, but did nothing to alert the Italian authorities or to prevent the attacks from taking place.
General Gianadelio Maletti, commander of the counter-intelligence section of the Italian military intelligence service from 1971 to 1975, told the March 2001 Piazza Fontana bombings trial that the CIA had foreknowledge of the event and approved terrorismas a means of preventing Italy’s leftward slide. “Don’t forget that Nixon was in charge. “Maletii added, “and Nixon was a peculiar man, a very intelligent politician but a man of rather unorthodox initiatives.” Slobodan Janković does not consider such claims too far fetched:
“The U.S. elite did not look with approval on the Italian economic model. Its financial interests were threatened outside Italy as well, especially by ENI’s expansion. The Americans tried to smear Moro by implicating him in the Lockheed bribes scandal, but he successfully defended himself in the court of law. More dangerous than public slanders were threats, especially when coming from people capable of carrying them out. According to the 1980 testimony by Moro’s widow to the parliamentary commission of investigation, during a visit to Washington in 1974 Moro was openly warned not to pursue his policy of “historic compromise” with the Left, or else he’d ‘pay a price.’ Moro paid that price on March 16, 1978, when he was kidnapped and all five of his bodyguards killed in an attack allegedly carried out by the Red Brigades. His body was found on May 9 in the trunk of a car. The kidnappers, according to the official version, saw Moro as a symbol of ‘imperialism’ who deserved punishment, but nothing could have been further from the truth. Moro was a patriot, a Catholic, a statesman and a family man. On the day of his kidnapping a new government, headed by Giulio Andreotti, was supposed to be formed. This was eventually done, but because of Moro’s kidnapping the historic compromise was abandoned.”
During his seven-week captivity, Aldo Moro wrote several letters to various political figures, including Andreotti. In October 1990, a cache of previously unknown letters was discovered in a Milan apartment which had once been used as a Red Brigade hideout. One of those letters made reference to the involvement of both NATO and the CIA in an Italian-based secret “parallel army.” That safe house had been searched at the time of Moro’s death by Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa, the head of counter-terrorism division who was put in charge of investigating the kidnapping. Dalla Chiesa was murdered in 1982.
Moro’s kidnapping and murder were also investigated by a government committee under the guidance of then-prime minister Giulio Andreotti. It included the heads of two security agencies (General Santovito of SISMI and General Grassini of SISDE) and the commander of the Financial Police (Guardia della Finanza), General Raffaele Giudice. All three of them were members of P2. The only service chief who was not a Mason, Prefect Gaetano Napoletano ofCESIS, was removed by Andreotti in the early stages of investigation and replaced by yet another P2 member, General Walter Pelosi. The committee proceeded to make several spectacular lapses. One of them was the fact that telephone lines suddenly went down in the area where Moro and his escort were passing—five minutes before the attack—and came back to normal half an hour later. This caused a delay in alerting the authorities to the attack. Director-General of SIP (the telephone company) was Michele Principe, yet another P2 member. The police commissar in charge of liaison with SIP was Antonio Esposito—yes, you’ve guessed it, also a P2 member. Furthermore, years later it became known that someone at the SIP switchboard prevented the monitoring of phone calls which the kidnapers were making to Moro’s family.
Immediately following Moro’s death, investigative journalist Mino Pecorelli wrote that Dalla Chiesa was in danger and would be assassinated. He drew a connection between Gladio and Moro’s death. Pecorelli, who was on Licio Gelli’s list of P2 members discovered in 1980 but had fallen out with Gelli before Moro’s death, was assassinated on March 20, 1979. It was immediately suspected that Pecorelli’s murder was related to the Prime Minister, but there was no proof. Almost two decades later, when a former Mafia member testified that Andreotti had ordered the hit, the aging senator-for-life was charged and brought to trial. In 2002 Andreotti was sentenced to 24 years in prison for his role in the murder. That sentence was overturned by the Supreme Court of Appeals, however; he never went to jail.
Two days after Moro’s kidnapping and the formation of a new government, Licio Gelli (b. 1919) gathered in Rome the representatives of all 496 Grant Orient Loges of Italy. Gelli was confirmed as Italy’s grand master and as leader of the more secretive and influential P2. Gelli, known under the nickname Belfagor, was a fascist in his youth, a double (German-communist) agent during the war, a U.S. Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) asset after the war, and a key man in setting up Operation Gladio. In his diaries (Diari 1976-1979) Andreotti mentions meeting Gelli in the aftermath of Moro’s murder—but only to discuss Latin America! The security services appear to have had no active files on Gelli, which seems unbelievable in view of his prominence and activities. Some of his files were likely burned in 1974, when Andreotti ordered the destruction of 157,000 personal dossiers. Only the Financial Police kept three reports on active file, concerning Gelli’s illegal arms deals in the Middle East and South America and his contacts with Junio Valerio Borghese’s banned far-right group, prior to the latter’s mysterious death in Spain in 1974. Of the four investigators who composed those reports, one was murdered, one committed suicide, one went into early retirement… and one joined Gelli’s P2 Lodge.
When asked in 2009, about his links with the P2, Andreotti replied. “Ah, yes… That strange lodge—Gelli’s one.” The Guardian’s reporter was stunned: “He said it distractedly, with the air of a man recalling the bridge circle he had once heard was run by the wife of the friend of a very distant cousin. You would never have thought the revelation of the P2’s activities infused Italian politics with scandal for years—years in which Andreotti was a leading player, if not the leading player, on the political scene.” He denied being a mason, although the wife of Roberto Calvi, the banker found mysteriously hanged under Blackfriars Bridge in 1982, testified that he was. More than just a member, in fact: “he was accused of being the hidden string puller behind the lodge [P2] to which Calvi belonged.”
The most damaging, and most extensively proven accusations against Andreotti concerned his links to organized crime. An early connection concerned Salvatore “Salvo” Lima, described in the final report of the first Antimafia Commission (1963–1976) as one of the pillars of mafia power in Palermo. Developing his political career in the DC that began in the 1950s, Lima became close to Andreotti in 1964. He was often referred to as Andreotti’s “proconsul” in Sicily and once held a junior cabinet post, which resulted in the ministry’s most senior civil servant resigning in protest. In 1992 Lima was shot dead by a Mafia assassin, presumably for failing to deliver on some pledges. Years later the Guardian’s John Hooper put it to Andreotti that he must have known he was dealing indirectly with the mafia. “But Lima never spoke to me about these things” Andreotti replied. “A lot of people in Sicily have links with the mafia. That isn’t just true of the Christian Democrats, but of others.” “Lima never spoke to me about these things” did not sound like an overly spirited denial, especially for a man of Andreotti’s experience and acumen.
In the mid-1990s a string of mafia informers emerged to testify that Andreotti had been Cosa Nostra’s protector in Rome, known as “uncle Giulio.” Andreotti was charged and the judges ruled that, prior to 1980, there had been “concrete collaboration” between Andreotti and the mafia, which “induced its members to feel protected at the highest level.” He was not convicted or sentenced because his crimes were covered by a statute of limitations. “The only thing they haven’t said about me,” Andreotti quipped years later, “is that I’m a freemason.” It would be funny, but for the trail of bodies and corruption which il Divo had left in his wake.
Following the Tangentopoli scandal and the Mani Pulite (“Clean Hands”) investigation, Italy’s affairs passed into the “capable” hands of Giuliano Amato—now retired on a $40,000 monthly pension—and Mario Draghi, now head of the European Central Bank. Eurofanatics and blind followers of the Washington Consensus, in the 1990’s they carried out a privatization plan as catastrophic for Italy’s economy as anything seen east of the Iron Curtain following the collapse of communism. A century and a half after Italy shook off first Austrian rule and French tutelage, it still proved vulnerable to the vincolo esterno, the external constraint—this time to the international bankers, Brussels bureaucrats, and the IMF.
Berlusconi’s three terms as prime minister did not change much. He had failed to create, enact and apply a bold vision of Italy for the 21st century. As I wrote in 2011, his private peccadilloes and dubious business practices could have been overlooked had he not left Italy, after almost ten years in office, in no better state than he found her in 1994:
“The economy is grotesquely over-regulated, yet the old system of corrupt government contracts and phony jobs for the well-connected is alive and well. The central bureaucratic machine is as bloated and inefficient as ever. An estimated third of potential tax revenues remain uncollected. Italy is, in terms of growth, the sick man of Europe: only Zimbabwe and Haiti had lower GDP growth than Italy in 2000-2010. The public debt, at $2.6 trillion, is 120% of GDP. A quarter of Italy’s under-30s are unemployed and another quarter is subsisting on dead-end, 1,000 euros-per-month jobs in mamma’s care, thus contributing to a demographic collapse far worse than that in Central and Northern Europe. There was no improvement in productivity under Berlusconi: Italy’s international competitiveness has actually declined over the past decade. Public spending has been outstripping growth for years; since 2009, it has accounted for more than one-half of the GDP.”
Slobodan Janković’s assessment is also grim: “Between 1945 and 1992 there were many ranking Italians of professional and personal integrity at all levels of the state and society who were prepared to risk much, even their lives, in the struggle against organized crime, secret societies, and power centers connected to foreign political and financial interests. In the present era of Monti, Letta and Bonino, however, the patriots and traditional Catholics have no power and no voice.”
Berlusconi’s seven-year prison sentence for abusing power and having sex with an underage prostitute changes nothing. He will appeal, the sentence will be overturned, and the current unnatural coalition will continue on its long road to nowhere in particular. The economy will continue to stagnate, and the process of moral and spiritual decay will continue to turn one of the most civilized countries in the world into a shadow of its former self.
Alas, poor Italy…
While I was listening to a recent interview with Graham Hancock about his new novel and his TED lecture, the startling claim was made that Russian President Vladimir Putin commented that war might be a necessary result of the Monsanto Protection Act.
I was skeptical, but did a little digging around, and it turns out the story checks out…
The shocking minutes relating to President Putin’s meeting last month with US Secretary of State John Kerry reveal the Russian leaders “extreme outrage” over the Obama regimes continued protection of global seed and plant bio-genetic giants Syngenta and Monsanto in the face of a growing “bee apocalypse” that the Kremlin warns “will most certainly” lead to world war.
According to these minutes, released in the Kremlin today by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation (MNRE), Putin was so incensed over the Obama regimes refusal to discuss this grave matter that he refused for three hours to even meet with Kerry, who had traveled to Moscow on a scheduled diplomatic mission, but then relented so as to not cause an even greater rift between these two nations.
At the center of this dispute between Russia and the US, this MNRE report says, is the “undisputed evidence” that a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically related to nicotine, known as neonicotinoids, are destroying our planets bee population, and which if left unchecked could destroy our world’s ability to grow enough food to feed its population.
So grave has this situation become, the MNRE reports, the full European Commission (EC) this past week instituted a two-year precautionary ban (set to begin on 1 December 2013) on these “bee killing” pesticides following the lead of Switzerland, France, Italy, Russia, Slovenia and Ukraine, all of whom had previously banned these most dangerous of genetically altered organisms from being used on the continent.
Two of the most feared neonicotinoids being banned are Actara and Cruiser made by the Swiss global bio-tech seed and pesticide giant Syngenta AG which employs over 26,000 people in over 90 countries and ranks third in total global sales in the commercial agricultural seeds market.
Important to note, this report says, is that Syngenta, along with bio-tech giants Monsanto, Bayer, Dow and DuPont, now control nearly 100% of the global market for genetically modified pesticides, plants and seeds.
Also to note about Syngenta, this report continues, is that in 2012 it was criminally charged in Germany for concealing the fact that its genetically modified corn killed cattle, and settled a class-action lawsuit in the US for $105 million after it was discovered they had contaminated the drinking supply of some 52 million Americans in more than 2,000 water districts with its “gender-bending” herbicide Atrazine.
To how staggeringly frightful this situation is, the MNRE says, can be seen in the report issued this past March by the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) wherein they warned our whole planet is in danger, and as we can, in part, read:
“As part of a study on impacts from the world’s most widely used class of insecticides, nicotine-like chemicals called neonicotinoids, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) has called for a ban on their use as seed treatments and for the suspension of all applications pending an independent review of the products’ effects on birds, terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates, and other wildlife.
“It is clear that these chemicals have the potential to affect entire food chains. The environmental persistence of the neonicotinoids, their propensity for runoff and for groundwater infiltration, and their cumulative and largely irreversible mode of action in invertebrates raise significant environmental concerns,” said Cynthia Palmer, co-author of the report and Pesticides Program Manager for ABC, one of the nation’s leading bird conservation organizations.
ABC commissioned world renowned environmental toxicologist Dr. Pierre Mineau to conduct the research. The 100-page report, “The Impact of the Nation’s Most Widely Used Insecticides on Birds,” reviews 200 studies on neonicotinoids including industry research obtained through the US Freedom of Information Act. The report evaluates the toxicological risk to birds and aquatic systems and includes extensive comparisons with the older pesticides that the neonicotinoids have replaced. The assessment concludes that the neonicotinoids are lethal to birds and to the aquatic systems on which they depend.
“A single corn kernel coated with a neonicotinoid can kill a songbird,” Palmer said. “Even a tiny grain of wheat or canola treated with the oldest neonicotinoid — called imidacloprid — can fatally poison a bird. And as little as 1/10th of a neonicotinoid-coated corn seed per day during egg-laying season is all that is needed to affect reproduction.”
The new report concludes that neonicotinoid contamination levels in both surface- and ground water in the United States and around the world are already beyond the threshold found to kill many aquatic invertebrates.”
Quickly following this damning report, the MRNE says, a large group of group of American beekeepers and environmentalists sued the Obama regime over the continued use of these neonicotinoids stating: “We are taking the EPA to court for its failure to protect bees from pesticides. Despite our best efforts to warn the agency about the problems posed by neonicotinoids, the EPA continued to ignore the clear warning signs of an agricultural system in trouble.”
And to how bad the world’s agricultural system has really become due to these genetically modified plants, pesticides and seeds, this report continues, can be seen by the EC’s proposal this past week, following their ban on neonicotinoids, in which they plan to criminalize nearly all seeds and plants not registered with the European Union, and as we can, in part, read:
“Europe is rushing towards the good ol days circa 1939, 40… A new law proposed by the European Commission would make it illegal to “grow, reproduce or trade” any vegetable seeds that have not been “tested, approved and accepted” by a new EU bureaucracy named the “EU Plant Variety Agency.”
It’s called the Plant Reproductive Material Law, and it attempts to put the government in charge of virtually all plants and seeds. Home gardeners who grow their own plants from non-regulated seeds would be considered criminals under this law.”
This MRNE report points out that even though this EC action may appear draconian, it is nevertheless necessary in order to purge the continent from continued contamination of these genetically bred “seed monstrosities.”
Most perplexing in all of this, the MRNE says, and which led to Putin’s anger at the US, has been the Obama regimes efforts to protect pesticide-producer profits over the catastrophic damaging being done to the environment, and as the Guardian News Service detailed in their 2 May article titled “US rejects EU claim of insecticide as prime reason for bee colony collapse” and which, in part, says:
“The European Union voted this week for a two-year ban on a class of pesticides, known as neonicotinoids, that has been associated with the bees’ collapse. The US government report, in contrast, found multiple causes for the collapse of the honeybees.”
To the “truer” reason for the Obama regimes protection of these bio-tech giants destroying our world, the MRNE says, can be viewed in the report titled “How did Barack Obama become Monsanto’s man in Washington?” and which, in part, says:
“After his victory in the 2008 election, Obama filled key posts with Monsanto people, in federal agencies that wield tremendous force in food issues, the USDA and the FDA: At the USDA, as the director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Roger Beachy, former director of the Monsanto Danforth Center. As deputy commissioner of the FDA, the new food-safety-issues czar, the infamous Michael Taylor, former vice-president for public policy for Monsanto. Taylor had been instrumental in getting approval for Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone.”
Even worse, after Russia suspended the import and use of an Monsanto genetically modified corn following a study suggesting a link to breast cancer and organ damage this past September, the Russia Today News Service reported on the Obama regimes response:
“The US House of Representatives quietly passed a last-minute addition to the Agricultural Appropriations Bill for 2013 last week – including a provision protecting genetically modified seeds from litigation in the face of health risks.
The rider, which is officially known as the Farmer Assurance Provision, has been derided by opponents of biotech lobbying as the “Monsanto Protection Act,” as it would strip federal courts of the authority to immediately halt the planting and sale of genetically modified (GMO) seed crop regardless of any consumer health concerns.
The provision, also decried as a “biotech rider,” should have gone through the Agricultural or Judiciary Committees for review. Instead, no hearings were held, and the piece was evidently unknown to most Democrats (who hold the majority in the Senate) prior to its approval as part of HR 993, the short-term funding bill that was approved to avoid a federal government shutdown.”
On 26 March, Obama quietly signed this “Monsanto Protection Act” into law thus ensuring the American people have no recourse against this bio-tech giant as they fall ill by the tens of millions, and many millions will surely end up dying in what this MRNE report calls the greatest agricultural apocalypse in human history as over 90% of feral (wild) bee population in the US has already died out, and up to 80% of domestic bees have died out too.
Source: Political Blind Spot