Tuesday, September 29, 2015

At the UN yesterday all speakers were allowed 15 minutes, but Obama took 30 in order work in the US government lies that Russia attacked Ukraine and took Crimea by force and to insist that in order to stop the slaughter of innocents Assad must first be removed as the Syrian head of state. The latter position is strongly desputed by the Chair of South Asian History and Professor of International Studies at Trinity College. His reading of the Russians is that after protecting the civilians they would follow an alturnative course, not directly confronting ISIS, but rather being more concerned with the borders where ISIS has been given weapons and training by nations standing to profit from the destruction of Syria.

Obama verses Putin at the UN
President Obama and President Putin address the UN on their strategies for fighting the Islamic State. - September 28, 2015


Bio                                                                                                          .

Vijay Prashad is the George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History and Professor of International Studies at Trinity College. He is the author of sixteen books, including The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South (Verso, 2013), Arab Spring, Libyan Winter (AK, 2012), (co-edited with Paul Amar) Dispatches from the Arab Spring (2013), and No Free Left: The Futures of Indian Communism (Leftward Press, 2015). Vijay's latest book is Letters to Palestine: Writers Respond to War and Occupation. Vijay is the chief editor at Leftward Press, and writes regularly for The Hindu, Frontline, Jadaliyya, Counterpunch, Himal and Bol.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Yet another view of the war crimes of the U.S. and its NATO puppets: "The NATO alliance has been conducting a war of aggression against Syria since 2011 when it succeeded in destroying Libya and it was responsible for the waves of humanity who fled the NATO bombing and who now flee the Takfiri militants NATO used as their auxiliaries." Recently the U.S. asked both Greece and Bulgaria to block Russian flights over their air space headed for Syria. Only Russia now stands between the the Syrian People and the NATO-Saudi, Israeli auxiliaries who are fighting in Syria under the acronyms ISIS or ISIL or Al Qaeda. "One has to ask, where are the American and European relief supplies for the Syrian people?" "The attempt to blockade the delivery of humanitarian assistance amounts to a war crime under international law, including the the Geneva Conventions, the Nuremburg Principles and the Statute of Rome that sets out the definitions of war crimes under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court."

US Blockade of Syria: A War Crime

By Christopher Black                 Region: , ,
Global Research, September 25, 2015
New Eastern Outlook 24 September 2015                 Theme: ,

The news that the United States asked both Greece and Bulgaria to block Russian flights over their air space headed for Syria is a logical extension of the criminality of the aggression against Syria being conducted by the NATO powers and their allies in the region. The NATO alliance has been conducting a war of aggression against Syria since 2011 when it succeeded in destroying Libya and it was responsible for the waves of humanity who fled the NATO bombing and who now flee the Takfiri militants NATO used as their auxiliaries.

These actions are clearly war crimes of the highest order, contemptuous violations of the UN Charter, international law and of all morality. The resulting misery of the peoples of the countries under attack, who are forced to flee and become refugees in the heart of the very alliance that is attacking them, is beyond words. The images bombard us daily. But the images are not placed in the western media to create a call for peace in the region. Instead, as we see from the recent statements of the British, French and American leaders, they are used to manipulate the emotions of the citizens of the NATO countries to justify a call for more military aggression against Syria which will create more misery, more death and more refugees.

That the flood of stories in the western press about the Syrian refugees is being used as a propaganda tool to is easy to see when we compare the situation regarding refugees from Libya and Ukraine. The Libyan people have been fleeing the hell that NATO created for four years now, with thousands of people arriving in Europe, mostly on the shores of Italy. But there has been no call to attack the vicious thugs that NATO installed in place of the progressive socialist Libyan Republic, no call to bring back the civilized society that existed before Gaddafi was brutally murdered by the same forces, no call for regime change in Tripoli. Instead, chaos and gangsterism prevail, and all is well.

In Ukraine over a million people have fled the Kiev junta’s massive armed attacks on its own people, the type of attacks that NATO countries alleged Gaddafi had used on his own people to justify their attack on Libya. The US puppets in Kiev have used bombing raids on civilians, white phosphorus shells, cluster bombs and other banned weapons and they have used them not on military targets of the peoples resistance forces but on civilian houses, shops, schools, hospitals, power stations and other civilian infrastructure. Food and medical supplies are blockaded. The people of the Donbas are under siege. All these actions are war crimes and crimes against humanity. Yet the western media says not a single word about them. There is no call from Washington or London or Paris or Ottawa to bomb Kiev and remove Poroshenko. Instead they supply him and his Nazi friends with weapons, supplies and money and send in their own forces to assist in these criminal attacks. The double standards applied and the deep hypocrisy and cynicism displayed by the NATO governments and the western news media that provide the information flow to the people, must shake anyone’s belief in the viability of western civilization.

In stark contrast, Russia has taken in over a million refugees so far from Ukraine without complaint while the EU countries argue bitterly amongst themselves as to who should take the refugees they have created and while they fan the flames of xenophobia among their own populations. But then the motivations are completely different. The Russians want to help the people being attacked by NATO and its puppet regime in Kiev. The Europeans only want to use the refugees as a means of creating hysteria in Europe so that their people will support a combined NATO attack on Syria.

Since these EU countries in one way or another support the forces attacking Syria they are responsible under international law for receiving and caring for the refugees they have created. They must follow certain humane standards in the treatment of them, but instead we see images of them being fed like animals or being kicked and tripped up by the very media sent to report on the crisis.

But now the situation has escalated further with the United States demanding that Greece and Bulgaria block relief supplies from Russia from using their air space, an attempt to completely block these supplies. Greece has found the courage to refuse the request. Bulgaria to its shame has decided to lick their boots.

The Americans try to justify their demand by claiming that some of those flights are used to deliver military supplies to Syria. Yes, and so what? Russia has every right to support the Syrian government in its fight against the Nato-Saudi, Israeli auxiliaries who are fighting in Syria under the acronyms ISIS or ISIL or Al Qaeda and has been openly doing so since the beginning. There is no UN approved arms embargo against Syria and the United States and its allies are daily dropping supplies to these same groups and have let it be known that their special forces are operating on the ground alongside those forces. Just the other day another story broke of the Israeli Army airlifting wounded from these groups for treatment in Israeli occupied zones and one must wonder if those selectively helped are not indeed Israeli special forces themselves. The Americans and Bulgarians are not just worried about more Russian military supplies from being delivered. They also want the Syrian people to experience the maximum state of misery and despair to punish them for their support of their government and to try to force them to turn against it.

Indeed, the Russian and Syrian governments affirm that many of those flights are delivering much needed humanitarian relief including medical supplies, generators for hospitals, food, tents for internal refugees, and related supplies to relieve the distress of the Syrian people in the face of the American provoked attacks on them. One has to ask, where are the American and European relief supplies for the Syrian people? Where are the ships and planes that should be carrying the same supplies the Russians are delivering? If they had delivered them and if they had insisted that the attacks on Syria stop there would not be any refugees. But they want the refugees to generate war propaganda and so they do not want relief supplies to get through.

The attempt to blockade the delivery of humanitarian assistance amounts to a war crime under international law, including the the Geneva Conventions, the Nuremburg Principles and the Statute of Rome that sets out the definitions of war crimes under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. The attempted blockade of humanitarian assistance constitutes murder, inhuman treatment, collective punishment, an action designed to bring about the physical destruction of the population and the nation, and other related crimes committed against the Syrian civilian population. Every European leader who takes part in this criminal conspiracy should be charged with war crimes. The American president should be Number One in the dock. But international criminal law continues to be administered by criminals and we watch with disbelief the complete silence of the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court who sits in her office in The Hague and twiddles her thumbs while Damascus, Aleppo and Donetsk burn.

The cartloads of the dead overflow the cemeteries. The misery of the living mounts. The hope that is left for peace and security, even for a little kindness in this life, drips out of our veins with every drop of blood shed by the victims of these NATO wars. It is very easy to despair. I despair. But we must resist. We must demand these wars stop, We must stop sitting around face booking and surfing the internet, get out of these artificial worlds they have built to turn us into zombies of the living and get back on the streets where we still count, where they still fear us and where we can shout our demands so loud they will shake the walls of the state itself.

Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto, he is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and he is known for a number of high-profile cases involving human rights and war crimes, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

Friday, September 25, 2015

This post constructively lays out one of the overarching events of our time presented by this blogger’s all-time favorite Asia correspondent, Pepe Escobar, who may look like a hippy but has the smarts of a modern Sherlock Holms. The subjects of this essay in order of their taking place are (1) the continued slaughtering of innocents in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East by the murderous ISIS/ISIL/Daesh, resulting in hundreds of thousands dispossessed individuals and families looking for salvation in Europe, (2) the neocons in Washington have been arming, aiding, and abetting this slaughter in order to bring down the government of Bashar al-Assad, in order to make Syria another U.S. vassal, (3) Pepe’s question is whether or not Obama will finally decide to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, either this Friday or during the UN General Assembly in New York next week, (4) Russia's game changer in Syria includes not only weapons delivery but also actual intervention by the Russian Air Force to fight ISIS/ISIL/Daesh and the Jabhat al-Nusra, a.k.a. Al-Qaeda in Syria. (5) There is a growing European appreciation of such a Russian initiative, and (6) finally, for what it is worth, some of the blogger’s best friends are Russians. (Be sure to play the video near the bottom.)

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Vladimir Putin
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It's the ultimate geopolitical cliffhanger of the season: will US President Barack Obama finally decide to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, either this Friday or during the UN General Assembly next week in New York?

Russia's game changer in Syria -- not only weapons delivery but also the prospect of actual intervention by the Russian Air Force -- has left the Beltway reeling.

Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs Walled Muallem has made it clear to RT that direct Russian involvement in the fight against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh and those "moderates" (US neocon designation) of Jabhat al-Nusra, a.k.a. Al-Qaeda in Syria, is even more important than the arms delivery.

Washington, meanwhile, remains mired in a geopolitical black hole as far as Putin's strategy is concerned. The Obama administration's response will hinge on how Putin's speech at the UN will be received across the world, and how the frantic diplomacy related to the Syrian theatre of war will fare.

It's naive to interpret the Russian military build-up as a mere show of force, an invitation to the Americans to finally sit down and discuss everything from southwest Asia to Ukraine.

It's also naive to interpret the move as Moscow's desperation for some kind of dialogue, any dialogue. There are no illusions at the Kremlin. Obama and Putin exchanged a few words in Beijing late last year -- and that's it; no official visits, no detailed meetings.

What's certain is that Putin's latest chess move carries the potential to smash to pieces the Obama administration's post-Maidan "strategy" of isolating Russia. Thus the predictable fear, loathing and paranoia permeating the Beltway.

Old Cold War 2.0 habits die hard -- if at all. Washington may extend the proverbial "financial support" to failed state, bankrupt Ukraine, and the pressure over the EU to keep sanctions throughout 2016 will remain. US "Think Tankland" keeps frantically spinning that the Obama administration is "not ready" to deal with Russia.

Well, at least the White House and the State Department seem to have finally understood that those Sukhois and surface-to-air missiles now in Syria are there to protect the Latakia air base. It was up to the Pentagon to elucidate a clueless John Kerry; these are for "force protection."

The new batch includes 4 Su-30SM multirole combat jets; 12 Su-25 ground attack jets; 12 Su-24M attack fighters; and six possible Ka-52 attack helicopters. According to IHS Jane's, these provide "a significant capability to target rebels opposed to the Syrian government and to secure the Latakia homeland of President Bashar al-Assad."

The elucidation came after Pentagon supremo Ash Carter and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu held a 50-minute phone talk. The fact that this was their first phoner in more than a year tells everything one needs to know about the Obama administration's "diplomatic" skills.

Inevitably, Kerry had to change his tune; the weapons do not raise "serious questions" anymore. Now Kerry is essentially saying Moscow has the right to turbo-charge its peace-for-Syria drive, and the White House is not fussy about Assad's departure date anymore, as long as there is a "transition."

Watch the chessboard

Putin is bound to deliver a showstopper at the UN. Spare a thought for the Obama administration's foreign policy "muppets," including the neocon cell at the State Department. Putin, under the glare of global public opinion, will frame the absolute defeat of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh as the key geopolitical issue of these times; he will commit Russia to it; and he will propose for the "West" to join in.

Scenario 1: Washington and its EU minions decide to support the Russian drive, or at least have the US-led coalition of dodgy opportunists work side-by-side with Russia -- and Iran. This means helping Damascus to win a real war against ("Caliphate") terror. "Assad must go" may even go afterwards. But he'll go as a winner. The Obama administration -- as well as Sultan Erdogan, Qatar, the House of Saud -- will be held responsible all across the world for prolonging a tragedy that could have been resolved in 2012. And Russia will be recognized as the ultimate defender of civilization against barbarism.

Scenario 2: Washington and the EU minions refuse to act side-by-side with Russia, and continue relying on the appalling performance of the coalition of the dodgy opportunists -- for instance, as in Erdogan bombing Kurds and not ISIS/ISIL/Daesh, and the French staging puny airstrikes invoking "self-defense" (I'm not making this up; it's the official Elysee Palace version.) The whole world will interpret it for what it is; the NATO-GCC combo is not really interested in smashing the Salafi-jihadis. Imagine the cataclysmic diplomatic/geopolitical fallout of five years of NATO-GCC enabling hardcore jihadis.

And there's of course the coda; if the Syrian Arab Army/Russian military push against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh works, guess who'll take the credit.

So Putin wins on both scenarios. Forget about the relentless demonization, the new Hitler-Stalin memes. "Putin The Great" will be no less than a Slavic Perseus -- the slayer of the jihadi Medusa.

The great power is back

But there's more, much more. Whatever the scenario -- 1 or 2 -- Putin is simultaneously masterminding a Ukraine endgame, which involves the end of sanctions, probably by 2017. The nations that really count in the EU want to scrap them. And scrap them they will if Putin does what they can't possibly do; smash the "Caliphate" that is sending wave after wave of refugees towards Fortress Europe.

Here I examined how any possible peace in Syria will be Putin's fault. Now imagine the consequences. Russia back as the real indispensable nation -- in the Middle East and beyond. And Russia back as a great power -- period.

Some signs of intelligent life in the EU can see it coming. Enter Helene Carrere d'Encausse, Russia-expert historian and member of the venerable Academie Francaise since 1990, of which she's the perpetual secretary. Madame d'Encausse clearly understands how Putin sees himself as the heir of Peter The Great; a great modernizer.

And even as he recognizes Europe is not the center of the world anymore, Putin is not an adversary of Europe. Nevertheless, he firmly believes that for the Americans and Europeans, Russia is a country that can be treated with disdain. That must be imperatively reversed.

"Putin The Great's" project is to make Russia regain its status of a great power. When he was elected to the presidency in 2000 -- I remember it well, I was in Moscow covering it -- Russia was in total chaos, perpetrated by unbridled neoliberalism. Putin got Russia back on track.

What he wants most of all -- contrary to superficial drivel reigning in US "Think Tankland" -- is not to remake the Russian or Soviet empire; but to get rid for good the humiliation of the 1990s -- the decade of plundering -- and make the nation proud again. Just check his popularity level; 85 percent of Russians -- and counting -- agree.

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to : Syrian army too busy saving country to threaten Israel http://on.rt.com/6rwm    11:24 AM - 21 Sep 2015

Madame d'Encausse refers back historically to Count Sergey Uvarov, the imperial statesman behind Tsar Nicholas I, who defined the doxa in Russia in the mid 19th century as "orthodoxy, autocracy and national genius." She emphasizes this is the heart of Putin's ideology.

National genius, in this context, refers to a sense of social justice and a very Russian spirit of solidarity. Putin always emphasizes this spirit, which is an essential component of what it means to be Russian. And it is all tied up with nationalism. We just need to re-read Dostoevsky, for whom "the Russian nation is an extraordinary phenomenon in the history of human genius."

And then, of course, there's Islam -- an immensely complicating factor.
There are over 20 million Muslims in Russia. Putin recognizes that Russia is also a Muslim state; it's in fact multi-confessional, and most Russian Muslims are Sunnis. Putin clearly identifies ISIS/ISIL/Daesh as a Sunni crusade against Shi'ites. At the same time he maintains very good relations with Shi'ite Iran and the Allawites in Syria. And he realizes that Sunni republics, former Russian and Soviet possessions, are at the gates of Russia.

Published on Sep 11, 2015

So Putin has to continue analyzing Islam by taking into account both internal and foreign policy. What he clearly identified is that a Salafi-jihadi "Sunnistan" in "Syraq" is a very serious threat to Russia's national security. Aleppo is virtually next door to Grozny. Sure, "Putin The Great" harbors great ambition.

But first things first; he cannot possibly allow the resurgent great power to be infiltrated and corroded by Western-enabled barbarians at the gate.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Do you think that America is a Democracy? If so, think again. The people ruling us have torn up the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in favor of the super rich and to the detriment of the poor. And if that were not bad enough, the insane neocons running our country are pushing for a nuclear war with Russia.

Democracy Has Departed The West — Paul Craig Roberts

September 22, 2015 | Original Here                                            Go here to sign up to receive email notice of this news letter

Democracy Has Departed The West

Paul Craig Roberts

Before the West spreads democracy abroad maybe it could get some for itself. The US is an oligarchy in which government is answerable to six powerful private interest groups. In Europe governments are answerable to the EU, Washington, and private bankers and not to their peoples. In the UK the military brass has declared its hold on the reins of power.

Jeremy Corbyn is the first Labourite to lead the Labour Party in a long time. Considering the stupidity and immorality of the Tories, Corbyn could become prime minister of Britain. Should this occur, Corbyn would shift the budget priorities away from supporting Washington’s wars toward refurbishing the social welfare state that made life for ordinary Britishers more secure and less stressful.

A senior serving general of the British army said that the army would not allow the people to “put a maverick in charge of the country’s security. The Army just wouldn’t stand for it and would use whatever means possible, fair or foul, to prevent that.”

In other words, a democratic outcome unacceptable to the English military will be overthrown. Just like in Egypt.

Here we have the incongruity of Washington and London bringing democracy to others through what Vladimir Putin calls “airstrike democracy,” while tolerating a democracy deficit themselves. The safest conclusion is that democracy is a cloak for an aggressive agenda, not a value in itself to the US and UK elites, who rule and who intend to continue to rule these countries for their personal benefit.

Jonathan Cook reports that the use of “whatever means possible, fair or foul,” against Labour prime ministers who actually stood for the people rather than for the elites is not unique to Corbyn. Labour Prime Minister Harald Wilson faced similar pressure and resigned. http://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2015-09-20/army-plots-against-british-pms-are-not-new/

As far as I can tell, not only has democracy departed the Western world, but also compassion, empathy for others, morality, integrity, respect for truth, justice, faithfulness, and self-respect. Western civilization has become a hollow shell. There is nothing left but greed and coercion and the threat of coercion. When I read—hopefully incorrect reports—that Russia’s President Putin desires to be a partner of the West, I wonder why such a powerful country, which has emerged into light out of darkness, wants to be Satan’s partner. I assume that the reports are untrue or that Putin is acting in the interest of humankind to defuse the dangerous situation created by Washington and its NATO sock puppets.

Russia should not forget the courageous speech that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gave to the UN on September 20, 2006. Standing at the podium, Chavez said that on the previous day George W. Bush stood here, “Satan himself, speaking as if he owned the world. You can still smell the sulfur.” The purpose of America, Chavez said, is “to preserve the pattern of domination, exploitation and pillage of the peoples of the world.”

Chavez’s words were too much truth for US politicians. Nancy Pelosi, the multimillionaire Speaker of the US House of Representatives, said that such a speech was to be expected from an “everyday thug.”

Elsewhere the response was different. Rafael Correa, currently President of Ecuador, said that Chavez had insulted Satan, because although Satan is evil like Washington, he is al least intelligent, and Washington is completely stupid.

The Western World is on its last legs. Unemployment is horrendous for European and American youth—primarily for the educated. Young American women, driven by student debt, advertise on Internet sites for “sugar daddies” to whom they will supply sex for financial support. The easy answer—“education is the solution”— is a lie. Ph.Ds cannot get jobs, because university budgets are cut in order to save money for wars and bank bailouts and 75% of the remaining budget is used by administrations to pay themselves large salaries and perks. NYU, for example, provides its higher administrative personnel with expensive summer homes. University presidents in America have multimillion dollar incomes, while the students drown in debt.

The Wall Street Mentality—unlimited Greed—has taken over American life, and this greed has been exported to Europe, which had achieved a sharing relationship between labor and capital. Today Europe, like the US, is an opportunity wasteland for the young. Greece has been sacrificed for the private bankers, and Italy, Spain, and Portugal are waiting in the wings. In the place of independent European countries, a fascist centralized authority is rising.

As millions of refugees from Washington and its NATO enablers’ wars seek refuge in Europe, budgets for social welfare are further pressed.

In recent years we have witnessed that private bankers acting through the EU were able to appoint the governments of the allegedly democratic governments of Greece and Italy.

In the Western World the aristocracy of wealth is being re-established. If Russia and China join this “partnership,” then billions of peoples will be ruled by a handful of mega-rich elites.

The world is on the knife edge. The West is lost. Russia and China could go down with the West, because both Russia and China suffered tyranny and look to the West for the paths to freedom and liberty. But Western paths lead to “domination, exploitation and pillage of the peoples of the world.”

Will Russia and China participate in the pillage, or will they resist it, standing firm for humanity?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The U.S. has been backing Islamic militias and al Qaida-linked groups fighting the Syrian army with the so-far-unsuccessful intention of removing President Bashar al Assad from power. For some time now the U.S. has been both arming and attacking ISIS depending on whether or not Assad is weakend in the process. The U.S. goal has been to destroy Syrian cities and villages ourside of Assad's military reach, with the collateral result of jihadi forces murdering or displacing the inhabtents. Russia understands what is happening here and, together with Iran and and Hezbolla, is ready to intervene if the blood thirsty US-backed Islamic militias continue their murderous ways.

“Obama administration officials, who have been negotiating with Turkey for months, said Thursday that they had reached an agreement for manned and unmanned American warplanes to carry out aerial attacks on Islamic State positions from air bases at Incirlik and Diyarbakir. The agreement was described by one senior administration official as a “game changer.” New York Times, July 23, 2015

The Syrian war can be divided into two parts: The pre-Incirlik period and the post-Incirlik period. The pre-Incirlik period is roughly the four year stretch during which US-backed Islamic militias and al Qaida-linked groups fought the Syrian army with the intention of removing President Bashar al Assad from power. This first phase of the war ended in a draw.

The post-Incirlik period looks like it could produce an entirely different outcome due to the fact that the US will be able to deploy its drones and warplanes from a Turkish airbase (Incirlik) that’s just 15 minutes flying-time from Syria. That will boost the number of sorties the USAF can able to carry out while increasing the effectiveness of its jihadi forces on the ground which will conduct their operations under the protection of US air cover. This will greatly improve their chances for success.

The New York Times calls the Incirlik deal a “game-changer” which is an understatement. By allowing US F-16s to patrol the skies over Syria, Washington will impose a de facto no-fly zone over the country severely limiting Assad’s ability to battle the US-backed militias that have seized large swaths of the countryside and are now descending on Damascus. And while the war cannot be won by airpower alone, this new tactical reality tilts the playing field in favor the jihadis. In other words, the Incirlik agreement changes everything.

The Obama administration now believes that regime change is within its reach. Yes, they know it will require some back-up from US Special Forces and Turkish combat troops, but it’s all doable.  This is why Obama has shrugged off Russia’s plan for forming a coalition to defeat ISIS.  The US doesn’t have to compromise on these matters because, after all, it has a strategically-located airbase from which it can protect its proxy-army, bomb cross-border targets, and control the skies over Syria. All Obama needs to do is intensify the war effort, put a little more pressure on Assad, and wait for the regime to collapse. This is why we should expect a dramatic escalation as we begin Phase 2 of the conflict.

Russian President Vladimir Putin knows this, which is why he’s sending more weapons, supplies and advisors to Syria. He’s signaling to Washington that he knows what they’re up to and that he’ll respond if they carry things too far. In an interview with Russia’s state Channel 1, Putin said, “We have our ideas about what we will do and how we will do it in case the situation develops toward the use of force or otherwise. We have our plans.”

The administration is very nervous about Putin’s plans which is why they keep probing to see if they can figure out what he has up his sleeve. Just days ago,  Secretary of State John Kerry phoned his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to express his concerns about “an imminent enhanced Russian military buildup” in Syria. The call was a clumsy attempt to trick Lavrov into volunteering information that might shed light on what Moscow intends to do if Washington goes ahead with its regime change strategy.  But Russia’s foreign minister didn’t take the bait. He stuck to his script and didn’t tell Kerry anything he didn’t already know.

But the fact is, Putin is not going to allow Assad to be removed by force. It’s that simple. Obama and his advisors suspect this, but they are not 100 percent certain so they keep looking for confirmation one way or the other. But Putin is not going to provide a clear answer because he doesn’t want to tip his hand or appear confrontational. But that doesn’t mean he’s not resolute. He is, and Washington knows it. In effect, Putin has drawn a line in the sand and told the US that if they cross that line, there’s going to trouble.

So it’s up to Obama really. He can either seek a peaceful solution along the lines that Moscow has recommended or push for regime change and risk a confrontation with Russia. Those are the two choices.

Unfortunately, Washington doesn’t have an “off” switch anymore, so changing policy is really not in the cards. Instead, the US war machine will continue to lumber ahead erratically until it hits an impasse and sputters to a halt. Once again, the immovable object will prevail over the unstoppable force (as it did in Ukraine), albeit at great cost to the battered people of Syria, their nation and the entire region.

Keep in mind, that the imperial plan for Syria is subtler than many people realize. As the Brookings Institute’s Michael E. O’Hanlon states in his piece titled “Deconstructing Syria: A new strategy for America’s most hopeless war”:
“The plan… would not explicitly seek to overthrow him (Assad), so much as deny him control of territory that he might still aspire to govern again. The autonomous zones would be liberated with the clear understanding that there was no going back to rule by Assad or a successor. In any case, Assad would not be a military target under this concept, but areas he currently controls… would be. And if Assad delayed too long in accepting a deal for exile, he could inevitably face direct dangers to his rule and even his person.” (“Deconstructing Syria: A new strategy for America’s most hopeless war”, Michael E. O’Hanlon, Brookings Institute)
This is the basic plan: To seize major cities and large parts of the countryside,  disrupt supply-lines and destroy vital civilian infrastructure, and to progressively undermine Assad’s ability to govern the country. The ultimate goal is to break the state into a million disconnected enclaves ruled by armed mercenaries, al Qaida-linked affiliates, and local warlords. This is Washington’s diabolical plan for Syria. It is strikingly similar to the Zionist plan to “effect the division of the whole area into small states by the dissolution of all existing Arab states.” (“The Zionist Plan for the Middle East”, Israel Shahak) In fact, it is virtually identical.

It’s clear that Obama is emboldened by the Incirlik deal and believes that, with Turkey’s help, he can achieve US imperial ambitions in Syria. But it’s not going to happen.  Russia, Iran and Hezbollah are prepared to defend their ally Assad and stop Washington dead-in-its-tracks.  Obama will have succeeded in destroying another sovereign nation and scattering its people across the Middle East and Europe. But the US mission will fall short of its original objectives. There will be no regime change in Syria. Putin, Nasrallah and Khamenei will make sure of it.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

Friday, September 18, 2015

The U.S. has destroyed a dozen countries in the past 20 years, setting the stage for the millions of survivers now looking for solace in an unprepared Europe. In the meantime Washington is still trying to overthrow the two remaining democractic countries in South America.

Washington wants “regime change” in Ecuador: “What is the CIA planning before Ecuador’s 2017 elections?”

By Timothy Alexander Guzman                                                                            Original Here
Global Research, September 15, 2015 
Silent Crow 14 September 2015
The United States does not lack institutions that continue to conspire, and that’s why I am using this gathering to announce that we have decided to expel USAID from Bolivia” Bolivian President Evo Morales

Washington wants Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa removed from power. Washington says it is concerned about the freedom of the press in Ecuador because their non-government organization ‘Fundamedios’ funded and supported by United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and Freedom House among others is in the process of being shut down by the Correa government. According to Telesur’s report on September 10th “Fundamedios engaged “partisan political activities” by sharing material on its social media accounts, publishing articles unrelated to its stated mission and inserting itself into political debates in the country”which according to the National Secretariat of Communication or ‘Secom’ is prohibited under Ecuadorian law. The White House released a press statement on the same day:
We are very concerned about the increasing restrictions on freedom of expression and freedom of association in Ecuador, particularly the Ecuadorian government’s September 8 decision to initiate legal steps intended to dissolve Fundamedios, a non-governmental organization that monitors and defends press freedom.
An active civil society and tolerance of dissenting views are vital components of any democracy. We share international concern over the Ecuadorian government’s efforts to silence critical voices and deny its citizens access to a diversity of information and ideas. Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, the Committee to Protect Journalists, among others, have all spoken out in opposition to the government’s latest action against Fundamedios.
According to TeleSur ‘Fundamedios’ is funded by the NED and USAID:
The work of the organization mostly consists of issuing “alerts” regarding alleged attacks against journalists in Ecuador.  The organization is funded in part through a US$84,000 grant from the U.S.-funded National Endowment for Democracy. U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador Adam Namm told El Telegrafo that Fundamedios received US$300,000 in 2012 from USAID, which is receives its funds from the U.S. government
USAID and NED are in the business of “Democracy Promotion” which uses public money (from U.S. taxpayers) for secretive operations with the intention to support pro-U.S. governments with the help of political and social movements abroad. The goal is regime change.

Why Washington wants Correa Removed from Power

Since 2009, the world has seen what the Obama administration has done to sovereign nations in the name of democracy. Libya, Honduras and the Ukraine are some of the recent examples of U.S. foreign policy that has only proved to be disastrous on many levels. Ecuador would be added to Obama’s list of countries ripe for regime change.

First, Correa is a staunch ally of Latin America’s leftist governments of Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Argentina and Brazil who are critical of U.S. Foreign policy. What makes matters worse for Washington was the closure of the Manta Air Force Base in 2009, a promise made by Correa in a 2006 campaign.

Washington wants a new government in Ecuador to reopen the Manta Air Force Base for surveillance and the so-called “War on Drugs”. In 2008, the New York Times reported that President Correa fired high ranking military officials who were loyal subjects of Washington:
Mr. Correa — who this month dismissed his defense minister, army chief of intelligence and commanders of the army, air force and joint chiefs — said that Ecuador’s intelligence systems were “totally infiltrated and subjugated to the C.I.A.” He accused senior military officials of sharing intelligence with Colombia, the Bush administration’s top ally in Latin America
The New York Times admitted that Correa’s administration is a challenge for U.S. policy makers regarding the “War on Drugs” and its presence in Latin America:
The gambit also poses a clear challenge to the United States. For nearly a decade, the base here in Manta has been the most prominent American military outpost in South America and an important facet of the United States’ drug-fighting efforts. Some 100 antinarcotics flights leave here each month to survey the Pacific in an elaborate cat-and-mouse game with drug traffickers bound for the United States.
But many Ecuadoreans have chafed at the American presence and the perceived challenge to the country’s sovereignty, and Mr. Correa promised during his campaign in 2006 to close the outpost
Reuters’ also reported in 2007 what Correa had said about the possibility of renewing the lease to the U.S. military“We’ll renew the base on one condition: that they let us put a base in Miami — an Ecuadorean base,” Correa said in an interview during a trip to Italy. “If there’s no problem having foreign soldiers on a country’s soil, surely they’ll let us have an Ecuadorean base in the United States.” Correa did make a good point.

Another reason Correa is on Washington’s “hit list” involves Wikileaks. Its founder Julian Assange was granted political asylum in an Ecuadorian embassy in London because he feared that if he ended up in U.S. custody over the secret files he released from Chelsea Manning to the world, could have him face an unfair trial in a U.S. courtroom. Ecuador granted Assange political asylum status where he still remains to this day. Neoconservative and former Presidential contender Sarah Palin said that Assange is an “anti-American operative with blood on his hands…Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders?” Palin was saying that Julian Assange is in the same league as Al Qaeda so killing him is justified. Ecuador did take a stand to protect the life and liberty of Julian Assange, something Washington does not take lightly.

Ecuador’s Lawsuit against Big Oil
Litigation and various lawsuits against Chevron-Texaco has been going on for more than two decades which oil drilling operations which occurred between 1972 and 1990 in the Amazon as RT News reported in 2013:
Ecuador’s foreign ministry announced on Friday that the US has seemingly denied visas to a delegation that was set to travel to the UN General Assembly in New York to present their case regarding an ongoing dispute against Chevron-Texaco. According to the ministry’s official announcement, the visas for the five Ecuadorian nationals were returned by the US Embassy in Quito “without any explanation.” That group was to present testimony during a special event at the UN regarding the ecological impact caused by Chevron-Texaco’s oil operations in the Amazon rainforest region of Ecuador – which contaminated two million hectares, according to the country’s government. At stake is a US$19 billion judgment awarded by an Ecuadorean court against Chevron for cleanup and ecological damage, which is currently being fought at The Hague.
Correa in Washington’s Crosshairs

From alliances with anti-Washington governments to the closure of the Manta Air Force Base, to protecting Julian Assange and a lawsuit against Chevron-Texaco for environmental damages to the Amazon, Correa is a target for regime change. Just remember back in history when the CIA orchestrated a coup against Ecuadorian President Carlos Julio Arosemena simply because he criticized the U.S. government and supported the Cuban revolution led by Fidel Castro. Correa has done a lot more to diminish U.S. power in Latin America than any other president in its current history.

Correa has accused the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) earlier this year of “being increasingly involved in the political opposition with the avowed aim of dragging the country into chaos” and weaken the Ecuadorian government by “a series of coordinated nationwide protests.” Something Correa should be familiar with, after all the CIA attempted a coup in 2010 under Obama’s watch. One of the key reasons of the attempted coup by the Ecuadorian police was the Public Service Organic Law signed in 2010. It was designed to place regulations on public service workers namely the police and military and create a standard base of compensation instead of receiving their bonuses from foreign sources (the U.S. government) under Ecuadorian law. The main problem before the law was passed was that the police of Ecuador was receiving bonuses from the US embassy to spy on Ecuadorian politicians and others who were considered opponents of Washington.

Interestingly, Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton was in Ecuador in June of that year to convince Correa to join the“Dark Side” but ultimately failed. U.S. Ambassador at the time was Heather Hodges who was assigned to disrupt and weaken the Correa government through USAID which contributed $40 million. The Ecuadorian police, military officials, USAID, NED, the CIA and a former president and a puppet of Washington during the Bush years, Lucio Gutiérrez who was ousted by the Ecuadorian people who demanded his resignation were all behind the coup plot.

Obama has 16 Months Left in Office

Will the Obama administration authorize another coup between now and 2016? It is Obama’s last 16 months in office since the first coup attempt. Correa knows he is on Washington’s “hit list” following his actions on Fundamedios who claim the freedom of speech is threatened as Washington threatens Julian Assange for exposing their crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq by killing of tens of thousands of civilians, which they tried to keep secret. Washington is consistent when it ignores the sovereignty of nations and bypasses international law on a regular basis.

Recently, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie) and various trade unions called for a nationwide strike against the government, but many indigenous organizations opposed it. Telesur reported that WikiLeaks published diplomatic cables from the U.S. embassy in Ecuador from 2005 and 2006 that suggest members of CONAIE were interested in talking to U. S. Representatives within their own ranks including Vice President Santiago de la Cruz and Congressman Jorge Guaman who according to one cable “expressed interest in open dialogue.”Members of CONAIE also “asked the U.S. government to intervene with the president to get Conaie representatives back in these government institutions.” De La Cruz is described as “very interested in the possibility of visiting the U.S. on an exchange program,” and that he “appeared eager to engage in dialogue” with the U.S.  Wikileaks also released documents on Auki Tituana, a member of Pachakutik who also seemed interested.

Although representatives in both organizations have shown an interest in meeting with U.S. officials, other members are not so keen on the idea including Luis Macas, head of CONAIE. This is a positive sign that members within these indigenous organizations do not want to meet with U.S. diplomats.  Macas “has advised his organization to avoid dialogue with the U.S. government.” According to the cables “There appears to be division within the ranks of Pachakutik and (Conaie) on the level of interaction they should have with the Embassy”.

In 2007, Correa was an anti-neoliberal advocate was voted into power and has brought Ecuador political and economic stability. One other issue Washington is concerned about is what Correa said about the Dollarization” of the Ecuadorian economy; he said it was a “technical error” after pro-US president Jamil Mahuad adopted the U.S. dollar in 2000. Correa did acknowledge that it is a difficult process to move out of the U.S. dollar at this time, however, he does support a regional South American currency that would allow Ecuador to move out of the dollar which is something U.S. officials’ do not like to hear especially when the dollar is about to lose its reserve currency status.

What is the CIA planning before Ecuador’s elections in 2017?

It is important to note that if a presidential recall vote were to take place in Ecuador today at least 60% of the people would vote for Correa according to the main-stream media’s ‘CNN Spanish’ poll this past June. Correa proposed constitutional reforms including two bills that would increase inheritance and capital gains taxes on the ultra-wealthy. Anti-government protests followed, which later turned violent. That is something Washington wants to see more of right before Ecuador’s 2017 presidential elections.

Friday, September 11, 2015

On the 14th aniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Paul Craig Roberts describes with the help of 3 videos what is known for certain to have taken place on that fatefull day. If you still believe the official story, then you need to watch these videos. They are factual, not speculative. Even if you may suffer cognative dissonance when someone brings up the subject, you owe it to your country and your children to educate yourself in what is known for sure to have happened, which today is being used to justify[sic] unending wars, destruction of countries, and millions of innocents slaughtered.

9/11 Fourteen Years Later

March 14, 2015 | Original Here                                            Go here to sign up to receive email notice of this news letter

9/11 Fourteen Years Later

Here is a presentation by Pilots For 9/11 Truth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Laaq44SDgg

Here is an extensive examination of many of the aspects of 9/11: http://www.luogocomune.net/site/modules/sections/index.php?op=viewarticle&artid=167

Phil Restino of the Central Florida chapter of Veterans For Peace wants to know why national antiwar organizations buy into the official 9/11 story when the official story is the basis for the wars that antiwar organizations oppose. Some are beginning to wonder if ineffectual peace groups are really Homeland Security or CIA fronts?

The account below of the government’s 9/11 conspiracy theory reads like a parody, but in fact is an accurate summary of the official 9/11 conspiracy theory. It was posted as a comment in the online UK Telegraph on September 12, 2009, in response to Charlie Sheen’s request to President Obama to conduct a real investigation into what happened on September 11, 2001. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/6177194/Charlie-Sheen-urges-Barack-Obama-to-reopen-911-investigation-in-video-message.html#disqus_thread

The Official Version of 9/11 goes something like this:

Directed by a beardy-guy from a cave in Afghanistan, nineteen hard-drinking, coke-snorting, devout Muslims enjoy lap dances before their mission to meet Allah. 

Using nothing more than craft knifes, they overpower cabin crew, passengers and pilots on four planes.

And hangover or not, they manage to give the world’s most sophisticated air defence system the slip. 

Unfazed by leaving their “How to Fly a Passenger Jet” guide in the car at the airport, they master the controls in no-time and score direct hits on two towers, causing THREE to collapse completely. 

The laws of physics fail, and the world watches in awe as asymmetrical damage and scattered low temperature fires cause steel-framed buildings to collapse symmetrically through their own mass at free-fall speed, for the first time in history.

Despite their dastardly cunning and superb planning, they give their identity away by using explosion-proof passports, which survive the destruction of steel and concrete and fall to the ground where they are quickly discovered lying on top of the mass of debris.

Meanwhile in Washington

Hani Hanjour, having previously flunked Cessna flying school, gets carried away with all the success of the day and suddenly finds incredible abilities behind the controls of a jet airliner. 

Instead of flying straight down into the large roof area of the Pentagon, he decides to show off a little. 

Executing an incredible 270 degree downward spiral, he levels off to hit the low facade of the Pentagon. 
Without ruining the nicely mowed lawn and at a speed just too fast to capture on video.

In the skies above Pennsylvania 

Desperate to talk to loved ones before their death, some passengers use sheer willpower to connect mobile calls that would not be possible until several years later.

And following a heroic attempt by some to retake control of Flight 93, the airliner crashes into a Pennsylvania field leaving no trace of engines, fuselage or occupants except for the standard issue Muslim terrorist bandana.

During these events

President Bush continues to read “My Pet Goat” to a class of primary school children.

In New York

World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein blesses his own foresight in insuring the buildings against terrorist attack only six weeks previously. 

In Washington

The Neoconservatives are overjoyed by the arrival of the “New Pearl Harbor,” the necessary catalyst for launching their pre-planned wars.

Monday, September 07, 2015

How big business rips off the 99%. Top executives find ways to game performance bonuses in ways such that "short-term gains to executives and shareholders and long-term damage to the corporation and economy." "Replacing American workers with foreign workers is [another] way. "Pushed by 'shareholder advocates,' Wall Street, and large retailers, US manufacturing corporations began closing their manufacturing plants in the US and producing offshore the goods, and later the services, that they market to Americans." For example, "Apple Computer, which apparently does not own a single factory, was a strategic mistake for the long-term. By offshoring the production of their products, US corporations transferred technology, physical plant, and business knowhow to China. American corporations are now dependent on China, a country that the idiots in Washington are endeavoring to turn into an enemy." "The jobs and careers of university graduates were sent abroad and denied to Americans." "The 5.3% unemployment rate is phony, because it does not count any discouraged workers, and there are millions of them."

My Quarterly Call For Your Support and My Latest Column

September 4, 2015 | Original Here                                            Go here to sign up to receive email notice of this news letter

Dear Friends,

It is September and time for my quarterly request for your support. The website has a number of supporters who have set up automatic monthly donations. If the website had more of these, I could dispense with quarterly requests.

If you contribute via PayPal or Stripe, please make a note of it. As credit card companies are saving money by not providing much of a description of your card charges, some contributors do not recognize the charges and file a dispute. These mistaken disputes waste a lot of my time and cost the website money in automatic “fraud fees.” Credit card companies are set up for purchases, not for contributions. Therefore, PayPal and Stripe assume that the charge to your card originated with the website and not with you, and I become involved in an incorrect charge dispute. IPE does not have your credit card number and cannot charge you for anything. When you use your card to make a donation, PayPal or Stripe has your card number, not IPE.

Remember, this is your website. To use an old expression, I am at the time of life when I would like to be shed of all this and spend my time with family and my cats, hiking along the mountain streams and walking the beach while I still can, and driving sports cars while I can still get in and out of them. But I understand that I provide a window into The Matrix or out of it, and I will not desert you as long as you support the site. I understand, without being conceited, that my education and life experiences mean that I know things that you can’t know and that there is scarcely anyone else to inform you. This statement does not mean that I think I know about everything and that every explanation I give is 100% correct. Experience and best effort are what I give you.
                                         ... Shortened by the blogger ... 
Below is my take on the economy in contrast to the disinformation fed to you by the government and financial media.

Whither The Economy?

Paul Craig Roberts

The great problem with corporate capitalism is that publicly owned companies have short time horizons. Unlike a privately owned business, the top executives of a publicly owned corporation generally come to their positions late in life. Consequently, they have a few years in which to make their fortune.

As a consequence of the short-sightedness of reformers and Congress, the annual salaries of top executives were capped at $1 million. Amounts in excess are not deductible for the company as an expense. The exception is “performance-related” pay, which has no limit. The result is that the major part of executive pay comes in the form of performance bonuses. Performance means a rise in the price of the company’s shares.

Performance bonuses can be honestly obtained by good management or mere luck that results in a rise in the company’s profits. However, there are a number of ways in which performance bonuses can be less legitimately obtained, almost all of which result in short-term gains to executives and shareholders and long-term damage to the corporation and economy.

Replacing American workers with foreign workers is one way. The collapse of communism in Russia and China and the collapse of socialism in India resulted in the under-utilized Indian and Chinese labor forces becoming available to American corporations. Pushed by “shareholder advocates,” Wall Street, and large retailers, US manufacturing corporations began closing their manufacturing plants in the US and producing offshore the goods, and later the services, that they market to Americans.

From the standpoint of the short-term interests of executives and shareholders, this decision made sense. But to transform manufacturing companies into marketing companies, as happened for example to Apple Computer, which apparently does not own a single factory, was a strategic mistake for the long-term. By offshoring the production of their products, US corporations transferred technology, physical plant, and business knowhow to China. American corporations are now dependent on China, a country that the idiots in Washington are endeavoring to turn into an enemy.

Further downside comes from the fact that research, development, and innovation are connected to the manufacturing process, because it is difficult for these important functions to be successful in a sterile atmosphere removed from the production process. As time goes by, US companies are transformed from manufacturing enterprises into sales organizations and lose connection to the work process, and these functions relocate abroad with the manufacturing jobs.

Offshoring manufacturing jobs left Americans with fewer high-value-added well-paid jobs, and the US middle class downsized. Ladders of upward mobility were taken down. Income and wealth distributions worsened. In effect, the One Percent got richer by giving away US incomes and GDP to China. Economists who shilled for the offshoring corporations promised new and better jobs to take the place of the lost manufacturing jobs, but as I have pointed out for years, there is no sign of these promised jobs in the payroll jobs releases or ten-year jobs projections.

Jobs offshoring began with manufacturing, but the rise of the high speed Internet made it possible to move offshore tradable professional skills, such as software engineering, Information Technology, various forms of engineering, architecture, accounting, and even the medical reading of MRIs and CT-Scans. The jobs and careers of university graduates were sent abroad and denied to Americans. Many of the jobs that remained in the US were given to foreign workers brought in on H1-B and L-1 work visas based on the obviously false claim that there was a shortage of talent in the US.

The gains in executive bonuses and shareholder capital gains were achieved by destroying the economic prospects of millions of Americans and by reducing the growth potential of the US economy. In the long-run this means the demise of the US as a world power. As I forecast in 2004, “the US will be a Third World country in 20 years.”

As jobs offshoring ran its course and had fewer remaining gains to offer the One Percent, short-term greed turned to new ways of wrecking both corporations and the US economy in behalf of executive and shareholder gains. Executives of utility companies, for example, forewent maintenance and upgrades and used the money instead to buy back their own shares. If you have ever wondered why you can’t get faster Internet in your area or why your electricity is constantly interrupted, this is probably the cause.

Executives also use the company’s profits to repurchase shares, and when they lack profits executives arrange bank loans to the companies in order to buy back shares. Executive “performance pay” goes up, but the corporations are left more heavily indebted and thus more vulnerable to recession and foreign competition. In recent years, buybacks and dividends have used up most of corporate profits, leaving the corporations bereft of updates and reserves.

Publicly owned capitalism’s short-term time horizon is also apparent with regard to nature’s resources and the environment. Ecological economists, such as Herman Daly, have established the fact that environmental destruction is the consequence of corporations moving many of the waste costs associated with their activities off their profit and loss statements and onto the environment. As other ways of artificially raising corporate profits and share prices become exhausted, expect corporations to push harder against pollution control measures. As the environment declines in its ability to produce new resources and to absorb wastes or pollution—for example the large growing dead areas in the Gulf of Mexico—the planet’s ability to sustain life withers.

President Richard Nixon established the Environmental Protection Agency in order to reduce the external or social costs that corporations impose on the environment. However, the polluting industries were not slow in taking over or capturing the agency, as University of Chicago economist George Stigler predicted.

A basis of economic theory is the absurd assumption that man-made capital is a perfect substitute for nature’s capital. This means that if the environment is used up and ruined, not to worry. Innovation and technology will substitute for nature. This absurd foundation of economic theory is why there are so few ecological economists. Economics teaches not to worry about the environment.

To sum up, the One Percent have enriched themselves at the expense of the economy’s potential and everyone else.

Where does the economy stand at the present time, a question on many of your minds? I am not a seer. Nevertheless, various things are obvious. In the US consumer demand is constrained by high debt and the absence of growth in real median family income. Evidence of the constrained US consumer shows up in lackluster real retail sales and in year-over-year declines in factory orders. On September 2, Zero Hedge reported that factory orders had fallen for 9 consecutive months.

As I point out, the monthly payroll jobs announcements are always overblown and consist largely of lowly-paid, part-time, domestic service employment. The 5.3% unemployment rate is phony, because it does not count any discouraged workers, and there are millions of them. Indeed, the absence of jobs is the reason the labor force participation rate has continually declined, a contradiction to the alleged recovery. On September 1, the Economic Cycle Research Institute reported that the US government’s data on employment/population ratios by education shows that the employment/population ratio for those with high school and college diplomas is lower now than when the alleged economic recovery began in June 2009. The only job gains have been for those without a high school diploma, the cheapest labor available in the US. Clearly, these are not jobs that will produce any rebound in consumer demand. And clearly education is not the answer.

The main economic releases from Washington—the ones that make the headline news: the unemployment rate, payroll jobs, GDP, and the consumer price index—are worthless. The unemployment rate does not include millions of unemployed, the CPI is rigged to undercount inflation, and as inflation is undercounted, real GDP is over-reported. Indeed, in my opinion and that of economic-statistician John Williams of shadowstats.com, nominal GDP deflated with a correct measure of inflation shows essentially no growth during the alleged recovery. What the government and financial media call economic growth is essentially price rises or inflation.

What is happening to America is that all of the surplus in the system accumulated over decades of success is being used up. Americans have had no interest income from their savings since the Federal Reserve decided to print trillions of dollars with which to purchase the troubled financial assets of a small handful of mega-banks. In other words, the Federal Reserve decided that, contrary to the propaganda about serving the public interest, the Fed exists to serve a few oversized banks, not the American people or their economy. As an institution, the Federal Reserve is so corrupt that it should be shut down.

The elderly avoid the stock market, because a decline can be long-lasting and eat up a large chunk of one’s savings. The same can happen from long-term bonds. Therefore, older people prefer shorter term interest instruments. The Federal Reserve’s zero interest rate policy means that older people are using up their savings, at the expense of their peace of mind and their heirs, in order to prevent a collapse in their standard of living. The elderly are also drawing down their savings in support of unemployed children and grandchildren. Unable to find jobs that will support the formation of a household or even an individual existence, many young college educated Americans are living with parents or grandparents, something I have not previously seen in my lifetime.

All the while the corrupt financial media pump us full of good economic news.

Many readers want to know if the stock market decline is over. It remains to be seen. In my opinion two opposite forces are at work. Based on earnings and the economy’s prospects, stocks are overvalued. However, the appearance of a successful economy is important to Washington’s power, and this brings in the Plunge Protection Team, a US Treasury/Federal Reserve team that intervenes to support the market. Wall Street managed to get the team created in 1988, and in the recent troubled days there are signs of it in operation. For example, suddenly during a time of market decline strong purchasing appeared, arresting the decline. Normally, optimistic purchasers who interpret declines as buying opportunities wait until the decline is over. They do not buy into the middle of a decline.

Today most stock purchases are made by money managers, such as mutual funds and pension funds. Individuals do not account for much of the market. Money managers are judged by their performance relative to their peers. As long as they move up or down with their peers, they are safe. Once the professionals see that government is supporting the market, they support it. This behavior is bolstered by greed. Participants want the market to go up, not down. Therefore, even if money managers understand that stocks are a bubble, they will support the bubble as long as they think the Plunge Protection Team is holding up the market. The unanswered question in the minds of money managers is whether the Treasury and Fed are committed to maintaining an overvalued market or whether they are just holding it up long enough for their well-connected friends to get out. Only time will tell.

My book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West, will introduce you to the damage done by jobs offshoring and to the mistaken assumption of economists that the environment puts no constraints on economic growth. 

The other part of the story comes from Michael Hudson, who explains the financialization of the economy and the transformation of the financial sector, which once financed the production of real goods and services, into a money-sucking leach that sucks all life out of the economy into its own profits. I recently posted a link to Pam Martens’ review of his book, Killing The Host.

If you can absorb my book, Michael Hudson’s book, and one of Herman Daly’s books, you will have a much firmer grasp on economics than economists have. Go to it.

And don’t forget to support this site.