Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Military as a Jobs Program: There are More Efficient Ways to Stimulate the Economy

By Ellen Brown
Global Research
June 22, 2011

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. . . . We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people."
        –Dwight David Eisenhower, "The Chance for Peace," speech given to the       American Society of Newspaper Editors, Apr. 16, 1953

In a Wall Street Journal editorial on June 8 bemoaning the failure of the Obama stimulus package, Martin Feldstein wrote:

"Experience shows that the most cost-effective form of temporary fiscal stimulus is direct government spending. The most obvious way to achieve that in 2009 was to repair and replace the military equipment used in Iraq and Afghanistan that would otherwise have to be done in the future. But the Obama stimulus had nothing for the Defense Department."

You can’t make this stuff up. The most obvious way to stimulate the economy is to replace military equipment? And the Obama stimulus had nothing for the Defense Department? When veterans’ benefits and other past military costs are factored in, the military now devours half the U.S. budget. If military spending is such a cost-effective stimulus, why have the trillions poured into it in the last decade left the economy reeling?

The military is the nation’s largest and most firmly entrenched entitlement program, one that takes half of every tax dollar. Even if "national security" is considered our number one priority (a dubious choice when the real unemployment rate is over 16%), estimates are that the military budget could be cut in half or more and we would still have the most powerful military machine in the world. Our enemies (if any) are now "terrorists," not countries; and what is needed to contain them (if anything) is local policing, not global warfare. Much of our military hardware is just good for "shock and awe," not needed for any "real and present danger."

Military spending is the very essence of "built-in obsolescence": it turns out products that are designed to blow up. The military is not subject to ordinary market principles but works on a "cost-plus" basis, with producers reimbursed for whatever they have spent plus a guaranteed profit. Gone are the usual competitive restraints that keep capitalist corporations "lean and mean." Private contractors hired by the government on no-bid contracts can be as wasteful and inefficient as they like and still make a tidy profit. Yet legislators looking to slash wasteful "entitlements" persist in overlooking this obvious elephant in the room.

The reason massive military spending is considered the most "obvious" way to produce a fiscal stimulus is simply that it is the only form of direct government spending that gets a pass from the deficit hawks. The economy is desperate to get money flowing through it, and today only the government is in a position to turn on the spigots; but there is a tourniquet on government spending. That is true for everything but the military, the only program on which the government is allowed to spend seemingly without limit, often even without oversight.

Chalmers Johnson estimated in 2004 that as much as 40% of the Pentagon budget is "black," meaning hidden from public scrutiny. The black budget is so top secret that Congress itself is not allowed to peer in and haggle over the price. Democratic control of the military has broken down. The military is being used for purposes that even Congress is not allowed to know, much less vote on. The U.S. is no longer a constitutional republic but is a national security state. Foreign policy is determined behind closed doors by powerful private interests that use our military presence abroad to secure their access to cheap labor, markets and resources. At least, we assume that is what is going on. A declared objective of U.S. military policy is "full spectrum dominance." That could well mean dominance over the American people along with everyone else.

Why is the military’s half of the pie sacrosanct? Wasteful and unnecessary military programs get a pass from legislators because the military is also our largest and most secure jobs program, one that has penetrated into the nooks and crannies of Every Town U.S.A. If it were disbanded, the economy would be crippled by soaring unemployment, plant closures, and bankruptcies. Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power, writes:

"Most politicians understand . . . that weapons production is currently the number one industrial export product of the U.S. They know that major industrial job creation is largely coming from the Pentagon. Thus most politicians, from both parties, want to continue to support the military industrial complex gravy train for their communities."

That explains why the country seems to be permanently at war. If we had peace, the war machine would be out of a job. Every year since World War II, the U.S. has been at war somewhere. It has been said that if we didn’t have a war to fight, we would have to create one just to keep the war business going. We have a military empire of over 800 bases around the world. What is to become of them when the lion lies down with the lamb and peace reigns everywhere?

Military Conversion

Fortunately, there is a way to solve these problems without maintaining a perpetual state of war: keep the jobs but convert them to civilian use. Military conversion is a well thought-out program that could provide real economic stimulus and national security for people here and abroad. Existing military bases, laboratories, and production facilities can be converted to civilian uses. Bases can become industrial parks, schools, airports, hospitals, recreation facilities, and so forth. Converted factories can produce consumer and capital goods: machine tools, electric locomotives, farm machinery, oil field equipment, construction machinery for modernizing infrastructure.

It has been done before. According to Lloyd Dumas inThe Socio-economic Conversion from War to Peace (1995):

"At the end of World War II, . . . a large fraction of the nation's output had to be moved from military to civilian production. . . . Some 30 percent of U.S. output was transferred in one year without the unemployment rate ever rising above 3 percent. This experience made it clear that it is possible to redirect enormous amounts of productive resources from military to civilian activity without intolerable economic disruption."

In the early 19th century, when we had no major wars to fight, the U.S. military was turned into a civil service that built infrastructure for the nation.

A successful modern example is the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the world's largest public engineering, design and construction management agency. Its mission is to provide vital public engineering services to strengthen the nation's security, energize the economy, and reduce risks from disasters. Generally associated with dams, canals and flood protection in the United States, USACE is involved in a wide range of public works both here and abroad. The Corps of Engineers provides 24% of U.S. hydropower capacity and is engaged in environmental regulation and ecosystem restoration, among other useful projects.

The late Seymour Melman, a professor at Columbia University, wrote extensively for fifty years on "economic conversion", the ordered transition from military to civilian production by military industries and facilities. He showed that a carefully designed conversion program could create more jobs than the war machine sustains now. The military actually destroys jobs in the civilian economy. The higher profits from cost-plus military manufacturing cause manufacturers to abandon more competitive civilian endeavors; and the permanent war economy takes engineers, capital and resources away from civilian production.

Bruce Gagnon writes:

"Across the nation colleges and universities are turning to the Pentagon for greater research funding as Congress and successive administrations have cut back on scientific research and development investment. As this trend worsens we find growing evidence that engineering, computer science, astronomy, mathematics, and other departments are becoming "militarized" in order to maintain funding levels." 

This research and production is not easily transferable to civilian use, since it has been designed for tasks that are radically different from civilian needs. And because we have put so many resources into military production, we have fallen behind industrially.

A 2007 study by Robert Pollin and Heidi Garrett-Peltier of the University of Massachusetts found that government investment in education creates twice as many jobs as investment in the military. Spending on personal consumption, health care, education, mass transit, and construction for home weatherization and infrastructure repair all were found to create more jobs per $1 billon in expenditures than military spending does.

Clearly, the half of the budget now going to military pursuits could be better spent. If we are going to double exports in the next five years, as President Obama has pledged, we will need to divert some of the resources poured down the black hole of war to productive civilian industry.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Why Are Food Prices Rising So Fast?

The Economic Collapse
June 24, 2011

If you do much grocery shopping, you have probably noticed that the cost of food has been rising at a very brisk pace over the past year. So why are food prices rising so fast? According to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, inflation is still very low and the economy is improving. So what is going on here? When I go to the grocery store these days, there are very few things that I will buy unless they are on sale. In fact, I have noticed that many of the new "sale prices" are the old regular prices. Other items have had their packages reduced in size in order to hide the price increases. But with millions of American families just barely scraping by as it is, what is going to happen if food prices keep rising this rapidly?

The food prices are especially painful if you are trying to eat healthy. Most of the low price stuff in the grocery stores is garbage. Eating the "typical American diet" is a highway to cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

But if you try to stick to food that is "healthy" or "organic" you can blow through hundreds of dollars in a heartbeat. In fact, the reality is that tens of millions of American families have now essentially been priced out of a healthy diet.

Soon there will be millions more American families that will not even be able to afford an unhealthy diet.

Some recent statistics compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics are absolutely staggering. According to a recent CNBC article, over the past year many of the most popular foods in America have absolutely soared in price....

Coffee, for instance, is up 40 percent. Celery is 28 percent higher while butter prices rose 26.4 percent. Rounding out the top five are bacon, at 23.5 percent, and cabbage, at 23.3 percent.

Unfortunately, it looks like the trend of rising food prices is accelerating. Just look at what the CNBC article says happened in the month of April alone....

Just in April—the most recent month for which data is available—grapes went up nearly 30 percent, cabbage jumped about 17 percent and orange juice surged more than 5 percent.

Meat is becoming more expensive as well. Since March 2009, livestock prices have risen by 138%.

So when Ben Bernanke tells us that inflation is very low, that really is a lie. On the stuff that people spend money on every day (like food and gas), prices have gone up dramatically.

Sadly, this is not just a phenomenon that is happening in the United States. The truth is that the entire planet is rapidly approaching a horrific global food crisis.

Over the past year, the global price of food has risen by 37 percent and this has pushed approximately 44 million more people around the world into poverty.

When food prices rise in the U.S. it may be painful for millions of American families, but around the world a rise in food prices can mean the difference between surviving and not surviving.

That is why it has been so alarming that the global price of wheat has approximately doubled over the past year.

But it is not just wheat that has been soaring. Check out what a recent Bloomberg article had to say about what has been happening to many key agricultural commodities over the past year....

Corn futures advanced 77 percent in the past 12 months in Chicago trading, a global benchmark, rice gained 39 percent and sugar jumped 64 percent. There will be shortages in corn, wheat, soybeans, coffee and cocoa this year or next, according to Utrecht, Netherlands-based Rabobank Groep. Prices also rose after droughts and floods from Australia to Canada ruined crops last year. European farmers are now contending with their driest growing season in more than three decades.

Even before this recent spike in food prices the world was struggling to get enough food to everybody. It has been estimated that somewhere in the world someone starves to death every 3.6 seconds, and 75 percent of those are children under the age of five.

So what is going to happen if food prices keep on rising at the current pace?

That is a very good question.

We really are starting to move into unprecedented territory. Nobody is quite sure what is going to happen next.

So why is all of this happening?

Well, a lot of people are blaming the Federal Reserve. All of the "quantitative easing" that the Fed has done has flooded the financial markets with money. All of that money had to go somewhere. Much of it has pumped up the prices of hard assets such as oil, gold and agricultural commodities.

But it is not just the Fed that is to blame. The truth is that central banks all over the world have been recklessly printing money.

When the amount of money in an economy goes up, the purchasing value of all existing money goes down. In the United States, that means that your dollars will not go as far as they did before.

But it is not just monetary policy that is affecting food prices. In 2010 and 2011 we have seen an unprecedented wave of natural disasters and crazy weather. This has caused problems with crops all over the globe.

In addition, U.S. economic policies are also playing a role. At this point, almost a third of all corn grown in the United States is used for fuel. This is putting a lot of stress on the price of corn.

Also, there are some long-term trends that are not in our favor. For example, the systematic depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer could eventually turn "America's Breadbasket" back into the "Dust Bowl". If you have not heard of this problem I would encourage you to do some research on it.

Things are going to get a lot worse, but already America is having a really hard time feeding itself. According to Feeding America's 2010 hunger study, more than 37 million Americans are now being served by food pantries and soup kitchens.

So is that number unusual?

Yes, it sure is.

The number of Americans that are going to food pantries and soup kitchens has increased by 46% since 2006.

That is not a good trend.

Another stat that I talk a lot about in this column is the number of Americans on food stamps.

Right now, there are 44 million Americans on food stamps. Nearly half of them are children.

How did we ever get to the point as a nation where more than 20 million children end up on food stamps?

It is estimated that one out of every four American children is currently on food stamps, and it is being projected that approximately 50 percent of all U.S. children will be on food stamps at some point in their lives before they reach the age of 18.

So what is going to happen if the economy gets even worse?

What is going to happen if there really is a major food crisis in this country someday?

Food prices have been going up for decades and they are going to continue to go up. But the frightening thing is how fast they are increasing now.

As the U.S. middle class continues to be destroyed, the number of Americans that can't afford to buy enough food is going to continue to rise. Food prices are rising much faster than wages are, and that is not likely to change any time soon.

Food is rapidly becoming one of the most important global economic issues of this decade. The farther one looks down the road, the bleaker things look for the global food situation.

I hope you are prepared for that.

All War All the Time: Good for Business?

Editor's NOTE:

Due to the timeleness of the topic, I am reposting this. Since Paul Craig Roberts wrote the article below several months ago, we have seen a steady increase in war preparations and kinetic activities on multiple fronts. It now appears that a World War is being planned by the High Cabal in part to decrease public attention to the global economic crisis that the Cabal is responsible for creating. In the process the Cabal will benefit financially from the increased use of the weapons of war.

I encourage all visitors to obtain copies of Colonel Fletcher Prouty's two books, The Secret Team: The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World (Second Edition) and JFK: The CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assassinate JFK. For additional information on the work of Colonel Prouty see Len Osanic's site Black Op Radio.

The late Colonel Fletcher Prouty has undoubtedly provided the best explanation of how the "High Cabal" has operated since 1945 and did so from an insider's perspective. Prouty had a front-row seat from which to observe all the clandestine US action carried out across the world.

For those struggling to understand how the United States can continue to act against the interest and desires of a majority of its citizens, Prouty supplies the answers.

--Dr. J. P. Hubert

War Über Alles

by Paul Craig Roberts
Antiwar Forum

February 26, 2011

The United States government cannot get enough of war. With Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s regime falling to a rebelling population, CNN reports that a Pentagon spokesman said that the U.S. is looking at all options from the military side. For more see THIS...

Pentagon Moves to Expand War in Pakistan

Kurt Nimmo
June 24, 2011

Now that Obama will go into the silly season of American presidential politics claiming he ended the occupation of Afghanistan, it is time for the Pentagon to get serious about its effort to destabilize Pakistan and prepare for the next world war.

On Thursday, the Gray Lady of establishment propaganda, the New York Times, floated the claim that the cell phone of the long dead Osama bin Laden’s “trusted courier” contained contacts to Harakat-ul-Mujahedeen, a jihadi group created by the ISI.

According to the U.S., the discovery proves the Pakistani intelligence sheltered Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.

“Harakat has especially deep roots in the area around Abbottabad, and the network provided by the group would have enhanced Bin Laden’s ability to live and function in Pakistan, analysts familiar with the group said,” explains the Times. “Its leaders have strong ties with both Al Qaeda and Pakistani intelligence, and they can roam widely because they are Pakistanis, something the foreigners who make up Al Qaeda’s ranks cannot do.”

As usual, the New York Times is only telling a small and highly selective part of the story.

Harakat-ul-Mujahedeen trained Muslim Brits who were sent to destabalize Bosnia in the early 1990s for the U.S. and NATO. The group was created as part of the CIA-ISI effort to eject the Soviet Union from Afghanistan.

Saeed Sheikh, who is accused of killing the journalist Daniel Pearl, was a member of Harkat ul-Ansar before it changed its name to Harakat-ul-Mujahedeen for public relations reasons (it was listed by the United States as a terrorist group). Sheikh, who is said to have been a brilliant student at the London School of Economics, is a British intelligence asset.

Now that the U.S. claims it killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan – without actually providing any evidence that it has done so – it will move to create the impression the country is rife with al-Qaeda miscreants who want to kill freedom-loving Americans.

Obama sidelined the stalemated war in Afghanistan earlier in the week – making the fallacious assertion he is bringing home the troops (one-third: 33,000 out of nearly 100,000)– and will now concentrate on making Pakistan the epicenter of al-Qaeda evil in the world in order to bomb and terrorize its population.

“We haven’t seen a terrorist threat emanating from Afghanistan for the past seven or eight years,” said a senior administration official in a briefing before Obama’s speech. “The threat has come from Pakistan over the past half-dozen years or so, and longer.”

In fact, Afghanistan never represented a terror threat to America. It was under the control of the Taliban, the religious fanatics who were created by the CIA and ISI. The Taliban become a problem when they refused to follow orders. Prior to that they were Unocal business partners.

The Associated Press cites the comical and inept non-bombing supposedly attempted by Faisal Shahzad in New York. The government and the corporate media have linked Shahzad to the Pakistani Taliban.

As it turns out (once again), the barbeque grill canister fizzle bomber Shahzad was linked to yet another terrorist organization that is controlled by British MI6 and the CIA.

“For there should be no doubt that so long as I am president, the United States will never tolerate a safe-haven for those who aim to kill us,” Obama said in his “drawn-down” speech.

Obama, as the head teleprompter reader for the ruling elite, has announced that the war on manufactured terror will pick up pace in Pakistan. It will also pick of steam in Libya and Syria in the weeks ahead.

Pakistan is now the frontline in a conflict designed to turn into the next world war. Pakistan, a former partner in the global terrorism ruse, is particularly dangerous and unstable. It is a country with around 100 nukes

Thursday, June 23, 2011

World War III Defined: Wider War Unfolding in Middle East

June 23, 2011

It’s time to identify the unfolding Middle East crisis for what it is– a wider world war. Elaborating on his previous video “Obama Launching World War III,” Alex Jones analyzes the more than nine years of expanding middle east conflict since 9/11, with the U.S. now engaging in 5 simultaneous proxy wars including Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan and Yemen.

Tensions with Syria, Russia, China and other players may further fan the flames in the region, as top globalists, including Bilderberg attendees, have announced their intention to put ground troops in Libya and kick-off a “big war” encompassing much of Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.

Despite opposition to the wars in U.S. Congress and throughout the NATO alliance, the Nobel Peace President will continue to try and save face as he escalates deadly conflict on behalf of his masters under a “humanitarian” pretext. The elites have craftily planted the seeds of chaos under the guise of the “Arab Spring” they helped fund and organize, which is now blossoming into an all-out war that could draw in major powers and proxy regimes alike.


Obama Launching World War III
June 17, 2011

In this critically important update, Alex warns that the international banking cartel is using Obama and the US military to start World War III. The controllers of the New World Order believe they can achieve their one world government by destabilizing every country in the the Middle East and northern Africa and draw Russia and China into crisis to create a world-wide catastrophe. Once this event occurs, and the world is brought to the brink of total obliteration, the global banking cartel plans to move in with their final phase: a one world government and eugenics agenda.

Alex urges his listeners to get the word out about this point in history. We are right now in the beginning stages of world war three. If this situation escalates, it can result in the worst world war that mankind has ever suffered.

Chance Didn’t Create The Current Economic Crisis

Bob Chapman
International Forecaster
June 23, 2011

What the world is experiencing today did not happen by chance, it was planned that way.

What Congressman Louis McFadden said of the “Great Depression” is as true today as it was in the 1930s. As Chairman of the House Banking Committee he said, “It was no accident; it was a carefully contrived occurrence. The international bankers sought to bring about a condition of despair here so they might emerge as rulers of us all.”

What you are experiencing economically and financially today is nothing new. Just study history all the precedence is there. The bankers and their willing helpers do the same thing over and over again. As we have said often what these banks represent is corporatist fascism and monopoly. Through their great wealth they control most governments and their court systems. That is why your elected representatives do not listen to you. They have already been purchased by Wall Street and banking. These are the same people who have financed most wars on both sides for centuries. Through their banks, and the Bank for International Settlements, and the BIS, they control money laundering and the worldwide drug trade, which is the most lucrative of all enterprises. The centerpiece of all the financial powers of the Illuminists come from the control of the drug trade for centuries.

These bankers and denizens of Wall Street and the City of London control our societies and in particular, business, finance and economics – almost every event within society is controlled by these elitists; as we saw in the stock market dotcom bubble of the late 1990s and the real estate bubble that began in 2003 and ended in 2006. We exited the stock market in the second week of April of 2000 and then again at 14,000, calling for a Dow 6,600 bottom. We believe we have been in a secular bear market in stocks since 2000 and we haven’t as yet seen the bottom by any means. Markets are no longer free and are under constant manipulation by elitists behind government.

The media is filled with one fraud after another. The residential real estate market continues to fall trying to find a bottom. Banks throughout the US, UK and Europe are temporarily saved from insolvency by central banks printing money. In country after country we see runaway deficits. Economic progress is frozen. Inflation grows with each passing day as gold and silver move relentlessly higher. At the same time the poor get poorer and the middle-class is being destroyed. We are witnessing the deliberate destruction of an empire.

Never do we hear a comment pertaining to free trade, globalization, offshoring and outsourcing. It is like it didn’t exist. America has lost 11.7 million jobs and 440,000 businesses over the past 11 years, but Congress evidently is ignorant of the fact that keeping jobs at home is easier than creating new ones. The jobs lost are high paying and the replacement jobs are at the bottom rung. All that has to be done is for Congress to pass legislation implementing tariffs on goods and services and to rescind corporate tax breaks for transnational corporations. It is just that simple. Unfortunately, 95% of Congress is bought and paid for by the very interests that perpetuate this stripping of America. We as well hear nothing from economists or market commentators regarding what passes for free trade. We learned as a nation in the late 1700s that British mercantilism does not work. We then found, on our way to greatness as a nation, fair and equitable tariffs work very well. Not what we have seen for the past 30 years; the deliberate destruction of our nation and our jobs.

Every answer to the job’s problem or meeting competition is a subsidy of one form or another. We know such socialist solutions do not work, but government uses them and business welcomes them. Very simply, nothing has been fixed and the palliatives haven’t worked and that is why we are about to enter credit crisis II, with assistance from Greece and the rest of Europe. The US, UK and Europe are headed for default and nothing can be done to stop the inevitable crack up, all America now specializes in is financial fraud and corruption. We have a country run by a crime syndicate and even when caught the companies are merely fined and among the connected, no one ever goes to jail.

Our system has deliberately been programmed to fail. It has taken $4.3 trillion just to keep the system afloat until the characters behind the curtain decide to pull the plug. Greece could be the catalyst along with warfare spreading throughout the Middle East. Is this the diversion? The war that we predicted? It could be and we’ll shortly find out. The Bilderberg planners in Europe have been stunned by Greece’s refusal to commit national financial and economic suicide.

While the drama in Europe plays itself out the Fed creates money and credit to gobble up 80% of US Treasuries. This causes inflation to continue its relentless climb just as it has in other countries. The money and credit creation by central banks exposes the US, UK and Europe eventually to hyperinflation. We are now also entering the war phase as insolvency becomes more visible. This is as we have predicted over the last 11 years. Most major banks in the US, UK and Europe are insolvent, and are made to look solvent by keeping two sets of books and via accounting ledgermain. Their situations are going to become worse as time goes on as real estate heads for the bottom and stays on the bottom for some time to come.

Unbeknownst to most the bank nightmare of commercial real estate is being financed by the Fed. When and if that stops the banks will have a new set of insurmountable problems. The banks are trapped in a dilemma of their own making and there is no way out. That is in spite of government, the BIS and the FASB allowing them to keep two sets of books. If you do that you will go to jail. Almost 30% of Americans have negative home equity and in Las Vegas it is 84%. By the end of 2011 those figures will be lots worse. Those who have home equity loans are close to 40% upside down. In another two years we envision dreadful conditions for both homeowners and banks. Making matters worse these banks have to hold more funds in reserve because the BIS believes speculation has to be reduced, because these funds may be needed to absorb more bad debts.

As we mentioned in previous issues the federal government is using federal pension funds to fund government operations until August 2nd, when presumably Congress will pass a new short-term debt limit. If we remember correctly government will need $250 to $300 billion by that date. We mentioned last week that government might use this opportunity to commandeer 401Ks and IRAs, and replace them with government guaranteed annuities. This threat is very real and if you do not cash in now you may not get the chance to later. Pay the tax and possible penalty and get out. Most workers are trapped in IRA’s and the only way they can get funds out is to borrow against them. Some 30% have already done so to live on having been laid off or to invest in gold and silver related assets.

There is no political will in America to cut spending and any cuts will be in budget increases over the next ten years. In addition, the President has been given marching orders for war by those who control him to cover up what they have done to the country and to make ever more profits for the connected Illuminists. There has been no way back for America since June of 2003. The debt is beyond payable. The problems are all still there and they are not going to go away. Even if by some miracle a solution to the financial crisis was found, the system is still yet to be purged, so that the banking system could be allowed to go bankrupt, along with many others that have engaged in malinvestment. Then there would be the end of market manipulation, the prosecution of the common criminals on Wall Street and in banking. The end of the Fed, lobbying, campaign contributions, Patriot Acts I and II, Homeland Security, the TSA and many other government agencies. We also have to find out if we really have any gold. The list is copious if not endless. With all of this comes devaluation and default and probably a BBB debt rating. This is why all investments should be in gold and silver related assets. In addition, probably at the top of the list is the criminal prosecution of those on Wall Street, in banking and government who have committed fraud and treason. They should be tried, sentenced and their families relieved of all of their wealth. That should also be applied to those who committed treason and they should forfeit their lives.

There is no question that the recent antics of Fed Chairman Bernanke is leading to the conditioning of the public to higher inflation. He knows inflation is more than 10% not the 3.6% the US government admits too. He and his controllers know full well inflation is headed ever higher because deficit spending cannot be stopped and neither can the Fed’s creation of money and credit.

The Fed has been forced to purchase about 80% of US Treasury debt issues because not only are foreigners not interested in such overrated debt, but also no longer are American households and hedge funds. These unusual discussions, which are precedent setting by the Fed is a form of psy-op conditioning for both the professional sector as well as the public that chooses to listen and can understand. The players all know the economy is weak. Mr. Bernanke verifies that. This is all leading to a major international conference where all currencies will be devalued and revalued and all debt will be multilaterally defaulted upon. A new international trading unit, or currency, perhaps the dollar again, will be put into service as the world reserve currency and it will be backed by 25% in gold. That is what these sessions by the Fed is all about, devaluation and the default of the US dollar. It is not surprising as a result of this, that these speeches and press conferences bring a lower dollar and higher gold and silver prices. The writing is on the wall, as we have pointed out for the past two years. As long as QE3, or something similar, is instituted to prolong the fall into collapse, we can project inflation out for the next few years. The level will depend on what is needed to keep the economy afloat. For QE1 and 2 and stimulus 1 and 2, we see 25% to 30% inflation by the end of 2012. If the Fed injects $1.7 to $2.4 trillion into the economy under QE3 then we will get close to 50% inflation, which to us is hyperinflation in 2013 and 2014. The minute stimulus stops deflationary depression begins. That said, we see that conference we spoke of happening in 2012, 2013 and 2014. At this point the timing is very difficult to call. We know one thing for sure there will be a QE3 or something similar to it.

Many nations are pumping money and credit into their financial systems and economies notably the US, UK and Europe. The financial problems in the euro zone are as problematic as they are in the UK and US, as Greece prepares to default. It will do so unless Europe’s bankers give Greece what we would call at this stage, a sweetheart deal and there will be little or no sales of Greek national assets. The European financial sector has to make a deal, because if they don’t Ireland and Portugal will follow Greece and Europe’s banks will go out of business. Like in the US and UK, subscribers get your money out of European banks and into gold and silver. If you do not, you may lose it all. Once the European-Greece situation is clarified the dollar will again tend lower and the prices of gold and silver higher.

The present state of financial affairs is a sad commentary on the international system of credit and currencies. In Greece the fate of the European financial system hangs by a thread and all those too big to fail European banks, that were subsidized secretly 2-1/2 years ago by the Fed, could go under soon. If central banks were capable of being so dumb as to let Lehman Brothers go under, we are sure they are capable of letting Greece go under. Remember, they really believe they are the masters of the universe. No one in the interconnected international financial system wants to see a Greek failure, but so far the way the banks have handled the situation, so brazen and arrogantly, you would think their game of poker with the Greeks included massive European bank failures. Like it or not Greece is catalyst number 2, Lehman being catalyst one. Bankers do not seem to understand that their Ponzi scheme has become common knowledge via talk radio and the Internet. Their controlled media can no longer bamboozle the world public. Those two sets of books bankers now use to hide nearly worthless debt are becoming known to the public and professionals. People are beginning to understand that Greece, Ireland and Portugal are Lehman all over again. Policymakers main job now is to assist Greece, not to rob and loot it, to save their own corrupt system. Greece, Ireland and Portugal didn’t cause the trillions of unsound debt, the bankers did. They are the experts. They made the loans that should have never been made in the first place. Needless to say the bankers are at least 80% at fault. Banks have to be held responsible. Both France and Germany fail to see it that way and are more than willing to let the bankers off the hook, because the bankers own them.

Worldwide liquidity is drying up because players are afraid to play and the Greek crisis has yet to be contained. These international bankers wanted world banking to be interconnected. They got their wish and it is going to bring them terrible trouble that could destroy them. There are global market forces and they have underestimated how much the world public has been educated by talk radio and the Internet.

We never give into a lie no matter who is perpetrating it. There is no recovery and there never has been a recovery. Thus, we won’t waste our breath discussing such a non-event. About $1.8 trillion, or perhaps more, has been squandered and the only thing QE2 and stimulus 2 have accomplished is slight growth and they have guaranteed 25% inflation next year. The market does not want to purchase marginal debt such as that of the PIIGS, but there will soon come a time when the market will no longer bid for anything but the best paper with real truthful ratings. That time will come soon enough. The painful process of facing reality for Greece and the other PIIGS is still in the formation stages. Mrs. Merkel, German Chancellor and Nicolas Sarkozy, PM of France had their mentors recently show them the light. Their decisions will cost them their next elections and there is no reason to believe working with the Illuminists will save them. These elitists were from the same cabal that terrified and made an early exit from the Bilderberg hive in St. Moritz. A group of gutless wonders who slinked away in the night. These people are vulnerable and they can be beaten.

World markets this year and last were very profitable for speculators due to giant loose money policies perpetrated by the Fed, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank. The latter quite illegally. Governments, and central banks never solve debt or economic problems by throwing money at it. CDS, credit default swaps, are not the answer because those on the other side of the trade are losers. CDS writers in the US are going to disappear over night. In fact it will go on for years if not defaulted upon. There is no easy way – or perhaps no way – out of this financial morass. The con game will find an end over the next few years and we would not like to be in the bankers’ shoes.

Last week the Dow rose 0.4%, S&P was little changed, the Nasdaq 100 fell 1.3% and the Russell 2000 rose 0.3%. Banks rallied 1.5% as broker/dealers fell 0.1%. Cyclicals rose 0.1%; transports 1.9%; consumers 0.8%; utilities 1.1%, as high tech fell 2.6%. Semis fell 3.6%; Internets 2.8% and biotechs 1.4%. Gold bullion gained $8.00, the HUI fell 2.3% and the USDX rose 0.3% to 75.99, down 5.1% year-to-date.

Two year T-bills fell 2 bps to 0.37%, the 10-year T-notes fell 3 bps to 2.94% and the 10-year German bunds were unchanged at 2.96%.

The Freddie Mac 30-year fixed rate mortgages rose 11 points to 4.50%.

Federal Reserve credit rose $25.5 billion to a record $2.810 trillion, up 21% year-on-year.

Fed foreign holdings of Treasury and Agency bonds rose $3.5 billion to $3.447 trillion.

Custody holdings for foreign central banks rose $96 billion year-to-date and $367 billion from a year ago.

M2, narrow, money supply rose $7.9 billion to a record $9.0 trillion.

Total money fund assets fell $34 billion to $2.708 trillion.

Total commercial paper outstanding fell $14.7 billion to $1.206 trillion.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Heed the Warning Signs; America is Edging Ever Closer to a Societal Implosion

By Michael Payne
June 21, 2011 at 12:41:13

Many millions of Americans are currently experiencing intense, unrelenting stress and feelings of despair and futility as they try to cope with a myriad of personal problems largely brought on by this nation's economic crisis. They are not unlike the millions of people in the Middle East that find themselves caught up in protests and violent civil disobedience; in fact they have one thing very much in common with them.

And that is that humans, no matter the nation or the culture, living under these kinds of extremely stressful conditions of despair and hopelessness, will eventually reach a breaking point when they have had all that they can take and they just can't take anymore; and then they react. Americans haven't reached that point, at least not yet. But conditions are continuing to deteriorate and many signs now indicate that a societal implosion is looming on America's horizon.

What we're talking about is an inward collapse of this society and its institutions. What exact form this collapse would take, how severe and far reaching it might be, and what it might do to this nation and its people is difficult to predict. But it's not the least bit farfetched to think that, at some point in the not too distant future, the American people will reach that breaking point and there will be a violent societal reaction.

Let's consider when that might happen and what would trigger such a reaction:

When millions of Americans completely give up on any possibility of finding a decent job in an atmosphere where there is no job creation by either the government or the business sector; when corporations continue to eliminate jobs in the U.S. and outsource them to China, India, and other nations and our government does nothing to reverse it.

When millions more Americans lose their homes to foreclosure and then, to their dismay, find that they cannot afford to rent. When personal bankruptcies due to home foreclosures and monumental health care costs overwhelm millions of Americans, leaving many of them destitute.

When America's financial institutions continue to hoard money and refuse to make loans to small businesses and individuals and, at the same time, devise new ways to increase service charges, ATM fees, and assess an array of penalties involving overdrawn accounts or minimum checking balances.

When the number of homeless people in America and those on food stamps double or even triple. When church charities and food pantries are overwhelmed by those trying but failing to make ends meet.

When the U.S. dollar continues to rapidly decline in value and rampant inflation makes it extremely difficult to feed and clothe a family.

When our states that cannot solve their massive deficit problems lay off even larger numbers of police and firefighters; when these states decimate our education systems by laying off more and more teachers; when they eliminate many social services to the poor, the elderly, the disabled and the mentally ill.
When the cost of gasoline skyrockets and most people can no longer afford long commutes to their jobs or when trying to find a job. When the costs of home heating and electricity become unbearable.

When those many millions of Americans under great stress, who are just trying to survive, see corporate profits rise while their incomes go down, CEO's getting massive bonuses and the wealthiest of Americans finding ways to get more tax breaks and stashing their savings in tax exempt shelters.

When people see the taxes they pay being foolishly and recklessly wasted on needless wars that accomplish nothing except to strengthen the vice grip of the military-security complex over this country.

When the millions of Americans who live in extreme poverty in this nation's cities can find no work of any kind, when their neighborhoods are overrun with violent crime by roaming gangs of young kids that include their own.

When those millions of Americans throw up their hands and say that "enough is enough" and "I can't take it any more," and decide that they will do whatever is necessary to survive, no matter what the consequences..

It is not difficult to understand how such an implosion could take place in America. All one has to do is to take our most critical domestic problems, such as I have outlined above, and project them into the future. You will then find a point at which our combination of problems will reach a boiling point that can no longer be relieved and there will follow an eruption in this society, the likes of which we have never seen.

Such an implosion might also be described as "blowback." Blowback is defined as " an unforeseen and unwanted effect, result, or set of repercussions." That is what happens when people react with violence of many different forms when they feel that they have been harmed or taken advantage of by those in positions of power and they want to strike out at the perceived perpetrators of such actions.

So under such circumstances America could experience great turmoil, great violence, massive protests, rioting in the streets and other happenings that would be very detrimental to this nation's stability. We currently live in very tenuous times and, yet, what we are experiencing is nothing compared to what may be rapidly heading our way.

When a societal implosion rocks America, what is going to happen to those greedy giant corporations who made obscene profits when they outsourced millions of American jobs to overseas slave labor? Who is going to buy their products? These corporations will see their profits plummet when those without jobs cannot buy their products and those with jobs cannot afford them due to rampant, out of control inflation. Many will go bankrupt.

What's going to happen to those financial manipulators on Wall Street that have used every conceivable way to suck the lifeblood out of the American people when there is no more blood left? What people will be left in America that can be taken advantage of by these financial predators? Maybe they will have to turn on each other and start to drain each other's wealth through devious tactics.

What about those wealthiest of Americans who live in opulence in their penthouses or in gated, heavily guarded communities? Will they become isolated, unable to go out in public among people who are in a dangerous mood? What good will their great wealth do them if they cannot feel free to live their lives as they have; when they feel threatened by the chaos and danger all around them?

Actually it doesn't have to come to this; such a scenario could be avoided but it will not be easy. The riots and extreme violence that have happened in other parts of the world must be avoided at all costs. This government and the business community must recognize the immense dangers that lie ahead if positive, constructive steps are not taken to alleviate many of the problems that the American people face. We can no longer follow the disastrous course we are taking.

But what exactly must be done? Well, I have writer's cramps from the many times that I have listed all the things that I think our government must do to turn America into a new direction. So, I will simply boil it down to only two things that I believe must be done to prevent such a domestic disaster:

#1: This president, the Congress and the military establishment must take positive, irreversible steps to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan and end our involvement in Libya ASAP. Troops should be returned to the U.S. beginning by July 31 of this year and be fully completed by the end of 2012. The American military empire must be largely scaled back and replaced with effective security systems that do not involve massive wars.

#2: This president and this Congress, together with the business sector must, collectively, develop the most aggressive and innovative job creation program in this nation's history, even greater than the series of work programs that were instituted by President Franklin Roosevelt during the New Deal. This massive jobs program would have to be of the magnitude or even greater than the ambitious program that put a man on the moon.

Just these two great initiatives would be enough to begin the process to turn America away from its disastrous, debilitating wars and into a new direction for the future. With those two foundations for recovery in place, it would pave the way for other critical initiatives. Making this happen would demand that the political bickering, the obstructive tactics, the corporate control, and the vacillating would have to be replaced by logical, rational, creative thinking with all parties dedicated to putting all Americans back to work.

That's exactly what must happen. But what if that ambitious objective fails to materialize because the parties mentioned will not change, have no intention of working together to do what is right for America, and they continue to maintain a state of gridlock? What then will happen, what will be the consequences?

That's very easy to predict. Down the road, before very long, the people of America will finally reach that breaking point, when they will have had enough, when they will find that they can take no more; and, then, this nation will experience a societal implosion of unthinkable proportions.

Nuclear Nightmare Worsens

By Joe Giambrone
June 21, 2011 at 12:21:18

It's worse, a lot worse. The lies told by TEPCO and the Japanese government are but the tip of the iceberg. More than 80% of the Japanese people distrust anything their government says about Fukushima. Shinbun news reports on the propaganda:

"The government has been trying to stress at home and abroad the safety of nuclear power plants ahead of an International Atomic Energy Agency ministerial meeting scheduled to start Monday."

It seems the new (and quite laughable) message of safety is designed to get all those shut down reactors back on-line in Japan, except for the destroyed plants obviously. The cryptic reference to the IAEA is curious. Why anyone cares what the IAEA wants is beyond me.

For those interested in following the horror show reposts articles, many of them translated from the original Japanese.

Tokyo now features "hot spots" of significant radiation. Sewage slag containing "170,000 Bequerels/kilogram" radioactivity has been detected and recycled into building materials! Soil in Koto Ward of Tokyo measured "2,300 Bq/kg."

A report by Bloomberg tells of soil samples about 25 kilometers to the northwest of the Fukushima plant, "with radiation from Cesium-137 exceeding 5 million becquerels per square meter." Other test sites 30km from the plant, "showed radiation exceeding 1.48 million becquerels per square meter."

At greater distance, 75 miles from the plant Professor Iwata Takahiro detected "500,000 becquerels per kg" in the roof drains at Yamagata University.

The radiation has already spread out over great distances. Japanese green tea containing "1,000 Bq/kg" radiation was found and seized by customs in Paris, France. The French went from "oui" to "no, no, no..." The tea was shipped from Shizuoka Prefecture in central Japan, which should raise even more concern, being quite a bit southwest of Tokyo.

The tea story should also raise even more concern for Europeans, seeing how the permissible radiation level for tea was 500Bq/kg. Does that sound like a desirable amount of radiation to ingest? I'm more disposed to say zero Bq/kg in my tea.

Tea farmers in Kanagawa , 300km south of the plant have found cesium contamination above legal limits. Many have been forced to destroy their crops. But, as with any widespread contamination how does the buyer know that his purchase is free of radiation, absent a geiger counter at the supermarket? Is that the future?

The Fukushima catastrophe is on track to out-disaster Chernobyl. The Fukushima region is much more highly populated than the Russian region. Some scientists have seriously considered creating a new "level 8" to categorize what's happening to Japan and the Pacific ocean since March 11th.

Send in the Clowns

The United Nations has already ramped up its UNSCEAR ostrich team. Its chairman Wolfgang Weiss was asked what health effects Japan would suffer, after the numerous Terabequerels discharged. Weiss replied, " From what I know now, nothing, because levels are so low. "

Weiss and UNSCEAR have discredited themselves before they even got started. Their goal is to collect reams of data in the first two years, long before the cancers begin to metastasize, then claim victory for the atom and move on.

Weiss openly lied when he said, "The only proven effect after Chernobyl was thyroid cancer in children." Anyone who's even glanced at the Chernobyl disaster knows numerous people died, including thousands of "liquidators" the Soviet conscripts who cleaned up the mess. Independent research flies in the face of the UN cover-ups and places mortality at approximately one million casualties (Yablokov, 2009).

Weiss, the current UNSCEAR head, claimed:

"In Fukushima, the people were evacuated before any [radioactive] release took place..." (Reuters)

What? Another lie. What nonsense is this man floating as trial balloons? Nothing of the sort happened. Hundreds of thousands are still there, now, living in contaminated regions blanketed with Cesium 137.

Have no illusions about UNSCEAR and the IAEA. It is their job to make this go away, pretend all is fine. Cancers can take decades to form, and cancers are not counted by UNSCEAR, excepting the glaringly undeniable childhood thyroid variety. Here's an aside: If UNSCEAR admits that radiation releases cause thyroid cancers, is it not at least conceivable to them that the absorbed radiation is also causing other illnesses as well?

Numerous other maladies: birth defects, stillbirths, heart, lung, brain, organ diseases will certainly not be counted, and their victims will be ignored by the UN agencies. That means they never happened, right?

UNSCEAR and IAEA have turned science on its head with a logical fallacy that seems to pass unnoticed in the media. They claim that because there are "no biomarkers specific to radiation, it is not possible to state scientifically that radiation caused a particular cancer in an individual." (UNSCEAR, 2008) And they use this as some kind of insane proof that the cancers were not caused by radiation.

The UN then prepares faulty, fraudulent "death toll" counts that omit cancers when there is no scientific basis for omitting them. The "no biomarkers" logic cannot be used to rule out that radiation caused cancers: it's then an unknown. Radiation doesn't just magically lose its carcinogenic properties because of a faulty screening condition that disqualifies people from being counted. These are gradeschool shenanigans gone global.

This June the president of the Italian Association of Medical Oncology, Carmelo Iacono spoke in Chicago at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual meeting:

"Nuclear radiation is the most carcinogenic thing that exists, and it cannot be kept under control, as the Fukushima tragedy proved."

The "most carcinogenic thing that exists" says a world-renowned cancer specialist.

In other nuclear disaster news...

The NY Times reports another plutonium reactor in Monju is involved in a "precarious struggle" 300km southwest of Fukushima, and nearer Kyoto. It seems that a "3.3-ton device crashed into the reactor's inner vessel, cutting off access to the plutonium and uranium fuel rods."

Of course the plant operator tried to cover it up, because that's the modus operandi at nuclear plants:

"...the operator had tampered with video images of the fire to hide the scale of the disaster." (NY Times)

But that's not all. A US reactor in Nebraska is set to go scuba diving. That's right. The Fort Calhoun nuclear plant is now an island. Earlier last week a fire ignited at a spent fuel pool and knocked out the cooling system!

If the pool or reactor cooling systems are disabled, Nebraska can expect the Fukushima scenario. After all, these ticking time bombs require constant cooling. That's what makes atomic reactors so inherently dangerous and unstable over the long haul. It wouldn't be an easy job restoring electrical equipment -- underwater.

But it's a two-fer! A second Nebraska nuke plant declared an "unusual event" as floodwaters approach. At the Cooper Nuclear Station in Brownville, NE:

"Personnel have been proactive in preparing the station for flood conditions by filling sandbags, constructing barricades, procuring materials and supplies, and reinforcing the access road..."(

Can we talk about putting that $36Bn toward safe, clean energy technologies now, Mr. Obama?

Or perhaps we need to lose, say, half of Nebraska before obvious realities come to bear? Or perhaps there are none so blind as those who refuse to see.

Senator Mike Gravel Pushes New 911 Investigation

Explosive Technicians Loader Says Building 7 Classic Controlled Demolition

Ground Zero ironworkers on 9/11 anomalies

"Everything was just office equipment was was just beyond comprehension...big sections of iron would hit the air and burst into flames. The underground fires were like the fires of Hell"!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Fukushima: Strontium levels up to 240 times over legal limit near plant

Ethan A. Huff
Natural News
June 20, 2011

Representing the first time the substance has been detected at the crippled plant, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) reported on Sunday that seawater and groundwater samples taken near the ravaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility in Japan have tested positive for radioactive strontium. And according to a recent report in The Japan Times, levels of strontium detected were up to 240 times over the legal limit, indicating a serious environmental and health threat.

Radioactive strontium, which is known to accumulate in bones and eventually lead to diseases like cancer and leukemia, is one of at least three “hot particles” being continually released by the damaged plant, according to experts. The others include radioactive cesium and plutonium, both of which are implicated in causing birth defects, cancer, and death.

“We are discovering hot particles everywhere in Japan, even in Tokyo,” said Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president with 39 years of nuclear engineering experience, to Al Jazeera. “Scientists are finding these everywhere. Over the last 90 days these hot particles have continued to fall and are being deposited in high concentrations. A lot of people are picking these up in car engine air filters.”

TEPCO has allegedly installed a new water decontamination system that it claims will eventually help filter dangerous radioactive isotopes from polluted water, and thus limit environmental and human exposure to the poisons. But that system has already run into several problems as flow rates have been lower than intended.

“Fukushima has three nuclear reactors exposed and four fuel cores exposed,” added Gundersen. “You probably have the equivalent of 20 nuclear reactor cores because of the fuel cores, and they are all in desperate need of being cooled, and there is no means to cool them effectively.”

Al Jazeera also reports that a nuclear waste advisor to the Japanese government recently explained that roughly 966 square kilometers (km), or 600 square miles, around Fukushima are now uninhabitable due to the unfolding disaster. This massive dead zone area is the equivalent size of 17 Manhattans placed next to each other.

Why Regime Change in Libya?

By Ismael Hossein-zadeh
Global Research
June 20, 2011

In light of the brutal death and destruction wrought on Libya by the relentless US/NATO bombardment, the professed claims of “humanitarian concerns” as grounds for intervention can readily be dismissed as a blatantly specious imperialist ploy in pursuit of “regime change” in that country.

There is undeniable evidence that contrary to the spontaneous, unarmed and peaceful protest demonstrations in Egypt, Tunisia and Bahrain, the rebellion in Libya has been nurtured, armed and orchestratedlargely from abroad, in collaboration with expat opposition groups and their local allies at home. Indeed, evidence shows that plans of “regime change” in Libya were drawn long before the insurgency actually started in Benghazi; it has all the hallmarks of a well-orchestrated civil war [1].

It is very tempting to seek the answer to the question “why regime change in Libya?” in oil/energy. While oil is undoubtedly a concern, it falls short of a satisfactory explanation because major Western oil companies were already extensively involved in the Libyan oil industry. Indeed, since Gaddafi relented to the US-UK pressure in 1993 and established “normal” economic and diplomatic relations with these and other Western countries, major US and European oil companies struck quite lucrative deals with the National Oil Corporation of Libya.

So, the answer to the question “why the imperialist powers want to do away with Gaddafi” has to go beyond oil, or the laughable “humanitarian concerns.” Perhaps the question can be answered best in the light of the following questions: why do these imperialist powers also want to overthrow Hugo Cavez of Venezuela, Fidel Castro (and/or his successors) of Cuba, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, Rafael Correa Delgado of Ecuador,Kim Jong-il of North Korea, Bashar Al-assad of Syriaand Evo Morales of Bolivia? Or, why did they overthrow Mohammad Mossadeq of Iran, Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala, Kusno Sukarno of Indonesia, Salvador Allende of Chile, Sandinistas in Nicaragua,Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Haitiand Manuel Zelaya in Honduras?

What does Gaddafi have in common with these nationalist/populist leaders? The question is of course rhetorical and the answer is obvious: like them Gaddafi is guilty of insubordination to the proverbial godfather of the world: US imperialism, and its allies. Like them, he has committed the cardinal sin of challenging the unbridled reign of global capital, of not following the economic “guidelines” of the captains of global finance, that is, of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and World Trade Organization; as well as of refusing to join US military alliances in the region. Also like other nationalist/populist leaders, he advocates social safety net (or welfare state) programs—not for giant corporations, as is the case in imperialist countries, but for the people in need.

This means that the criminal agenda of Messrs Obama, Cameron, Sarkozy, and their complicit allies to overthrow or kill Mr. Gaddafi and other “insubordinate” proponents of welfare state programs abroad is essentially part of the same evil agenda of dismantling such programs at home. While the form, the context and the means of destruction maybe different, the thrust of the relentless attacks on the living standards of the Libyan, Iranian, Venezuelan or Cuban peoples are essentially the same as the equally brutal attacks on the living conditions of the poor and working people in the US, UK, France and other degenerate capitalist countries. In a subtle (but unmistakable) way they are all part of an ongoing unilateral class warfare on a global scale—whether they are carried out by military means and bombardments, or through the apparently “non-violent” processes of judicial or legislative means does not make a substantial difference as far as the nature or the thrust of the attack on people’s lives or livelihoods are concerned.

In their efforts to consolidate the reign of big capital worldwide, captains of global finance use a variety of methods. The preferred method is usually non-military, that is, the neoliberal strategies of Structural Adjustment Programs (SAP's), carried out by representatives of big business disguised as elected officials, or by the multilateral institutions such as the IMF and the WTO. This is what is currently happening in the debt- and deficit-ridden economies of the United States and Europe.But if a country like Libya (or Venezuela or Iran or Cuba) does not go along with the neoliberal agenda of “structural adjustments,” of outsourcing and privatization and of allowing their financial system to be tied to the network of global banking cartel, then the military option is embarked upon to carry out the neoliberal agenda.

The powerful interests of global capitalism do not seem to feel comfortable to dismantle New Deal economics, Social Democratic reforms and welfare state programs in the core capitalist countries while people in smaller, less-developed countries such as Libya, Venezuela or Cuba enjoy strong, state-sponsored social safety net programs such as free or heavily-subsidized education and health care benefits. Indeed, guardians of the worldwide market mechanism have always been intolerant of any “undue” government intervention in the economic affairs of any country in the world. “Regimented economies,” declared President Harry Truman in a speech at Baylor University (1947), were the enemy of free enterprise, and “unless we act, and act decisively,” he claimed, those regimented economies would become “the pattern of the next century.” To fend off that danger, Truman urged that “the whole world should adopt the American system.” The system of free enterprise, he went on, “can survive in America only if it becomes a world system” [2].

Before it was devastated by the imperialist-orchestrated civil war and destruction, Libya had the highest living standard in Africa. Using the United Nations statistics, Jean-Paul Pougala of Dissident Voice reports,

“The country now ranks 53rd on the HDI [Human Development Index] index, better than all other African countries and also better than the richer and Western-backed Saudi Arabia. . . . Although the media often refers to youth unemployment of 15 to 30 percent, it does not mention that in Libya, in contrast to other countries, all have their subsistence guaranteed. . . . The government provides all citizens with free health care and [has] achieved high coverage in the most basic health areas. . . . The life expectancy rose to 74.5 years and is now the highest in Africa. . . . The infant mortality rate declined to 17 deaths per 1,000 births and is not nearly as high as in Algeria (41) and also lower than in Saudi Arabia (21).

“The UNDP [United Nations Development Program] certified that Libya has also made ‘a significant progress in gender equality,’ particularly in the fields of education and health, while there is still much to do regarding representation in politics and the economy. With a relative low ‘index of gender inequality’ the UNDP places the country in the Human Development Report 2010 concerning gender equality at rank 52 and thus also well ahead of Egypt (ranked 108), Algeria (70), Tunisia (56), Saudi Arabia (ranked 128) and Qatar (94)” [3].

It is true that after resisting the self-centered demands and onerous pressures from Western powers for more than thirty years, Gaddafi relented in 1993 and opened the Libyan economy to Western capital, carried out a number of neoliberal economic reforms, and granted lucrative business/investment deals to major oil companies of the West.

But, again, like the proverbial godfather, US/European imperialism requires total, unconditional subordination; half-hearted, grudging compliance with the global agenda of imperialism is not enough. To be considered a real “ally,” or a true “client state,” a country has to grant the US the right to “guide” its economic, geopolitical and foreign policies, that is, to essentially forgo its national sovereignty. Despite some economic concessions since the early 1990s, Gaddafi failed this critical test of “full compliance” with the imperialist designs in the region.

For example, he resisted joining a US/NATO-sponsored military alliance in the region. Libya (along with Syria) are the only two Mediterranean nations and the sole remaining Arab states that are not subordinated to U.S. and NATO designs for control of the Mediterranean Sea Basin and the Middle East. Nor has Libya (or Syria) participated in NATO's almost ten-year-old Operation Active Endeavor naval patrols and exercises in the Mediterranean Sea and neither is a member of NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue military partnership which includes most regional countries: Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania [4].

To the chagrin of US imperialism, Libya’s Gaddafi also refused to join the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), designed to cntrol valuable resources in Africa, safeguard trade and investment markets in the region, and contain or evict China from North Africa. “When the US formed AFRICOM in 2007, some 49 countries signed on to the US military charter for Africa but one country refused: Libya. Such a treacherous act by Libya’s leader Moummar Qaddafi would only sow the seeds for a future conflict down the road in 2011” [5].

Furthermore, by promoting trade, development and industrialization projects on a local, national, regional or African level, Gaddafi was viewed as an obstacle to theWestern powers’ strategies of unhinderedtrade and development projects on a global level. For example, Gaddafi’s Libya played a leading role in “connecting the entire [African] continent by telephone, television, radio broadcasting and several other technological applications such as telemedicine and distance teaching. And thanks to the WMAX radio bridge, a low cost connection was made available across the continent, including in rural areas” [3].

The idea of launching a pan-African system of technologically advanced network of telecommunication began in the early 1990s, “when 45 African nations established RASCOM (Regional African Satellite Communication Organization) so that Africa would have its own satellite and slash communication costs in the continent. This was a time when phone calls to and from Africa were the most expensive in the world because of the annual $500 million fee pocketed by Europe for the use of its satellites like Intelsat for phone conversations, including those within the same country. . . . An African satellite only cost a onetime payment of $400 million and the continent no longer had to pay a $500 million annual lease” [3].

In pursuit of financing this project, the African nations frequently pleaded with the IMF and the World Bank for assistance. As the empty promises of these financial giants dragged on for 14 years,

“Gaddafi put an end to [the] futile pleas to the western ‘benefactors’ with their exorbitant interest rates. The Libyan guide put $300 million on the table; the African Development Bank added $50 million more and the West African Development Bank a further $27 million – and that’s how Africa got its first communications satellite on 26 December 2007.
“China and Russia followed suit and shared their technology and helped launch satellites for South Africa, Nigeria, Angola, Algeria and a second African satellite was launched in July 2010. The first totally indigenously built satellite and manufactured on African soil, in Algeria, is set for 2020. This satellite is aimed at competing with the best in the world, but at ten times less the cost, a real challenge."

“This is how a symbolic gesture of a mere $300 million changed the life of an entire continent. Gaddafi’s Libya cost the West, not just depriving it of $500 million per year but the billions of dollars in debt and interest that the initial loan would generate for years to come and in an exponential manner, thereby helping maintain an occult system in order to plunder the continent”[3].

Architects of global finance, represented by the imperialist governments of the West, also viewed Gaddafi as a spoiler in the area of international or global money and banking. The forces of global capital tend to prefer a uniform, contiguous, or borderless global market to multiple sovereign markets at the local, national, regional or continental levels. Not only Gaddafi’s Libya maintained public ownership of its own central bank, and the authority to create its own national money, but it also worked assiduously to establish an African Monetary Fund, an African Central Bank, and an African Investment Bank.

The $30 billion of the Libyan money frozen by the Obama administration belong to the Central Bank of Libya, which

“had been earmarked as the Libyan contribution to three key projects which would add the finishing touches to the African Federation – the African Investment Bank in Syrte (Libya), the establishment in 2011 of the African Monetary Fund to be based in Yaoundé (Cameroon) . . ., and the Abuja-based African Central Bank in Nigeria, which when it starts printing African money will ring the death knell for the CFA franc [the French currency] through which Paris has been able to maintain its hold on some African countries for the last fifty years. It is easy to understand the French wrath against Gaddafi."

“The African Monetary Fund is expected to totally supplant the African activities of the International Monetary Fund which, with only $25 billion, was able to bring an entire continent to its knees and make it swallow questionable privatization like forcing African countries to move from public to private monopolies. No surprise then that on 16-17 December 2010, the Africans unanimously rejected attempts by Western countries to join the African Monetary Fund, saying it was open only to African nations” [3].

Western powers also viewed Gaddafi as an obstacle to their imperial strategies for yet another reason: standing in the way of their age-old policies of “divide and rule.” To counter Gaddafi’s relentless efforts to establish a United States of Africa, the European Union tried to create the Union for the Mediterranean (UPM) region. “North Africa somehow had to be cut off from the rest of Africa, using the old tired racist clichés of the 18th and 19th centuries,which claimed that Africans of Arab origin were more evolved and civilized than the rest of the continent. This failed because Gaddafi refused to buy into it. He soon understood what game was being played when only a handful of African countries were invited to join the Mediterranean grouping without informing the African Union but inviting all 27 members of the European Union.” Gaddafi also refused to buy into other imperialist-inspired/driven groupings in Africa such as ECOWAS, COMESA, UDEAC, SADC and the Great Maghreb, “which never saw the light of day thanks to Gaddafi who understood what was happening” [3].

Gaddafi further earned the wrath of Western powers for striking extensive trade and investment deals with BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), especially with China. According to Beijing’s Ministry of Commerce, China’s contracts in Libya (prior to imperialism’s controlled demolition of that country) numbered no less than 50 large projects, involving contracts in excess of $18 billion. Even a cursory reading of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) strategic briefings shows that a major thrust of its mission is containment of China. “In effect, what we are witnessing here,” points out Patrick Henningsten, “is the dawn of a New Cold War between the US-EURO powers and China. This new cold war will feature many of the same elements of the long and protracted US-USSR face-off we saw in the second half of the 20th century. It will take place off shore, in places like Africa, South America, Central Asia and through old flashpoints like Korea and the Middle East” [5].

It is obvious (from this brief discussion) that Gaddafi’s sin for being placed on imperialism’s death row consists largely of the challenges he posed to the free reign of Western capital in the region, of his refusal to relinquish Libya’s national sovereignty to become another unconditional “client state” of Western powers. His removal from power is therefore designed to eliminate all “barriers” to the unhindered mobility of the US/European capital in the region by installing a more pliant regime in Libya.

Gaddafi’s removal from power would serve yet another objective of US/European powers: to shorten or spoil the Arab Spring by derailing their peaceful protests, containing their non-violent revolutions and sabotaging their aspirations for self-determination. Soon after being caught by surprise by the glorious uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, the imperialist powers (including the mini Zionist imperialism in Palestine) embarked on “damage control.” In pursuit of this objective, they adopted three simultaneous strategies. The first strategy was to half-heartedly“support” the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia (of course, once they became unstoppable) in order to control them—hence, the military rule in those countries following the departure of Mubarak from Cairo and Ben Ali from Tunis. The second strategy of containment has been support and encouragement for the brutal crackdown of other spontaneous and peaceful uprisings in countries ruled by “client regimes,” for example, in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. And the third policy of sabotaging the Arab Spring has been to promote civil war and orchestrate chaos in countries such as Libya, Syria and Iran.

In its early stages of development, capitalism promoted nation-state and/or national sovereignty in order to free itself from the constraints of the church and feudalism. Now that the imperatives of the highly advanced but degenerate global finance capital require unhindered mobility in a uniform or borderless world, national sovereignty is considered problematic—especially in places like Libya, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Bolivia and other countries that are not ruled by imperialism’s “client states.” Why? Because unhindered global mobility of capital requires doing away with social safety net or welfare state programs; it means doing away with public domain properties or public sector enterprises and bringing them under the private ownership of the footloose-and-fancy-free global capital.

This explains why the corporate media, political pundits and other mouthpieces of imperialism are increasing talking about Western powers’ “responsibility to protect,” by which they mean that these powers have a responsibility to protect the Libyan (or Iranian or Venezuelan or Syrian or Cuban or ... ) citizens from their “dictatorial” rulers by instigating regime change and promoting “democracy” there. It further means that, in pursuit of this objective, the imperialist powers should not be bound by “constraints” of national sovereignty because, they argue, “universal democratic rights take primacy over national sovereignty considerations.”In a notoriously selective fashion, this utilitarian use of the “responsibility to protect” does not apply to nations or peoples ruled by imperialism’s client states such as Saudi Arabia or Bahrain. [6]

This also means that the imperialist war against peoples and states such as Libya and Venezuela is essentially part of the same class war against peoples and states in the belly of the beast, that is, in the United States and Europe. In every instance or place, whether at home or abroad, whether in Libya or California or Wisconsin or Greece, the thrust of the relentless global class war is the same: to do away with subsistence-level guarantees, or social safety net programs, and redistribute the national or global resources in favor of the rich and powerful, especially the powerful interests vested in the finance capital and the military capital.

There is no question that global capitalism has thus woven together the fates and fortunes of the overwhelming majority of the world population in an increasingly intensifying struggle for subsistence and survival. No one can tell when this majority of world population (the middle, lower-middle, poor and working classes) would come to the realization that their seemingly separate struggles for economic survival are essentially part and parcel of the same struggle against the same class enemies, the guardians of world capitalism. One thing is clear, however: only when they come to such a liberating realization, join forces together in a cross-border, global uprising against the forces of world capitalism, and seek to manage their economies independent of profitability imperatives of capitalist production—only then can they break free from the shackles of capitalism and control their future in a coordinated, people-centered mode of production, distribution and consumption.