• All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.

  • I.F. Stone

vrijdag 18 juli 2008

De Pro Israel Lobby 74











Mazin Qumsiyeh bericht: 'The Israeli apartheid regime finally agreed to exchange Israeli with Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners. This exchange could have been done before the summer 2006 massacres of Lebanese civilians which Israel launched claiming it is to liberate the two Israeli soldiers held by Hezbollah. This exchange shows the bankruptcy of the political and war making Israeli regime. That summer an Israeli chief of staff called his broker and sold his stocks an hour after getting out of a cabinet meeting that decided to launch that offensive (in every sense of the word) war. In that summer, Israel dropped millions of cluster bombs that are still killing and maiming Lebanese children today. That is the war than both Obama and McCain supported and our government funded and that is the war that now has been proven pointless. Despite AIPAC and its cronies in the media, that and many other truths remains clear to all who want to see. The overriding fact also remains that Zionism is the main cause of wars and conflict throughout the region from Palestine to Afghanistan. Peace is possible and it must start with ending US support for that apartheid regime and bringing peace to Palestine (where Jews, Christians, Muslims and others are then allowed to build a democratic country of all its people). That is the real road map to peace in Western Asia and indeed key to US economic recovery.In todays message, you can skim through articles and video on Israel's lobby role in wars, an article on the Palestine conference in Chicago (I will be there), a refugee story (one of millions), news of the Green Party... and/or you can go directly to action items.Turning the Tables on the Israel-Firsters by Michael Scheuer (Former director of CIA's Bin Laden Unit)Now that the dust has settled in the spat between journalist Joe Klein and the ideologues at Commentary, it is time to regret the ink spilled over the non-issue of "dual loyalties." The idea that there are U.S. citizens who have equal loyalties to the United States and Israel is passé. American Israel-firsters have long since dropped any pretense of loyalty to the United States and its genuine national interests.'
Zoals bekend: steeds meer Amerikanen krijgen genoeg van de oorlogszuchtige joodse- en christelijke pro-Israel lobby in de VS:
'Turning the Tables on the Israel-Firsters
by Michael Scheuer
Now that the dust has settled in the spat between journalist Joe Klein and the ideologues at Commentary, it is time to regret the ink spilled over the non-issue of "dual loyalties." The idea that there are U.S. citizens who have equal loyalties to the United States and Israel is passé. American Israel-firsters have long since dropped any pretense of loyalty to the United States and its genuine national interests. They have moved brazenly into the Israel first, last, and always camp. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, Norman Podhoretz, Victor Davis Hanson, the Rev. Franklin Graham, Alan Dershowitz, Rudy Giuliani, Douglas Feith, the Rev. Rod Parsley, Paul Wolfowitz, James Woolsey, Bill Kristol, the Rev. John Hagee, and the thousands of wealthy supporters of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) appear to care about the United States only so far as Washington is willing to provide immense, unending funding and the lives of young U.S. service personnel to protect Israel. These individuals and their all-for-Israel journals – Commentary, National Review, the Weekly Standard, and the Wall Street Journal – amount to nothing less than a fifth column intent on involving 300 million Americans in other peoples' religious wars, making them pay and bleed to protect a nation in which the United States has no genuine national security interest at stake.
The Israel-firsters' success is, of course, the stuff of which legends are made. Most recently, for example, we heard President Bush echo Sen. Lieberman's insane and subversive contention that the United States has a "duty" to ensure the fulfilling of God's millennia-old promise to Abraham regarding the creation and survival of Israel. Bush told the Knesset all Americans are ready to endlessly bleed and pay to ensure Israel's security. And where does the president derive authority to make such a commitment in the name of his countrymen? From the Constitution? On the basis of America's dominant religion? From – heaven forbid – a thoughtful, hardheaded analysis of U.S. interests?
No, Bush's pledge was based on none of these. Bush's decision to more deeply involve America in the eternal Arab-Israeli war was based on nothing less than the corruption wrought on the American political system by the Israel-firsters, AIPAC's enormous treasury, and the lamentable but growing influence of America's leading evangelical Protestant preachers.
The Israel-firsters started the Iraq war and now have the United States locked into an occupation of that country that may not end in any of our lifetimes. Unless Americans ignore the likes of Hanson, Podhoretz, Lieberman, Woolsey, and Wolfowitz, the cost in blood and treasure will ultimately bankrupt America.
AIPAC is a perfectly legal organization, and the wealth of its members is channeled into reliable campaign contributions for any candidate from either party who will put Israel's interests above America's. From McCain to Obama, from Pelosi to Giuliani, from Hillary Clinton to Vice President Cheney, AIPAC pumps money to any and every American politician who is willing to adopt an Israel-first policy.
Leading American Protestant evangelical preachers – men like Hagee, Parsley, and Graham – are the newest and perhaps most anti-American members of this fifth column. They serve two purposes: (1) to reinforce in the minds of their flocks the Bush-Lieberman absurdity that the United States has a "duty" to ensure Israel's survival; and (2) to use religious rhetoric to steadily convince the Muslim world that U.S. leaders are interested only in taming – and if need be, destroying – Islam.'

The Empire 333


'Kafka Comes to America
Posted on Jul 16, 2008
By Marie Cocco
It is sadly amusing, that small part of Steven Wax’s book that brings us back to the bizarre color-coded system of homeland security alerts; the breathlessness with which the media would announce each day’s threat level and the way the Bush administration enlisted local police—untrained and almost certainly unaware of what they were supposed to do if they stumbled over a terrorist—in the early years of the so-called war on terror.
Wax, the federal public defender for the district of Oregon, recalls driving over a Willamette River bridge with his young son, who wondered what police cruisers were doing on each end of the span. The boy asked questions an innocent would ask: “Was there a real danger? If so, why were we driving over the bridge?”
I chuckled out loud at that paragraph in Wax’s “Kafka Comes to America,” but that is its only humor.
The book provides an insider’s view of some of the most hideous practices our country has allowed since the 9/11 attacks. And that’s without giving accounts of torture and abuse of detainees. Rather, it recounts an abuse of power and the twisting of American legal norms until they have been distorted beyond recognition—a disregard for the law that has swept up American citizens and foreigners alike.
Wax and his colleagues were lawyers for Brandon Mayfield, the Oregon man who was erroneously jailed for alleged complicity in the 2004 Madrid train bombings. He was picked up as a “material witness” by the Justice Department, which based its suspicion of him—and countless media leaks that portrayed Mayfield, an American citizen who is Muslim, as a possible international terrorist—on what turned out to have been a faulty reading of a fingerprint by the FBI.
When Wax first was retained to defend Mayfield, he did not immediately know that the FBI and Spanish investigators had differed from the start on the fingerprint identification, the sole piece of “evidence” the U.S. government came up with before it swooped down on Mayfield and his family, searching his home through “sneak and peek” tactics authorized under the Patriot Act; leaving his wife and children with the terrifying thought that Mayfield might disappear or be charged with a crime that carried the death penalty.
At the time, the White House was claiming it had the power to detain American citizens without charge or trial, and to incarcerate them in military brigs. Having read Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s “The Gulag Archipelago” and taken a law school course that described the Soviet legal system, Wax shuddered. “Now I was sitting in the county jail in Portland, Oregon, actually telling a client that he might disappear and we were even planning for the possibility,” he writes.
In the end, the fingerprint identification was determined to be wrong, Mayfield was released and won a $2-million settlement from the government because of its misconduct. Still, Wax says, the secret search of Mayfield’s home could be conducted under the latest version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows such searches without probable cause, without evidence that the targeted individual has committed a crime. “Nothing’s changed,” Wax told me in an interview.
Wax continues to be part of the legal team that works to get hearings for the Guantanamo detainees who have never had a day in court. The book flips back and forth between Wax’s efforts to get to the bottom of the Mayfield detention and his bid to free Adel Hamad, a Sudanese hospital administrator who was picked up by Pakistani security forces in his Peshawar apartment and shipped to Guantanamo.'
Lees verder:

Het Neoliberale Geloof 123


William Pfaff on General Motors
Posted on Jul 18, 2008
By William Pfaff
According to a new American book, and old theory, the reason capitalism is in crisis is that it spends too much on its workers.
The central bankers and Western governments, together with the economic analysts, seem agreed that it would be a near-mortal blow to the presently stumbling international economic system if employers paid more to workers. This threat is known to economists as “wage inflation.” The European Central Bank recently warned that it jeopardizes the interests of the European Union economy.
The book is called “While America Aged: How Pension Debts Ruined General Motors, Stopped the New York Subways, Bankrupted San Diego, and Loom as the Next Financial Crisis.” The author is Roger Lowenstein.
His argument is that paying its workers what it agreed to pay them is ruining General Motors, along with other major American corporations. GM in 1950 signed a five-year contract with the United Automobile Workers agreeing “to provide rich pensions and health care” (Lowenstein’s words) to its workers. Today that commitment and the ones that have followed have “robbed” General Motors “of its financial flexibility and its cash.”

While America Aged
By Roger Lowenstein
The Penguin Press, 288 pages

Why did GM sign such a contract in 1950? United Auto Workers leader Walter Reuther urged the automobile manufacturers instead to join the UAW in demanding from the government the kind of agreements that were being made in Europe, by which the state assumed responsibility for universal health care and retirement protection for all citizens.
If business had accepted Reuther’s proposals, a federal welfare system would necessarily have been funded from taxes, as in Europe. In that case Lowenstein could have written his book today on how “taxes ruined General Motors,” etc., and gone on to deplore that business had not been allowed the freedom in the 1950s to negotiate its own wages and pensions agreements with the unions.
General Motors and the other auto makers, with corporate America generally, condemned Reuther’s proposals as calling for a “socialized welfare state.” Instead GM signed its individual contract with the UAW, and in subsequent years applied an equivalently “self-destructive” logic to subsequent wage negotiations with the unions. Rather than pay more, the company chose to increase worker benefits. In 1961, for example, it offered only a 2.5 percent wage increase, making it acceptable by simultaneously guaranteeing a 12 percent rise in pensions. It did not want to pay today, and the union unwisely accepted GM’s promise to pay tomorrow.
Tomorrow has arrived, and General Motors, seconded by much of corporate America, and by Roger Lowenstein, would like to be allowed to welsh on its promises.
As Lowenstein writes in The New York Times, the company’s stock is at its lowest level in 50 years, and its market valuation has plunged to $5.9 billion. It might even have to sell off Buick and Pontiac to pay its obligations.
“Who shot General Motors?” he asks. He says that by “maintaining a corporate welfare state” the company “poured tens of billions of dollars” into its contractual obligation to fund the pensions of its workers, “an irretrievable loss of opportunity.”
One is staggered by the arrogance and social nihilism of this comment. To whom is General Motors obliged, both contractually and morally? Surely to its workers. That is one of the great social compromises making modern capitalism possible. The company also is obliged to its stockholders, on whose behalf its executives were supposed to be acting while mismanagement dilapidated this once-great corporation.'
william_pfaff_on_general_motors/

Vrijheid

Wie van deze twee vrouwen is nu vrijer? De jongedame die zich bloot geeft of de vrouw die zich hult in een hoofddoek? En nu bedoel ik niet individueel gesproken, want wij kennen deze mensen niet, maar ik bedoel sociaal gesproken? Wie van deze twee is vrijer, of zijn ze even vrij, of zitten ze even gevangen in conventies?

Ik bedoel: zou een vrouw wier lichaam veranderd is door het baren van kinderen zich even vrij voelen om haar naakte lichaam publiekelijk te tonen als deze jongedame? Zo ja, waarom? Zo nee, waarom niet? En wat betekent vrijheid dan?

Iran 233


De Independent bericht:

'Condi's coup: how the neo-cons lost the argument over Iran
Secretary of State's influence pivotal to Bush's change of policy
By Leonard Doyle in Washington
Friday, 18 July 2008

Condoleezza Rice was George Bush's handmaiden for the war in Iraq but she is now emerging as the best hope for avoiding a military conflict between the United States and Iran.
The Secretary of State, who is one of the few people with the President's ear, has shown the door to Vice-President Dick Cheney's cabal of war-hungry advisers. Ms Rice was able to declare yesterday that the administration's decision to break with past policy proves that there is international unity in opposing Iran's nuclear programme. "The point that we're making is the United States is firmly behind this diplomacy, firmly behind and unified with our allies and hopefully the Iranians will take that message," Ms Rice said.
Mr Bush's decision to send the number three in the State Department, William Burns, to attend talks with Iran in Geneva at the weekend caused howls of outrage that were heard all the way from the State Department's sanctuary of Foggy Bottom to the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue. A parallel initiative to reopen the interest's section of the American embassy in Tehran, which would be the first return of a diplomatic presence on Iranian territory since 1979, has also received a cool response from neo-conservatives.
"This is a complete capitulation on the whole idea of suspending enrichment," said Mr Bush's former UN envoy, John Bolton. "Just when the administration has no more U-turns to pull, it does another."
In public, Ms Rice has been as bellicose as any neo-con when it comes to Iran, calling dialogue with its leaders "pointless" and declaring: "For the sake of peace, the world must not allow Iran to have nuclear weapons."
She had been the prime mover behind Mr Bush's disastrous policy of "preventive wars" and cheerleader of his expansive plans to reorganise the entire Middle East and to "export democracy". But with the rumblings of war with Iran growing steadily louder, Ms Rice worked feverishly behind the scenes to stop sparks from flying in the drive by the US and Israel to shut down Iran's nuclear programme.
The breakthrough, if that is what it turns out to be, that persuaded Mr Bush that it was time to end the 30-year boycott of high-level diplomatic contacts with Iran, came from the simple act of Ms Rice signing her name to a joint letter offering sweeter terms to Tehran than it had seen before.
The very act of putting her name to a package of incentives presented in Tehran last month persuaded the Iranian authorities that there was movement that would allow them to proclaim victory over the US, while ending their nuclear programme.
When he saw Ms Rice's signature on the document, Iran's Foreign Minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, was visibly stunned, according to those present at the meeting. He formally responded to the offer with a letter addressed to Ms Rice and the EU's foreign policy envoy, Javier Solana, as well as foreign ministers of the five other countries at the talks.
His letter skirted around the hot-button issue of Iran's uranium enrichment programme, but it contained an olive branch of an offer to "find common ground through logical and constructive actions", according to reports.
Hearing of Mr Mottaki's reaction and then receiving a formal response persuaded Ms Rice that Iran was finally willing to have meaningful talks with the US that could avoid a war.'

Lees verder:

donderdag 17 juli 2008

Imre Kertész




Laten deze woorden van een groot mens u sterken en vertroosten in een wereld, waarin niet alleen Guus Valk van de NRC, maar alle commerciële massamedia de taal elk uur weer verkrachten. In De Verbannen taal schrijft Imre Kertész:
“’Dichters zijn de wetgevers van de wereld.’ Ik denk dat hier ergens ons vertrekpunt moet liggen. Het is namelijk waar dat dichters – en we moeten dit woord hier ruim opvatten, in de betekenis van creatieve fantasie in het algemeen – wetten niet maken zoals juristen in het parlement dat doen, maar zij zijn degenen die de wet gehoorzamen, de wet die nog altijd als zodanig functioneert in de wereld, en die de verhalen, en het grote verhaal van de mens, creëert en redigeert. De dichter is degene die nooit de wet kan schenden, want dan is zijn werk niet te rechtvaardigen en dus gewoon slecht. Deze wet, die ongrijpbaar is en toch doeltreffender dan wat dan ook, geeft niet alleen richting aan onze geest, maar wordt ook onophoudelijk gevoed door ons eigen leven, aangezien ze anders ook niet zou bestaan. Ik zou deze wet nu graag, in mijn radeloosheid en bij gebrek aan beter, met een uitdrukking van Thomas Mann de geest van de vertelling willen noemen. Die bepaalt wat er in de mythe terechtkomt en op welke manier, wat er in het verhalenboek van een civilisatie bewaard blijft, ondanks het feit dat de ideologen dat graag zelf zouden willen uitmaken. Dat lukt hun bijna nooit, althans niet zoals ze dat zouden willen. De mythe wordt bepaald door iets anders, een geheim gemeenschappelijk besluit, dat ongetwijfeld werkelijke motieven en behoeften van de ziel weerspiegelt en waarin de waarheid naar voren komt. De horizon van ons dagelijks leven wordt begrensd door deze verhalen, die uiteindelijk over goed en kwaad gaan, en in onze wereld binnen die horizon heerst een eindeloos gefluister over goed en kwaad. Ik wil een gewaagde uitspraak doen: in zekere zin en op zeker niveau leven we uitsluitend ter wille van de geest van de vertelling; die geest, die in ons aller harten en hoofden steeds in wording is, heeft de plaats van God ingenomen, die met de middelen van de geest niet af te tasten is; dit is de symbolische blik die we op ons gevestigd voelen bij alles wat we doen of laten.”
De verbannen taal is in 2005 bij uitgeverij De Bezige Bij verschenen.

De Pro Israel Lobby 73

'Top senators agree on expanding sanctions
WASHINGTON, (AP) --

Two influential senators sealed an agreement Tuesday to seek expansion of punishing economic pressure on Iran in an accelerating drive to change its international behavior through sanctions.
Sens. Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn., chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and Richard Shelby, R-Ala., the panel's senior Republican, announced the accord.
Its two principal goals, Dodd said in a statement, are to authorize states and local governments to divest from companies that do business with Iran's oil and gas sectors and cut off shipment through other countries of sanctioned technology.
Shelby, in a statement, said "it is imperative that the United States avail itself of every possible measure to ensure that Iran changes its behavior."
The two senior senators called Iran a threat to U.S. interests and allies.
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has shrugged off past U.S. sanctions against Iran, saying the country would not succumb to pressure. "Americans are not able to harm us," he said last October.
Recent tests of long-range missiles, still being analyzed by the Pentagon and American intelligence, indicate Iran is going ahead with an improved capacity to strike at U.S. interests and at Israel.
American authorities agree, however, that Iran has not yet perfected enrichment of uranium to be able to build nuclear wapons and attach a nuclear warhead to its missiles.
Iran, for its part, says its nuclear programs are designed to expand civilian power.
The Senate Banking Committee is scheduled to take up the bipartisan sanctions bill on Thursday.
Among its provisions is to expand existing restrictions on doing business with Iran to include helping oil and liquified natural gas pipeline construction and maintenance and construction of tankers.
As in the past, deals worth more than $20 million would be targeted.
Also, operators of mutual funds and other investment programs would be shielded from litigation by investors who object to cutting off investments in Iran's industries.
The legislation also would ban U.S. procurment contracts with American and foreign firms that engage in sanctionable business with Iran.
The bill also increases funding for the Treasury Department's office of terrorism and financial intelligence.

Nederland en Afghanistan 166


NATO denies Afghan troop buildup, urges Pakistan action
BRUSSELS (AFP) -
The NATO military alliance denied Wednesday that it was massing troops on the Afghan side of the border with Pakistan but urged Islamabad to do more to stop Taliban militants taking refuge."There is not, nor is there going to be, an incursion of NATO troops into Pakistan. There is no planning for that, there is no mandate for that, and there is no troop movement in that direction," a spokesman said in Brussels.
Pakistani tribal elders raised the alarm Tuesday over what they said was a build-up of hundreds of NATO-led troops on the Afghan side of the border.
It came as Islamabad was under growing pressure from the United States to curb cross-border attacks by Taliban militants, with the US military chief flying into Pakistan at the weekend for urgent talks.
Reports said some 300 NATO soldiers equipped with tanks, armoured vehicles and heavy weaponry had been moved very close to Lwara Mundi, a border village in North Waziristan.
"There is no unusual military activity in that region," said the NATO spokesman, James Appathurai.
While he insisted that the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was not gathering at the border, he underlined that they did have permission to shoot into Pakistan if fired upon.
"They have the right to fire back if they are fired upon, and there should be no doubt that they do it," he said.
ISAF, made up of some 53,000 troops drawn from around 40 nations, is trying to spread the influence of the weak centralised Afghan government across the country, but it is struggling to end a Taliban-led insurgency.
The task has been made more difficult by the fact that the Taliban, backed by al-Qaeda fighters and drug runners, has been using the lawless areas in Pakistan near the border as a rear base.
"There is not enough pressure on militants in the frontier provinces in Pakistan and as a result they are using these areas as safe havens in which to rest, reconstitute and then launch attacks into Afghanistan," Appathurai said.
"That is a concern for us," he said.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080716/
wl_sthasia_afp/natopakistanafghanistanunrest

The Empire 332

'A musical of the US presidential campaign has been released on the internet called "Time for some Campaignin'".
The comical animation has been created by the Spiridellis brothers, who made a similar video for the last election to great acclaim.
Video courtesy of Jibjab.com'

The Empire 331

'"Something Big is Happening"
By Rep. Ron Paul, M.D.16/07/08

ICH" -- - Madam Speaker, I have, for the past 35 years, expressed my grave concern for the future of America . The course we have taken over the past century has threatened our liberties, security and prosperity. In spite of these long-held concerns, I have days--growing more frequent all the time--when I'm convinced the time is now upon us that some Big Events are about to occur. These fast-approaching events will not go unnoticed. They will affect all of us. They will not be limited to just some areas of our country. The world economy and political system will share in the chaos about to be unleashed.Though the world has long suffered from the senselessness of wars that should have been avoided, my greatest fear is that the course on which we find ourselves will bring even greater conflict and economic suffering to the innocent people of the world--unless we quickly change our ways.America , with her traditions of free markets and property rights, led the way toward great wealth and progress throughout the world as well as at home. Since we have lost our confidence in the principles of liberty, self reliance, hard work and frugality, and instead took on empire building, financed through inflation and debt, all this has changed. This is indeed frightening and an historic event.The problem we face is not new in history. Authoritarianism has been around a long time. For centuries, inflation and debt have been used by tyrants to hold power, promote aggression, and provide “bread and circuses” for the people. The notion that a country can afford “guns and butter” with no significant penalty existed even before the 1960s when it became a popular slogan. It was then, though, we were told the Vietnam War and the massive expansion of the welfare state were not problems. The seventies proved that assumption wrong.Today things are different from even ancient times or the 1970s. There is something to the argument that we are now a global economy. The world has more people and is more integrated due to modern technology, communications, and travel. If modern technology had been used to promote the ideas of liberty, free markets, sound money and trade, it would have ushered in a new golden age--a globalism we could accept.Instead, the wealth and freedom we now enjoy are shrinking and rest upon a fragile philosophic infrastructure. It is not unlike the levies and bridges in our own country that our system of war and welfare has caused us to ignore.I'm fearful that my concerns have been legitimate and may even be worse than I first thought. They are now at our doorstep. Time is short for making a course correction before this grand experiment in liberty goes into deep hibernation.There are reasons to believe this coming crisis is different and bigger than the world has ever experienced. Instead of using globalism in a positive fashion, it's been used to globalize all of the mistakes of the politicians, bureaucrats and central bankers.Being an unchallenged sole superpower was never accepted by us with a sense of humility and respect. Our arrogance and aggressiveness have been used to promote a world empire backed by the most powerful army of history. This type of globalist intervention creates problems for all citizens of the world and fails to contribute to the well-being of the world's populations. Just think how our personal liberties have been trashed here at home in the last decade.The financial crisis, still in its early stages, is apparent to everyone: gasoline prices over $4 a gallon; skyrocketing education and medical-care costs; the collapse of the housing bubble; the bursting of the NASDAQ bubble; stock markets plunging; unemployment rising; massive underemployment; excessive government debt; and unmanageable personal debt. Little doubt exists as to whether we'll get stagflation. The question that will soon be asked is: When will the stagflation become an inflationary depression?There are various reasons that the world economy has been globalized and the problems we face are worldwide. We cannot understand what we're facing without understanding fiat money and the long-developing dollar bubble.There were several stages. From the inception of the Federal Reserve System in 1913 to 1933, the Central Bank established itself as the official dollar manager. By 1933, Americans could no longer own gold, thus removing restraint on the Federal Reserve to inflate for war and welfare.By 1945, further restraints were removed by creating the Bretton-Woods Monetary System making the dollar the reserve currency of the world. This system lasted up until 1971. During the period between 1945 and 1971, some restraints on the Fed remained in place. Foreigners, but not Americans, could convert dollars to gold at $35 an ounce. Due to the excessive dollars being created, that system came to an end in 1971.It's the post Bretton-Woods system that was responsible for globalizing inflation and markets and for generating a gigantic worldwide dollar bubble. That bubble is now bursting, and we're seeing what it's like to suffer the consequences of the many previous economic errors.Ironically in these past 35 years, we have benefited from this very flawed system. Because the world accepted dollars as if they were gold, we only had to counterfeit more dollars, spend them overseas (indirectly encouraging our jobs to go overseas as well) and enjoy unearned prosperity. Those who took our dollars and gave us goods and services were only too anxious to loan those dollars back to us. This allowed us to export our inflation and delay the consequences we now are starting to see.But it was never destined to last, and now we have to pay the piper. Our huge foreign debt must be paid or liquidated. Our entitlements are coming due just as the world has become more reluctant to hold dollars. The consequence of that decision is price inflation in this country--and that's what we are witnessing today. Already price inflation overseas is even higher than here at home as a consequence of foreign central banks' willingness to monetize our debt.Printing dollars over long periods of time may not immediately push prices up--yet in time it always does. Now we're seeing catch-up for past inflating of the monetary supply. As bad as it is today with $4 a gallon gasoline, this is just the beginning. It's a gross distraction to hound away at “drill, drill, drill” as a solution to the dollar crisis and high gasoline prices. Its okay to let the market increase supplies and drill, but that issue is a gross distraction from the sins of deficits and Federal Reserve monetary shenanigans.This bubble is different and bigger for another reason. The central banks of the world secretly collude to centrally plan the world economy. I'm convinced that agreements among central banks to “monetize” U.S. debt these past 15 years have existed, although secretly and out of the reach of any oversight of anyone--especially the U.S. Congress that doesn't care, or just flat doesn't understand. As this “gift” to us comes to an end, our problems worsen. The central banks and the various governments are very powerful, but eventually the markets overwhelm when the people who get stuck holding the bag (of bad dollars) catch on and spend the dollars into the economy with emotional zeal, thus igniting inflationary fever.This time--since there are so many dollars and so many countries involved--the Fed has been able to “paper” over every approaching crisis for the past 15 years, especially with Alan Greenspan as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, which has allowed the bubble to become history's greatest.The mistakes made with excessive credit at artificially low rates are huge, and the market is demanding a correction. This involves excessive debt, misdirected investments, over-investments, and all the other problems caused by the government when spending the money they should never have had. Foreign militarism, welfare handouts and $80 trillion entitlement promises are all coming to an end. We don't have the money or the wealth-creating capacity to catch up and care for all the needs that now exist because we rejected the market economy, sound money, self reliance and the principles of liberty.Since the correction of all this misallocation of resources is necessary and must come, one can look for some good that may come as this “Big Event” unfolds.There are two choices that people can make. The one choice that is unavailable to us is to limp along with the status quo and prop up the system with more debt, inflation and lies. That won't happen.'

Het Neoliberale Geloof 122


'Financial Collapse Edges Closer

By Martin Hutchinson 16/07/08 "Asia Times"


-- -- The financial crisis in the United States and worldwide entered a new phase this week, as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two huge US home-loan institutions, began what appears to be a "death spiral" similar to that which claimed Bear Stearns four months ago. Fannie and Freddie are unique institutions and will almost certainly be bailed out by the long-suffering taxpayer. However, for the first time, the specter has been raised of a general financial meltdown, such as the US managed to avoid in 1933 but Sweden succumbed to in 1991. Sweden's financial meltdown of 1991 involved the government guaranteeing the obligations of the entire Swedish banking system, and recapitalizing the major banks, with the sole major exception of Svenska Handelsbanken. The total cost of the rescue to Swedish taxpayers was around US$10 billion, equivalent to about $1 trillion in the context of today's US economy. The causes of the crisis would be familiar to most Americans today: misuse of off-balance sheet securitization vehicles to invest excessively in real estate and mortgage lending. It is thus not impossible for the entire US banking system to implode. It didn't happen in 1933 (though about a quarter of US banks failed) because US banks in the 1920s had been relatively conservative in their lending, with many banks requiring a 50% down payment for home mortgage loans, for example. Stock margin lending got way out of control in 1928-29, but relatively few banks were involved significantly in that. The main problem in 1932-33 was quite simply liquidity; the Fed failed to supply adequate reserves to the banking system, so crises of confidence in individual banks led to panic withdrawals of deposits that caused the banks themselves to fail. This time around, the problem is the opposite. Whereas the Fed had been appropriately cautious in the late 1920s, so only in the area of stock margin lending did the banking system get out of control, this time around the Fed has been hopelessly profligate in monetary creation for over a decade. The initial result of this profligacy, the tech bubble of 1999-2000, caused only modest problems in the banking system through telecom losses. The more recent profligacy and the housing bubble it caused have had much more serious consequences, mirroring those in Sweden leading up to 1991. The additional loosening since September has distorted the financial system further, producing a commodity price bubble that itself seems likely to have substantial further adverse consequences. Fannie and Freddie are probably toast, and about time too. Federal Reserve Board chairman Ben Bernanke's statement on Friday that the two companies can discount paper with the Fed may prolong the inevitable, but also increases its likely huge cost to taxpayers.'

De Pro Israel Lobby 72


'The Zionist Power Configuration in America
By James Petras
“My strong preference here is to handle all this (US conflict with Iran) diplomatically with the other powers of government, ours and many others as opposed to any kind of strike occurring…From the US perspective, from the United States military perspective in particular, opening up a third front (Israeli and/or US act of war against Iran) would be extremely stressful to us” testimony of Admiral Michael Mulligan, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. July 2, 2008.
“If Iran continues its nuclear arms program – we will attack it. The sanctions aren’t effective. There will be no choice but to attack Iran to halt the Iranian nuclear program.” Shaul Mofaz, Israeli Minister of Transportation in Yediot Ahronot , June 6, 2008.
“The present economic sanctions on Iran have exhausted themselves. Iranian businesspeople who would not be able to land anywhere in the world would pressure the regime.” Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, speaking to US House Speaker, Senator Nancy Pelosi in favor of a unilateral, pre-emptive US naval blockade of Iran. (Haaretz May 21, 2008.)
“It was a triumphalist conference. Even this powerful organization (AIPAC), the most powerful group in the US Israel lobby, had never seen anything like. Seven thousand Jewish functionaries from all over the United States came together to accept the obeisance of the entire Washington elite. The three presidential hopefuls (Hillary went too) made speeches, trying to outdo each other in flattery. Three hundred senators and members of Congress crowded the hallways. Everybody who wanted to be elected or re-elected to any office came to see and be seen.” Uri Avnery, London Review of Books, July 3, 2008. page 18
House Resolution 362 received unanimous support from all the Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations including the 7,000 delegation attending the AIPAC Conference in Washington DC on June 2-4, 2008.
“Resolution 362 became our chief legislative priority”, according to AIPAC’s website, June 4, 2008.
“The President should prohibit the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products imposing stringent inspection requirements in all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains and cargo ships enters and departing Iran.” US House Resolution 362 introduced May 22, 2008.
Resolution 362 gained 170 co-sponsors or nearly 40% of the House and 19 co-sponsors in the Senate in less than a month

16/07/08 "ICH" -- - Zionists and their allies in Congress authored, implemented and enforced sanctions against Iran, which hinder the ambitions of the world’s biggest oil and gas companies. Israeli war exercises and public declarations threatening a massive air assault on Iran has pushed petroleum prices to world records. This spring 2008, the most powerful pro-Israel Jewish Lobby in the US, AIPAC held their annual conference and secured the support and commitment of both major US Presidential candidates and the majority of US members of Congress for an Israeli initiative to impose extreme economic sanctions on Iran with threats of a US/Israeli military attack. In early summer 2008, the AIPAC operatives, who wrote this US Congressional resolution, successfully rounded up Congressional leaders’ support of an air and naval blockade of all critical imports into Iran – a blatant act of war.
Israel adopts a ‘peace policy’ designed to isolate Iran in preparation for an attack – and then immediately violates its terms. The entire spectrum of major Jewish organizations unquestioningly and unconditionally give their active support, as they have in the past, to AIPAC’s domination of the US Presidential candidates as well as to the twists and turns in Israel’s war preparations via military exercises and phony peace gestures.
In the entire history of US relations with oil and gas-producing countries, there is not a single previous case in which it sacrificed profitable investments by its major oil companies at the behest of a foreign power (Israel) and its “lobby” – the Zionist Power Configuration.
Israel’s Two Track Policy Toward Iran
Israel’s policy to obliterate Iran, in much the same war that the US has devastated Iraq, has followed a carefully planned multi-prong strategy. Israel has relied on direct military attacks, all out wars, economic blockades and the use of overseas Zionist front organizations to destroy Iran’s allies and strangle its economy.
The Israeli strategy is directed at undermining, weakening and enticing Iranian allies to politically and militarily isolate Tehran, in order to facilitate a full-scale massive air assault without having to deal with military fallout from Iranian allies on its borders.
In pursuit of this ‘isolate and destroy’ strategy, Israel launched a full-scale invasion and massive air and missile bombing of Lebanon knocking out critical civilian infrastructure in the hopes of obliterating Hezbollah, a staunch Iranian ally. Israeli preparation for its Lebanese war began a full year before its sneak attack, using a common minor border incident to invade Hezbollah strongholds in Southern Lebanon. Israel’s offensive against Hezbollah made no sense from the point of view of its border security. No Israeli military official ever envisioned Hezbollah being any kind of military threat to its national security. At most Israel saw Hezbollah as a serious counterweight to its anemic puppet allies in Beirut.
From the perspective of Israel’s regional hegemonic perspective, an attack and destruction of Hezbollah would isolate Iran and allow Israel to develop a strategic Middle East client in Beirut, facilitating an air attack.
Hezbollah’s defeat of the Israeli invasion seriously weakened Tel Aviv’s military based strategy to ‘isolate Iran’ and strengthened Hezbollah’s power in Lebanon, raising its prestige immensely among the Arab and Muslim populations.'


Johnito Magazine

Johnito Magazine bericht:

'Deze Week (vervolg): Pakistan, marteling, Libanon, Iran en de crisis
Nou waar was ik gebleven? O, ja, ik ging van Pakistan naar Libanon, in één van mijn vorige blogs.Maar eerst nog even enkele toevoegingen over de situatie in Pakistan: daar zijn stamleiders namelijk diep bezorgd over het toenemende aantal NAVO-militairen aan de Afghaanse kant van de grens. Stamleider Malik Mohammad Afzal Khan Darpakhel spreekt duidelijke taal:
„We willen ze waarschuwen dat drie miljoen stamleden het tegen hen zullen opnemen als ze de grens oversteken".Of de troepenopbouw van de Navo met de beschuldigingen van Afghaans leider Karzai te maken heeft, dat Pakistan's ISI achter een aantal bloedige aanslagen zit, is mij niet bekend. Maar het zou passen in het plaatje dat ik gisteren schetste. Opmerkelijk: Karzai's ISI-verleden.Verder: Benazir Bhutto, de vrouw die teveel wist, over de moord op Osama Bin Laden:...'

Lees verder:
http://johnito.blogspot.com/2008/07/deze-week-vervolg-pakistan-marteling.html

Interessant is ook uit te zoeken sinds wanneer de NAVO van een defensieve organisatie een offensieve organisatie is geworden. Op grond waarvan? En wie heeft dit 'democratisch' beslist? En wat is precies het doel en mandaat van de NAVO? Daar hebben mijn collega's even zitten slapen.

Guus Valk van de NRC 4


Slachtoffer van Israelische bombardementen.
Het bewust misinformeren van het westerse publiek is in feite een misdaad, omdat het uiteindelijk terreur legitimeert.
Gisteren bracht de NRC het bericht dat "Ruil begint tussen Israel en Hezbollah." Maar liefst zes kolommen breed om dit te vertellen: "Hezbollah draagt lichamen twee Israeliers over om, 'Het Monster' terug te krijgen."
Dit is misinformatie, zes kolommen brede propaganda op de voorpagina van de slijpsteen voor de geest, niets anders. Verzwegen worden de andere gevangenen en de 200 Libanese en Palestijnse stoffelijke overschotten, die naamloos blijven en ook daarmee onzichtbaar. Wie waren deze doden, hoe zijn om het leven gebracht, wat bewoog hen, waren het verzetsstrijders die gedood werden toen Israel weer eens Libanon binnenviel of bombardeerde? Waarom vernemen we niets over hen? Waarom die misinformatie? Waarom hebben de Israelische doden wel een naam en een gezicht en een familie die rouwt? Waarom hebben de Arabische slachtoffers geen naam, gezicht en een familie die rouwt? Waarom worden de joods-Israeli's afgebeeld als slachtoffers en de Arabieren als daders? Waarom is voor de NRC een joods-Israelische dode belangrijker dan een Arabische? Als dit geen racisme is, wat is het dan wel? Vanwaar de stigmatisering, de stereotypering? En wat doet deze propaganda met ons, de lezers? Hetzelfde deed het christelijke Westen voor de oorlog met de joden. Waarom leren we niets van onze fouten? Moet er oorlog komen? Zo ja, NRC, waarom?

De Commerciele Massamedia 130


'Geachte redacties,
Terwijl u over komkommers aan het berichten was, werd in het Huis van Afgevaardigden een impeachment van Bush goedgekeurd voor een volgende fase in de senaat.
Wellicht heeft u het over het hoofd – ik bedoel, komkommer – gezien.
Ik herhaal ze hieronder. Het geeft u ook een aardig beeld van de situatie in de wereld, die u misschien ook is ontgaan.
Met gemengde gevoelens,
H.S. Compier
Student VU Amsterdam
+++++++++++
IMPEACHMENT OF GEORGE W. BUSH
In the United States House of RepresentativesMonday, June 9th, 2008A ResolutionArticle ICreating a Secret Propaganda Campaign to Manufacture a False Case for War Against Iraq.
Article IIFalsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of Aggression.
Article IIIMisleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction, to Manufacture a False Case for War.
Article IVMisleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Posed an Imminent Threat to the United States.
Article VIllegally Misspending Funds to Secretly Begin a War of Aggression.
Article VIInvading Iraq in Violation of the Requirements of H. J. Res114.
Article VIIInvading Iraq Absent a Declaration of War.
Article VIIIInvading Iraq, A Sovereign Nation, in Violation of the UN Charter.
Article IXFailing to Provide Troops With Body Armor and Vehicle Armor.
Article XFalsifying Accounts of US Troop Deaths and Injuries for Political Purposes.
Article XIEstablishment of Permanent U.S. Military Bases in Iraq.
Article XIIInitiating a War Against Iraq for Control of That Nation’s Natural Resources.
Article XIIIICreating a Secret Task Force to Develop Energy and Military Policies With Respect to Iraq and Other Countries.
Article XIVMisprision of a Felony, Misuse and Exposure of Classified Information And Obstruction of Justice in the Matter of Valerie Plame Wilson, Clandestine Agent of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Article XVProviding Immunity from Prosecution for Criminal Contractors in Iraq.
Article XVIReckless Misspending and Waste of U.S. Tax Dollars in Connection With Iraq and US Contractors.
Article XVIIIllegal Detention: Detaining Indefinitely And Without Charge Persons Both U.S. Citizens and Foreign Captives.
Article XVIIITorture: Secretly Authorizing, and Encouraging the Use of Torture Against Captives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Other Places, as a Matter of Official Policy.
Article XIXRendition: Kidnapping People and Taking Them Against Their Will to “Black Sites” Located in Other Nations, Including Nations Known to Practice Torture.
Article XXImprisoning Children.
Article XXIMisleading Congress and the American People About Threats from Iran, and Supporting Terrorist Organizations Within Iran, With the Goal of Overthrowing the Iranian Government.
Article XXII Creating Secret Laws.
Article XXIII Violation of the Posse Comitatus Act.
Article XXIVSpying on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered Warrant, in Violation of the Law and the Fourth Amendment.
Article XXV Directing Telecommunications Companies to Create an Illegal and Unconstitutional Database of the Private Telephone Numbers and Emails of American Citizens.
Article XXVIAnnouncing the Intent to Violate Laws with Signing Statements.
Article XXVIIFailing to Comply with Congressional Subpoenas and Instructing Former Employees Not to Comply.
Article XXVIIITampering with Free and Fair Elections, Corruption of the Administration of Justice.
Article XXIXConspiracy to Violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Article XXX Misleading Congress and the American People in an Attempt to Destroy Medicare.
Article XXXI Katrina: Failure to Plan for the Predicted Disaster of Hurricane Katrina, Failure to Respond to a Civil Emergency. Article XXXII Misleading Congress and the American People, Systematically Undermining Efforts to Address Global Climate Change.
Article XXXIII Repeatedly Ignored and Failed to Respond to High Level Intelligence Warnings of Planned Terrorist Attacks in the US, Prior to 911. Article XXXIV Obstruction of the Investigation into the Attacks of September 11, 2001.
Article XXXVEndangering the Health of 911 First Responders.
Volledige tekst: http://yelamdenu.blogsome.com/2008/07/16/articles-of-impeachment-against-george-w-bush-president-of-the-united-states-of-america-felon-and-war-criminal/


Een standaardreactie van de Volkskrant:
'Geachte lezer,
Hartelijk dank voor uw bijdrage, die wij met belangstelling hebben gelezen. Helaas kunnen wij uw reactie niet publiceren. Wij ontvangen dagelijks een honderdtal brieven. De redactie is daar heel blij mee, maar de ruimte om brieven te publiceren is beperkt. Wij vragen hiervoor uw begrip en hopen u een volgende keer te mogen verwelkomen in de kolommen van Geachte redactie of op de U-pagina.

Hoogachtend en met vriendelijke groet,
Marie Louise Schipper

Brievenredactie de Volkskrant'

Guus Valk van de NRC 3


Libanees slachtoffertje van Israelische bombardementen.
'Sonja said...
Het zijn ook de details. Elders in de NRC: Libanezen "kwamen om" maar Israëliërs waren "slachtoffers".Trouw: "In Israël is de ruil omstreden, omdat de twee Israëliërs dood zijn en een van de Libanese gevangenen, Samir Kantar, een beruchte moordenaar is." Nu was Sharon dat bijvoorbeeld ook, die daardoor de bijnaam 'de slager' kreeg, maar daar heeft Trouw nog nooit over geschreven. "Sharon wordt door radicale Arabieren gehaat," schreef Trouw wel, alsof de haters van Sharon wel radicalen moeten zijn, amders was daar geen enkele reden toe.Vandaag geeft Trouw ook wat 'achtergrondinformatie': "Dat de gevechtskracht van de militaire tak (het Islamitisch Verzet) groot is, bleek in de zomer van 2006 toen Israël en Hezbollah een bloedige strijd uitvochten. Hezbollah bestookte Israël met duizenden raketten en trof een Israëlisch marineschip voor de Libanese kust." En dat was het dan, punt.Het Parool bericht: "De ontvoering van de twee soldaten leidde tot een oorlog tussen Hezbollah en Israël, die ruim een maand duurde." Zomaar op een dag op precies hetzelfde tijdstip besloten Israël en Hezbollah elkaar aan te vallen. Echt waar.Martin Schrijver van DAG kopt "Israël betaalt hoge prijs voor soldaten" dus dan weten we dat ook weer, en kan Nederland gerust verder slapen na het wegpinken van een traantje voor het arme, kleine, en kwetsbare Israël. Ook hier "sneuvelden" er 1200 Libanezen. Ze schrijven elkaar blijkbaar gewoon over.'
Niet alleen schrijven ze elkaar over, maar ze schrijven vooral ook de berichtgeving van de grote persbureau's over, want de correspondenten zijn vaak zelf niet ter plaatse, kijken naar de televisie, volgen de officiele legerpropaganda, lezen snel nog even de berichten van onder andere Reuters en Associated Press en klaar is Kees. Nagenoeg niemand van hen doet eigen onderzoek, en durft de consensuws te schenden, want dat is vernietigend voor je loopbaan. Het is net als overal: de hoofdaap bepaalt de regels van het spel en de bij-apen doen hem na.

woensdag 16 juli 2008

Sander van Hoorn 5




En deze kinderen Sander, slachtoffertjes van Israelische terreur bombardementen. Waarom spelen zij geen rol in jouw verslaggeving?


En ja hoor, ook de correspondent van het NOS-Journaal, Sander van Hoorn, belichtte alleen de Israelische kant van de zaak. De twee dode Israelische militairen kregen volop aandacht, maar geen enkele aandacht voor de 200 gedode Libanezen en Palestijnen. Die bleven anoniem, hun leven was niet belangrijk genoeg om er aandacht aan te besteden. Van Hoorn deed het voorkomen alsof de Israelische autoriteiten een Arabische moordenaar en 200 anonieme Arabische doden hadden ingewisseld voor twee dode Israeli's, en dat die ruil natuurlijk een te hoge prijs zou zijn geweest. Hij eindigde met de vermelding dat de Arabische moordenaar een joods-Israelisch kind met een steen het hoofdje had verbrijzeld. Geen woord over het verdwenen hoofdje van bijvoorbeeld dit Arabische kind uit Qana van wie het hoofdje werd verbrijzeld door een Israelische bom. Deze details verzwijgt Sander van Hoorn, Arabische kinderen zijn minder waard dan joods-Israelische, dat is kennelijk de boodschap. Het beeld moet blijven bestaan dat alleen Arabieren gruweldaden begaan, en dat joden alleen het slachtoffer zijn.

Guus Valk van de NRC 2


Slachtoffers van Israelische napalm bombardementen.

'Cornelis zei...
Eens kijken: een bloeddorstige kindermoordenaar die dan toch 29 jaar gezeten heeft. In de meeste landen is zo iemand al eerder vrijgelaten. Aan de Israelische kant zijn geen kindermoordenaars, impliceert Valk. Palestijnse en Libanese kinderen sneuvelen - zijn dus combattanten in zijn opvatting. Het schokkendste vind ik eigenlijk dat dit soort berichtgeving zo gewoon en vanzelfsprekend overkomt. Er zijn twee mensen, die hebben een naam. En er zijn honderden onmensen zonder naam, en een Heel Erg Onmens die als zodanig dan weer wel een naam meekrijgt. Honderd dode en 2,5 levende Arabieren zijn 1 dode joodse Israeli waard.Mocht een Libanese televisiepresentator zijn tranen niet kunnen bedwingen - maar zouden we dat toch al ongelooflijke detail te horen krijgen? - dan is het toneelspel. Ook dat weten we al bij voorbaat.'
200 Libanese en Palestijnse doden krijgen van Guus geen naam, hebben geen gezicht, geen identiteit, geen familie die treurt, ze bestaan voor Guus Valk niet, behalve als cijfer. 2 joods Israelische doden hebben een naam en een familie die treurt, die krijgen van de NRC-correspondent een gezicht, ze bestaan voor hem. Zij zijn belangrijk, de Arabieren zijn onbelangrijk. Waar is dit racisme nu precies op gebaseerd? Guus Valk, ik e-mail dit naar jouw krantenredactie. Die zal het ongetwijfeld naar je doormailen. Als collega van je verwacht ik een antwoord. Ik zal het natuurlijk onveranderd op deze weblog publiceren. In tegenstelling tot de slijpsteen voor de geest laat ik ook mijn tegenstanders aan het woord.

Guus Valk van de NRC











Libanese kinderen die bij Israelische aanvallen in o.a. 2006 vermoord werden, en die volgens Guus Valk van de NRC gewoon in de strijd "sneuvelden". Het graf en bedevaartsoord van Baruch Goldstein, die door joodse extremisten vereerd wordt vanwege het vermoorden van 29 biddende Palestijnen.





De NRC bericht:

''Ruil begint tussen Israël en Hezbollah
Gepubliceerd: 16 juli 2008 13:35 Gewijzigd: 16 juli 2008 13:45

Door onze correspondent Guus Valk

Tel Aviv, 16 juli. Vanochtend begonnen Israël en het shi’itische Hezbollah doden en gevangenen te ruilen. „Libanon huilt uit vreugde, Israël van verdriet." Volgens afspraak staan om negen uur lokale tijd de vrachtwagens klaar bij het grensplaatsje Rosh Hanikra. Aan de Israëlische zijde van de grens met Libanon staat een truck van het Rode Kruis, die de lichamen bevat van 200 Libanezen en Palestijnen. In een nabij gebouwtje zitten de vijf Libanese gevangenen die vrij zullen komen.
Israëlische én Arabische televisiestations doen deze ochtend allemaal rechtstreeks verslag van de ruil tussen Israël en de shi’itische beweging Hezbollah. Na maanden wikken en wegen besloot het kabinet-Olmert ermee akkoord te gaan om de ontvoerde soldaten Eldad Regev en Ehud Goldwasser via deze ruil terug te krijgen. Zij werden in de zomer van 2006 ontvoerd aan de Libanese grens. Dat leidde tot een oorlog tussen Israël en Libanon. Er sneuvelden ruim duizend Libanezen en tientallen Israëliërs, maar Regev en Goldwasser werden niet mee teruggebracht.
Onder de vrijgekomen gevangenen bevindt zich Samir Qantar, in Israël bijgenaamd ‘Het Monster’, een van de meest besproken gevangenen die het land had. Hij is veroordeeld tot levenslang wegens de moord op een man en zijn vierjarige dochtertje, in 1979. Op Israëlische televisiebeelden was te zien hoe hij, gespannen en met wallen onder de ogen, de gevangenis werd uitgeleid.
Hezbollah TV laat om tien over half tien zien hoe mannen twee zwarte kisten op de grond zetten. Iedere Israëliër weet nu wat al maanden gevreesd werd: Regev en Goldwasser leven niet meer. Hierna neemt het Rode Kruis de lichamen over voor identificatie.
De Israëlische televisie doet bedrukt verslag. De presentator van Israël 10 valt stil als de kisten in beeld komen en komt even later met betraande ogen in beeld. De familieleden van Eldad Regev geven commentaar. Vader Zvi Regev zegt dat hij opgelucht is dat hij de verdwijning van zijn zoon kan afsluiten. Hij heeft niet gekeken, zegt hij, dat kon hij niet aanzien.
Van Israëlische zijde gaat men er tegenin. Kolonel Miri Eisen geeft langdurig commentaar bij de Arabische televisiezender Al-Jazeera. „Als moeder ben ik verdrietig”, zegt ze. „Maar als burger ben ik trots op Israël, dat er alles aan doet om haar zonen en dochters terug te krijgen.” Het zegt alles over Hezbollah, zegt ze, dat Qantar als held wordt binnengehaald. „Zij vieren de vrijlating van een bloeddorstige kindermoordenaar.”

Ruil_begint_tussen_Israel_en_Hezbollah

Opvallend is de geweldige onevenwichtigheid in de berichtgeving van Guus Valk, de kwalificaties en negatieve meningen, de verdraaiingen en het ontbreken van een context.

Deze zin: "Er sneuvelden ruim duizend Libanezen en tientallen Israëliërs, maar Regev en Goldwasser werden niet mee teruggebracht." Sneuvelden? Waren het allemaal zwaar bewapende Libanezen die gedood werden? Nee! Sterker nog, door het Israelisch geweld werden 1191 Libanese burgers gedood en raakten 4409 burgers gewond, van wie velen zwaar. Slechts 46 gewapende verzetsstrijders sneuvelden. Hoewel Guus Valk met het begrip 'sneuvelen' suggereert dat het hier militairen betreft is dit dus een aperte leugen.

Vervolgens schrijft Valk dit: "De Israëlische televisie doet bedrukt verslag. De presentator van Israël 10 valt stil als de kisten in beeld komen en komt even later met betraande ogen in beeld. De familieleden van Eldad Regev geven commentaar. Vader Zvi Regev zegt dat hij opgelucht is dat hij de verdwijning van zijn zoon kan afsluiten. Hij heeft niet gekeken, zegt hij, dat kon hij niet aanzien." Een onafhankelijke Israelische presentator in tranen, terwijl "Libanon huilt van vreugde," zo vertelt ons de correspondent helemaal vanuit Tel Aviv. Want zo liggen de zaken, joden treuren, Arabieren juichen zodra het om doden gaat. Niet gauw zult u Guus Valk betrappen op berichtgeving die lijnrecht tegenover dit cliche staat. Ik geef een voorbeeld:

"Baruch Kappel Goldstein (December 9 or December 12, 1956 – February 25, 1994, was an American born Israeli physician who perpetrated the 1994 Cave of the Patriarchs massacre in the city of Hebron, killing 29 Muslims at prayer in the Ibrahimi Mosque (within the Cave of the Patriarchs) and wounding another 150 in a shooting attack.
Goldstein is buried at the Meir Kahane Memorial Park in Kiryat Arba, a Jewish city next to Hebron. The park is named in memory of Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the Israeli far-right political party Kach, a group classified by the United States and Israeli governments as a terrorist organization. Goldstein was a long-time devotee of Kahane.[18]
The gravesite has become a pilgrimage site for those with extreme right-wing political views; a plaque near the grave reads "To the holy Baruch Goldstein, who gave his life for the Jewish people, the Torah and the nation of Israel."

Deze informatie past niet in de consensus die de pro-Israel propaganda kenmerkt en wordt dus doorgaans verzwegen. Niet verzwegen wordt de tragische dood van 1 joods kind. Dat wordt juist nog eens extra benadrukt: 'Van Israëlische zijde gaat men er tegenin. Kolonel Miri Eisen geeft langdurig commentaar bij de Arabische televisiezender Al-Jazeera. „Als moeder ben ik verdrietig”, zegt ze. „Maar als burger ben ik trots op Israël, dat er alles aan doet om haar zonen en dochters terug te krijgen.” Het zegt alles over Hezbollah, zegt ze, dat Qantar als held wordt binnengehaald. „Zij vieren de vrijlating van een bloeddorstige kindermoordenaar.”'

Zij dus, die anderen. Wij joden in Israel hebben onze strijdkrachten honderden Libanese kinderen laten vermoorden, zonder enige wroeging, maar wij zijn heilig, goed, beschaafd, zij, de Arabieren, zijn de waren monsters, de barbaren, de schoften, want zij hebben 1 van onze kinderen vermoord. En Guus Valk werkt vrijwillig aan deze stigmatisering mee. Arabische moeders en vaders huilen niet als hun kinderen gedood worden, dat doen alleen joodse moeders en vaders, zo is kennelijk de racistische opvatting van Guus Valk. Geen enkele moeite heeft Guus gedaan om Libanese ouders te vragen naar het verlies van hun geliefden, terwijl er toch volgens zijn verslaggeving niet alleen 2 Israelische doden werden overgedragen, maar ook 200 Libanese en Palestijnse doden, honderd keer zoveel. Maar die spelen geen rol, hun dood is onbelangrijk voor hem. Hij gaat het ver schoppen deze ideologisch gemotiveerde broodschrijver. Succes Guus.

The Empire 330

'Interview With Rep. Dennis Kucinich
Wednesday 16 July 2008
by: Maya Schenwar, t r u t h o u t Interview
Congressman Dennis Kucinich introduced a new article of impeachment against President Bush in the House last Thursday. In a single, pointed resolution, he charged the president with lying to Congress about the presence of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in Iraq, in order to obtain permission for a US attack. In the hour before Kucinich brought his resolution to the floor, he sat down with Truthout for an interview.We discussed the politics of justice, the quest for peace and the rationale for holding the administration accountable for its decisions on Iraq.
"The case for war was based on fraud," he said. "That's the core charge in this impeachment resolution. And it just takes one article to be able to force the administration and the president to the consequences of their deceit." No one said impeachment would be an easy fight. House leadership has repeatedly stated its distaste for the idea, and even some progressive Congress members have shied away from taking such a forceful stand against the president, late in his last term. But Kucinich isn't big on easy fights: He is fond of quoting Spanish philosopher Miguel De Unamuno, who said, "Only he who attempts the absurd is capable of achieving the impossible."
Kucinich may be making some headway on the "impossible," this time around. The morning of our interview, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who had previously dismissed impeachment as "off the table," told reporters that Kucinich's resolution may well reach the Judiciary Committee for a hearing.
Even if impeachment is ultimately achieved, it's doubtful that the congressman will sit tight for long. Kucinich's pesky habit of dreaming big extends beyond impeachment. In our interview, he elaborated on one of his most broad-ranging dreams: the establishment of a federal Department of Peace, the scope of which would range from developing diplomatic solutions to tough international conflicts, to preventing domestic violence, to providing support for peer mediation in schools.
Envisioning a shift from fear and defensiveness to peaceful cooperation, Kucinich points to the US's historical ideals of liberty and democracy - as delineated by the Constitution - as models for moving into the future.
"9/11, as a metaphor, has plunged this country into a very fear-based approach to policy," he said. "But that's not really who we are ... The Department of Peace is aimed at reestablishing peace as a central theme in our society."
The congressman emphasizes that he is not deterred by the rampant, unceasing violence currently wracking our country and our world. Rather, he quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson, saying, "Every jet of chaos which threatens to exterminate us is convertible by intellect into a wholesome force."
En nu de Nederlandse volksvertegenwoordigers nog, die door premier Balkenende al dan niet bewust zijn bedrogen over Irak. Maar die zijn waarschijnlijk al met vakantie, mentaal of fysiek.

Oil 45

'ECONOMIE/VS:Amerikaanse lobbyisten in de clinch over speculatie met grondstoffen
Abid Aslam
WASHINGTON, 15 juli 2008 (IPS) -

Amerikaanse luchtvaartmaatschappijen en transportbedrijven dringen aan op maatregelen tegen de speculatie op de oliemarkt. Ze krijgen in dit verkiezingsjaar heel wat politici makkelijk aan hun kant. Maar de lobbyisten van investeerders en oliemaatschappijen bieden weerwerk.
De prijs van ruwe olie is al verviervoudigd sinds 2003 en het einde is nog niet in zicht. Experts zijn het erover eens dat speculatie verantwoordelijk is voor een deel van die verhoging. Ook de stijgende levensmiddelenprijzen zouden iets te maken hebben met ongekende aankopen en verkopen op de termijnmarkten. Pensioenfondsen en investeringsbanken hebben de kans ontdekt op die markten veel geld te verdienen door massaal in te spelen op verwachte prijsschommelingen. Met vraag en aanbod hebben de prijzen op de termijnmarkten daardoor steeds minder te maken. Veel Amerikanen staan huiverig tegenover overheidsingrijpen in het marktgebeuren, maar de zorgen over de amechtige economie en een versnellende inflatie hebben dat taboe voor de grondstoffenmarkten vlot doorbroken.
Nu iets doen
Het Amerikaanse parlement heeft dit jaar al een veertigtal hoorzittingen gehouden over de stijgende prijzen. Politici staan onder druk om iets te ondernemen nog voor ze in augustus met reces gaan. “We moeten nu in actie komen, want de exploderende prijzen voor levensmiddelen en brandstof doen consumenten en de economie echt pijn”, zegt senator Joseph Lieberman.Samen met enkele andere parlementsleden diende Liebermann op 11 juli een Commodity Speculation Reform Act in. Dat wetsvoorstel wil sommige vormen van investeringen in Amerikaanse en overzeese termijnmarkten voor grondstoffen aan banden leggen. “We willen een beter geordende markt creëren voor de bedrijven en producenten die grondstoffen nodig hebben”, zegt Liebermann. Liebermann en zijn collega’s worden onder meer opgejaagd door luchtvaartmaatschappijen en transportondernemingen. Die willen dat hun brandstoffacturen betaalbaar blijven. Vorige week lanceerden de Air Transport Association en de American Trucking Association de website StopOilSpeculationNow.com. Daarin richten ze zich rechtstreeks tot het Amerikaanse publiek. “Eis dat het parlement nu in actie schiet om de energieprijzen te doen zakken”, staat er op de site te lezen.De ceo’s van de belangrijkste luchtvaartmaatschappijen schreven ook een open brief aan hun klanten waarin ze waarschuwen dat de Amerikaanse economie zwaar kan lijden onder de stijging van de brandstofprijzen. Volgens de briefschrijvers worden de “normale marktkrachten gevaarlijk versterkt door onvoldoende gereguleerde speculatie.” Twintig jaar geleden verhandelden speculanten een vijfde van de termijncontracten op de oliemarkt, nu is dat twee derde geworden, klinkt het. De excessieve speculatie drijft de prijs van een vat olie op met 30 tot 60 dollar. “Uiteindelijk betalen de consumenten de rekening.”
Geen overhaasting
Maar oliemaatschappijen en investeerders zijn al in de tegenaanval gegaan. De Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), een beurs voor energieproducten die werd opgezet door de Amerikaanse financiële sector en grote oliemaatschappijen, waarschuwt op zijn site OilFuturesMarketFacts.com voor overhaast wetgevend werk. Het Amerikaanse parlement maakte in de jaren 50 uit vrees voor steeds sterkere prijsschommelingen een einde aan de termijnhandel in uien, maar volgens de ICE haalde dat niets uit. “De prijs van uien wordt niet langer geregeld door de markt en maakt daardoor bokkensprongen. Eind 2006 en in 2007 ging hij met 400 procent omhoog, in maart dit jaar daalde hij weer met 98 procent om amper een maand later weer te verdrievoudigen.”“Goed gereguleerde termijnmarkten zorgen voor stabiliteit en voorspelbaarheid door kopers toe te laten prijsrisico’s te compenseren”, luidt de conclusie.Lieberman was met zijn wetsvoorstel eerst van plan institutionele investeerders helemaal te verbieden actief te zijn op termijnmarkten. Maar hij voelde dat hij daarvoor nooit genoeg steun zou krijgen. Nu begrenst het wetsvoorstel de termijncontracten die institutionele investeerders kunnen verhandelen. Ze zouden ook verplicht worden elke dag verslag uit te brengen over hun activiteiten op de financiële markten. De voorschriften zouden ook gelden voor buitenlandse en virtuele beurzen waar termijncontracten worden verhandeld die een band hebben met de VS.'

Iran 232

Even ter herinnering:

'Ook pleit Wilders voor bombardementen op Iran, een land met 70 miljoen inwoners. Na de Amerikaanse aanval op Irak in maart 2003 juichte Ellian in zijn column dat de ‘vredesdemonstranten verloren hebben’ en betichtte hij hen van een ‘laffe houding’ omdat ‘ze niet weten dat elke strijd tegen tirannie slachtoffers eist’. Vier jaar later weten we hoeveel slachtoffers in Irak zijn gevallen – nu meer dan 650.000 volgens The Lancet.'

Zie:
http://www.nrc.nl/binnenland/article763455.ece/Progressieve_ex-moslim_wijst_comite_af

Mensen die tot oorlog oproepen hebben doorgaans zelf nooit de directe effecten van een oorlog ondervonden.

Robert Fisk 43

'Educating the U.S. About the Middle East
Posted on Jul 15, 2008By Robert Fisk
Originally printed in The Independent.

Walid Moallem leans forward in the armchair of the Paris Intercontinental Opera. “It’s all on the record,” he snaps. It usually is. The Syrians can be up-front when you least expect it. Syria’s Foreign Minister is one of their top negotiators, a man who knows Israel’s diplomats almost as well as they know themselves, who understands all the traps of the Middle East.
Tell me who murdered Rafiq Hariri, I ask him. And Mr. Moallem grins bleakly and reaches into his jacket pocket. His beefy hand emerges clutching a wad of pale green Syrian hundred-pound notes. “Tell me the answer and you can take all my money,” he says.
He may see evil among Syria’s enemies but he will speak no evil, certainly not of the French. “We are building trust with the French,” he says. Syria is ready to co-operate on the prevention of illegal immigration, against “what you in the West call ‘terrorism’ ” and opening a developed economic partnership. And Mr. Moallem can be a bit preachy into the bargain.
“You in the West have a moral duty in Europe to educate the United States more about the Middle East. If they don’t listen to you, they will not listen to us. They will continue with their mistakes.” I don’t think they’re going to listen, I mutter. But Mr. Moallem is in full flow.
“When we announced our position in the Security Council against the invasion of Iraq, the Americans adopted a policy of isolating Syria. We know that the United States is a superpower and many countries prefer to follow its policies without question. We say: ‘We differ ... we belong to a region where we are in the middle of the eye of the storm.’ The United States is 10,000km far away from us. We are directly involved and influenced by regional issues. We consider dialogue, despite differences, is the most important in diplomacy. The message of President Assad to France is that the old policies are wrong, that only dialogue can solve difficult issues.”
So, what about the opening of a Syrian embassy in Beirut and a Lebanese embassy in Damascus? “We reached agreement in principle to establish diplomatic relations. Unfortunately, after that, relations between the Syrian and Lebanese government were negative. A lot of Lebanese leaders tried publicly to accuse Syria of many issues [sic] of which Syria is innocent.” Were these issues, I ask Mr. Moallem, perhaps—well—were they assassinations? “Innocent!” he thunders. “At least, they provide no proof of their accusation. In a negative atmosphere, you cannot establish diplomatic relations. But after the Doha agreement [which called for a unity government in Lebanon and a veto over cabinet decisions by the pro-Syrian opposition] we hope that a positive atmosphere will be created. So now we are talking about two states, two independent sovereign states on an equal footing. The will of each side is to be respected.”
And the Hariri tribunal to find his murderers? What did Assad and Sarkozy say about this? “Never mentioned—not once,” Mr. Moallem replies.
“The French President asked President Assad to help, through his relations with Iran, in inviting international public opinion to understand that the Iranian nuclear programme is a peaceful one ... We stand firmly against the race of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons in our region.”'

The Empire 329


President Woodrow Wilson:

'A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is privately concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men who, even if their action be honest and intended for the public interest, are necessarily concentrated upon the great undertakings in which their own money is involved and who necessarily, by very reason of their own limitations, chill and check and destroy genuine economic freedom. This is the greatest question of all, and to this statesmen must address themselves with an earnest determination to serve the long future and the true liberties of men.

Let me say again that I am not impugning the motives of the men in Wall Street. They may think that that is the best way to create prosperity for the country. When you have got the market in your hand, does honesty oblige you to turn the palm upside down and empty it? If you have got the market in your hand and believe that you understand the interest of the country better than anybody else, is it patriotic to let it go? I can imagine them using this argument to themselves.The dominating danger in this land is not the existence of great individual combinations, — that is dangerous enough in all conscience, — but the combination of the combinations, — of the railways, the manufacturing enterprises, the great mining projects, the great enterprises for the development of the natural water-powers of the country, threaded together in the personnel of a series of boards of directors into a "community of interest" more formidable than any conceivable single combination that dare appear in the open.'

Arjo Klamer van de Erasmus Universiteit 3


Een vraag aan Arjo Klamer. In mijn definitie is globalisering niets anders dan een "nieuwe wereldorde," gerund door grote concerns die op geen enkele wezenlijke manier democratisch gecontroleerd worden, en al helemaal niet democratisch georganiseerd zijn. Deze concerns zijn dicatoriaal bestuurde systemen, waarbij een gesloten kleine elite van technocraten met goedkeuring van een eveneens gesloten kleine groep kapitaalverschaffers bepaalt welke richting de mensheid uit moet gaan. In hoeverre klopt mijn definitie niet? En wat is uw definitie van globaslisering, vooral ook gezien uw opmerking dat: "Wij geen antwoord op de globalisering hebben?" De globalisering dus zoals ik die hierboven gedefinieerd heb.

Freedom to Fascism


Aaron Russo: 'He who makes the money makes the rules.'
Heeft u werkelijk het idee dat u uw eigen toekomst bepaalt, dat u mee beslist over de loop van de geschiedenis?
Zo nee, dan leeft u niet in een democratie, maar in wat voor een samenleving leven we dan?
Met dank aan Herman die hiernaar verwees.

Arjo Klamer van de Erasmus Universiteit 2


Naar aanleiding van mijn stukje over professor Arjo Klamer reageerde Paul met de volgende reactie:

'Klamer lijkt me een typisch geval van de versteende wetenschapper voor wie er niet nieuws onder de zon kan/mag zijn. Zoals de Amerikaanse econoom/geschiedkundige Michael Hudson uitlegt in bv. zijn stukken bij Counterpunch, typeert juist de verwevenheid van de financiële sector met de gewone economie het huidige systeem (niet weinig grote bedrijven zijn zelf speculanten geworden). Verwevenheid is eigenlijk niet eens het juiste woord: parasiteren is het. Hudson noemt de FIRE-sector (financiën, verzekeringen, vastgoed )een Boa constrictor die de gewone Amerikaanse economie wurgt. Hij trekt de parallel met bv. het Romeinse imperium waar een vergelijkbare ontwikkeling optrad van financiële oligarchen die erin slaagden de rest van de bevolking uit te zuigen.'

Zie: http://stanvanhoucke.blogspot.com/2008/07/arjo-klamer-van-de-erasmus-universiteit.html

'An Interview with Michael Hudson on the Economy
The Game is Over. There Won't be a Rebound
By MIKE WHITNEY

Mike Whitney: Fed chairman Bernanke has been on a spree lately, delivering three speeches in the last two weeks. Every chance he gets, he talks tough about the strong dollar and "holding the line" against inflation. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson even said that "intervention" in the currency markets was still an option. Is all of this jawboning just saber rattling to keep the dollar from plummeting, or is there a chance that Bernanke actually will raise rates at the Fed's August meeting?
Michael Hudson: The United States always has steered its monetary policy almost exclusively with domestic objectives in mind. This means ignoring the balance of payments. Like the domestic U.S. economy itself, the global financial system also is all about getting a free lunch. When Europe and Asia receive excess dollars, these are turned over to their central banks, which have little alternative but to recycle these back to the United States by buying U.S. Treasury bonds. Foreign governments – and their taxpayers – are thus financing the domestic U.S. federal budget deficit, which itself stems largely from the war in Iraq that most foreign voters oppose.
Supporting the dollar’s exchange rate by the traditional method of raising interest rates would have a very negative effect on the stock and bond markets – and on the mortgage market. This would lead foreign investors to sell U.S. securities, and likely would end up hurting more than helping the U.S. balance of payments and hence the dollar’s exchange rate.
So Bernanke is merely being polite in not rubbing the faces of European and Asian governments in the fact that unless they are willing to make a structural break and change the world monetary system radically, they will remain powerless to avoid giving the United States a free ride – including a free ride for its military spending and war in the Near East.
Mike Whitney : How do you explain the soaring price of oil? Is it mainly a supply/demand issue or are speculators driving the prices up?
Michael Hudson: It’s true that enormous amounts of speculative credit are going into commodity index funds. But bear in mind that as the dollar depreciates, OPEC countries have been holding back supply largely to stabilize their receipts in euros and to offset their losses on the dollar securities they have bought with their past export proceeds. For over 30 years they have been pressured to recycle their oil earnings into the U.S. stock market and loans to U.S. financial institutions. They have taken large losses on these investments (such as last year’s money to bail out Citibank), and are trying to recoup them via the oil market. OPEC officials also have pointed to a political motive: They resent America’s military intrusion in the Middle East, especially in view of how much it contributes to the nation’s balance-of-payments deficit and federal budget deficit.
The U.S. press prefers to blame Chinese, Indian and other foreign growth in demand for oil and raw materials. This demand has contributed to the price rise, no doubt about it. But the U.S. oil majors are receiving a windfall “economic rent” on the price run-up, and are not at all unhappy to see it continue. By not building more refining and shipping capacity, they have created bottlenecks so that even if foreign countries did supply more crude oil, it would not be reflected in refined gasoline, kerosene or other downstream product prices.
Mike Whitney: The Fed has traded over $200 billion in US Treasuries with the big investment banks for a wide variety of dodgy collateral (mostly mortgage-backed securities). How can the banks possibly hope to repay the Fed when their main sources of revenue (structured investments) have been cut off? Are the banks secretly using the money they borrow via repos from the Fed to dabble in the carry trade or speculate in the futures markets?
Michael Hudson: The Fed’s idea was merely to buy enough time for the banks to sell their junk mortgages to the proverbial “greater fool.” But foreign investors no longer are playing this role, nor are domestic U.S. pension funds. So the most likely result will be for the Fed simply to roll over its loans – as if the problem can be cured by yet more time.
But when a bubble bursts, time makes things worse. The financial sector has been living in the short run for quite a while now, and I suspect that a lot of money managers are planning to get out or be fired now that the game is over. And it really is over. The Treasury’s attempt to reflate the real estate market has not worked, and it can’t work. Mortgage arrears, defaults and foreclosures are rising, and much property has become unsaleable except at distress prices that leave homeowners with negative equity. This state of affairs prompts them to do just what Donald Trump would do in such a situation: to walk away from their property.
The banks are trying to win back their losses by arbitrage operations, borrowing from the Fed at a low interest rate and lending at a higher one, and gambling on options. But options and derivatives are a zero-sum game: one party’s gain is another’s loss. So the banks collectively are simply painting themselves into a deeper corner. They hope they can tell the Fed and Treasury to keep bailing them out or else they’ll fail and cost the FDIC even more money to make good on insuring the “bad savings” that have been steered into these bad debts and bad gambles.
The Fed and Treasury certainly seem more willing to bail out the big financial institutions than to bail out savers, pensioners, social Security recipients and other small fry. They thus follow the traditional “Big fish eat little fish” principle of favoring the vested interests.
Mike Whitney: According to most estimates, the Fed has already gone through half or more of its $900 billion balance sheet. Also, according to the latest H.4.1 data "the current holdings of Treasury bills is $25 billion. This is down from some $250 billion a year ago, or a net reduction of 90 per cent." (figures from Market Ticker) Doesn't this suggest that the Fed is just about out of firepower when it comes to bailing out the struggling banking system? Where do we go from here? Will some of the larger banks be allowed to fail or will they be nationalized?
Michael Hudson: You need to look at what the Treasury as well as the Fed is doing. The Fed can monetize whatever it wants. And as you just pointed out in the preceding question, it has been buying junk securities in order to leave sound Treasury securities on the banking system’s balance sheets. Government bailout credit will keep the big banks alive. But many small regional banks will go under and be merged into larger money-center banks – just as many brokerage firms in recent decades have been merged into larger conglomerates.
False reporting also will help financial institutions avoid the appearance of insolvency. They will seek more and more government guarantees, ostensibly to help middle-class depositors but actually favoring the big speculators who are their major clients.
What we are seeing is the creation of a highly concentrated financial oligarchy – precisely the power that the Glass-Steagall Act was designed to prevent. A combination of deregulation and “moral hazard” bailouts – for the top of the economic pyramid, not the bottom – will polarize the economy all the more.
Cities and states will preserve their credit ratings by annulling their pension obligations to public-sector workers, and raising excise taxes – but not property taxes. These already have fallen from about two-thirds of local budgets in 1930 to only about one-sixth today – that is, a decline of 75 percent, proportionally. While the debt burden and the squeeze in disposable personal income is pressuring workers, finance and property are using the crisis to get a bonanza of tax relief. Democrats in Congress are as far to the right as George Bush on this, as their base is local politics and real estate.'

Lees verder: http://www.counterpunch.org/whitney06212008.html

Ook Herman gaf een reactie:

'Ooit heb ik nog een stukje geschreven over Arjo Klamer. http://yelamdenu.blogsome.com/2007/11/20/globalisering-laat-arjo-klamer-ons-in-de-steek/ Ik snap de man niet hoor.Dit stukje mag u ook recyclen, ik word zo heel erg moe van de salonsocialisten.Ik begrijp wel wat Klamer zegt dat de aandelenbeurs en de economie "op de grond" twee verschillende dingen zijn, maar je kunt toch niet menen dat de rekening niet uiteindelijk gewoon bij de burgers terechtkomt.Ook absolute aanrader: de film America, Freedom to Fascism, van Aaron Russo. Over de FED en de IRS.
Prof. dr. Arjo Klamer is hoogleraar in de economie van de kunst en cultuur aan de Erasmus universiteit in Rotterdam. Afgelopen dinsdag hield hij in Rotterdam een lezing die de vraag stelde of de globalisering een zegen, dan wel een vloek is.
U raadt het al, het is een zegen voor de consument met koopkracht, die voor belachelijk lage prijzen kleding, pc’s, schoenen en fruit jaarrond kan consumeren, aangevoerd van over de hele wereld. Een vloek daarentegen is het voor het milieu en, het belangrijkste, het leidt tot een toename van onrecht. Overigens plaatste dr. Klamer de kanttekening dat dit allemaal weinig uniek is: eerder in de geschiedenis hebben “globalisering”-achtige ontwikkelingen zich voorgedaan.
Een groot deel van de lezing werd gesproken over de aangeboren neiging van de mens om zich comfortabel te voelen bij een bepaalde (etnische) groep. Nu de wereld steeds kleiner word, maar het individu en zijn identiteit dreigt te verdrinken in de (al dan niet bewuste) pogingen van multinationale onderneming en internationale handel en verkeer om deze identiteit te vervangen door de enkelvoudige identiteit van globale consument, is het vreemd noch bedreigend dat mensen zich opnieuw afvragen bij welke club zij horen. Fenomenen als de opkomst van Wilders zijn begrijpelijk in het licht van de globalisering, die gepaard gaat met immigratie en de vraag wat (in dit specifieke geval) de Nederlandse identiteit nu precies inhoudt, en misschien kunnen zij wel louterend werken.
Klamer liet de toehoorder in de steek toen hij opmerkte dat "wij geen antwoord hebben op de globalisering". Hij bedoelde hiermee dat nationale staten en hun jurisdicties geen vat krijgen op mondiale kapitaalstromen en de manieren waarop transnationale ondernemingen als Philips nationale (belasting- en andere) wetten met creatief boekhouden kunnen omzeilen.'


Lees verder: http://yelamdenu.blogsome.com/2007/11/20/globalisering-laat-arjo-klamer-ons-in-de-steek/

Ik denk dat we niet moeten vergeten dat we hier met een gelovige te maken hebben. "Wij [hebben] geen antwoord op de globalisering," verklaart Klamer. Net als voor zijn vader God buiten discussie stond, die bestond namelijk, zo staat voor Arjo de Globalisering buiten discussie. De neoliberale Globalisering is voor hem een onveranderlijke feitelijkheid waaraan niet getornd kan worden, omdat deze nu eenmaal een feit is en kosmische wetmatigheden volgt. Zijn kapitalistische vooronderstellingen behoren tot het domein van de metafysica. Het is niets anders dan een rotsvast geloof. Daar is op zichzelf niets fouts aan, niemand kan zonder een bepaald geloof, het probleem is alleen dat Arjo Klamer een hoogleraar is, dus pretendeert wetenschapper te zijn. En met waardevrije wetenschappen heeft zijn geloof niets te maken. Zoals gezegd: Klamer is een praatjesmaker die wetenschappelijke geldigheid claimt.