The Autumn of the US Republic
"When there is a general change of conditions, it is as if the entire creation had been changed and the whole world been altered." - Ibn Khaldun
"History is ruled by an inexorable determinism in which the free choice of major historical figures plays a minimal role" - Leo Tolstoy
"History is but glorification of murderers, criminals and robbers." - Karl Popper
This is going be another messy ugly year. Like programmed destructive robots, the Homosapiens would go on their irresponsible barbaric ways with charades like the Climate Change circus in Copenhagen thrown in.
In a recent review of the first decade of the century, Time Magazine from US perspective called it "The Decade from Hell" on the basis of the ravages of terrorism, failed wars, and a global financial crisis. Striking a note of optimism about the so called US recovery, in its next issue, Fed Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke was named "Man of the Year" for his supposedly Herculean efforts to keep the economy afloat. But it was clarified that the honor reflects impact rather than adulation, still the chairman’s profile was triumphant. Whereas in reality, Bernanke is one of the chief architects of the economic problems that engulfed US in 2007.
Commenting in Asia Times Peter Schiff said that in terms of economic good fortune, this period shares parallels with the Roaring Twenties - a decade of sin that paved the way to hell. The trauma of 11/9 (a large number now believe it to be an in house job) not withstanding; for most Americans, especially the top three percent it was a time of unexpected wealth and unearned prosperity. “Up to the days of the stock market crash, the economics of the decade will be remembered for cash-out refinancing for millions of homeowners, no-doc liar loans, no-money-down car purchases, eight-figure Wall Street bonuses, cheap Chinese imports, and trample-to-death holiday sales.” In other words, the decade just over, gave US the biggest and most irresponsible spending orgy in US history.”
The past decade was the party; the one ahead will be the hangover.
Schiff who is offering himself for Connecticut Senate seat said that neither the corporate media, nor the Congress nor the President have a clue of the realities and the proposed Commission to investigate the causes of the financial crisis would come up with anything but the most politically useful explanations. The usual suspects’ i.e. "ineffective regulators" who failed to "get tough" with industry, banks, and corporate leaders who held the "public good" hostage to their "personal greed" would be blamed. “Perhaps we can turn it into the decade of hope, hard work, individual liberty, savings, production, investment, sound money, de-regulation, exports, budget surpluses, capitalism, limited government, and respect for the Constitution. These traits will harden us to withstand the fallout from our reckless past,” he advised.
But just this week, the Treasury Department removed its internal caps on bailout funds to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Meanwhile, another bailout was proffered to ailing GMAC. “If we continue the same bad behavior, it might not just be one (next) decade from hell, but several”, concluded Schiff.
Obama offers Wine Turned Vinegar in Broken Bottles
On US president Barack Obama’s December 1 speech at the West Point, Thomas Johnson, professor of national security affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., who has on-site investigating experience of Afghanistan, wrote in Foreign Policy magazine of December 10; “The U.S. president and his advisors labored for three months and brought forth old wine in bigger bottles.” “The speech contained not one single new idea or approach, nor offered any hint of new thinking about a conflict that everyone now agrees the United States is losing,” he added.
The Nation magazine’s editorial queried why Obama failed to explain that his goal to “disrupt, dismantle and defeat” Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan “requires 100,000 troops at a cost of nearly $100 billion. By the military’s own calculation, there are at most 100 Al Qaeda operatives, mostly low-level, in Afghanistan, the leadership having fled to Pakistan years ago.” The Afghan war bids to become the longest in U.S. history, The Nation added.
Writing in "Information Clearing House", prize winning journalist John Pilger compared USA to super state Oceania in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-four, whose language of war inverted lies that “passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’, ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’”
Barack Obama, the leader of a contemporary Oceania and the Nobel Peace Prize winner, in two speeches at the close of the decade, affirmed that peace was no longer peace, but rather a permanent war that “extends well beyond Afghanistan and Pakistan” to “disorderly regions and diffuse enemies”. He called this “global security” and invited our gratitude. To the people of Afghanistan, which America has invaded and occupied, he said wittily: “We have no interest in occupying your country.” (Did he not pontificate in Cairo that America can never be at war with Islam, yes, but only for the resources of Muslim Countries?)
Pilger also disputed Obama’s claim that the American attack on Afghanistan in 2001 was authorized by the United Nations Security Council.” There was no UN authority.” Obama said the “the world” supported the invasion in the wake of 9/11 when, in truth, all but three of 37 countries surveyed by Gallup expressed overwhelming opposition. Obama claimed that America invaded Afghanistan “only after the Taliban refused to turn over [Osama] bin Laden”. In 2001, the Taliban tried three times to hand over bin Laden for trial, reported Pakistan’s military regime, and were ignored.
Pilger adds that even Obama’s mystification of 9/11 as justification for his war is false. Months before the Twin Towers were attacked, the Pakistani foreign minister, Niaz Naik, was told by the Bush administration that an American military assault would take place by mid-October. The Taliban regime in Kabul, which the Clinton administration had secretly supported, was no longer regarded as “stable” enough to ensure America’s control over oil and gas pipelines to the Caspian Sea. It had to go.
(In fact the Taliban negotiators, were in US just prior to 11/9 , discussing with UNOCAL to lay pipe lines but had shown preference for an Argentine oil major Bridas which had angered the ruling oil lobby in USA . In spite of peace offers by the Taliban and for trial of Osama bin Laden in an agreed country if evidence was produced, US bombed Afghanistan. But it was an anti Taliban /Pushtun Northern Alliance forces which fought their way since the Taliban escaped into inaccessible areas and Pakistan and entered Kabul against US wishes and now form the core of the ruling elite supporting president Hamid Karzai, a Pushtun figurehead. US aim was and remains bases in Afghanistan and in central Asian republics to control land corridor for US oil companies to transport energy from the Caspian and central Asia to South Asia, Indian Ocean and further East. Alternative routes for pipelines to East Asia are now being laid along Eurasia almost along old silk routes.)
Pilger describes Obama’s claim that Afghanistan today is a “safe haven” for al-Qaeda’s attacks on the West as a most audacious lie. US national security adviser, General James Jones, said in October that there were “fewer than 100” al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. According to US intelligence, 90 per cent of the Taliban are hardly Taliban at all, but “a tribal localized insurgency [who] see themselves as opposing the US because it is an occupying power”. The war is a fraud.
Pilger recalls that in Afghanistan, "the British in the 19th century and the Soviets in the 20th century attempted to conquer that wild country by ethnic cleansing and were seen off, though after terrible bloodshed. Imperial cemeteries are their memorials. People power, sometimes baffling, often heroic, remains the seed beneath the snow, and invaders fear it.”
‘Expert’ Ahmed Rashid
But said, West co-opted ‘expert’, Ahmed Rashid that 2010 will present Afghanistan and Pakistan with their most difficult set of challenges since the end of the Cold War. People in the South Asia region will be holding their breath in the New Year.
If both nations fail to achieve a modicum of political stability , success against extremism and economic growth, the world will be faced with an expansion of Islamic extremism, doubts about the safety of Pakistan's nuclear weapons and major questions about US prestige and power as it withdraws from Afghanistan.
The challenges for both countries are deeply interlinked and enormous. Without Pakistan eliminating Taliban sanctuaries or forcing the Afghan Taliban leadership into talks with Kabul, US success in Afghanistan is unlikely , concluded ‘expert’ Rashid.
Serial Catastrophes in Afghanistan threaten Obama Policy
Wrote US Prof Juan Cole on his blog ,”You probably won't see it in most US news outlets, but on Monday morning in Kabul and Jalalabad, hundreds of university students demonstrated against US strikes this weekend that allegedly killed a number of civilians. I want to underline the irony that the students in Tehran University are protesting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, while students in these two Afghan cities are calling for Yankees to go home. Nangarhar University in Jalalabad only has a student body of about 3200, so 'hundreds' of students protesting there would be a significant proportion of the student body.
"The demonstrations could be a harbinger of things to come, but there was worse news. Seven CIA field officers blown up, four US troops killed Sunday, and the rejection of most of the cabinet nominees by parliament, all signal rocky times ahead.
The past two weeks have seen the situation in Afghanistan deteriorate palpably, raising significant questions about the viability of the Obama- McChrystal plan for the country. The chain of catastrophes has been reported in piecemeal fashion, but taken together these events are far more ominous than they might appear on the surface.”
According to a 3 January report in 'The Peninsula' of the 44 Predator strikes carried out by the American drones in the tribal areas of Pakistan in 12 months of 2009, only five hit their actual targets, killing five key Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders, but at the cost of around 700 innocent civilian lives, thus each Al Qaeda and Taliban killed by the American drones, 140 civilian Pakistanis also had to die. Over 90 percent of those killed in the deadly missile strikes were innocent civilians. Apart from making America hated, it provides a breeding ground for recruiting Jihadists and bombers.
US unlikely to achieve its political and military goals in Afghanistan in 18 months and high casualty rate -Warns retired US general
Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey , currently a professor of international affairs at the US Military Academy at West Point, said in a report that as many as 300 to 500 soldiers would be killed and wounded per month in Afghanistan after 30,000 additional troops are sent to the country to launch a major offensive against insurgents. Gen McCaffrey who has visited Afghanistan numerous times since 2003 to assess the security situation said that the surge will cost about $300 billion.
While President Obama's Afghanistan Strategy Speech at West Point last month was "coherent, logical and sincere" and the "result of a very deliberative and thoughtful analytical review of the situation in Afghanistan and our several unpalatable options," Gen McCaffrey concludes, "We are unlikely to achieve our political and military goals in 18 months."
Predicting a dire situation in Afghanistan, the General said , "This will inevitably become a three- to ten-year strategy to build a viable Afghan state with their own security force that can allow us to withdraw. It may well cost us an additional $300 billion and we are likely to suffer thousands more US casualties." But adds the patriotic General, since "we now have the most effective and courageous military forces in our nation's history committed to this campaign," the many goals laid down can be achieved in the next five years.
Apart from "personal research, data provided during his trips to Pakistan, Kuwait and Afghanistan ,this assessment is based on a wide range of sources, including information he obtained from US Central Command Gen. David Petraeus; Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commanding general of International Security Assistance Force and US Forces in Afghanistan; Afghan officials such as Minister of Defense Abdul Rahim Wardak; and diplomatic officials such as Karl Eikenberry, US ambassador In Kabul.
Afghanistan is the 5th poorest nation and the second most corrupt country after Somalia, With general life expectancy of less than 45 years. Tuberculosis and drug addiction are widespread, and the country is infested with millions of land mines, which have disabled more than 200,000 Afghans. It lacks infrastructure, justice, resources and the most basic forms of local and national government. "There is almost no civic or criminal justice," he wrote. "Court trials last only minutes in many cases and lack juries." Also, prisoners are often subject to torture. (It is a result of e decades long US led West and Muslim nations Jihad against Soviet Union in 1980s and now for strategic control of the region and its resources)
Gen McCaffrey clarified, "The conclusions are solely my own as an adjunct professor of international affairs at West Point and should be viewed as an independent civilian academic contribution to the national security debate."
US and UK expand war against Al Qaeda inspired "evolving Islamist threat" in Yemen and Somalia
Uncle Sam or Uncle Tom with anemic Bull Dog in tow has discovered new threats in Yemen. Obama alleged that the Christmas Day 'underwear' bomber airline attacker in Detroit, Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was trained by a Yemen-based al-Qaeda offshoot. (Threats to US interests exist in Somalia and down south in Africa. The United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM or AFRICOM), responsible for U.S. military operations and military relations with 53 African nations - an area of responsibility covering all of Africa except Egypt was established in October 1, 2007. Since no African state was willing to host it, it would operate from Stuttgart )
US regional commander Gen David Petraeus , after organizing ethnic cleansing in Iraq and tearing asunder irrevocably Shia and Sunni Iraqis and promoted for that achievement is enthusiastic in supporting Yemen's fight against al-Qaeda. Just another arena to flex his muscles.
Writes Ambassador MK Bhadrakumar in Asia times; "Obama is a smart man. The intervention in Yemen will go down as one of the smartest moves that he ever made for perpetuating the US's global hegemony. It is America's answer to China's surge.
"A cursory look at the map of region will show that Yemen is one of the most strategic lands adjoining waters of the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula. It flanks Saudi Arabia and Oman, which are vital American protectorates. In effect, Uncle Sam is "marking territory" - like a dog on a lamppost. Russia has been toying with the idea of reopening its Soviet-era base in Aden. Well, the US has pipped Moscow in the race.
"The US has signaled that the odyssey doesn't end with Yemen. It is also moving into Somalia and Kenya. With that, the US establishes its military presence in an entire unbroken stretch of real estate all along the Indian Ocean's western rim. Chinese officials have of late spoken of their need to establish a naval base in the region. The US has now foreclosed China's options. The only country with a coastline that is available for China to set up a naval base in the region will be Iran. All other countries have a Western military presence.”
Did US not start with similar rosy hopes in Iraq, expecting GI’s to be welcomed with flowers or for that matter in Afghanistan in end 2001 when it thought it could buy its way or coerce and bribe Pakistan to implement only US objectives in the region. There is something called imperial over stretch which US reached sometime ago.
Rep. John P. Murtha, a decorated Marine veteran of Vietnam, now a senior Democrat on the House Appropriations defense subcommittee of the defense affairs said in end 2005 that the U.S. Army in Iraq was "broken, worn out" and "living hand to mouth." When expectedly criticized by the establishment ,his spokeswoman Cindy Abram, said the congressman's comment about the Army being broken "has a lot to do with recruiting goals. They cannot recruit enough people. They don't have the equipment they need. The equipment is broken down." It is no secret that boots on ground have little appetite left for fight .The number of injured, maimed and gone crazy Gis is over hundreds of thousands. Now US Military personnel sitting in US are fighting wars with drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan and mostly killing civilians with very adverse reactions there.
The US army’s broken sword is caught in Iraqi quagmire and it is now trying to fight with the sword handle in Afghanistan .Washington’s exhortations to other NATO members to pitch in more men and material has elicited little response except the British , whose ex-prime minister Tony Blair was once described as US foreign minister by Nelson Mandela and Bush’s poodle in media.
Military Hardware induced Testosterone
Basically these are symptoms of rise in the level of militaristic Testosterone, because of massive investment in and production of offensive military hardware churned by profitable military-industry complex financed mostly by Jewish controlled western banks , they also financed most wars in European history. The complex controls the US Congress, the media, many think tanks and even academic institutions.
Below is a list of the top 10 biggest spenders on military expenditure annually from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s Yearbook publication. The figures for 2008 are from the Institutes 2009 Yearbook and were calculated using market exchange rates. Of course most countries hide additional military expenditure under other heads .
US dominates the global arms trade, monopolizing almost 70% of the arms business in 2008. US funding of war, armed forces, and the weaponry of war is more than the next 25 countries combined (and that's without even including Iraq and Afghan war costs). With hundreds of bases on land and flotillas of aircraft carriers , Washington garrisons the planet in a way no empire or nation in history has ever done. And US plan for the future, for "the next war" - on the ground, on the seas and in space - in a way that is surely remarkable since most of this is now financed by trade deficit amounting to nearly US$ 600 billion. Thus, ironically creditors like China, Japan, Gulf kingdoms and others now pay for their being militarily encircled, threatened, coerced and controlled by US.
A recent example being illegal invasion and brutal occupation of Iraq since 2003, based on lies about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, nuclear bomb programme and connections with Al Qaeda. Just remember the spins and lies by US president George Bush, his deputy, secretary of state and others, many times. In the case of the greatest spinner of truth, Tony Blair, twice in Moscow he was told in media conferences that Russia did not trust his accusations. In recent enquires into the invasion being held in London (most are shams or whitewashes) it has boiled down to Blair not liking Saddam Hussein and incase of Dick Cheney, well, he told Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan because the invasion (without adverse consequences, so he thought) was doable. But soon after the invasion it was proclaimed by US deputy defense minister Paul Wolfowitz that it was for Iraq’s oil. This was later confirmed by Alan Greenspan, former federal Reserve Chairman. Such touching love for transparency and truth !
About the Detroit attempt ,in his weekly radio and video address posted on the White House website, Obama said: "We know that [Mr. Abdulmutallab] travelled to Yemen, a country grappling with crushing poverty and deadly insurgencies. It appears that he joined an affiliate of al-Qaeda, and that this group, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, trained him, equipped him with those explosives and directed him to attack that plane headed for America."
This is the kind of accusation US led West used against anyone who was not 'with us and hence against us' during the cold war. A nationalist Ho Chi Minh, President Abdul Gamal Nasser and even peace loving Jawaharlal Nehru were accused of being communists, with non-alignment being dubbed as immoral.
US would now like to post their own intrusive security experts at embarkation points for planes headed for USA. Would US allow any such facility to another nation, say its strategic partner India to even extradite Headley, clearly implicated in Mumbai rape of 26/11.
Who Would Benefit Politically from a Terrorist Incident on American Soil?
Many rightly doubt the Detroit failed terror attack story. Wrote Tom Burghardt in Global Research website “The Strange Case of Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab.” Strangely, $40 billion dollars has been spent by the American people on airline security since 2001 but it were the airline passengers who thwarted the terror act .
A closer look at the available evidence, available in the British media surrounding Abdul Mutallab, makes it abundantly clear that U.S. security officials had far more information on the would-be underwear bomber than admitted. The Observer revealed that the British secret services had Abdul Mutallab on their radar for several years and that he had become "politically involved" with "extremist networks" while a student at University College London, where he served as president of the Islamic Society.
Examining "e-mail and text traffic," security officers claim to have belatedly discovered that "he has been in contact with jihadists from across the world since 2007." The Sunday Times disclosed that Abdul Mutallab was "'reaching out' to extremists whom MI5 had under surveillance." The officials said that Abdul Mutallab was "'starting out on a journey' in Britain" that ended with the attempt to destroy North West flight in Detroit . It was then leaked that ‘"none of this information was passed" to their American counter parts which has now been duly done .Go and tell it to the marines.
Michel Chossudovsky, Peter Dale Scott and Richard Labévière, who have painstakingly documented the complex of jihadi groups known as al-Qaeda say that it has enjoyed the closest ties with Western intelligence agencies stretching back decades. Security analyst Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed wrote in the New Internationalist (October 2009): "Islamist terrorism cannot be understood without acknowledging the extent to which its networks are being used by Western military intelligence services, both to control strategic energy resources and to counter their geopolitical rivals. Even now, nearly a decade after 9/11, covert sponsorship of al-Qaeda networks continues."
That the Western intelligence agencies did nothing to hamper an alleged al-Qaeda operative from getting on that plane--in a chilling echo of the 9/11 attacks--calls into question the official narrative.
Bill Van Auken wrote on World Socialist Website on December 31, 2009, "The Northwest Flight 253 intelligence failure: Negligence or conspiracy?,"
The general outlines of the Northwest bombing attempt and the 9/11 attacks are startlingly similar. One might even say that what is involved is a modus operandi. In both cases, those alleged to have carried out the actions had been the subject of US intelligence investigations and surveillance and had been allowed to enter the country and board flights under conditions that would normally have set off multiple security alarms.
Both then and now, the government and the media expect the public to accept that all that was involved was mistakes. But why should anyone assume that the failure to act on the extensive intelligence leading to Abdulmutallab involved merely "innocent" mistakes--and not something far more sinister.
Many intelligent persons around the world are now getting convinced that 9/11 was an inside job.
Like 9/11 which provided the alibi for bombing of Afghanistan, which continues and invasion and occupation of Iraq since 2003 under false accusations, Northwest bombing attempt in Detroit is being used to take the war to an impoverished Yemen and beyond.
Girding Our Loins for the Global War on Underwear
"There was a time when errant children were made to stand in corners and reflect on their misdeeds. We are made to stand in lines, in our stocking feet, with our shampoo in plastic bags and our pocket change in collection plates, waiting for others to decide how much to blur their images of what's inside our undergarments. As we reflect upon ourselves at the start of a new decade, we resolutely gird our loins for the global war on underwear." Robert Bruce Ware in Truthout.
Ware continues;”In the last decade, we learned that we can't stop terrorism with dogs and metal detectors, with confiscated toenail clippers and lip gloss, with rationed pillows and lavatory visits.
We have also not learnt that we can't stop terrorism by destroying and rebuilding Iraq, or by propping up a corrupt regime in Kabul, or by raining robots from the skies of sovereign states like Pakistan or Yemen. We haven't learnt that we can't stop terrorism by taking hundreds of thousands of lives in distant places, or by sending thousands of our countrymen and women to their death and dismemberment, or by spending several billion dollars every week for eight years.
Perhaps, by the end of the new decade, we may begin to realize that terrorism cannot be stopped militarily, monetarily or mechanistically, but only morally. Not by rhetoric about the immorality of terrorism, but by reflection upon our own immorality. The fact is that we are not the good guys this time. That's why people want to kill us.
Turning to occupied Palestine, Ware, continues: "The genocidal horrors of anti-Semitism in Dachau are regularly used to excuse the semi-genocidal horrors in Gaza. The Warsaw ghetto somehow justifies the ghettos of the West Bank. It takes billions of our dollars every year to make it possible.
“Whether in Berlin, or Tel Aviv, or Washington, the alluring and hypnotic mythology of an exceptional people has always issued in oppressive and self-defeating policies. So far, Germans have accepted moral responsibility. Sometimes, you don't really see yourself until you take off your clothes and stare at yourself in the mirror.
Terrorist attacks against us will not stop until we rediscover our own moral ideals, or until we are no longer worth attacking, whichever comes first.”
Writing in English-Aljazeera.net,visiting professor Mark LeVine at Lund University, Sweden, points out: "Think about it. One angry young man with about three ounces (around 80 grams) of explosive material, $2,000, and a pair of specially tailored underwear has completely disrupted the US aviation system.
It does not even matter that he failed to blow up the plane.
The costs associated with preventing the next attack from succeeding will measure in the tens of billions of dollars - new technologies, added law enforcement and security personnel on and off planes, lost revenues for airline companies and more expensive plane tickets, and of course, the expansion of the 'war on terror' full on to yet another country, Yemen. (But screening machine makers will go to the banks laughing)
And what happens when the next attacker turns out to have received ideological or logistical training in yet another country? Perhaps in Nigeria, which is home to a strong and violent Salafi movement, or anyone of a dozen other African, Gulf, Middle Eastern or South East Asian countries where al-Qaeda has set up shop?
Will the US ramp up its efforts in a new country each time there is an attempted attack, putting US "boots on the ground" against an enemy that is impossible to defeat?
Such a policy would fulfill al-Qaeda's wildest dreams, as the US suffers death by a thousand cuts, bleeding out in an ever wider web of interconnected and unsustainable global conflicts. “
Strategy of Shame
Prof Levine when standing in the security line at JFK airport waiting to be frisked before boarding a New Year's day flight home, points out another goal, or at least consequence, of the most recent attack, one deeply tied to the obsession with physical and sexual honor in radical Islamist ideology: With this one failed action, the movement will succeed in routinising the systematic physical violation of airline travelers by our own security personnel as a part of the price of air travel.
Invasive frisking of the most intimate areas of the human body and revealing full body scans represent from a hardcore Salafi perspective an almost unbearable indignity -one they will surely relish seeing millions of the enemy routinely suffer, especially when such violations mirror the daily indignities and sexual humiliation infamously suffered by inmates in Guantanamo and other US-run prisons.
Call it a politics or strategy of shame - another weapon in the al-Qaeda arsenal that the West will have a hard time finding an answer for and which will erode support for the 'war on terror' from within even as Western governments strengthen their ties to oppressive front line states.
Osama bin Laden could not have planned it better if he tried.
Collateral Damage: India a Victim of US policies
India has unfortunately become the "sponge" that protects us all--of the blows unleashed by those terrorist groups that treat it as a common enemy along with Israel, the United States, and the West more generally. To the chagrin of its citizens, India has also turned out to be a terribly soft state neither able to prevent many of the terrorist -- nor capable of retaliating effectively against -- their state sponsors in Pakistan—
The existence of unresolved problems, such as the dispute over Jammu and Kashmir, has also provided both Pakistani institutions and their terrorist clients with the excuses necessary to bleed India to "death by a thousand cuts." But these unsettled disputes remain only excuses: not that they should not be addressed by New Delhi seriously and with alacrity, there is no assurance that a satisfactory resolution of these problems will conclusively eliminate the threat of terrorism facing India and the West more generally.”-from a testimony for US Senate Committee.
"The United States has supported radical Islamic activism over the past six decades, sometimes overtly, sometimes covertly," and is thus "partly to blame for the emergence of Islamic terrorism as a world-wide phenomenon." Robert Drefuss, a US columnist.
"What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?". " Nonsense--" responded Brzezinski when asked in 1997 "If Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today." Brzezinski was President Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser.
It is on public record that it was US led West and Saudi led Muslim countries with even China joining in, who in 1980s, financed the nurseries of terrorism to the tune of more than $ 10 billon, recruited and trained young men from Muslim countries for Jihad against Soviet troops in Afghanistan. Brzezinsky boasted later that Soviet intervention in 1979 was in response to US promoted subversive activities against the legitimate government in Kabul to take revenge on Moscow, for American debacle in Vietnam. Thus leaving behind nurseries of terrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan and its consequences, is only a collateral damage on India and other innocent countries in the region.
Pakistan used the era of US-Pak collaboration in 1980s to build nuclear bombs with China’s open help with knowledge of US led West and then proliferate the knowhow and equipment for money or exchange for missile technology form North Korea . While India has been a victim , Pakistan has been rewarded with massive economic aid and arms by Washington , which even Gen Musharraf , the brain behind surreptitious intrusion in Kargil ,said was used to build offensive capability and use against India ,Almost at the drop of the hat as after the 26/11 rape of Mumbai , when India pondered a military riposte, Islamabad threatened use of nuclear weapons as it has done many times earlier. And western leaders and media remain silent unlike their fulminations and threats against north Korea and even Iran, on Te Aviv drummed up forgeries about Iran’s nuclear programme.
With US agents swarming all over Pakistan, specially around Karachi port, from where arms, equipment and other material for US and NATO forces are transported for fighting in Afghanistan, it is difficult to believe that Washington did not have precise and hard information on 11/26 attack on Mumbai. Is US intelligence that poor! The savage battering of India’s honor and sovereignty created serious credibility deficit and enmity between India and Pakistan, which apart from the Pakistan military ruling elite suits Western powers as well.
Unfortunately India has suffered maximum collateral damage whether on the opposite side of the Cold War as alleged by Washington and London, in an effort to avoid being allied to one side or the other except when forced in 1971 . Or now when India has a strategic partnership with USA.! It insists on intrusive presence and inspections of Indian military if US arms are bought.
During Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s December visit to Russia in a broad-based agreement Russia will ensure transfer of technology and uninterrupted uranium fuel supplies to its nuclear reactors. He also inked three pacts in the defense sector.
“Today we have signed an agreement which broadens the reach of our cooperation beyond the supply of nuclear reactors to areas of research and development and a whole range of areas of nuclear energy,” Singh told a joint press conference in the Kremlin. He described the nuclear deal as a “major step forward in strengthening our existing cooperation in this field.”
After the summit, Russian nuclear energy agency Rosatom head Sergei Kiriyenko told reporters that Russia could eventually supply up to 20 nuclear reactors to India. The nuclear pact with Russia is unlike India’s agreement with the United States, which calls for the termination of ongoing nuclear cooperation, and for the return to the U.S. of equipment and fuel already supplied to India, in the event of the nuclear agreement being terminated.
Russian President Medvedev clarified that Moscow will not accept any foreign-imposed restrictions on its nuclear cooperation with India. The G8 resolution restricting the sale of reprocessing technologies to countries that have not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Medvedev asserted did not change anything in our cooperation. “It has a great future.”
Russia will also help India build a manned spaceship, to send an Indian astronaut into space under a ten-year cooperation program. Moscow would share technologies to build such a spacecraft for India’s manned mission to be undertaken in 2015 . The spaceship would be modeled after the Russian Soyuz craft, but it would be smaller to match the lighter Indian boosters.
Still Indians ‘love George Bush deeply’. Something amiss in Indians’ DNA !
Autumn of the US Republic
The Moving Finger Writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to Cancel half a Line, Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.
“Instability is an inherent and inescapable flaw of capitalism. "Hyman Minsky
Economics is not an exact science like physics or chemistry as it cannot quantify effects of human emotions like greed , fear and exuberance. These accountants glorify themselves as scientists since science transformed itself from alchemy to an exact discipline and became respectable .Many economists did warn about the likely financial crisis , US is in . Hyman Minsky had said .
“Keynes's collective work amounted to a powerful argument that capitalism was by its very nature unstable and prone to collapse. Far from trending toward some magical state of equilibrium, capitalism would inevitably do the opposite. It would lurch over a cliff,"
The Decline And Coming Fall Of US Hegemony
“-- An editorial titled ' Collapse of U.S. economy ' in Belleville Intelligencer of 27 Feb, 2008 confirms , by now generally accepted ill health of US economy . Harry Koza in the Globe and Mail recently quoted Bernard Connelly, the global strategist at Banque AIG in London, that the likelihood of a Great Depression is growing by the day. Martin Wolf of U.K.'s Financial Times cited Dr. Nouriel Roubini of the New York University's Stern School of Business, who outlines how the losses of the American financial system will grow to more than $1 trillion, an amount equal to all the assets of all American banks.
The next domino to fall will be credit card defaults, and after that... who knows? There are so many exotic funds out there, with trillions of dollars in paper - or rather computer-screen money - all carrying assorted acronyms, and all about to disintegrate into nothingness. Over the next couple of years, scores of banks that have thrived on these devices, based on quickly disappearing equities, will fail.
The most frightening forecast so far comes from the Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin (GEAB), "The end of the third quarter of 2008 (thus late September, a mere seven months from now) will be marked by a new tipping point in the unfolding of the global systemic crisis.
"At that time indeed, the cumulated impact of the various sequences of the crisis will reach its maximum strength and affect decisively the very heart of the systems concerned, on the front line of which (is) the United States, epicenter of the current crisis.
"In the United States, this new tipping point will translate into - get this - a collapse of the real economy, (the) final socio-economic stage of the serial bursting of the housing and financial bubbles and of the pursuance of the U.S. dollar fall. The collapse of U.S. real economy means the virtual freeze of the American economic machinery: private and public bankruptcies in large numbers, companies and public services closing down."
"We are not experiencing a "remake" of the 1929 crisis nor a repetition of the 1970s oil crises or 1987 stock market crisis. What we will have, instead, is truly a global momentous threat - a true turning point affecting the entire planet and questioning the very foundations of the international system upon which the world was organized in the last decades."
Minsky “Financial Instability Hypothesis."
In his writings, Minsky looked to his intellectual hero, Keynes, arguably the greatest economist of the 20th century. But where most economists drew a single, simplistic lesson from Keynes - that government could step in and micromanage the economy, smooth out the business cycle, and keep things on an even keel - Minsky had no interest in what he and a handful of other dissident economists came to call "bastard Keynesianism."
Instead, Minsky drew his own, far darker, lessons from Keynes's landmark writings, which dealt not only with the problem of unemployment, but with money and banking. Although Keynes had never stated this explicitly, Minsky argued that Keynes's collective work amounted to a powerful argument that capitalism was by its very nature unstable and prone to collapse. Far from trending toward some magical state of equilibrium, capitalism would inevitably do the opposite. It would lurch over a cliff.
This insight bore the stamp of his advisor Joseph Schumpeter, the noted Austrian economist now famous for documenting capitalism's ceaseless process of "creative destruction." But Minsky spent more time thinking about destruction than creation. In doing so, he formulated an intriguing theory: not only was capitalism prone to collapse, he argued, it was precisely its periods of economic stability that would set the stage for monumental crises.
Minsky called his idea the "Financial Instability Hypothesis." In the wake of a depression, he noted, financial institutions are extraordinarily conservative, as are businesses. With the borrowers and the lenders who fuel the economy all steering clear of high-risk deals, things go smoothly: loans are almost always paid on time, businesses generally succeed, and everyone does well. That success, however, inevitably encourages borrowers and lenders to take on more risk in the reasonable hope of making more money. As Minsky observed, "Success breeds a disregard of the possibility of failure."
As people forget that failure is a possibility, a "euphoric economy" eventually develops, fueled by the rise of far riskier borrowers - what he called speculative borrowers, those whose income would cover interest payments but not the principal; and those he called "Ponzi borrowers," those whose income could cover neither, and could only pay their bills by borrowing still further. As these latter categories grew, the overall economy would shift from a conservative but profitable environment to a much more freewheeling system dominated by players whose survival depended not on sound business plans, but on borrowed money and freely available credit.
Once that kind of economy had developed, any panic could wreck the market. The failure of a single firm, for example, or the revelation of a staggering fraud could trigger fear and a sudden, economy-wide attempt to shed debt. This watershed moment - what was later dubbed the "Minsky moment" - would create an environment deeply inhospitable to all borrowers. The speculators and Ponzi borrowers would collapse first, as they lost access to the credit they needed to survive. Even the more stable players might find themselves unable to pay their debt without selling off assets; their forced sales would send asset prices spiraling downward, and inevitably, the entire rickety financial edifice would start to collapse. Businesses would falter, and the crisis would spill over to the "real" economy that depended on the now-collapsing financial system.
( Note .The write up on Minsky has been extracted from “ Why Capitalism Fails “ by Stephen Mihm in ‘Boston Globe' of 14 September, 2009.)
Russian economist predicts break-up of USA
Russian political analysts are having a whale of time predicting what will happen to USA , having been victims of similar derisive comments at Russian expense, following the collapse of the Soviet Union and its break up in early 1990s.
A Russian Professor, Igor Panarin has even predicted a likely breakup of the United States of America. Prof Panarin's dire predictions for the U.S. economy, initially made at an international conference in Australia 10 years ago at a time when the economy appeared strong, have been given more credence now.
According to (RIA Novosti) of November 24 , 2008 Professor Igor told Izvestia "The dollar is not secured by anything. The country's foreign debt has grown like an avalanche, even though in the early 1980s there was no debt. By 1998, when I first made my prediction, it had exceeded $2 trillion. Now it is more than 11 trillion. This is a pyramid that can only collapse."
Panarin said: due to the financial crisis, three of the largest and oldest five banks on Wall Street ceased to exist, and two were barely surviving. Their losses are the biggest in history. Now what we will see is a change in the regulatory system on a global financial scale: America will no longer be the world's financial regulator." When asked , he added that China, with its vast reserves, and Russia, could play the role of a regulator in Eurasia.
Asked why he expected the U.S. to break up into separate parts, he said: "A whole range of reasons. Firstly, the financial problems in the U.S. will get worse. Millions of citizens there have lost their savings. Prices and unemployment are on the rise. General Motors and Ford are on the verge of collapse, and this means that whole cities will be left without work. Governors are already insistently demanding money from the federal center. –“ He also cited the "vulnerable political setup", "lack of unified national laws", and "divisions among the elite, which have become clear in these crisis conditions."
He predicted that the U.S. could break up into six parts - the Pacific coast, with its growing Chinese population; the South, with its Hispanics; Texas, where independence movements are on the rise; the Atlantic coast, with its distinct and separate mentality; five of the poorer central states with their large Native American populations; and the northern states, where the influence from Canada is strong.
He even suggested that "we could claim Alaska - it was only granted on lease, after all."
A year later on 28 December, 2009 Pravda was no less negative about USA. In its op-ed it predicted that last year, 2009, was a gloomy year, though not quite a bad as forecast. Of course, it was saved by Herculean efforts, putting off the worst to a bit later, though not stopped only stalled.
“Upcoming in this year will be the second fall in the Global Depression. This will start with nations failing in their sovereign debt and will quickly spiral out of control for vast areas, followed by more break down in civil order and war. By the end of the year, oil will see a large price increase due to supply constraints caused by geopolitical issues: first in Mexico, than in Venezuela and finally in the Persian Gulf. “
Which way the Camel would sit !
It is difficult to predict exactly what will happen in 2010 and the coming decade. US economy and hence world economy resembles the situation in the Hollywood film “Runaway Train” with all major economies tied to USA’s. There are reports of huge debts of Chinese banks. Would Washington pay up its debts to China and others. Unlikely. Will it allow Beijing to buy US assets i.e. profitable and strategic companies! In India too we are following the same prescriptions and medicines as in US by an economic decision making leadership trained and beholden to Washington and its ways.
The only thing certain is further decline of US hegemony which was heralded by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and other institutions in September, 2008. The second big collapse could begin this year. These epochal changes would represent Western turn about like the repulse of the Ottoman arms from the gates of Vienna in 16 century. US franchised street revolutions in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan failed to install US puppets in power. The one enthroned in Ukraine will be unseated soon. Moscow muscularly repulsed attempt by Washington’s proxy Georgia to take back Russian protectorates of south Ossetia and Abkhazia. Azerbaijan has distanced itself from US.
Following the US’s strategic blunder in Iraq, Turkey is a NATO ally only in name. Iran has now become an acknowledged primary regional power. Berlin in spite of a conservative party in power is strengthening its ties with Moscow. Only Paris under maverick Nicola Sarcozy remains attracted to Washington. In Japan, the first ever victory of a left of centre party is a harbinger of changes in its policy of total subservience to USA. In Latin America, a US backyard, more leftist leaders with pro-people agendas are being elected. This is giving new lease of life to Fidel Castro, who is having the last laugh.
But when it will come to self survival , it will be free for all. Invest in silver and gold and sit tight.
US: An Empire of Illusion
Writing in Miller-Mcune, Kirk Nielsen wonders if America has slipped into a semiliterate, polarized, pre-fascist state over the past decade or so, allowing greedy oligarchs and corporate elites to run the government? He bemoans the fact that US population is hooked on to Facebook and Twitter, celebrity news, cable news, Oprah, Jerry Springer, American Idol, The Swan, other reality-TV shows, professional wrestling, violent pornography, positive psychology and right-wing Christian fundamentalism.
These spectacularly mind-numbing American pursuits are examined by Chris Hedges in Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle, which have mesmerized large portions of the American citizenry. The result is that CEOs are being paid millions of dollars a year to run companies that feed on taxpayer money usurped by the government — with the help of elected officials bought by campaign contributions and tens of thousands of corporate lobbyists who now write many of the nation's laws.
"Those captivated by the cult of cel