Thursday, September 30, 2010
Scientists from Oregon State University have found a 40-fold increase in the amount of cancer-causing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) near Louisiana's Grande Isle between May and June.
The Oregon team is looking at "the fraction of PAHs that are bioavailable – that have the potential to move into the food chain."
As I pointed out last month, PAHs are harmful to both human health and seafood safety:
McClatchy notes today:The Gulf of Mexico oil spill still poses threats to human health and seafood safety, according to a study published Monday by the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Medical Association.
In the short term, study co-author Gina Solomon voiced greatest concern for shrimp, oysters, crabs and other invertebrates she says are have difficulty clearing their systems of dangerous polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) similar to those found in cigarette smoke and soot. Solomon is an MD and public health expert in the department of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco.
The Oregon researchers also believe:
The use of chemical dispersants during the oil spill coupled with the ultraviolet exposure in the Gulf may have increased the formation of OPAHs beyond expected levels.
And one of the researchers explained to the Huffington Post:
Based on the findings of other researchers, [Kim Anderson, an OSU professor of environmental and molecular toxicology] suspects that the abundant use of dispersants by BP increased the bioavailability of the PAHs in this case.
This is not particularly surprising. As I noted earlier this month about another team of scientists studying the effects of dispersant on pollution in the Gulf:
Scientists have found that when Corexit is applied to the actual crude oil from BP's well, it releases 35 times more toxic chemicals into the water column than would be released with crude alone.
[NOAA says that the Gulf] oil is less toxic than crude oils generally because it is relatively much lower in polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs are highly toxic chemicals that tend to persist in the environment for long periods of time, especially if the spilled oil penetrates into the substrate on beaches or shorelines.Given that the BP crude is much lower in PAHs than most crude oil, for there to be 40 times more PAHs than normal is even more dramatic, again showing how effective dispersants have been in releasing the most toxic elements from the oil into the environment ... in fairly high concentrations and pretty much all at once.
See this for more information on the harmful effects of dispersants, and their ongoing use in the Gulf.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Summers Skews the Playing Field for the Big Boys, then Blames Skyrocketing Inequality on a "Ruthless Economy"
Dan Froomkin notes:
Asked about new Census data showing that the income gap between the richest and poorest Americans grew last year to its widest amount on record, Summers said one factor is that "we have a more ruthless economy. There's breaking down in social norms by people in a position to take."
Skyrocketing income disparity is something I've repeatedly written about.
But increasing income disparity hasn't just happened like some unforeseen natural disaster which is difficult to forecast, such as an earthquake. It has been the result of certain efforts by the wealthy and their lackeys in government.
As Warren Buffet said in 2006:
There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.
Indeed, as I pointed out last year, Summers is more responsible for our economic problems than just about anyone else (Greenspan and Rubin also played their parts):
Summers is the guy responsible for:
- Allowing the banks to carry extraordinary levels of debt, thirty-to-one fractional reserve banking margins
- Repealing New Deal era legislation which separated investment banks from commercial banks, insurers and stock brokers, and which kept companies from becoming "too big to fail"
As a 1999 New York Times article entitled "Congress Passes Wide-Ranging Bill Easing Bank Laws" quotes Summers as saying:''Today Congress voted to update the rules that have governed financial services since the Great Depression and replace them with a system for the 21st century,'' Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers said. ''This historic legislation will better enable American companies to compete in the new economy.''
As I pointed out in April:As I pointed out in September, Summers has totally misunderstood the multiplier effect.
On Friday, Summers basically said we should continue to do the exact same things which got us into this mess because:All crises must end. The “self-equilibrating” nature of the economy will ultimately prevail, although that may take massive one-off government actions. Such a crisis happens only ”three or four times” per century, so taking on huge amounts of government debt is fine; implicitly, we will grow out of that debt burden.Um . . . sorry to break it to you there Larry, but a group of economics professors has recently demolished the "self-equilibrating economy" theory:If one browses through the academic macroeconomics and finance literature, “systemic crisis” appears like an otherworldly event that is absent from economic models. Most models, by design, offer no immediate handle on how to think about or deal with this recurring phenomenon. In our hour of greatest need, societies around the world are left to grope in the dark without a theory. ...And when economist James Galbraith spoke at a recent panel on the causes of the financial crisis, the first thing he listed as the main cause of the crisis was "The idea that capitalism ... is inherently self-stabilizing" ...
The implicit view behind standard models is that markets and economies are inherently stable and that they only temporarily get off track. The majority of economists thus failed to warn policy makers about the threatening system crisis and ignored the work of those who did. ...
The confinement of macroeconomics to models of stable states that are perturbed by limited external shocks and that neglect the intrinsic recurrent boom-and-bust dynamics of our economic system is remarkable. After all, worldwide financial and economic crises are hardly new and they have had a tremendous impact beyond the immediate economic consequences of mass unemployment and hyper inflation. This is even more surprising, given the long academic legacy of earlier economists’ study of crisis phenomena ... This tradition, however, has been neglected ...
Summers [is] like a guy swearing that the Sun really does revolve around the Earth and that the current orbit is just a temporary aberration . . . and that if we just wait a little while, "everything will return to normal".
Indeed, Summers has admitted that too big to fail banks are a huge roadblock to economic recovery, yet he has blocked all attempts to break them up or meaningfully rein them in.
Summers said in 2000 "a healthy financial system cannot be built on the Expectation of bailouts", and then has built much of his recovery strategy on the expectation of bailouts.
A lot of his strategy has also been built on artificially propping up asset prices for things like toxic derivatives, and that strategy has failed miserably.
And it's not just that Summers has blown it. He has actively promoted a "more ruthless economy" and the "breaking down in social norms by people in a position to take" which he is now whining about.
As I wrote in March 2009:
As I noted last year:
Does a single independent economist buy the Geithner-Summers-Bernanke approach?
On the left, you have:
- Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz saying that they have failed to address the structural and regulatory flaws at the heart of the financial crisis that stand in the way of economic recovery, and that they have confused saving the banks with saving the bankers
- Nobel economist Paul Krugman saying their plan to prop up asset prices "isn't going to fly". He also said:At every stage, Geithner et al have made it clear that they still have faith in the people who created the financial crisis — that they believe that all we have is a liquidity crisis that can be undone with a bit of financial engineering, that “governments do a bad job of running banks” (as opposed, presumably, to the wonderful job the private bankers have done), that financial bailouts and guarantees should come with no strings attached. This was bad analysis, bad policy, and terrible politics. This administration, elected on the promise of change, has already managed, in an astonishingly short time, to create the impression that it’s owned by the wheeler-dealers.
- Prominent economists like Nouriel Roubini, James Galbraith, Robert Kuttner, Dean Baker, Michael Hudson and many others slamming their approach (and Paulson's as well)
On the right, you have:
- Leading monetary economist Anna Schwartz saying that they are fighting the last war and doing it all wrong
- Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury and former editor of the Wall Street Journal Paul Craig Roberts lambasting their approach
- Economist John Williams saying "the federal government is bankrupt ... If the federal government were a corporation … the president and senior treasury officers would be in federal penitentiary."
Of course, other Nobel economists, high-level fed officials, former White House economist, and numerous others have slammed their approach as well.
- Prominent economist Marc Faber and many others tearing their approach to shreds.
Sure, the economists for the banks and other financial giants which are receiving billions at the government trough think that the Geithner-Summers-Bernanke approach is swell.
And perhaps a couple of economists for investment funds which use their giant interventions into the free market to make some quick money.But other than them, no one seems to be buying it.
Economist Dean Baker said the true purpose of the bank rescue plan is "a massive redistribution of wealth to the bank shareholders and their top executives".
And Nobel economist Joe Stiglitz says the Geithner plan will rob US taxpayers.
And congressman Grayson puts it succinctly when he demands "Stop stealing our money!"
And as I pointed out this summer:
The bailout money didn't actually go to any productive economic uses:The super-wealthy have been bailed out, and life is great for them. For everyone else, things are not so good.
The bailout money is just going to line the pockets of the wealthy, instead of helping to stabilize the economy or even the companies receiving the bailouts:
- Bailout money is being used to subsidize companies run by horrible business men, allowing the bankers to receive fat bonuses, to redecorate their offices, and to buy gold toilets and prostitutes
- A lot of the bailout money is going to the failing companies' shareholders
- Indeed, a leading progressive economist says that the true purpose of the bank rescue plans is "a massive redistribution of wealth to the bank shareholders and their top executives"
And as the New York Times notes, "Tens of billions of [bailout] dollars have merely passed through A.I.G. to its derivatives trading partners".
- The Treasury Department encouraged banks to use the bailout money to buy their competitors, and pushed through an amendment to the tax laws which rewards mergers in the banking industry (this has caused a lot of companies to bite off more than they can chew, destabilizing the acquiring companies)
In other words, through a little game-playing by the Fed, taxpayer money is going straight into the pockets of investors in AIG's credit default swaps and is not even really stabilizing AIG.
The system is rigged to benefit the elites and their sycophants at the expense of the country. See this, this, this, and this.
I received the following email from a source on the Hill who has a lot of knowledge about foreclosures.
Attached is a court order quashing a case because of a counterfeit court summons. Apparently what’s happening is that private process servicer companies may not be serving people with summons, and are simply counterfeiting the documents so they can keep the fees without doing the work. That means that you could theoretically be foreclosed on without ever knowing there was even a foreclosure case against you.
This judge got wise to it.
Below are two more stories about the problem. The first is from the Florida Bar News, and the second is from prominent financial blogger Mike Konczal on the rampant violations of property rights.
Florida Bar News: Faulty filings hamper clearing foreclosures
Key quote: “If we had everyone defending their foreclosure, we’d never get through this.”
Florida’s Foreclosures Nightmare
Given that the IMF and others believe a large part of the “structural unemployment” in our country is related to the struggling housing market and underwater and barely-hanging on homeowners, what is to be done? One option is to allow for options like lien-stripping in bankruptcy courts, reseting mortgages by zip code, etc. Another option is for courts to accelerate foreclosures by ignoring due process, proper documentation and legal process in order to kick people out of their homes and preserve the value of senior tranches of RMBS while giving mortgage servicers a nice kickback.
What option do you think our country is taking?
We should all be very concerned about the foreclosure situation in Florida. If you are a homeowner or potential homeowner, you should find it offensive that people’s property rights are being violated in such a flagrant way. If you are an investor, either as “bond vigilante” or someone with a generic 401(k), you should be worried that servicers have gone rogue and the incentive structure to maximize value instead of fees associated with foreclosures has broken down.
And if you care about basic Western liberalism–the classical kind, with a Lockean understanding of freedom to own property along with freedoms of speech and religion– you should be pissed off. This is a clear-cut instance of the rich and powerful decimating other people’s property rights, rights that are supposed to protect the weak from the strong, in order to preserve their wealth and autonomy. Unless you think property rights are mere placeholders for whatever the financial sector demands are, this should be resisted. This should be viewed as a problem an order of magnitude larger than Kelo v. City of New London.
The short problem is that banks are foreclosing without showing clear ownership of the property. In addition, “foreclosure mills” are processing 100,000s of foreclosures a month without doing any of the actual due diligence or legal legwork required for the state to justify the taking of property and putting people on the street. Even worse, many are faking documentation and committing other fraud in the process. The government is allowing this to happen both by not having courts block it from going forward, but also through purchasing the services of these mills. As Barney Frank noted: “Why is Fannie Mae using lawyers that are accused of regularly engaging in fraud to kick people out of their homes?”
And the worst part is the lack of conversation about this. Thanks to Yves Smith at naked capitalism for following this story from the get-go; her blog has become the place for anyone interested in this topic (that link is a catch-up post). The rest of the media is starting to catch up to where she was weeks ago. Here’s the Washington Post with the story of an individual caught in one of these nets.
As a number of news reports have shown in recent weeks, banks have been carrying through foreclosures at a breakneck pace and freely ignoring the legal niceties required under the law, such as demonstrating clear ownership to the property being foreclosed.And the situation in Florida is worse than most assume. The specially-created courts see it as their purpose to clear out the foreclosures, as Yves Smith covers here (must read). The most obvious takeaway is that homeowners aren’t being given the chance to have their documents properly viewed, have the challenges and proper legal hurdles to putting someone on the street vetted by the courts, and instead are being bribed with an additional month of house time if they don’t ask too many questions.
The problem is that when mortgages got sliced and diced into various mortgage-backed securities, it became difficult to follow who actually held the title to the home. Often the bank that was servicing the mortgage did not actually have the title and may not even know where the title is. As a result, if a homeowner stopped paying their mortgage, the servicer may not be able to prove they actually have a claim to the property.
If the servicer followed the law on carrying through foreclosures then it would have to go through a costly and time-consuming process of getting its paperwork in order and ensuring that it actually did have possession of the title before going to a judge and getting a judgment that would allow them to take possession of the property. Instead, banks got in the habit of skirting the proper procedures and filling in forms inaccurately and improperly in order to take possession of properties.
And the biggest fear is that the fraud uncovered at GMAC is the tip of the iceberg for what is going on nationwide. Keep your eye on this situation.
100622_Jeffs_Order on Motion to Quash Service of Process
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Government Response to Gulf Oil Spill Was "A Little Bit Like Custer Underestimating The Number Of Indians On The Other Side Of The Hill"
Oil Spill Commission co-chair Bob Graham slammed the administration's handling of the Gulf oil disaster, including its low-ball estimates of the size of the spill ( which was some 60 times too low):
It's a little bit like Custer underestimating the number of Indians on the other side of the hill and paying a price for that ....
(Of course, since the Oil Spill Commission won't have any subpoena power, that inquiry might be toothless.)
And the low-balling of oil spill impacts is continuing to this day.
For example, our tax dollars are being used to convince kids that Gulf seafood is safe, because oil "floats", dispersants are harmless and wildlife is hearty:
A scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration partnered with BP to answer eighth graders' questions about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Gary Ott, science support coordinator with NOAA, demonstrated the basic science behind the oil spill and its cleanup for students using an aquarium filled with water as the Gulf of Mexico and cooking oil mixed with Hershey's cocoa powder to represent BP's spilled oil.
“Should you be afraid to eat shrimp?” Ott asked the library full of eighth graders. Some answered “Yes,” some said “No.”
But Ott assured them it was safe, and set out to explain why.
Other presentations at local schools are planned.
Using a pump at the bottom of the aquarium, Ott released the oil-cocoa mixture into the water, and students watched the oil globs rocket to the top and stay there in a slick.
“Oil floats. See, we've tested it,” Ott said.
***A rubber ducky also went into the spill, representing oiled birds.
Of course, the oil doesn't disappear when it's dispersed, Ott acknowledged. It stays suspended in the water column for weeks where it can hurt some fish species. But it is broken down within weeks by hungry oil-eating microbes, he said. It's a trade-off officials accept to keep huge slicks of oil from floating into wetlands and oiling birds, Ott said.
Ocean life in the real world, of course, is a tad more sensitive to pollution than a plastic rubber ducky.
And in the real world, as little as 2% of all oil which spills from deepwater wells ever makes it to the surface of the ocean (see this for detail), and the massive application of dispersants caused the remaining oil to sink under the surface. So the whole oil floats thing is ridiculous.
And scientists say that oil-eating microbes are not quickly breaking down the oil. Indeed, instead of oil-eating microbes breaking down the oil, they appear to have instead gorged themselves - according to the Los Angeles Times - on gases in the water.
PhD toxicologist and oil spill expert Riki Ott has repeatedly raised this possibility. See this and this.
And as I have previously pointed out, scientists have found an oil-eating microbe in the Gulf which is in the same family as Vibrio and other nasty, disease-causing pathogens.
And as the New York Times noted in June:
Some bacteria in the Gulf of Mexico love eating oil as much as they like infecting humans.
Scientists have long known that the ultimate end of the crude oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico from the damaged BP PLC well will rest in the hands of marine bacteria, single-cell organisms that have been purging the seas of oil from natural seeps for millenia, having only recently added human folly to their cleanup resume. Without these bacteria, whose numbers surge in response to hydrocarbons, enough oil would leak each year to coat the world's oceans in a fine film, molecules deep.
Beneath this awareness, however, sit vast reserves of uncertainty. Microbiologists are unsure which bacteria, feeding off the oil, are already growing exponentially in the Gulf. They are curious how long the bacterial growth will last once the oil's hard remnants drift down into ocean sediment. And no one seems certain how the surge in microbial life will alter the intricate, disentangling web of the Gulf's already weakened ecology.
"The question is: Will there be an inadvertent enhancement of the growth of these potential human pathogens?" said Rita Colwell, former director of the National Science Foundation and an expert in marine microbial life. "It's a question, and the answer is uncertain."
So far, hard evidence is scant. Grimes recently examined an oiled water sample taken by the research ship Pelican. The oil, likely exposed to dispersant, was finely divided. Using gene-staining technology, Grimes discovered several microbes attached to the droplet. Now glowing blue, they had been gorging. At least one was a Vibrio.
"There's no question bacteria, in general, increase following spills, and this includes Vibrios," said Jim Oliver, a Vibrio specialist at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Whether the pathogenic Vibrios "significantly increase is unsure, I would say, but they are coastal bacteria ... so [they] could well increase either as a direct result of oil degradation or as a side effect of the added nutrient levels."
The ingredients are there for heightened concern, Oliver added. The carcasses of bacteria feeding off the oil will increase overall nutrient levels as sweltering summer temperatures hit their peak. While there are natural controls, like bacterial viruses and protozoa, that can check Vibrio growth, those can be overwhelmed, studies have shown. And because of the cleanup, more people could be coming into direct contact with the bacteria.
"I think that combination could lead to very serious public health concerns," Oliver said.
The Times also notes that some species of Vibrio can contaminate seafood , especially oysters.
As Florida Oil Spill Law reports:
(the Florida Oil Spill Law article also documents the terrible disease that Vibrio can cause in humans.)
The National Science Foundation awarded a rapid response grant to research this very topic, From the NSF website on June 21, 2010:
How are the oysters faring with the oil spill? The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a rapid response grant to scientists Crystal Johnson, Gary King and Ed Laws of Louisiana State University (LSU) to find out.
The researchers will look at how the abundance and virulence of naturally-occurring bacteria called Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus, often found in oyster beds, may change in response to the spill.
The findings will provide insights into vibrios’ ability to “consume” oil, and will allow the biologists to uncover antibiotic compounds in certain species of phytoplankton that live in association with vibrios.
“Adaptation to the spilled oil may result in an increase in some types of vibrios,” says Johnson. “We believe that vibrios will change in response to the stress of direct exposure to oil and/or to indirect effects of interactions with other species affected by oil.”
Vibrios… may even help break down the components of the oil.
“Little is known about how microbes–in the water, along coasts, and associated with other species–are affected by the spill,” says Phillip Taylor, acting director of NSF’s Ocean Sciences Division.
“Through this NSF rapid response grant, these scientists will be able to track the oil’s effects on marine species living in the Gulf, and by extension, the possible threat to human health.” …
“Oil-induced changes in phytoplankton community composition and their associated bacterial communities are related to changes in vibrio abundance,” he says. Some species of phytoplankton in Louisiana and Mississippi coastal waters may excrete antibiotics that inhibit the growth of vibrios, according to Laws.
Indeed, there are many other reports of health problems among Gulf residents. See this, this and this.
Moreover, as the Tampa Tribune notes, the oil and dispersants are still there:
Most of the oil and dispersant are still below the surface and have the potential to cause long-term damage the eco-system, according to University of South Florida researcher John Paul who is included in a documentary debuting Tuesday night in the National Geographic Channel.And wildlife is still being found with very high concentrations of oil in their organs.
They discovered plumes of dispersed oil at the bottom of an undersea canyon about 40 miles off the Florida Panhandle.
It was found to be toxic to microscopic sea organisms, causing mutations to their DNA.
If this plankton at the base of the marine food chain is contaminated, it could affect the whole ecosystem of the Gulf.
"The problem with mutant DNA is that it can be passed on and we don't how this will affect fish or other marine life," he says, adding that the effects could last for decades.
In addition, more and more evidence points to the continued application of dispersant in the Gulf. See this, this, this and this.
The government and BP continue to act like General Custer ... and the Gulf will pay a heavy price for their negligence.
By David DeGraw of Amped Status
Preface by Washington's Blog: This is the first guest post we have run. We are running it for 2 reasons.
First, it is a very good piece.
Second, we are busy, and hope to write a little less and post a little more by other writers.
I: Economic Imperial Operations
II: Violence on the Horizon
III: The IMF Riot, Step 3.5
IV: Bang the Drums of War
V: The Chinese Scapegoat: Trade &
VI: Moves Upon the Grand Chessboard
VII: Resource Wars
VIII: Private Military Complex
IX: History Repeats Itself
When we analyze our current crisis, focusing on the past few years of economic activity blinds us to the history and context that are vital to understanding the root cause. What we have been experiencing is not the result of an unforeseen economic crash that appeared out of the blue with the collapse of the housing market. It was certainly not brought on by people who bought homes they couldn’t afford. To frame this crisis around a debate on economic theory misses the point entirely. To even blame it on greedy bankers, while essentially accurate, also misses the most vital point.
This crisis is the direct result of a strategic economic attack on the existence of a middle class and democracy worldwide. The stock market and economy have become weapons of mass oppression manipulated by an imperial banking cartel to impose order and exploit the masses. This crisis boldly represents the manifest evolution of the fascist spirit reasserting itself as the dominant ideology.
Any fairytale notions of the United States being a democratic republic built on the rule of law have been utterly dispelled. As a nation we have been bred and conditioned to be dangerously naïve to the darker forces which operate beyond the spotlight of the mainstream media. We have been blinded to what has been developing throughout the world.
The economic imperialism that has now blown-back to the United States and Europe has been evolving for decades and can be directly traced back to the end of World War II, to the birth of the CIA, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank.
For those of us who have been paying attention to economic imperial operations that have been carried out against countries throughout the world, this looks all too familiar. The IMF and global bankers have conquered the second and third world, and they have now moved on to countries within the first world. Western European and American working classes are in the cross-hairs now.
Economic and societal indicators, along with recent G-20 policy decisions, clearly demonstrate that they are carrying out and escalating systemic economic attacks throughout Europe and the US.
To put it in technical terms, the United States government has been taken over by a financial terrorism network. They have bought off leaders of both the Republican and Democratic parties, and have established a dominant role in all three branches of government and throughout the mainstream media. They have complete control of the economy, stock market, US Treasury, Federal Reserve, World Bank, IMF and global banking system. Free market capitalism has collapsed; it’s now a rigged global market. This is an organized criminal operation, an imperial fascist movement that is determined to destroy our very way of life.
A war has already been launched against us.
In just the past three years we have lost an unprecedented amount of national wealth, trillions upon trillions of our tax dollars have been looted by Wall Street, endless wars, enormous subsidies for the most profitable global corporations and tax cuts for the richest one percent of the population. Never before, in the history of civilization, has a nation been so thoroughly and systematically fleeced.
This is all the result of a coordinated economic attack by a global banking cartel against 99 percent of the US population.
Until we can become politically intelligent enough to see this as the reality and root cause of our current crisis, we will not be able to overcome it, our living standards will continue to decline and we will all be sentenced to a slow death in a neo-feudal system built on debt slavery.
The average American is horribly naïve to just how depraved, corrupt and addicted to power this banking cartel is. Through their control and domination of the mass media, they have kept their crimes against humanity out of public consciousness. We have been shielded from the global devastation and death toll that they have already wrought. The result is an unsuspecting population of confused and passive people having their future ripped out from under them, right before their eyes, without any organized defense or resistance.
As the entrenched global banking cartel continues to control domestic political policy, the next phase of this crisis will inevitably feature an escalation into mass violence. As the Army War College stated, the Pentagon is preparing for “violent, strategic dislocation inside the United States” and “widespread civil violence” due to “purposeful domestic resistance.”
In clear signs of what is to come, rioting and violence as a result of economic turmoil has already been experienced in many countries throughout the world. However, civil unrest has not yet occurred within the United States. There are many theories as to why there has been so little resistance from the US population thus far, and several factors play into it. The most significant factor is that social safety net programs have been vital in preventing people from resorting to extreme measures. Currently, a stunning number of Americans, 52 million, are receiving life-sustaining assistance from government “anti-poverty” programs, such as food stamps, unemployment benefits, Medicaid and Medicare. This has already stretched a social safety net system that is designed to handle significantly less people to its limit. This safety net system has now been drained of all reserve resources over the past two years, and is obviously not sustainable under current economic and political conditions.
As social safety net programs have been drained of reserves, many US citizens have also been burning through their personal savings. Over the past few years the percentage of Americans living paycheck to paycheck has dramatically increased. In 2007, 43 percent of Americans were living paycheck to paycheck. In 2008, the percentage increased to 49 percent. In 2009, the number skyrocketed up to 61 percent. The most recent number for 2010 has exploded to a shocking 77 percent. This means in our nation of 310 million citizens, 239 million Americans are one setback away from economic ruin and millions more are in danger of having to rely on government assistance for survival.
So as this prolonged economic crisis continues, these safety nets, that are already overwhelmed, will have to support more and more people and will inevitably break down. As we have just begun to see, budget cuts to vital social programs on the state and federal levels will become increasingly severe right at the point when many more Americans will need them. As the 52 million Americans currently surviving in “anti-poverty” programs are gradually cutoff from life-sustaining government assistance - and as the 239 million people now living paycheck to paycheck, buried in debt, stressing out and working their asses off just to make ends meet realize that things are not going to be getting any better — and are only going to get worse — social unrest and outbursts of violence will eventually start to bubble up to the surface and the ruling elite will no longer be able to maintain power by simply deceiving the masses via mainstream media propaganda.
When an overwhelming majority of the population directly feels negative effects upon their own living standards, the propaganda system collapses. The illusion comes crashing down and people will finally start to get wise to the horrific scam that is being played on them. When they wake from their media-induced American dream state and realize that they are now living in a nightmare, as crazy as it may sound, people will actually stop voting against their own interests. The apathetic majority, that doesn’t vote, will become active in the interests of self-preservation as their survival instincts kick in.
The handwriting is on the wall and the ruling class has to realize that by the time 2012 rolls around, their puppet politicians will be voted out of office, or their heads will roll, quite literally.
Looking at this from a purely technocratic sociological viewpoint, avoiding mass riots and violence while this many desperate people lose life-sustaining programs appears to be an impossible task, and given our current economic and political environment this seems inevitable.
In an article titled “A Planet at the Brink: Will Economic Brushfires Prove Too Virulent to Contain?” Michael T. Klare explained:
“As people lose confidence in the ability of markets and governments to solve the global crisis, they are likely to erupt into violent protests or to assault others they deem responsible for their plight, including government officials, plant managers, landlords, immigrants, and ethnic minorities. (The list could, in the future, prove long and unnerving.) If the present economic disaster turns into what President Obama has referred to as a ‘lost decade,’ the result could be a global landscape filled with economically-fueled upheavals.”
Former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski expressed his fears:
“I was worrying about it because we’re going to have millions and millions of unemployed, people really facing dire straits. And we’re going to be having that for some period of time before things hopefully improve. And at the same time there is public awareness of this extraordinary wealth that was transferred to a few individuals at levels without historical precedent in America….
And you sort of say to yourself: what’s going to happen in this society when these people are without jobs, when their families hurt, when they lose their homes, and so forth?”
Outbreaks of civil unrest are something that the US government and Pentagon have been expecting, and preparing for. Former US Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee stating that the greatest threat facing the US is not terrorism, it’s the current economic crisis:
“The primary near-term security concern of the United States is the global economic crisis and its geopolitical implications. The crisis has been ongoing…. Of course, all of us recall the dramatic political consequences wrought by the economic turmoil of the 1920s and 1930s in Europe, the instability, and high levels of violent extremism.”
Intelligence Committee Vice-Chair Christopher Bond said the economic crisis is now “the primary focus of the intelligence community.” As the Army War College has warned, the response to this coming phase of the economic crisis “might include use of military force against hostile groups inside the United States. Further, DoD [the Department of Defense] would be, by necessity, an essential enabling hub for the continuity of political authority in a multi-state or nationwide civil conflict or disturbance.”
Journalist Chris Hedges summed up this report:
“The specter of social unrest was raised at the US Army War College in November in a monograph titled ‘Known Unknowns: Unconventional ‘Strategic Shocks’ in Defense Strategy Development.’ …
The ‘widespread civil violence,’ the document said, ‘would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security.’
‘An American government and defense establishment lulled into complacency by a long-secure domestic order would be forced to rapidly divest some or most external security commitments in order to address rapidly expanding human insecurity at home,’ it went on….
In plain English, something bureaucrats and the military seem incapable of employing, this translates into the imposition of martial law and a de facto government being run out of the Department of Defense. They are considering it. So should you.”
The International Monetary Fund is predicting a “social explosion” due to this crisis. The IMF and World Bank have a long history of creating social upheaval. Leaked documents from within the World Bank refer to the next phase of the crisis as the “IMF riot.”
Journalist Greg Palast obtained classified planning documents, which shed light on the covert economic imperial operations, Structural Adjustment Programs, that the IMF, World Bank and US Treasury have used in the past as a playbook for destabilizing and conquering foreign nations. In the UK newspaper The Observer, Palast interviewed Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, who was a former World Bank Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, turned whistleblower. They revealed the four-step IMF plan. Though the strategy is slightly modified based on the nation being attacked, here in the United States we are currently about to enter a variation of step-three, which is currently being phased in throughout Europe. This step inevitably leads to a significant portion of the population losing the ability to obtain basic necessities essential for survival. Once this happens, riots inevitably occur, or as they put it: step 3.5 is executed.
Here is how Palast and Stiglitz summed it up:
“At this point, according to Stiglitz, the IMF drags the gasping nation to Step Three: market-based pricing - a fancy term for raising prices on food, water and… gas.
This leads, predictably, to Step-Three-and-a-Half: what Stiglitz calls ‘the IMF riot’.
The IMF riot is painfully predictable. When a nation is, ‘down and out, [the IMF] squeezes the last drop of blood out of them. They turn up the heat until, finally, the whole cauldron blows up,’…
What Stiglitz did not know is that Newsnight obtained several documents from inside the World Bank. In one, last year’s Interim Country Assistance Strategy for Ecuador, the Bank several times suggests - with cold accuracy - that the plans could be expected to spark ’social unrest’.”
To sum up, the interlocked IMF and World Bank set the conditions for ’social unrest’ and then once it occurs they move to step-four, which is the ultimate in disaster capitalism - they profit off the misery and the civilian population is then buried in a neo-feudal system of severe debt and poverty.
So what is the IMF saying right now about our situation in Europe and the US? A recent Telegraph report reads:
“IMF fears ’social explosion’ from world jobs crisis
America and Europe face the worst jobs crisis since the 1930s and risk ‘an explosion of social unrest’ unless they tread carefully, the International Monetary Fund has warned….
Olivier Blanchard, the IMF’s chief economist, said the percentage of workers laid off for long stints has been rising with each downturn for decades but the figures have surged this time. ‘Long-term unemployment is alarmingly high: in the US, half the unemployed have been out of work for over six months, something we have not seen since the Great Depression,” he said….
The IMF said there may be a link between rising inequality within Western economies and deflating demand. Historians say the last time that the wealth gap reached such skewed extremes was in 1928-1929…”
To show you how insidious the IMF is, they have recently launched a propaganda campaign to publicly decry deficit budget cuts and austerity measures. However, behind the scenes they have been forcing implementation of them and making their usual demands for cuts in vital social services and public spending, once those cuts are in place, the riots obviously follow.
A recent Washington Post report states:
“IMF issues broad call for US financial prudence:
Cut Social Security. Ditch the deduction for interest on home mortgages. Tax gasoline.
The United States recently opened itself to the most intense scrutiny yet by the International Monetary Fund, and on Thursday was offered a bitter pill when the agency criticized some well-defended aspects of American culture — cheap fuel, subsidized housing, and a government retirement check…. “
Economist Dean Baker writes:
“The central bankers and their accomplices at the IMF are dictating policies to democratically elected governments. Their agenda seems to be the same everywhere, cut back retirement benefits, reduce public support for health care, weaken unions and make ordinary workers take pay cuts.”
In another report Baker adds:
“The IMF program calls for cutbacks in government support for healthcare, pensions, and a wide range of other public services. It also calls for weakening labor market regulations that provide workers with job security.
These recommendations are being given in a context where the world economy is suffering from a massive shortfall of demand. In other words, tens of millions of people are unemployed right now because there is not enough spending to keep them employed. The IMF’s program is almost certain to reduce spending further leading to even larger shortfalls in demand and more unemployment….
The IMF’s track record gives us reason not only to question the institution’s competence but also its motivations…. It is possible to see a similar pattern in the IMF’s latest set of policy recommendations to deal with the economic crisis.”
In an article entitled, “The Attack of the Real Black Helicopter Gang: The IMF Is Coming for Your Social Security,” Baker continues:
“Last week, the IMF told the United States that it needs to start getting its budget deficit down. It put cutting Social Security at the top of the steps that the country should take to achieve deficit reduction. This one is more than a bit outrageous for two reasons…
While the IMF has no problem warning about retired workers getting too much in Social Security benefits, it apparently could not find its voice when the issue was the junk securities from Goldman Sachs or Citigroup that helped to fuel the housing bubble.
The collapse of this bubble has not only sank the world economy, it also destroyed most of the savings of the near retirees for whom the IMF wants to cut Social Security. The vast majority of middle-income retirees have most of their wealth in their home equity. This home equity largely disappeared when the bubble burst.”
So the IMF and global banking cartel are setting the conditions for social unrest and pushing for policies that will provoke it, and the Pentagon is preparing for a military response. As scary and unbelievable as all this may sound, we are on a fast track to this scenario.
To Sum Up
The American and global economy have already been looted and destroyed beyond repair. Most serious economists will admit that governments have already exhausted their capital by bailing out the banks and taking on unprecedented amounts of debt. The bailouts and recent return to high profits were just the final phase of the looting and a further consolidation of wealth on an unprecedented scale. There are still tens of trillions of dollars in debt hidden off-the-books and hundreds of trillions of dollars in dark pools of derivative liability. As the downturn continues, there is nothing left to revive the economy, the reserves and safety nets have already been stretched to their limits.
We have a political and economic system that has been overrun by organized corruption and theft. Along with a mass media system that does not inform the populace and has effectively marginalized and isolated the majority of the population. Meanwhile, bubbling just under the surface is a very heavily armed population with a militia movement that has doubled in size over the past year, and their memberships continue to rapidly grow. Without the necessary general political intelligence or infrastructure to organize an effective mass non-violent movement, we are steamrolling toward spontaneous riots and outbursts of armed insurrection.
In other words, as this economic downturn continues, what is now a passive and confused population will eventually devolve into an explosion of violence. Without a coherent non-violent movement to provide a viable alternative, without an outlet for severe and legitimate grievances that provides any chance for urgently affecting necessary political change, people will resort to violence as a last desperate act of vengeance and frustration. As time passes, these forgotten and isolated people, tens of millions of them, are quickly running out of options, and they will act out just as exploited people throughout the world always have.
A man who sparked a revolution against the same banking cartel that has caused our crisis described the general attitude among a population that successfully rebelled through armed insurrection:
“The people are weary of being oppressed, persecuted, exploited to the maximum. They are weary of the wretched selling of their labor-power day after day — faced with the fear of joining the enormous mass of unemployed — so that the greatest profit can be wrung from each human body, profit later squandered in the orgies of the masters of capital….
The feeling of revolt will grow stronger every day among the peoples subjected to various degrees of exploitation, and they will take up arms to gain by force the rights which reason alone has not won them.”
Whatever your preconceptions of the man who said this may be, the voice of Che Guevara can now be clearly understood and related to by the overwhelming majority of people throughout the United States.
Already, despite intensive propaganda, a stunning 80 percent of the US population believes that the government has failed them. The health care and financial reform bills have proven that our politicians are much more concerned about the short-sighted necessity to please the Economic Elite and raise campaign funds, than they are to understand the consequences of millions of Americans being forced into situations where their very survival is threatened. In a system where most elected officials are millionaires, this lack of perspective and understanding is ultimately what will lead to violence. Whether it is by arrogance or ignorance, perhaps both, it appears that our ruling class has suicidal tendencies. Unless they quickly recognize the growing threat posed by the dispossessed masses, our puppet politicians will themselves be in harm’s way.
To show you how incredibly out of touch our current elected officials are, and to give you a clear indication of the prevailing attitude on Capitol Hill, a recent report from the Washington Post summed up their response to the recent news that a record number of Americans are now living in poverty:
“The reluctance of political leaders on both sides of the aisle to directly confront the fact that growing numbers of Americans are slipping into poverty reflects a stubborn reality about the poor: They are not much of a political constituency.
‘We talk to many people on Capitol Hill who do believe poverty is important and is a blight on our nation, but we are also up against a general recognition that poor people don’t vote in great numbers. And they certainly aren’t going to be making campaign contributions. That definitely puts them behind many other people and interests when decisions are being made around here.’”
And that sums up our current crisis, doesn’t it? The “poor people don’t vote” and they don’t make “campaign contributions.”
As the Rage Against the Machine song goes, “The riot be the rhyme of the unheard.”
How will this imperial fascist banking cartel respond to revolt? How will they maintain their power over an increasingly radicalized and hostile US population?
In an attempt to stave off organized rebellion, they are already escalating their propaganda efforts in attempts to divide and distract the population. The tactics of their divide and conquer strategy are already on full display. Their mainstream media outlets have drastically increased coverage and focused attention on the rhetoric of division - using divisive issues like immigration, racism, religious bigotry, the “lazy unemployed,” “entitlement welfare” and gay marriage to divide and distract the population and prevent the masses from organizing against their true oppressors.
This propaganda effort is only a temporary measure and will not suffice over the long-term. As the economy continues to collapse, the banking elite risk being overthrown as a result of their own greed. So they will then turn to physical, military-based violence to suppress populations that can no longer be controlled through propaganda and economic coercion.
To paraphrase policy analyst Anatol Lieven, the classic strategy of an endangered oligarchy is to divert discontent among the population into nationalistic militarism. It is time, once again, to bang the drums of war and “whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor.” The source of the following quote is unknown, but the evident wisdom of it is something that we have already experienced firsthand in the recent past:
“Beware the leader who bangs the drum of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so.”
An increased external threat will lead to an increased internal crackdown, which creates the pretext and conditions for a police state. As we have already seen in the first phase of the crackdown on civil liberties since the “War on Terror” began, when rioting and outbursts of armed insurrection begin within the US, external threats, real or imagined, will again be presented to justify extreme measures to suppress American citizens, and to further repress and divert internal dissent. Without an external enemy to rally the population against, the population will rally against the pre-existing internal powers.
To put a slight twist on what Guy DeBord insightfully said back in 1988: the banking cartel “constructs its own inconceivable foe, terrorism. Its wish is to be judged by its enemies rather than by its results. The story of terrorism is written by the state and it is therefore highly instructive. But they must always know enough to convince them that, compared with terrorism, everything else must be acceptable, or in any case more rational and democratic.”
As millions of Americans and the majority of the global population look for vengeance on those responsible for severely declining living standards, the global banking cartel are not going to blame themselves, so they will deflect blame to China, a most convenient target.
As a result of the crisis, national currencies are reeling, and the dollar, although currently one of the strongest paper currencies, is losing power as the crisis escalates. The IMF is working to replace the dollar as the world reserve currency and have begun discussing the possibility of making their Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) the new world reserve currency. A plummeting dollar will obviously put the American population in a severely desperate situation and the US-based banking cartel needs an excuse to divert political backlash. In China, the nation poised to replace the US as the preeminent global superpower, they have the perfect scapegoat.
US-based global corporations have been shifting their business to China and off-shoring millions of jobs to the region due to their extremely low worker wages. So the American population is already pre-disposed to blaming China, as opposed to the companies who are exploiting the cheap labor. US politicians have been conveniently shifting blame for unemployment from themselves to China. Meanwhile, China also owns a significant portion of US national debt. US Admiral Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has recently declared that the national debt is the number one security threat. As Mullen stated, “Tax payers will be paying around $600 billion in interest on the national debt by 2012.” A significant portion of this interest will be going to China.
As national governments attempt to survive in an increasingly hostile global economy, trade and currency wars will flare up and escalate. China is in perhaps the strongest position to win these conflicts. China and Japan have just engaged in a fierce currency battle. This currency battle is not to be underestimated. We are talking about the world’s second and third largest economies, after the United States. China has just overtaken Japan for the number two position. The militant rhetoric between these two nations is escalating. US politicians were quick to jump on the situation with calls to classify China as a “currency manipulator” and impose trade tariffs and penalties against them.
International economic reporter Barry Grey recently summed up the situation in an article entitled, “Economic crisis threatens to unleash global currency wars:”
“The eruption of currency exchange conflicts is bound up with mounting signs that the global economic crisis is systemic, rather than merely conjunctural, and growing fears that a genuine recovery is not in the offing. The European sovereign debt crisis and the weakening of US economic growth have led governments around the world to seek to secure a greater share of export markets. Under conditions of slowing growth and stagnant markets, this inevitably heightens trade conflicts between competing capitalist nations.
In particular, the US and the European Union, spearheaded by the export power Germany, have aggressively pursued a cheap currency policy in order to gain a trade advantage against their rivals. Of the major economic powers, Japan has suffered the greatest damage from these policies, as investors and speculators have shifted from dollar- and euro-denominated investments to the yen, driving up the currency’s exchange rate.
This has embittered relations between Japan and both the US and the EU. Japan has also denounced China for artificially keeping its currency low while bidding up the yen by increasing its purchases of Japanese government securities.”
The global banking cartel’s leading puppets on Capitol Hill, Senators Chris Dodd, Chuck Schumer and Richard Shelby were all quick to attack China. Barry Grey continued:
“In opening the Senate Banking Committee hearing, Chairman Christopher Dodd declared China a currency manipulator and said its ‘economic and trade policies’ present ‘roadblocks to our recovery.’ He went on to accuse China of stealing intellectual property, violating international trade agreements and dumping goods. He also denounced China for acquiring national resources in developing countries and building up its military.
In his opening statement, the ranking Republican on the committee, Richard Shelby of Alabama, declared, ‘There is no question that China manipulates its currency in order to subsidize Chinese exports. The only question is: Why is the administration protecting China by refusing to designate it as a currency manipulator?’
Senator Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, said, ‘China’s currency manipulation is like a boot on the throat of our recovery and this administration refuses to try to get China to remove that boot.’”
On top of all this, China has now overtaken the US as the world’s top energy consumer. Michael T. Klare reports on China’s new position of power:
“The main point: by becoming the world’s leading energy consumer, China will also become an ever more dominant international actor and so set the pace in shaping our global future.
Because energy is tied to so many aspects of the global economy, and because doubts are growing about the future availability of oil and other vital fuels, the decisions China makes regarding its energy portfolio will have far-reaching consequences. As the leading player in the global energy market, China will significantly determine not only the prices we will be paying for critical fuels but also the type of energy systems we will come to rely on. More importantly, China’s decisions on energy preferences will largely determine whether China and the United States can avoid becoming embroiled in a global struggle over imported oil and whether the world will escape catastrophic climate change.”
China’s rise in power, mixed with the decline of western economies and the need for an external scapegoat sets up a global collision and inevitable confrontation between vying superpowers. Currency and trade wars will likely be a prelude to military confrontation.
Based on early maneuvering it is evident that the masters of war have already drawn up sides. You may have missed it, but the US, Israel and the NATO Alliance have already put Iran, Lebanon, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela, Russia and China on notice. And the “withdrawals” from Iraq and the Af-Pak region are over-hyped. The occupation of these countries continues with no end in sight. In fact, they aren’t withdrawing as much as they are repositioning and shifting their forces, preparing for an escalation. In many ways the wars in Iraq and Af-Pak have only been the initial phase of a global attack, positioning forces and building massive military bases in pivotal geo-strategic locations. The operations in this region have essentially been a warm-up for much wider-ranging attacks against much stronger countries. While most of the US population is playing checkers, seeing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as one-off battles, the global banking cartel is playing chess, using these wars as only initial geo-strategic moves in a grand strategy toward total world domination.
The intensity of military maneuvering presently occurring is alarming. Read through these recent news reports pulled from the AmpedStatus database, all from just the past few weeks, and let me know if you think I’m being extreme in foreseeing World War III:
So there we have it. The global Economic Elite have effectively looted and destroyed national economies worldwide, the propaganda system is quickly collapsing, and the masses are beginning to get restless. It’s time to move to the next phase of the attack. Preparations are already underway. We are on the road to World War III.
US to Fund Israeli Purchase of 20 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters US Waging ‘Shadow War’ in Dozen Countries S.Korea, US to stage massive joint war games US Military Offensive Against the July 2011 Af-Pak Timetable China PLA warns U.S. over fresh military drill in region The dangers of mounting US-China rivalry America’s Biggest Jobs Program — the U.S. Military US Arms ‘Bonanza’ in the Middle East Chinese Military: The Chinese People Won’t Stand for US Provocation Israel bulldozes Muslim graves in Jerusalem U.S. Supersizes Afghan Mega-Base US concerned other countries won’t respect Iraq’s ‘sovereignty’ US cuts $100m aid to Lebanon military U.S. won’t leave Iraq’s energy reserves untended US plans to sell F-15 jets to Saudi Arabia: report Blackwater: $220 million in new contracts Congress Spends Another $600 Million for Border Militarization U.S. worried by Hamid Karzai’s attempt to assert control over corruption probes Palestinians Denied Access to Water Gates: Iraq occupation could go on Petraeus beats the drums for endless war in Afghanistan Israel-US Increase Military Cooperation, Hold Biggest Joint Infantry Exercise Ever US, South Korea to Stage Another Military Exercise The Philippines: America’s New Launchpad for the Militarization of Southeast Asia U.S. and UK help train Kazakh troops in Russia’s backyard India to order large number of Javelin anti-tank missiles from US More US-NATO Military Bases: US Armed Forces in Central Asia US, Vietnam step up defence co-operation amid China concerns Speculation, debate over possible strike against Iran Russian Foreign Minister defends Iran nuclear power plant Colombia Court Blocks U.S. Military Accord Behind Regional Fight, Restricts Access to 7 Military Bases Venezuela says it will still send gasoline to Iran Venezuela threatens oil cut to US Iran: Venezuela Risks US Action Chávez and China: Challenging U.S. Interests | AEI Canada-Russia airspace ’showdown’ over Arctic Canada intercepted two Russian bombers near Arctic Japan, US plan naval drill near disputed islets: report China Restricts Exports of Rare Earth Minerals by 70pc,Tension with US escalating on several fronts Moscow warns US on issue of Israeli aerial strikes against Iran U.S. Global Strategy Targets Any Potential Challenger In Eurasia Obama Signs $600M Bill to Increase Militarization of US-Mexico Border Castro Warns of Nuclear War; Admiral Mullen Threatens Iran; US-Israel Vs. Iran-Hezbollah Doesn’t Appear Washington Wants Diplomatic Relations With Venezuela US talks Israel out of attacking Iran (for now) US stresses military role in Iraq, combat brigades under different name US Withdrawal Plan Marks “Privatization of Military Occupation” U.S. Military Intervention in Africa: The New Blueprint for Global Domination Ahmadinejad vows global response if Iran attacked Iran Opens Its First Nuclear Power Plant With Russian Help In Mideast Talks, Scant Hopes From the Beginning Iran hopes Russia’s next step will be delivery of S-300 missiles system: MP Iran working against Iraqi democracy: US general US combat brigades still in Iraq: report Karzai Stands Firm on Disbanding Private Security Iran’s new drone bomber is ‘messenger of death for the enemies of humanity’ Costa Rica: US Warships Cause Unease Israel Knesset Member Declares “We Are Preparing For War” Pakistanis Nabbed Taliban Boss to Stop Peace Talks Iran condemns possible US military action Iran Calls for Formation of Islamic Union to Start New World Order Four Israeli air strikes on Gaza Two Minutes to Midnight? The Bomb-Iran Debate From Hell The last chance to avoid a global trade war Al-Shabab vows ‘massive’ Somali war We Must Be Ready for War With China Mass Assassinations Lie at the Heart of America’s Military Strategy in the Muslim World US deplores ‘particularly outrageous’ Mogadishu carnage Philippines: Pawn In U.S. Encirclement of China Global Food Security and Sovereignty Threatened by “Land Grabs” in Poor Countries US to spend $1.3 billion on Afghanistan bases America’s top Marine challenges Obama’s Afghan pullout deadline CIA sees increased threat from al-Qaeda in Yemen U.S. Weighs Expanded Strikes in Yemen JSOC is Hiring Interrogators and Covert Operatives for ‘Special Access Programs’ Report: Kim Jong-Il Goes to China Canada Intercepts Russian Bombers — Again Kim Jong-il Visits China as Carter Waits in North Korea for Talks on Imprisoned American China Slams Pentagon Report Mexico Drug War Violence Rages, 28k Killed Tensions emerge between Rwanda and Western backers, China’s influence grows “Alarm bells” ring for Australian government over deepening China-East Timor ties US lawmaker urges France not to arm Lebanon army Chairman Of Joint Chiefs Of Staff Says National Debt Is Biggest Threat To National Security 18 nations wrap up mock terror exercise in Panama canal U.S. Bid To Control Whole Korean Peninsula Threat To China, Russia Canada Opens Arctic To NATO, Plans Massive Weapons Buildup China announces navy drill ahead of U.S. show of force Putin slams West for deceiving Russia Putin: U.S. Rearming Georgia Israel preparing to attack Syria: report China Deploys Troops In Pakistani Kashmir Israel Threatens War with Lebanon U.S. expands sanctions on North Korea Hamas targets Israeli-Palestinian talks by killing four Israelis US drones will patrol entire southern border Yellow Sea: U.S. Aegis Destroyers, S. Korean Subs In New Round of Drills Pentagon report underscores rising US-China tensions CIA Training Intelligence Agents For ‘State Sponsor Of Terrorism’ Sudan Tony Blair: military intervention in rogue regimes ‘more necessary than ever’ France steps up military intervention in Sahel, Western Africa German military report: Peak oil could lead to collapse of democracy U.S.-Venezuela Links Teeter on the Brink Pakistan’s Taliban threaten attacks in U.S., Europe EU austerity policies risk civil war in Greece, warns top German economist India to acquire advanced U.S.-made anti-ship missiles Middle East Loses Trillions As U.S. Strikes Record Arms Deals Is War About to Break Out on the Israeli-Lebanese Border? NATO asks for 2000 more troops for Afghanistan US ‘likely’ to keep troops in Iraq after 2011 U.S. Military Continues to Invest Hundreds of Millions in Iraq Bases UN nuke agency warns monitoring of Iran hampered Mideast talks a cover for US war preparations Land grabs, biofuel demand raise global food-security risk Anthrax War - the Malaysian Connection Defense Contractor Money Fueling Push to Militarize the US-Mexico Border US Government Report Argues for Police Force for American Interventions Overseas 730 F-35 planes to be sold to Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Norway U.S. to wrap up $2.5 billion Israel F-35 deal, Japan deal next Cheney’s Oily Dream - Redrawing the Map of the Middle East US and China at odds over North Korea Pentagon says USS George Washington to join military drills off Korean Peninsula Clinton: Mexico drug war bordering on ‘insurgency’ Land Grabs in Poor Countries Set to Increase India: troops on alert as border dispute with China heats up India: U.S. Completes Global Military Structure Report: US must deal with domestic radical problem Experts: Terrorism threat to U.S. now more homegrown New York Times Pushes Confrontation with Iran Largest US arms deal ever: Congress to be told of $60-billion US-Saudi arms deal, shoring up Arab allies against Iran China-South Africa deals highlight great-power rivalry in Africa German armed forces “reform” reflects growth of militarism IMF fears ’social explosion’ from world jobs crisis US embassy in Jordan warns of ‘imminent threat’ around Aqaba Record level of US airstrikes hit Afghan militants Hamas: Israeli aircraft strike Gaza as leaders talk peace Obama’s Generals Push War for Yemen US drones prowl Mexico China’s currency manipulation: Flipping off America Asia: Pentagon Revives And Expands Cold War Military Blocs U.S. And NATO Strengthen Positions Along Russia’s Southern Flank Russia vs Canada: Race for Oil-Rich Arctic Seabed Economic crisis threatens to unleash global currency wars Saudi king meets top US, Canadian counter-terror officials China, Energy, and Global Power Somalia, The Next Afghanistan? UN’s top envoy warns on growing insurgency Pentagon to funnel US arms to Yemen China-Japan Tensions Escalate, As China Breaks Off High Level Contacts, Japanese Flag Burned In Protest Gulf States Order $123 Billion of U.S. Weaponry to Counter Iran Massive US Military Buildup Planned for Guam
Add to this picture rapidly declining natural resources and an increasingly hostile and polluted environment with extreme weather events frequently pounding the globe. In the past decade the global corporate elite have already engaged in three major resource wars in Iraq, Af-Pak and Northern Africa.
With a growing global population and an increasing demand for declining resources, we have already crossed a tipping point and are now in the ecological red. For the first time in human history, we are now consuming resources faster than nature can produce them. As developing countries like China and India attempt to live like western countries, there are simply not enough resources. The global economy is built on an unsustainable foundation. Instead of evolving and changing course, the entrenched banking power base is digging in further, and they run NATO, the private military complex and the US government. Based on the current policies that are in place, they have clearly already decided that they want to keep living business as usual and refuse to evolve and adapt to a rapidly changing environment. With this decision, they have effectively already decided to further escalate their oppression of the overwhelming majority of humanity, and this will lead to the death of literally hundreds of millions of people.
The global banking cartel view the world’s limited resources as their property, and they have consistently proven that they have absolutely no hesitation in killing millions upon millions of people for these resources - just look at what they have already done in the recent past throughout Northern Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.
In the years since Northern Africa was discovered to be “the richest patch of earth” due to large deposits of natural minerals that are needed to power computer technologies, over five million Africans, in just that region, have died as a result of war.
The global elite have consistently used a strategy of arming and funding both sides of armed conflicts. While opposing populations kill each other off, they make off with their natural resources. When they confront a government that cannot be bribed or provoked into civil or regional war, they fund brutal death squads, attempt military coups and intimidate them by giving weapons to undemocratic neighboring regimes. If all that doesn’t work, they are declared a threat to national security and the US military, private contractors and NATO forces invade and occupy the country.
These terrorist strategies are not limited to the Middle East and Africa, just ask our neighbors throughout Latin America about the School of the Americas. Contrary to popular belief, the horrendous torture techniques inflicted upon people in Abu Ghraib, Iraq were not an isolated incident. Many of those brutal torture techniques were developed over years by torturing innocent civilians throughout Latin America.
The picture in Latin America today is one of inspiration. People throughout the region are rising up against the global corporate elite and claiming their rights and natural resources as their own, from Bolivia to Ecuador to Venezuela. This is another factor driving the “endangered oligarchy” into resorting to military desperation. The military coup in Honduras, the attempted coup in Venezuela, and the failed attempt to provoke Columbia and Venezuela into an armed conflict all clearly indicate where this situation is headed if the imperialist bankers get their way.
The average American is dreadfully unaware of just how depraved these people are. The little regard they have for human life is beyond common comprehension.
The global elite have already used the “War on Terror” as a pretext to drastically increase military spending and build a massive private military and intelligence complex on the backs of the American taxpayer. According to an extensive report from the Washington Post, a stunning 1.2 million private contractors work in this complex. Most Americans are not aware that 69 percent of the soldiers deployed in our name are private contractors, and 80 percent of them are foreign nationals, meaning they are not even from the United States. Half of the people we have deployed in our name, who are funded by our tax dollars, are not even fighting for our country, they are fighting for a paycheck.
Wars are a highly profitable racket, which gives an enormous incentive to keep them going. This is one of the reasons why the war in Afghanistan is now the longest war in US history. This system has led to a perpetual state of war. Military spending, although widely reported as being around $680 billion per year, is more accurately totaling over $1 Trillion per year. Of this staggering amount of annual spending, 25 percent of it goes unaccounted for, not counting the billions of our tax dollars lost to over-charging and all-out fraud.
This private military complex has become so out of control that politicians are now forced to admit that they have no idea what is happening within it. As the Washington Post report revealed:
“The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.
These are some of the findings of a two-year investigation by The Washington Post that discovered what amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight. After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.
The investigation’s other findings include:
* Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States.
* An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances.”
There are so many unaccountable cells and competing factions within this complex, any one of them could go rogue and launch an attack on the US soil and make it look like another “terrorist” organization or nation executed it. This may sound too conspiratorial to the casual observer, but it would be stunningly naïve to think that in a massive complex like this, with so little oversight and accountability, given the huge sums of money at stake, that something tragic wouldn’t eventually occur. The implications are ominous, to say the least.
We already had a proven act of internal domestic terror occur with the Anthrax attacks in 2001. It is not a stretch to think that any moves away from a state of permanent war, and any cut to military spending that would threaten the existence of many of the world’s largest and most powerful and profitable corporations, would result in an attack in hopes of inciting a military conflict. Former President Dwight Eisenhower’s warning against the “unwarranted influence” of the military industrial complex, and “the potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power” pales in comparison to the modern private military complex. While many of these companies currently rely on US tax dollars, they are not part of the government, they are global private entities with their own interests at heart, similar to the Federal Reserve banking system. In fact, when you peel back the layers, many of these private military companies are funded by the global banking cartel.
When you understand the forces behind war, you must acknowledge the words of famed two-time Congressional Medal of Honor recipient US Brigadier General Smedley D. Butler. He accurately summed up the situation when he said:
“I spent 33 years in the Marines, most of my time being a high-class muscle man for big business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for Capitalism…. The general public shoulders the bill. This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones, Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.”
To give just two brief examples of how the banking cartel operates behind the scenes during wars, consider the following. The genocidal carnage in Northern Africa that killed over 5.4 million people was enthusiastically supported by the IMF and World Bank. In a news report entitled, “The Business of War in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” Dena Montague and Frida Berrigan explained:
“The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank have knowingly contributed to the war effort. The international lending institutions praised both Rwanda and Uganda for increasing their gross domestic product (GDP), which resulted from the illegal mining of DRC resources. Although the IMF and World Bank were aware that the rise in GDP coincided with the DRC war… they nonetheless touted both nations as economic success stories….”
In another example of grotesque profiting off massive levels of death, banking cartel members made a fortune on the production of cluster bombs. The Guardian revealed the details:
“The deadly trade in cluster bombs is funded by the world’s biggest banks who have loaned or arranged finance worth $20bn to firms producing the controversial weapons, despite growing international efforts to ban them.
HSBC… has profited more than any other institution from companies that manufacture cluster bombs. The British bank… has earned a total of £657.3m in fees arranging bonds and share offerings for Textron, which makes cluster munitions…. Campaigners maintain the deadly weapons can explode years after combat, killing or maiming innocent people….
Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, JP Morgan and UK-based Barclays Bank are also named among the worst banks [funding the production of cluster bombs]….
Goldman Sachs, the US bank which made £3.19bn proft in just three months, earned $588.82m for bank services and lent $250m to [cluster bomb manufactures] Alliant Techsystems and Textron.”
To sum all of this up, the global banking cartel and private military complex are a runaway virus that demands a permanent state of warfare. They are intrinsically parasitic in nature, they have devolved into a fascist enterprise that survives and profits off of destruction. If they don’t get a war, they will create one in the interest of their own self preservation. As former CIA Station Chief John Stockwell once explained: “Enemies are necessary for the wheels of the US military machine to turn.” This insight can now be extended to the global banking cartel. Enemies are now necessary for the wheels of the global banking cartel to turn.
Under the cover of the “War on Terror” they have launched a massive campaign of violence abroad and have been systematically looting our economy and stripping of us civil liberties at home.
So as the US and global population becomes more radical, and as the environment becomes more hostile, with increasingly limited natural resources, in a desperate attempt to maintain power the global banking cartel will escalate from economic attacks to worldwide military-based assaults. This is the clear path we are on - the road to World War III.
This may very well be a case of history repeating itself. Not to oversimplify an extremely complex situation, but this is all too similar to the origins of World War II. The looting of the masses by an unaccountable Wall Street elite led to the Great Depression and set the conditions for WWII. Desperate and impoverished populations increasingly supported more and more extreme leaders. The conditions are now so ripe for world war that Noam Chomsky has convincingly compared modern-day America to Weimar Germany prior to the outbreak of WWII. Research the history of pre-war societies and you will see for yourself how our current political environment fits historical precedent like a glove.
As mentioned before, the roots of our current crisis can be directly traced back to the aftermath of World War II. In the ruins of WWII grew global institutions like the IMF and World Bank. It also gave us the National Security Act and the CIA. All were central and pivotal in creating the crisis which we are now confronted with.
After analyzing our current crisis and studying well-established historical precedents, one must conclude that creating a world war is the last card the global bankers have left to play, other than conceding power, and history has taught us that the ruling class never concedes power. Of course the one-tenth of one percent of the global population hoarding our wealth could give back a significant amount of the $39 Trillion they looted from us (not counting what they have hidden in offshore accounts). That would certainly go a long way to fixing the crisis they have caused, but again, the ruling class has never conceded power, no matter how excessive and ill-gotten their gains.
So brace yourself… unless we significantly change our present course, we are on the road to World War III.