Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Military-Industrial Candidate

Analysts were right to say that the Republican takeover of Congress bodes well for the war machine: already we see the levers of power slowly shifting in reverse, eager to get back to salad days of post-9/11 wartime spending.

But waiting in the wings, Hillary Clinton just may prove to be what the defense establishment has been waiting for, and more. Superior to all in money, name recognition, and influence, she is poised to compete aggressively for the Democratic nomination for president. She might just win the Oval Office. And by most measures she would be the most formidable hawk this country has seen in a generation.

“It is clear that she is behind the use of force in anything that has gone on in this cabinet. She is a Democratic hawk and that is her track record. That’s the flag she’s planted,” said Gordon Adams, a national security budget expert who was an associate director in President Bill Clinton’s Office of Management and Budget.

Karen Kwiatkowski, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who has spent her post-service days protesting the war policies in Iraq and Afghanistan, is more blunt. “Interventionism is a business and it has a constituency and she is tapping into it,” she tells TAC. “She is for the military industrial complex, and she is for the neoconservatives.”

Hillary, Inc.

The former secretary of state, senator, and first lady appeared to fire the first salvo (at least in her national security arsenal) in her next presidential bid last summer, when she gave an interview to Jeffrey Goldberg mostly on the launch of her new autobiography, Hard Choices. In the much-ballyhooed Atlantic piece, Clinton defends Israel from charges of disproportionate attacks in Gaza, takes a hard line on Iran in the nuclear talks, and suggests President Obama could have avoided the rise of ISIS by listening to her proposals for arming the anti-Assad rebels in Syria last year.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Did We Vote for War?

“How do you like the Journal’s war?”

So boasted the headline of William Randolph Hearst’s New York flagship that week in 1898 that the United States declared war on Spain.

While Hearst’s Journal, in a circulation battle with Joe Pulitzer’s World, was a warmongering sheet, it did not start the war.

Yet the headline comes to mind reading the Wall Street Journal, whose editorial pages seem to have concluded that on Nov. 4 America voted for new wars in the Middle East, and beyond.

On Nov. 13, the Journal’s op-ed page was given over to Mark Dubowitz and Reuel Marc Gerecht of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Assuming nuclear talks with Iran conclude unsuccessfully by the Nov. 24 deadline, they write, we have four options.

Two involve continued or tougher sanctions. The other two are a preemptive war featuring U.S. air and missile strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities, or a U.S. attack to bring down Bashar Assad’s regime.

“Taking Mr. Assad down would let Tehran know that America’s withdrawal from the Middle East and President Obama’s dreams of an entente with Iran are over.”

It would surely do that.

But taking down the Syrian regime could also lead to a slaughter of Christians and Alawites, an al Qaida-ISIS takeover in Damascus, war with Iran, and attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq and across the Middle East.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Lame duck out of the Silk Road caravan

There’s hardly a more graphic illustration of where the multipolar world is going than what just happened at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing.

Take a very good look at the official photos. This is all about positioning – and this being China, pregnant with symbolic meaning. Guess who’s in the place of honor, side by side with President Xi Jinping. And guess where the lame duck leader of the “indispensable nation” has been relegated. The Chinese can also be masters at sending a global message.

When President Xi urged APEC to “add firewood to the fire of the Asia-Pacific and world economy,” this is what he meant, irrespective of inconclusive decisions out of the summit.

1) Beijing will go no holds barred for the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) – the Chinese vision of an “all inclusive, all-win” trade deal that really promotes Asia-Pacific cooperation, instead of the US-driven, corporate-redacted, and quite divisive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

2) The blueprint is on for “all-round connectivity,” in Xi’s words – which implies Beijing setting up the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank; Beijing and Moscow committing to a second mega gas deal – this one through the Altai pipeline in Western Siberia; and China already funneling no less than $40 billion to start building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

Once again, everything converges towards the most spectacular, ambitious and wide-ranging pluri-national infrastructure offensive ever attempted: the multiple New Silk Roads – a complex network of high-speed rail, pipelines, ports, fiber optic cables and state of the art telecom that China is already building through the Central Asian -stans, linked to Russia, Iran, Turkey and the Indian Ocean, and branching out to Europe all the way to Venice and Berlin.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Will the Blackmail of British Jewish Funders Backfire?

Question: What’s the difference between the Zionist lobby in America and the Zionist lobby in Britain?

Answer: In America it gives money to politicians to make them. In Britain it denies them money to break them.

The headline in the Independent on Sunday was “Labour funding crisis: Jewish donors drop ‘toxic’ Ed Miliband” (the son of Jewish holocaust refugees and the leader of the Labour Party). The headline over the same story in the newsletter of Jews for Justice for Palestinians was “Rich Jews ditch Labour”.

What is Miliband’s crime in the eyes of wealthy British Jews who have been contributing to Labour Party funds?

He condemned Israel’s last war on the Gaza Strip which he described as “wrong and unjustifiable”. He also accused Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron of being wrong not to have condemned Israel; and he added that Israel was “losing friends in the international community day by day” (which is true).

Subsequently, Miliband further offended British Jewish supporters of Israel right or wrong when he decided to whip the non-binding vote in parliament calling for the government to unilaterally recognise Palestine. On this he was opposed by a number of senior Labour MPs, including at least two shadow cabinet ministers. They said he was changing Labour policy that recognition should only be given when a two-state solution had been negotiated. And they warned that Miliband’s stance would haemorrhage Jewish support. They were right.

The story in the Independent on Sunday was not quite as explicit as its headline. Its message was not that very many Jewish funders had already pulled the plug on funding for the Labour Party but that they were intending to do so.

Read the entire article

Monday, November 10, 2014

Who Leaked the Obama-Khamenei Letter?

For an administration that has put so much emphasis on hunting down "leakers," it’s pretty amazing how leaky Washington gets when it comes to matters of concern to the Israelis. Take the recent Wall Street Journal story on President’s Obama’s alleged letter to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. How did the Journal get their hands on it? All we get in the story is that the information comes to us via "people briefed on the correspondence." Briefed by whom?

Ha’aretz doesn’t exactly say they got it from Israel’s spies in the US, but then again the Israeli daily didn’t really have to:

"Israel learned independently about the secret letter U.S. President Barack Obama sent to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, according to a Jerusalem official who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the matter.

"The official said Israel learned about the letter shortly after it was sent. The information arrived indirectly, through channels that are not part of Israel’s official contacts with the American administration."

Israeli spying on and in the US has always been a major sore spot in the "special relationship," and with relations worsening it has probably gotten way past the point described by the GAO in a 1996 report, which said Israel "conducts the most aggressive espionage operation against the United States of any US ally." More recently, a Newsweek report by Jeff Stein averred:


"Israel’s espionage activities in America are unrivaled and unseemly, counterspies have told members of the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees, going far beyond activities by other close allies, such as Germany, France, the U.K. and Japan. A congressional staffer familiar with a briefing last January called the testimony ‘very sobering…alarming…even terrifying.’ Another staffer called it ‘damaging.’" 

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Has Washington Just Shot Itself in the Oily Foot?

By now even the New York Times is openly talking about the secret Obama Administration strategy of trying to bankrupt Russia by using its oil-bloated Bedouin bosom buddy, Saudi Arabia, to collapse the world price of oil. However, it’s beginning to look like the neo-conservative Russia-haters and Cold war wanna-be hawks around Barack Obama may have just shot themselves in their oily foot. As I referred to it in an earlier article, their oil price strategy is basically stupid. Stupid, as all consequences have not been taken into account. Take now the impact on US oil production as prices plummet.

The collapse in US oil prices since September may very soon collapse the US shale oil bubble and tear away the illusion that the United States will surpass Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s largest oil producer. That illusion, fostered by faked resource estimates issued by the US Department of Energy, has been a lynchpin of Obama geopolitical strategy.

Now the financial Ponzi scheme behind the increase of US domestic oil output the past several years is about to evaporate in a cloud of fictitious smoke. The basic economics of shale oil production are being ravaged by the 23% oil price drop since John Kerry and Saudi King Abdullah had their secret meeting near the Red Sea in early September to agree on the Saudi oil price war against Russia.
Wall Street bank analysts at Goldman Sachs just issued a 2015 forecast that US oil prices, measured by a benchmark called WTI (West Texas Intermediate) will fall to $70 a barrel. In September 2013, WTI was more than $106 a barrel. That translates into a sharp 34% price collapse in just a few months. Why is that critical to the US shale production? Because, unlike conventional crude oil deposits, shale oil or tight oil as industry calls it, depleted dramatically faster.

A comprehensive new analysis just issued by David Hughes, a Canadian oil geo-scientist with thirty years’ experience with the Geological Survey of Canada, using data from existing US shale oil production that has now become public for the first time (the shale oil story is very recent), shows dramatic rates of oil volume decline from US shale oil wells:
The three year average well decline rates for the seven shale oil basins measured for the report range from an astounding 60-percent to 91-percent. That means over those three years, the amount of oil coming out of the wells decreases by that percentage. This translates to 43-percent to 64-percent of their estimated ultimate recovery dug out during the first three years of the well’s existence. Four of the seven shale gas basins are already in terminal decline in terms of their well productivity: the Haynesville Shale, Fayetteville Shale, Woodford Shale and Barnett Shale.
Source 

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Empire or Republic: Imperial Wars and Domestic Epidemics

Washington escalates its military interventions abroad, launching simultaneous air and ground attacks in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan; multiplying drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia; training, arming, and financing proxy mercenaries in Jordan, the Gulf States, and Iraq; and dispatching National Guard battalions to West Africa, ostensibly to combat the Ebola epidemic, though they lack the most elementary public health capabilities. All in all the US spent $3.5 trillion for military invasions over 6 years.

At the same time, the US domestic public health services have deteriorated. At the state and local level, like Dallas, Texas and at the national level, officials and major institutions demonstrate an inability to effectively detect and manage cases of Ebola infections among the general population in a timely manner. An infected Liberian immigrant was not diagnosed correctly when he presented to a major Dallas hospital emergency room. Instead he received irrelevant and unnecessary ‘imaging studies’ and was sent home with oral antibiotics. This confirmed the widespread belief that Emergency Room physicians and nurses are under pressure from their administration to order costly CT scans and MRIs on patients as a way to make money for the hospital and to cover-up their incompetence at basic patient history and physical examination. Despite the patient’s informing hospital workers of his recent arrival from Liberia, an Ebola outbreak hot-spot, personnel did not put on basic protective gowns, gloves, hoods and masks and they allowed the febrile, vomiting, desperately sick man to contaminate large areas of the emergency department, waiting room and MRI suite. Quarantine was not even considered…

The director of the Dallas hospital covered up for his organization’s incompetence by a series of victim blaming – the patient, the computer system, the nurses… National health guidelines may have been inadequate at the time, but Ebola was clearly on the national radar and the CDC had provided basic guidelines and measures. All hospitals have infectious control committees, disaster preparedness committees and receive state and national alerts.

As the crisis and public panic deepened, President Obama engaged in vigorous political fund-raising. Meanwhile, Vice President Biden was preoccupied by his 40+ year-old son’s expulsion from the Navy Reserve for cocaine use. The Defense Secretary was busy picking targets to bomb in Syria and Iraq…

The Cabinet met over ‘National Security’ issues like ISIS, expanding military interventions around the world, while US medical personnel, international travelers and their family members, as well as average American citizens felt more threatened by the apparent breakdown of the public health system, both at the local and national levels, in the face of a deadly viral infection.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Reporter Admits Most Media Work for CIA, MI6, Mossad

AMERICAN FREE PRESS frequently exposes the noxious collaborators with tyranny who operate the mainstream media. Now a courageous German former journalist, Dr. Udo Ulfkotte, has written a powerful new bestselling book that exposes the rampant cooperation of the “Fourth Estate” with the world’s largest intelligence agencies, trans-Atlantic organizations, banks, corporations and billionaires, making it into a political “fifth column.” 

The book, Gekaufte Journalisten (literally, “Bought Journalists”), is not yet in English, but this writer interviewed Ulfkotte on October 17 to bring this newspaper’s readers his stunning revelations. Admitting first his own guilt of participating in the destructive underworld of journalism, Ulfkotte fearlessly names other collaborators in his latest work and calls for a return to a free and morally-upright press. The book has garnered worldwide interest, but the German journalistic establishment is giving it the “silent treatment”—and worse. 

Ulfkotte, 54, was raised in a devout Christian family and even educated at a religious school. During early adulthood, like many young people, he began investigating other beliefs. At the university in Freiburg in Breisgau he took an interest in law and Islamic studies. He became fluent in Arabic—important for his future, albeit unintended, career. 

During college in the 1980s, Ulfkotte also was recruited into the world of espionage. Prior to a particular semester break, when he hoped to visit Italy and meet young women, a professor asked if he would like to attend a two-week seminar in Bonn on the East-West conflict. This was during the Cold War in a divided Germany. Ulfkotte was not at all interested, but university professors in Germany were (and are) highly respected. It was difficult to refuse. 

He was promised that his travel would be paid for, as well as lodging and meals, and he would receive spending money into the bargain. For a young man from poor economic circumstances, this was too much. Relates Ulfkotte, “I suddenly felt this deep feeling inside me that I had ‘always’ wanted to go” to such a seminar. Such “innocent” beginnings were the first bribes, which would draw him ever deeper into a widespread network of corruption and spying, where no one considered such behavior immoral, but rather “accepted practice.”

Read the entire article