Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A GOP Ultimatum to Vlad

With the party united, the odds are now at least even that the GOP will not only hold the House but also capture the Senate in November.

But before traditional conservatives cheer that prospect, they might take a closer look at the foreign policy that a Republican Senate would seek to impose upon the nation.

Specifically, they should spend time reading S. 2277, the “Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014,” introduced by Sen. Bob Corker on May 1, and endorsed by half of the Senate’s GOP caucus.

As ranking Republican on the foreign relations committee, Corker is in line to become chairman, should the GOP take the Senate. That makes this proposal a gravely serious matter.

Corker’s bill would declare Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine “major non-NATO allies” of the United States, move NATO forces into Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, accelerate the building of an ABM system in Eastern Europe, and authorize U.S. intelligence and military aid for Ukraine’s army in the Donbass war with Russian-backed separatists.

U.S. aid would include antitank and antiaircraft weapons.

S. 2277 would direct the secretary of state to intensify efforts to strengthen democratic institutions inside the Russian Federation, e.g., subvert Vladimir Putin’s government, looking toward regime change. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Mossad Mercenaries Believed Responsible for Ukraine Massacre

In mid-June, a battle raged for the port city of Mariupol, Ukraine. A new militia force launched an offensive against about 250 Russian militiamen loyal to the Donetsk People’s Republic, which had seized the city from the Ukrainian government. The battle focused on a police station held by the separatists in which both armed militants and unarmed civilians had gathered to demand reunion with Russia. The conflict ended cruelly, as the station was burned to the ground with scores of women and children inside. Those fleeing the inferno were machine-gunned. 

The massacre was the work of the Dnipro Battalion, a new force of mostly foreign mercenaries drawn from Zionist-backed terrorists around the world and financed by Ihor Valeriyovych Kolomoyskyi, a Jewish billionaire and banker. 

The Ukrainian government had appointed Kolomoyskyi as governor of Dnipropetrovs’k, the same territory claimed by the Russian militias. According to statements made by Kolomoyskyi to The Wall Street Journal, Kolomoyskyi is spending $10 million a month to equip 2,000 men with heavy weapons. 

Kolomoyskyi claims his troops are coming from Romania and Georgia, and that he has a waiting list of 20,000 men ready to fill the places of casualties.

But critics note that Kolomoyskyi’s “Romanian and Georgian” soldiers are really Mossad-trained agents. Joining the Mossad forces is an extension of the Ukrainian National Assembly-Ukrainian People’s Self Defense Organization (UNA-UNSO), a mercenary organization maintained by the Central Intelligence Agency and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Eastern Europe, which fired on demonstrators in Ukraine during protests in March, killing 86 and fueling the violence that brought Kolomoyskyi to power. 

Read the entire article

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Foundation of the US Empire: Axes of Evil

Empires are not easy to sustain given the multiple enemies that they provoke: at the international level (imperial rivals and emerging new powers), at the national level (national resistance movements, unreliable clients and untrustworthy ‘Sepoy’ armies) and at the local level (boycotts, sabotage and strikes). Imperial difficulties are multiplied when an empire is in economic decline, (loss of market shares with growing debt), facing domestic unrest as the economic costs to the taxpayers exceed the returns by a substantial margin; and when the political elite is internally divided between ‘militarists’ and ‘free market’ advocates.

The US Empire today is in the midst of a long-term decline, during which it has suffered a series of costly defeats. In addition, Washington has assumed long-term burdensome commitments to allies who have imposed their own ambitions of seeking ‘mini empires’ (Israel, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia).

The US White House has increasingly adopted a military definition of ‘imperial leadership’ at the expense of reconfiguring imperial relations to accommodate potential new political and economic partners.

As the empire slides, the political elite, operating with a highly militarized mind set, has expanded its intrusive global intelligence networks to spy on allies, adversaries and its own citizens. Washington has risked deepening hostilities among key allies (Germany and Brazil) and exacerbating conflicts with conciliatory competitors (Russia) by refusing to curtail its massive espionage. Spying is a clear hostile act and part of the policy of military-driven empire building.

Empires Depend on Alliances

The entire edifice of the US Empire, like the earlier British Empire, is sustained through a series of complex alliances.

US military forces are injected into a country to orient and ensure that local military and police forces efficiently control their population and become available as mercenaries to fight overseas wars for the US Empire.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Planned chaos in the Middle East—and beyond

Geopolitical observers of the Middle East turbulence tend to blame the raging chaos in the area on the presumed failure of the “incoherent,” “illogical” or “contradictory” policies of the United States. Irrefutable evidence (some of which presented in this study) suggests, however, that, in fact, the chaos represents the success, not failure, of those policies—policies that are designed by the beneficiaries of war and military adventures in the region, and beyond. 

While U.S. policies in the region are certainly irrational and conflicting from the standpoint of international peace, or even from the standpoint of the U.S. national interests as a whole, they are quite logical from the viewpoint of economic and geopolitical beneficiaries of war and international hostilities, that is, from the viewpoint of (a) the military-industrial complex, and (b) the militant Zionist proponents of “greater Israel.” 

The seeds of the chaos were planted some 25 years ago, when the Berlin Wall collapsed. Since the rationale for the large and growing military apparatus during the Cold War years was the “threat of communism,” U.S. citizens celebrated the collapse of the wall as the end of militarism and the dawn of “peace dividends”—a reference to the benefits that, it was hoped, many would enjoy in the United States as a result of a reorientation of part of the Pentagon’s budget toward non-military social needs. 

But while the majority of the U.S. citizens celebrated the prospects of what appeared to be imminent “peace dividends,” the powerful interests vested in the expansion of military/security spending felt threatened. Not surprisingly, these influential forces moved swiftly to safeguard their interests in the face of the “threat of peace.” 

To stifle the voices that demanded peace dividends, beneficiaries of war and militarism began to methodically redefine the post-Cold War “sources of threat” in the broader framework of the new multipolar world, which goes way beyond the traditional “Soviet threat” of the bipolar world of the Cold War era. Instead of the “communist threat” of the Soviet era, the “menace” of “rogue states,” of radical Islam and of “global terrorism” would have to do as new enemies.

Read the entire article

Thursday, July 17, 2014

FIVE EYES assault on social media

The latest release of documents from the Ed Snowden cache reveal that the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the National Security Agency’s British counterpart, has spearheaded the development of tools to manipulate, disrupt, and collect personal information from social media, including Facebook, PalTalk, and YouTube. 

The Internet surveillance and disruption tools were developed by GCHQ’s Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) and are identified on page views from GCWiki, a classified Wikipedia clone developed by GCHQ for internal use by GCHQ and other FIVE EYES signals intelligence alliance partner agencies, including NSA. GCWiki bears the classification TOP SECRET STRAP 1 COMINT. 

The similarity of GCWiki to Wikipedia is so striking the question arises as to what assistance Wikipedia “volunteer” personnel provided to GCHQ in the development of GCWiki. As has been previously reported by WMR, Wikipedia has been used by intelligence agencies, including the CIA, to engage in psychological warfare operations directed against countries, institutions, and individuals. The CIA has been caught red-handed directing its personnel to become Wikipedia volunteer editors. 

As an example of some of the disruptive tactics used by FIVE EYES, the POISON ARROW too, which was under development on July 5, 2012, but believed to be operational now, permits the signals intelligence agencies to download disruptive and destructive malware—safe to NSA and its partners’ computers and networks—to targeted computers and networks. WMR has been affected by malware that cannot be removed by commercial programs. Therefore, we have gone to a “sneaker net” environment in which our production computer is off-line and physically separated from our Internet-accessible computer. However, other Snowden documents have revealed that NSA has managed to get around such “air gaps” with different surveillance and disruption technology. 

Other NSA/GCHQ tools include DANCING BEAR, which collects WiFi access points used by targeted individuals. HACIENDA uses GEOFUSION to pinpoint targets using IP locations. MINIATURE HERO collects Skype-to-Skype and Skype-to-external call records, instant messaging content, and contact lists. The vulnerability of cloud databases is exemplified by MOUTH, which collects user files from Archives.org. RESERVOIR collects a wealth of information from Facebook, however SPRING BISHOP targets and collects private photographs on Facebook. SODAWATER collects Gmail messages.

Read the entire article

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Implosion Is Near: Signs Of The Bubble’s Last Days

The central banks of the world are massively and insouciantly pursuing financial instability. That’s the inherent result of the 68 straight months of zero money market rates that have been forced into the global financial system by the Fed and its confederates at the BOJ, ECB and BOE. ZIRP fuels endless carry trades and the harvesting of every manner of profit spread between negligible “funding” costs and positive yields and returns on a wide spectrum of risk assets.

Moreover, this central bank sponsored regime of ZIRP and money market pegging contains a built-in accelerator. As carry trade speculators drive asset prices steadily higher and fixed income spreads steadily thinner—- fear and short interest is driven out of the casino, making buying on the dips ever more profitable and less risky. Indeed, the explicit promise by central banks that the money market rate will remain frozen for the duration and that ample warning of any change in rate policy will be “transparently” announced is the single worst policy imaginable from the point of view of financial stability. It means that the speculator’s worst nightmare—–suddenly going “upside down” due to a sharp spike in funding costs—-is eliminated by central bank writ.

Stated differently, ZIRP systematically dismantles the market’s natural stability mechanisms. One natural deterrent to excessive financial gambling, for example, is the cost of hedging a speculator’s portfolio of “risk assets” against a broad market plunge. In an honest market environment, hedging costs consume a high share of profits, thereby sharply limiting risk appetites and the amount of capital attracted to speculative trading.

By contrast, an extended regime of ZIRP, coupled with the central banks’ perceived “put” under risk assets, drives the cost of “downside insurance” to negligible levels because S&P 500 put writers are emboldened and subsidized to pick up nickels (i.e. options premium) in front of a benign central bank steamroller. This ultra-cheap downside insurance, in turn, attracts ever larger inflows of speculative capital to the casino.

This corrosive game has been underway ever since the Greenspan Fed panicked on Black Monday in October 1987 and flooded the stock market with liquidity. It is now such an endemic feature of Wall Street that it is falsely assumed to be the normal order of things. But, then, would anyone have been picking up nickels in front of the Volcker steamroller?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Pro-Israel Media Bias: It’s As Easy As ABC

Poor Diane Sawyer – recently kicked upstairs by ABC News, she started off her Wednesday report on the Israeli assault on Gaza by giving us the Bizarro World version of the latest news. In a conflict where as of this moment 86 Palestinians have been killed – nearly all civilians, mostly women and children – and as many as 1,000 wounded, with exactly zero casualties in Israel, Sawyer directed our attention to "the rockets raining down on Israel" – while on the screen we saw Israeli jets pounding Gaza. Pointing to a still photo clearly of Palestinians dragging a mattress through the rubble, she described it as "an Israeli family trying to salvage what they can."

In Bizarro World – where up is down, black is white, and truth is falsehood – this makes perfect sense. And it kind of does in our world, too, on at least two levels.

ABC later acknowledged the "error," but one wonders: a lie, once in circulation and widely accepted, is hard to refute, no matter how many "corrections" are issued. Lots of people still think Saddam Hussein organized the 9/11 attacks, and they don’t all work at the Weekly Standard. War propaganda, which is largely dependent on visual images larded with shock value, is not especially subtle. The idea is to bypass the rational mind and appeal directly to the target’s emotions.

On another level, as Peter Hart over at FAIR put it, "ABC’s error should be seen less as a simple mistake, and more as a reflection of a worldview." It’s an intriguing idea – intriguing because we aren’t told exactly what worldview. Or whose worldview. Hart vaguely describes this unidentified bias as being a sin of "the corporate media," but what does this really mean? All media is "corporate" in the sense that it consists of groups of people working to bring you the news and somehow making money at it – or, in our case, as in the case of all non-neocon nonprofits, generating some income albeit barely breaking even. So what does being "corporate" – assuming this means "for profit" – have to do with being unabashedly pro-Israel?

It isn’t just the "corporate" media that’s part of the hasbara echo chamber: as Max Blumenthal points out, former Israeli prison guard Jeffrey Goldberg has been the only guest to address the current conflict on the Charlie Rose Show – Public Television’s toniest talkfest.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

The Deteriorating Economic Outlook

The third and final estimate (until the annual GDP revisions) of first quarter 2014 real GDP growth released June 25 by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis was a 2.9% contraction in GDP growth, a 5.5 percentage point difference from the January forecast of 2.6% growth. Apparently, the first quarter contraction was dismissed by those speculating in equities as weather related, as stock averages rose with the bad news.

Stock market participants might be in for a second quarter surprise. The result of many years of changes made to the official inflation measures is a substantially understated inflation rate. John Williams (www.shadowstats.com) provides inflation estimates based on previous official methodology when the Consumer Price Index still represented the cost of a constant standard of living. The 1.26% inflation measure used to deflate first quarter nominal GDP is unrealistic, as Americans who make purchases are aware.

A reasonable correction to the understated deflator gives a much higher first quarter contraction. The two main causes of inflation’s understatement are the substitution principle introduced during the Clinton regime and the hedonic adjustments ongoing since the 1980s that redefine price rises as quality improvements. Correcting for excessive hedonic adjustments gives a first quarter real GDP contraction of 5%. Correcting for hedonic and substitution adjustments gives a first quarter real GDP contraction of 8.5%.

Realistic economic analysis is a rarity. The financial press echoes Wall Street, and Wall Street economists are paid to help sell financial instruments. Gloomy analysis is frowned upon. Even negative quarters are given a positive spin.

Years of understatement of inflation has resulted in years of overstatement of GDP growth. Thinking about the many years of misstatement, we realized that the typical computation in nominal terms of the ratio of debt to GDP is seriously misleading.

Consider that debt is issued in nominal terms and repaid in nominal terms (except for a few Treasury bonds with inflation adjustments). However, nominal wealth or nominal GDP overstates real economic strength. The debt is growing, but both the nominal and real values of the output of goods and services are not keeping up with the rise in debt.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Obama’s Border Dissolution Is Treason. The Answer Is Impeachment. It Would Work.

It’s now nearly three years since VDARE.com’s Federale pointed out that President Obama had begun an Administrative Amnesty, unilaterally abrogating immigration law he had sworn to uphold—and that the appropriate answer was impeachment. Needless to say, our warning was ignored by the Romney campaign (which duly lost) and by Conservatism Inc. media mouthpieces (which had to play catch up, not for the first time). Now impeachment talk is everywhere:
The “I-word” – impeachment – is creeping back into the political lexicon nearly 16 years after the House of Representatives impeached President Bill Clinton for lying under oath about his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
From conservative media outlets to the campaign trail to book stores, chatter about impeaching Obama and members of his administration has heated up in recent weeks. It’s fueled by conservative anger over the president’s increasing use of executive actions on issues such as immigration and air pollution regulations, the exchange of Taliban detainees for the release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdhal, and the familiar issue of the Affordable Care Act.
[Some on right push to impeach Obama, By William Douglas, Sacramento Bee, July 2, 2014. Links in original, except to Andy McCarthy’s book; VDARE.com emphasis.]
Just before the Independence Day Immigration Day weekend, Obama upped the ante yet again by proclaiming petulantly that, because the (n.b. democratically-elected) House of Representatives would not bend to his will, he would act alone i.e. expand the Administrative Amnesty. Simultaneously, he has allowed the southern border to dissolve in a surreal parody of Camp of the Saints [Immigrant moms crossing Texas border at alarming rate, by Rick Jervis, USA Today, July 5, 2014]as part of a clearly-calculated drive to Elect A New People.

It’s no surprise that the Congressional GOP Leadership (J. Boehner, proprietor) doesn’t want to accept its constitutional responsibility and impeach: it’s on the other side. But some sensible immigration patriots are quailing at impeachment too, for example RedState’s Erick Erickson (here) and Daily Caller’s Mickey Kaus (here).