Thursday, December 18, 2008

USD = Toilet Paper


It Is So Stupid To Borrow US Dollar "Toilet Papers" For Trade Finance.

There Can Be Only A Credit Crunch For Dollars If You Are Stupid Enough To Want To Be Paid And To Pay In Dollars.

Otherwise, There Is Only An Illusion Of A Global Credit Crunch.

This Is The Global Con Game By Bernanke, Paulson,.




It may have made some sense, post-World War II to dollarise international trade when the so-called “Free World” was supposedly threatened by the “Communist Bloc” and the Imperial United States was offering “protection” in exchange for financial dominance.

The imperial design for financial dominance was the Bretton Woods dollar reserve currency scheme.

Since those days, the US has been abusing its financial power by the use of its greatest invention, the “toilet paper printing press” (now, the modern “electronic printing press”) to issue irredeemable fiat money.

Now the world is flooded with trillions of this toilet paper, namely US dollars.

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The US Superpower is at the very precipice of the abyss and a wrong move will plunge it into the black-hole of financial Armageddon.

The world will not face Armageddon, only the US. The rest of the world will suffer pain, deservedly so, for being so stupid in believing in the use of US toilet papers as money!

To avoid this catastrophe, Ben Bernanke and Paulson as directed by their Shadow Money-Lender masters have devised an insidious scheme. The ultimate con-game!

Basically, what they have done is to try to turn a weakness into perceived strength.

Let me explain.

Countries have been so used to trading in dollars that they cannot think otherwise. They continue to borrow dollars to finance their imports. Their corporations continue to borrow dollars to finance their business expansion. It is as if the world is addicted to dollars, as a drug addict is addicted to cocaine and or crack!

The world has been brainwashed into thinking that without the US toilet paper, their global economy would come to a grinding halt.

How stupid!

Yet this is exactly the state of mind of governments and central banks all over the world. China is a case in point: blind reliance on the US dollar. But fortunately, they have other strengths which will see them through this painful period.

Taking advantage of this temporary idiotic global mindset, the Fed and the US Treasury have deliberately triggered a credit crunch for US dollar denominated toilet papers. The major global banks are hoarding the toilet papers and with-holding cross-border financing of every kind.

There is an ocean of toilet paper (literally in the trillions) but there is now created, a deliberate shortage of these very same toilet papers.

But where is the money? There is no money. It is an illusion!

What a ridiculous contradiction. But that is the present reality. The Fed has stated that they will pump US$8.5 trillion to resolve the crisis! You have to give credit where credit is due. This is indeed a brilliant con-game and the whole world has fallen for it hook, line and sinker – almost the whole world!

I refuse to accept this state of affairs.

Yet, the Nobel Laureates in economics have missed this stark reality by a thousand miles and are coming up with all kind of theories for the present global credit crunch of US toilet paper. Alternatively, it may be that as paid-scribes, they have been directed to spew economic nonsense to confuse other economists.

How was this illusion set up?

This happened when all of a sudden, and in total connivance, Brazil, Mexico, South Korea and Singapore got into the act by entering into swap facilities with the FED, each requesting a hefty US$35 Billion to “overcome their liquidity problems.” These countries could not get enough toilet papers! Wow!

Even the great magician Houdini would not have come up with this grand illusion of shortage in currency when there is an ocean of funny money. But it is an illusion and a stupid one at that.

So now, Bernanke and Paulson is advertising to the whole world, that they are prepared to do anything and use all financial weapons, including financial nuclear weapons to defeat the crisis.

For those countries that are short of toilet papers, the US will be the global guarantor and will be willing to lend trillions of toilet papers to help them weather the financial crisis and the credit crunch. How generous of the FED and the US Treasury. But there is a catch.

The catch being – countries must continue to use the worthless toilet papers in global trade.

In one masterful stroke, the US has created an artificial demand for dollars thereby rescuing in the short term the plunging value of the dollar.

Since the global banks are not willing to lend and are insolvent, the mighty FED, the nasty and abhorrent creation of the global Shadow Money-Lenders, will be the lender of last resort to the whole world. It will be business as usual. That is what they hope. This is their final gambit. The last magic show!

And as I have written earlier, this is the OBAMA’s GAMBLE!

Countries need not trade in dollars, as after all, they are not even BUYING “MADE IN AMERICA GOODS”. AMERICA IS A NET IMPORTER, NOT EXPORTER.

So central banks of the world, especially the Third World, and the emerging powers of China and Russia: you have no need for US toilet papers when you sell your national products to countries other than the US.

And in so far as the U.S. is concerned, why are you demanding to be paid in toilet papers? Why are you not demanding payment in your own currency?

China and Russia are at the present moment on the wrong course. They hold trillions of US dollar denominated debts but act as if they are at the mercy of the US, fearing that if they do anything unfavourable to US or cahllenge the hegemony of the greenback, there will be a massive slump in the value of the dollar.

But that is a given in any event. So why play a game that has been rigged in the favour of the global Shadow Money-Lenders.

There is no reason why Russia and China should be in a recession or experience slower growth. They are suffering from the present so-called credit crunch because they continue to manage their economies in dollar terms and in a dollar mindset.

The US is playing suicide poker and calling one last card. They have nothing on the table but toilet paper.

The US will collapse in a minute, if not sooner if China and Russia were to categorically call the US’s bluff and say:

1) Close down the derivative casino now!

2) Buy back all the toxic wastes which you have unloaded on the unsuspecting global economies with currencies of our choice!

3) Since the US is in debt, the US must now borrow in the currencies of our choice to repay past debts and new loans!

Failure to comply will result in a credit crunch to US banks and companies. US can continue to use domestically their worthless toilet papers (to wipe the shit off the ceiling fans, if there are any left hanging from the ceilings) but there will be no more credit in toilet papers. Period. There will be loans only in other currencies.

This is the checkmate. .

So China and Russia should wake up and do what is necessary to save their economies as well as the global economy or their economies will end up in the shit hole as they are now playing the US / UK rigged game.

I am not surprised at the present state of mind of Chinese and Russian bankers. They have sent some of their best brains to be trained in Harvard etc., and by the fraudsters in Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, Citigroup etc. They have all been infected with the Ponzi disease and as such cannot think otherwise. Otherwise, how do you explain their mental paralysis?

This is a simple financial puzzle.

There is no credit crunch. There is only a false or an illusion of credit crunch for US toilet papers.

Once there is no demand for dollars, there will be no credit crunch for dollars. The Shadow Money-Lenders con-game will be exposed for what it is – a giant fraud. Not unlike that of Bernard Madoff, only a thousand times more insidious and toxic.

I hope that I have made myself absolutely clear to the financial officials in Russia and China.

If China and Russia and the third world continue to stand pat, these economies deserve to be in the dog house.

Bernanke and Paulson are going to destroy the US and the global economy so as to fulfil the grand design of the Shadow Money-Lenders. Stop them before it is too late.

The Count-down has started!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Opening a Pandora's Box: Kosovo "Independence" and the Project for a "New Middle East"

Western public opinion has been misled. Unfolding events and realities on the ground in the former Yugoslavia have been carefully manipulated.

Germany and the U.S. have deep-seated geo-strategic interests in dividing Yugoslavia. Washington, D.C. and Berlin have also been the first governments to recognize the secessionist states, which resulted from the breakup of the Yugoslav federation.

The Broader Implications of Kosovo “Independence”

The February 2008 declaration of independence of Kosovo is a means towards legitimizing the dissolution and breaking up of sovereign states on a global scale.

Eurasia is the main target. Kosovar “independence” is part of a neo-colonial program with underlying economic and geo-political interests. The objective is to instate a New World Order and establish hegemonic control over the global economy.

In this sense Kosovo provides a blueprint and a “dress-rehearsal” which can now be applied to restructuring the economies and borders of the Middle East, under the Project for a “New Middle East.”

The restructuring model that is being applied in the former Yugoslavia is precisely what is intended for the Middle East — a process of balkanization and economic control.

Kosovo’s Pseudo-Declaration of Independence

On February 17, 2008, the secessionist province of Kosovo declared unilateral independence from the Republic of Serbia. The occasion was declared through an extraordinary gathering of the Kosovar Parliament and its executive bodies. Belgrade has not had any control over Kosovo since 1999, when NATO went to war with Serbia to impose control over Kosovo under humanitarian arguments.

President Fatmir Sejdiu, Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, and the Speaker of Parliament Jakup Krasniqi all marked the occasion with speeches inside and outside of the Kosovar Parliament.

Many in Kosovo’s ethic Albanian majority celebrated what they believed was a shift towards self-determination. The truth of the matter is that the Kosovar declaration of independence was a declaration of dependency and the surrounder of Kosovo to colonial forces.

Without any remorse Kosovar leaders have transformed their land into a colonial outpost of Franco-German and Anglo-American interests. February 17, 2008 also marked the day that Kosovo further entrenched itself as a NATO-E.U. protectorate. Under the so-called “independence” roadmap, NATO and E.U. troops and police officers will formally administer Kosovo.

In reality, Kosovo would have had greater independence as an autonomous province in an agreement of autonomy with Serbia, which had been envisaged in bilateral talks between Belgrade and Pristina. The majority of Kosovars would have been satisfied under such an agreement.

However, the talks were never meant to succeed for two obvious reasons:

1) the leadership of Kosovo are agents of foreign interests that do not represent the Kosovar populaiton;

2) the U.S. and E.U. were determined to establish another protectorate in the former Yugoslavia.





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Kosovo: Another phase in the Economic Colonization of the former Yugoslavia

One of the leading global academic figures who has thoroughly documented the foreign-induced disintegration of Yugoslavia and the situation in Kosovo is Michel Chossudovsky. He has documented the economic and geo-strategic motives that have acted as the fingers pulling the strings that have caused the collapse of Yugoslavia and the drive for the independence of Kosovo from Serbia. His work unmasks the truth behind the downfall of Yugoslavia and the tactics being used to divide nations and peoples who have lived together in peace for hundreds of years.

A glance at the restructuring of Bosnia-Herzegovina must be made before further discussing the case of Kosovo.

Bosnia’s constitution was written at a U.S. Air Force base in Dayton, Ohio by U.S. and European "experts."
Chossoduvsky appropriately labels Bosnia-Herzegovina as a neo-colonial entity. NATO troops have dominated Bosnia-Herzegovina, closely followed by the imposition of a new political and economic framework and model.

Chossudovsky’s work also reveals that the real head of the Bosnian government, the High Representative, and the head of the Bosnian Central Bank are both foreigners that are hand-picked by the European Union, the U.S., and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This is a clear re-enactment of a colonial administration.

This model has also been replicated with some variations in several of the former republics of the Yugoslav federation. The major obstacle to the full implementation of this agenda is the popular will of the local people in the former Yugoslavia, especially the Serbs.

Serbia, like an island of resistance, is the last bastion of independence left in the former Yugoslavia and the Balkans, but even in Serbia a modus vivendi exists where the local people have made a one-sided accommodation with the foreign economic agenda to allow their way of life to go on for a little longer. However, this accommodation is not meant to last.

The same Political and Socio-Economic Model is being applied in the Balkans and the Middle East

The process in Iraq is no different than the model applied in the former Yugoslavia. Divisions are fueled by foreign catalysts, the economy is destabilized, national dissolution is induced, and a new politico-socio-economic order is established.

Foreign interference and military intervention have also been justified on bogus humanitarian grounds. It is no coincidence that a “High Representative” was appointed by the American-led coaltion to govern occupied Iraq, thereby replicating the Bosnia-Herzegovina model, which is characterised by a E.U. appointed “High Representative.” The pattern should start becoming startlingly familiar!

The parallels between Iraq and the former Yugoslavia are endless.

In the wake of the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, the U.S. and Britain established the Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA), which evolved into the Coalition Provisional Authority.

The head of the Coalition Provisional Authority was also called “Special Representative,” “Governor,” “Special Envoy,” and “Consul.”

The justifications for setting up the occupying administration in Iraq, similarly to Bosnia-Herzegovina, where originally humanitarian and national stabilization. However, the main objectives of the Coalition Provisional Authority were to decentralize the state and implement a mass privatization program of Iraqi resources and wealth.

It is no coincidence that Bosnia-Herzegovina was divided alongside ethnic and religious lines: Serb, Croat, and Bosniak; Christians and Muslims. To these various ethnic-religious divisions further sectarian divisions were also added amongst the Christians: Eastern Orthodoxy versus Roman Catholicism.

A similar strategy of “divide and rule” was applied in Iraq. In Iraq the same pattern is being replicated alongside ethnic and sectarian lines: Arabs, Kurds, Turcomans, Assyrians, and others; Shiites versus Sunnis. Just like in the former Yugoslavia the centralized economic system of Iraq was also shattered by the occupying administration. Under the Anglo-American occupation and its Coalition Provisional Authority foreign corporations entered Iraq in a second wave of foreign invasion, an economic takeover.

This neo-colonial project is based on two interdependent building blocks: a military stage executed by NATO and a process of political, social, and economic restructuring executed by the U.S. and E.U. with the help of corrupt local leaders in the occupied countries. The shock and awe of war opens the door for destabilization followed by “nation building” or the restructuring process, which even attacks the cultural and social roots of the target nation-state. The important cultural and historic aspects unifying the occupied nation-states have also been systematically attacked and errased.

The Economic Colonization of Kosovo

The economic affairs of Kosovo are to be exclusively under the hands of the E.U. in partnership with the United States. The euro was already being used in Kosovo, despite of the protests of Belgrade, as the official currency for a number of years before 2008. The utilization of the euro was part of the process of untying the Kosovar economy from the rest of the Serbian economy and a means of establishing control over the sovereignty of Kosovo via monetary and financial means.

The Kosovar flag has been designed to match both the flags of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the European Union. The Bosnian flag was also designed to match the flag of the European Union. To many in the Balkans these flags are symbols of vassaldom and the protectorate status of these territories.

This unraveling process involving military means has been the modus operandi throughout the former Yugoslavia. The key governments behind this process are the usual players; the U.S., Germany, Britain, and France, which have been sharing the spoils of war and economic colonization in the former Yugoslavia. NATO and the E.U. have been the agents of this process on behalf of all four Western powers.

An Illegal Precedent: Paving the Way for the Dismantlement of other Nation-States

In the realm of international law, a Pandora’s Box has been opened. A new form of interventionism which threatens nation-states has emerged. Worldwide, nations have been divided into two camps in regards to Kosovo: those that recognize it at the expense of international law and those that do not recognize Kosovar independence.

There are profound implications in regards to the events in Yugoslavia. The law of the jungle and the concept that “might is right” have been unveiled as the true ideals of E.U. and American foreign policy. From Somalia, Sudan, and Iraq to the Russian Federation and Central Asia, a dangerous precedent has been established. The latter is intent upon fracturing and dividing.

The E.U. and NATO have also threatened Belgrade and the Serbian people with military action if they try and keep Kosovo. NATO had prepared for Kosovar independence through the holding of war games in late-2007. As Germany has admitted, negotiations for a solution were never taken seriously by Western powers from the start. NATO’s military preparations for the secession of Kosovo suggests that the negotiations were a diplomatic game, which was never intended to succeed.

The global ramifications of E.U.-U.S. interventionism and open disregard for fundamental international laws are significant. Nations combating secessionist movements worldwide have voiced disapproval of the Kosovar declaration of independence, while expressing apprehension in regards to the enthusiastic support shown by American, German, British, and French officials.

China has voiced disapproval out of fears that Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) may declare independence under the precedent set by Kosovo. Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Spain, Georgia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Russia have all voiced opposition because of their own secessionist movements such as the Tamil Tigers and the Basque separatist group ETA.

Ramifications of the Kosovo Precedent in the Caucasus and the Former Soviet Space

While fully acknowledging the fact that the Kosovo precedent is internationally illegal, Moscow has nonetheless used the Kosovo precedent against Georgia. Moscow’s objective is to strengthen its control in the geo-strategically important Caucasus region. Georgia has opposed the push by Kosovar Albanians for independence because of secessionist movements in Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Adjara. While Adjaran separatism has declined, Abkhazia and South Ossetia have standing armies with close ties to Moscow and are virtually independent.

Russia is arguing that if the U.S. and E.U. recognize the independence of Kosovo, then the independence of Abkhazia and South Oesstia must also be recognized based on the same principle.

The Kosovar declaration of independence also has ramifications for Trans-Dniester (also known as Transnistria or Transdniestria), a tiny breakaway Russian-majority portion of Moldava bordering Ukraine.

The effects of Kosovar independence have also been watched carefully by the leaders of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, because of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict. In the cases of Trans-Dniester, Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia, all four breakaway republics believe they have far stronger cases for lobbying for official recognition by the Commonwealth of Independent States (C.I.S.), Russia, and the United Nations.





Preparing a Dangerous Precedent for the Middle East and Beyond

The ghosts of Versailles and earlier schemes that the model in Yugoslavia and the Middle East is replicating still hunt humanity. U.S. President Woodrow Wilson’s seemingly good intentioned declaration of creating an arc of “national self-determination” stretching from the Baltic Sea and the Balkans to the Middle East after the First World War is coming into fruition.

Since the First World War, the larger and more powerful states of Eastern Europe and the Middle East have progressively been carved up into smaller and weaker states. This process was part of a colonial project to control the Eurasian Heartland that still survives.

The board is being set for the recognition of new states in a redrawn Middle East in total disregard for international law. The Kosovar declaration of independence from Serbia is part of the broader post-Cold War balkanization and dismantlement of Yugoslavia. The legitimization of Kosovar independence through international recognition serves to extend Anglo-American and Franco-German influence across Eurasia and the globe. This model is tied in a straight line with the forthcoming plans in the Middle East to breakup countries such as Iraq, Syria, and Iran in fragmented and easy to control protectorates managed by the E.U., the U.S., and Israel.

Russia and China also are aware of the real danger of plans to divide their territories as has been advocated for years by Anglo-American policy makers in Washington and London going back to before the First World War. Iran is also aware of a Kosovo-like scenario planned for its predominately Arab regions in Khuzestan. The declaration of independence was also closely watched by the Kurdistan Regional Government of Northern Iraq.



The synchronization of other global events with Kosovo Independence: Coincidence?

The “Arc of Instability” is yet again being exasperated and agitated. In Pakistan threats of civil war and balkanization loom large. In the Levant one of Hezbollah’s top officials, Imad Mughniyeh, was assassinated in Syria by a car bomb similarly to those killing Lebanese politicians.

Most probably Imad Mughniyeh was assassinated by the Mossad, the intelligence agency of Israel. American, Jordanian, Saudi, French, British, and German intelligence were almost all likely to be involved. It is an open secret that all these intelligence agencies have been collaborating together in Lebanon against Hezbollah and have been behind attempts to assassinate Hezbollah leaders. The timing of the assassination is extremely suspicious.

Mughniyeh’s assassination also came just before the anniversary of the Hariri Assassination and could have been meant to further galvanize political tensions in Lebanon and create a sectarian divide amongst the Muslims of Lebanon. Israel has denied being behind the assassination, but it is now talking about a new war with Lebanon that it conveniently plans to blame Hezbollah for starting with the help of Syria and Iran.

The rupture of multiple conflicts and crises could also be used to encircle the westernmost periphery of Russia within an arc of conflict. In other words, there may be a deliberate attempt in the making to trigger through covert actions further conflicts and ethnic divisions, with a view to ultimately paralyzing Russia and weakening other opposing political forces in the broader region.

A Prepackaged Solution: Supranationalism?

The leadership in Serbia is playing a balancing act between its people and foreign interests. The Serbian people are against the foreign agenda in their region, but the leadership in Serbia is the spawn of a Western-funded and supported Velvet Revolution that occurred in 2000 and ousted Slobodan Milosevic. A large portion of Belgrade’s leadership supports the foreign agenda and has been co-opted into the neo-liberal restructuring project for the Balkans. The fact that the U.S. and the E.U. became major paymasters for Serbia after the Kosovo War is a mere testimony to this.

Surpanationalism or entry into the E.U. or a larger supranational entity for both Serbia and Kosovo is most probably going to be presented as the solution for Kosovar independence. Similarly such a solution may also be presented for a balkanized Middle East through such projects as the Mediterranean Union. Supranationalism is also being pressed as an answer to the unification of Cyprus under the Mediterranean Union.

Returning to Serbia and Kosovo, many of the leaders of Serbia are opposing Kosovar secession, but this is merely a façade that is meant to occupy the minds of the Serbian general public. These same leaders are taking a soft stance on the issue and are also moving towards integration into the European Union. To them supranationalism is a solution.

On the Eve of the New World Order: Welcome to the Rule of the Jungle

While the E.U. pushes for a bridge to end national and ethnic divisions amongst its own members it does the opposite in the cases of Kosovo and other regions. Is not the American Civil War marked with honour, because the Union States fought a war to keep the Confederate States within the “American Union” by force?

Whatever the case, the hypocrisy of the E.U. and the U.S. in international relations is exposed by the recognition of Kosovar independence. Firstly, it is a breach of international law, but also it is insincere and for self-serving motives and not because of genuine principles or concerns for the people of Kosovo.

In addition, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has a far more legitimate case of being recognized in addition to its own functioning institutions and maturity. Although there is a secure and stable means to peacefully address the desires of the Basque and the Catalans in the Pyrenees and the Flemish in the Flanders region of Belgium, these separatist movements are also ignored.

The Armenian majority in Nagorno-Karabakh declared independence on December 10, 1991. Yet, the self-proclaimed and functioning breakaway republic enjoys no backing from either the U.S. or the E.U. unlike Kosovo. What sets Northern Cyprus, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, and Trans-Dniester apart from Kosovo? The answer is: Anglo-American and Franco-German interests represented through the E.U. and NATO are the forces behind self-serving “exceptionalism” — the same force that permitted the Nazis to believe that they could colonize Eastern Europe and the Eurasian Heartland without guilt.

American and European Union leaders have argued that the Serbs are no longer morally capable of managing the affairs of Kosovo. What gives the governments of the U.S., Germany, France, and Britain any moral capability after years of blood baths and a deficit in credibility? If these claims where based on any principle then what about the case of the Palestinians? Does Israel have any moral capability to occupy the Palestinians? Yet, the occupation continues. Ironically it is not Serbian troops who occupy Kosovo, but NATO troops and tanks.

by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Establishing an "Arc of Crisis"

Many would be skeptical that the Anglo-Americans would be behind terrorist acts in Iraq, such as with the British in Basra, when two British SAS soldiers were caught dressed as Arabs, with explosives and massive arsenal of weapons. Why would the British be complicit in orchestrating terror in the very city in which they are to provide security? What would be the purpose behind this? That question leads us to an even more important question to ask, the question of why Iraq was occupied; what is the purpose of the war on Iraq? If the answer is, as we are often told with our daily dose of CNN, SkyNews and the statements of public officials, to spread democracy and freedom and rid the world of tyranny and terror, then it doesn’t make sense that the British or Americans would orchestrate terror.

However, if the answer to the question of why the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq occurred was not to spread democracy and freedom, but to spread fear and chaos, plunge the country into civil war, balkanize Iraq into several countries, and create an "arc of crisis" across the Middle East, enveloping neighboring countries, notably Iran, then terror is a very efficient and effective means to an end.

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An Imperial Strategy

In 1982, Oded Yinon, an Israeli journalist with links to the Israeli Foreign Ministry wrote an article for a publication of the World Zionist Organization in which he outlined a "strategy for Israel in the 1980s." In this article, he stated, "The dissolution of Syria and Iraq into ethnically or religiously unique areas such as in Lebanon is Israel's primary target on the Eastern front. Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel's targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than Syria. In the short run, it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel." He continued, "An Iraqi-Iranian war will tear Iraq apart and cause its downfall at home even before it is able to organize a struggle on a wide front against us. Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and Lebanon." He continues, "In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul and Shiite areas in the South will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north."

The Iran-Iraq War, which lasted until 1988, did not result in Oded Yinon’s desired break-up of Iraq into ethnically based provinces. Nor did the subsequent Gulf War of 1991 in which the US destroyed Iraq’s infrastructure, as well as the following decade-plus of devastating sanctions and aerial bombardments by the Clinton administration. What did occur during these decades, however, were the deaths of millions of Iraqis and Iranians.

A Clean Break for a New American Century

In 1996, an Israeli think tank, the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, issued a report under the think tank’s Study Group on a New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000, entitled, "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm." In this paper, which laid out recommendations for Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, they state that Israel can, "Work closely with Turkey and Jordan to contain, destabilize, and roll-back some of its most dangerous threats," as well as, "Change the nature of its relations with the Palestinians, including upholding the right of hot pursuit for self defense into all Palestinian areas," and to, "Forge a new basis for relations with the United States—stressing self-reliance, maturity, strategic cooperation on areas of mutual concern, and furthering values inherent to the West."

The report recommended Israel to seize "the strategic initiative along its northern borders by engaging Hizballah, Syria, and Iran, as the principal agents of aggression in Lebanon," and to use "Lebanese opposition elements to destabilize Syrian control of Lebanon." It also states, "Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq — an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right — as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions."

The authors of the report include Douglas Feith, an ardent neoconservative who went on to become George W. Bush’s Under Secretary of Defense for Policy from 2001 to 2005; David Wurmser, who was appointed by Douglas Feith after 9/11 to be part of a secret Pentagon intelligence unit and served as a Mideast Adviser to Dick Cheney from 2003 to 2007; and Meyrav Wurmser, David’s wife, who is now an official with the American think tank, the Hudson Institute.

Richard Perle headed the study, and worked on the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee from 1987 to 2004, and was Chairman of the Board from 2001 to 2004, where he played a key role in the lead-up to the Iraq war. He was also a member of several US think tanks, including the American Enterprise Institute and the Project for the New American Century.

The Project for the New American Century, or PNAC, is an American neoconservative think tank, whose membership and affiliations included many people who were associated with the present Bush administration, such as Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, John Bolton, Richard Armitage, Jeb Bush, Elliott Abrams, Eliot A. Cohen, Paula Dobriansky, Francis Fukuyama, Zalmay Khalilzad, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Peter Rodman, Dov Zakheim and Robert B. Zoellick.

PNAC produced a report in September of 2000, entitled, "Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century," in which they outlined a blueprint for a Pax Americana, or American Empire. The report puts much focus on Iraq and Iran, stating, "Over the long term, Iran may well prove as large a threat to US interests in the Gulf as Iraq has." Stating that, "the United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security," the report suggests that, "the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification," however, "the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime change of Saddam Hussein."

Engineer a Civil War for the "Three State Solution"

Shortly after the initial 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, the New York Times ran an op-ed piece by Leslie Gelb, President Emeritus and Board Member of the US-based Council on Foreign Relations, the most influential and powerful think tank in the United States. The op-ed, titled, "The Three State Solution," published in November of 2003, stated that the "only viable strategy" for Iraq, "may be to correct the historical defect and move in stages toward a three-state solution: Kurds in the north, Sunnis in the center and Shiites in the south." Citing the example of the break up of Yugoslavia, Gelb stated that the Americans and Europeans "gave the Bosnian Muslims and Croats the means to fight back, and the Serbs accepted separation." Explaining the strategy, Gelb states that, "The first step would be to make the north and south into self-governing regions, with boundaries drawn as closely as possible along ethnic lines," and to "require democratic elections within each region." Further, "at the same time, draw down American troops in the Sunni Triangle and ask the United Nations to oversee the transition to self-government there." Gelb then states that this policy "would be both difficult and dangerous. Washington would have to be very hard-headed, and hard-hearted, to engineer this breakup."

Following the example of Yugoslavia, as Gelb cited, would require an engineered civil war between the various ethnic groups. The US supported and funded Muslim forces in Bosnia in the early 1990s, under the leadership of the CIA-trained Afghan Mujahideen, infamous for their CIA-directed war against the Soviet Union from 1979-1989. In Bosnia, the Mujahideen were "accompanied by US Special Forces," and Bill Clinton personally approved of collaboration with "several Islamic fundamentalist organisations including Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda." In Kosovo, years later, "Mujahideen mercenaries from the Middle East and Central Asia were recruited to fight in the ranks of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in 1998-99, largely supporting NATO's war effort." The US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the British Secret Intelligence Services (MI6), British SAS soldiers and American and British private security companies had the job of arming and training the KLA. Further, "The U.S. State Department listed the KLA as a terrorist organization, indicating that it was financing its operations with money from the international heroin trade and loans from Islamic countries and individuals, among them allegedly Usama bin Laden," and as well as that, "the brother of a leader in an Egyptian Jihad organization and also a military commander of Usama bin Laden, was leading an elite KLA unit during the Kosovo conflict."

Could this be the same strategy being deployed in Iraq in order to break up the country for similar geopolitical reasons?

The Asia Times Online reported in 2005, that the plan of "balkanizing" Iraq into several smaller states, "is an exact replica of an extreme right-wing Israeli plan to balkanize Iraq - an essential part of the balkanization of the whole Middle East. Curiously, Henry Kissinger was selling the same idea even before the 2003 invasion of Iraq." It continued, "this is classic divide and rule: the objective is the perpetuation of Arab disunity. Call it Iraqification; what it actually means is sectarian fever translated into civil war."

In 2006, an "independent commission set up by Congress with the approval of President George W Bush," termed the "Baker Commission" after former Secretary of State, James Baker, "has grown increasingly interested in the idea of splitting the Shi’ite, Sunni and Kurdish regions of Iraq as the only alternative to what Baker calls ‘cutting and running’ or ‘staying the course’."

It was also reported in 2006 that, "Iraq's federal future is already enshrined within its constitution, allowing regions to form, if not actually prescribing how this should happen," and that, "the Iraqi parliament (dominated by Shi'a and Kurds) passed a bill earlier this month [October, 2006] allowing federal regions to form (by majority vote in the provinces seeking merger)." Further, "The law, which unsurprisingly failed to win Sunni support, will be reviewed over the next 18 months in a bid to bring its opponents round." The article, however, stated that instead of a three state solution, "a system based upon five regions would seem to have more chance of succeeding. A five-region model could see two regions in the south, one based around Basra and one around the holy cities. Kurdistan and the Sunni region would remain, but Baghdad and its environs would form a fifth, metropolitan, region." The author of the article was Gareth Stansfield, an Associate Fellow at Chatham House think tank in London, which preceded, works with and is the British equivalent of the Council on Foreign Relations.

"Ethnic Cleansing Works"

In 2006, the Armed Forces Journal published an article by retired Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters, titled, "Blood Borders: How a better Middle East would look." In the article, Peters explains that the best plan for the Middle East would be to "readjust" the borders of the countries. "Accepting that international statecraft has never developed effective tools — short of war — for readjusting faulty borders, a mental effort to grasp the Middle East’s "organic" frontiers nonetheless helps us understand the extent of the difficulties we face and will continue to face. We are dealing with colossal, man-made deformities that will not stop generating hatred and violence until they are corrected." He states that after the 2003 invasion, "Iraq should have been divided into three smaller states immediately." However, Iraq is not the only country to fall victim to "Balkanization" in Peters’ eyes, as, "Saudi Arabia would suffer as great a dismantling as Pakistan," and "Iran, a state with madcap boundaries, would lose a great deal of territory to Unified Azerbaijan, Free Kurdistan, the Arab Shia State and Free Baluchistan, but would gain the provinces around Herat in today’s Afghanistan." Further, "What Afghanistan would lose to Persia in the west, it would gain in the east, as Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier tribes would be reunited with their Afghan brethren." Peters states that "correcting borders" may be impossible, "For now. But given time — and the inevitable attendant bloodshed — new and natural borders will emerge. Babylon has fallen more than once." He further makes the astonishing statement that, "Oh, and one other dirty little secret from 5,000 years of history: Ethnic cleansing works."

The map of the re-drawn Middle East, initially published alongside Peters’ article, but no longer present, "has been used in a training program at NATO's Defense College for senior military officers. This map, as well as other similar maps, has most probably been used at the National War Academy as well as in military planning circles." Nafeez Mossadeq Ahmed wrote of Peters’ proposal, that "the sweeping reconfiguration of borders he proposes would necessarily involve massive ethnic cleansing and accompanying bloodshed on perhaps a genocidal scale."

Federalism or Incremental Balkanization?

A month before Peters’ article was published, Leslie Gelb of the Council on Foreign Relations, and Joseph Biden, a Democratic member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wrote an op-ed for the New York Times, in which they stated, "America must get beyond the present false choice between "staying the course" and "bringing the troops home now" and choose a third way that would wind down our military presence responsibly while preventing chaos and preserving our key security goals." What is this third option? "The idea, as in Bosnia, is to maintain a united Iraq by decentralizing it, giving each ethno-religious group—Kurd, Sunni Arab and Shiite Arab—room to run its own affairs, while leaving the central government in charge of common interests."

They describe a few aspects of this plan. "The first is to establish three largely autonomous regions with a viable central government in Baghdad. The Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite regions would each be responsible for their own domestic laws, administration and internal security. The central government would control border defense, foreign affairs and oil revenues." Then, "The second element would be to entice the Sunnis into joining the federal system with an offer they couldn’t refuse. To begin with, running their own region should be far preferable to the alternatives: being dominated by Kurds and Shiites in a central government or being the main victims of a civil war."

In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2007, Leslie Gelb stated that his plan for "federalizing" Iraq, "would look like this: The central government would be based on the areas where there are genuine common interests among the different Iraqi parties. That is, foreign affairs, border defense, currency and, above all, oil and gas production and revenues." And, "As for the regions, whether they be three or four or five, whatever it may be, it’s up to—all this is up to the Iraqis to decide, would be responsible for legislation, administration and internal security."

The Senate subsequently passed a nonbinding resolution supporting a federal system for Iraq, which has still yet to be enacted upon, because it stated that this resolution was something that had to be enacted upon by the Iraqis, so as not to be viewed as "something that the United States was going to force down their throats." Further, "when Ambassador Ryan Crocker appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he testified in favor of federalism. In his private conversations with senators, he also supported the idea," yet, while in Baghdad, the Ambassador "blasted the resolution." Could this be a method of manipulation? If the American Embassy in Baghdad promotes a particular solution for Iraq, it would likely be viewed by Iraqis as a bad choice and in the interest of the Americans. So, if the Ambassador publicly bashes the resolution from Iraq, which he did, it conveys the idea that the current administration is not behind it, which could make Iraqis see it as a viable alternative, and perhaps in their interests. For Iraqi politicians, embracing the American view on major issues is political (and often actual) suicide. The American Embassy in Baghdad publicly denouncing a particular strategy gives Iraqi politicians public legitimacy to pursue it.

This resolution has still not gone through all the processes in Congress, and may, in fact, have been slipped into another bill, such as a Defense Authorization Act. However, the efforts behind this bill are larger than the increasingly irrelevant US Congress.

Also in 2007, another think tank called for the managed "break-up of Iraq into three separate states with their own governments and representatives to the United Nations, but continued economic cooperation in a larger entity modeled on the European Union." In a startling admission by former US Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, stated in 2007 that the "United States has "no strategic interest" in a united Iraq," and he also suggested "that the United States shouldn't necessarily keep Iraq from splitting up."

Conclusion

Clearly, whatever the excuse, or whatever the means of dividing Iraq, it is without a doubt in the Anglo-American strategy for Iraq to balkanize the country. Saying that what is being proposed is not balkanization, but federalism, is a moot point. This is because reverting to a more federal system where provinces have greater autonomy would naturally separate the country along ethno-religious boundaries. The Kurds would be in the north, the Sunnis in the centre, and the Shi’ites in the south, with all the oil. The disproportionate provincial resources will create animosity between provinces, and the long-manipulated ethnic differences will spill from the streets into the political sphere. As tensions grow, as they undoubtedly would, between the provinces, there would be a natural slide to eventual separation. Disagreements over power sharing in the federal government would lead to its eventual collapse, and the strategy of balkanization would have been achieved with the appearance of no outside involvement.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Rothschilds: The First Barons of Banking


by Rupert Wright

Nobleman: Baron David de Rothschild, the head of the Rothschild bank. The Rothschilds have helped the British government since financing Wellington's army to fight the French in 1815.

Among the captains of industry, spin doctors and financial advisers accompanying British prime minister Gordon Brown on his fund-raising visit to the Gulf this week, one name was surprisingly absent. This may have had something to do with the fact that the tour kicked off in Saudi Arabia. But by the time the group reached Qatar, Baron David de Rothschild was there, too, and he was also in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

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Although his office denies that he was part of the official party, it is probably no coincidence that he happened to be in the same part of the world at the right time. That is how the Rothschilds have worked for centuries: quietly, without fuss, behind the scenes.

“We have had 250 years or so of family involvement in the finance business,” says Baron Rothschild. “We provide advice on both sides of the balance sheet, and we do it globally.”

The Rothschilds have been helping the British government – and many others – out of a financial hole ever since they financed Wellington’s army and thus victory against the French at Waterloo in 1815. According to a long-standing legend, the Rothschild family owed the first millions of their fortune to Nathan Rothschild’s successful speculation about the effect of the outcome of the battle on the price of British bonds. By the 19th century, they ran a financial institution with the power and influence of a combined Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and perhaps even Goldman Sachs and the Bank of China today.

In the 1820s, the Rothschilds supplied enough money to the Bank of England to avert a liquidity crisis. There is not one institution that can save the system in the same way today; not even the US Federal Reserve. However, even though the Rothschilds may have lost some of that power – just as other financial institutions on that list have been emasculated in the last few months – the Rothschild dynasty has lost none of its lustre or influence. So it was no surprise to meet Baron Rothschild at the Dubai International Financial Centre. Rothschild’s opened in Dubai in 2006 with ambitious plans to build an advisory business to complement its European operations. What took so long?

The answer, as many things connected with Rothschilds, has a lot to do with history. When Baron Rothschild began his career, he joined his father’s firm in Paris. In 1982 President Francois Mitterrand nationalised all the banks, leaving him without a bank. With just US$1 million (Dh3.67m) in capital, and five employees, he built up the business, before merging the French operations with the rest of the family’s business in the 1990s.

Gradually the firm has started expanding throughout the world, including the Gulf. “There is no debate that Rothschild is a Jewish family, but we are proud to be in this region. However, it takes time to develop a global footprint,” he says.

An urbane man in his mid-60s, he says there is no single reason why the Rothschilds have been able to keep their financial business together, but offers a couple of suggestions for their longevity. “For a family business to survive, every generation needs a leader,” he says. “Then somebody has to keep the peace. Building a global firm before globalisation meant a mindset of sharing risk and responsibility. If you look at the DNA of our family, that is perhaps an element that runs through our history. Finally, don’t be complacent about giving the family jobs.”

He stresses that the Rothschild ascent has not been linear – at times, as he did in Paris, they have had to rebuild. While he was restarting their business in France, his cousin Sir Evelyn was building a British franchise. When Sir Evelyn retired, the decision was taken to merge the businesses. They are now strong in Europe, Asia especially China, India, as well as Brazil. They also get involved in bankruptcy restructurings in the US, a franchise that will no doubt see a lot more activity in the months ahead.

Does he expect governments to play a larger role in financial markets in future? “There is a huge difference in the Soviet-style mentality that occurred in Paris in 1982, and the extraordinary achievements that politicians, led by Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy, have made to save the global banking system from systemic collapse,” he says. “They moved to protect the world from billions of unemployment. In five to 10 years those banking stakes will be sold – and sold at a profit.”

Baron Rothschild shares most people’s view that there is a new world order. In his opinion, banks will deleverage and there will be a new form of global governance. “But you have to be careful of caricatures: we don’t want to go from ultra liberalism to protectionism.”

So how did the Rothschilds manage to emerge relatively unscathed from the financial meltdown? “You could say that we may have more insights than others, or you may look at the structure of our business,” he says. “As a family business, we want to limit risk. There is a natural pride in being a trusted adviser.”

It is that role as trusted adviser to both governments and companies that Rothschilds is hoping to build on in the region. “In today’s world we have a strong offering of debt and equity,” he says. “They are two arms of the same body looking for money.”

The firm has entrusted the growth of its financing advisory business in the Middle East to Paul Reynolds, a veteran of many complex corporate finance deals. “Our principal business franchise is large and mid-size companies,” says Mr Reynolds. “I have already been working in this region for two years and we offer a pretty unique proposition.

“We work in a purely advisory capacity. We don’t lend or underwrite, because that creates conflicts. We are sensitive to banking relationships. But we look to ensure financial flexibility for our clients.”

He was unwilling to discuss specific deals or clients, but says that he offers them “trusted, impartial financing advice any time day or night”. Baron Rothschilds tends to do more deals than their competitors, mainly because they are prepared to take on smaller mandates. “It’s not transactions were are interested in, it’s relationships. We are looking for good businesses and good people,” says Mr Reynolds. “Our ambition is for every company here to have a debt adviser.”

Baron Rothschild is reluctant to comment on his nephew Nat Rothschild’s public outburst against George Osborne, the British shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. Nat Rothschild castigated Mr Osborne for revealing certain confidences gleaned during a holiday in the summer in Corfu.

In what the British press are calling “Yachtgate”, the tale involved Russia’s richest man, Oleg Deripaska, Lord Mandelson, a controversial British politician who has just returned to government, Mr Osborne and a Rothschild. Classic tabloid fodder, but one senses that Baron Rothschild frowns on such publicity. “If you are an adviser, that imposes a certain style and culture,” he says. “You should never forget that clients want to hear more about themselves than their bankers. It demands an element of being sober.”

Even when not at work, Baron Rothschild’s tastes are sober. He lives between Paris and London, is a keen family man – he has one son who is joining the business next September and three daughters – an enthusiastic golfer, and enjoys the “odd concert”. He is also involved in various charity activities, including funding research into brain disease and bone marrow disorders.

It is part of Rothschild lore that its founder sent his sons throughout Europe to set up their own interlinked offices. So where would Baron Rothschild send his children today?

“I would send one to Asia, one to Europe and one to the United States,” he said. “And if I had more children, I would send one to the UAE.”

Monday, November 3, 2008

U.A.E. "Economy" - (Part Deux)

You need to ask yourself a couple of questions? Pretty easy to answer actually…why would you pay these inflated prices when you can buy a place in Toronto, NYC, Vancouver, LA or Miami for far less and for better value? Why will tourist come here to visit the malls to pay inflated prices for items when it's cheaper at home? Why will they come to swim in the polluted beaches?

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This market is crashing and will crash harder than that of the US and UK, and much more quickly. The market in the UAE (Dubai in particular) does not have the strength to withstand this downfall. First off, it relies heavily on foreign buyers to keep it afloat. Coupled with the fact that the US Dollar has gained strength by 25% and the Dirham remaining constant (in the last 3 months), this means that property is 25% more expensive to a foreigner. Take into account that the banks are also reducing their loan to values down to 60-65% making it more difficult for the same foreigner to purchase property. Finally, that same foreigner is getting slammed buy his/her own economy to make matters worse. I would give it a year more in the UAE (specifically Dubai) and then we shall see when things hit the fan for real. Unlike the US or UK, the fundamentals are that there is no real industry here except construction and all but 15% of the population here are "expatriates", so this is not like any of the markets elsewhere. Tourism is not going to boom when you have the tourists going in recession and the AED value soaring. Also if you think about it, the source of income for investors in Dubai comes from rent. Now with new laws on visa renewals, RERA, land department rules and the fact that they are looking to stop villa-sharing (soon to be apartment-sharing) how do you expect people to afford the rents? In turn, how do you expect owners to pay off mortgages? This will eventually mean banks and financiers who have given the credit to buy property are going to find thousands of people defaulting on the loans (look at the current subprime crisis in the US). In addition, this default will prevent payment to the developer which begs the question, how will your property get built in order for you to rent/sell it? Developments here are funded either by the payments made by the buyers or by construction finance loans, both of which are in bad shape. All this coupled with the fact that wealthy people have lost millions from deleveraging their debt positions, homes are not as much in demand means that we are on the verge of not just a real estate crash, but a total economic collapse in Dubai.

It’s funny how bitter people are these days, after they allowed greed, deception, hype and short-term mentality enriched a few while spoiling it for the many and selling Dubai's long term future. And yes, I know, it is worse in the US and UK, so far. But that is because the US and UK are on the leading edge. It will get worse in the Gulf, especially Dubai, much worse. It could very well be the mother of all melt downs. Why? First, the US and UK do not have to import speculators to buy their over-hyped properties. Second, just look at the numbers. According to Kuwaiti newspaper Al Qabas, the size of projects under construction or under planning in the Gulf is $2.5 trillion (not including completed property), compared to $400 billion in oil revenues (probably at high oil prices) - the rest is made up in borrowed money. If you add up these projects under construction along with the ones that have been completed (which are already over-priced and held mainly by speculators), I can see the size of assets subject to distress to easily exceed US$1 trillion. What is the potential size of the meltdown? History offers some insights: real estate in Singapore declined by 80% in just 18 months in the 90's, and property prices in the US have already declined 25% on average and are expected to drop another 10-15%. Just to put things in perspective, this subprime mortgage mess in the US is estimated at US$1-1.4 trillion. Get the picture?

Dubai is no longer competitive. It's simple economics. If you have tripled your money then you look like a speculator to me, so if you are now prepared to sit on your property, if it gets completed that is, and rent it out to those who can afford it, if you can find any, then I wish you luck. Otherwise, I predict that some of your off plan properties will remain off plan, you will not be able to sell any of your existing properties for a profit any time soon and your chances of earning rent returns that are anywhere near the ROI that you would expect based on the price you paid for the property are nil.

The public sucks

You may have noticed that there's one thing I don't complain about: Politicians. Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says, "They suck". But where do people think these politicians come from? They don't fall out of the sky. They don't pass through a membrane from another reality. No, they come from American parents, American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses, American universities and they're elected by American voters. This is the best we can do, folks. This is what we have to offer. It's what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out.

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If you have selfish ignorant citizens, you are going to get selfish ignorant leaders. So maybe, maybe it’s not the politicians who suck, maybe it’s something else that sucks around here…like…the public. Yeah, the public sucks. There’s a nice campaign slogan for somebody, “the public sucks, fuck hope” because if it’s really the fault of all these politicians, then where are all the good people with conscience? Where are all the bright and intelligent Americans ready to step in; ready to save the nation, lead the way? We don’t have people like that in this country. Everybody’s at the mall, scratching their ass, picking their nose and taking their credit cards out of their fanny wallet to buy a pair of sneakers with lights in them.
But....I have solved this political dilemma in a very direct way: I don't vote. On Election Day, I stay home and I don’t vote, Fuck ‘em!! Two reasons I don’t vote, first of all it’s meaningless. This country was bought, sold and paid for a long time ago. The shit that gets shuffled around every four years doesn’t mean a fucking thing. Secondly, I firmly believe that if you vote, you have no right to complain. Now, some people like to twist that around. They say, "If you don't vote, you have no right to complain", but where's the logic in that? If you vote, and you elect dishonest, incompetent politicians, and they get into office and screw everything up, you are responsible for what they have done. You voted them in. You caused the problem. You have no right to complain.

I, on the other hand, who did not vote -- who did not even leave the house on Election Day -- am in no way responsible for what these politicians have done and have every right to complain as loud as I want about the mess that you created that I had nothing to do with."
So I know that a little down this year you’re going to have another one of those really swell presidential elections that you like so much, so you enjoy yourself, I know it’ll be a lot of fun. I’m sure as soon as your elections are over your country will approve immediately. As for me I’ll be home on that day, doing essentially the same thing as you…the only difference is when I get finished masturbating I’m going to have a little to show for it folks.

R.I.P. George Carlin

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Republics can be imperialist but not empires

What is different from the empires of the past and the current ones? When it comes to today’s empire, the U.S.A, we can’t see a significant difference. You see, there are two sides to this empire, American imperialist conservatism and the other side. Let’s for the sake of argument call them Dems and Reps. The Dems represent the old constitutional business republic of the past 200 hundred years. The “for the people” democratic side which we have now come to realize, are a thing of the past and rapidly achieving “myth” status. The reason is that this elite business republic is not a democracy by any means; by definition a democracy is a republic where the free members of society exercise the authority of government. This is not the case in the USA as government has always represented business, capital, the owning or ruling class, never the vast majority of people in society and the people. The Reps however, have been called many things throughout their lives including: the extreme right, corporatist, Wall St. thieves and black mailers, thugs, international pirates, the military-industrial complex, militarists, the prison-industrial complex, totalitarians, liars, or fascists. Liberalism (the politics that defeated fascism) in America has been defeated and is nowhere to be found, not in the US or in Europe; instead we have extreme nationalists taking the helm. The likes of Rove, Rumsfeld, et al are playing the master puppeteer and pulling the strings to guide the “leader” of this movement (Bush now, McCain next).
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So what is it going to be? Will we be seeing an imperialistic republic or an empire? There seems to be no other choice. One might argue that republics can be imperialist but they cannot be empires but at the end of the day, an empire has a common form of authority (emperor, dictator, monarch, authoritarian executive) which operates above the law and constitution, hence nullifies a republic which prohibits exactly this. Bush and company have had their minions appointment rulers of the bureaucracies (Justice Department) and made sure that there is a supra-constitutional rule by fiat, his pen being mightier than all.

A republic also means that a civil order of public persons must be established. This means that it is the people that take matters into their own hands and make decisions for the people, by the people. This will benefit the welfare of the society as it would be part of everyday life, a must. In an empire it works differently, the state does not cater to the welfare of the society but the power and rule of society over other societies. In a world of nation-states this means supremacy of the nation-state over non-national peoples (e.g. Britain over India) or nation-states over nation-states (fascism).

Back to our friends Obama and McCain, one is a thoughtful and articulate man who attempts to present issues, indeed would likely be a black FDR dedicated to the public order, a functional system of checks and balances, a restoration of privacy and end to the quest for an empire in the middle east. The other is quite the opposite, conducting a scurrilous campaign of lies and innuendo. He promises "victory" in Iraq which means the subjugation of the Iraqi people and the absorption of the Islamic countries into the American empire. His claim that "redistribution of wealth equals socialism" is the major tenet of the view that any progressive legislation, e.g. an income tax, is totalitarianism. In other words, McCain belongs to that extreme right wing that wants to abolish the entire spectrum of politics of a modern republic. So if you add-up the things that McCain is devoted to: the destruction of the politics of a republic and the construction of an empire of nation-states based on corporate and military power you have precisely the fundamental tenets of fascism. Obama gives a continuation of the imperialist, hegemonic, corporate republic that has made life for so many of us very comfortable (and for many millions misery). McCain offers us the end of modern enlightenment politics and the establishment of a fascist state; and, ultimately, our own destruction.

The contest is best understood as between those who want the republic to survive and those who want to bury it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

U.A.E. "Economy"

It is called a cycle for the simple reason that when things go up, they will come down. There is nothing that can exempt the UAE from this fact of economics, and those that think otherwise need to pick up "A Dummies Guide to Economics". Even if prices go up, it simply means that when (not if) they crash they will do so harder and quicker. When I overheard my barber and door man talking about buying real-estate or people's grandmothers telling me how they purchased their new place in Raha Beach, that's a clear indication of being in a bubble and this would be your cue to get out.

More...Abu-Dhabi/Dubai is not NYC, London or Hong Kong. There is no comparison because:
  1. Lack of transparency and statistics of the UAE real estate markets.
  2. Excess liquidity in the market, misrepresenting the dynamics and making it even more difficult to make any rational projections. Trusting that your investments will work because of an excess in liquidity is adventurous to say the least. Most people who invest here do not understand how this works; there is too much money in the region chasing too few opportunities.
  3. The conflicts of interest that typify the UAE market (i.e. the government is also the land owner and developer) and the lack of oversight. In general one who purchases property…owns the property AND the land underneath that property (in the case of non-apartments). It is the land that makes-up the majority of the cost.
  4. Also development companies in the UAE are the Government, who ALWAYS come to bailout the companies when they are on the verge of bankruptcy.
  5. The sources of wealth between the two are totally different, meaning the control of the market falls in the hands of the few ultra-rich who don't have to sell the property if they don't get the price they are looking for; drive around JBR and Marina at night and see the number of occupied/vacant places.
  6. A city like Dubai does not have an industrial region to back it up. Tourism and trade never generate the kind of income and high paying jobs to support the lavish life style and fancy condos that Dubai is promoting.
  7. Mentalities of buyers/sellers differ. Most people with an IQ greater than 2 digits buy to have a roof over their heads FIRST, and then buy for investment purposes. Not so in the UAE, people buy to "Flip" and as a result fall victim to the failings in the system. For example you have some ultra-rich minority come to one of these lavish property launches and he puts down a single cheque as deposit on 10/100/1000 units. He then goes to the masses of fools that wait clutching passports and cheque books like there will never be another building built in Dubai in order to on-sell at a 10% premium just to jump the queue and buy this "RARE" commodity. After the hook and line…he then goes for the sink and takes from the seller ten cheques and takes back his own! It's a joke.
  8. The entire market is based on speculation and if you are basing your decision to invest on the belief that you will find someone shortly willing to buy it from you, then you are speculating. It's very true that speculators make money, but that is simply because they are taking the risks. Taking a risk is either VERY good, but can also be VERY BAD. If you think that real estate or homes are the exemption because everyone needs a place to live, then you are sadly mistaken.
  9. Also to those that use the excuse that they are in a tax-free haven, that's just plain and simple ignorance (border line stupidity). We may not have income taxes (yet), but do encounter indirect taxation such as housing 'fee', maintenance 'fee', toll 'fee', airport 'fee', parking 'fee', tourism 'fee' and others. These are also gradually increasing and there have been talks of VAT being introduced too.

The fact that there is no sound legal system or regulatory capabilities (like Europe & North America) mean that financial statements are not to be trusted here, simple fact. I've seen and experienced it and so has every other person. When you read that top executives are getting fired from major development companies and government institution (ministry of finance and justice) for fraud and corruption, what does that say? The masses believe that this place is different to the rest of the world and what is going on will not affect them...well NO, you're not so different at all, and when things hit the fan there will be no preparation for it.

The signs are already there for all to see, the writing is on the wall and recession is here simply because:

  1. The banks are tightening their lending to buyers.
  2. The world-wide credit crunch, which has also affected liquidity in the region. At the same time, Dubai Inc. (i.e. Dubai Holdings) investing its money in the West. Why if Dubai is the place to invest? The "it" place?
  3. The UAE Central Bank "investing" 50bn into the financial markets to add liquidity.
  4. The world economy is slowing down drastically
  5. People own too much property and are trying to achieve top dollar on every sale.
  6. Oversupply as evidenced by the vacant units everywhere. Just because these units' owners are demanding high rents does not mean there is high demand; excess liquidity distorts the demand-supply relationship. Apparently, there are not enough takers at these rent levels.
  7. The huge number of units coming online shortly.
  8. A low capitalization rate (in the 3% range) for most of Dubai, thereby making real estate less and less attractive as an investment.
  9. The strengthening of the US dollar causing the property prices to soar without the Dirham increasing.

However, in a recession the crash could occur tomorrow, the day after, in the next couple of months or even in a year. Nobody will ever be able to predict the timing and you simply won't be able to get out fast enough. Emerging markets are notorious for their volatility - Dubai's stock market had the dubious distinction of being the worst performing market in 2006, with a correction of 60% in one year and now the real-estate market has recently seen a correction of 40%! If Singapore's real estate dropped 80% in the 90's, I would not be surprised if Dubai drops even more and would a correction save the people?

Two things can be said at this moment; one is that "cash is king" and second is "diversification". Diversification is a fact, not an opinion (Finance 101). An example would be to buy non-correlated investments in Europe so that if there are shifts in the price of oil, at least your investments are linked to an economy that profits from these shifts. Opportunities in Europe look suddenly cheaper and oil prices may go down for a number of reasons.

At the end of the day, unless you buy a house for your own don't invest yet. You could save your money and not risk losing because at the moment inter bank borrowing rate has gone up – which means interest rates on loans are soaring (read the fine print in the agreement) and in-turn will cause a decrease in demand that then leads to a decrease in prices. But in this part of the world, and in this sort of "economy" developers/government is making sure that the "hype" lives on and that the recession is not exposed to maintain confidence. This is done with the help of the media, financial institutions, celebrities, developers, and real estate agents – who have vested interest in the system. This is so that all those in this system keep the money coming in for their own benefit.

On a side note, this is all leading to an ecological disaster. How did they ever think that this desert was meant to be like spring time in the Alps? Sheikh Zayed (May he rest in Peace) had it right when he rejected the plans and projects that we see today (you think these projects are new and didn't exist before??), and invested in the agriculture and the environment. He made sure that we saw greenery and not glass & concrete. He would NEVER have allowed the corniche to expand, or the sea to be filled with sand. I even noticed the medians/dividers (that hosted plantations such as grass, shrubs, and trees) in the streets of Abu-Dhabi being replaced for extra road width. Further to the general environmental and ecological damage, this will lead to a shortage of natural water which is the most expensive and rarest of commodities in this part of the world. Cost of desalination will sky-rocket and saline content in the water will increase. I am sure there will be health related issues as well which in turn will lead to soaring cost of health care that the country is not capable of handling. Nature has a way of getting even when pushed to the limits.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

9/11 and the "American Inquisition"

by Michel Chossudovsky

Today's "Global War on Terrorism" is a modern form of inquisition. It has all the essential ingredients of the French and Spanish inquisitions.

Going after " Islamic terrorists", carrying out a Worldwide preemptive war to " protect the Homeland" are used to justify a military agenda.

"The Global War on Terrorism" (GWOT) is presented as a "Clash of Civilizations", a war between competing values and religions, when in reality it is an outright war of conquest, guided by strategic and economic objectives.

The GWOT is the ideological backbone of the American Empire. It defines US military doctrine, including the preemptive use of nuclear weapons against the "state sponsors" of terrorism.

The preemptive "defensive war" doctrine and the "war on terrorism" against Al Qaeda constitute essential building blocks of America's National Security Strategy as formulated in early 2002. The objective is to present "preemptive military action" --meaning war as an act of "self-defense" against two categories of enemies, "rogue States" and "Islamic terrorists", both of which are said to possess weapons of mass destruction.

The logic of the "outside enemy" and the evildoer, allegedly responsible for American civilian deaths, prevails over common sense. In the inner consciousness of Americans, the attacks of September 11, 2001 justify acts of war and conquest:

"As was demonstrated by the losses on September 11, 2001, mass civilian casualties is the specific objective of terrorists and these losses would be exponentially more severe if terrorists acquired and used weapons of mass destruction." (National Security Strategy, White House, Washington, 2002)

More...

America's Inquisition

The legitimacy of the inquisition is not questioned. The "Global War on Terrorism" justifies a mammoth defense budget at the expense of health, education, and virtually every single category of (civilian) public expenditure.

The "Global War on Terrorism" requires "going after" the terrorists, using advanced weapons systems. It upholds a preemptive religious-like crusade against evil, which serves to obscure the real objectives of military action.

The lies underlying 9/11 are known and documented. The American people's acceptance of this crusade against evil is not based on any rational understanding or analysis of the facts.

America's inquisition is used to extend America's sphere of influence and justify military intervention, as part of an international campaign against "Islamic terrorists". Its ultimate objective, which is never mentioned in press reports, is territorial conquest and control over strategic resources.

The GWOT dogma is enunciated and formulated by Washington's neoconservative think tanks. It is carried out by the military-intelligence establishment. It is embodied in presidential speeches and press conferences:

"We've been warned there are evil people in this world. We've been warned so vividly. ... And we'll be alert. Your government is alert. The governors and mayors are alert that evil folks still lurk out there. As I said yesterday, people have declared war on America and they have made a terrible mistake. ... My administration has a job to do and we're going to do it. We will rid the world of the evil-doers," (George W. Bush, CNN, September 16, 2001, emphasis added)

An understanding of fundamental social and political events is replaced by a World of sheer fantasy, where "evil folks" are lurking. The objective of the "Global War on Terrorism" launched in September 2001 is to galvanize public support for a Worldwide campaign against heresy. In the eyes of public opinion, possessing a "just cause" for waging war is central. A war is said to be Just if it is waged on moral, religious or ethical grounds.




The Demonization of Muslims and the Battle for Oil

The US led war in the broader Middle East Central Asian region consists in gaining control over extensive reserves of oil and natural gas. The Anglo-American oil giants also seek to gain control over oil and gas pipeline routes out of the region. (See table and maps below).

Muslim countries possess 66 percent of total oil reserves. (Michel Chossudovsky, The "Demonization" of Muslims and the Battle for Oil, Global Research, Jannuary 4, 2007). In contrast, the United States of America has barely 2 percent of total oil reserves. Iraq has five times more oil than the United States.

Demonization is applied to an enemy, which possesses more than 60 percent of the world's oil reserves. "Axis of evil", "rogue States", "failed nations", "Islamic terrorists": demonization and vilification are the ideological pillars of America's Inquisition. They serve as a casus belli for waging the battle for oil.

The Battle for Oil requires the demonization of those who possess the oil. The enemy is characterized as evil, with a view to justifying military action including the mass killing of civilians. (Ibid)

Historical Origins of the Inquisition

The objective is to sustain the illusion that "America is under attack" by Al Qaeda. Under the American inquisition, Washington has a self-proclaimed holy mandate to extirpate Islamic fundamentalism and "spread democracy" throughout the world.

"Going after Bin Laden" is part of a consensus. Fear and insecurity prevail over common sense. Despite the evidence, the White House, the State Department, the two Party system, cannot, in the minds of Americans, be held responsible for a criminal act (9/11/) resulting in the deaths of American civilians.

What we are dealing with is an outright and blind acceptance of the structures of power and political authority.

In this regard, the American Inquisition as an ideological construct, is, in many regards, similar to the inquisitorial social order prevailing in France and Spain during the Middle Ages.
The inquisition, which started in France in the 12th century, was used as a justification for conquest and military intervention.

Initially it took the form of a campaign in southern France directed against the Cathars and Waldensians, which challenged the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
The Cathar movement was a religious sect which was protected by the regional feudal order in southern France, against the dominion of the Catholic Church and the French monarchy in Paris. "The Cathars believed they were the true Christians and the Catholic Church was a false church, founded by the devil."

In the early 13th Century, "Pope Innocent III declared a crusade against the Cathars" at the behest of the French royal family. The crusade was in fact a war of conquest under the disguise of a campaign against heresy.

The Inquisition directed against heresy was intended to consolidate the Monarchy's territorial control. It provided a pretext to intervene militarily in south and southwestern France, using the authority of the Catholic Church as a façade.

The inquisition became part of a political consensus, carried out by the Church's inquisitors, imposed by the ruling feudal order and supported militarily. Its purpose was to maintain and sustain the social and political order, extend the powers of the central State, subjugate regional powers in France, using the campaign against heresy as "a justification to wage war". Sounds familiar?

Today's Inquisitorial Order

Anybody who doubts the legitimacy of the American inquisition (9/11 and the "Global War on Terrorism") is a heretic conspiracy theorist or an accomplice of the terrorists.

The American Inquisition is part of a Bipartisan Consensus. Both the Democrats and the Republicans support the American Inquisition.

"Going after Osama bin Laden" is part of the election platform of both political parties. In fact it is the central component of the election campaign:

I [Barack Obama] argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights (Barack Obama, Acceptance Speech, National Democratic Convention, Denver, August 2008)

We have dealt a serious blow to al Qaeda in recent years. But they are not defeated, and they’ll strike us again if they can. (John McCain, Acceptance Speech, Republican National Convention, St Paul, September 2008)

There is an "outside enemy". The Homeland is under attack. Islamic terrorists "threaten our way of life". "We must defend ourselves" preemptively against Osama and his lieutenants.

US Northern Command (Northcom), with headquarters at the Petersen Air Force base in Colorado was established in early 2002 to protect America against a terrorist attack. It was presented to public opinion as a response to the 9/11 attacks. The real strategic objectives of Northern Command using sophisticated aero defense weapons including nuclear warheads, are not mentioned.

Political Consensus

The mouthpiece of America's inquisitorial order is the Western corporate media.

People who question the validity of any of these statements or who have doubts about who is behind the 9/11 attacks, are considered to be accomplices of those who threaten the American Homeland.

In 1232, Pope Gregory IX set up a system of special religious courts called the inquisition. The Dominican friars were sent out to find and question heretics:

"Heresy cannot be destroyed unless heretics are destroyed and ... their defenders and [supporters] are destroyed, and this is effected in two ways: ... they are converted to the true catholic faith, or ... burned. (Henry Charles Lea, A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages, p. 535, 1887)

Those who refused to recant, which means give up their heresy, were burned alive.

Today's Patriot Act, the military courts, the Guantanamo concentration camp, the CIA rendition camps, Abu Ghraib, etc., are part of an advanced inquisitorial system. Terrorist suspects are held incommunicado. They are tortured, tried by military courts and sentenced. They are not given the right to recant.

The objective is not to "make the World safer" by putting the terrorists behind bars.

The show trials of the alleged terrorists perform an important social function. They are an integral part of Pentagon's disinformation campaign. Quite concretly, they give a real face to the enemy. They sustain the illusion, in the inner consciousness of Americans, that the "Islamic terrorists" constitute a real threat.

The arrests, trials and sentences of "Islamic terrorists" sustain the legitimacy of America's Homeland Security State and its inquisitorial legal and law enforcement apparatus.

The ultimate objective is to instill in the minds of millions of Americans that the enemy is real and the US Adminstration will protect the lives of its citizens.

Manufacturing Dissent

Washington does not silence its antiwar critics. Quite the opposite. The inquisitorial social order allows certain forms of dissent. It is politically correct under a "democracy" to condemn US foreign policy in the strongest terms.

What is not allowed is to question the inquisition.

Those who oppose the US Administration are not branded as heretics. Many "Progressives", Liberals and Antiwar activists, led by prominent intellectuals, firmly believe that Muslims were behind the 9/11 attacks. "We are against the war, but we support the war on terrorism."

The New World Order builds a political and media consensus (i.e. the GWOT) but at the same time it creates and moulds its own opposition. It establishes the limits of dissent. It "manufactures dissent".

The presidential candidates in the bipartisan race are supported by powerful corporate interests including the oil companies, Wall Street and the defense contractors.

At the same time, these same corporate interests, through their various foundations (including Ford, Rockefeller, Gates, et al), support and finance a number of Liberal/Progressive organizations and alternative media.

9/11 is the cornerstone of the American Inquisition.

The lies underlying 9/11 are accepted by the mainstream antiwar movement.

US foreign policy is condemned, but the "Global War on Terrorism" is upheld. Wittingly or unwittingly, this endorsement of the GWOT by those who claim to be opposed to the US administration, provides a legitimacy to the inquisitorial order, which underlies the actual practice of US foreign policy.

On the other hand, those who have serious doubts regarding the official 9/11 narrative, including the 9/11 Truth Movement, are branded as heretics and nonbelievers.

The "Just War" theory

The "Just War" theory (justum bellum) has a longstanding tradition. It has been used throughout history to uphold the dominant social order and provide a justification for waging war.

In the case of Afghanistan, 9/11 played a key role in justifying the invasion. The war on Afghanistan was considered a "Just War", waged on humanitarian grounds.

On September 12, 2001, NATO invoked for the first time in its history "Article 5 of the Washington Treaty - its collective defense clause" declaring the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) and the Pentagon "to be an attack against all NATO members."

Afghanistan was tagged, without a shred of evidence and prior to the conduct of an investigation, as the "state sponsor" of the 9/11 attacks. The invasion of Afghanistan in early October 2001 was presented as a counter-terrorism operation directed against the perpetrators of 9/11 and their state sponsors.

Trade unions, NGOs and many "progressive" intellectuals endorsed the US-NATO led invasion. The events of 9/11 played a key role in gaining the support of various sectors of American society including the opponents and critics of the Bush adminstration's foreign policy.

The war on Afghanistan was prepared prior to 9/11. War preparations were already in an advanced stage of readiness. The green light to wage war by the US and NATO on Afghanistan was provided within 24 hours of the 9/11 attacks.

The press reports failed to reveal a fact which is known and acknowledged by military analysts: a major theater war cannot, under any circumstances, be planned and carried out in a matter of 4-5 weeks.

9/11 was used as a justification to carry out a "humanitarian war". Known to military analysts, the war on Afghanistan had been planned well in advance of the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

The Spanish Inquisition

In the 14th and 15th centuries, the Inquisition spread to other parts of Europe. In Italy, the inquisition went after nationalist movements in regions like Lombardy in the north, Venice, or Sicily. It was used to suppress these political movements. In northern France and Germany, the inquisition used the pretext of small mystical sects, to intervene politically and militarily. Regional powers including local principalities refused to cooperate with the inquisition. In today's world, this form of interventionism is carried out by sending in US special forces to "help governments" to combat terrorism.

Spain, conquered by Muslims and in part reconquered by Christians in the 13th Century, was "religiously heterogeneous, and a tolerance had developed so Muslims, Christians, and Jews could live together in relative peace." Toward the end of the 15th Century, coinciding with a period of political and territorial consolidation, "Spanish tolerance changed abruptly. Spain saw the rise of a form of inquisition more ruthless and disruptive than anywhere else in Europe." (Bill of Rights in Action)

The Spanish inquisition was also characterized by a process of building a consensus, of going after the heretics and nonbelievers. The inquisition was used to support the process of territorial consolidation in the Iberian peninsula. The objective was to reinforce the absolute monarchy and the powers of the landed aristocracy against the Muslim and Jewish merchant classes.

The Spanish Inquisition was executed at the behest of Queen Isabel, Reina Catolica. In 1483, The Reyes Catolicos, Isabel de Castilla and Ferdinando de Aragon, established a Council to direct the Inquisition. Tomas de Torquemada, an advisor to Isabel become the first General Inquisitor. Torquemado had previously preached against the Jewish and Muslim Converts (Conversos). The objective was to repress the upcoming merchant classes. "One country, one ruler, one faith" became the mandate of the General Inquisitor.


Goya's Inquisition

The pope upheld the inquisition, the hidden agenda was the feudal order and the Spanish led colonial wars. The Spanish inquisition lasted for 300 years.

Today in America, the General inquisitor is the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

The Legal Apparatus

The inquisition in the Middle Ages would collect accusations:

"If two witnesses under oath accused someone of heresy, the accused person would be summoned to appear. opinions, prejudices, rumors, and gossip were all accepted as evidence. the accused was never told the names of the accusers, nor even the exact charges.

Inquisitors examined the accused in secret. Anyone who refused to confess immediately was assumed to be guilty. Inquisitors were trained only in religion, and they would try to trap the accused with religious questions. For example, an inquisitor might ask, "Do you believe what the holy church believes?"

"I am a faithful Christian," the fearful suspect might reply.

"So!" the inquisitor might shout. "We already know you believe in heresies! You're saying your beliefs are the true Christianity and the church is false!" (Bill of Rights in Action)

No lawyers were allowed, because it was considered heresy to defend a heretic:

"They would torture those who refused to recant. During torture, the religious inquisitors would stand by as witnesses to record confessions or take down the names of other heretics. The government also carried out the final sentence of imprisonment or death.

Those who recanted immediately might receive a fairly light sentence -- saying prayers, fasting, being whipped in public, or making a pilgrimage. Some who recanted were forced to wear a yellow cross of felt sewn on all their clothing. The cross marked them as a former heretic, and many people would stay away from them in fear.

Many who refused to recant right away were sentenced to prison for life. If they refused to recant at all, the Inquisition turned them over to government authorities to be burned alive. Some inquisitors were so thorough that they went after the dead. If a dead person was accused of heresy, his or her bones could be dug up and burned.

For most accused heretics, there was no appeal. A few rich or powerful people might beg the pope to change a sentence, but for most of the condemned, the sentence was final. The families of those sent to prison or to the stake lost their property.

(Bill of Rights in Action, see also History of the inquisition)

Today's legal system in America has all the essential features of an inquisitorial order. Torture is permitted "under certain circumstances", according to an August 2002 Justice Department "legal opinion":

"if a government employee were to torture a suspect in captivity, 'he would be doing so in order to prevent further attacks on the United States by the Al Qaeda terrorist network,' said the memo, from the Justice Department's office of legal counsel, written in response to a CIA request for legal guidance. It added that arguments centering on "necessity and self-defense could provide justifications that would eliminate any criminal liability" later. (See Washington Post, June 7, 2004)

"Even if an interrogation method might arguably cross the line drawn in Section and application of the stature was not held to be an unconstitutional infringement of the President's Commander in Chief authority, we believe that under current circumstances [the war on terrorism] certain justification defenses might be available that would potentially eliminate criminal liability." (Complete August 2, 2002 Justice Department Memorandum in pdf)

Torture

"The Spanish Inquisition was particularly terrifying because of its inherent characteristics. The accused never knew who their accusers were. Once arrested, the accused heretic's properties were seized."

"These properties were then administered at first by the Crown, and later by the General Inquisitor....

Even if the accused was now a devout Christian, he was tried as severely as possible because of his roots. The accused was also not allowed to have a lawyer or counsel for his defense, and the names of all witnesses were kept secret from him (Jason L. Slade, The Spanish Inquisition August 6, 1996)

Torture was the order of the day. The accused were not allowed to have a lawyer.



The torture methods applied by today's CIA inquisitors bear a canny resemblance to the torture techniques used by the Inquisitors in the Middle Ages, including the water torment or aselli, commonly referred to in CIA jargon as "water boarding":

"Because the trials were for spiritual matters, the Church handled them. However, the punishments were usually very much physical, so they were handled by the state. There were many means of this physical torture for confession. The two most famous or infamous were the strappado or pulley, and the aselli or water torment.(Jason L. Slade, The Spanish Inquisition August 6, 1996)





Water-boarding then and now

Alfred McCoy reports in the regard that the CIA:

"had often added to their no-touch repertoire physical methods reminiscent of the Inquisition's trademark tortures -- strappado, question de l'eau, "crippling stork," and "masks of mockery." At the CIA's center near Kabul in 2002, for instance, American interrogators forced prisoners "to stand with their hands chained to the ceiling and their feet shackled," an effect similar to the strappado. Instead of the Inquisition's iron-framed "crippling stork" to contort the victim's body, CIA interrogators made their victims assume similar "stress positions" without any external mechanism, aiming again for the psychological effect of self-induced pain... (Alfred McCoy, The Hidden History of CIA Torture: America's Road to Abu Ghraib, Global Research, December 2004)

In Spain in the 16th Century, the inquisition was accepted. It was a consensus. The population was led to believe that it was a good thing and that torture "served to purify society".

"A bishop came out and shouted out the names of the condemned. then the heretics were led out, wearing black robes decorated with red demons and flames. officials of the government tied them to the stake.

"do you give up your heresy against the holy church?" a priest would challenge.

anyone who repented would be strangled to death before the fires were lit. most, however, stood silent or defiant. the fires were lit, and the square echoed with the screams of the heretics and cheers from the crowd." (quoted in Bill of Rights in Action, op cit)

Anybody who dared to question the validity of this "war on terrorism" was himself branded a terrorist and subjected to the anti-terrorist laws, which at the time, in Spain, was death.

In today's inquisitorial environment, most people are skeptical regarding the official 9/11 narrative, but nobody dares question the validity of the "war on terrorism".

"These are bad people, and we must go after them, take them out." The discourse is almost the same.

The ultimate objective is to subdue the citizens, totally depoliticize social life in America, prevent people from thinking and conceptualizing, from analyzing facts and challenging the legitimacy of the inquisitorial social order which rules America.

The Big Lie becomes the Truth. Realities are turned upside down.

War becomes peace, a worthwhile "humanitarian undertaking",

Peaceful dissent becomes heresy.

The objective is to create an atmosphere of fear and insecurity, with a view to upholding the New World Order.

In the words of Monthy Python:

"NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise....

Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency....

Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope....

Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry... are such elements as fear, surprise....

I'll come in again." (Monthy Python, The Spanish Inquisition)


How to reverse the tide?

Undermine the Inquisition;

Reveal the lies behind 9/11;

Break the consensus;

Reveal the Crimes committed by those in High Office;

Unseat the inquisitors:

"Millions of people have been misled regarding the causes and consequences of September 11.

Across the land, the image of an "outside enemy" is instilled in the consciousness of Americans. Al Qaeda is threatening America and the world. The repeal of democracy under the Patriot legislation is portrayed as a means to providing "domestic security" and upholding civil liberties.

When people across the US and around the World find out that Al Qaeda is not an outside enemy but a creation of US foreign policy and the CIA, the legitimacy of the bipartisan war agenda will tumble like a deck of cards... (Michel Chossudovsky, America's "War on Terrorism", Global Research 2005)