Archive | July 17th, 2011

The Great Global Debt Depression: It’s All Greek To Me

NOVANEWS

By Andrew Gavin Marshall

Global Research

www.andrewgavinmarshall.com

In late June of 2011, the Greek government passed another round of austerity measures, ostensibly aimed at getting Greece “back on track” to economic progress, but in reality, implementing a systematic program of ‘social genocide’ in the name of servicing an endless and illegitimate debt to foreign banks. Right on cue, protests and riots broke out in Athens against the draconian measures, and the state moved in to do what states do best: oppress the people with riot police, tear gas and bashing batons, leaving roughly 300 people injured.

Is Greece simply a case of a country full of lazy people who spent beyond their means and are now paying for their own decadence? Or, is there something much larger at stake – and at play – here? Greece is, in fact, a microcosm of the global economy: mired in excessive debt, economically ruined, increasingly politically repressive and socially explosive. This report takes a look at the case of the Greek debt crisis specifically, and places it within a wider global context. The conclusion is clear: what happens in Greece will happen here.

 

This report examines the Greek crisis, as well as the larger global economic crisis, including the origins of the housing bubble, the bailouts, the banks, and the major actors and institutions which will come to dominate the stage over the next decade in what will play out as ‘The Great Global Debt Depression.’

 

An Olympian Debt

 

With the global economic crisis rampaging throughout the world in 2008, Greece experienced major protests and riots at government reactions to the crisis. The unpopularity of the government led to an election in which a Socialist government came to power in October of 2009 under the premise of promising an injection of 3 billion euros in order to revive the Greek economy.[1] When the government came to power, they inherited a debt that was double that which the previous government had disclosed. This prompted Greece’s entry into a major debt crisis, as the debt was roughly 127% of Greece’s GDP in 2009, and thus, the costs of borrowing rose exponentially.

 

In April of 2010, Greece had to seek a bailout by the EU and the IMF in order to pay the interest on its debt. However, by taking such a bailout from the EU and IMF, Greece ultimately incurred a larger long-term debt, as the money from these institutions simply added to the overall debt, and thus, actually increased eventual interest payments on that debt. Thus, we see the true nature of debt: a financial form of slavery. Debt is designed in such a way that, like a fly caught in a spider’s web, the more it struggles, the more entangled it gets; the more it struggles to break free, the more it arouses the attention of the spider, which quickly moves in to strike its prey – paralyzed – with its venom, so that it may wrap the fly in its silk and eat it alive. Debt is the silk, the people are the fly, and the spider is the large financial institutions – from the banks to the IMF. The nature of debt is that one is never meant to be able to escape it. Hence, the “solution” for Greece’s debt problem – according to those who decide policy – is for Greece to acquire more debt. Of course, this new debt is used to pay the interest on the old debt (note: it is not used to pay OFF the old debt, just the interest on it). However, the effect this has is that it increases the over-all debt of the nation, which leads to higher interest payments and thus a greater cost of borrowing. This, ultimately, leads to a need to continue borrowing in order to pay off the higher interest payments, and thus, the cycle continues. For all the “bail outs” and aims at addressing Greece’s debt, this prescription inevitably results in greater debt levels than those which induced the debt crisis in the first place.

 

So why is this the prescription?

 

Not only does this prescription incur more debt to pay interest on old debt, but the process of borrowing and “consolidating” debt has devastating social and political consequences. For example, in the case of Greece, in order to receive loans from the IMF and EU, Greece was forced to impose “fiscal austerity measures.” This blatantly ambiguous economic nomenclature of “fiscal austerity” is in fact more accurately described in real human terms as “social genocide.” Why is this so?

 

‘Fiscal Austerity’ means that the state – in this case, Greece – must engage in “fiscal consolidation.” In economic parlance, this implies that the state must cut spending and increase taxes in order to “service” its debt by reducing its annual deficit. Thus, the ‘conditions’ for receiving a loan demand “fiscal austerity” measures being implemented by the debtor nation. This is supposedly a way for the lender to ensure that their loans are met with appropriate measures to deal with the debt. The objective, purportedly, is to reduce expenditure (spending) and increase revenue (income), allowing for more money to pay off the debt. However, as with most economic concepts, the reality is far different than the theoretical implications of “fiscal austerity.”

 

In fact, ‘fiscal austerity’ is a state-implemented program of social destruction, or ‘social genocide’. Such austerity measures include cutting social spending, which means no more health care, education, social services, welfare, pensions, etc. This directly implies a massive wave of layoffs from the public sector, as those who worked in health care, education, social services, etc., have their jobs eliminated. This, naturally, creates a massive growth in poverty rates, with the jobless and homeless rates climbing dramatically. Simultaneously, of course, taxes are raised drastically, so that in a social situation in which the middle and lower classes are increasingly impoverished, they are then over-taxed. This creates a further drain of wealth, and consumption levels go down, further driving production levels downward, and (local) private businesses cannot compete with foreign multinational conglomerates, and so businesses close and more lay-offs take place. After all, without a market for consumption, there is no demand for production. In a country such as Greece, where the percentage of people in the employ of the state is roughly 25%, these measures are particularly devastating.

 

Naturally, in such situations, the masses of people – those who are doomed to suffer most – are left greatly impoverished and the middle classes essentially vanish, and are absorbed into the lower class. As social services vanish when they are needed most, life expectancy rates decrease. With few jobs and massive unemployment, many are left to choose between buying food or medicine, if those are even options. Crime rates naturally increase in such situations, as desperate conditions breed desperate actions. This creates, especially among the educated youth who graduate into a jobless market, a ‘poverty of expectations,’ having grown up with particular expectations of what they would have in terms of opportunities, which then vanish quite suddenly. This results in enormous social stress, and often, social unrest: protests, riots, rebellion, and even revolution in extreme circumstances. These are exactly the conditions that led to the uprising in Egypt.

 

The reflexive action of states, therefore, is to move in to repress – most often quite violently – protests and demonstrations. The aim here is to break the will of the people. Thus, the more violent and brutal the repression, the more likely it is that the people may succumb to the state and consent – even if passively – to their social conditions. However, as the state becomes more repressive, this often breeds a more reactive and radical resistance. When the state oppresses 500 people one day, 5,000 may show up the next. This requires, from the view of the state, an exponentially increased rate of oppression. The risk in this strategy is that the state may overstep itself and the people may become massively mobilized and intensely radicalized and overthrow – or at least overcome – the power of the state. In such situations, the political leadership is often either urged by a foreign power to leave (such as in the case of Egypt’s Mubarak), or flees of their own will (such as in Argentina), in order to prevent a true revolution from taking place. So, while the strategy holds enormous risk, it is often employed because it also contains possible reward: that the state may succeed in destroying the will of the people to resist, and they may subside to the will of the state and thereby consent to their new conditions of social genocide.

 

Social genocide is a slow, drawn-out and incremental process. Its effects are felt by poor children first, as they are those who need health care and social services more than any other, and are left hungry and unable to go to school or work. They are the ‘forgotten’ of society, and they suffer deeply as such. The reverberations, however, echo throughout the whole of society. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer, while the middle class is absorbed into poverty.

 

The rich get richer because through economic crises, they consolidate their businesses and receive tax breaks and incentives from the state (as well as often direct infusions of cash investments – bailouts – from the state), purportedly to increase private capital and production. This aspect of “fiscal austerity” is undertaken in the wider context of what is referred to as “Structural Adjustment.”

 

This term refers to the loans from the World Bank and IMF that began in the late 1970s and early 1980s in their lending to ‘Third World’ nations in the midst of the 1980s debt crisis. Referred to as “Structural Adjustment Programs,” (SAPs) any nation wanting a loan from the World Bank or IMF needed to sign a SAP, which set out a long list of ‘conditionalities’ for the loan. These conditions included, principally, “fiscal austerity measures” – cutting social spending and raising taxes – but also a variety of other measures: liberalization of markets (eliminating any trade barriers, subsidies, tariffs, etc.), supposedly to encourage foreign investment which it was theorized would increase revenue to pay off the debt and revive the economy; privatization (privatizing all state-owned industries), in order to cut state spending and encourage foreign direct investment (FDI), which again – in theory – would create revenue and reduce debt; currency devaluation (which would make foreign dollars buy more for less), again, under the aegis of encouraging investment by making it cheaper for foreign companies to buy assets within the country.

 

However, the effects that these ‘structural adjustment programs’ had were devastating. Liberalizing markets would eliminate subsidies and protections which were desperately needed in order for these ‘developing’ nations to compete with the industrialized powers of America and Europe (who, in a twisted irony, heavily subsidize their agriculture in order to make it cheaper to foreign markets). For example, a small country in Africa which was dependent upon a particular agricultural export had heavily subsidized this commodity, (which keeps the price low and thus increases its demand as an exported commodity), then was ordered by the IMF and World Bank to eliminate the subsidy. The effect was that foreign agricultural imports, say from the United States or Europe, were cheaper not only in the international market, but also in the nation’s domestic market. Thus, grains imported from America would be cheaper than those grown in neighbouring fields. The effect this had in an increasingly-impoverished nation was that they would become dependent upon foreign imports for food and agriculture (as well as other commodities), while the domestic industries would suffer and be bought out by foreign multinational corporations, thus increasing poverty, as many of these nations were heavily dependent upon their agricultural sectors as they were often still largely rural societies in some respects. This would accelerate urbanization and urban poverty, as people leave the countryside and head to the cities looking for work, where there was none.

 

Privatization, for its part, would eliminate state-owned industries, which in many developing nations of the post-World War II era, were the major employers of the population. Thus, massive unemployment would result. As foreign multinational corporations – largely American or European – would come in and buy up the domestic industries, they would often cooperate with the dominant domestic corporations and banks – or create domestic subsidiaries of their own – and consolidate the markets and industries. Thus, the effect would be to strengthen a domestic elite and entrench an oligarchy in the nation. The rich would get richer, profiting off of their cooperation and integration with the international economic system, and they would then come to rely ever-more on the state for protection from the masses.

 

The devaluation of currencies would, while making commodities and investments cheaper for foreign multinationals and banks, simultaneously make it so that for the domestic population, it would require more money to buy less products than before. This is called inflation, and is particularly brutal in the case of buying food and fuel. For a population whose wages are frozen (as a requirement of ‘fiscal austerity’), their income (for those that have an income) does not adjust to the rate of inflation, hence, they make the same dollar amount even though the dollar is worth much less than before. The result is that their income purchases much less than it used to, increasing poverty.

 

This is ‘Structural Adjustment.’ This is ‘fiscal austerity.’ This is social genocide.

 

Debt and Derivatives

 

Greece has a total debt of roughly 330 billion euros (or U.S. $473 billion).[2] So how did this debt get out of control? As it turned out, major U.S. banks, specifically J.P. Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, “helped the Greek government to mask the true extent of its deficit with the help of a derivatives deal that legally circumvented the EU Maastricht deficit rules.” The deficit rules in place would slap major fines on euro member states that exceeded the limit for the budget deficit of 3% of GDP (gross domestic product), and that the total government debt must not exceed 60% of GDP.  Greece hid its debt through “creative accounting,” and in some cases, even left out huge military expenditures. While the Greek government pursued its “creative accounting” methods, it got more help from Wall Street starting in 2002, in which “various investment banks offered complex financial products with which governments could push part of their liabilities into the future.” Put simply, with the help of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase, Greece was able to hide its debt in the future by transferring it into derivatives. A large deal was signed with Goldman Sachs in 2002 involving derivatives, specifically, cross-currency swaps, “in which government debt issued in dollars and yen was swapped for euro debt for a certain period — to be exchanged back into the original currencies at a later date.” The banks helped Greece devise a cross-currency swap scheme in which they used fictional exchange rates, allowing Greece to swap currencies and debt for an additional credit of $1 billion. Disguised as a ‘swap,’ this credit did not show up in the government’s debt statistics. As one German derivatives dealer has stated, “The Maastricht rules can be circumvented quite legally through swaps.”[3]

 

In the same way that homeowners take out a second mortgage to pay off their credit card debt, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase and other U.S. banks helped push government debt far into the future through the derivatives market. This was done in Greece, Italy, and likely several other euro-zone countries as well. In several dozen deals in Europe, “banks provided cash upfront in return for government payments in the future, with those liabilities then left off the books.” Because the deals are not listed as loans, they are not listed as debt (liabilities), and so the true debt of Greece and other euro-zone countries was and likely to a large degree remains hidden. Greece effectively mortgaged its airports and highways to the major banks in order to get cash up-front and keep the loans off the books, classifying them as transactions.[4]

 

Further, while Goldman Sachs was helping Greece hide its debt from the official statistics, it was also hedging its bets through buying insurance on Greek debt as well as using other derivatives trades to protect itself against a potential Greek default on its debt. So while Goldman Sachs engaged in long-term trades with Greek debt (meaning Greece would owe Goldman Sachs a great deal down the line), the firm simultaneously was betting against Greek debt in the short-term, profiting from the Greek debt crisis that it helped create.[5]

 

This is not an unusual tactic for the company to engage in. As a two-year Senate investigation into Goldman Sachs revealed in April of 2011, “Goldman Sachs Group Inc. profited from the financial crisis by betting billions against the subprime mortgage market, then deceived investors and Congress about the firm’s conduct.”[6] In 2007, as the housing crisis was gaining momentum, Goldman Sachs executives sent emails to each other explaining that they were making “some serious money” by betting against the housing market, a giant bubble which they and other Wall Street firms had helped create. So while the bank had a large exposure (risk) in the housing market, by holding significant derivatives in trading mortgages (mortgage-backed securities, collateralized debt obligations, credit default swaps, etc.), the same bank also used the derivatives market to bet against the housing market as it crashed – a type of self-fulfilling prophecy – which further drove the market down (as speculation does), and thus, Goldman Sachs profited from the crisis it created and made worse.[7]

 

The derivatives market is a very important feature not only in the housing bubble and bust of 2008, but also in the current Greek crisis, and will remain an important facet of the unfolding global debt crisis. The current global derivatives market was developed in the 1990s. Derivatives are referred to as “complex financial instruments” in which they are traded between two parties and their value is derived (hence: “deriv-ative”) from some other entity, be it a commodity, stock, debt, currency or mortgage, to name a few. There are several types of derivatives. One example is a ‘put option,’ which is betting that a particular stock, commodity or other asset will fall in price over the short term; that way, those who purchase put options will profit from the fall in prices of the asset bet on.

 

Who Built the Bubble?

 

One of the most common derivatives is a credit default swap (CDS). These ‘financial instruments’ were developed by JP Morgan Chase in 1994 as a sort of insurance policy. The aim, as JP Morgan at the time had tens of billions of dollars on the books as loans to corporations and foreign governments, was to trade the debt to a third party (who would take on the risk), and would then receive payments from the bank; thus, JP Morgan would be able to remove the risk from its books, freeing up its reserves to make more loans. JP Morgan was the first bank to make it big on credit default swaps, opening the first credit default swaps desk in New York in 1997, “a division that would eventually earn the name ‘the Morgan Mafia’ for the number of former members who went on to senior positions at global banks and hedge funds.” The credit default swaps played a large part in the housing boom:

 

As the Federal Reserve cut interest rates and Americans started buying homes in record numbers, mortgage-backed securities became the hot new investment. Mortgages were pooled together, and sliced and diced into bonds that were bought by just about every financial institution imaginable: investment banks, commercial banks, hedge funds, pension funds. For many of those mortgage-backed securities, credit default swaps were taken out to protect against default.[8]

 

Of course, there were a great many players in the financial crisis: bankers, economists, politicians, regulators, etc. The confusion of the situation has allowed all those who are culpable to point the finger at one another and place blame on each other. For example, Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorganChase, referred to the government-chartered mortgage lending companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as “the biggest disasters of all time,” blaming them for encouraging the banks to make the bad loans in the first place.[9] Of course, he had an ulterior motive in removing blame from himself and the other banks.

 

There is, however, some truth to his contention, but the situation is more complex. Fannie Mae was created in 1938 after the Great Depression to provide local banks with federal money in order to finance home mortgages with an aim to increase home ownership. In 1968, Fannie Mae was transformed into a publicly held corporation, and in 1970, the government created Freddie Mac to compete with Fannie Mae in providing home mortgages. In 1992, President George H.W. Bush signed the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992, which included amendments to the charters of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, stating that they “have an affirmative obligation to facilitate the financing of affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families.”[10]

 

In 1992, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) subsequently became the ‘regulator’ of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In 1995, Bill Clinton’s HUD “agreed to let Fannie and Freddie get affordable-housing credit for buying subprime securities that included loans to low-income borrowers.”[11] In 1996, HUD “gave Fannie and Freddie an explicit target — 42% of their mortgage financing had to go to borrowers with income below the median in their area.”[12] In a 1999 article in the New York Times, it was reported that, “the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.” The action, reported the Times, “will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans.” It began in 1999 as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets (including New York), and had hoped to make it nationwide by Spring 2000. The article went on:

 

Fannie Mae, the nation’s biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.

 

In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called subprime borrowers. These borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough to qualify for conventional loans, can only get loans from finance companies that charge much higher interest rates — anywhere from three to four percentage points higher than conventional loans.[13]

 

The loans going to low-income households increased the rate given to African Americans, as in the conventional loan market, black borrowers accounted for 5% of loans, whereas in the subprime market, they accounted for 18% of loans. The article itself warned that Fannie Mae “may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue.”[14] In 2000, as housing prices increased, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), under Bill Clinton, continued to encourage loans to low-income borrowers.

 

Just in time, the Federal Reserve (the central bank of the United States) dramatically lowered interest rates and kept them artificially low in order to encourage the lending by mortgage lenders and banks, and to encourage borrowing by low-income individuals and families, essentially lulling them into a false sense of security. This ‘easy money’ flowing from the Federal Reserve’s low interest rates and printing press (as the Fed is responsible for the amount of money pumped into the U.S. economy), oiled the wheels of the mortgage lenders and the banks that were making bad loans to high-risk individuals. In the 1990s, the Federal Reserve under Chairman Alan Greenspan had created the dot-com bubble, which burst (as all bubbles do), and subsequently, in order to avoid a deep recession, Greenspan and the Federal Reserve actively inflated the housing bubble. So, with the dot-com bubble bursting in 2000 (brought to you by Alan Greenspan and the Federal Reserve), Greenspan’s Fed then cut interest rates to historic lows and began pumping out money in order to prevent a downward spiral of the economy, which would later prove to be inevitable. This also encouraged rabid speculation in the derivatives market, in particular by hedge funds, managing money from banks, who engaged in high-risk trades taking advantage of the uniquely low interest rates in order to purchase derivatives which provide more long-term gains, further fuelling a massive speculative bubble.[15]

 

Transcripts from a 2004 meeting of Federal Reserve officials revealed a debate about whether there was an inflating housing bubble, at which Greenspan stated that dissent should be kept secret so that the debate does not reach a wider audience (i.e., the ‘public’). As he stated, “We run the risk, by laying out the pros and cons of a particular argument, of inducing people to join in on the debate, and in this regard it is possible to lose control of a process that only we fully understand.”[16] In 2005, the Fed officials were openly acknowledging the existence of a bubble, but continued with their policies all the same.[17] In 2005, Alan Greenspan left the Fed to be replaced by Ben Bernanke, who that year told Congress that there was no housing bubble, and that the increases in hosuing prices “largely reflect strong economic fundamentals.”[18]

 

The bubble was fuelled in a number of ways. The Federal Reserve kept the interest rates at historic lows, which encouraged both lending and borrowing. The Fed also pumped large amounts of money into the economy for the purpose of lending and borrowing. The government-sponsored mortgage companies of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae encouraged the banks to make bad loans to high-risk individuals (and provided significant funds to do so). The banks, all too happy to make bad loans to high-risk borrowers, then used the derivatives market they created to profit off of those loans (and further inflate the bubble), through trading primarily Credit Default Swaps (CDS). As the Fed’s long-term interest rates were kept artificially low, the banks speculated through the derivatives market that the housing market would continue to grow apace, and massive amounts of speculative money flowed into the housing bubble, which itself further increased confidence of banks and mortgage companies to lend, as well as individuals to borrow. Of course, the reality was that the individuals were high-risk for a reason: because they couldn’t afford to pay. Thus, it was an inevitable result that this massive and ever-increasing bubble built on nothing but bank-created and government-sponsored ‘faith’ was destined to burst.

 

Of course, when the bubble burst, the major banks were in a unique position to profit immensely from the collapse through speculation, and then, of course, repossess everyone’s homes. In order for financial speculation to be such a menace in the global economy as it is today, the Clinton administration took the bold steps necessary to eradicate the barriers to such destructive financial practices and facilitate the rapid and unregulated growth of the derivatives market. This was termed the “financialization” of the U.S. economy, and de facto, much of the global economy.

 

The Glass-Steagall Act was put in place by FDR in 1933 in order to establish a barrier between investment banks and commercial banks and to prevent them from engaging in rabid speculative practices (a major factor which created the Great Depression). However, in 1987, the Federal Reserve Board voted to ease many regulations under the act, after hearing “proposals from Citicorp, J.P. Morgan and Bankers Trust advocating the loosening of Glass-Steagall restrictions to allow banks to handle several underwriting businesses, including commercial paper, municipal revenue bonds, and mortgage-backed securities.” Alan Greenspan, in 1987, “formerly a director of J.P. Morgan and a proponent of banking deregulation – [became] chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.” In 1989, “the Fed Board approve[d] an application by J.P. Morgan, Chase Manhattan, Bankers Trust, and Citicorp to expand the Glass-Steagall loophole to include dealing in debt and equity securities in addition to municipal securities and commercial paper.” In 1990, “J.P. Morgan [became] the first bank to receive permission from the Federal Reserve to underwrite securities.”[19]P>

 

In 1998, the House of Representatives passed “legislation by a vote of 214 to 213 that allow[ed] for the merging of banks, securities firms, and insurance companies into huge financial conglomerates.” And in 1999, “After 12 attempts in 25 years, Congress finally repeal[ed] Glass-Steagall, rewarding financial companies for more than 20 years and $300 million worth of lobbying efforts.”[20]

 

[In] the late 1990s, with the stock market surging to unimaginable heights, large banks [were] merging with and swallowing up smaller banks, and a huge increase in banks having transnational branches, Wall Street and its many friends in congress wanted to eliminate the regulations that had been intended to protect investors and stabilize the financial system. Hence the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 repealed key parts of Glass-Steagall and the Bank Holding Act and allowed commercial and investment banks to merge, to offer home mortgage loans, sell securities and stocks, and offer insurance.[21]

 

The principal adherents for the repeal of Glass-Steagle were Alan Greenspan, as well as Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin (who had been with Goldman Sachs for 26 years prior to entering the Treasury), and Deputy Treasury Secretary Larry Summers (who was previously the Chief Economist of the World Bank). After largely orchestrating the removal of Glass-Steagle, Rubin went on to become an executive at Citigroup and is currently the Co-Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations; while Summers went on to become President of Harvard University and later, served as Director of the White House National Economic Council for the first couple years of the Obama administration. Larry Summers had sparked controversy when he was Chief Economist of the World Bank, and in 1991, signed a memo in which he endorsed toxic waste dumping in poor African countries, stating, “A given amount of health-impairing pollution should be done in the country with the lowest cost, which will be the country with the lowest wages,” and further, “I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest-wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that.”[22] The “impeccable logic” Summers referred to was the notion that in countries with the lowest life expectancy, dumping toxic waste is intelligent, because statistically speaking, the population of the country is more likely to die before the long-term health impacts of the toxic waste take effect. Put more bluntly: the poor should be the first to die.

 

The most prestigious (and arguably most powerful) financial institution in the world is the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). One might say it’s the most powerful institution you never heard of, since it is rarely discussed, even more rarely studied, and barely understood at all. It is, essentially, a global central bank for the world’s central banks, and de facto acts as an independent global banking supervisory body, establishing agreements for the practices of central banks and private banks. In 2004, the BIS established the Basel II accords to manage capital risk by banks. Basel II was “intended to keep banks safe by requiring them to match the size of their capital cushion to the riskiness of their loans and securities. The higher the odds of default, the less they can lend.” However, as the regulations were being implemented in 2008 in the midst of the financial crisis, it lessened the ability of banks to lend, and thus, deepened the financial crisis itself.[23] The BIS, formed in 1930 in the wake of the Great Depression, was created in order to “remedy the decline of London as the world’s financial center by providing a mechanism by which a world with three chief financial centers in London, New York, and Paris could still operate as one.” As historian Carroll Quigley wrote:

 

[T]he powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able  to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations.[24]

 

In 2007, the BIS released its annual report warning that the world was on the verge of another Great Depression, as “years of loose monetary policy has fuelled a dangerous credit bubble, leaving the global economy more vulnerable to another 1930s-style slump than generally understood.” Among the worrying signs cited by the BIS were “mass issuance of new-fangled credit instruments, soaring levels of household debt, extreme appetite for risk shown by investors, and entrenched imbalances in the world currency system.” The BIS hinted at the U.S. Federal Reserve when it warned that, “central banks were starting to doubt the wisdom of letting asset bubbles build up on the assumption that they could safely be ‘cleaned up’ afterwards.”[25]

 

In 2008, the outgoing Chief Economist of the BIS, William White, authored the annual report of the BIS in which he again warned that, “The current market turmoil is without precedent in the postwar period. With a significant risk of recession in the US, compounded by sharply rising inflation in many countries, fears are building that the global economy might be at some kind of tipping point.” In 2007, warned the BIS, global banks had $37 trillion of loans, equaling roughly 70% of global GDP, and that countries were already so indebted that monetization (printing money) could simply sow the seeds of a future crisis.[26]

 

Bailout the Bankers, Punish the People

 

In the fall of 2008, the Bush administration sought to implement a bailout package for the economy, designed to save the US banking system. The leaders of the nation went into rabid fear mongering. Advertising the bailout as a $700 billion program, the fine print revealed a more accurate description, saying that $700 billion could be lent out “at any one time.” As Chris Martenson wrote:

 

This means that $700 billion is NOT the cost of this dangerous legislation, it is only the amount that can be outstanding at any one time.  After, say, $100 billion of bad mortgages are disposed of, another $100 billion can be bought.  In short, these four little words assure that there is NO LIMIT to the potential size of this bailout. This means that $700 billion is a rolling amount, not a ceiling.

 

So what happens when you have vague language and an unlimited budget?  Fraud and self-dealing.  Mark my words, this is the largest looting operation ever in the history of the US, and it’s all spelled out right in this delightfully brief document that is about to be rammed through a scared Congress and made into law.[27]

 

Further, as the bailout agreement stipulated, it essentially hands the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury total control over the nation’s finances in what has been termed a “financial coup d’état” as all actions and decisions by the Fed and the Treasury Secretary may be done in secret and are not able to be reviewed by Congress or any other administrative or legal agency.[28] Passed in the last months of the Bush administration, the Obama administration further implemented the bailout (and added a stimulus package on top of it).

 

The banks got a massive bailout of untold trillions, and they were simultaneously consolidating the industry and merging with one another. In 2008, with the collapse of Bear Stearns, JP Morgan Chase bought the failed bank with funds in an agreement organized by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, whose President at the time was Timothy Geithner (who would go on to become Obama’s Treasury Secretary, managing the major bailout program). As JPMorganChase was the ultimate benefactor of the Bear Stearns purchase by the NYFed, it is perhaps no small coincidence that Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorganChase, was on the board of the New York Fed, a privately-owned bank, of which JPMorganChase is itself a major shareholder. JPMorganChase later absorbed Washington Mutual, one of the nation’s largest banks prior to the crisis; Bank of America bought Merrill Lynch; Wells Fargo bought Wachovia; and a host of other mergers and acquisitions took place. Thus, the “too big to fail” banks became much bigger and more dangerous than ever before.

 

Among the many recipients of bailout funds (officially referred to as the Troubled Asset Relief Program – TARP), were Fannie Mae, AIG (insurance), Freddie Mac, General Motors, Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and hundreds of others.[29] As the Federal Reserve dished out trillions of dollars in bailouts to banks, many European banks even became recipients of American taxpayer-funded bailouts, including Barclays, UBS, the Royal Bank of Scotland, and Société Générale, among many others.[30] The Federal Reserve bailout of American insurance giant AIG was actually a stealth bailout of foreign banks, as the money went through AIG to the major European banks that had significant risks with AIG, including Société Générale of France, UBS of Belgium, Barclays of the U.K., and Deutsche Bank of Germany.[31] In total, the multi-billion dollar bailout of AIG in 2008 benefited roughly 87 banks and financial institutions, 43 of which were foreign, primarily located in France and Germany, but also in the U.K., Canada, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Switzerland, and on the domestic side much of the funds went to Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America.[32]

 

Neil Barofsky, who was until recently, the special inspector general for the TARP bailout program – the individual responsible for attempting to engage in oversight of a secret bailout program – wrote an article for the New York Times upon his resignation from the position in March of 2011, in which he stated that he “strongly disagrees” that the program was successful, saying that:

 

billions of dollars in taxpayer money allowed institutions that were on the brink of collapse not only to survive but even to flourish. These banks now enjoy record profits and the seemingly permanent competitive advantage that accompanies being deemed “too big to fail.”[33]

 

In June of 2009, as governments around the world were implementing stimulus packages and bailouts to save the banks and ‘rescue’ their economies, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) issued a new round of warnings about the state of the global economy. Among them, the BIS warned that, “governments and central banks must not let up in their efforts to revive the global banking system, even if public opinion turns against them,” and that the BIS felt that there had only been “limited progress” in reviving the banking system. The BIS continued:

 

Instead of implementing policies designed to clean up banks’ balance sheets, some rescue plans have pushed banks to maintain their lending practices of the past, or even increase domestic credit where it’s not warranted… The lack of progress threatens to prolong the crisis and delay the recovery because a dysfunctional financial system reduces the ability of monetary and fiscal actions to stimulate the economy… without a solid banking system underpinning financial markets, stimulus measures won’t be able to gain traction, and may only lead to a temporary pickup in growth.[34]

 

Further, the BIS warned, “A fleeting recovery could well make matters worse,” as “further government support for banks is absolutely necessary, but will become unpopular if the public sees a recovery in hand. And authorities may get distracted with sustaining credit, asset prices and demand rather than focusing on fixing bank balance sheets.” The BIS concluded that all the various measures to revive the global economy leave an “open question” as to whether or not they will be successful, and specifically, “as governments bulk up their deficits to spend their way out of the crisis, they need to be careful that their lack of restraint doesn’t come back to bite them.” As the annual report warned, “Getting public finances in order will therefore be the main task of policy makers for years to come.”[35]

 

The BIS further warned that, “there’s a risk central banks will raise interest rates and withdraw emergency liquidity too late, triggering inflation,” as history shows policy-makers “have a tendency to be late, tightening financial conditions slowly for fear of doing it prematurely or too severely.” As Bloomberg reported:

 

Central banks around the globe have lowered borrowing costs to record lows and injected billions of dollars into the financial system to counter the worst recession since World War II. While some policy makers have stressed the need to withdraw the emergency measures as soon as the economy improves, the Federal Reserve, Bank of England, and European Central Bank are still in the process of implementing asset-purchase programs designed to unblock credit markets and revive growth.

 

“The big and justifiable worry is that, before it can be reversed, the dramatic easing in monetary policy will translate into growth in the broader monetary and credit aggregates,” the BIS said. That will “lead to inflation that feeds inflation expectations or it may fuel yet another asset-price bubble, sowing the seeds of the next financial boom-bust cycle.”[36]

 

The BIS report stated that the unprecedented policies of central banks “may be insufficient to put the economy on the path to recovery,” stressing that there was a “significant risk” that the monetary and fiscal stimulus of governments will only lead to “a temporary pickup in growth, followed by a protracted stagnation.”[37]

 

William White, the former Chief Economist of the BIS, warned in September of 2009 that, “the world has not tackled the problems at the heart of the economic downturn and is likely to slip back into recession,” and he “also warned that government actions to help the economy in the short run may be sowing the seeds for future crises.” White, who accurately predicted the global financial crisis in 2008, stated that we are “almost certainly” going into a double-dip recession and “would not be in the slightest bit surprised” if we were to go into a protracted stagnation. He added: “The only thing that would really surprise me is a rapid and sustainable recovery from the position we’re in.” White, a Canadian economist who ran the economic department at the BIS from 1995 until 2008, had “warned of dangerous imbalances in the global financial system as far back as 2003 and – breaking a great taboo in central banking circles at the time – he dared to challenge Alan Greenspan, then chairman of the Federal Reserve, over his policy of persistent cheap money.” As the Financial Times reported in 2009:

 

Worldwide, central banks have pumped thousands of billions [i.e., trillions] of dollars of new money into the financial system over the past two years in an effort to prevent a depression. Meanwhile, governments have gone to similar extremes, taking on vast sums of debt to prop up industries from banking to car making.

 

These measures may already be inflating a bubble in asset prices, from equities to commodities, [White] said, and there was a small risk that inflation would get out of control over the medium term if central banks miss-time their “exist strategies”.

 

Meanwhile, the underlying problems in the global economy, such as unsustainable trade imbalances between the US, Europe and Asia, had not been resolved, he said.[38]

 

William White further warned that, “we now have a set of banks that are even bigger – and more dangerous – than ever before.” Simon Johnson, former Chief Economist of the IMF, also warned that the finance industry had effectively captured the US government and that “recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform.”[39]/P>

 

In 2009, the BIS warned that the market for derivatives still poses “major systemic risks” to the financial system, standing at a total value of $426 trillion (more than the worth of the entire global economy combined) and that, “the use of derivatives by hedge funds and the like can create large, hidden exposures.”[40] In 2010, one independent observer estimated the derivatives market was at roughly $700 trillion.[41] The Bank for International Settlements estimated the market value at $600 trillion in December 2010.[42] In June of 2011, the BIS warned that, “the world’s top 14 derivatives dealers may need extra cash to handle a surge in transaction clearing, especially in choppy markets,” as “world leaders have agreed that chunks of the $600 trillion off-exchange derivatives market must be standardized and cleared by the end of 2012 to broaden transparency and curb risk.” The major institutions that the BIS identified as in need of more funds to handle their derivatives exposure are Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital, BNP Paribas, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, RBS, Société Générale, UBS, and Wells Fargo Bank.[43]

 

In January of 2011, Barofsky, while still Special Inspector General of the TARP bailout program, issued a report which warned that future bailouts of major banks could be “a necessity,” and that, “the government still had not developed objective criteria to measure the amount of systemic risk posed by giant financial companies.”[44] In an interview with NPR, Barofsky stated:

 

The problem is that the notion of too big to fail – these large financial institutions that were just too big to allow them to go under – since the 2008 bailouts, they’ve only gotten bigger and bigger, more concentrated, larger in size. And what’s really discouraging is that if you look at how the market treats them, it treats them as if they’re going to get a government bailout, which destroys market discipline and really puts us in a very dangerous place.[45]

 

In June of 2011, Barofsky stated in an interview with Dan Rather that the next crisis may cost $5 trillion, and told Rather, “You should be scared, I’m scared,” and that a coming crisis is inevitable.[46]

 

Even though the bailouts have already cost the U.S. taxpayers several trillion dollars (which they will pay for through the decimation of their living standards), the IMF in October of 2010 warned that within the coming 24 months (up to Fall 2012), global banks face a $4 trillion refinancing crisis, and that, “governments will have to inject fresh equity into banks – particularly in Spain, Germany and the US – as well as prop up their funding structures by extending emergency support.” The IMF Global Financial Stability Report stated that, “the global financial system is still in a period of significant uncertainty and remains the Achilles’ heel of the economic recovery.” This is especially significant considering that the debts that banks needed to write off between 2007 and 2010 sat at $2.2 trillion, and that benchmark hadn’t even been achieved. Thus, with nearly double that amount needing to be written off in an even shorter time span, it would seem inevitable that the banks will need a massive bailout as “nearly $4 trillion of bank debt will need to be rolled over in the next 24 months.” Further, warned the IMF, “Planned exit strategies from unconventional monetary and financial support may need to be delayed until the situation is more robust, especially in Europe… With the situation still fragile, some of the public support that has been given to banks in recent years will have to be continued.”[47]

 

In other words, “exit strategies,” meaning harsh draconian austerity measures may need to be delayed in order to give enough time to undertake bailouts of major banks. After all, engineering trillion dollar bailouts of large financial institutions which created a massive global crisis is hard to do at the same time as punishing an entire population through destruction of their living standards and general impoverishment in order to pay off the debt already incurred by governments (which through bailouts essentially ‘buy’ the bad debts of the banks, and hand the taxpayers the bill).

 

So while many say that the banks need another bailout, one must question whether the first bailout was necessary, as it simply allowed the banks to get bigger, take more risks, and essentially get a government guarantee of future bailouts (not to mention, the massive fraud and illegalities that took place through the bailout mechanism). However, several top economists and financial experts have pointed out that the “too big to fail” banks are actually the largest threat to the economy, and that they are more accurately “too big to exist,” explaining that recovery cannot take place unless they are broken up. Nobel Prize winning economist and former Chief Economist of the World Bank, Joseph Stiglitz, along with former Chief Economist of the IMF, Simon Johnson, both warned Congress that propping up the banks is preventing recovery from taking place. Even the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas stated that, “policymakers must allow troubled firms to fail rather than propping them up.”[48]

 

The true aim of the bailouts was to prevent the major banks of the world (all of which are insolvent – unable to pay debts) from collapsing under the weight of their own hubris, and to effectively employ the largest transfer of wealth in human history from major nations (taxpayers) to the bankers and their shareholders. The true cost of the bailouts, a far cry from the IMF’s statement of a couple trillion dollars, was in the tens of trillions. The Federal Reserve itself bailed out the financial industry for over $9 trillion, with $2 trillion going to Merrill-Lynch (which was subsequently acquired by Bank of America), $2 trillion going to Morgan Stanley, $2 trillion going to Citigroup, and less than $1 trillion each for Bear Stearns (which was acquired by JPMorgan Chase), Bank of America, and Goldman Sachs. These details were released by the Federal Reserve and cover 21,000 separate transactions between December 2007 and July of 2010.[49]

 

The Federal Reserve also undertook a massive bailout of foreign central banks. During the financial crisis, the Fed established a lending program of shipping US dollars overseas through the European Central Bank, the Bank of England, and the Swiss National Bank (among others), and “the central banks, in turn, lent the dollars out to banks in their home countries in need of dollar funding.”[50] The overall bailouts, including those not undertaken by the Fed specifically, but government-implemented, reach roughly $19 trillion, with $17.5 trillion of that going to Wall Street.[51] No surprise there, considering that Neil Barofsky had warned in July of 2009 that the bailout could cost taxpayers as much as $23.7 trillion dollars.[52]

 

The Federal Reserve Represents the Banks

 

In February of 2010, the Federal Reserve announced that it would be investigating the role of U.S. banks in Greece’s debt crisis.[53] However, the Washington Post article which reported on the Fed’s ‘investigation’ failed to mention the ‘slight’ conflicts of interest, which essentially have the fox guarding the hen house. What am I referring to? The Federal Reserve System is a quasi-governmental entity, with a national Board of Governors based in Washington, D.C., with the Chairman appointed by the President. Alan Greenspan, one of the longest-serving Federal Reserve Chairmen in its history, was asked in a 2007 interview, “What is the proper relationship – what should be the proper relationship between a Chairman of the Fed and the President of the United States?” Greenspan replied:

 

Well, first of all, the Federal Reserve is an independent agency, and that means basically that there is no other agency of government which can over-rule actions that we take. So long as that is in place and there is no evidence that the administration, or the Congress, or anybody else is requesting that we do things other than what we think is the appropriate thing, then what the relationships are don’t frankly matter.[54]

 

Not only is the Federal Reserve unaccountable to the American government, and thereby, the American people, but it is directly accountable to and in fact, owned by the major American and global banks. Thus, the notion that it would ‘investigate’ the illicit activities of banks like Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Chase is laughable at best, and is more likely to resemble a criminal cover-up as opposed to an ‘independent investigation.’

 

The Federal Reserve System is made up of 12 regional Federal Reserve banks, which are themselves private banks, owned by shareholders, which are made up of the principle banks in their region, who ‘select’ a president to represent them and their interests. The most powerful of these banks, unsurprisingly, is the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which represents the powerful banks of Wall Street. The current Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, was previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where he organized the specific bailouts of AIG and JP Morgan’s purchase of Bear Stearns. The current president of the New York Fed is William Dudley, who previously was a partner and managing director at Goldman Sachs, and is also currently a member of the board if directors of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). The current chairman of the board of the New York Fed is Lee Bollinger, President of Columbia University, who is also on the board of directors of the Washington Post Company. Until recently, Jeffrey R. Immelt was on the board of directors of the New York Fed, while serving as CEO of General Electric. However, he was more recently appointed by President Obama to head his Economic Recovery Advisory Board, replacing former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker. Another current member of the board of directors of the New York Fed include Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JP Morgan Chase.

 

Not only are the major banks represented at the Fed, but so too are the major corporations, as evidenced by the recent board membership of the CEO of General Electric (which incidentally received significant funds from the bailouts organized by the Fed). However, the Fed also has a number of advisory groups, such as the Community Affairs Advisory Council, which was formed in 2009 and, according to the New York Fed’s website, “meets three times a year at the New York Fed to share ground-level intelligence on conditions in low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities.” The members include individuals from senior positions at Bank of America and Goldman Sachs.[55]

 

The Economic Advisory Panel is “a group of distinguished economists from academia and the private sector [who] meet twice a year with the New York Fed president to discuss the current state of the economy and to present their views on monetary policy.” Among the institutions represented through individual membership are: Harvard University, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Columbia University, American International group (AIG), New York University, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Chicago, and the Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics.[56]

 

Perhaps one of the most important advisory groups is the International Advisory Committee, “established in 1987 under the sponsorship of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to review and discuss major issues of public policy concern with respect to principal national and international capital markets.” The members include: Lloyd C. Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs; William J. Brodsky, Chairman and CEO of the Chicago Board Options Exchange (derivatives); Stephen K. Green, Chairman of HSBC; Marie-Josée Kravis, Senior Fellow and Member of the Board of Trustees of the Hudson Institute (and longtime Bilderberg member); Sallie L. Krawcheck, President of Global Wealth and Investment Management at Bank of America; Michel J.D. Pebereau, Chairman of the Board of BNP Paribas; and Kurt F. Viermetz, retired Vice Chairman of J.P. Morgan.[57]

 

Another group, the Fedwire Securities Customer Advisory Group, consists of individuals from senior positions at JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, The Bank of New York Mellon, Fannie Mae, Northern Trust, State Street Bank and Trust Company, Freddie Mac, Federal Home Loan Banks, the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, and the Assistant Commissioner of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.[58] It is then made painfully clear whose interests the Federal Reserve – and specifically the Federal Reserve Bank of New York – serve. An article from Bloomberg in January of 2010 analyzed the information that was revealed in a Senate hearing regarding the secret bailout of AIG by the New York Fed, which “described a secretive group deploying billions of dollars to favored banks, operating with little oversight by the public or elected officials.” As the author of the article wrote, “It’s as though the New York Fed was a black-ops outfit for the nation’s central bank.”[59]

 

Who Benefits from the Greek Bailout?

 

Greece has a total debt of roughly 330 billion euros (or U.S. $473 billion).[60] In the lead-up to the Greek bailout orchestrated by the IMF and European Union in 2010, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) released information regarding who exactly was in need of a bailout. With the bailout largely organized by France and Germany (as the dominant EU powers), who would be providing the majority of funds for the bailout itself (subsequently charged to their taxpayers), the BIS revealed that German and French banks carry a combined exposure of $119 billion to Greek borrowers specifically, and more than $900 billion to Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland combined. The French and German banks account for roughly half of all European banks’ exposure to those euro-zone countries, meaning that the combined exposure of European banks to those four nations is over $1.8 trillion, nearly half of which is with Spain alone. Thus, in the eyes of the elites and the institutions which serve them (such as the EU and IMF), a bailout is necessary because if Greece were to default on its debt, “investors may question whether French and German banks could withstand the potential losses, sparking a panic that could reverberate throughout the financial system.”[61]

 

In late February of 2010, Greece replaced the head of the Greek debt management agency with Petros Christodoulou. His job was “to procure favorable loans in the financial markets so that Athens can at least pay off its old debts with new debt.” His career went along an interesting path, to say the least, as he studied finance in Athens and Columbia University in New York, and went on to hold senior executive positions at several financial institutions, such as Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and just prior to heading the Public Debt Management Agency (PDMA), he was treasurer at the National Bank of Greece.[62] Before his 12-year stint at the National Bank of Greece, the largest commercial bank in Greece, he headed the derivatives desk at JP Morgan.[63]

 

In March of 2010, Greece passed a draconian austerity package in order to qualify for a bailout from the IMF and EU, as they had demanded. In April, Greece officially applied for an emergency loan, and in May of 2010, the EU and the IMF agreed to a $146 billion loan after Greece unveiled a new round of austerity measures (spending cuts and tax hikes). While Greece had already imposed austerity measures in March to even be considered for receivership of a loan, the EU and IMF demanded that they impose new and harsher austerity measures as a condition of the loan (just as the IMF and World Bank forced the ‘Third World’ nations to impose ‘Structural Adjustment Programs’ as a condition of loans). As the Los Angeles Times wrote at the time:

 

In Greece, workers have been mounting furious protests against the prospect of drastic government cuts. Officials are bracing for a general strike Wednesday over the new austerity plan, which includes higher fuel, tobacco, alcohol and sales taxes, cuts in military spending and the elimination of two months’ annual bonus pay for civil servants. Axing the bonus is a particularly fraught move in a country where as many as one in four workers is employed by the state.[64]

 

The EU was set to provide 80 billion euros of the 110 billion euro total, and the IMF was to provide the remaining 30 billion euros.[65] Greece was broke, credit ratings agencies (CRAs) were downgrading Greece’s credit worthiness (making it harder and more expensive for Greece to borrow), banks were speculating against Greece’s ability to repay its debt in the derivatives market, and the EU and IMF were forcing the country to increase taxes and cut spending, impoverishing and punishing its population for the bad debts of bankers and politicians. However, in one area, spending continued.

 

While France and Germany were urging Greece to cut its spending on social services and public sector employees (who account for 25% of the workforce), they were bullying Greece behind the scenes to confirm billions of euros in arms deals from France and Germany, including submarines, a fleet of warships, helicopters and war planes. One Euro-MP alleged that Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy blackmailed the Greek Prime Minister by making the Franco-German contributions to the bailout dependent upon the arms deals going through, which was signed by the previous Greek Prime Minister. Sarkozy apparently told the Greek Prime Minister Papandreou, “We’re going to raise the money to help you, but you are going to have to continue to pay the arms contracts that we have with you.” The arms deals run into the billions, with 2.5 billion euros simply for French frigates.[66] Greece is in fact the largest purchaser of arms (as a percentage of GDP) in the European Union, and was planning to make more purchases:

 

Greece has said it needs 40 fighter jets, and both Germany and France are vying for the contract: Germany wants Greece to buy Eurofighter planes — made by a consortium of German, Italian, Spanish and British companies — while France is eager to sell Athens its Rafale fighter aircraft, produced by Dassault.

Germany is Greece’s largest supplier of arms, according to a report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in March, with Athens receiving 35 percent of the weapons it bought last year from there. Germany sent 13 percent of its arms exports to Greece, making Greece the second largest recipient behind Turkey, SIPRI said.[67]

 

Thus, France and Germany insist upon French and German arms manufacturers making money at the expense of the standard of living of the Greek people. Financially extorting Greece to purchase weapons and military equipment while demanding the country make spending cuts in all other areas (while increasing the taxes on the population) reveals the true hypocrisy of the whole endeavour, and the nature of who is really being ‘bailed out.’

 

As Greece was risking default in April of 2010, the derivatives market saw a surge in the trading of Credit Default Swaps (CDS) on Greece, Portugal, and Spain, which increased the expectations of a default, and acts as a self-fulfilling prophecy in making the debt more severe and access to funding more difficult.[68] Thus, the very banks that are owed the debt payments by Greece bet against Greece’s ability to repay its debt (to them), and thus make it more difficult and urgent for Greece to receive funds. In late April of 2010, Standard & Poor’s (a major credit ratings agency – CRA) downgraded Greece’s credit rating to “junk status,” and cut the rating of Portugal as well, plunging both those nations into deeper crisis.[69] Thus, just at a time when the countries were in greater need of funds than before, the credit ratings agencies made it harder for them to borrow by making them less attractive to lenders and investors. Investors wait for the ratings given by CRAs before they make investment decisions or provide credit, and thus they “wield enormous clout in the financial markets.” There are only three major CRAs, Standard & Poor’s (S&P), Moody’s, and Fitch. In relation to the S&P downgrading on Greece’s rating, the Guardian reported:

 

S&P has effectively said it views Greece as a much riskier place to invest, which increases the interest rate investors will charge the Greek government to borrow money on the open market. But S&P is also implying that the risk of Greece defaulting on its loans has increased, a frightening prospect for bondholders and European politicians.[70]

 

CRAs also have major conflicts of interest, since they are companies in their own right, and receive funding and share leadership with individuals and corporations who they are responsible for applying credit-worthiness to. For example, Standard and Poor’s leadership includes individuals who have previously worked for JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, the Bank of New York, and a host of other corporations.[71] Further, S&P is owned by The McGraw-Hill Companies. The executives of McGraw-Hill include individuals past or presently associated with: PepsiCo, General Electric, McKinsey & Co., among others.[72] The Board of Directors includes: Pedro Aspe, Co-Chairman of Evercore Partners, former Mexican Finance Minister and director of the Carnegie Corporation; Sir Winfried Bischoff, the Chairman of Lloyds Banking Group, former Chairman of Citigroup, former Chairman of Schroders; Douglas N. Daft, former Chairman and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company, a director of Wal-Mart, and is also a member of the European Advisory Council for N.M. Rothschild & Sons Limited; William D. Green, Chairman of Accenture; Hilda Ochoa-Brillembourg, President and Chief Executive Officer of Strategic Investment Group, formerly at the World Bank, a director of General Mills and the Atlantic Council, and is an Advisory Board member of the Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University; Sir Michael Rake, Chairman of British Telecom, and is on the board of Barclays; Edward B. Rust, Jr., Chairman and CEO of State Farm Insurance Companies; among many others.[73]

 

Moody’s is another of the major Credit Ratings Agencies. Its board of directors includes individuals past or presently affiliated with: Citigroup, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Barclays, Freddie Mac, ING Group, the Dutch National Bank, and Pfizer, among many others.[74] The Executive team at Moody’s includes individuals past or presently affiliated with: Citigroup, Bank of America, Dow Jones & Company, U.S. Trust Company, Bankers Trust Company, American Express, and Lehman Brothers, among many others.[75]

 

Fitch Ratings, the last of the big three CRAs, is owned by the Fitch Group, which is itself a subsidiary of a French company, Fimalac. The Chairman and CEO is Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière, who is a member of the Consultative Committee of the Bank of France, and is also on the boards of Renault, L’Oréal, Groupe Casino, Gilbert Coullier Productions, Cassina, and Canal Plus. The board of directors includes Véronique Morali, who is also a member of the board of Coca-Cola, and is a member of the management board of La Compagnie Financière Edmond de Rothschild, a private bank belonging to the Rothschild family. The board includes individuals past or presently affiliated with: Barclays, Lazard Frères & Co, JP Morgan, Bank of France, and HSBC, among many others.[76]

 

So clearly, with the immense number of bankers present on the boards of the CRAs, they know whose interest they serve. The fact that they are responsible not only for rating banks and other corporations (of which the conflict of interest is obvious), but that they rate the credit-worthiness of nations is also evident of a conflict, as these are nations who owe the banks large sums of money. Thus, lowering their ratings makes them more desperate for loans (and makes the loans more expensive), since the nation is a less attractive investment, loans will be given with higher interest rates, which means more future revenues for the banks and other lenders. As the credit ratings are downgraded, the urgency to pay interest on debt is more severe, as the nation risks losing more investments and capital when it needs it most. To get a better credit rating, it must pay its debt obligations to the foreign banks. Thus, through Credit Ratings Agencies, the banks are able to help strengthen a system of financial extortion, made all the more severe through the use of derivatives speculation which often follows (or even precedes) the downgraded ratings.

 

So while Greece received the bailout in order to pay interest to the banks (primarily French and German) which own the Greek debt, the country simply took on more debt (in the form of the bailout loan) for which they will have to pay future interest fees. Of course, this would also imply future bailouts and thus, continued and expanded austerity measures. This is not simply a Greek crisis, this is indeed a European and in fact, a global debt crisis in the making.

 

The Great Global Debt Depression

 

In March of 2010, prior to Greece receiving its first bailout, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) warned that, “sovereign debt is already starting to cross the danger threshold in the United States, Japan, Britain, and most of Western Europe, threatening to set off a bond crisis at the heart of the global economy.” In a special report on ‘sovereign debt’ written by the new chief economist of the BIS, Stephen Cecchetti, the BIS warned that, “The aftermath of the financial crisis is poised to bring a simmering fiscal problem in industrial economies to the boiling point,” and further: “Drastic austerity measures will be needed to head off a compound interest spiral, if it is not already too late for some.” In reference to the way in which Credit Ratings Agencies and banks have turned against Greece in ‘the market’, the report warned:

 

The question is when markets will start putting pressure on governments, not if. When will investors start demanding a much higher compensation [interest rate] for holding increasingly large amounts of public debt? In some countries, unstable debt dynamics — in which higher debt levels lead to higher interest rates, which then lead to even higher debt levels — are already clearly on the horizon.[77]

 

Further, the report stated that official debt figures in Western nations are incredibly misleading, as they fail to take into account future liabilities largely arising from increased pensions and health care costs, as “rapidly ageing populations present a number of countries with the prospect of enormous future costs that are not wholly recognised in current budget projections. The size of these future obligations is anybody’s guess.”[78]

 

In all the countries surveyed, the debt levels were assessed as a percentage of GDP. For example, Greece, which was at the time of the report’s publication, at risk of a default on its debt, had government debt at 123% of GDP. In contrast, other nations which currently are doing better (or seemingly so), in terms of market treatment, had much higher debt levels in 2010: Italy had a government debt of 127% of GDP and Japan had a monumental debt of 197% of GDP. Meanwhile, for all the lecturing France and Germany have done to Greece over its debt problem, France had a debt level of 92% of its GDP, and Germany at 82%, with the levels expected to rise to 99% and 85% in 2011, respectively. The U.K. had a debt level of 83% in 2010, expected to rise to 94% in 2011; and the United States had a debt level of 92% in 2010, expected to rise to 100% in 2011. Other nations included in the tally were: Austria with 78% in 2010, 82% in 2011; Ireland at 81% in 2010 and 93% in 2011; the Netherlands at 77% in 2010 and 82% in 2011; Portugal at 91% in 2010 and 97% in 2011; and Spain at 68% in 2010 and 74% in 2011.[79]

 

Further, the BIS paper warned that debt levels are likely to continue to dramatically increase, as, “in many countries, employment and growth are unlikely to return to their pre-crisis levels in the foreseeable future. As a result, unemployment and other benefits will need to be paid for several years, and high levels of public investment might also have to be maintained.”[80] The report goes on:

 

Seeing that the status quo is untenable, countries are embarking on fiscal consolidation plans [austerity measures]. In the United States, the aim is to bring the total federal budget deficit down from 11% to 4% of GDP by 2015. In the United Kingdom, the consolidation plan envisages reducing budget deficits by 1.3 percentage points of GDP each year from 2010 to 2013.[81]

 

However, the paper went on, the austerity measures and “consolidations along the lines currently being discussed will not be sufficient to ensure that debt levels remain within reasonable bounds over the next several decades.” Thus, the BIS suggested that, “An alternative to traditional spending cuts and revenue increases is to change the promises that are as yet unmet. Here, that means embarking on the politically treacherous task of cutting future age-related liabilities.”[82] In short, the BIS was recommending to end pensions and other forms of social services significantly or altogether; hence, referring to the task as “politically treacherous.” The BIS recommended “an aggressive adjustment path” in order to “bring debt levels down to their 2007 levels.”[83] The challenges for central banks, the BIS warned, was that it could spur long-term increases in inflation expectations, and that the uncertainty of “fiscal consolidation” (see: fiscal austerity measures) make it difficult to determine when to raise interest rates appropriately. Inflation acts as a ‘hidden tax’, forcing people to pay more for less, particularly in the costs of food and fuel. Raising interest rates at such a time “would not work, as an increase in interest rates would lead to higher interest payments on public debt, leading to higher debt,” and thus, potentially higher inflation.[84]

 

In April of 2010, the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) warned that the Greek crisis was spreading “like Ebola,” and that the crisis was “threatening the stability of the financial system.”[85] In early 2010, the World Economic Forum (WEF) warned that there was a “significant chance” of a second major financial crisis, “and similar odds of a full-scale sovereign fiscal crisis.” The report identified the U.K. and U.S. as having “among the highest debt burdens.”[86]

 

Nouriel Roubini, a top American economist who accurately predicted the financial crisis of 2008, wrote in 2010 that, “unless advanced economies begin to put their fiscal houses in order, investors and rating agencies will likely turn from friends to foes.” Due to the financial crisis, the stimulus spending, and the massive bailouts to the financial sector, major economies had taken on massive debt burdens, and, warned Roubini, faced a major sovereign debt crisis, not relegated to the euro-zone periphery of Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Ireland, but even the core countries of France and Germany, and all the way to Japan and the United States, and that the “U.S. and Japan might be among the last to face investor aversion.” Thus, concluded Roubini, developed nations “will therefore need to begin fiscal consolidation as soon as 2011-12 by generating primary surpluses, which can be accomplished through a combination of gradual tax hikes and spending cuts.”[87]

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Zio-Nazi envoy denounces Spanish ‘hatred’

NOVANEWS

Outgoing ambassador says he personally experienced Spain’s anti-Semitism

Zio-Nazi ambassador in Spain, Raphael Schutz, who is about to leave his post, denounced the “anti-Semitism and hatred that exist in Spanish society” in a message on the embassy website Saturday.

Schutz, who served in the post for a total of four years, referred to his time in Spain as “not very pleasant.”

“I am ending a four-year term as Israel’s ambassador to Spain and returning to Israel to continue my diplomatic career in the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem,” he wrote in the message.

”I also take with me the hatred and the anti-Semitism that still exist in Spanish society, and which I experienced personally,” he wrote. The outgoing Nazi ambassador cited IsraHell’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in 2008-9 and the lethal flotilla raid in 2010 as especially difficult periods.

However, the Nazi diplomat also said that ”I had experienced some positive, very warm and very exciting moments”, making note of the celebration earlier this year of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Spain and IsraHell.

Schutz ended his message optimistically, writing that relations between IsraHell and Spain were just starting to flourish and concluding: “See you soon in Spain.”

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Nazi Blast kills Gaza teacher in front of her children

NOVANEWS

Wafer Shaker al Daghma was with three of her children when she died

The UN is demanding an investigation into how the Zio-Nazi Gestapo killed one of its Palestinian school teachers by blasting open the front door of her Gaza home with explosives in the presence of three of her children.

Wafer Shaker al Daghma, 34, a teacher at a local UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) elementary school, was killed last Wednesday as she stood preparing to open the wooden door of her home to the troops. According to UNRWA and relatives who found her body, Nazi Gestapo used an explosive device on the door which blew most of her head from her body. They then confined the traumatised children – aged from two to 13 – for five hours while the body lay outside the door of the room where they were held.

Although the soldiers finally left the house – in darkness because of a blackout – at around 9pm, Mrs al Daghma’s 13-year-old daughter Samira was too terrified to go outside for help for another two hours because of the continued presence of Nazi armoured vehicles outside her home.

Tiles above a washbasin opposite the front door of the house were still heavily spattered with dried blood yesterday. There was a pile of splintered wooden planks from the destroyed door on the floor where Mrs al Daghma’s body, which soldiers apparently covered with a rug, had lain as the military incursion continued.

Chris Gunness, spokesman for UNRWA, said that the IsraHelli forces were using the house as a post to monitor “alleged militants”. “The children heard many gun shots but do not know where they came from,” he said. He said UNRWA had asked IsraHell in writing for “an impartial investigation, for accountability and allowing the facts to speak for themselves,” adding: “We again condemn the killing of innocent civilians.”

Mrs al Daghma’s widower, Majdi, 34, who was out of the house at the time, said his daughter had told him that her mother, knowing that troops were on a search and arrest operation in the vicinity, had put on a headscarf, told the children to go into a bedroom and said that she would open the door when the troops arrived.

Nazi tank had parked by the outer, open, metal door and the inner, wooden front door was then blasted open.

“Samira heard a very loud explosion and there was a lot of smoke. She looked for her mother but couldn’t see her,” he said.

Samira al Daghma said yesterday that after entering the house the soldiers had kept her, her sister Roba, four, and brother Qusay, two, in the room. “They did not let us out. There was one soldier at the door of the room. I asked him: ‘Where is my mother?’ He was speaking in Hebrew and I didn’t understand him.”

She said that when the soldiers finally left, she crawled with her siblings to a room on the eastern side of the house. “There were still tanks outside our house and if I had gone out they would have seen me. I tried to call my father on my mother’s Jawwal [cellphone] but there was no line. I lifted the carpet and saw a bit of my mother’s clothes. She was not moving. I did not see her head.”

Mr al Daghma said the family were Fatah rather than Hamas supporters. The funeral was arranged by Fatah and there were Arafat portraits in the house yesterday. Nazi Gestapo said it was looking into the incident.

The Zio-Nazi Prime Minister yesterday promised “strong action” to stop Gaza militants if they continued their attacks after a 48-year-old IsraHelli father-of-four was killed by a Hamas-claimed mortar on Friday. Oxfam urged IsraHell to avert a health crisis as Gaza’s power station shut down, saying it had run out of fuel.

 

 

 


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Zio-Nazi police clash with racist Zionist ultra-Orthodox protesters

NOVANEWS

Zio-Nazi police on horseback on Saturday clashed with hundreds of Zio-Nazi racist ultra-Orthodox protesters hurling stones and garbage bins as part of a campaign to stop a public parking lot from opening on the Jewish sabbath.

Micky Rosenfeld, a spokesman for Zio-Nazi police, said police deployed at a downtown intersection to prevent protesters from carrying out plans to block a main road.

“There are about 800 there, and objects are being thrown at police. Mounted police are dispersing them,” Rosenfeld said. Reuters television footage showed a protester denouncing one officer as a “stinking Nazi.”

There were no immediate reports of any injuries or arrests in the protest that disrupted a section of predominantly Zionist Jewish populated western Jerusalem.

The demonstration pointed up mounting tensions between a politically influential religious minority and IsraHell’s secular Jewish majority population who spar on a regular basis over the degree to which public policy should be shaped by religion.

Six Zio-Nazi policemen were injured earlier this week in a separate confrontation with protesters in an ultra-Orthodox section of Jerusalem in a raid on alleged tax evaders.

Zionist media reports said Saturday’s protest marked the anniversary of the opening of a public parking lot over the objections of religious politicians and was also called to demand a main road running by their neighbourhood be shut on the sabbath.

Jewish law bans travel on the sabbath along with other forms of routine activity regarded as work but most IsraHellis do not abide by that restriction.

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“Jewish state” means Jewish racism, Jewish fascism, even Jewish Nazism


By Khalid Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem

According to recent reports from Washington, the Obama administration is proposing a trade-off to reach a breakthrough in the stalled Palestinian-Israeli talks.

The new formula, which the U.S. tried (but failed) to sell to other members  of the Quartet, proposes a Palestinian  recognition of the “Jewishness” of Israel in exchange for an American endorsement of  a Palestinian “state” on unspecific parts of the West Bank in addition to a few scattered neighborhoods of occupied East Jerusalem.

The United States has already approached some Arab states, asking them to endorse the American ideas and pressure the weak Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership to do likewise.

Unfortunately, the notoriously obsequious PA is  yet to utter a clarion and unequivocal “NO” in response to  increasingly daring  Israeli and American  efforts to force the  Palestinian leadership  to commit  a historic adultery with Palestinian honor,  legitimate rights and  future, since recognizing  the “Jewishness”  of Israel  would be a historic obscenity exceeding  any other obscenity.

Some shallow-minded Palestinian officials seem unable to grasp the actual and potential gravity of the issue at hand. These people must be asked to shut up, or get lost, as they have no right whatsoever to sacrifice the rights of future Palestinian generations to freedom, dignity, and equality.

Russia has had the decency to reject the obscene American demand. This fact should at least silence and embarrass some of the defeatist elements within the PA who go by the adage “feed me today, kill me tomorrow.”

In addition to that,  a compromising  attitude by the likes of Mahmoud Abbas and Yasser Abed Rabbo would really force our friends and allies into a very difficult  position. Some of them would argue rather bitterly “we can’t be more Catholic than the Pope, we can’t be more Palestinian than the Palestinians themselves.”

There are those whose tongues function much more swiftly than their brains do, who argue that the issue is merely symbolic and that Israel  is already a Jewish state.

Well, things are not that simple and Israeli leaders such as the arch-racist  prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu and his terrorist cohorts know exactly what they really have in mind when they speak of a Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish  state.

Netanyahu  knows, but doesn’t say so, that a Jewish state means institutionalized Jewish racism, sanctioned by the law of the land and recognized as legitimate and legal by no other than Israel’s victims.

In  other words, upon receiving a Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, Israel would not only legally decapitate the paramount right of return for millions of Palestinian refugees, but would also adopt all sorts of draconian and manifestly fascist measures against the sizeable Palestinian community in  Israel.

Such measures would range from brazen religious and cultural discrimination to brash ethnic cleansing, and Israel would do all  of this perfectly legally  because Israel is recognized as an exclusively Jewish state. In other words, the right of Israel to maintain itself as a predominantly Jewish overrides Israel’s non-Jewish citizens’ right  to equality, dignity and basic human rights and civil liberties.

In fact, Israel has already embarked  on measures that could be viewed as ominous harbingers for a full-fledged fascism. For example, Israel  has unearthed ancient Muslim cemeteries in Jerusalem, ordered mosques to tone down the timeless call for  prayers and imposed stringent  restrictions on Muslim and Christian access to religious shrines in East Jerusalem.

Moreover, with the Israeli justice system slowly but definitely transformed into a legal body of Talmud-based anti-Gentile system that is reminiscent of history’s  darkest ages, and with the Israeli Jewish society moving decidedly toward Jewish religious fanaticism and national jingoism, one can only imagine the kind of treatment non-Jews, especially Palestinians, would receive in Israel several years from now.

A few months ago, I spoke with  a liberal Jewish intellectual who told me that Israel wouldn’t necessarily take dramatic measures to drive Arabs away from Israel.

“Israel would make their daily life unbearable through the promulgation of clearly discriminatory laws and other ostensibly “legal” measures.” In a sort of defensive reflex, I reminded him that Israel claimed to be a democratic state. “You know this is for propaganda and for international public opinion consumption, it is not for  real.”

Israel has already started introducing racist laws in an effort to enforce “the Jewish identity” of the state, just as Nazi Germany started  enforcing the German identity in the  early and mid 1930s.!

For example, the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, has  proposed a new law which would make it mandatory for all  Israeli (Arab and Jewish) kindergartens to sing the Jewish national anthem at least once a week.

This means that the nearly two million Arabs living in Israel would be forced to glorify the symbol of their Nakba. It would be akin to the Third Reich forcing Jewish kids  to  sing the Nazi anthem.

In any case,  forcing the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of the tens of thousands of Palestinians,  who were murdered,  savaged, and violently ethnically cleansed by genocidal Zionist terrorists when Israel was created in 1948, to sing hatikva, would be a small detail once Arabs and other non-Jews were forced to pledge loyalty to Israel as a Jewish state.

Finally,  recognizing Israel as it is would be a huge betrayal for the Palestinian people,  their legitimate rights, aspirations, struggle, suffering and grievances. But recognizing Israel as a Jewish state would be a real crime against humanity, since saying “yes” to the Jewishness of Israel means and implies consent to Jewish racism, fascism and even Nazism. It is nothing less than grand blaspheme and apostasy.

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Gaza-bound ship carrying pro-Palestinian activists sets sail from Greece

NOVANEWS

Ten activists head to Gaza aboard the French Dignite-Al Karama ship, regarding themselves as representatives of the entire abortive flotilla.

SOMEWHERE IN THE EAST MEDITERRANEAN – On Saturday evening a Gaza-bound boat left Greek territorial waters. Its 10 participants regard themselves as representatives of the entire abortive flotilla to Gaza, and are determined to exhaust all possibilities in order to reach their destination, or at least carry out the symbolic act of protesting the blockade. They are well aware of the Lilliputian dimensions of their venture, compared with the massive impact organizers had initially planned to have with the 10-odd vessel flotilla.

Dignite-Al Karama, one of two yachts purchased by the French delegation in the second Freedom Flotilla, left a port in Corsica on June 25. Thus, it was spared the fate of eight other boats which were supposed to sail out of Greek ports, but were impounded by Greek authorities.

Last Wednesday Karama left the port of Sitia in Crete, where it had been anchored for a week, awaiting the other boats in vain. Once it was clear that Greece, under strong Israeli pressure, would not allow those boats to sail, its remaining passengers ¬ three French nationals and one Tunisian ¬ were joined by three representatives of other delegations, a Greek, Swede and a Canadian, and by three more French activists who arrived from France. Also on board are three crew members and three journalists from Al Jazeera and Haaretz.

The decision to carry on the mission of sailing to Gaza was not automatically welcomed by other delegations or by the steering committee of the flotilla. Some preferred to officially end the current campaign. Karama’s participants spent long hours negotiating and convincing the others.

On Thursday evening Karama reached the eastern Greek Island of Kastellorizo in order to fuel and meet the additional delegates from France. Kastellorizo’s history is connected to Gaza: During World War II, after having been occupied by the British army and fearing German attacks, some of the inhabitants fled to Gaza and remained in Palestine for a couple of years. This made the inhabitants of the island and its small port city especially hospitable to the small boat and its mission.

Three of those on board already sailed towards Gaza in last years’ flotilla. One of them, Greek sociologist Vangelis Pissias, claims that while in detention in Ashdod last year he was severely beaten by Israeli security forces. Also on board for the second time is Dror Feiler, the Israel-born Swedish national, who is chairperson of ‘European Jews for a Just Peace.”

Claude L’Eostic, a French flotilla organizer and a veteran activist for Palestinian causes, said that even the sailing of one tiny yacht was the best way to expose the Israeli policy of blockading Gaza, and its illegality.

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Zionist officer: Yeshiva in West Bank settlement harbors ‘Jewish terror’ and must be shut down

NOVANEWS

Haaretz

GOC Central Command Avi Mizrahi said Saturday that the yeshiva in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar must be shut down since it functions as a source of terror that must be dealt with.

Speaking to ‘Meet the Press’ on


Channel 2 television, Mizrahi stated that several of the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva leaders hold views that are not “consistent with democracy”, although they represent only a small minority of the settler community.

Mizrahi went on to characterize settler attacks on Palestinian residents of the West Bank as “Jewish terror”, and implored the courts to do more in order to support security forces in deterring such events from occurring.

A Yitzhar spokesperson responded to the statements, saying that Mizrahi should refrain from acting as a judge set on persecuting membersof the yeshiva.

Yitzhar has become known as one of the most radical settlements in the West Bank. Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, one of the heads of Od Yosef Chai, was detained last year on suspicion of incitement following the publication of his book, “Torat Hamelech,” which called for the killing of non-Jews who seek to harm Israel, but was not charged with any crime.

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Dr. Alan Sabrosky: IsraHell behind 9/11, Part II

NOVANEWS

http://mrfriendsblog.blogspot.com/

“Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event- like a new Pearl Harbor.”

Project for a New American Century: Rebuilding America’s Defenses, Section V: Creating Tomorrow’s Dominant Force

Dr. Alan Sabrosky has written yet another brilliant article about a subject that I write frequently about here: the fact that the state of Israel and criminal elements in the U.S. government (many of whom are Jews with ties directly to Israel, all of whom are Zionist traitors) were behind the FALSE FLAG/INSIDE JOB 9/11 fraud. And I’m using the word “fraud” now to describe what happened on 9/11. I’m pretty convinced almost everything described by the media, by our political and military officials and others in the limelight, about what happened that day is a complete farce, including many of the passengers (seehere and here), videos (see here and here), and airplanes. We’ve leave that discussion for another time. I want to focus on Dr. Sabrosky’s article today. By the way, Dr. Sabrosky was interviewed by Dr. Kevin Barrett on July 5th, and those interested can listen to that interview here.

have written about Dr. Alan Sabrosky, a former U.S. Marine and easily one of the most strategic analytical thinkers in the country, before. He argues, quite correctly in my opinion, that 9/11 is theschwerpunkt, or the strategic center of gravity, in analyzing anything that is occurring geopolitically or militarily. And I agree: 9/11 is what all this madness we’re seeing right now boils down to. And we have to address the fact that all of the evidence, literally, points to this operation being carried out by Israeli intelligence, which was facilitated primarily by an organized criminal network in the U.S. This criminal network consists of the Jewish-owned corporate media, the owners of the towers and other private actors, and Zionist agents and puppets controlling all key positions of power in the U.S. government.

Of course, anyone analyzing the events of 9/11 knows full well that what happened that day could not have occurred without tactical and logistical support by elements in the U.S. government and media, and Sabrosky recognizes this in his piece “Demystifying 9/11: Israel and the Tactics of Mistake“:

I am also absolutely certain as a strategic analyst that 9/11 itself, from which all else flows, was a classic Mossad-orchestrated operation. But Mossad did not do it alone. They needed local help within America (and perhaps elsewhere) and they had it, principally from some alumni of PNAC (the misnamed Project for a New American Century) and their affiliates within and outside of the US Government (USG), who in the 9/11 attacks got the “catalytic event” they needed and craved to take the US to war on Israel’s behalf, only eight months after coming into office.

While it’s clear to me, and I think anyone who really looks at the evidence, 9/11 was in fact a classic “Mossad-orchestrated operation” (to use Sabrosky’s words), the role of the Jewish owned mainstream media was a crucial factor in pushing the American public to accept the official mythology of 9/11. We were told instantly exactly what the perpetrators had (rather poorly in hindsight) scripted: bin Laden and his cohort of Arab terrorists crashed hijacked airliners into the World Trade Center buildings in New York and the Pentagon, while a 4th hijacked airliner was heroically overtaken by the passengers on board and later crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. Dr. Sabrosky expands on this concept explaining how the official story became imbedded in the consciousness of Americans through repeat of the Big Lie. He writes:

As the war in Afghanistan for very dubious reasons extended into a war in Iraq for even more specious ones, the essential USG view of 9/11 became embedded in the public ethos. The 9/11 Commission Report, despite being handicapped when it was prepared and later revealed to have been deeply flawed, still appeared as the basic reference work on the attacks. Details may have been compromised, but the prevailing view was that 19 Arab hijackers had flown four planes into three buildings and one crash site, and that was the end of it. This was the position taken by the Bush Administration in 2001, and reaffirmed a decade later by the Obama Administration. Politicians of every stripe, most pundits and rafts of Protestant pastors (mainly evangelical) added their endorsements.

Sabrosky goes on to explore the obstacles that have arisen as a result of the rise of those of us interested in exploring what really happened on 9/11:

Potentially far more significant than individual musings was the gradual appearance of dissent that eventually crystallized in the so-called “9/11 Truth” movement, which rapidly proliferated into scores of major and many minor organizations and websites dissecting the attacks, the Commission report, the motivations and agendas of assorted elected and appointed officials, and alternatives to the orthodox view. But “9/11 Truthers” have been doing their version of the Maoist “Hundred Flowers” Campaign, throwing out so many different assessments of so many different aspects of so many different issues that the core message has been lost. Nor is it a matter of too little evidence invalidating the USG position on 9/11 being available, but too much to permit a clear focus on what happened (so many trees no one can really see the forest). […]

The real difficulty with much, but not all, of the effort to critique and question the official US position on 9/11 is that the “9/11 Truth” proponents have been unable to communicate their concerns – much less any conclusions – to the general public in any significant way. So much of the discussion is only partially comprehensible to some within the movement, largely unknown to the general US public, and so complicated in all its dimensions to those who do become aware of it that they fail to follow up on the arguments. […]

I would generally agree with this assessment. The 9/11 Truth movement has focused on debunking the official government conspiracy theory, pointing out all the inconsistencies, falsehoods, distortions and outright fabrications presented by the U.S. government and amplified by the Zionist owned media. The problem is- there are so many inconsistencies and so much research being done surrounding the FALSE FLAG/INSIDE JOB on 9/11, that there is not a clear central message that people can identify and accept as a legitimate explanation of what happened that day and why. There are those that are trying very hard to explain these things in as simple terms as possible, and to identify the culprits behind the attacks, but the overall central message of the movement is quite scattered.

So Sabrosky is correct, in my view, when he says that “much of the discussion is only partially comprehensible to some within the movement, largely unknown to the general US public, and so complicated in all its dimensions to those who do become aware of it that they fail to follow up on the arguments.” This is, of course, quite a poor reflection on our society, and the status of independent thinking in this country in general, that we cannot have civilized, intelligent discussions about the most monumental, game-changing event in recent memory (Fukushima may surpass 9/11 in the very near future).

Dr. Sabrosky argues that those of us working to bring to justice those responsible for the 9/11 FALSE FLAG/INSIDE JOB need to focus on World Trade Center building 7, a 47-story skyscraper that collapsed at free fall speed into its own footprint. Building 7 is the smoking gun when it comes to 9/11. Dr. Sabrosky writes:

What is not open to debate, however, is that WTC-7 — the third tower to collapse that day, and the only one not hit by a plane — absolutely was brought down by a controlled demolition, as anyone not trying to shield the attackers knows from a real-time video of its collapse. That is, WTC-7 went straight down into its own footprint in seconds without any visible catastrophic external trauma, which means only some catastrophic internal trauma could have brought it down. And if it had been wired for a controlled demolition, then so were the other towers (WTC-1 and WTC-2) that collapsed. That gives the plane impacts a gruesome cosmetic role, designed explicitly to conceal the true cause of the collapse of the buildings, while shocking the public into something akin to numbness.

The case of WTC-7 has long been known to critics of the US government position on 9/11. What does not seem to have been fully appreciated, at least at first (this is changing somewhat now), is that it is not merely “an” issue, but the single issue that can be used simply, directly to the American public, and effectively to discredit the US Government’s case, and thus its rationale for so many fallacies and misdeeds: not only needless foreign wars (Afghanistan being a “pump-priming” conflict to get the US into war in the region, and to lay the groundwork for later wars), but a substantial infringement of American civil liberties under the misbegotten “Patriot Act,” the unbelievably widespread acceptance of torture (including a technique openly named “Palestinian Hanging,” which assuredly did not originate in Boston and says something about Israeli habits), and the creation of known and secret prisons and detention centers in various countries.

Of course, there is a whole laundry list of evidence one could point to to debunk and refute the official government conspiracy theory of what happened on 9/11, but focusing on Building 7 should be the main starting point for those of us interested in spreading the truth and exposing those behind this fraudulent event.

The following analysis proffered by Dr. Sabrosky is of extreme importance:

The provenance of the 9/11 attacks becomes even clearer once they are examined as a classic exercise in covert operations. Generally speaking, there are three requirements for evaluating the origin and prospects for success of all covert intelligence operations: (a) motivation, (b) expertise, and (c) local support for access to the target and post-attack evasion and escape.

Let us look first at motivation . It is a bitter commentary on how far the US has gone from its strategic requirements and its own principles that so many movements and governments around the world not only dislike and distrust the US, but hate it with a passion and with better cause than I care to think about. I recently came across a remark by a Jesuit priest to the effect that “Every time I hear that Israel is America’s only friend in the Middle East, I remember that before Israel, America had no enemies in the Middle East” – a point well worth remembering.

But the interesting thing about the assorted movements and governments that might have an actual or perceived reason to do harm to the US, is that all but one has had a negative incentive to do that: to punish the US for some actual or assumed failings or misdeeds. The one exception is Israel. It has no negative incentives at all (I exclude some real fringe fanatics), simply because without US aid and diplomatic support, it would find itself in even worse straits than did apartheid-era South Africa, and with better cause. But it is the one state with a positive incentive, if it believed it could get away with it, which is to enrage the American public against Muslims generally and Arabs in particular, and to make the US an active belligerent in the region – spending American lives and treasure in the service of Israel’s interests.

Expertise is different and more diffuse. There are many intelligence and special operations forces in the world with the expertise to wire large urban structures for a controlled demolition. There are many combat engineer units in many countries that could do the same thing. And there are many private firms that specialize in them as well. Yet neither Al-Qaeda as an organization, nor any of its known affiliates – much less the 19 named Arabs supposedly on those four planes – possessed that expertise, or anything even remotely close to it; had they done so, the Green Zone in Baghdad would have been a pile of rubble.

But it is local support that is the crucial determinant. All well-crafted covert operations require some measure of local support, official or unofficial, unless the target area is so irredeemably hostile that none is available. Any domestic or foreign intelligence agency targeting the WTC would absolutely have required it, and Mossad would be better placed than any other to access such support for entry, access, execution and escape.

This is especially true, given the security company overseeing the WTC. CIA and/or Defense Department personnel (which is not the same as the CIA or the Defense Department as organizations) could have had access, but only if that had Israeli endorsement – one does not casually cut open walls, implant explosives, run cables and wire everything together in buildings with state-of-the-art electronic surveillance and 24/7 on-site security. Mossad would have no such need for those niceties, given the ownership of the WTC and the management of the company overseeing its security. Remember that we are not talking about large numbers of people in any case: given time to prepare the three buildings and protection from detection, as few as a dozen could have sufficed, a number small enough to be effectively unnoticed in a large organization.

This is a rock solid analysis of the situation surrounding the FALSE FLAG/INSIDE JOB on 9/11 from a former Marine Corps officer who knows specifically about this kind of stuff. If anyone reading this can dispute or rationally critique what was just laid out above, please enlighten me and the other readers in the comments section here.

I’d like to wrap up this analysis of Dr. Sabrosky’s article by excerpting the five key points recapped in the conclusion of the article:

So let us recapitulate the basic conclusions of this analysis. First, the core official US Government position on 9/11 is that any and all aspects of it are directly attributable to 19 named Arabs on 4 planes, conducting a terrorist operation planned and executed by Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda. This position is at best incomplete, and at worst a complete fabrication engineered by those directly or indirectly responsible for what happened on 9/11, and the wars afterward.

Second, Al-Qaeda and many different countries and groups had negative reasons, real or contrived, to want to harm the US. But only Israel and its neoconservative wing in the US had a positive incentive to do so, which was to enrage Americans and make the US an active belligerent against Muslim countries, thereby cementing its bonding to Israel and Israel’s interests.


Third, there is no doubt that fully-loaded civilian airliners, especially with nearly-full fuel loads, impacting the Twin Towers (WTC-1 and WTC-2) would do great damage to those buildings, although even under extraordinary circumstances could not precipitate a chain of events leading to their collapse. And there is absolutely no way that those airliners impacting 800-1000 feet above the ground could have produced visible and audible secondary explosions in those buildings at ground level, nor precipitated the collapse of a third building (WTC-7)which was not hit by any aircraft and had no massive external trauma from debris produced by the Twin Towers. [Note by me, John Friend: I have serious doubts about the supposed “civilian airliners” hitting the Twin Towers. Please read Killtown’s excellent piece, “Why They Didn’t Use Planes To Hit The WTC” if you want to understand why I have major doubts about the airplanes hitting the buildings]

Fourth, Al-Qaeda – and perhaps other groups as well – had the theoretical capability to carry out a simultaneous four-plane hijacking, perhaps flying the aircraft to Cuba (the four 9/11 aircraft should have been able to make a one-way flight there at the beginning of their operational day without difficulty, depending on their actual loads), which would have been spectacular in itself. But neither Al-Qaeda nor any of their affiliates had the expertise and local support necessary to allow them the needed access to any of the buildings at the World Trade Center, to cut open the walls and wire them for controlled demolition, and then to escape and evade afterward.

Fifth and finally, in addition to being unique in having a positive incentive to make the 9/11 attacks,only Israel had the essential expertise and local support required to bring down the three World Trade Center buildings with controlled demolitions, and the leverage within and around the US Government to let their operatives evade detection, to be released without fanfare if apprehended unexpectedly, and to cloak their actions from public scrutiny – all of which happened on and after 9/11.

All wars are based on lies and deceptions. They are instigated and manufactured through the evil machinations of those who benefit and profit off of those waging the wars. Whether we’re talking about Pearl Harbor and the official mythology of that event, or more recently 9/11, it’s become quite evidence to those of us out here paying attention that Zionist bankers and the governments that facilitate their criminality and pillaging manufacture war for profit and their geopolitical interest. And, in my opinion, 9/11 is the ultimate manifestation of this, and in all likelihood the “catastrophic and catalyzing” event needed to facilitate the final implementation of the master plan for an international fascist dictatorship. And I say that sincerely, knowing how radical an idea that may be for some of you out there reading this. But, it needs to be said, and I’m not afraid to say it anymore.

So I’m going to keep on saying it until we finally arrest and charge with treason those responsible for carrying out this tremendous psyop on the people of the world. Israel was behind 9/11 folks. They were facilitated by criminal, traitorous elements in the U.S. government, including the military and intelligence agencies, private sector and media. We have all the proof in the world to document these facts. Take a look, it is no longer in dispute who was behind 9/11. I wake up everyday thinking of what I can do to expose these criminals, and bring them to justice. Maybe I’m weird, maybe I’m an “extremist,” but after all we’ve been through as a result of the false reality set in motion due to 9/11, there’s no going back. Who’s with me?

 

Posted in USA2 Comments

Oh Danny (Shapiro) Boy

NOVANEWS

by crescentandcross

http://mantiqaltayr.wordpress.com

1. Israeli Vice President for American Affairs (IVPFAA) Barack Obama put his 2012 election campaign into high gear recently by nominating a “Middle East Specialist” who just happens to “love” Israel, whose sister works for an organization whose job it is to get American Jews to love Israel, and whose only real Middle East expertise is about how great and wonderful Israel is, to be the next US ambassador to Israel.  Jewish organizations seem to love the selection as much as the selectee loves Israel. Yup, Daniel B. Shapiro will soon be “your” (hahahahaha) representative in the Jewish State.

Shapiro has been publicly tasked by Obama to actually work on behalf of the state of Israel, not to represent the United States in direct violation of the oath that Shapiro took upon assumption of said office. Not only that, but Hillary Clinton herself gave away the fact that in his previous position as the Director the Middle East and North Africa for the so-called National Security Council Shapiro was actually working for Israel. The US government is more penetrated with Zionists than the Israeli government.

Here’s a quote from an article written after the swearing-in ceremony which includes excerpts from Shapiro’s statement to the US Senate. Note to Shas Party members, red highlights are mine.

Shapiro said Obama instructed him to make Israel’s security his top priority. “This we are doing by raising the remarkable cooperation and coordination between our militaries and our intelligence services to their highest levels ever,” he said. In addition, he said his job entails safeguarding Israel’s future as a Jewish, democratic state and working to expand the depth and breadth of the bonds between the Israeli and American people, including their “burgeoning economic relationship.”

Yes, so Obama has told him to make Israel’s security his top priority. Not US security, Israel’s. His job is to serve Israel. Oh, and how’s he gonna do that? By turning over US intelligence to Israel and by making the US intelligence community even more subservient to Israel’s needs. As Shapiro says “This (making Israel’s security his top priority) we are doing by raising the remarkable cooperation and coordination between our militaries and our intelligence services to their highest levels ever”.  Furthermore he clearly wants to use the US as a garbage dump for Israel products and to further propagandize dumb-ass Americans about what a great country Israel is.  And to top it all off, the article says that Shapiro “said his job entails safeguarding Israel’s future as a Jewish” state. So I can only conclude from this that another aspect of his working for Israel to implement Israeli policies to that effect.

Do you find it even more comforting to hear that Shapiro calls doing this job a “calling and a passion.”  Yup, making Israel’s security his top priority is his “calling and a passion.” How the f*** did this guy get a security clearance? It must have been issued by the Mossad.

Hey you FBI dudes who I know for a fact read this blog and like it, maybe you should look into this. Or are you guys just to p***ified due to the AIPAC spy stuff that DOJ completely f***ed up? I mean, what the hell are you guys in existence for?

Suckretary of State Hillary Clinton said some really cool stuff at the swearing in ceremony.  She basically puked in the face of the Turkish Ambassador to the US whose being there shows us exactly where Turkey stands on the Mavi Marmara issue. Same for the lousy Palestinian representative.

(Note to the Turkish Ambassador – you can join the Shas Party by going here or here or here. Also, the red highlights are mine.)

“Under President Obama’s leadership, with Dan by his side, we continue to ensure Israel’s qualitative military edge, we have increased security assistance, joint exercises and high-level consultations, and we have supplied new missile defense systems that are saving Israeli lives.”

Running this through the Tafsirantor, we see that Hillary was actually saying. “Yup, we are making sure that the racist state of Israel maintains a qualitative military edge over Turkey so that Turkey can’t and won’t do shit about Israel’s murdering of Turkish peace activities on the Marvi Marmara. Hahahaha. F*** you Ambassador.”

Near the end of her speech in which Hillary made it crystal clear that Shapiro’s appointment was done to appease the Israeli lobby, Clinton made a slip showing that Shapiro’s been working for Israel all along, as has Obama. After reviewing Shapiro’s working so hard all the time in the White House doing so much to help out the IVPFAA and the Suckretary, she noted:

“And what he (Shapiro) has done on being on the other end of those late night phone calls, video conferences, and urgent cables, is continue our strong commitment and also look for a good and just and secure way forward for Israel.”

He was working for Israel. Even Shas Party members can understand that.

So who is this guy? Well for one thing he is the product of a life of pro-Zionist brainwashing of the sort that I have documented herehere, and here in the past.  Oh and here too, item 4. Oh, wait, this articleis also a must read on the topic.  He even gave his kids Israeli names. I mean, everyone’s all worried that some mentally retarded convert to Islam will go to some dumb-ass Adam-Pearleman influenced website and will then want to declare Jihad on your grandmother (this is basically the Peter King thesis, just put  into more academic language), while in the meantime Israel has been engaged for decades in radicalizing American Jews and inculcating them with the belief that Israel is their primary loyalty. Shapiro comes right out of that mold and Hillary Clinton knows this.

His first visit to Israel was when he was four years old. He was with his parents there during the 1973 war. Nothing like starting off at an early age.

So he graduates from high school starts and classes at some point at the University of Illinois but stops and spends half a year in Israel. Then he comes back to the US and enrolls in “Washington University, spending his sophomore year in Israel before transferring to Brandeis University.” Hmm, sounds like he basically spent about half of his college time in Israel. Wonder what he was doing there?  Just studying at Hebrew University? Then he comes back and goes to Brandeis.

Let me digress for second. The same article notes that his sister Naomi “is director of a program that helps send young adults to Israel.” Well guess what program that is goys and girls. It is Birthright Israel, one of the programs I’ve featured here on this site. She is director of their Chicago office. Naomi is pretty interesting actually. Here’s a little more info about her:

“Naomi grew up in Champaign, IL.  After graduating from the University of Wisconsin Madison in 2001, Naomi moved to Washington DC, where she worked for Hillel and the Israeli Embassy.  Missing her Midwest roots, Naomi moved to Chicago in 2003 and had a brief stint on a senate campaign.  Naomi comes to Birthright Israel NEXT from the Jewish United Fund, where she was the Assistant Director of Events.”

Yup, she actually worked for the Israeli embassy. And now she is part of that notorious Birthright outfit. But I digress.

Wiki notes that “From 1999 to 2001 he sat on the National Security Council under President Bill Clinton, as director of legislative affairs and as a Congressional liaison for National Security Advisor Sandy Berger.”

From 2001-2007 Shaprio worked on the staff of Senator Bill Nelson (Likud, Florida) where he managed to find time to serve the interests of the Israeli government. I mean, you are working for the US Senate, whose interests should you be serving after all? “While Shapiro was advisor to Bill Nelson, Nelson co-sponsored legislation with Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to restrict US contacts with Palestinians, to criminalize Middle Eastern groups, and to torpedo the Dubai-Port Authority deal.”

Here is the result of a life dedicated to serving Israel:

In January 2009, Shapiro was appointed senior director for the Middle East and North Africa of the U.S. National Security Council. Focusing on Israel, he has attended every Israel related meeting, and met with every senior Israeli diplomat and military officer who visited Washington. Until September 2010, when the peace process collapsed, Shapiro visited Israel at least once a month and accompanied U.S. special envoy for Middle East Peace George J. Mitchell on all his trips to the region, taking a central role in talks regarding the settlement building freeze and the strengthening of military cooperation between the U.S. and Israel. He has maintained close relations with Benyamin Netanyahu, in spite of the tensions between the Israeli prime minister and President Obama.[11]

His comments upon his confirmation by the US Senate were extremely revealing. Please get out your Mantiq al-Tayr-approved barf bag if you continue reading. You can also read the entire speech herewhich I highly recommend if you engage in binging and purging.

Among Shapiro’s comments here are some gems.

“We will explore a country we love, we will make many new friends, and you will be my partners in strengthening the close friendship between the United States and Israel.”

It gets worse. “In my family, both growing up and today, the connection between the United States and Israel has always been a priority. For someone of my background, there can scarcely be a higher honor than to be asked to help nurture the ties between our great country, the United States, and our great ally, the State of Israel.”

You know, I wonder who he will represent the next time Israel kills an American citizen.  Actually I don’t wonder at all, and neither should you. But I digress.

It gets worse.  With Zionism it always gets worse. He openly acknowledges working for Israel as his top priority in his new job and has been Obama’s since Obama got into the White House.

“It entails working to safeguard Israel’s security, in the midst of a dangerous region with enemies sworn to its destruction, at a time of great change in the Middle East that carries with it both risk and opportunity. The President has instructed me to make Israel’s security my top priority, as he has done for the past two and a half years.”

And it gets worse and worse:

“And I want to recognize a great partner in these efforts, the immediate former Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, General Gabi Ashkenazi, who is with us today.”

Gabi Ashkenazi was the commander of Operation Caste Lead.  He should be in jail for a whole host of offenses going back decades.  Instead he is publicly saluted before the US Senate and you get to pay for it.  Like Shapiro, Ashkenazi has Harvard in his background.  But I digress. Anyway, lets get back to Shapiro’s confession address.

“It entails working to safeguard Israel’s future as a Jewish, democratic state at peace with its neighbors, a secure homeland for the Jewish people.”

This coming from a guy working for a Senator who worked to limit US contact with the Palestinians.  And you folks are paying his salary. His checks should be cut by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

And of course he has taken on the latest Zionist buzzword “deligitimize stating that he will bebeing working against efforts to “delegitimize” a racist state with God knows how many nuclear weapons that continues to threaten its neighbors and commit countless crimes against the Palestinians. And why shouldn’t he? After all, as far as he is concerned the Palestinians don’t exist. (See below)

Now get out your barf bags for this one.

“As one small, but poignant example, today marks the final launch of the Space Shuttle.  The shuttle program will forever link Americans and Israelis in pride and sadness, as we recall the final flight of the Shuttle Columbia, which took the lives of Ilan Ramon and his six American crewmates.  Israelis are among the honored guests at today’s launch at Cape Canaveral.”

Man, these Israelis are everywhere.

Near the end Shapiro claims he will represent “all Americans.” Like hell he will.  That is pure %100 unadulterated Zionist bullshit.

He then basically closes his speech with this:

יש לי כמה מילים בעברית לאזרחי ישראל

שתי מדינותינו ימשיכו לעמוד ביחד כחברים להתמודד עם האתגרים וההזדמנויות שלפנינו ונצליח לבנות עתיד בהיר.

Actually, I’m glad he closed it with Hebrew.  It’s actually a good thing for a US Ambassador to be able speak the language(s) of the country he is going to.  And in this case it is particularly effective because when he gets orders from the Israeli MFA delivered to him in Hebrew he won’t need to have them translated.

But the use of Hebrew in his speech, combined with the contents of the Hebrew text, contains the following real message: “F*** you, Palestinians.”

You see, Arabic is also an official language of Israel and Shapiro is alleged in his biographical information to have studied it. He could even have had someone at the State Department who speaks Arabic help him practice. But no, he couldn’t be bothered  even to give a basic greeting in Arabic to the 1 in 5 citizens of Israel who are Palestinians.  Instead he talked about how he will help make sure Israel is a “Jewish” state. Nor did he think of the millions more Palestinians living under brutal and illegal Jewish State occupation.  So, as a public service we here at Mantiq al-Tayr offer him a line of Arabic he could use in his next public address before a Zionist legislature.

السنة القادمة في القدس العربية

2. They even claim the food is theirs. Here’s a Birthright Israel video. I’m sure you’ll love the music and the lyrics.

3.  Coming back to Chicago. fortunately, not all of Chicago is Israeli occupied territory. If you watch these guys and can’t smile and enjoy it, you must be a Shas Party member.

These dudes are good.  Yup, before you know, everyone will be doing Palestinian debka and Pam Geller will burst out of her mummy wrappings.

Kinda makes you want to get on a Gaza flotilla so you can see this sort of dancing in its native environment.

 

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protests in Amman

NOVANEWS

The Friday before last I was at a demonstration in West Amman, the wealthier section of Amman, far from the layers of boxy concrete buildings that carpet East Amman, with its camps and its poverty. There were at least 100 unarmed riot police and perhaps 200 protesters and another 40 journalists observing the activities. That day the demonstrations had been broken up amongst a few scattered sites, as opposed to one mass protest. Within Amman, there is a kind of moral economy to the protests: generally the protesters are “free” to say, “the people want to change the system,” or “the people want to end the corruption,” or “the people want to get rid of the prime minister.”

What they cannot say is, “the people want to get rid of the King.” If they do, they will be thrown in prison, followed, beat up, or be the recipient of death threats. Social mobilization in Jordan creates pressure, and that pressure is released when the King deposes and then replaces his cabinet, a kind of social pressure release valve.

And that pressure is building. So the King promised a series of reforms in a televised address over a month ago, effectively promising to turn the Kingdom into a constitutional monarchy on the British model. Outside of Amman, anger with him is being vocalized as direct and articulated opposition to the monarchy, and last Friday, police violently repressed the protests in downtown Amman even though it does not seem like the calls for change went beyond a cabinet-level shuffle.

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