Friday, August 29, 2014

Today's links

1---Military situation on the ground, Vineyard of the Saker

The Ukies are losing, badly.  All the reports from Novorussian sources agree that the Ukie forces are either surrounded or in full retreat.  But Ukies sources also confirm this.  In Kiev, angry demonstrations by nationalists accuse the military high command of minimizing the real casualty figures, of having abandoned the forces fighting in the Donbass.  Even Oleg Liashko has stated that the Ukie forces have been "betrayed".  Demonstrations have taken place in from of the Ukie General Staff which many Right Sector protesters which are demanding the creation of a "generals battalion" which would be formed of only generals who would be sent to fight personally (an excellent idea, which I fully approve of!).  Others are also demanding the resignation of the Ukie Minister of Defense.  Ukrainian woman are regularly stopping military convoys on the roads, often by standing or lying down in front of trucks, to prevent their men from being sent to death.  Entire Ukie battalions are deserting from the front and Special Forces are sent to stop them.  Apparently, the Ukie police is afraid to arrest the soldiers for desertion because of their large numbers.  The city of Mariupol is now surrounded and the local political elites and SBU personnel have fled.  Poroshenko cancelled his trip to Turkey and gathered his Security Council.  Kolomoiski, who controls the southwestern Ukraine, did the same thing with his own Security Council (yes, since he has his own army, is also has his own security council).  Tymoshenko wants the introduction of full martial law.  The male population up to 60 is now conscripted (though not called up as far as I know).  Iatseniuk and Poroshenko have both demanded that NATO intervene and accept the Ukraine as some special ally.  In other words, all the signs are of total complete and utter panic in Kiev....


In the UN Security Council the Russian Representative, Vitalii Churkin, has dared the Ukie Rep to explain where the recording of the conversations between the Kiev ATC and MH17 were hidden and why...


Where do we go from here?

It' hard to tell.  I think that Oleg Tsarev is right when he says that as soon as the Ukie regime begins collapsing the West will suddenly ask for negotiations.  Zakharchenko in his crucial press conference has clearly indicated that options such as federalization or decentralization are off the table and that nothing short of full independence will do.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  There are plenty of historical examples which show that separatist movements eventually settled for less, often wisely so.  But in this case, we are dealing with several intertwined problems



2---JPMorgan Warns Military Escalation In Ukraine "May Lead To A Lehman-Style Shock", zero hedge


Lehman moment. We believe that with the significant deterioration in the Ukrainian situation, markets may treat this as a Lehman-style shock. We note there are substantial fundamental differences between the current situation and the 2008/09 crisis; the oil price is now holding up relatively well and the economic contraction may not be that deep. On the other hand, for traded stocks, the challenges and risks to investability presented by sanctions could be practically open-ended. We demonstrate that revisiting the post-Lehman lows would imply downside of 50% from an index perspective, and ~40% from the forward P/E perspective (Fig. 1 and 2).


3---ISIS loaded with ex-Baathists, NYT


4---Watershed press conference by top Novorussian officials (MUST SEE!) , Saker


5---Lavrov: No proof Russian troops in Ukraine, RT


No facts about Russian military being present on the territory of Ukraine have ever been presented, Sergey Lavrov pointed out, while speculation on the issue has been voiced repeatedly, he stressed.


“It’s not the first time we’ve heard wild guesses, though facts have never been presented so far,” Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow.
“There have been reports about satellite imagery exposing Russian troop movements. They turned out to be images from videogames. The latest accusations happen to be much the same quality,” he said.


“We’ll react by remaining persistent in our policies to stay bloodshed and give a start to the nationwide dialogue and negotiations about the future of Ukraine, with participation of all Ukrainian regions and political forces, something that was agreed upon in Geneva back in April and in Berlin [in August], yet what is being so deliberately evaded by our Western partners now,” Lavrov said.
Sergey Lavrov pointed out that the only means to decrease the number of casualties among the civilian population in Donetsk and Lugansk Regions is by self-defense militia pushing Ukrainian troops and National Guards out.


“From a military point of view self-defense militia are doing a very simple thing – they are driving Ukrainian troops and National Guards from their positions used to shell peaceful cities, destroying kindergartens, schools, hospitals, Orthodox churches and infrastructure, and killing a large number of civilians,” Lavrov said.


6---Abegeddon: Household Spending Re-Collapses As Japanese Unemployment Jumps To 9-Month High, zero hedge


Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse... In a veritable deluge of data from Japan tonight, there is - simply put - no silver lining. First, Japan's jobless rate unexpectedly jumped to 3.8% - its highest since Nov 2013 (despite the highest job-to-applicant ratio in 22 years). Then, household spending re-collapsed 5.9% for the 4th month in a row (showingh no sign of post-tax-hike-recovery). Industrial Production was up next and dramatically missed expectations with a mere 0.2% rebound after last month's plunge (-0.9% YoY - worst in 13 months), quickly followed by a 0.5% drop in Japanes retail trade MoM (missing hope for a 0.3% gain). That's good news, right? Means moar QQE, right? Wrong! Japanese CPI came hot at 3.4% YoY with energy costs and electronic goods 'hyperinflating' at 8.8% and 9.1% respectively. As Goldman's chief Japan economist warns, "the BOJ doesn’t have another bazooka," adding that "The window for reform may already have been half closed." We're gonna need another arrow, Abe!


7---The committee to blow up the world, Bill Bonner


Here’s the latest from Bloomberg:
Shares worldwide added more than $2.2 trillion in value since Aug. 7, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Optimism that central banks will support economic growth sent the MSCI All-Country World Index up 3.8 percent from its low this month. The S&P 500 has risen for 10 of the last 13 days and the Nasdaq Composite Index is about 10 percent from an all-time high.Global markets are surmounting crises in Ukraine, the Gaza Strip and Iraq as investors renew bets that stimulus will revive growth. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index posted its biggest two-day gain since April after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi signaled policy makers may consider introducing an asset-buying plan. Japan’s Topix index is near its highest level since January, rebounding from losses earlier this year.
Put them all together, and publicly traded equities are now worth more than $66 trillion – just shy of total world GDP. That’s $12 trillion more than they were worth in the beginning of 2013… and it’s $30 trillion more than they were worth 10 years ago


8---OSCE: No participation of Russian military, hardware in Ukraine hostilities — official, itar tass


9--Ilargi: EU Gas Supply Is In Real And Imminent Danger, NC


10---Boomer Wealth Dented by Mortgages Poses U.S. Risk, Bloomberg


11--Continuing media silence on the fate of flight MH17, wsws


12---White House threatens Russia over alleged incursion into eastern Ukraine, wsws


13---Inside the leadership of Islamic State: how the new 'caliphate' is run, Telegraph


14---Western media neglect of Moscow’s MH17 evidence is shameful’, Nile Bowie


15--MH17 FULLY EXPOSED!! You Won't Believe The SHOCKING TRUTH About the Ukraine FALSE FLAG , you tube


16---MH17 - We know with 99% certainty who shot down MH17 - updated Aug 12 , you tube


17---Why have the media and Obama administration gone silent on MH17, wsws


18---Conspiracy of silence?  MH17: Nations Conspire To Keep Investigations Classified – Leaked Document Reveals, IBT



19--When Do We Start Calling This “The Greater Depression”?: (Early) Friday Focus for August 29, 2014, De Long
Dropbox 20140825 Financial Crisis to Great Recession to Lesser Depression to Greater Depression html
Dropbox 20140825 Financial Crisis to Great Recession to Lesser Depression to Greater Depression html
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Monday, August 25, 2014

Today's links

1---BOJ’s Kuroda Sees Pickup in Global Growth, Japanese Exports, wsj


(More of the same)  We at the Bank of Japan do not think it is necessary to change our economic forecast for coming years,” Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda told reporters Friday on the sidelines of the Kansas City Fed’s conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo., even though exports have stalled of late and the economy stumbled more than expected in the second quarter after the introduction of consumption taxes.
Mr. Kuroda also said he felt that, at this point, the aggressive stimulus program launched shortly after he took over in April 2013 was sufficient, even as many investors expect the central bank to expand its campaign later this year.
“We will continue our current monetary policy, but if there is anything which could derail our course toward 2% inflation target we would not hesitate to change or adjust our monetary policy,” he said....


Japan’s economy contracted at a 6.8% annual rate in the second quarter after rising at a 6.1% rate in the first.


2--Abenomics: Japan's chronic lack of demand, JT


When it was proved that the zero interest rate and quantitative easing since 2001 failed to cure the deflation, they concluded that the Bank of Japan’s expansionary monetary policy was not expansionary enough. Hence they have brought an even more expansionary QQE (quantitative and qualitative monetary easing) into Abenomics.
They don’t seem to notice the structural stagnation of advanced economies. To explain it, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers quotes Alvin H. Hansen, who asserted in the 1930s that the U.S. economy was in secular [long-term] stagnation, because consumption was largely saturated and investment opportunities were largely exhausted.


During the Japanese bubble of the 1980s and the U.S. bubble prior to the 2008 crisis, general prices remained stable. It was a sign of “chronic demand shortfall.” As the natural rate of interest (the interest rate that realizes full employment) is significantly below zero, even zero interest rate is too high. Paul Krugman calls it a “liquidity trap” situation. It is not a temporary state of affairs now, but “the new normal...


I would point out that his QQE has inherent risks that could defeat the objectives of Abenomics, which are sustainable economic growth and consolidation of the government’s debts.
First, inflation is bound to lead to higher interest rates. BOJ policy board member Takehiro Sato said in February, “It is highly possible that the long-term interest rate could rise well before the exit of QQE.” When it does, it would increase interest payments on government debt and could seriously hamper consolidation of government debt


3---Mortgage crisis is back, Dave Dayen


All told, research firm Black Knight estimates that two million modifications will face interest rate resets in the coming years, and 40 percent of those homes remain “underwater,” where the borrower owes more on the house than it is worth. Underwater homes are highly correlated with defaults and foreclosures, and this represents a giant heap of them, which will soon see what is commonly known as “payment shock”a big reset in their monthly payment. 


ADVERTISEMENT
Predictably, when the temporary relief fades, homeowners often go back into default. Author Keith Jurow explains that anywhere between 40 and 80 percent of modified loans have re-defaulted over the past several years.
the foreclosure crisis was never solved; it was deferred. And next year, the clock begins to run out on that deferral. 
The problem comes from many different angles. First, as the Los Angeles Times reported recently, home equity lines of creditsecond mortgages that homeowners took out during the bubble years, essentially using their homes as an ATMwill start to feature increased payments, as borrowers must pay back principal instead of just the interest. TransUnion, the credit rating firm, estimates that between $50 and $79 billion in home-equity loans risk default because of the increased payments, which could add hundreds or even thousands of dollars to payments a month.


4---Cornel West Blasts Obama Is A "Brown-Faced Clinton", , zero hedge


5---UK Islamist suspected of slaying US journalist ‘identified’, RT


6---Lavrov Says Unclear Why Kiev Not Releasing Air Traffic Recordings of Malaysia Airlines, RIA Novosti


Russia has still not received a clear explanation of why Kiev has not presented the recordings between the air traffic controllers and the crew of the downed Malaysia Airlines passenger airplane, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.


“There has been nothing clear in regard to the reasons of why the full presentation of recordings from the black boxes, or reasons of why the Ukrainian side with all of its airplanes that were flying along the same echelon over the region [have not been provided], and there’s nothing clear of the reasons for the inability to present this information,” Lavrov said during a briefing.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17 while en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. All 298 people on board, including 283 passengers and 15 crew members, died in the crash....


Earlier in August, Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said that a preliminary report on the black box findings from the MH17 crash is expected to be handed over to the United Nations in September.


7---Foley execution used to call for UK military action in Iraq, wsws


Britain’s intelligence agencies, MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, have invested billions of pounds in order to spy on every man, woman and child in the UK and have special units dedicated to all those deemed “extremists”. Following each act of terrorism committed by Islamic fundamentalists in the UK, it has soon emerged that the intelligence services knew the perpetrators in advance. This was the case in the London bombings of July 2007 and the killing of soldier Lee Rigby in May last year.
The closest relations were developed with the radical Islamist preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri, who was protected for years by the secret services before being tried and sentenced to jail in 2006. The Finsbury Park mosque in London, where Hamza preached, was heavily infiltrated by intelligence agents.
The reality is that many of those Britons who travelled to Syria to fight against Assad were allowed to do so by the British government, which was then preparing for war against Syria in alliance with the United States. The jihadists were used as the key detachment of an “internal opposition” to Assad’s regime, to destabilise Syria in preparation for a direct military intervention.
With the turn by ISIS into Iraq and its capture of large swathes of territory, this strategy was thrown into crisis. The death of James Foley is only one tragic expression of this
.....
The domestic threat from ISIS-related terrorism, for which the ruling elite is entirely responsible, is once again being used to justify further attacks on democratic rights. Home Secretary Theresa May wrote in the Telegraph, “We will be engaged in this struggle for many years, probably decades. We must give ourselves all the legal powers we need to prevail. I am looking again at the case for new banning orders for extremist groups that fall short of the legal threshold for terrorist proscription, as well as for new civil powers to target extremists who seek to radicalise others.”


8---Imperialist war in search of a pretext, wsws


the Obama administration has decided to use the Foley murder as a justification for expanding the current US air war on ISIS to targets in Syria. “If you come after Americans, we are going to come after you,” deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told a press conference Friday. “We’re not going to be restricted by borders.”......These reports point to the basic fact that the fundamental aim of US imperialism in the Middle East is not defeating ISIS—which, after all, is its own creation—but reinforcing its control over the entire region. Just one year ago, plans for bombing the Syrian government were put off. These plans, however, have not gone away....US imperialism seeks to maintain its domination of the oil-rich region, one of the most valuable prizes in world geo-politics
 
The Obama administration is moving rapidly towards launching air strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on both sides of the Iraq-Syria border, in a major escalation of US military intervention in the oil-rich Middle East.
Reports indicate that the initial form of such attacks is likely to be drone-fired missiles aimed at Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and other leaders of ISIS, on the model of those already carried out in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.


“For weeks, the US military’s Central Command, which oversees Middle East operations, has advocated a more expansive, near-term air campaign targeting Islamic State commanders, equipment and military positions that US intelligence has pinpointed in Iraq,” the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, quoting one top official’s mantra: “Hunt while the hunting’s good.”
The drive to war is a measure of the crisis facing US imperialism in the Middle East, after a quarter century of escalating intervention, characterized by the combination of recklessness and brutality that is the particular specialty of the American ruling class....


the US directly aided, armed and trained Syrian “rebel” fighters who went on to form the core of ISIS, seeking to deploy them to overthrow the Assad government there.
Perhaps the most important feature of the political crisis facing the Obama administration in Iraq and Syria is that no amount of government-media war propaganda has been able to shift US public opinion. The American people are adamantly opposed to new military adventures in the Middle East, a sentiment that reflects both the thoroughly justified mistrust of the warmongers in Washington, and the mounting social crisis within the United States itself.
This deep-rooted social opposition means that the Obama administration’s plans for Syria and Iraq remains a war in search of a pretext. Over the past month, a series of provocations have been staged in an increasingly desperate effort to manufacture support for wider military action in the Middle East


9---Outrage To a Beheading: Shared Callousness and the Modern War Zone, eric Margolis


Was Foley’s head really cut off? Hard to tell. We have been fed so much fake government war propaganda in recent decades – from Kuwaiti babies thrown from incubators to Saddam’s hidden nukes – that we must be very cautious.
Look at the horrifying pictures of victims from Gaza: babies with heads blow open and bodies torn into pieces by heavy 155mm shells. What’s the difference between this and a decapitation? Only distance between killer and victim.
....


 on the same day Foley was allegedly being decapitated, 19 people in Saudi Arabia, a close US ally, were publicly beheaded for various crimes. One of the men was executed for witchcraft. There was no outcry at all over this medieval horror. Saudi Arabia is suspected of charging political opponents of the monarchy with drug offenses, which carry the penalty of beheading by a sword-wielding executioner. Not a peep about this in the US media trumpeting the Foley story.


10---Why Washington’s War on Terror Failed, counterpunch


Jihadi groups ideologically close to al-Qa‘ida have been relabeled as moderate if their actions are deemed supportive of U.S. policy aims. In Syria, the Americans backed a plan by Saudi Arabia to build up a “Southern Front” based in Jordan that would be hostile to the Assad government in Damascus, and simultaneously hostile to al-Qa‘ida-type rebels in the north and east. The powerful but supposedly moderate Yarmouk Brigade, reportedly the planned recipient of anti-aircraft missiles from Saudi Arabia, was intended to be the leading element in this new formation. But numerous videos show that the Yarmouk Brigade has frequently fought in collaboration with JAN, the official al-Qa‘ida affiliate. Since it was likely that, in the midst of battle, these two groups would share their munitions, Washington was effectively allowing advanced weaponry to be handed over to its deadliest enemy. Iraqi officials confirm that they have captured sophisticated arms from ISIS fighters in Iraq that were originally supplied by outside powers to forces considered to be anti-al-Qa‘ida in Syria.


11---NYT presses for regional war in ME, NYT


ISIS has received financing from donors in Kuwait and Qatar. Saudi Arabia funneled weapons to Syrian rebels and didn’t care if they went to ISIS. Turkey allowed ISIS fighters and weapons to flow across porous borders. All of that has to stop...


Creating a regional military force may be required, including assistance from the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and Turkey. It certainly will require money, intelligence-sharing, diplomatic cooperation and a determined plan to cut off financing to ISIS and the flow of ISIS fighters between states. France’s suggestion for an international conference deserves consideration.

No matter how many American airstrikes are carried out — Mr. Obama is also considering strikes against ISIS in Syria — such extremists will never be defeated if Muslims themselves don’t make it a priority. To their credit, some leaders are speaking out. Among them is Saudi Arabia’s highest religious authority, the grand mufti, who called ISIS and Al Qaeda the “enemy No. 1 of Islam.”
But they must go further and begin a serious discussion about the dangers of radical Islam and how ISIS’s perversion of one of the world’s great religions can be reversed.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Today's Links

1--Washington’s Nightmare Comes True: The Russian-Chinese Strategic Partnership Goes Global (II), oriental review


2--Russia Moves Artillery Units Into Ukraine, NATO Says, NYT
Propaganda from the Gray Lady


3--Background on NYT's chief propagandist, CN


4---Pentagon: Russian convoy violates Ukraine's territorial sovereignty, stars and stripes


5---Russia Wants Regular, Transparent Reports on MH17 Crash Probe, RIA Novoski


6--Nobel guru fears it may be nigh impossible to stop deflation , Telegraph


Christopher Sims – a monetary expert, who now thinks money indicators have been rendered "essentially obsolete" by modern finance – says it may be impossible to reverse deflation in the Western economies by any normal means, in which case we are in trouble.


He argues that the public (including investors) are convinced that there will have to be some sort of payback for all the debts accumulated during the great era of leverage and excess. They have "internalised" the prospect of future tax rises and spending that will make them feel poorer.
"Some 60pc of people in the US say they doubt there will be any government benefits for them when they retire, and 60pc of those already retired think their benefits will be reduced," he said....


Prof Sims, who won the Nobel Prize in 2011 for studying "cause and effect in the macroeconomy", says monetary policy cannot do the trick either once interest rates have dropped to zero. He dismisses the monetary effects of quantitative easing as trivial. At best, he says, QE is a bluff intended to show resolve and change psychology...


 If Abenomics fails to generate inflation/recovery in Japan, we will have very compelling evidence that even extreme monetary policy cannot arrest entrenched deflation in ageing societies.


7---Libya falls apart, foreign policy


8---US and NATO threaten Moscow as Russian aid convoy crosses into Ukraine, wsws


The campaign against pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine is part of a scheme by the US and the EU to politically destabilize Russia through a series of economic sanctions, political provocations and military threats. Ultimately American imperialism aims to subordinate Russia completely by reducing it the status of a neocolonial protectorate, raising the prospect of war between the two nuclear-armed powers.


9---German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Kiev, wsws


Then in February the US and Germany orchestrated a coup based precisely on these fascist forces to bring a new government to power, which was utterly dependent on the Western powers and contained fascists from Svoboda. One of the new government’s first acts was the signing of the association agreement with the EU.


The disastrous situation in Ukraine is a direct product of the intervention by German and US imperialism. Shortly after the coup, loan deals were agreed with the new regime making devastating social attacks a condition for financial support from the IMF. This included an increase in gas prices for workers, as well as tax cuts for businesses.


But above all, Germany and the US intensified the confrontation with Russia. Moscow responded to the aggressive expansion of the EU and NATO’s sphere of influence by incorporating the Crimean peninsula into Russia and backing the pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country, who did not accept the regime in Kiev.
The Ukrainian government began a major offensive in April against the Donbas region controlled by the separatists. They proceeded with extreme brutality, and are responsible for the deaths of at least 950 civilians. At every stage, the Ukrainian government has been working closely with its masters in Berlin and Washington


10--FBI Admits: No Credible Threats to US From ISIS, antiwar


11--As War Escalates, Obama Makes ISIS ‘Enemy Number One’, antiwar


12---Empire’s Murderous Fruits, Nebojsa Malic, antiwar


It isn’t the first time the Empire is in bed with murderers and terrorists: prominent Washington politicians have praised the "Kosovo Liberation Army" as fighting for "human rights and American values." In fact, one such politician – John McCain – has heaped praise on both the KLA and the ISIS. The KLA-run "Republic of Kosovo" has even helped the Empire "train" Syrian jihadists, back in 2012. Maybe that explains why so many Albanians (aka "Kosovars") are killing and dying in Syria and Iraq today.


Of course, the Imperial media claim the Albanians are "outraged" that one of theirs would behead people. Yet why would they be, when the KLA had no problem beheading Serbs or committing other atrocities in 1998-99? Jihadist beheadings were also common during the Bosnian War, but the media narrative of "Good Muslims" vs. "Evil Serbs" insisted on burying that inconvenient fact. The Empire continues to cover for the KLA even today.


Now Imperial officials are saying ISIS is a threat greater than Al-Qaeda, and arguing not just for a new invasion of Iraq, but also of Syria! It is a white-knight gambit: first one creates the problem, then rides in to "solve it", reaping applause and adulation. Except that it never actually works, and failure leaves countless corpses in its wake...


A Hell of Their Own Making
The devastation of Iraq, the war in Syria, and now the rise of ISIS, all stem from the 2003 invasion of Iraq – a crime, based on a lie. Amidst the calls for renewed invasion – sorry, "liberation" – of Iraq, remember that the whole mess is due to the U.S. invading in the first place.
Nor would this be the first time. In the 1970s, Zbigniew Brzezinski’s dream of a "Soviet Vietnam" resulted in the creation of a jihadist insurgency in Afghanistan. Fifty years of near-constant warfare has reduced this country to abject barbarism, unleashing the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and the warlords.
 
Earlier this month, an American general was killed in a "green-on-blue" attack at an Afghan military academy. Now, even if they wanted to extricate themselves from Afghanistan at this stage, Empire’s troops are stuck: their avenues of retreat are either controlled by the Taliban, or depend on Russia – which the Empire has done its best to antagonize over the past six months.
"Humanitarian" Murder
When the government of Ukraine rejected the EU’s predatory loans and costly, destructive "reforms" last fall – in favor of free trade with Russia – the Empire launched a coup. The power in Kiev was seized by militant nationalists and outright Nazis, previously on the fringe of politics.




13---What can be done?  Full speech delivered by Hezbullah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah on Friday August 15, 2014. , vineyard of the saker


... today there is a new track which I will talk about before going back to the two factors. The new track is more difficult and more dangerous than the previous one because it is not the track of toppling regimes and establishing alternative authorities. In such a track, when you topple a regime and bring along an alternative authority, the country remains as an entity; the state remains, the borders remain, the social structure remains or it might be harmed, and the army remains or might be harmed. The only thing that takes place is toppling an authority and bringing along an alternative authority.

The new track is not that of toppling regimes and establishing alternative regimes. It is rather the track we talked about in more than one occasion. It is the track of demolishing and ruining states, armies, peoples, and entities. We do not need evidence on what is taking place. We will go to that later. So it is the track of demolishing, disintegrating, crushing, and ruining everything.

The Americans are moving in this track along with all those who are with the Americans in the region including Israel too. They want to draw a new map for the region. However, on what is this new map to be drawn? New maps were drawn for the region following World War I and World War II. However, now on what they want to draw a new map for the region? They want to draw it on the disjoined limbs not only of individuals but also of states, peoples, societies, and ruins. So it is not that pillars and walls would remain and we would have only to repair them and rebuild the ceiling. The new map is to be drawn on baffled minds as a result of the events which are taking place and are plotted to take place in the region. Thus minds would become baffled: Where are we to go? What choices do we have? What are we to do? The new map is to be drawn also on terrified hearts. There is a very moving scene: a helicopter in Sinjar – I don't remember now whether it is an Iraqi helicopter or an American helicopter though I believe it is an Iraqi helicopter – carrying women and children from land. Just look at their faces and eyes and recall your women and children to know on what the new map of the region is to be drawn. It is to be drawn on disjoined limbs, ruins and wrecks, baffled minds, and terrified hearts. They want us all in the region to reach a catastrophe, and to end this catastrophe we would accept any dictations. Just put an end to this catastrophe. Save us from this calamity and you will have whatever you want in return. We are even ready to offer you our eyes. It would be a social, security, political, economic, intellectual, mental, and emotional catastrophe. Even worse, the main enemy would be the savior and the rescuer after all. This is where the region would be dragged to.

Well, what are the main factors of this track?

The first factor is the Israelis. This is what I talked about when talking about the demolition and ruining taking places in Gaza. As the Palestinian brethrens said, the true and factual target is hitting the resistance, disarming the resistance, putting an end to the structure of the resistance, and making the people in Gaza Strip frustrated from everything called resistance and that thus surrender. As such nothing would remain but ruin and wrecks.

The second factor is no less dangerous. It is the Takfiri current which the ISIL has become today the most prominent and evident manifestation of. ISIL is the greatest manifestation of this current. .....



Today, there is a regime which has become a state which is occupying and controlling a very vast geographic area – a part of Syria, and a part of the Iraqi territories. In fact, this area is much larger than some of the states in the region and the world. If we talk about the geographic area, they are controlling the sources of energy, oil, gas, and others. They control major rivers, major water dams. They have enormous quantities of arms and artilleries. They sell oil, and there are those who buy from them and trade with them and facilitate this operation. This is questionable. There are countries which have thousand problems in selling an oil carrier. How is ISIL able to sell and be financed before the eyes of the international community and regional countries for example? This organization has a great number of fighters too. The overwhelming majority of the main fighters are not Syrian or Iraqi fighters. They are rather fighters who were brought along from abroad. Their travel and their crossing the border were facilitated. This is also questionable. This organization which has this presence and has a special doctrine, view, understanding, and conduct which we noticed from Syria to Iraq started perpetrating massacres. It is not that they were engaged in a war. Rather they committed massacres, killed prisoners and captives, and killed innocent people. They started with their fellow tribesman – the followers of the same organization, the same intellect, the same pillar, and the same pledge. They are the al-Nusra. Then they started killing and are still killing the rest of their allies who are naturally their allies – meaning the Syrian armed forces. Battles are taking place now in the northern reef in Aleppo between ISIL and the rest of the factions. In fact, in some places al-Nusra kept themselves aside. The battles are taking place in Reef Idlib and north Idlib. Major battles took place in Deir Al-Zour. In Iraq and in Syria they fight, kill, and even slaughter everyone who differs with them in their viewpoints. So notice that they choose the means that depends on terrorizing. Well, if you concluded that you are allowed to kill those people, open fire on them and kill them. But no, they do not kill them except by slaughtering them before the camera. They even put it on the you-tube and broadcast it on satellite outlets so that the scene is seen worldwide. This is part of the psychological war that aims at spreading fear, terror, and horror among the peoples of the region, the governments, and the armies of the region. I would like to tell you that the massacres which were perpetrated are in the first place against Sunnis. You can review the numbers. Who killed the Sunnis? Who killed the Sunni scholars who are not with the regimes but rather against the regimes? See the people who were killed by ISIL. That's because the Sunnis whom we know as Sunnis are according to ISIL considered as unbelievers. That's because according to their doctrinal, intellectual, and jurisprudential categorizations, the unbelievers are so and so and so. This also applies to the Ash'aris, and most of the Sunnis in the world are Ash'aris in the doctrinal and intellectual sense of the word. However, if they were not Ash'aris but they differ with them politically or over the pledge, they would kill them. Didn't this take place?

What about the recent war waged by the ISIL? Well are the Kurds Christians or Shiah? Their majority are Sunnis. In this battle, over a million and a half million were displaced because of the ISIL war in Iraq. They are Sunnis. They are neither Shiah, nor Christians, nor Oyazdians. Well, in Iraq, ISIL did not spare anyone of whatever religion: Muslims, Christians, and Oyazdians. They did not spare anyone of whatever sect: Sunnis and Shiah. They did not spare anyone even if talking about races and nationalities: Arabs, Kurds, and Turkmen. They did not spare anyone. Also in the battle in Syria, the same thing took place. They spared neither Arabs nor Kurds.....



The ISIL ruined sanctities, sacred shrines, mosques, and churches. They want to forcefully impose a definite life-style with the force of arms and terrorizing people – all people and not only Christians but rather Muslims and Christians alike. This life-style does not have anything to do with Islam, with Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), or with the Holy Quran. This is something else. Go and meet scholars. Ask all sects.

Well, does this scene exist or not? Is it a joke? They are announcing their goals. They put their map which they want to draw and they threat and bombard. What is even more dangerous from all of that is that they have a popular ground. Why should we hide behind our finger? They have a popular ground in several Arab states. It is not a Sunni background. No! Their background is the followers of this intellect which labels as an unbeliever everyone other than themselves. They declare killing everyone other than themselves permissible. They take as prisoners everyone's women except their women. They brag saying we came to slaughter you. That does not belong to any divine religion. No religion revealed by Allah Al Mighty says "we came to slaughter you". Attributing that to Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) is very dangerous and fake. After opening Mecca, Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) stood confronting Abu Sufyan and so and so… who fought him, displaced him, killed his companions, killed his uncle, devoured his uncle's liver, confiscated houses, and harmed him severely until he said: "No prophet was harmed as I was harmed." They fought him until they were frustrated. They became his prisoners and still they remained polytheists. Not all of them became Muslims. Some pretended to be Muslims, and some remained polytheists and ran away and hid themselves. However, what did the Prophet tell them?

Go you are free. He did not behead them. He did not slaughter them. He did not say "we came to slaughter you". When did he say "we came to slaughter you"? This is the slogan of ISIL. This is the slogan of this current....



The Americans may have a hand pursuant to the word Hilary Clinton was quoted as saying. I do not want to be responsible of saying this as I do not know whether this is right or wrong. However, all I know is that the Americans kept a blind eye on that, offered facilitations, and opened the gates to exploit this phenomenon in the track I talked about before. Indeed they are penetrated. Indeed, there is US influence, and whether they know or not, they are serving the US and the Israeli target in this new track. ....


Thus we wholeheartedly hope that no one present the battle in the region as a sectarian battle. It is not an Islamic-Christian war. It is not a factional war. It is not a Shiah-Sunni war. It is a war of another kind. It is the war of ISIL which has this annihilative, eliminative, Takfiri, brutal, slaughtering intellect against anyone against them. Their intellect is not based on Islam or on what took place at the time of the Prophet or at the time of the first Muslim Caliphs, or on the map that was previously drawn for the region, or on religious minorities. All of this is deleted. The sects, factions, minorities, churches, mosques, and shrines they are demolishing are 1400 years old. The overwhelming majority of the holy sites they are downing were under Sunni government. However, the ISIL have nothing to do with this history, this intellect, or even this culture. They want to wipe everything. They pose a threat to everyone. .....


 When ISIL invaded Mussel, Nineveh, and a large section of Salaheddine province, and broke into Diala and perpetrated massacres what forced people to run away in the desert (and all of these massacres are documented and we watched them on the TV), why did not the international community intervene? Why wasn't Obama's humanity and the American administration moved? Also when hundreds of thousands of Christians were attacked, they were not moved? In fact, they do not care for the Christians in Mussel or in Iraq or in Syria or in Lebanon. I would like to tell the Christians in Lebanon: Deluded is he among you who believe that the Christians in Lebanon mean anything to America or the west. Before any danger they will tell you what France told the Christians of Iraq: You are welcomed as refugees and we will grant you citizenships too. This is the project some seniors among you heard from the former French president. Does the west really care for the Christians in the region? Do you still seek help from the Americans, French, English, the international community, and the International Security Council after all what took place and is taking place? They do not care for Sunnis, Shiah, Christians, Oyazdians, and even Kurds. They did not care for the Kurds who were killed in Mussel, at the edges of Karkuk, in Zumar and Sinjar. They did not care for the Turkmen or the Arabs. Well, yes when ISIL came close to Erbil, they intervened because Kurdistan means what it means politically, security, and economically to the US administration and to the west. They intervened to tell ISIL that they are not allowed to come close to that area. These are your borders and limits. It is permitted that you slaughter Sunnis. It is permitted that you slaughter Shiah. It is allowed that you slaughter Christians and demolish their churches and imprison their women. It is permitted that you perpetrate genocides against Oyazdians, Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, and Turks alike. As for Erbil and Kurdistan, they have a different position on the map. Do you want us to bet on these Americans and on the international community? O Iraqis, Syrians, Lebanese, Jordanians, Palestinians, and peoples of the region! What are you waiting for? Will the Arab League protect you? Are you waiting for an Arab consensus or a united Arab strategy? I want to be very clear and precise. In any country around the world, when anyone feels that his existence is in the sphere of threat, elimination, and annihilation, does he wait for a national consensus? Has such a thing ever happened in history? No! Never!

So the big question is: If we agree that there is a danger threatening us, the question would be: How are we to confront this danger? Where shall we go? What are the capabilities? What are the means? What are the tools? There are major and big responsibilities to be shouldered by the Iraqis, the Syrians, the Palestinians, and the peoples of the region. I want to address the Lebanese and my logic can be applied on all the other peoples and countries because Praise be to Allah there are authorities, leaderships, scholars, parties, and movements which are perfect and great and fit to assume responsibility. ...



Is it true that if Hizbullah withdraws from Syria, the danger will be gone from Lebanon? Will ISIL then leave Lebanon alone? Does the ISIL really have no aspirations in Lebanon?.....


there is a crisis in the country. Let's address it and then we would debate whom to hold responsible. Now the national responsibility says: Let's face the war. Now the national responsibility says: Let's do something to protect the country. Let's protect our state, our Lebanon, our people, our society, and our region. .....Anyway, these are questions. Let's talk together. Hizbullah's presence in Syria: Does staying there or withdrawing from there protect Lebanon? Let's discuss this. Lebanon is in danger....


When an entity, a state, or a society is before an existential danger, the absolute priority before this existential danger would be to make reorganizations in a way that meets this existential danger. Whoever does not act accordingly would not be acting according to the mind, religion, morals, and humanity. He would be exposing his people to the danger of annihilation while he is sitting and wasting his time with issues he sees as fateful and of priority....


 call on all the Lebanese to comprehend that our country, our entity, and our society is before an existential danger in an exceptional and very dangerous way. I am not exaggerating and whoever does not want to believe let him believe later. In face of this existential danger, we must define our priorities....


We will not migrate to any other place in the world. We will not hold any other nationality. We will not leave this land at all. We will remain here. We will remain here raising our heads high. Here we will live, and if fighting is imposed on us, here we will fight. Here we will be martyred and here we will be buried. This is our choice...


Today, our country, our people, and our existence is in danger. We must assume this responsibility. ...We will not bury our heads in the sand. We will not be defeated. We will not run away.  We will stay and protect Lebanon. 


Full speech delivered by Hezbullah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah on Friday August 15, 2014.

 








Friday, August 22, 2014

Today's Links

1--30 Facts That Prove The American Middle-Class Is Being Destroyed, zero hedge


According to a study recently discussed in the New York Times, the "typical American household" is now worth 36 percent less than it was worth a decade ago.
... One out of every seven Americans rely on food banks at this point.
... One out of every three adults in the United States has an unpaid debt that is "in collections".
... Only 48 percent of all Americans can immediately come up with $400 in emergency cash without borrowing it or selling something.
 The overall homeownership rate has fallen to the lowest level since 1995.


Last year, one out of every four auto loans in the United States was made to someone with subprime credit.


 Amazingly, one out of every six men in their prime working years (25 to 54) do not have a job at this point.
One recent study found that 47 percent of unemployed Americans have “completely given up” looking for a job.


36 percent of Americans do not have a single penny saved for retirement.
According to one survey, 76 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.


Median household income in the United States is about 7 percent lower than it was in the year 2000 after adjusting for inflation.




....According to one study, there are 49 million Americans that are dealing with food insecurity.
... the number of women in the U.S. on food stamps actually exceeds the number of women that have jobs.




2---QE won't stop slide to recession in EU, Japan or US, counterpunch


On the policy front the Eurozone still appears committed, nevertheless, to a monetary policy that has not only failed in Europe, but in the USA and Japan as well:  i.e. still more liquidity injections by the European Central Bank (ECB) into the private banking system, accompanied by a policy of austerity on the fiscal side that has been modified only slightly less severe in recent years.


The ECB’s monetary policy to date has been to inject more than $1.5 trillion of liquidity into Euro banks, primarily by means of its LTRO program—a program in some ways similar to quantitative easing (QE) by central banks in the UK, USA, and Japan. This primary reliance on monetary policy as the road to recovery thus echoes the USA Federal Reserve, Bank of England, and Bank of Japan’s similar policies since 2009. All the central banks of the advanced economies (AEs) have introduced near zero interest rates, while implementing additional ‘quantitative easing’ (QE) direct central bank purchases of investors’ bad assets at subsidized prices.


But in all cases, none of the AE central bank monetary injections have had much positive effect on AE real economies. The banks have mostly hoarded the injections, not lent investment capital in any substantial amounts to businesses that would produce jobs, and instead have redirected the liquidity to financial speculation that has fed new financial asset bubbles worldwide.  In other words, whether QE-LTRO or zero rates, the effect has been the same: financial asset inflation on the one hand, and, on the other, tepid or stagnant real growth, a drift toward deflation in real goods and services, little or no job creation, and repeated bouts of real economic stagnation and/or recessions .
More liquidity injections by the ECB in whatever form, including a Euro-QE, will therefore not halt the Eurozone’s slide toward its third recession, nor its steady drift toward price deflation in the real economy.....


Like the Eurozone, data last week suggest Japan may have also entered another recession in the 2nd quarter 2014. Last week economic data revealed Japan’s roughly $6 trillion annual GDP  contracted by a huge -6.8% in the 2nd quarter 2014.  Should Japan also now slip into recession, it would represent its 4th such economic contraction since 2008.  After collapsing by more than 15% in 2008-09, Japan experienced a second recession in 2010-11, followed by a third in 2012. 2014-15 may represent its fourth.


Like Europe, Japan has attempted to recover from its three prior recessions since 2008 by means of a massive money injection by its central bank, the Bank of Japan.  In early 2013 its central bank began injecting $530 billion a year into its private banking system—a policy nearly identical to that followed by the US central bank, the Federal Reserve, which since 2009 has provided more than $4 trillion of QE and another $10 trillion in near zero rate loans to US banks and shadow banks.  Also like the US Federal Reserve, Japan’s massive money injection has also been driven primarily by a direct bond buying QE program.


Today a year after introducing its version of QE, the economic effects have been no different from similar monetary policies followed by the European Central Bank’s $1.5 trillion LTRO and the US Federal Reserve’s $4 trillion QE:  Japan’s QE has stimulated financial asset markets but has done little for the real economy


3---“Makhno” Anarchist partizans attacked today Ukrainian National Guard positions, web guerilla


Ukrainian anarchist partizans attacked today several positions of the maidanite army in the Zaporozhye region //// Reporting that an army of Ukrainian anarchists partisans, inspired by the legendary local partisan movement of Makhno (check the wikipedia if you don’t know who was Makhno) attacked today the Poroshenko army in the Zaporozhye region. This is a major event since this is a new movement out of Donbass region and not linked to the so-called “pro-russians separatists”. The objective of the movement is to liberate Ukraine from he maidan criminal regime.


4---War in east Ukraine to leave economy in ashes, RT


5---Vladimir Putin has allowed the emergence of a multipolar world, National Front of France and Putin, Pravda




...Aymeric Chauprade (National Front):  One of the real divisions of the contemporary world is now made ​​between Pro-Putin and Anti-Putin.
The National Front in France is the rising alternative force aimed to resist imposed European austerity and integration and NATO-run lunatic diplomacy. More Frenchmen are also sensitized by the sound of boots and Russophobia that grows here following  American commandments. And the same ones who have supported the war effort by Islamist terrorists also promote the last war against Russia in Europe.
The bellicose, bourgeois and Pan-American newspaper Le Figaro denounced last August 16 a collusion between the National Front, the European Rights in general and Vladimir Putin.
Aymeric Chauprade, scholar and counselor of Marine Le Pen in international issues, has agreed to state his preferences in diplomatic matters.
....


The fall of the airplane has still not been explained. How do you explain the burst of russophobia against president Putin?

So, how Russia let herself accused of this horrible tragedy MH-17 while evidently the Ukrainian-American camp had a real interest in this shoot camera? Of course the Russians deny it, but their arguments are hardly audible because of American ubiquitous superiority in information war (that is to say, misinformation). While the United States State Department accuses Moscow without the ability to produce any serious evidence, Western diplomats, as powerless as they are blind, fall both feet into the trap set by Washington. Sad submission of Europe and its leaders who, once again, betrayed by accepting the agenda of warmongers! The world moves inexorably toward a third world war if European governments do not quickly regain their discernment.

How do you consider Vladimir Putin in terms of European and even global history?

Vladimir Putin has allowed the emergence of a multipolar world. Instead, on September 11 gave the pretext for the Americans to strengthen their unipolar commitment invading several countries (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya ...). It is thanks to the economic recovery, political, geopolitical a Russia led by Vladimir Putin that the proposed American domination, which accelerated after the fall of the Soviet Union, has been halted. Unfortunately this project is still at work today in Ukraine, the sole purpose of digging the gap between the EU and Russia and to establish the rule of the oligarchy of the Empire on our Europe.

But Putin has a second record: it is now contribute to the recovery of traditional and spiritual values ​​of Christian civilization in Europe. Russia has become, for the patriots committed to the values ​​of Christian civilization, a hope in all the nations of Europe. Faced with French identity challenge the foreign policy choices will prove decisive. The alliance with Russia, the only major European power to openly and firmly take its Christian civilization should be a given for any patriot.

The BRICS are delivering a crushing blow to the Anglo-American condominium and the dollar that took advantage of the world wars. China is increasingly scratched by Obama, but why president Putin is suffering the shock of the confrontation?

One of the real divisions of the contemporary world is now made ​​between Pro-and Anti-Putin Putin. I am one of the first, not fascination or disposition to a country that is not mine, but because the project the best in the interests of France's alliance with Russia. This is a great man and I am confident that it will remain as such in the history of Russia. Beside him, Western leaders, often subject to the United States, appear to be ephemeral dwarfs in the history of their country. "



this amateur documentary presents the unvarnished reality of an actual ethnic cleansing campaign in progress, corpses and parts of corpses are necessarily shown, and also bombed buildings are shown. There also are curse-words that are spoken by the victims. Censoring these things out would be a violation of the most basic requirements of honest journalism, and would be to cover-up the reality of an ethnic-cleansing campaign, merely because this reality is ugly -- that would be a shameful thing to do, a fundamental violation of the journalistic standards of any democracy, and will not be done here, though it is routinely done by our 'journalists.'

Whatever it is, is mass-theft, combined with mass-murder, combined with a super-scandalous cover-up by all but a half-dozen 'news' media in the West (each of which has only a small audience), so that even almost all 'alternative news' sites are part of the cover-up.

Putin to US: "Take your world an shove it!"

9--Unbelievable! Itar Tass

The US decision to block the adoption of a UN Security Council draft resolution on aid to Ukraine leaves no doubt the United States wants to continue the armed confrontation in that country, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday, commenting on US decision to block the Russia-proposed draft resolution on relief aid to the population in southeast Ukraine.

On August 21, Russia suggested adopting a UN Security Council Resolution to support the delivery of relief aid to the conflict-hit eastern Ukraine.


“The United States and Lithuania blocked Russia’s constructive initiative. They suggested that calls to end the hostilities and ensure the safe delivery of relief cargo (to the recipients) as well as a reference to the fact that the cargo was sent by the Russian side be excluded from the draft’s text,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.


“Moreover, the opponents considered that it would be justified to include a provision that blames ‘separatists’ for the current situation in southeast Ukraine: no separatists, no humanitarian problems,” the Russian Foreign Ministry explained.


If the United States voted against the absolutely non-confrontational and reconciling draft, it means that its aim is to continue the armed confrontation in Ukraine. Its actions cannot be described otherwise than an attempt to ‘sabotage’ the humanitarian mission,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“The duality of this policy is obvious. Cynical disregard for the fates of peaceful civilians and a slapdash attitude to international humanitarian law when geopolitical interests are in question are becoming the core of a policy, which the United States and its European allies are pursuing towards Ukraine,” the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed.


10--Poroshenko says Russian aid convoy movement blatant violation of international law, itar tass


Pillsbury Doughboy has a hissyfit


11--"Unacceptable" Putin says delays to humanitarian aid must end. Itar Tass


“We are acting in full compliance with the norms of the international humanitarian law,” the diplomat said in a statement. “We are not going to put up anymore with the distressful situation of people living in protesting southeastern regions of Ukraine.”


12--Putin takes charge, ria novoski


August 22 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a phone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday that Russia had to act decisively in the situation with the aid convoy in order to prevent further delays in the delivery of humanitarian cargo to the crisis-hit eastern Ukraine.


“Putin stressed that considering Kiev's blatant attempts to hinder the delivery of Russian humanitarian aid to Ukrainian regions caught in humanitarian crisis the Russian leadership has decided to move the truck convoy [across the Ukrainian border],” the Kremlin press service said.
“Further delays would be inadmissible,” the statement said quoting the Russian president.
“Putin has also expressed serious concern over the ongoing large-scale escalation of Kiev’s military operation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions leading to new casualties among the civilian population,” the statement said.


Earlier in the day, at least 60 trucks from the Russian convoy carrying humanitarian aid to violence-torn Luhansk and Donetsk regions crossed the border with Ukraine allegedly without clearance by Ukrainian customs officials and without escort provided by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).


13---War and social attacks spread throughout Ukraine, wsws
Poroshenko sends Ukraine economy into freefall


According to the city council in Luhansk, conditions for ordinary people remain catastrophic. The city’s residents have been living without electricity and water for more than 16 days. Landline and mobile telephones are not working, and the provision of foodstuffs is rudimentary.
There have also been large-scale assaults on the civilian population in Donetsk. The city centre was targeted, among other areas. The Reuters news agency spoke with residents. “The Ukrainian army or whoever they are, are bombing us again,” said Nina, 52, whose apartment was destroyed. “I’ve lived in this apartment building my entire life and now they want to take everything I have.”


Another Donetsk resident told Reuters how her workplace was fired upon. “I hid behind the counter and closed my eyes. When I opened them again everything was dark, full of dust and smoke,” she said. “How can we live like this being bombed by the leaders of our own country?”....


The Kiev government’s aggression is directed not only against the separatist fighters, but against the country’s entire population. On Thursday, Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko signed a law according to which people in the east of Ukraine could be taken into preventative custody for 30 days without judicial oversight. The government is still trying to ban the Communist Party, which is critical of the war against the separatists.
The intensification of the war against the separatists and the attacks on democratic rights are closely connected with the Kiev regime’s brutal austerity measures, which are to be continued without let-up. On Thursday, Economy Minister Pavlo Sheremeta announced his resignation. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatzenyuk had sharply criticised the minister the previous day. “I am not satisfied with the speed and extent of reforms,” said the prime minister.
...


The IMF’s demands include an increase in gas prices, which will hit the impoverished population particularly hard. In addition, Ukraine is also to stop backing the course of the country’s currency, Hryvnya. A halt to intervening on the currency markets would likely result in a major rise in inflation.
Ukraine’s economy is already in free fall, due to the previous social attacks and the war in the east. ....


The situation in the energy sector is particularly critical. Ukraine obtains 50 percent of its gas from Russia. Russian state company Gazprom is no longer supplying, because Ukraine is $5 billion in debt to the company and abandoned price negotiations in February following the coup.


14---Who is responsible for the murder of James Foley?, wsws


The politics of ISIS and other Al Qaeda-linked groups reflect not the strivings of the oppressed masses for liberation from imperialist oppression, but rather the interests of disaffected bourgeois layers in the Arab and Muslim world, which seek to manipulate sectarian divisions as a means of advancing their own class agenda.
In this sense, their outlook is not all that different from that of predominant layers within the US ruling oligarchy, which are determined to exploit the horror over Foley’s death as a lever in shifting the broad-based hostility of the American population to the drive toward a new war in the Middle East...




Similarly, a Washington Post editorial stated: “For three years the United States stood aside as the Islamist extremists built up their strength inside Syria. Washington was surprised in June when they burst into Iraq… They proudly proclaim their enmity to America. America needs a genuine strategy in response.”


This editorial was complemented by a crude entry on the paper’s “PostPartisan” blog written by Republican strategist Ed Rogers advising Obama on how to reverse his “sagging ratings.”
“Unleash hell on those connected to Foley’s killing. It doesn’t have to be just about vengeance. It’s more about showing the world what is in store for the United States’ enemies… In this case, vicious payback is good policy,” wrote Rogers.


These briefs for a new US war of aggression in the Middle East are founded on grotesque lies aimed at concealing the real roots of Foley’s murder.
The rise of ISIS was fueled not by US imperialism “refusing to intervene” or “standing aside” in Syria. On the contrary, abandoning the former “war on terrorism” pretext for US intervention, the Obama administration armed and supported Islamist-led militias in wars for “regime change” first in Libya and then in Syria. The secular head of state in Libya, Muammar Gaddafi, was toppled nearly three years ago, and today the country is in a state of collapse, awash in violence between rival militias, its economy paralyzed and upwards of a million forced to flee for their lives.


In an attempt to bring about a similar downfall of another secular head of state in Syria, Bashar al-Assad, the US and its principal allies in the region—Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait—have promoted a sectarian civil war in which ISIS emerged as the predominant armed opponent of the Assad regime, at the cost of well over 100,000 lives. As ISIS rampaged through Syria, beheading captured conscripts, state employees, members of religious minorities and anyone else in its way, the Obama maintained a discreet silence.


Now this same ISIS has swept into Iraq, whose entire social fabric was shattered by decades of sanctions, the “shock and awe” of the US invasion of 2003 and eight years of occupation in which sectarian divisions were fueled by Washington’s divide-and-rule policy.
The hope within ruling circles that Foley’s savage killing can be exploited for purposes of another war found their most grotesque expression in the resurfacing on the television news of former Vice President Dick Cheney, who demanded that Obama “deal with the crisis in Iraq.” Acknowledging that Foley’s murder was a “terrible development,” Cheney warned of another 9/11. “But magnify that a million times over because that is what’s in store for the rest of the world if we don’t deal with this crisis,” he said.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Today's links

"Obama, the first African American president (hailed in 2008 by the ISO as a “transformative candidate”), has presided over an unprecedented growth of social inequality, a series of wars, and an assault on the most basic democratic rights." Joseph Kishore, Class, race and the police killing in Ferguson, Missouri, WSWS




1---Subprime auto loans deteriorate, zero hedge


As NBC summarizes: "The repo man is getting very busy as a growing number of car and truck owners are struggling to make their monthly auto loan payments. Experian, which analyses millions of auto loans, said Wednesday that the percentage of those loans that were delinquent or ended up in default with the vehicle being repossessed surged in the second quarter of this year."


Hyperbole? Hardly. In fact, the auto loan subprime bubble may be the latest to burst (after student loans) as the rate of car repossessions jumped 70.2 percent in the second quarter, with much of that increase coming from finance companies not run by automakers, banks or credit unions. The good news: the percentage of auto loans that end in default is just 0.62% of all auto loans. However, as everyone but the Fed knows, what matters is the flow, not the stock, and the direction and acceleration in defaults simply means that the maximum saturation point has been reached and going forward lenders will experience ever greater losses, which in turn will limit their willingness to offer subprime loans to US consumers desperate to find a house (because clearly one doesn't need to home when one can sleep in their Chevy Tahoe).


2---New report details depth of hunger crisis in the United States, wsws
http://www.rferl.org/content/iran-says-ready-to-supply-natural-gas-to-europe-/25386226.html
3---The everything bubble, macrobusiness


4---Military Considering Sending Additional Troops To Iraq, Officials Say, AP


5---Relaunching the war on terror, wsws


Obama’s remarks were saturated through and through with deceit and hypocrisy. For all the talk of “American values” standing as the opposite of ISIS, the reality is that the retrograde Islamist movement is in the final analysis a product of US imperialism’s successive interventions in the region.
Horrific crimes like that committed against James Foley have been taking place for years, many of them proudly recorded and posted on YouTube by the ISIS propaganda department. Members of religious minorities and others have been beheaded, crucified, subjected to mass shootings and buried alive.


The Obama administration remained silent about these crimes because they were carried out in Syria by ISIS and other Sunni sectarian Islamists operating under the umbrella of the so-called rebels, whose operations have been backed by Washington in a war for “regime change” against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
For the same reason, the kidnapping of James Foley, Steven Sotloff and at least three other American journalists received little attention in Washington, since their abductors were the US-backed “rebels,” rather than the regime that the US is seeking to overthrow.


The same Islamist fighters that the Obama administration backed in Syria—and in the US-NATO war for regime change in Libya three years ago—as champions of “freedom” and “democracy” suddenly became “terrorists” when they swept across the border into Iraq, linking up with Sunni insurgents and overwhelming the US-trained security forces.


In an attempt to confront the debacle created by its own policies, from the destruction of Iraqi society and the killing of upwards of a million Iraqis in a war based upon lies through to the backing of Islamist “rebels” in Libya and Syria, the Obama administration is now embarked on a third US war in Iraq, carrying out nearly 90 airstrikes in the past two weeks and deploying a growing number of US military “advisers...


the New York Daily News, headlined “There must be blood,” and concluding that Obama’s “limited objectives and rules of engagements” in Iraq “will no longer serve.” The clear implication is that Foley’s tragic death must be turned into the pretext for another full-scale US war of aggression in the Middle East.


6---Class, race and the police killing in Ferguson, Missouri, wsws
 
In response to the eruption of popular anger over the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the ruling class has employed a two-pronged strategy. It has mobilized the repressive apparatus of the state—militarized police firing tear gas and rubber bullets at peaceful protesters, the declaration of a “state of emergency” by the governor of Missouri, the deployment of the National Guard, the imposition of de facto martial law.
At the same time, after the initial outrage over the transformation of Ferguson into a war zone, the ruling elite has mobilized the political and media practitioners of identity politics.


The aim is to try to convince the workers and youth of majority-African American Ferguson and beyond that if those heading the apparatus of repression are likewise African American, this somehow makes the destruction of their democratic rights acceptable, even progressive. Political hucksters Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson were flown into the city last weekend to preach “unity” with the police and heap praise on the new head of security operations, the African American Missouri Highway Patrol captain, Ron Johnson.


With the media obsessing on the question of race (CNN hosted a town hall conversation on race and Ferguson Tuesday night in which the moderators actually segregated black and white participants), a column published this past weekend in Time magazine by former basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is, however limited its political conclusions, refreshing.


Under the headline “The Coming Race War Won’t Be About Race,” Abdul-Jabbar writes that it is necessary to “address the situation [in Ferguson] not just as another act of systemic racism, but as what else it is: class warfare.” Opposing those who foster racial (and also gender) divisions, he insists that “this fist-shaking of everyone’s racial agenda distracts America from the larger issue that the targets of police overreaction are based less on skin color and more on an even worse Ebola-level affliction: being poor.”....


In declaring that the “starting point” for understanding what happened in Ferguson is not class or economic inequality—ABC for any socialist—but race, the ISO brands itself as an anti-socialist and anti-working class organization. Race is a factor in American life, including the ruling class’s system of police repression. It is, however, a secondary and subordinate factor, and one that is bound up with basic class issues.
In a society based on the economic exploitation of the working class, the state is an instrument of class oppression, not racial oppression. Contrary to the provocative claims of Zirin, many victims of police brutality are white (one could cite the murder of James Boyd in Albuquerque earlier this year), while the police in cities like Detroit are predominantly black. The majority of poor in the United States are white, while the most concentrated levels of poverty and oppression of African American workers can be found in cities that have been run by African American politicians for decades.


9---Average delinquency for loans in foreclosure: 995 days, oc housing


I am now convinced that the servicing banks are simply not interested in pursuing foreclosure. I suspect that most of the lenders are unwilling to take the hit on their earnings that foreclosing would compel them to do....


Many of those most deeply underwater borrowed too much money at the peak either to buy or to refinance. Most couldn’t afford a fully-amortized payment on the loan, so when they borrowed, they either used interest-only or negative amortization loans. Many of those loans blew up and were foreclosed, but many more were modified. Most private-label modified home loans do not amortize, and of the 7 million modified loans, about 5.5 million are private-label. ...


As I have argued repeatedly for several years, this trade-up market is dead. You must get used to that idea



10---MH17 Verdict: Real Evidence Points to US-Kiev Cover-up of Failed False Flag, 21 century wire


11--Boeing-777 was downed by Ukrainian MiG-29, Romanian expert says, Pravda


12--Iran Says Ready To Supply Natural Gas To Europe , RFE


13---Interview with Sergei Glaziev (MUST SEE!) ,  vineyard of the saker