Monday, February 2, 2015

Today's Links

1--U.S. Considers Supplying Arms to Ukraine Forces, Officials Say, NYT
2--‘Group-Thinking’ the World into a New War, Robert Parry

3--U.S. consumer spending recorded its biggest decline since late 2009 in December, with households appearing to save the extra cash from cheaper gasoline, which could support future consumption.
The Commerce Department said on Monday consumer spending dropped 0.3 percent after a downwardly revised 0.5 percent increase in November. It was the largest drop since September 2009.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, falling 0.2 percent in December after a previously reported 0.6 percent increase

4--US media applauds destruction of Fallujah archive, wsws

5--The Destruction and Reconstruction of North Korea, 1950 - 1960 archive

The American Air War and the Destruction of North Korea
The Korean War, a “limited war” for the US and UN forces, was for Koreans a total war. The human and material resources of North and South Korea were used to their utmost. The physical destruction and loss of life on both sides was almost beyond comprehension, but the North suffered the greater damage, due to American saturation bombing and the scorched-earth policy of the retreating UN forces.1 The US Air Force estimated that North Korea’s destruction was proportionately greater than that of Japan in the Second World War, where the US had turned 64 major cities to rubble and used the atomic bomb to destroy two others.  American planes dropped 635,000 tons of bombs on Korea --  that is, essentially on North Korea --including 32,557 tons of napalm, compared to 503,000 tons of bombs dropped in the entire Pacific theatre of World War II.2 The number of Korean dead, injured or missing by war’s end approached three million, ten percent of the overall population. The majority of those killed were in the North, which had half of the population of the South; although the DPRK does not have official figures, possibly twelve to fifteen percent of the population was killed in the war, a figure close to or surpassing the proportion of Soviet citizens killed in World War II.3

The act which inflicted the greatest loss of civilian life in the Korean War by far, one which the North Koreans have claimed ever since was America’s greatest war crime, was the aerial bombardment of North Korean population centers. ... By the end of the war, North Korea claimed that only two modern buildings remained standing in Pyongyang...

According to DPRK figures, the war destroyed some 8,700 factories, 5,000 schools, 1,000 hospitals and 600,000 homes.8 Most of the destruction occurred in 1950 and 1951.  To escape the bombing, entire factories were moved underground, along with schools, hospitals, government offices, and much of the population. Agriculture was devastated, and famine loomed. Peasants hid underground during the day and came out to farm at night. Destruction of livestock, shortages of seed, farm tools, and fertilizer, and loss of manpower reduced agricultural production to the level of bare subsistence at best. The Nodong Sinmun newspaper referred to 1951 as “the year of unbearable trials,” a phrase revived in the famine years of the 1990s.9 Worse was yet to come. By the fall of 1952, there were no effective targets left for US planes to hit. Every significant town, city and industrial area in North Korea had already been bombed. In the spring of 1953, the Air Force targeted irrigation dams on the Yalu River, both to destroy the North Korean rice crop and to pressure the Chinese, who would have to supply more food aid to the North. Five reservoirs were hit, flooding thousands of acres of farmland, inundating whole towns and laying waste to the essential food source for millions of North Koreans.10 Only emergency assistance from China, the USSR, and other socialist countries prevented widespread famine.

6---Venezuela: a Coup in Real Time, Eva Golinger, CP

7--Biggest U.S. Oil Workers Strike Since 1980 Enters Second Day, Bloomberg

8---An overview of the socio - humanitarian situation on the territory of Donetsk People's Republic as a consequence of military action from 17 to 23 January 2015

industry destroyed:
- 4681 residential building in the amount of 376 million UAH.;
- 551 transmission lines and distribution of electricity;
- 136 object of supply unit in the amount of 8.8 million UAH.;
- 30 object of water supply facilities in the amount of 4.8 million UAH.;
- 2035 object of gas supply in the amount of 10.5 million UAH.;
- 11 object of sites in the field of sanitation and sewerage services in the amount of 1.2 million UAH.;
- 52 object of healthcare facilities in the amount of about 27.6 million UAH.
 19.01.2015 in Donetsk, Kalininskiy district, when hit in the city hospital № 3 were damaged and therapeutic cardiology Department.
 - 209 schools and kindergartens to the amount of about 42,2 million UAH.;

9--Dahr Jamail: "What I saw in Falluja", you tube
10--Dahr Jamail The hidden massacre"

11--USD carry trade. Trouble ahead, zero hedge

Globally, the world is awash in borrowed money… most of it in US Dollars. The US Dollar carry trade is north of $9 trillion… literally than the economies of Germany and Japan COMBINED.
When you BORROW in US Dollars you are effectively SHORTING the US Dollar. So when the US Dollar rallies… you have to cover your SHORT or you blow up.
And the US Dollar has been rallying… HARD. Indeed, the move that began in July is already on par in scope with that which occurred during the 2008 meltdown:

This first wave imploded the price of Oil, numerous other commodities, and several emerging markets equities, most notably in Russia and Brazil.
However, the US markets are not immune to the move

12--Ukraine chief of staff ‘thwarts Western allegations’ by admitting no combat with Russian troops, RT

13--Tanks Are Rolling In Poland As NATO Plans Permanent Eastern European Bases, ZH

14--Maduro accuses Joe Biden of ‘bloody coup’ in Venezuela, RT

15--Rebel conscription drive, RT

The focus of the current hostilities is the area around the city of Debaltsevo, a stronghold of Ukrainian troops deep inside the rebel-held part of the country. Some 8,000 troops stationed in the area are at risk of being cut off from supply lines and suffering a major defeat. ...

“Elsewhere in the world, our Western partners are calling for dialogue between the authorities and the opposition. Everywhere in Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, South Sudan. But Ukraine is for some reason an exception. Western colleagues say that in Ukraine the most important thing is to support Kiev’s actions,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a media conference in China. ...

He added that apparently Washington plans to “maintain its unconditional support” of whatever Kiev does, even though “it apparently took a course towards a purely military suppression of the conflict.”
The civil war in eastern Ukraine has claimed more than 5,000 civilian lives, according to the latest UN count.

16--RT comments

No one matches the CIA for its propaganda:

Since the beginning of the week, the three most influential mass circulation newsmagazines of the United States, Britain, and Germany—Time, The Economist, and Der Spiegel—have published cover stories that combine wild accusations against Vladimir Putin with demands for a showdown with Russia. The most striking and obvious characteristic of these cover stories is that they are virtually identical. The CIA has scripted them all. The stories employ the same insults and the same fabrications. They denounce Putin’s “web of lies.” The Russian president is portrayed as a “depraved” mass murderer www . wsws .
org /en/articles/2014/07/30/pers-j30.html "The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media." -- William Colby, former CIA Director "You could get a journalist cheaper than a good call girl, for a couple hundred dollars a month." - CIA operative discussing with Philip Graham, editor Washington Post, on the availability and prices of journalists willing to peddle CIA propaganda and cover stories

17--More Russians expect full scale war with Ukraine, poll shows, RT

18--Diminishing Capex, cnbc

"We expect total energy capex will collapse by 25 percent in 2015," Goldman said in a report for clients. "The sector accounts for 33 percent of S&P 500 capex and should drag total S&P 500 capital expenditure growth into negative territory." ..

How and when corporate America will part with the $1.8 trillion it has stashed domestically and another $2 trillion or so overseas is a key question for future growth. ..

However, the holiday retail numbers were dismal, with Commerce Department reporting Monday that December retail spending was at a five-year low.
Read MoreConsumer spending weakest since 2009, inflation muted
At the same time, the Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index, also released Monday, registered a 53.5, a number that economist Paul Ashworth at Capital Economics said is more consistent with 2 percent rather than the expected 3 percent or better GDP growth this year.

19--Larry McDonald: Dollar creating ‘tremendous systemic risk’, cnbc

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