Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Today's Links

Today's Quote: "No attempt is being made in the pro-imperialist media to assess how ISIS came to take control of Iraq’s second largest city in the first place. It is the direct outcome of the brutal repression of the Sunni minority in the country, first at the hands of the US military occupation forces and then by the forces of the Shiite-dominated government that rules in Baghdad. ISIS, which gained its initial strength in Syria from the CIA-sponsored campaign to arm Islamist militias to fight the Russian-backed Assad regime, was able to cross into Iraq in 2014 and portray itself as the liberator of Sunni communities....


The contrast between the portrayal of the siege of Aleppo and the assault on Mosul has entered into the annals of imperialist hypocrisy and deceit. One of final legacies of the eight-year Obama administration—elected in November 2008 in large part due to the anti-war sentiment among the American people but which has presided over continuous war since taking office—is shaping up to be a bloodbath in northern Iraq." US-backed Iraqi forces tighten noose around Mosul, WSWS




1--Saudis, China Dump Treasuries; Foreign Central Banks Liquidate A Record $346 Billion In US Paper


2--Central Bank Tools Are Losing Their Edge       --Central banks have shown the will to hit their growth and inflation targets. But do they have the way? (sept 21)


3--The Atlanta Fed lowered their q3 estimates further on today’s news: Drops to 1.9%  --OUCH


4--The Amazing Down Spiral of Atlanta Fed’s Q3 GDPNow Forecast


5--Goldman Says U.S. Bondholders Risk a $1.1 Trillion Hit if Rates Spike


A 1 percent increase in interest rates could inflict a $1.1 trillion loss to the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Index, analysts at Goldman calculate, representing a larger loss for bondholders than at any other point in history. With the bank predicting the selloff in bonds has further to run, that remains "far from a tail scenario," its analysts write. ...

With average bond maturities worldwide now more than double the inflation-adjusted level of 2009, and three times that of 1994, Goldman says there's an elevated risk of losses if rates spike higher.
"We see potential for the rates market to continue to sell off, and the notional amount of duration dollars at risk is unprecedentedly large," Goldman fixed-income analysts, led by Marty Young, wrote in the report on Monday

6--At  the low end, homeowners are even more leveraged than they were during the bubble  What could go wrong?

In fact, owners of entry-level homes, those in the $150,000 to $300,000 range — have more debt and less equity now than they did in 2005, at the height of mortgage mania.

7--More Than One Worry Is Hitting Bond Markets -- Reduced global risk, changing central-bank tactics and higher inflation will all keep pushing up Treasury yields

But perhaps biggest reason investors should worry about higher Treasury yields is an old one: inflation. The inflation expectations embedded in Treasury inflation-protected securities imply that inflation will average 1.52% over the next five years—more than 1.24% implied at the start of September, but still very low

8--ISIS Moves To Syria Where Erdogan Still Aims For Aleppo

9--Is the US election rigged?

Trump’s statements are a mixture of half-truths and lies. While there is no doubt that the media establishment has lined up behind Clinton, Trump is using the “rigged election” claim to lay the basis for declaring the election to have been stolen. He is preparing to use the “stolen election” as the rallying cry for the development of an extra-parliamentary, far-right movement after November 8...

The question, however, goes far beyond vote-rigging. Even by the standards of other major capitalist countries, the electoral system in the United States is among the least democratic. The two-party system is institutionalized, enforcing a political monopoly of two right-wing parties entirely beholden to the financial aristocracy—this in a vast and diverse country of 320 million people!

State ballot access and election laws impose prohibitive requirements, including the collection of tens of thousands of signatures, making it virtually impossible for “third party” and independent candidates to mount an effective campaign.
This political duopoly is reinforced by the unrestricted role of corporate money in US elections, corrupting the entire process to a degree, and with a brazenness, unmatched by any other major industrialized country. It is estimated that campaign spending by presidential and congressional candidates this year will hit a new record of more than $7.3 billion

10--EU foreign ministers adopt statement denouncing Russia and Syria

As US-backed Islamist militias in Aleppo face imminent defeat at the hands of the Syrian army and the Russian air force, the US media are denouncing Moscow. Top US military officers have publicly advocated imposing no-fly zones over Syria to ground Russian warplanes, acknowledging that this would require a war with Syria and Russia, a nuclear-armed power.

The EU statement echoes this mendacious war propaganda. It calls for the ending of all flights over Aleppo and denounces Moscow for possible “war crimes,” while covering up NATO's arming of Al Qaeda-linked militias, like the Al Nusra Front (now also known as Fateh al-Sham), in Syria.

It writes, “The Syrian regime has the primary responsibility for the protection of the Syrian population. The EU therefore strongly condemns the excessive and disproportionate attacks by the regime and its allies, both deliberate and indiscriminate, against civilian populations, humanitarian and health care personnel, and civilian and humanitarian infrastructures and calls on them to cease indiscriminate aerial bombardment. The EU condemns the continued systematic, widespread, and gross violations and abuses of human rights and all violations of international humanitarian law by all parties, particularly the Syrian regime and its allies.”...

Yet they denounce the Assad regime's attempts to defend itself from a far larger military threat—the direct intervention of the CIA and the European intelligence agencies, funded by the Persian Gulf oil sheikdoms, to back Al Qaeda-linked Islamist militias—as a war crime....

These issues emerged in a recent paper, titled “America's Russia policy and the European security order,” by the German think-tank Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP). “US-Russian relations remain central to the European security order,” the SWP complained, adding: “Strong social and economic interests in a stable cooperative relationship have not succeeded in developing.”
This has resulted in a situation, the SWP added, where “Washington increasingly faces the alternatives of either accepting a [Russian] sphere of influence in the interest of global cooperation and the avoidance of war risks, or of power rivalries with a high potential for escalation.”

11--US-backed Iraqi forces tighten noose around Mosul

For weeks the Obama administration, its European allies and virtually the entire western media have accused Russia and the Syrian government of war crimes for the desperate conditions that face civilians in Aleppo, due to the offensive being waged against Islamist rebels who control the east of the city.

What has begun in Mosul is a war crime of even greater dimensions. The US-directed Iraqi government assaults on the western cities of Fallujah and Ramadi left them in ruins by the time they were recaptured from ISIS. Mosul, a far larger city, whose history goes back over 3,500 years to the Assyrian Empire, now faces the same fate. The United Nations and aid agencies are continuing to make alarmed warnings about the plight of civilians trapped in the city and for greater action to prepare for the predicted exodus of hundreds of thousands of starving and sick people.

No attempt is being made in the pro-imperialist media to assess how ISIS came to take control of Iraq’s second largest city in the first place. It is the direct outcome of the brutal repression of the Sunni minority in the country, first at the hands of the US military occupation forces and then by the forces of the Shiite-dominated government that rules in Baghdad. ISIS, which gained its initial strength in Syria from the CIA-sponsored campaign to arm Islamist militias to fight the Russian-backed Assad regime, was able to cross into Iraq in 2014 and portray itself as the liberator of Sunni communities....

ISIS—until then a de-facto US proxy in Syria—only came to be viewed as an obstacle to American strategic interests because of the threat it posed to both the Iraqi government and the pro-US Kurdish region. In June 2014, barely 1,000 ISIS fighters were able to rout as many as 30,000 Iraqi government troops, take over Mosul and capture vast quantities of vehicles, weapons and ammunition, as well as some $500 million in cash and gold....

12--ISIS Moves To Syria Where Erdogan Still Aims For Aleppo

The attack on Mosul proceeds on three axes. From the north Kurdish Peshmerga under U.S. special force advisors lead the fighting. Iraqi forces attack from the east and south. The way to the west, towards Syria, is open. The intend of the U.S. is to let ISIS fighters, several thousand of them, flee to Deir Ezzor and Raqqa in Syria. They are needed there to further destroy the Syrian state.

We pointed out here that this move will create the "Salafist principality" the U.S. and its allies have striven to install in east-Syria since 2012. The "mistake" of the U.S. bombing of Syrian army positions in Deir Ezzor was in support of that plan. Other commentators finally catch up with that conclusion...

It was the Saudi proxy al-Nujaifi who practically handed Anbar over to ISIS by ordering his troops to flee when ISIS attacked. He and his Saudi and Turkish sponsors want to create an independent Sunni statelet in west Iraq just like the Kurds created their own entity within north Iraq.
The U.S. hopes that the influx of ISIS fighters into Syria will keep the Russians and Iranians trapped in the "quagmire" Obama prescribed and finally destroy the Syrian state. It seems to have mostly given up on other plans. The U.S. military now acknowledges that fighting the Russian air defense in Syria would be a real challenge:
"It’s not like we’ve had any shoot at an F-35,” the official said of the next-generation U.S. fighter jet. “We’re not sure if any of our aircraft can defeat the S-300.”
There is a "no-fly zone" over west-Syria and it is the Russians who control it. All U.S. and Turkish talk about such a zone is moot. The Obama administration has for now also given up on other plans. The recent National Security Council meeting deferred on further decisions:
Consideration of other alternatives, including the shipment of arms to U.S.-allied Kurdish forces in Syria, and an increase in the quantity and quality of weapons supplied to opposition fighters in Aleppo and elsewhere, were deferred until later, officials said. U.S. military action to stop Syrian and Russian bombing of civilians was even further down the list of possibilities....

For Thursday the Russian command announced a unilateral temporary ceasefire in east-Aleppo to let the Jihadis move out. British and other special forces, said to be embedded with al-Qaeda, will be happy for the chance to leave.
In Iraq some Shia militia are moving towards Tal Afar to cut of the ISIS path to the west. Russia promised to take political and military measures should it detect an ISIS move. In east-Syria the Russian and Syrian air-forces, Hizbullah and more Shia militia from Iraq are now preparing surprises for the expected ISIS influx from Mosul. How much can they risk when the U.S. provides further air-support for the ISIS move


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