Monday, February 13, 2017

Today's Links



"Once a nation parts with the control of its currency and credit, it matters not who makes the nation's laws. ... Until the control of the issue of currency and credit is restored to government and recognized as its most sacred responsibility, all talk of the sovereignty of parliament and of democracy is idle and futile." Mackenzie King, Canadian Prime Minister 1935-1948.


1--Amnesty International Stokes Syrian War

2--Bank For International Settlements Warns Of Looming Debt Bubble

3--Obama fact sheet

4--Trump trusted more than media


5--The CIA As Organized Crime


Here’s Valentine[p.346]: “The CIA established a strategic intelligence network of magazines and publishing houses, as well as student and cultural organizations, including political and psychological warfare operations directed against American citizens. In other nations, the program was aimed at what Cord Meyer[CIA agent] called the Compatible Left, which in America translates into liberals and pseudo-intellectual status seekers who are easily influenced.

“All of this is ongoing, despite being exposed in the late 1960s. Various technological advances, including the internet, have spread the network around the world and many people don’t even realize they’re a part of it, that they’re promoting the CIA line.”..

From p.311] “Information management –including official secrecy and false accusations – is the key to pacifying the people through implicit terror, while making the internal security apparatus appear legal, moral and popular. This is being done to American citizens through the most ambitious psywar campaign ever waged on planet Earth.”...


6--Income share for the bottom 50% of Americans is ‘collapsing


7--Trump's plan to lower taxes


Trump said he planned to cut income tax rates and slash corporate taxes from 35 percent to 15 percent. A Tax Policy Center estimate said his proposal would add $7.2 trillion to the national debt over a decade. House Republicans also have a tax plan that partly overlaps with Trump's but contains some key differences, including a 20 percent corporate tax rate and a border adjustment provision....


priced for perfection" means the stock has climbed much higher than the analyst feels is justified. Investors have supposedly priced in all the good news that might occur to this company.

One teensy-weensy misstep in, say, an earnings report, and this stock is toast, or so the analyst believes. My interpretation when I hear analysts use that phrase is that they believe the stock is going down, and they don't have a clue why

8--(archive CFR) Russia's wrong Direction (Making  Putin "the enemy")


"Since the end of the Cold War, successive American administrations have sought to create a relationship with Russia that they called a 'partnership.' This is the right long-term goal, but it is unfortunately not a realistic prospect for U.S.-Russia relations over the next several years," says the report.

In the short run, the United States needs to see Russia for what it is now. "The real question that the United States faces in this period is not how to make a partnership with Russia work, it is how to make selective cooperation—and in some cases selective opposition—serve important international goals," concludes the report.  2006 before munich
http://www.cfr.org/iran/russias-wrong-direction/p9997

9--Saudi Arabia funds and exports Islamic extremism: The truth behind the toxic U.S. relationship with the theocratic monarchy


“If the world wants to tamp down and eliminate such violent extremism, it must confront this primary host and facilitator,” Butt warned.

In the past few decades, the Saudi regime has spent an estimated $100 billion exporting its extremist interpretation of Islam worldwide. It infuses its fundamentalist ideology in the ostensible charity work it performs, often targeting poor Muslim communities in countries like Pakistan or places like refugee camps, where uneducated, indigent, oppressed people are more susceptible to it.

Whether elements within Saudi Arabia support ISIS is contested. Even if Saudi Arabia does not directly support or fund ISIS, however, Saudi Arabia gives legitimacy to the extremist ideology ISIS preaches.

What is not contested, on the other hand, is that Saudi elites in the business community and even segments of the royal family support extremist groups like al-Qaida. U.S. government cables leaked by WikiLeaks admit “donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”
...
Whatever its role, what is clear is that Saudi Arabia’s support for violent extremist groups is well documented. Such support continues to this very day. In Syria, the Saudi monarchy has backed al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate. The U.S. government has bombed al-Nusra, but its ally Saudi Arabia is funding it.
“It has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority,” wrote former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a leaked 2009 cable.  ...

Saudi Arabia is not the sole reason for the extremism in the world today, but it is one of the primary sources of it. More crucially, the fanatical Wahhabi ideology the Saudi monarchy exports is one of the main reasons many rebel groups resisting these forms of injustice and oppression become Salafi Islamists, and not secular leftists, as most resistance groups were in the mid-20th century.

In the wake of the Paris and San Bernardino attacks, the West has again asked itself what it can do to stop Islamic extremism — while it is actively supporting Saudi Arabia, the world’s principal proselytizer of Islamic extremism.  

10-- Imprisoned British Terrorist Inspires Jihadists, Media Ignores Ties to Intelligence

11--Why Does Economic Growth Keep Slowing Down?

The U.S. economy expanded by 1.6 percent in 2016, as measured by real gross domestic product (GDP). Real GDP has averaged 2.1 percent growth per year since the end of the last recession, which is significantly smaller than the average over the postwar period (about 3 percent per year). ...

The current path of decline in output growth follows from both a slowdown in productivity growth and lower capacity utilization, though the latter factor started earlier and may have leveled off sooner.

12--Nazis in the Trump White House

13--U.S. Relies Heavily on Saudi Money to Support Syrian Rebels

— When President Obama secretly authorized the Central Intelligence Agency to begin arming Syria’s embattled rebels in 2013, the spy agency knew it would have a willing partner to help pay for the covert operation. It was the same partner the C.I.A. has relied on for decades for money and discretion in far-off conflicts: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Since then, the C.I.A. and its Saudi counterpart have maintained an unusual arrangement for the rebel-training mission, which the Americans have code-named Timber Sycamore. Under the deal, current and former administration officials said, the Saudis contribute both weapons and large sums of money, and the C.I.A takes the lead in training the rebels on AK-47 assault rifles and tank-destroying missiles.

The support for the Syrian rebels is only the latest chapter in the decadeslong relationship between the spy services of Saudi Arabia and the United States, an alliance that has endured through the Iran-contra scandal, support for the mujahedeen against the Soviets in Afghanistan and proxy fights in Africa.

Sometimes, as in Syria, the two countries have worked in concert. In others, Saudi Arabia has simply written checks underwriting American covert activities.
The joint arming and training program, which other Middle East nations contribute money to, continues as America’s relations with Saudi Arabia — and the kingdom’s place in the region — are in flux....

the Saudis have been public about their help arming rebel groups in Syria, the extent of their partnership with the C.I.A.’s covert action campaign and their direct financial support had not been disclosed. Details were pieced together in interviews with a half-dozen current and former American officials and sources from several Persian Gulf countries. Most spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the program.
From the moment the C.I.A. operation was started, Saudi money supported it.....

The Saudi efforts were led by the flamboyant Prince Bandar bin Sultan, at the time the intelligence chief, who directed Saudi spies to buy thousands of AK-47s and millions of rounds of ammunition in Eastern Europe for the Syrian rebels. The C.I.A. helped arrange some of the arms purchases for the Saudis, including a large deal in Croatia in 2012.
By the summer of 2012, a freewheeling feel had taken hold along Turkey’s border with Syria as the gulf nations funneled cash and weapons to rebel groups — even some that American officials were concerned had ties to radical groups like Al Qaeda....

Months later, Mr. Obama gave his approval for the C.I.A. to begin directly arming and training the rebels from a base in Jordan, amending the Timber Sycamore program to allow lethal assistance. Under the new arrangement, the C.I.A. took the lead in training, while Saudi Arabia’s intelligence agency, the General Intelligence Directorate, provided money and weapons, including TOW anti-tank missiles.
The Qataris have also helped finance the training and allowed a Qatari base to be used as an additional training location. But American officials said Saudi Arabia was by far the largest contributor to the operation....

The C.I.A. training program is separate from another program to arm Syrian rebels, one the Pentagon ran that has since ended. That program was designed to train rebels to combat Islamic State fighters in Syria, unlike the C.I.A.’s program, which focuses on rebel groups fighting the Syrian military.
While the intelligence alliance is central to the Syria fight and has been important in the war against Al Qaeda, a constant irritant in American-Saudi relations is just how much Saudi citizens continue to support terrorist groups, analysts said....

the alliance remains solid, strengthened by a bond between spy masters. Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the Saudi interior minister who took over the effort to arm the Syrian rebels from Prince Bandar, has known the C.I.A. director, John O. Brennan, from the time Mr. Brennan was the agency’s Riyadh station chief in the 1990s. Former colleagues say the two men remain close, and Prince Mohammed has won friends in Washington with his aggressive moves to dismantle terrorist groups like Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
The job Mr. Brennan once held in Riyadh is, more than the ambassador’s, the true locus of American power in the kingdom. Former diplomats recall that the most important discussions always flowed through the C.I.A. station chief....

(pioneering the use of proxies) The roots of the relationship run deep. In the late 1970s, the Saudis organized what was known as the “Safari Club” — a coalition of nations including Morocco, Egypt and France — that ran covert operations around Africa at a time when Congress had clipped the C.I.A.’s wings over years of abuses....

In perhaps the most consequential episode, the Saudis helped arm the mujahedeen rebels to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan. The United States committed hundreds of millions of dollars each year to the mission, and the Saudis matched it, dollar for dollar.
The money flowed through a C.I.A.-run Swiss bank account. In the book “Charlie Wilson’s War,” the journalist George Crile III describes how the C.I.A. arranged for the account to earn no interest, in keeping with the Islamic ban on usury.

14--Ukraine on Fire, Oliver Stone

15--Venezuela – Update, Oliver Stone

16--Investors Have Second Thoughts About Trump Trade

17--Phenomenal’ Waiting Around as Markets Search for Direction


                    


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