America Is Being Destroyed By Problems That Are Unaddressed – Paul Craig Roberts

EDITOR’S CHOICE | 31.12.2015 | 00:00

 

One hundred years ago European civilization, as it had been known, was ending its life in the Great War, later renamed World War I. Millions of soldiers ordered by mindless generals into the hostile arms of barbed wire and machine gun fire had left the armies stalemated in trenches. A reasonable peace could have been reached, but US President Woodrow Wilson kept the carnage going by sending fresh American soldiers to try to turn the tide against Germany in favor of the English and French.

The fresh Amerian machine gun and barbed wire fodder weakened the German position, and an armistance was agreed. The Germans were promised no territorial losses and no reparations if they laid down their arms, which they did only to be betrayed at Versailles. The injustice and stupidity of the Versailles Treaty produced the German hyperinflation, the collapse of the Weimar Republic, and the rise of Hitler.

Hitler’s demands that Germany be put back together from the pieces handed out to France, Belgium, Denmark, Lithuania, Czechoslovakia, and Poland, comprising 13 percent of Germany’s European territory and one-tenth of her population, and a repeat of French and British stupidity that had sired the Great War finished off the remnants of European civilization in World War II.

The United States benefitted greatly from this death. The economy of the United States was left untouched by both world wars, but economies elsewhere were destroyed. This left Washington and the New York banks the arbiters of the world economy. The US dollar replaced British sterling as the world reserve currency and became the foundation of US domination in the second half of the 20th century, a domination limited in its reach only by the Soviet Union.

The Soviet collapse in 1991 removed this constraint from Washington. The result was a burst of American arrogance and hubris that wiped away in over-reach the leadership power that had been handed to the United States. Since the Clinton regime, Washington’s wars have eroded American leadership and replaced stability in the Middle East and North Africa with chaos.

Washington moved in the wrong direction both in the economic and political arenas. In place of diplomacy, Washington used threats and coercion. “Do as you are told or we will bomb you into the stone age,” as Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage told President Musharraf of Pakistan. Not content to bully weak countries, Washington threatens poweful countries such as Russia, China, and Iran with economic sanctions and military actions. Consequently, much of the non-Western world is abandoning the US dollar as world currency, and a number of countries are organizing a payments system, World Bank, and IMF of their own. Some NATO members are rethinking their membership in an organization that Washington is herding into conflict with Russia.

China’s unexpectedly rapid rise to power owes much to the greed of American capitalism. Pushed by Wall Street and the lure of “performance bonuses,” US corporate executives brought a halt to rising US living standards by sending high productivity, high value-added jobs abroad where comparable work is paid less. With the jobs went the technology and business knowhow. American capability was given to China. Apple Computer, for example, has not only offshored the jobs but also outsourced its production. Apple does not own the Chinese factories that produce its products.

The savings in US labor costs became corporate profits, executive renumeration, and shareholder capital gains. One consequence was the worsening of the US income distribution and the concentration of income and wealth in few hands. A middle class democracy was transformed into an oligarchy. As former President Jimmy Carter recently said, the US is no longer a democracy; it is an oligarchy.

In exchange for short-term profits and in order to avoid Wall Street threats of takeovers, capitalists gave away the American economy. As manufacturing and tradeable professional skill jobs flowed out of America, real family incomes ceased to grow and declined. The US labor force participation rate fell even as economic recovery was proclaimed. Job gains were limited to lowly paid domestic services, such as retail clerks, waitresses, and bartenders, and part-time jobs replaced full-time jobs. Young people entering the work force find it increasingly difficult to establish an independent existance, with 50 percent of 25-year old Americans living at home with parents.

In an economy driven by consumer and investment spending, the absence of growth in real consumer income means an economy without economic growth. Led by Alan Greenspan, the Federal Reserve in the first years of the 21st century substituted a growth in consumer debt for the missing growth in consumer income in order to keep the economy moving. This could only be a short-term palliative, because the growth of consumer debt is limited by the growth of consumer income.

Another serious mistake was the repeal of financial regulation that had made capitalism functional. The New York Banks were behind this egregious error, and they used their bought-and-paid-for Texas US Senator, whom they rewarded with a 7-figure salary and bank vice chairmanship to open the floodgates to amazing debt leverage and financial fraud with the repeal of Glass-Steagall.

The repeal of Glass-Steagall destroyed the separation of commercial from investment banking. One result was the concentration of banking. Five mega-banks now dominate the American financial scene. Another result was the power that the mega-banks gained over the government of the United States. Today the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve serve only the interests of the mega-banks.

In the United States savers have had no interest on their savings in eight years. Those who saved for their retirement in order to make paltry Social Security benefits liveable have had to draw down their capital, leaving less inheritance for hard-pressed sons, grandsons, daughters and granddaughters.

Washington’s financial policy is forcing families to gradually extinguish themselves. This is “freedom and democracy “ America today.

Among the capitalist themselves and their shills among the libertarian ideologues, who are correct about the abuse of government power but less concerned with the abuse of private power, the capitalist greed that is destroying families and the economy is regarded as the road to progress. By distrusting government regulators of private misbehavior, libertarians provided the cover for the repeal of the financial regulation that made American capitalism functional. Today dysfunctional capitalism rules, thanks to greed and libertarian ideology.

With the demise of the American middle class, which becomes more obvious each day as another ladder of upward mobility is dismantled, the United States becomes a bipolar country consisting of the rich and the poor. The most obvious conclusion is that the failure of American political ledership means instability, leading to a conflict between the haves—the one percent—and the dispossessed—the 99 percent.

The failure of leadership in the United States is not limited to the political arena but is across the board. The time horizon operating in American institutions is very short term. Just as US manufacturers have harmed US demand for their products by moving abroad American jobs and the consumer income associated with the jobs, university administrations are destroying universities. As much as 75 percent of university budgets is devoted to administration. There is a proliferation of provosts, assistant provosts, deans, assistant deans, and czars for every designated infraction of political correctness.

Tenure-track jobs, the bedrock of academic freedom, are disappearing as university administrators turn to adjuncts to teach courses for a few thousand dollars. The decline in tenure-track jobs heralds a decline in enrollments in Ph.D. programs. University enrollments overall are likely to decline. The university experience is eroding at the same time that the financial return to a university education is eroding. Increasingly students graduate into an employment environment that does not produce sufficient income to service their student loans or to form independent households.

Increasingly university research is funded by the Defense Department and by commercial interests and serves those interests. Universities are losing their role as sources of societal critics and reformers. Truth itself is becoming commercialized.

The banking system, which formerly financed business, is increasingly focused on converting as much of the economy as possible into leveraged debt instruments. Even consumer spending is reduced with high credit card interest rate charges. Indebtedness is rising faster than the real production in the economy.

Historically, capitalism was justified on the grounds that it guaranteed the efficient use of society’s resources. Profits were a sign that resources were being used to maximize social welfare, and losses were a sign of inefficient resource use, which was corrected by the firm going out of business. This is no longer the case when the economic policy of a counry serves to protect financial institutions that are “too big to fail” and when profits reflect the relocation abroad of US GDP as a result of jobs offshoring. Clearly, American capitalism no longer serves society, and the worsening distribution of income and wealth prove it.

None of these serious problems will be addressed by the presidential candidates, and no party’s platform will consist of a rescue plan for America. Unbridled greed, short-term in nature, will continue to drive America into the ground.

paulcraigroberts.org

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Saudi “Anti-Terror Coalition”: A Facade to Hide Yet More Terrorism

Global Research, December 30, 2015
stop_israel_us_saudi_arabia_turkey_qatar_supporting_isis_terrorists

A recently announced Saudi-led “anti-terror” coalition was met with great skepticism recently.

This is not because of doubts over Saudi Arabia’s sincerity alone, but because of the fact that much of the terrorism the “coalition” is allegedly to fight is an intentional creation of Saudi Arabian foreign policy to begin with.

Image: Saudi Arabia, indisputably the premier state-sponsor of terrorism on Earth, and supplying the ideological “source code” carried forth by Al Qaeda and the so-called “Islamic State,” claims it wants to lead an “anti-terror coalition.” The world is reasonable to call this disingenuous at best, a ploy to continue, or even expand terrorism at worst. 

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CNN’s article, “Muslim nations form coalition to fight terror, call Islamic extremism ‘disease’,” claims:

Calling Islamic extremism a disease, Saudi Arabia has announced the formation of a coalition of 34 largely Muslim nations to fight terrorism.

“This announcement comes from the Islamic world’s vigilance in fighting this disease so it can be a partner, as a group of countries, in the fight against this disease,” Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman said.

Asked whether the new coalition could include ground forces, Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat told reporters in Paris on Tuesday that “nothing is off the table.”

In reality, decades of documented evidence reveal that the Saudis are the primary conduit through which Western cash, weapons, support, and directives flow into mercenary armies of extremists, indoctrinated by Saudi Wahhabism – a politically-motivated perversion of Islam – and sent to execute joint Western-Saudi  geopolitical ambitions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and beyond.

In fact, over the decades, one can see a direct relation to the increasing impotence of Western conventional forces and their ability to project power across the planet, and the rise of unconventional terrorist forces that reach into otherwise inaccessible regions in their stead.

Image: The seats were still warm in Riyadh where representatives from Al Qaeda affiliates fighting in Syria sat, discussing with their Saudi sponsors future collaboration as Saudi Arabia announced its “anti-terror coalition.” 

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This does more than the West’s feigned ignorance and surprise to explain why, after a year of allegedly battling the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh) in Syria, the United States made little progress and only after Russia’s recent intervention, has the terrorist organization’s existence been put in jeopardy.

The rise of ISIS, turns out to be the premeditated machinations of the West and its regional partners. A Department of Intelligence Agency (DIA) report drafted in 2012 (.pdf) admitted:

If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).

To clarify just who these “supporting powers” were that sought the creation of a “Salafist” (Islamic) principality” (State), the DIA report explains:

The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime.

The DIA report makes it clear that Saudi Arabia’s “coalition” is the source of all terrorism, not the solution, and that there already exists a coalition sincerely committed to exterminating the scourge of militant extremism in the MENA region – Russia, China, Iran, and of course Syria itself.

A Facade to Hide Continued Terrorism Behind 

Likely what Saudi Arabia is doing, is attempting to reboot a narrative that, as of late, is increasingly implicating it and many of the members of its “coalition” as the very source of global terrorism. Additionally, Saudi Arabia has become increasingly involved directly with military operations beyond its borders. Its forces are fighting in neighboring Yemen, and military forces from Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf neighbors have been fighting covertly and semi-covertly in operations stretching from Libya to Syria.

Creating a “coalition” to fight “terrorism,” would give the Saudis another rhetorical ploy to hide their increasingly direct role in supporting militarily the terrorist proxies they have deployed and who are now being defeated across the MENA region. Just as the US has done in Syria, using ISIS as a pretext to involve itself directly and militarily in the Syrian conflict without ever actually fighting ISIS, Saudi Arabia is seeking to create a plausible cover story to do the same.

For those interested in truly defeating terrorism globally – recognizing the state sponsors of terrorism and excluding them categorically from solving the problem until they are held responsible for creating it in the first place is essential. Saudi Arabia’s announcement was met with skepticism, even ridicule for this very reason. Second, to defeat terrorism globally, those truly interested in investing in such a battle, should do so with those demonstrating a sincere desire to eradicate this scourge.

Thanks to the US DIA, a list of nations leading the fight has already been provided.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.

‘Turkey has a war trade with ISIS,’ making millions with oil – VA state Senator Richard Black


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Captured Daesh Fighter Reveals Turkey’s Connection To ISIS, Predicts New 9/11

isis-american-made-weapons

By Brandon Turbeville

It appears that the week of Christmas in 2015 is quite the low moment for Turkey’s public relations department. In addition to be revealed as one of the top purchasers of ISIS oil by many in the alternative media, the Russian government, and a number of other sources, Erdogan’s own son has been pointed out as one of the principal smugglers and the Turkish President’s own daughter as the Florence Nightingale of the caliphate. If that wasn’t bad enough, an independent report by aNorwegian oil consulting firm also confirmed that much of the ISIS oil was being shipped directly to Turkey. A Turkish party member even revealed that the terrorists who committed the chemical weapons attack in Ghouta most likely received their chemical weapons from Turkey and committed the atrocity with foreknowledge and assistance from Turkish intelligence.

Yet the hits to the Turkish government’s public relations just keep on coming, the latest of which involves statements coming from an ISIS member who was recently captured by Kurdish troops in Syria, who has revealed that not only is Turkey a primary buyer of ISIS oil but that ISIS fighters were being trained both in and by Turkey itself to be deployed into Syria. The captured fighter also revealed that the ISIS fighters on the ground do not take the American airstrikes seriously, viewing them as nothing more than show.

Mahmut Ghazi Tatar, the member of Daesh captured by the Syrian Kurds, gave an interview to Sputnik Turkiye about his experiences in joining the terrorist organization. Tatar, who is 24 years old, allegedly joined Daesh after being influenced by a friend who was already a member. Tatar joined Daesh along with 27 other Turks.

Tatar relates his path from Turkey to Syria by stating:

After crossing border we were moved to a training camp 5 km from the border. We received military training and attended religious classes. Before the start of training, each of us was asked whether we want to be martyrs. I refused. This question is asked of all new recruits. Those who agree, within 6 months receive special religious training. Since I refused, my education and training lasted 70 days. We learned by the Turkish books. During the training, a few people from Turkey came to check on us. They did not have beards and they were not members of Daesh.

After they received training, the 28 men were moved to Tal Abyad, where they were kept secret and allowed no contact with their families. Tatar states that his group received warning that the Kurds had learned of their whereabouts and had planned to storm the house in which they were staying. Thus, Tatar fled from Tal Abyad along with 12 other members. The men made it to a nearby village but were captured after Tatar attempted to make a run for it.

Speaking about the oil being sold by ISIS to supposedly “unknown” and shadowy entities in the Middle East, Tatar stated what many in the alternative media have known for some time – that the principal purchaser of ISIS oil was in fact Turkey, a NATO country.

Tatar states,

The oil tankers that were sent every day to Turkey had crude oil, fuel oil and gasoline. The main source of income for Daesh is oil trade and oil inventories will last them a long time.

Abu Talha [Daesh commander] also said that the group earns a lot of money in trade with Turkey. He also said that the oil is sold through the mediation of a number of businessmen and merchants, but did not give names. Daesh also receives many products from Turkey and other Arab countries.

Tatar stated that neither he nor his comrades attached “particular importance to the US bombings. They believed that it was done as a pretense.”

Tatar mentioned that, at one point, a member of his group asked their commander, Abu Talha, why Daesh did not attack Israel. Talha’s response was “First we need to break down a small wall and then destroy the large one.”

Tatar described most ISIS recruits as coming from Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Yemen, Qatar, Lebanon, and Egypt and that they entered Syria from the Turkish border, a very easy thing to do. European and American fighters, according to Tatar, follow the same route.
Tatar also forebodingly stated that, “The commanders told us that they were going to commit a terrorist act that would exceed the scale of the September 11 attacks on the US.”

While Tatar revealed nothing that was not already widely known amongst geopolitical researchers, his information does confirm what many have been saying all along regarding the purchase of ISIS oil – that NATO and Turkey in particular is the largestconsumer of this oil and, thus, is contributing to the financial support of ISIS (among several other methods of funding). Tatar also confirms the nature of the American airstrikes against Daesh – the lack of actual bombing of terrorist targets – and the fact that Turkish assistance is essential to the funneling of terrorists into Syria.

Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 andvolume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 500 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.

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Did John McCain Meet with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Alleged Head of the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh)?

Global Research, December 28, 2015

John-McCain

The visit took place on May 27, 2013.

According to news reports:

Arizona Senator McCain crossed into Syria form Turkey with General Salem Idris, who leads the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army, and stayed there for several hours before returning back.

The senator met with assembled leaders of Free Syrian Army units in both Turkey and Syria.

McCain with al-Baghdadi from TV report

Mugshot of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi

According to AP, McCain crossed the border near Kilis, Turkey, and spent two hours meeting with ‘rebel leaders’ near Idlib, Syria. The article further states that McCain made the trip in order to demand “aggressive military action in the 2-year-old Syrian civil war, calling for the establishment of a no-fly zone and arming the rebels”.

Presidential Spokesman Jay Carney said “the White House was aware in advance of McCain’s plans to travel to Syria. Carney declined to say whether McCain was carrying any message from the administration, but he said White House officials looked forward to hearing about his trip”.

Here is an ABC News report on the visit, posted to YouTube: it speaks for itself.

McCain’s two-hour visit has garnered a lot of attention because some bloggers claim that two of the rebel leaders seen in the photos that McCain posted to his Twitter account look very much like leaders of the Islamic State: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Muahmmad Noor.

Al-Baghdadi profile

The New York Times, on Sept. 11, 2014 mentioned the blog Socioeconomic History in an article  that attempted to help McCain by simply claiming that the Internet “rumors” were “false”; however the Times didn’t provide any details: only a denial by McCain’s communications director and another denial by the executive director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force, a DC lobbying organization led by a Palestinian employee of AIPAC, which arranged the senator’s visit.

While information about Muahmmad Noor is hard to find, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is the alleged leader of the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh).

Other blogs have denied that the man seen talking to McCain is al-Baghdadi, pointing to decoy photographs provided afterwards by the US and the Iraqi government.

However, the photographs that McCain posted to his Twitter account and a video published by the IS on July 5, 2014, in which al Baghdadi is leading Friday prayers in Mosul, are eerily alike.

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SZJMMdWC6o)

Al-Baghdadi in meeting with McCain

Closeup of al-Baghdadi speaking to McCain 

Not only that, the man in the first photograph of Al-Baghdadi released by the U.S. in 2011 looks identical to the man who met with McCain.

Mugshot of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Closeup of al-Baghdadi outside with McCain

The United States held al-Baghdadi in a military prison in Iraq named Camp Bucca from 2005 to 2009 (or 2010) and then released him, allegedly at the request of the Iraqi government. As he was being turned over to the custody of the Iraqi government, he reportedly told his US military captors, “I’ll see you in New York”. (quoted by Fox News)

Camp Bucca is worth more attention, as it may have been a recruiting and training center for fighters who would go on to lead the IS.

Right after al-Baghdadi was freed, the Islamic State emerged out of nowhere and rapidly took over important swaths of Iraq and Syria. The U.S. officially designated al-Baghdadi a terrorist on October 4, 2011, and offered the $10 million reward for his capture or killing. This was when the U.S. released its first photograph of its former prisoner.

Subsequently, the U.S. released another mug shot from Camp Bucca, which doesn’t look like the first, partly because the man has glasses and a heavy beard. A really bad photograph released by the Iraqi Interior Ministry, like the second US mug shot, also seems to be a decoy intended to cover up al-Baghdadi’s connections with the U.S. government. It doesn’t appear to be the same man.

The details about al-Baghdadi’s background are as blurry as the Iraqi Interior photograph. He is reported to have been born in Samarra, north of Baghdad, on July 28, 1971. According to an article in The Telegraph, he was a Salafi, who became al-Qaeda’s point man in Qaim in Iraq’s western desert. The article states:

“Abu Duaa was connected to the intimidation, torture and murder of local civilians in Qaim”, says a Pentagon document. “He would kidnap individuals or entire families, accuse them, pronounce sentence and then publicly execute them.”

Al-Baghjdadi would be only 43 when he was filmed leading prayers in Mosul in 2014, and 42 when he met with John McCain in 2013. The McCain photos and the Mosul videos show a man of about that age.

Al-Baghdadi in Mosul

Senator McCain has a long relationship with the CIA as the president of the State Department-funded International Republican Institute. The IRI organized the overthrow of Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide in 2004, and has been involved in many other overthrow operations, including the coup in Ukraine.

According to journalist Thierry Meyssan, who is based in Damascus, McCain participated in every color revolution over the past 20 years. Also according to Meyssan, McCain chaired a meeting held in Cairo on February 4, 2011, which NATO had organized to launch the “Arab Spring” in Libya and Syria. The so-called uprising in Syria began shortly

afterward. http://www.voltairenet.org/article185085.html

Meyssan’s claim that McCain is intimately involved with CIA-organized overthrows makes lot more sense than the fiction that nobody knows who Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is or how this violent Iraqi al-Qaeda leader ended up meeting of ‘Syrian rebels’ with the senator inside of Syria. The inescapable conclusion is that all of the men at the meeting, including al-Baghdadi are CIA assets, and that IS is a CIA creation.

GR. Editor’s Note: The author of this article has requested that his name not appear due to the sensitive nature of this text.  While GR has verified the sources and evidence presented herewith, the usual disclaimer applies (see below). 


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Freed From Darkness: Victims of the ‘Moderate Rebels’ Tell Their Stories

Posted on December 30, 2015


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Interview with Seymour Hersch

Posted on December 30, 2015

 

 

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