Defrauding Americans for a Living

 

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by Eve Mykytyn and Gilad Atzmon

Binary options fraud flourished in Israel for years before the industry was gradually outlawed by the Knesset which first made binary options illegal only for Israeli investors. Finally, in 2017 the Knesset managed to ban the sale of binary options altogether (with a three month grace period). The legislation followed superb  investigative reporting by The Times of Israel that began with a March 2016 article entitled “The Wolves of Tel Aviv.” At its peak, thousands of Israelis were employed by hundreds of Israeli companies engaged in the fraud.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls04sJh1e58

Despite the fact that an Israeli industry was defrauding Americans and Europeans, the American and European press have remained quiet about it. The US media has barely reported on the FBI ‘s arrest  or the trial of Lee Elbaz, CEO of Yukom Communications Ltd, an Israeli company accused of defrauding American investors out of millions of dollars. Maybe it is too much for the American MSM to advertise that a state that is pumped with billions of dollars of American taxpayers’ money gives little in return and ran an industry designed to separate Americans from their savings.

Apparently the Hebrew press also ignored the issue. Maybe this is because, after spring 2016, only  non Israelis were being defrauded. Perhaps the Israeli press was intimidated. After breaking the story, The Times of Israel was subjected to a ‘welter of legal and illegal threats’ and intimidation some of which were delivered by Israel’s most prestigious law firms no doubt paid for by the billions scammed.

The Times of Israel once again brought to our attention the trial of Lee Elbaz that is presently before a jury in Maryland.

The Times of Israel reports that In closing arguments on August 1, prosecutor L. Rush Atkinson described Elbaz as someone who lied to investors about their chances of making money and lied about their ability to withdraw money once they had deposited it. If an investor came to understand that he had been duped or wanted his money returned for whatever reason, his money was suddenly unavailable.

 A defense attorney said Elbaz did not condone the fraudulent tactics used by employees who worked under her supervision. Federal prosecutors alleged that far from being unaware of the fraud her employees were committing, Elbaz directed her sales agents to lie over the phone in addition to lying herself.

“In her own words, she was ‘a money-making machine.’ She was the center of a devastating fraud,” Atkinson said. “Her workers couldn’t remember a single client who withdrew the money they invested,” he added.

Elbaz’s defense attorney Barry Pollack displayed some pilpul* sophistry suggesting in his closing argument that being a “money-making machine” is not a crime.

Pollack is correct, some would even argue that making money is a mitzvah, yet making money by means of fraud is a crime even when the American press is too embarrassed to report about it.

Pollack argued that Elbaz had drawn that line at a place she thought was proper, based on a ‘legal opinion’ offered by David Bitton, lawyer for Yukom Communications. Bitton had opined that under Israeli law it is not illegal for a business to lie unless that lie is specifically about the product they are selling. Did Bitton affirm that lying for the cause is a kosher procedure, at least in Israel? You can sell products under fake name. You can fake your credential and even invent your past as long as you don’t lie about your  (non existent) product.

Asked by her attorney whether she thought it was wrong to use a fake name when interacting with investors, Elbaz replied: “No. I saw a legal opinion that it was allowed and I was asked by the broker to do it and also not to say we are from Israel; some people don’t like it [for anti-Semitic reasons].”

For those with short memories, this is the second time we’ve  learned this month that Jews should be allowed to lie about their identity and even fake their passports because of anti-Semitism. ‘Explaining’ the fake Passport found in Jeffrey Epstein’s house his defense lawyer Marc Fernich wrote: “Some Jewish-Americans were informally advised at the time to carry identification bearing a non-Jewish name when traveling internationally in case of hijacking.”

“Did you know your employees used fake names?” prosecuting attorney Henry Van Dyck asked. “We were asked by our broker not to expose Israeli names, and anti-Semitic-wise we are Jewish, working with people who don’t like it.”

“Some names are difficult to pronounce,” she added, offering this as another reason that employees used what she referred to as stage names.

“Why did Austin Smith need a fake name?” asked Van Dyck. “What about Oren Montgomery?”

“It’s hard to pronounce,” she replied.

“Harder to pronounce than Bill Shneizer?” he asked, referring to the pseudonym used by an employee named Oren Montgomery.

Prosecutor Caitlin Cottingham said that far from being harmless lies, the fake names and locations Elbaz and other used were essential to the alleged scheme, and used for a simple reason. “They used fake names because they didn’t want to get caught,” she said.

Or maybe the Israeli employees were asked to hide their Jewish names, not because their clients were potentially ‘anti-Semitic’ but because this entire operation evokes bad memories of the wolves of Wall Street.

* Pilpul – a method of Talmudic disputation among rabbinical scholars regarding the interpretation of notions, actions, rules, principles and  Scriptures.

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Boris Johnson, Brexit and the Deep State

August 01, 2019

by Nick Griffin for The Saker Blog

Boris Johnson, Brexit and the Deep State

Nick Griffin, a life-long opponent of the European Union and former Member of the European Parliament, explains why – after three years of believing that the rulers of Britain would block Brexit, he now believes it is more likely than not to be delivered.

Are the British people really going to get Brexit? For years, the answer given by well-informed realists has had to be ‘No!’ The UK’s ruling elite was so thoroughly Europhile that they would do whatever it took to block the will of the British people, and Brussels would go along with this deceit, just as they did when the French, the Dutch and the Irish were sold out to the EU by their own masters.

But today I’m going to tell you that it is now more likely than not that Brexit WILL happen. Indeed, assuming the new Boris Johnson regime manages to cling on to power, or is forced into a general election in which Johnson reaches some sort of deal with Nigel Farage, it is now virtually guaranteed.

Of course, there is a faint possibility that the whole Johnson business is a giant game of three-dimensional chess, and that he’s running an elaborate scam with no intention of getting Britain out. But, realistically, if that was the plan, there would be absolutely no purpose in delaying such a betrayal, still less in raising so many expectations.

To encourage and then dash such hopes would be ludicrously self-defeating, so we have to assume that Johnson and Co are serious and that – barring a series of events outside of their control, they WILL deliver Brexit.

So what has changed? Has the Europhile British elite suddenly had a change of heart and decided to do the decent thing by the people who pay their inflated salaries?

Of course not. Leopards don’t change their spots. But, in the case of the UK elite, it was always divided into two leopards, with very different spots. One of them, for years now the stronger animal, was blue with yellow, spots – a thoroughly European beast.

The colours of the, until recently, smaller animal are harder to discern. At first glance, they could be seen to resemble the American flag although, of course, that’s just part of the camouflage. Look closer and the thing’s coat actually looks more like a mass of intertwined dollar signs and Israeli flags!

Even within the USA, opinion has been divided on Britain’s membership of the European Union. Obama, for example, more or less ordered the Brits to vote to Remain – a factor in the decision of quite a few of them to vote to Leave! The neo-cons, by contrast, have become much more hostile to Brussels – particularly since the EU started to display alarming degrees of sympathy for the Palestinians.

It wasn’t always like that. During the Cold War, the US elite was more or less unanimously in favour of British membership of the EU, which right from the start was consistently promoted by the CIA as a block to balance the Soviet Union.

When the Communist regime collapsed in 1989, the US power elite gradually shifted its position on the EU. It moved from fervent support to a sort of agnostic, nothing to do with us boredom. But then it gradually became clear that the European Union was steadily becoming the pawn of the German industrial complex.

Even worse, the Germans were beginning to cosy up to Russia. Within just a few years, the combination of German manufacturing, the European market and Russia’s raw materials were clearly presenting a future threat to the global hegemony of Wall Street, the Federal Reserve and the American military-industrial complex.

On top of this, the in-built liberal-socialist majority within the EU was making it an increasingly large stumbling block to the globalist privatisation free-for-all favoured by the ultra-capitalist ideology promoted by the extremely influential followers of Ayn Rand.

Franco-German moves to create a European Army were seen as a challenge to NATO and to its Stateside leadership, and only served to strengthen the arguments of the anti-EU faction within the US elite.

All this led a significant section of the US Deep state to move towards hostility to the European Union, and to put in place measures to undermine it. From about 2008, this included the relentless media promotion (and, no doubt, funding) of dissident, Euro-sceptic political movements, particularly UKIP in Britain and the Five Star Movement in Italy.

Extremely well-funded globalist and neo-con think tanks, particularly the Henry Jackson Society and the London-based Policy Exchange, began to organise. Their mission – to lay the theoretical groundwork for a globalist, economically liberal, Atlanticist faction within British politics to challenge the pro-EU majority.

To cut a long story short, that faction has just grabbed control of the British ship of state! The Europhile elite have not changed their minds, the highly honed survival instinct of the British Conservative party, which has made it the oldest political party in the world, has simply handed the reins of power to a different bunch of politicians, in hock to a different foreign power. The UK just lurched even further out of the orbit of the Brussels bureaucrats and even closer to the Anglo-Zionist Empire.

Johnson and his gang really do appear committed to delivering Brexit, but before those who voted for it in the first place get too excited, it has to be said that, in delivering the letter of what the people voted for, this bunch will go on to drive a coach and horses through the spirit of that vote.

Because the British people voted Brexit fundamentally in a collective cry of anger and pain over being turned into marginalised outsiders in their own country. Brussels rule was conflated not just with losing our traditional weights and measures, but with the destruction of the old industries – fishing, coal, steel, ship-building – and the devastation of the working class communities that relied on them.

And, of course, with mass immigration, including that from former British colonies in the Third World, an influx which if anything was slowed down by the more recent arrival of generally far more assimilable East Europeans, courtesy of the EU.

On top of that was all the unease of millions of normal people over the political elite’s Gaderene rush to embrace social ultra-liberalism, in particular dripping wet law and order policies and a mania for LGBTQ+ triumphalism. Relentless newspaper headlines about crackpot rulings by the European Court of Justice led to ‘Europe’ getting the blame for a breakdown in law and order and in traditional justice.

Finally, with the majority of the political class urging people to vote to Remain, voting to Leave became a way of punishing the political elite, not just in Brussels, but in Westminster as well.

And yet, looking at the new Boris Johnson cabinet, and listening to his first few speeches as new Prime Minister, it is already all too clear that, while we are going to get Brexit, it certainly will not be the Brexit that the majority of Brits thought they were voting for!

To illustrate this, let’s take a brief, non-exhaustive look at some of the key players in the Johnson regime.

Let’s start with the man himself, noting the speed with which he spoke out about his pride in his partial Turkish Muslim and east European Jewish ancestry and the way in which, if ‘Islamophobia’ or ‘anti-Semitism’ rear their heads, he automatically finds himself thinking in terms of those ancestral loyalties, rather than what is good for Britain – as the British people are surely entitled to insist on in their Prime Minister.

Then, in one of his final campaign speeches, Johnson told the LGBT+ Conservatives (the tautology neatly sums up the state of the party and, more generally, Britain’s ruling political and media classes) that he has their back:

“I will continue to champion LGBT+ equality, get tough on hate crime and ensure that we break down barriers to a fairer society,” Johnson said, according to the group.

“We must do more to ensure that trans rights are protected and those who identify as trans or intersex are able to live their lives with dignity,” he continued, noting that he was one of the first senior party leaders to support same-sex marriage.

Following his meeting with the queen to officially accept the premiership, Johnson specifically mentioned the LGBTQ+ community in his speech outside No. 10 Downing Street.

“[The U.K.’s] brand and political personality is admired and even loved around the world for our inventiveness, for our humour, for our universities, our scientists, our armed forces, our diplomacy for the equalities on which we insist — whether race or gender or LGBT …….. and for the values we stand for around the world,” he said

Once upon a time, British political leaders justified going to war by speaking of making the world safe for democracy. Boris Johnson started his premiership by committing Britain to a global struggle to make the world safe for buggery!

Nor is this fixation with LGBTQ+ new. Although the never-satisfied ‘gay’ lobby is whining about a couple of throwaway ‘homophobic comments’ he made decades ago, Johnson voted in 2003 to repeal Section 28 of the Local Government Act of 1988, by which Margaret Thatcher prohibited local authorities from “promoting homosexuality” or “pretended family relationships.”

This vote opened the door to the indoctrination of school-children with homosexual propaganda. Johnson also voted for civil partnerships for homosexuals and attacked the institution of marriage as ‘bourgeois convention’.

Johnson has also wasted no time reiterating his support for an amnesty for huge numbers of illegal immigrants and boasting of sharing the views of pro-immigration Labour party MPs. Ominously, he has also refused to pledge even to attempt to stick to the upper limits on immigration promised – but of course not delivered – by his predecessor Theresa May.

With Brexit making it harder for Poles and Hungarians to come to Britain, it is already clear from Johnson’s waffle about making the UK ‘open’ and ‘welcoming immigrants’, that, far from stopping immigration as millions of voters expected, Johnson’s Brexit will merely swap Polish immigrants for more Pakistanis, Bulgarians for Botswanans.

Johnson probably will set Britain free from Brussels, but he is also openly committed to speeding up the process by which the duly ‘liberated’ Brits are replaced in their own country by a further flood of immigrants. And the social liberals posing as Johnson’s fake conservatives will urge the stupid Brits to suck it up and celebrate their added diversity.

We’ve already seen the start of this process in Johnson creating what he refers to as a “cabinet for modern Britain” – wording that The Guardian’s Kehinde Andrews rightly described as a “euphemism for non-white”.

Leading Johnson’s Great Replacement charge will be Home Secretary Priti Patel, who has spoken gushingly of how the new government will “ continue to push for a dynamic, global Britain that is outward looking ……Our vision is for a truly global country – one where we welcome the brightest and best, where we are more outward facing, and where we decide who comes here based on what they have to offer.”

The Brits can’t say they weren’t warned. Because capitalism demands not just cheap labour, but also an endless supply of new consumers. Even the worse educated and least assimilable featherless biped on the planet thus has plenty to offer big business. The door is going to open wide to them all.

Patel was forced to resign two years ago after holding secret meetings with Israeli ministers. The meetings included a visit to an Israeli army field hospital in the occupied Golan Heights, where wounded Al Qaeda and ISIS fighters were patched up and sent back to continue fighting against the pro-Christian government in Syria. Patel asked officials within her department to look into whether British aid money could be funneled into this medical centre.

The same dangerous obsequiousness to Israel has also been shown by Johnson’s new Chancellor, Sajid Javid. Two years after becoming MP, Javid told the Conservative Friends of Israel annual lunch that as a British born Muslim if he had to go and live in the Middle East, he would not go to a Muslim majority country: “There is only one place I could possibly go. Israel. The only nation in the Middle East that shares the same democratic values as Britain”.

He is talking, let us remind ourselves, about the last openly racist state on the planet, whose supporters around the world insist on the right of Jews to have their own exclusive homeland, at the very same time as denouncing any attempt by any white nation to restrict immigration or preserve traditional ethnic identities as ‘neo-Nazi’. And the state which has done more than any other –except Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Barak Obama’s White House – to fund, arm and aid the Islamist head-cutters at war in Syria.

In her resignation letter Patel admitted she “fell below the high standards that are expected of a Secretary of State.” Not for the first time! In the past she has been criticised for taking trips to Bahrain funded by that country’s repression Salafist regime, and attending a conference in Washington paid for by the Henry Jackson society.

As already noted, the Henry Jackson operation is one of the best-funded and most dangerous of all the trans-Atlantic neo-con think tanks. It constantly agitates for hostility to Russia, Iraq-war style meddling in the Middle East on behalf of Eretz Israel and Big Oil, and for a poisonous mixture of ultra-right-wing economics and social liberalism – including the privatisation of national assets and the promotion of LGBTQ+ agendas at the expense of traditional values.

The same sort of poison is promoted in Britain by the closely connected Policy Exchange think-tank. This was founded by Michael Gove, who Johnson just appointed as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, in many ways his political Chief of Staff in parliament.

Gove’s counterpart within the government itself is Munira Mirza, who Johnson just appointed Director of the Number 10 Policy Unit. She was previously Development Director at Policy Exchange and also worked on a range of its publications, including Living Apart Together: British Muslims and the paradox of multiculturalism.

As with all the other material coming out of the Johnson camp about multi-culturalism, this argued that the chief problem with Islam is that it hinders ‘integration’ – i.e. the process by which traditional British cultural and ethnic identity is replaced by the ultimate corporate dream of an atomised mass of rootless, identical consumers. And by which the traditional values once upheld by Christians and now defended mainly by Muslims are to be replaced by the anti-morality of the LGBTQ+ brigade and corporations greedy for pink pounds and rainbow dollars.

As with so many neo-cons on both sides of the Pond, Mirza started off as a Trotskyite. She was a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party. When it was dissolved in 1987 she followed other key comrades into the Living Marxism operation and then Spiked magazine, which has very successfully operated a policy of entryism into what passes for politica thought in Britain. Her Wiki entry quotes an article in the London Review of Books which noted that “Many of Munira’s ex party members have become influential in Conservative or Eurosceptic circles since the dissolution of their party, whilst remaining closely associated with each other’s endeavours.”

This includes the former party leader Frank Furedi, whose wife Ann is one of Britain’s most powerful abortionists. Strange ‘conservatives’ indeed! But, there again, one reading of these ‘ex’-Trotskyites’ new-found fondness for ultra-right-wing economics and privatisation is that the resulting exploitation and public anger will lead to the revolutionary crisis that eluded them when they were all wearing Che T-shirts in the late sixties! Or perhaps, it just pays better!

Coming back closer to Johnson, his campaign chief was Gavin Williamson. When Defence Secretary, Williamson was a notorious hawk against Russia and China, and for greater UK involvement in the Middle East. He also spoke out vigorously against Britain’s continued participation in Galileo, the global navigation satellite system created by the European Union. He is one of those pushing for a new UK system, compatible with the American GPS, and fully integrated with Five Eyes, the intelligence alliance between Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States and the UK. As with all such manoeuvres, it is hard to see where money gives way to ideology and power-politics and, of course, they are hopelessly entangled.

It is Williamson who has given one of the clearest glimpses into the Atlanticist obsession of the new regime: “Tthe cornerstone of European security is not the European Union, it is Nato. Let’s be absolutely clear. Our involvement in Nato is going to be there, long, enduring and for many, many defence secretaries after me.”

Another part of the Anglo-American elite can also be seen when you turn over another stone in the Johnson camp.

.Andrew Griffith, the new chief business adviser to Number 10 is a former Rothschild investment banker who joined Rupert Murdoch’s Sky in 1999, and became finance chief for the group in 2008.

Johnson has been spending up to 13 hours a day at Griffith’s lavish £9.5m townhouse,

A Johnson campaign source said Griffith had kindly opened up his home to let members of the transition team meet there. If paying the piper leads to the donor calling the tune, how much more power accrues to the Rothschild/Murdoch man providing the dancers with a 9.5 million pound house?

Finally, we just have time to consider Johnson’s new Chief Whip, Mark Spencer. Taking the new regime’s enthusiasm for LGBTQ+ issues towards its logical liberal intolerant end, he has said that Christian teachers who dare to voice opposition to same-sex marriage should be subject to ‘Extremism Disruption Orders’. In other words, legislation brought in supposedly to stop Islamist hate-preachers recruiting terrorists is to be used against Christians who stand by the teachings of the Bible!

So, yes, we can now expect Brexit from Johnson. But Britain is also going to get more mass immigration. And ruthless demonization of anyone who dares oppose it. More LGBTQ+ propaganda for children – and ruthless repression of anyone who dares oppose it.

More pressure for British participation in neo-con, Zionist and Salafist wars in Syria, Iran and Yemen. More insane and dangerous sabre-rattling against traditionalist and Christian Russia.

And more looting of what remains of Britain’s common wealth by the privatisation vultures. Finishing off the monetisation of the NHS is sure to surface as a great ambition for this corporate puppet regime sooner rather than later. Almost certainly a couple of months before Johnson delivers Brexit and obliterates Jeremy Corbyn in a snap general election.

It remains to be seen whether the globalist kleptomaniacs behind the new regime will also find a way to turn the removal of EU subsidies into an opportunity to arrange a massive transfer of farmland in Britain from farmers, workers’ pension funds and the old landed aristocracy and into the hands of global corporations. If that’s on the agenda too, remember where you heard it first!

All the above presupposes, of course, that the juvenile and utterly irresponsible anti-Russian, anti-Iranian and anti-Chinese sabre-rattling – of which the Johnson regime is as guilty as its predecessors – doesn’t actually start World War Three. Because, if it does, there’ll be nothing left to privatise and loot except the last tin of beans in the irradiated rubble.

Don’t get me wrong: This is not to condemn Brexit. The British people voted for it, and its delivery will be a Good Thing (not least because it has added, and will continue to add, to the instability in the EU which has disrupted the efforts of its bureaucratic rulers to maintain a firmly anti-Russian line, and because, however imperfect, Brexit is a blow for national sovereignty against a particularly nasty little imperial project.

All of us who, one way or another, helped set in motion or advance the process which defeated the pro-EU whores who had sold Britain to Brussels can be rightly proud of having done their bit to break the claws of the largest leopard in the London-based elite.

But you can also be sure that the British majority are going to be mightily disappointed with the new Johnson regime leopard and how Brexit turns out. They voted to restore the old Britain, particularly the Old England. What they will get instead is an even faster dissolution than we saw under EU rule.

They voted against ‘political correctness gone mad’ and in a bid to cling on to traditional values. What they will get is a quasi-Trotskyite cultural Marxist regime – all the more destructive for having the label ‘conservative’ – which grinds their faces – and especially the faces of their children and grandchildren – in LGBTQ+ filth.

They voted Brexit hoping to stop immigration. Instead, the next ten years will see an absolutely swamping change in Britain’s demographics, as the dying early Baby Boomers are replaced with Johnson’s ‘New Britons’ from all corners of the world.

They voted to kick out a Brussels Occupation Government. What they will get instead is a New York Occupation Government. Which is a polite way of putting it, for there is in fact really nothing American about America’s neocons.

“Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss”, is how the Who put it. But it was all summed up even better by the great English visionary William Morris, in A Dream of John Ball, his revolutionary classic about the very first English Peasants’ Revolt against an alien elite:

“I pondered all these things, and how men fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat, and when it comes turns out not to be what they meant, and other men have to fight for what they meant under another name.”

IMF who? Lagarde shows ECB is the top dollar job in QE age

July 17, 2019

by Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker blog (cross-posted with PressTV by permission)

IMF who? Lagarde shows ECB is the top dollar job in QE age

(Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea, and elsewhere. He is the author of “I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China.”)

Christine Lagarde just quit her top post at the International Monetary Fund in order to run the European Central Bank. This shows just far the euro has come (and central bankers), and represents either a historic step backwards or a leap of faith forward in the fight against the global domination of the US dollar.

The dollar’s dominance is what allows Washington to impose murderous, illegal sanctions on countries like Iran, Cuba, Korea and elsewhere, which is why many are so keen to end it.

The dollar’s imposition began after World War II, when the war-ravaged powers were forced to accept equating US paper with (but actually above) gold, a move which Charles de Gaulle bitterly referred to as the “exorbitant privilege” of the United States. The logic is simple: a $100 dollar bill cost Washington only the price of a piece of paper, whereas everyone else still had to mine, barter, earn or steal $100 worth of gold (or its equivalent in goods) to acquire that banknote.

The expensive US failure in Vietnam caused Richard Nixon to end this policy in 1971, but QE – printing money out of thin air – was opposed back then, so a replacement tool had to be quickly found in order to maintain US empire. The solution to effectively maintain the Bretton Woods system was found with the petrodollar” agreement of 1973: every barrel of Saudi oil sold to anyone had to be purchased in dollars, and surplus Saudi profit would be invested in US banks and in US debt securities (“petrodollar recycling”, per Henry Kissinger).

Washington had no qualms about propping up the ruthless, reactionary House of Saud to maintain US economic hegemony. The system expanded to other oil producers to the point where: no dollars? No oil.

The petrodollar keeps money flowing into the US and allows the US to “print gold” – it finances their huge budget deficits, high demand for the dollar fights off their inflation, it gives their banks a source of income for which they do zero genuine work, and the US themselves can buy “as much oil as they can print” from the Saudis. This is obviously a tremendous bargain for the US – the only reason the Saudis accept it is because they know they have absolutely zero legitimacy and would be deposed instantly without US arms and military support.

But the great deal is only for some in the US, as they are rabid neoliberal capitalists: from 1980 onwards the US elite funnelled these huge monies into Wall Street and other asset classes which only their fellow elite can touch, as opposed to intelligently and patriotically using the income to improve the overall conditions of their own nation, or even just raising wages (neoliberals call these concepts “socialism”).

Pick your poison: the US or the IMF?

The IMF, which is always led by a European, has long-pushed something to end this scam that weakens everyone for the US’ benefit, via the concept of the SDR (special drawing rights): a basket of international currencies which could replace the dollar as the world’s backing currency. Who needs the Fed when the SDR can provide international liquidity and financial stability? It wasn’t a great system, but it was closer to the IMF’s original aim of having an international monetary system, instead of the current US empire system of (petrodollar) tribute, which is no different from the Roman era.

The Great Recession pushed the superiority of the SDR to the fore – in 2009 China publicly supported, for the first time, that an international reserve currency be based on the SDR and be run by the IMF. The immorality and business failures of US bankers caused the Great Recession – it was only logical that the Americans lose their banking primacy.

The IMF was thus poised to become top banker, and one of their own was even about to be democratically elected.

In 2011 then-current IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a major backer of the SDR basket, was outpolling Nicolas Sarkozy 2 to 1 to head the world’s 5th-largest economy and the neo-imperialist master of North and West Africa. He was certain to win, but on American soil he was accused of attempted rape of a hotel maid, dooming his presidency. The charges were dropped, but Strauss-Kahn admitted the liaison. People screamed “conspiracy” – I always found it highly coincidental that Strauss-Kahn found a maid whose native language was French in a country where seemingly all the cleaning women are Latinas? Conspiracy theorists assumed Sarkozy was behind it, with few noting how the IMF, the SDR and Strauss-Kahn threatened US economic hegemony.

QE means the US’ 1% never have to pay for their crimes

The US pushed back the IMF with one arm while the other arranged the current global financial regime – Quantitative Easing.

QE has been a total failure for the average person worldwide, but nowhere more so than in Europe. Incredibly, 1.5 years after it became official, PressTV and I remain one of the very few people to write about the statistical reality of Europe’s “Lost Decade”. I saw it happening in painful slow-motion, being PressTV’s chief correspondent in Paris.

The reason the Mainstream Media doesn’t want to talk about the failure of QE to provide broad economic growth is because their pro-capitalist media are owned by the same billionaires who get all the profit from QE.

The printing of trillions of paper money (which are certainly not backed by trillions in newly-mined gold) has, just like the oil-produced fruits of the petrodollar, gone to remake the same asset bubbles which sparked the Great Recession.

Once again, only the wealthy are profiting from shady capitalist practices: Housing Bubble II, new stock market records despite the endemic failure of the “real-economy” (evidenced by the Lost Decade), and absurd records in the prices of absurd luxury goods like MBS’ purchase of a da Vinci painting – this has all been paid for by the neoliberal-neoimperialist policy of QE which has failed the average Western citizen and continued the economic misery of the developing world.

But QE has proven one thing: governments are the most powerful forces in society, not bankers. This is something which socialist-inspired democracies are based on, but which only the 1% appear to take advantage of in Western liberal democracies.

Lagarde moving from the IMF to ECB would have been thought of as a step down pre-QE, mainly because nobody imagined that the head of the ECB could create several trillions of dollars simply by tapping a keyboard, as her predecessor Mario Draghi did. The IMF has a lot of money, but they do not have the power to create money.

Lagarde: More bad news for Europe’s 99%

When Lagarde was announced as the new head of the ECB the Western mainstream media provided – of course – none of this background, nor any perspective which fairly criticises the record of neoliberal thought and practice. Instead, their leading media justified Lagarde on one criterion – gender. The New York Times’ article was, “In Tense Times, ‘Call in the Woman’: Lagarde Will Lead the E.C.B”.

The Times championed Lagarde’s own claim that she deserved the job because she was not a male: “As I have said many times, if it had been Lehman Sisters rather than Lehman Brothers, the world might well look a lot different today.”

Such a claim is preposterous and shows how little Lagarde understands the principles and practices of neoliberal economics. However, everyone can quickly see that it also denies the existence of empresses, queens, Thatchers and Clintons; it also denies that women have played any role in shaping the positive and negative aspects of our modern world; it is a justification entirely based on divisive, distracting “identity politics” instead of a class-based true feminism.

Certainly, nobody would claim that simply being a male would be all that is necessary to head the ECB. And yet, such nonsense is all it takes in 2019 – we must all cheer simply because the new boss is female. This is what works with the average American today.

But the ECB is not American – why Lagarde?

The Times repeated the same misleading claim – that Lagarde is an “antitrust lawyer by training” : she worked for the world’s biggest law firm, based in Chicago (the Qom of neoliberal capitalist thought), meaning that she likely worked to manipulate the law in order to maintain trusts, not to dismantle trusts. The Times was forced to acknowledge that she has no experience as a central banker and will thus have a “steep learning curve”.

The West continues to put people in power based on the most absurd pretences of qualification for public service, even when such posts are unelected.

Investopedia had the same assessment as The Times: “However, the absence of an economics background or a discernible opinion on monetary policy means she would have to rely on financial technocrats a fair amount. Lagarde, who says she faced sexism and discrimination in her professional life….”

Lagarde clearly does not have the background required – just like The Times, Investopedia ignores this to assert her “gender qualifications”.

Pity the poor European Mainstream Media reader: Largarde is only a shiny tool whose ascension will do nothing but put an unqualified person in charge of the QE money-printing scheme. She will obviously kowtow to “technocrats” who insist that QE will eventually, one day stop creating Lost Decades.

Lagarde thus got the job not her qualifications but her ideology: it is not Islamic, nor socialist, nor moral – she believes in phony technocratism, because for Lagarde and her ilk “technocrats” are synonymous with “the 1%”. I know Lagarde well from covering the Tapie Affair in France: she was found guilty of negligence and misuse of public funds in a case where she got Sarkozy’s friend Bernard Tapie a hugely controversial 400-million euro payout from the French public coffers.

She only doesn’t have a criminal record and didn’t go to jail, which would seemingly have disqualified her for the ECB Post because…because Frances judicial system is not independent but totally corrupted by 1% influence – the judge simply decided to let her go scot-free, despite her guilt.

Negligence, misuse of public funds, payouts for millionaires – now we understand why Lagarde is considered to be “qualified” to run the ECB, and their QE scam, and to continue the phony “the 99% must work their nation out of debt” justification for austerity policies. More “Western-style leadership”…..

The leap of faith forward I mentioned at the start is this: the ECB runs the world’s largest macro-economy – it is possible they could decouple themselves from the dollar’s decades of exorbitant privilege, and the Chicago school of (neoliberal) capitalism, and start pursuing policies which do not flood the 1% with cheap credit to buy cheaply the lives of people across Europe.

However, the legal structures of the EU and the Eurozone are written in post-1989 language which is even more typically American than what underpins the system of the US itself. Therefore we can have little basis for faith that the cabal of bankers and public-into-private national finance minsters which is the Eurogroup, which runs the Eurozone with zero democratic accountability or even transparency, is going to start caring about the 99% in any of their respective nations.

The selection of the French Lagarde illustrate that Europe is no longer sovereign, but content to be a tool of US economic hegemony.

The BRICS countries hold out hopes for ending the petrodollar-fuelled US global finance domination, but they have effectively lost Brazil via the US-orchestrated coup against Dilma Roussef, and they have foolishly not offered to make it BRIICS, with the second ‘I’ standing for Iran. No need, really: China, Russia and Iran continue to make the most headway against the dollar, via the Belt and Road Initiative but especially the unstoppable petroyuan.

Cryptocurrency is another unstoppable way for countries to oppose US control over the global financial system, which is why The New York Times and the US treasury secretary just screamed, “Cryptocurrencies Pose National Security Threat, Mnuchin Says”. Cryptocurrency was indeed created in order to end the US petrodollar and QE schemes, which is why they are so wonderful and why they must be supported.

Lagarde leaving the IMF for the ECB is definitely a historic shift in the (Western) priority rankings. It is simply tragic for the West’s billion of innocents that unaccountable, unelected central bankers and their ineffective, corrupt cronies have become their political elite. This, of course, has equally lamentable consequences for those nations suffering under neoimperialism, illegal sanctions and other Washington-based policies.

Disproportionality As Schizoaffective Disorder

Source

July 13, 2019

by Denis A. Conroy for The Saker Blog

Disproportionality As Schizoaffective Disorder

It appears that the information revolution is redefining cultural aspirations at a time when mass production has become a concave-convex supernova offering everybody (in theory) the right to ‘have everything’, regardless of the cost to fellow beings or to nature itself.

In the West, free enterprise had become an object lesson in short-sightedness and purblind avarice, suggesting that it’s time to revisit an age-old conundrum; the conflict between capitalist expediency and enlightened social wellbeing. Having successfully focused consumers on the many ways in which self-gratification can be experienced, the consumer-economy, committed to seducing the somnambulant among us, while turning a blind eye to the damage that comes with gauche and expedient ways of can-do-ness, suggest that collectively, we in the West have become befuddled pilgrims in a vainglorious journey to nowhere.

In the West we live in a world where militarism and the production of arms has come to represent the pulse of capitalism. The journey that began at the tribal level has moved through a succession of capitalist incarnations to become the singular purpose of investment-capital and a business model in every respect. As it was never intended to be an exercise in creating homogeneous wellbeing…socialism… this model remains as the one best suited to the elites who manage money. Not surprisingly, the rest is history as they say. The story of capitalism’s right-of-passage towards its colonial adventures and onwards into its imperial hegemonic phase is one of bloody-mindedness.

Until recently in the West, it was the growth of personal wealth and middle-classness that underpinned the reality of ‘collective-individualism’…an oxymoronic capitalist state of mind that encourages wealth accumulation. Skills effecting upward mobility were highly sought after. The desire to embrace cultural norms that defined progress as freedom to enjoy lifestyles enhanced by copious amounts of disposal income, soon became everyone’s dream.

So, when the economy lost it’s bearing in the heat of the bizarre excesses leading up to the 2008 economic crisis, ‘collective-individualism’ was left to pick up the pieces. Struggling with the legacy of a febrile narrative that served the interests of Wall Street, middle-classness lost some of its shine. The market had spoken, the individual was merely a unit in a bourse that had little time for niceties or human fallibility. Banking had become a low feeder-operation where the devil would take the hindmost.

It was the banking crisis of 2008 that revealed how ‘collective-individualism’ had become merely an adjunct of Wall Street’s insidiously covert private-banking system. Having cocooned itself in the system, the banking establishment managed to present itself as the face of liberal democracy…albeit pseudo… for the purpose of gratifying its own insatiable appetite. As a result of the 2008 debacle, fake-expertise-babble was required to disguise the signs of senescence now appearing in a banking system sliding toward obsolescence.

With the emergence of bureaucratic capitalism in China, the monumental task of moving countless tens of millions of people out of poverty was commenced and the results have been spectacular. Along with this operation came the realization that proportionality should be the linchpin for securing the principles of collective enterprise. The words Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong spoke in 1927 at the beginning of the Chinese Civil War; “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun” were replaced by notions of incremental change occurring for the betterment of the entire community.

Using the resources of the state to improve the wellbeing of the many would mechanically elevate the population to a level of heightened social order. By any measure, a great awakening had occurred…an age-old trading culture had reassembled its resources in order to find common cause. Through the medium of central planning, the path toward achieving internal hegemony reappeared in a distinctly Confucian way.

With an agenda designed to eliminate poverty by utilising the collective potential of the state to solve problems, statistics suggest that a modicum of proportionality has already been achieved within China’s sovereign territories and that plans are on track to achieve what the revolution sent out to do. Namely, a way of floating all its boats…one billion and a quarter of them…on the rising tide of a renascent imagination collectively focused on technological ascendancy.

Alert to the potential within the Chinese tech garden to achieve yet another Spring and Autumn period, the core interchangeable elements of Confucianism, collectivism and hegemony militate to emphasize personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity.

History shows us that the Chinese city of Guangzhou (Early Modern Guangzhou) represented the reference point that enable one to understand the changing context of Sino-foreign economic and cultural relations in the nineteenth century. A great trading city that would ultimately reconstitute itself as a commercial centre for maritime exports and debut as post-modern Guangzhou. It was always the city that identified China as a maritime trader surfing the waves of silk road opportunities. Unlike most European nations, its expansionism was benign. It never went into the business of exporting armaments or colonizing the natives along its trade routes.

From the traditional trading posts in Quanzhou and Guangzhou, to the modern treaty ports of Fuzhou, Xiamen and Shanghai, to the contemporary metropolis Hong Kong and Taiwan and special economic zones in Shenzhen and Pudong, southern coastal cities in the last five hundred years and beyond have connected China to the outside world and the global economy. Throughout this time, China never sought to colonise its neighbours or occupy continents or countries across the globe…trading remained its modus operandi…and besides, Confucius the thinker, never confused occupation or dominance with the Chinese notion of hegemony!

Conversely, the colonial West’s predilection for gunboat diplomacy and stand-over tactics produced an entirely different trading model. With the advent of the industrial revolution in Europe, sorties of the ‘dalek’ kind…robotic incursions into exotic lands for the purpose of procuring the resources and territories belonging to people of colour became the norm.

It was as though the industrial revolution had spawned a concept of superiority that ultimately resulted in the white race distilling a notion of its own exceptionality that would justify its own work-ethic as proof of its right to exploit people whose appearance did not please their albino imagination. In the succeeding centuries, the march of the ‘daleks’ would in effect enslave, slaughter and exploit non-white peoples with impunity, all the while deluding themselves that their actions were progressive…a code word for exploitation…and justifiably, the ‘white-man’s-burden’…a program adopted in support of their assumption that the non-white peoples were inferior.

In time, institutional racism would achieve the kind of value an asset might have in a bourse. The concept of democracy would be privatised in accordance with the wishes of those who were there to do the thinking for all those of a lesser stripe. Patriotism would become a mantra of majestic proportions in the West to assure white people that they were on the winning side of history. Proof of same would be diligently manufactured. Strangely, Western powers who imagined they owned ‘democracy’ felt the need to garrison the globe with 800 military bases, fearing that those ‘others’ may have sovereign economic models of their own they might wish to develop.

In fact, disproportionality had reached such levels of lethality that the doyens of liberal democracy became citizens of cloud-cuckoo-land in possession of a foreign policy committed to kneecapping…sanctioning… other nation’s economies if they didn’t do what they were told to do. China in moving to re-embrace the “maritime silk road” once again, soon became the fly in the competitive ointment. Westerners, as heirs to the traditional colonial trading-throne decided that carrying a big ballistic stick was the only way to do business. Alarmed at seeing how China could engage in trade without threatening its clients, it chose the American way of doing business. In true American style, the military budget was given a massive blow job.

In 1961, Dwight D. Eisenhower ended his presidential term by warning the nation about the increasing power of the military-industrial complex. Before and during the Second World War, American industries had successfully converted to defence production as the crisis demanded, but out of the war, what Eisenhower called a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions emerged. Eisenhower had no need of a crystal ball to see where the emerging disproportionality would lead his country to. His fear, rightly, was that disproportionality of this kind would ultimately obfuscate the principles of the Democratic Republic of America.

Had he lived to see the colossal damage his country wrought on the Middle East he would have understood that a permanent armaments industry must do what a permanent armaments industry must do…use and sell what they produced in order to justify their budget.

What Dwight D. Eisenhower referred to as a permanent armaments industry could equally be applied to the permanent propaganda industry that has overtaken America. Together, these two industries have created a narrative for Americans to reassure them that a system based on might, is right for them. By every measure, the fourth estate and the fourth-of-July have synthetized into a narrative that is big on self-adulation.

On the occasion of the most recent fourth-of-July parade, the presence of Apache attack helicopters, ballistic missiles, M1 Abrams tanks, M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, F-35 Joint Strike Fighters and F-22 Raptors were assembled to reinforce the notion that corporate-capitalist-democracy existed to deliver a patriotic narrative capable of turning the key that could unlock the potential of the American psyche and find greatness by shoving its hardware and unique ideas of identity into the face of all and sundry.

As the fourth of this and that got under way, it became ever more evident that America’s unique identity possesses an internal form of hegemony seeking greatness through strictly military means. After military might was chosen as the path to dominance and greatness, America developed external hegemonic programs to curtail un-American activities such as Iranian Mullahs imagining that they can export oil to whomever they choose to, or China and Russia talking multilateralism, or Venezuela resisting imperial vassalage…or just about anything that moved, squeaked, farted or failed to avow the American way of doing business. Non-compliance would be met with sanctions or military invasion.

On the occasion of the recent fourth-of-July celebrations, Donald Trump (dealer extraordinary) stood before the statue of Abraham Lincoln to demonstrate his ability to wind up the patriotic narrative; he spoke thusly; “As we gather this evening in the joy of freedom, we remember that we all share a truly extraordinary heritage,” said he, “ Together, we are part of one of the greatest stories ever told…The Story of America.”

But strangest of all were the ‘daleks’ flying overhead and the steel-clad ‘daleks’ rumbling past on terra firma for the purpose of bonding the vast gathering of patriotic stalwarts in hegemonic unity. The crowd, agog with admiration for the men and women flying overhead in their wonderful flying machines were proud to witness the “The American Story” in all its first-hand glory. Most noticeably, they were indifferent to the fact that the things they found admirable in this show of strength were designed to annihilate people. They were no less enamoured of the wet pointy cone bits of the ballistic missiles…glistening like killer-candy… as they were rained upon.

All in all, “The Story of America” reverberates across the globe as the story of meaty stealth. Its true colours were made available for all to see, or for anyone with the nous to join the dots… message delivered; American style hegemony is great for boys with schizoaffective disorders and the lethal toys that find them.

As America-the-circus moves into election mode its military arrive here in Australia to set up a military base in Darwin. As few…if any…of their political clowns will broach the subject of their lethal foreign policy, why should anyone in their right mind welcome one of their bases here? As for now, better we wait until Uncle Sam creates a peace bureau and sends an emissary of a different stripe to us.

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

Voltaire.

Denis A. Conroy
Freelance Writer
Australia

From Madero to Maduro: Lessons of the Mexican Revolution for 21st Century Venezuela

From Madero to Maduro: Lessons of the Mexican Revolution for 21st Century Venezuela

MARTIN SIEFF | 21.02.2019 | WORLD / AMERICAS

From Madero to Maduro: Lessons of the Mexican Revolution for 21st Century Venezuela

Just over 100 years ago, Mexico had a popular, much beloved democratically elected President determined to reduce foreign influence and obscene profits flowing out of the country and raise the standard of living for his people. The US financial interests on Wall Street orchestrated a military coup and made sure he was brutally murdered.

The president obviously was not Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, who has been set up to receive the same treatment this year, but his name was remarkably close – Madero not Maduro. The parallels and contrasts between the two men are thought-provoking.

Unfortunately poor Francisco Madero, an idealistic reformer who ruled as President of Mexico from 1911 to 1913 did not have the tough political street smarts and plain common sense that Venezuela’s Maduro has exhibited throughout his long, controversial but undeniably successful career.

Madero naively trusted in the army commander-in-chief he had inherited from his predecessor President Porfirio Diaz, General Victoriano Huerta. Huerta had prospered throughout the long 35-year rule of Diaz from 1876 to 1911 by carrying out genocidal campaigns for him against the Yaqui Indians and the Mayans.

In 1913, Wall Street interests enthusiastically supported Huerta when he carried out a coup against the innocent Madero. Woodrow Wilson, the US president of the day was an exceptionally ugly racist who despised the Mexican people and at first went along with Huerta’s coup.

The huge financial and mining interests in New York were eager to continue plundering Mexico’s resources while more than 90 percent of its people lived virtually as slaves in appalling poverty under Diaz.

In the last decade of Diaz’s rule – securely supported by the Wall Street financial robber barons, as historian Matthew Josephson called them and by the complacent administrations of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft – at least 600,000 people were worked to death as real slaves on the estates of Diaz’s supporters. Not a whisper of disapproval was heard from Washington.

Huerta ruled with his usual mindless thuggish brutality for less than a year and a half before provoking such national revulsion that he was ousted in a brief and bloody civil war. He fled of course to the United States but then made the mistake of alienating US business and military leaders alike by openly embracing Imperial Germany to plot his militaristic comeback.

Huerta died in loose US military custody in 1916 after a night of dining out and carousing. Poisoning by the Americans was widely suspected but the cause may well just have been heavy drinking. His autopsy revealed extreme cirrhosis of the liver.

To this day Huerta is reviled as the murderous mass killer and cowardly murderer and tool of cynical foreign interests he was while the well-meaning, but tragically ineffectual Madero is genuinely loved by the people of Mexico. The days from the start of Huerta’s coup to the president’s murder – gunned down by an impromptu firing squad of assassins by night along with his own brother and vice president are remembered as La Decena Tragica, The Ten Tragic Days.

In the years that followed, Mexico endured all the horrors of a collapsed state with rival feuding bands slaughtering each other and everyone else they came across. The population of the country plummeted from 15 million in 1910 to 11.6 million a decade later. Factoring in how many deaths were masked by the high birth rate, well over four million people, or more than 25 percent of the total population died in the years of anarchic violence that Huerta’s murder of President Madero set in motion.

La Decena Tragica continues to reverberate in Mexico to this day. When current President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador continues to withstand massive pressures from the Trump administration to recognize their preferred puppet, Juan Guaido as Washington’s preferred figurehead president of Venezuela, he is heeding his people’s reverence for martyred President Madero and remembering the bloodbaths and chaos that the hated Huerta unleashed in his place.

Madero naively trusted in the honor of his army commander, the murderous Huerta. By contrast, President Maduro in Venezuela, like his political mentor and predecessor Hugo Chavez, has taken care to always have an army high command loyal to the democratically elected national civilian leadership. Nevertheless, today, US leaders have openly called on Venezuela’s military leaders to scrap their own cherished constitution and political processes and violently topple President Maduro – All of course in the name of their usual mythical and never-defined “freedom.”

However, Bloomberg News pointedly noted in a recent report that in a Venezuelan military establishment of more than 2,000 generals and admirals, only a single officer who did not even command any troops has sworn allegiance to National Assembly Speaker Juan Guaido, the farcical boy toy whom the Trump administration is trying to set up as “president” of Venezuela in Maduro’s place.

It is just as well. The precedent of Mexico more than a century ago teaches us that if the US plot to topple President Maduro were to succeed, as the one to remove and murder President Madero did so tragically 106 years ago, then civil war, chaos and the violent death of multiple millions of innocent people would rapidly follow.

In the seven years following the murder of Francisco Madero, more than a quarter of the population of Mexico were slaughtered or starved to death. The history of states where 21st century US administrations have successfully orchestrated “regime change” makes clear that Venezuela would suffer a similar fate.

Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, South Sudan and Ukraine remain appalling object-lessons to the world in US criminal incompetence – at the very least – in “nation-building.” The consequences of the endless failed attempts to topple the government of Syria tell the same terrible story.

The bullets that slammed into gentle, naïve little President Madero more than a century ago continue to ricochet in our own bloodstained age.

Venezuela – The Straw that Breaks the Empire’s Back?

February 07, 2019

by Peter Koenig for The Saker Blog

Venezuela – The Straw that Breaks the Empire’s Back?

Venezuela in the limelight, on practically all the written, audio and visual mainstream media, as well as alternative media. A purposeful constant drip of outright lies and half-truths, “fake news”, as well as misleading information of all shades and hues about Venezuela is drumming our brains, slowly bending our minds towards believing that – yes, the US has a vital interest in meddling in Venezuela and bringing about “regime change”, because of primarily, the huge reserves of oil, but also of gold, coltan and other rare minerals; and, finally, simply because Washington needs full control of its “backyard”. – BUT, and yes, there is a huge BUT, as even some of the respected progressive alternative media pretend to know: Amidst all that recognition of the AngloZionist empire’s evil hands in Venezuela, their ‘but’ claims that Venezuela, specifically Presidents Chavez and now Maduro, are not blameless in their ‘economic chaos’. This distorts already the entire picture and serves the empire and all those who are hesitant because they have no clue, whom to support in this antagonistic US attempt for regime change.

For example, one alternative news article starts, “It is true that some of Venezuela’s economic problems are due to the ineptitudes of the Bolivarian government’s “socialist command” economy, but this overlooks the role played by the United States, the United Nations, and the European Union….”. Bingo, with such a low-blow beginning, the uninformed reader is already primed to ‘discount’ much of the interference by Washington and its minions. Some of the-so-called progressive writers have already been brain-smeared, by calling Nicolás Maduro a “dictator”, when in fact, there is hardly any country farther away from a dictatorship than Venezuela.

In the last 20 years and since Comandante Hugo Chavez Frias was first elected in 1998 and came to power in 1999, Venezuela had another 25 fully democratic elections, of which 6 took place in the last year and a half. They were all largely observed by the US based Carter Institute, the Latin American CELAC, some were even watched by the European Union (EU), the very vassal states that are now siding with Washington in calling President Maduro an illegitimate dictator – and instead, they side with and support the real illegitimate, never elected, US trained and appointed, Juan Guaidó. Former President Carter once said, of all the elections he and his Institute observed, the ones in Venezuela were by far the most transparent and democratic ones. By September 2017, the Carter Center had observed 104 elections in 39 countries.

Despite this evidence, Washington-paid and corrupted AngloZionist MSM are screaming and spreading lies, ‘election fraud’; and Nicolás Maduro is illegal, a dictator, oppressing his people, depriving them of food and medication, sowing famine – he has to go. Such lies are repeated at nauseatum. In a world flooded by pyramid-dollars (fake money), the presstitute media have no money problem. Dollars, the funding source for the massive lie-propaganda, are just printed as debt, never to be repaid again. So, why worry? The same Zionists who control the media also control the western money machines, i.e. the FED, Wall Street, the BIS (Bank for International Settlement, the so-called Central bank of central banks), the European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the banks of London. The western public, armchair warriors, all the way to caviar socialists, believe these lies. That’s how our unqualified brains apparently work.

A recent independent poll found that 86% of all Venezuelans, including from the opposition, want no interference by the US and her puppet allies, but want to remain a sovereign state, deciding themselves on how to resolve their internal problem – economics and otherwise.

Let me tell you something, if Mr. Maduro would be a dictator – and all the diabolical adjectives that he is smeared with were to apply, he would have long ago stopped the western propaganda machine, which is the western controlled media in Venezuela; they control 90% of the news in Venezuela. But he didn’t and doesn’t, because he believes in freedom of speech and freedom of the ‘media’ – even if the “media” are really nothing more than abject western lie-machines presstitute. Mr. Maduro is generous enough not to close them down – which any dictator – of which there are now many in Latin America (take a pick: Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Guatemala, Honduras….) would have done long ago.

***

From the very beginning, when Hugo Chavez was first elected in 1998, Washington attempted to topple him to bring about “régime change”. The first real coup attempt took place on 11 April 2002. Under full command by Washington, Chavez was ousted for less than 2 days, when an on-swell of people and the vast majority of the military requested his reinstatement. Chavez was brought back from his island seclusion and, thus, the directly Washington-led coup d’état was defeated (“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”). But the pressure mounted with economic sanctions becoming ever bolder and, in the case of Venezuela, they had severe economic and humanitarian impacts because Venezuela imports close to 90% of her food and medication – still today – and most of it from the US.

Both Chavez and Maduro had very little leeway of doing differently what they have already done. Sanctions, boycotts, outside money manipulations, driving inflation to astronomical levels and constant smear propaganda, these predicaments are biting hard. The US has a firm grip on Venezuela’s dollar dependency.

Last week, Washington confiscated about US$ 23 billion Venezuela’s reserve money in US banks, blocked them from use by the legitimate Maduro government, and, instead, handed them to their US-appointed, puppet, never elected, “president”, Juan Guaidó. – He is now able to use Venezuela’s money in his US-EU-and Lima-Group supported “shadow” government. Will he dare? – I don’t think so. However, he has already invited US petro, companies to come to Venezuela and invest in and take over the petrol industry. Of course, it will not happen, as President Maduro stays in power, firmly backed by the military.

All of this sounds like a bad joke. Did you ever heard of Juan Guaidó, before the US and her European vassals almost unanimously and obediently aped Washington in supporting him?

Likewise, the Bank of England withheld 1.2 billion dollars’ worth of Venezuelan reserve gold, refusing to respond to the Maduro Government’s request to return the gold to Caracas. Both cases represent an extreme breach of confidence. Up to now, it was ethically, commercially and financially unthinkable that reserve money and gold deposited in foreign banks would not be safe from hooligan theft – because that’s what it is, what the US is doing, stealing other countries money that was deposited in good fate in their banks.

In a recent interview with RT, President Maduro, said there was absolutely no need for “humanitarian aid”, as the UN suggested, prompted by the US. This so-called humanitarian aid has everywhere in the world only served to infiltrate ‘foreign and destabilizing’ elements into countries, just look at Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, to name just a few. While the US$ 23 billion blocked in New York banks could have supplied Venezuela with 20 years-worth of medication for the Venezuelan people, Maduro asserted, Venezuela has enough liquidity to feed and medicate her people.

However, what this latest Trump plunder (the money and gold confiscation) does, is hammering one more nail in the western monetary system’s suicide coffin. It sends an ever-clearer signal to the rest of the world, to those that haven’t noticed yet, the AngloZionist empire cannot – I repeat – CANNOT – be trusted. Ever. And the European Union is intrinsically and “vassalically” linked to the Washington rogue state – not to be trusted either. There is virtually no circumstance under which a countries’ assets in western foreign lands – as bank deposits, or foreign investments – are safe. It will prompt a move away from the dollar system, away from the western (also entirely privately-owned) SWFT international transfer system by which sanctions can be enacted.

Indeed, the Russia and China and much of the SCO (Shanghai Organization Cooperation) members are no longer dealing in US dollars but in their own currencies. We are talking about half the world’s population broke free from the dollar hegemony. Europe has started a half-assed attempt to circumvent the dollar and SWIFT system for dealing with Iran. Europe’s special purpose vehicle, or SPV, is called INSTEX — short for Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges. It is a project of Germany, France and the UK, suspiciously chaired by the latter, to be endorsed by all 28 EU members.

It aims in a first instance at shipping “humanitarian aid” to Iran. Similarly, to Venezuela, Iran’s foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, after learning about the details, considered the conditions of INSTEX as insulting and rejected any dealings with Europe under this system. Iran, he said, does not need “humanitarian aid”, not from Europe, not from anybody. In the meantime, what was to be expected, has already happened. The Trump Administration issued a stern warning of “sanctions” to the EU, if they would attempt to deal with Iran outside of the dollar system. Europe is likely caving in, as they always do.

***

Back in Venezuela, the NED (National Endowment for Democracy), the extended arm of the CIA, has for the last two decades trained funded and infiltrated ‘traitor’ agents into Venezuela, with the goal to assist the opposition to foment unrest, to carry out assassinations and other ‘false flags’, and to simply create chaos and unrest. However, some of these agents are also lodged in Venezuela’s financial institutions, as the Fifth Column, where they sabotage – often with threats – any economic policies that could rescue Venezuela from its economic predicament.

In June 2017, I was privileged to be a member of an economic advisory team to Mr. Maduro. During three days of intense discussions with government, a number of potential short- medium and long-term solutions emerged. They were well received by Mr. Maduro and his economic team. What became of these recommendations? – Well, maybe there are strong foreign-directed forces at play to prevent their implementation.

Clearly, any accusation that the Maduro Government may bear the blame for some of the economic chaos, have to be vigorously rejected. Mr. Maduro has very little space to maneuver the economy other than what he is already doing. His actions are severely limited by the ever-stronger squeeze by western claws.

With or without Venezuela’s new crypto currency, the oil-based Petro, the Venezuelan economy, including a major proportion of her imports, is strongly linked to the US dollar. With military threats and sanctions left and right, there is little that the Government can do in the immediate future to become autonomous. Yes, Russia and especially China will most likely help with balance of payment support loans, with investments in the oil industry to ease Venezuela’s US-dollar debt burden and vamp up oil production; and in the medium and longer run they may also help boosting Venezuela’s agricultural sector towards 100% food self-sufficiency.

What is the real reason, you may ask, behind Trump’s intense ‘coup d’état’ attempt – aka, Bolton, Pompeo and Elliott Abrams (the ‘regime change’ envoy), or the diabolical troika’s killer mission?

  • Is it oil and other natural riches, like gold, coltan, diamonds and many more rare minerals? Venezuela with some 301,000 MMbbl (billions of barrels) of known reserves has about 12% more hydrocarbon reserves than Saudi Arabia. Shipping from the Gulf to Texas refineries takes 40-45 days and the risk of passing through the Iran-controlled strait of Hormuz. Delivering oil from Venezuela to Texas takes some 2-4 days.
  • Is it that Venezuela committed a mortal sin when circumventing the petro-dollar, when trading her hydrocarbons, notably with China and Russia in other currencies, like the gold-convertible yuan? – Remember, Saddam Hussein and Muamar Gadhafi attempted similar dollar-escaping actions – and look what it brought them. The US-dollar hegemony depends very much on oil and gas trade in US dollars, as per an agreement of the seventies between the US and Saudi Arabia, head of OPEC.
  • Is it that Washington cannot tolerate any socialist or socialist leaning country in its “backyard”? – Cuba and Nicaragua beware!
  • Is Venezuela a crucial stepping stone to fully dominate Latin America and her resources? – And, hence, a step closer to ‘full power dominance’ of the world?
  • Or all of the above?

I believe it’s all of the above, with a strong accent on Venezuela’s abandoning the US-dollar as hydrocarbon trading currency – putting the dollar-hegemony even more at risk. Once the dollar ceases to be the main reserve currency, the US economy will slowly collapse – what it is already doing. Twenty years ago, the US-dollar dominated world reserve coffers with about 90%. Today that proportion has sunk to less than 60%. The dollar is rapidly being replaced by other currencies, notably the Chinese yuan.

Now let’s cut to the chase. – It is clear that the Trump Administration with these stupid actions of dishing out sanctions left and right, punishing allies and foes alike, if they deal with Russia, Iran, or Venezuela – and this special blunt regime change aggression in Venezuela, nominating a 35 year old US puppet, trained in the US by CIA as Venezuela’s new ‘interim president’, confiscating Venezuela’s reserve assets in New York and London, stopping importing petrol from Venezuela and punishing anybody who imports Venezuelan oil – except, of course, Russia and China. The ‘might’ of the US stops short of interfering in these non-dollar deals. With these and more ridiculous actions and military threats – Washington is actually not only isolating itself, but is accelerating the fall of the US economy. Ever more countries are seeking alternative ways of doing business with currencies and monetary systems other than the dollar-based fraudulent SWIFT, and eventually they will succeed. All they need to do is joining the China-Russia-SCO system of transfer in their local currencies and the currencies of the eastern SCO block – and dedollarization is moving a step further ahead.

Dedollarization is the key to the end of the US (dollar) hegemony, of the US economic supremacy. The arrogant Trump, plus the impunity of the unfettered diabolical and outright dumb Bolton-Pompeo-Abrams approach of military threats and intimidations, may just make Venezuela the straw that breaks the Empire’s back.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; RT; Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; TeleSUR; The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, the New Eastern Outlook (NEO); and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

Peter Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

How Wall Street Finances the Battle against Neoliberalism?

Global Research, January 20, 2019

Today I read an interesting article referring to Mexico on how neoliberal economists through the application of “strong IMF economic medicine” contributed to “wreaking  havoc” on the global poor while “protecting the financial elites”.

And then I arrived at the foot of the article published by Alternet:

“This article was produced by Globetrotter, a project of the Independent Media Institute”.

The Independent Media Institute, a tax exempt charity foundation supported by George Soros, a multibillion dollar Wall Street tycoon and hedge fund manager largely involved in speculative trade in the commodity and foreign exchange markets.

The Independent Media Center is described as an

“Internet-based, news and events bulletin board [which] represents an invariably leftist, anti-capitalist perspective and serves as a mouthpiece for anti-globalization/anti-America themes.”

Globetrotter is a projet of the IMC which (according to the IMC):

“explores the struggles for independence, dignity and democracy in the developing world, from economic models to war and imperialism.”

Needless to say, I was puzzled. Wall Street finances the battle against neoliberalism?

A critique of the IMF macro-economic agenda for Latin America is funded by a foundation owned by one of Wall Street’s most prominent financiers.

I read through the article once more: The article does not actually bash the Wall Street financial elites involved in destabilizing the Mexican economy. It largely focuses on the failures of the IMF bureaucracy without acknowledging that the IMF bureaucracy always acts on behalf of Wall Street.

While the author accuses the IMF mission to Mexico of window dressing, “[n]othing in the IMF staff statement indicated a policy that would tackle Mexico’s grave problems of poverty and inequality”.

One is however left with the impression that it’s all a big management failure which can be rectified by changing the IMF recipe and training IMF officials to learn the realities of developing countries:

Someone should encourage the IMF to stop sending staff teams into countries like Mexico. Each report is identical to the previous one. Nothing seems to be learned by these teams. Years ago, a senior IMF economist told me that when he arrived in a Central Asian country he knew nothing of that country, he got to see nothing of it when he was there and he knew virtually nothing when he drafted the Article IV review. All he did in the country was sit in one air-conditioned room after another, listen to canned reports from nervous finance ministry officials and then develop the report based on the IMF’s same old recipe—make cuts, target welfare, privatize and make sure that the banks are happy. (Alternet, emphasis added)

“Make sure the banks are happy”. Yes, that is the main goal. And the standard recipe serves their interests.

The IMF is controlled by Wall Street and the US Treasury. It has informal ties to the Pentagon. It routinely interfaces with the Washington think tanks. It is part of what is called the “Washington Consensus” which defines the gamut of deadly  economic measures imposed on indebted developing countries.

https://www.alternet.org/2018/11/international-monetary-fund-flexes-its-muscles-latin-america/embed/#?secret=OKwwFZy5dV

“Funding Dissent”

Numerous organizations and protest movements (against neoliberalism) including the World Social Forum (WSF) are funded by Wall Street. How is the process of “manufactured dissent” achieved?

Essentially by “funding dissent”, namely by channeling financial resources from those who are the object of the protest movement to those who are involved in organizing the protest movement.

Co-optation is not limited to buying the favors of politicians. The economic elites –which control major foundations– also oversee the funding of numerous NGOs and civil society organizations, which historically have been involved in the protest movement against the established economic and social order. The programs of many NGOs and people’s movements rely heavily on funding from both public as well as private foundations including the Ford, Rockefeller, McCarthy foundations, among others.

The anti-globalization movement is opposed to Wall Street and the Texas oil giants controlled by Rockefeller, et al. Yet the foundations and charities of Rockefeller et al will generously fund progressive anti-capitalist networks as well as environmentalists (opposed to Big Oil) with a view to ultimately overseeing and shaping their various activities. (Michel Chossudovsky, Manufacturing Dissent, Global Research, 2015

Global capitalism finances anti-capitalism: an absurd and contradictory relationship.

There can be no meaningful mass movement when dissent is generously funded by those same corporate interests which are the target of the protest movement. In the words of McGeorge Bundy, president of the Ford Foundation (1966-1979),Everything the [Ford] Foundation did could be regarded as ‘making the World safe for capitalism’”. (Ibid)

France’s Green Vests

Will elite institutions attempt through various means to infiltrate the Green Vests? France’s intelligence and police apparatus has no doubt already contemplated this option.

Sofar the movement is fully aware of the dangers of cooptation. There is no evidence that the Gilets Jaunes have been coopted or financed by outside funding. While Soros has supported the so-called “color revolutions”, the Yellow Vests have expressed there position in relation to the fake “revolutions” funded by the financial establishment.

click to enlarge

In the case of France, the Gilets Jaunes movement has a grassroots structure.

The Gilets Jaunes call for the withdrawal of France from NATO. It addresses the impacts of neoliberalism while taking a firm anti-war stance. The movement is not manipulated by NGOs or political parties. In the words of Diana Johnstone:

“President Emmanuel Macron’s New Year’s Eve address to the nation made it perfectly clear that after one unconvincing stab at throwing a few crumbs to the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) protest movement, he has determined to get tough.”

Macron is a former senior staff member of  Rothschild & Cie Banque:

Macron is the very embodiment of this system.  He was chosen by that famous elite to carry through the measures dictated by “the Markets”, enforced by the European Union. He cannot give in.  But now that people are awake to what is going on, they won’t stop either.  For all the lamented decline in the school system, the French people today are as well-educated and reasonable as any population can be expected to be.  If they are incapable of democracy, then democracy is impossible.(Ibid)

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