Obama Ignores Russian Terror Victims, Killed by ISIS

By Robert Parry
Global Research, December 05, 2015
Consortium News 2 December 2015
Region: Middle East & North Africa, Russia and FSU, USA
Theme: US NATO War Agenda

President Obama has displayed a stunning lack of sympathy for the Russian civilians killed in an ISIS plane bombing in Egypt and for two Russian military men slain as victims of U.S. weapons systems in Syria, putting insults toward President Putin ahead of human decency, writes Robert Parry.

Normally, when a country is hit by an act of terrorism, there is universal sympathy even if the country has engaged in actions that may have made it a target of the terrorists. After 9/11, for instance, any discussion of whether U.S. violent meddling in the Middle East may have precipitated the attack was ruled out of the public debate.

Similarly, the 7/7 attacks against London’s Underground in 2005 were not excused because the United Kingdom had joined in President George W. Bush’s aggressive war in Iraq. The same with the more recent terror strikes in Paris. No respectable politician or pundit gloated about the French getting what they deserved for their long history of imperialism in the Muslim world.

President Barack Obama uncomfortably accepting the Nobel Peace Prize from Committee Chairman Thorbjorn Jagland in Oslo, Norway, Dec. 10, 2009. (White House photo)

obama-nobel-12-10-09-300x199

Apparently, the political imperative to display disdain for Russian President Vladimir Putin trumps any normal sense of humanity. Both Obama on Tuesday and Friedman on Wednesday treated those Russian deaths at the hands of the Islamic State or other jihadists as Putin’s comeuppance for intervening against terrorist/jihadist gains in Syria.

At a news conference in Paris, Obama expressed his lack of sympathy as part of a bizarre comment in which he faulted Putin for somehow not turning around the Syrian conflict during the past month – when Obama and his allies have been floundering in their “war” against the Islamic State and its parent, Al Qaeda, for years, if not decades.

“The Russians now have been there for several weeks, over a month, and I think fair-minded reporters who looked at the situation would say that the situation hasn’t changed significantly,” Obama said. “

In the interim, Russia has lost a commercial passenger jet. You’ve seen another jet shot down. There have been losses in terms of Russian personnel. And I think Mr. Putin understands that, with Afghanistan fresh in the memory, for him to simply get bogged down in a inconclusive and paralyzing civil conflict is not the outcome that he’s looking for.”

In examining that one paragraph, a “fair-minded” reporter could find a great deal to dispute. Indeed, the comments suggest that President Obama has crossed some line into either believing his own propaganda or thinking that everyone who listens to him is an idiot and will believe whatever he says.

But what was perhaps most disturbing was Obama’s graceless manner of discussing the tragedy of the Sinai bombing, followed by his seeming pleasure over Turkey shooting down a Russian SU-24 last week, leading to the killing of two Russian military men, one the pilot who was targeted while parachuting to the ground and the other a marine after his search-and-rescue helicopter was downed by a TOW missile.

Even more troubling, the key weapon systems used – the Turkish F-16 fighter jet and the TOW missile – were U.S.-manufactured and apparently U.S. supplied, in the case of the TOW missile either directly or indirectly to Sunni jihadists deemed “moderate” by the Obama administration.

The Ever-Smug Friedman

Columnist Friedman was equally unfeeling about the Russian deaths. In a column entitled “Putin’s Great Syrian Adventure,” Friedman offered a mocking assessment of Russia’s intervention against Sunni jihadists and terrorists seeking to take control of Syria.

While ridiculing anyone who praised Putin’s initiative or who just thought the Russian president was “crazy like a fox,” Friedman wrote: “Some of us thought he was just crazy.

Well, two months later, let’s do the math: So far, Putin’s Syrian adventure has resulted in a Russian civilian airliner carrying 224 people being blown up, apparently by pro-ISIS militants in Sinai. Turkey shot down a Russian bomber after it strayed into Turkish territory. And then Syrian rebels killed one of the pilots as he parachuted to earth and one of the Russian marines sent to rescue him.

Ha-ha, very funny! And, by the way, it has not been established that the Russian SU-24 did stray into Turkish air space but if it did, according to the Turkish account, it passed over a sliver of Turkish territory for all of 17 seconds.

The evidence is quite clear that the SU-24 was ambushed in a reckless act by Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who has been collaborating with Syrian and foreign jihadists for the past four years to overthrow Syria’s secular government. And the murder of the pilot after he bailed out of the plane is not some reason to smirk; it is a war crime.

Even uglier is the lack of any sympathy or outrage over the terrorist bombing that killed 224 innocent people, mostly tourists, aboard a Russian charter flight in Egypt. If the victims had been American and a similar callous reaction had come from President Putin and a columnist for a major Russian newspaper, one can only imagine the outrage. However, in Official Washington, any recognition of a common humanity with Russians makes you a “Moscow stooge.”

The other wacky part of both Obama’s comments and Friedman’s echoes of the same themes is this quick assessment that the Russian intervention in support of the Syrian government has been some abject failure – as if the U.S.-led coalition has been doing so wonderfully.

First, as a “fair-minded” reporter, I would say that it appears the Russian-backed Syrian offensive has at least stopped the advances of the Islamic State, Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and its jihadist allies, including Ahrar al-Sham (which technically separates itself from Al Qaeda and thus qualifies for U.S.-supplied weaponry even though it fights side-by-side with Nusra in the Saudi-backed Army of Conquest).

The Afghan Memories

Obama’s reference to Afghanistan was also startling. He was suggesting that Putin should have learned a lesson from Moscow’s intervention in the 1980s in support of a secular, pro-Soviet regime in Kabul, which came under attack by CIA-organized-and-armed Islamic jihadists known then as mujahedeen.

Wielding sophisticated surface-to-air missiles and benefiting from $1 billion a year in Saudi-U.S.-supplied weapons, the Afghan fundamentalist mujahedeen and their allies, including Saudi Osama bin Laden, eventually drove Soviet troops out in 1989 and – several years later behind the Taliban – completed the reversion of Afghanistan back to the Seventh Century. Women in Kabul went from dressing any way they liked in public, including wearing mini-skirts, to being covered in chadors and kept at home.

Obama’s bringing up Afghanistan in the Syrian context and Putin’s supposed one-month Syrian failure was ironic in another way. After Al Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks, the United States invaded Afghanistan in pursuit of bin Laden and has been bogged down in a quagmire there for 14 years, including nearly seven years under Obama.

So, Obama may not be on the firmest ground when he suggests that Putin recall Moscow’s experience in Afghanistan a few decades ago. After all, Obama has many more recent memories.

Further, what is different about Putin’s Syrian strategy – compared with Obama’s – is that the Russians are targeting all the terrorists and jihadists, not just the Islamic State (also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh). While U.S. propaganda tries to present the non-ISIS jihadists as “moderates” (somehow pretending that Al Qaeda is no longer a terrorist organization), there is, in reality, very little distinction between ISIS and the alliance of Nusra/Ahrar al-Sham.

And, as for Official Washington’s new “group think” about the Syrian government’s lack of progress in the war, there is the discordant news that the last of rebel forces have agreed to abandon the central city of Homs, which had been dubbed the “capital of the revolution.” The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that “thousands of insurgents will leave the last opposition-held neighborhood in” Homs, with the withdrawal beginning next week.

Al-Jazeera added the additional fact that the remaining 4,000 insurgents are “from al-Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham and the Free Syrian Army.” In other words, the “moderate” Free Syrian Army was operating in collusion with Al Qaeda’s affiliate and its major jihadist partner.

While it’s hard to get reliable up-to-date information from inside Syria, one intelligence source familiar with the military situation told me that the Syrian government offensive, backed by Iranian troops and Russian air power, had been surprisingly successful in putting the jihadists, including ISIS and Nusra, on the defensive, with additional gains around the key city of Aleppo.

The Belated Oil Bombings

Also, in the past week, Putin shamed Obama into joining in a bombing operation to destroy hundreds of trucks carrying ISIS oil to Turkey. Why that valuable business was allowed to continue during the U.S.-led war on ISIS since summer 2014 has not been adequately explained. It apparently was being protected by Turkish President Erdogan.

Another irony of Obama’s (and Friedman’s) critical assessment of Putin’s one-month military campaign came in Obama’s recounting of his meeting during the Paris climate summit with Erdogan. Obama said he was still appealing to Erdogan to close the Turkish-Syrian border although radical jihadists have been crossing it since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

“With respect to Turkey, I have had repeated conversations with President Erdogan about the need to close the border between Turkey and Syria,” Obama said. “We’ve seen some serious progress on that front, but there are still some gaps. In particular, there’s about 98 kilometers that are still used as a transit point for foreign fighters, ISIL shipping out fuel for sale that helps finance their terrorist activities.”

In other words, all these years into the conflict – and about 1½ years since Obama specifically targeted ISIS – Turkey has not closed its borders to prevent ISIS from reinforcing itself with foreign fighters and trafficking in illicit oil sales to fund its terror operations. One might suspect that Erdogan has no intention of really stopping the Sunni jihadists from ravaging Syria.

Erdogan still seems set on violent “regime change” in Syria after allowing his intelligence services to provide extensive help to ISIS, Al Qaeda’s Nusra and other extremists. The Russians claim that politically well-connected Turkish businessmen also have been profiting off the ISIS oil sales.

But Obama’s acknowledgement that he has not even been able to get NATO “ally” Turkey to seal its border and that ISIS still remains a potent fighting force makes a mockery of his mocking Putin for not “significantly” changing the situation on the ground in Syria in one month.

Obama also slid into propaganda speak when he blamed Assad for all the deaths that have occurred during the Syrian conflict. “I consider somebody who kills hundreds of thousands of his own people illegitimate,” Obama said.

But again Obama is applying double standards. For instance, he would not blame President George W. Bush for the hundreds of thousands (possibly more than a million) dead Iraqis, yet Bush was arguably more responsible for those deaths by launching an unprovoked invasion of Iraq than Assad was in battling a jihadist-led insurgency.

Plus, the death toll of Syrians, estimated to exceed a quarter million, includes many soldiers and police as well as armed jihadists. That does not excuse Assad or his regime for excessively heavy-handed tactics that have inflicted civilian casualties, but Obama and his predecessor both have plenty of innocent blood on their hands, too.

After watching Obama’s news conference, one perhaps can hope that he is just speaking out of multiple sides of his mouth as he is wont to do. Maybe, he’s playing his usual game of “above-the-table/below-the-table,” praising Erdogan above the table while chastising him below the table and disparaging Putin in public while cooperating with the Russian president in private.

Or maybe President Obama has simply lost touch with reality – and with common human decency.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon andbarnesandnoble.com). You also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34.

The trilogy includesAmerica’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.
The original source of this article is Consortium News
Copyright © Robert Parry, Consortium News, 2015

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). Unruly Hearts will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.

Latest NYT Big Lie: Russia Responsible for Syrian Refugee “Surge”

 

 

Theme: Media Disinformation
In-depth Report: SYRIA: NATO’S NEXT WAR?

 

New-York-Times-400x249Times reporting shifts from the absurd to the contemptible.

According to The Times, Russian airstrikes caused “surg(ing) civilian flight.” It lied, claiming its “warplanes attacked the village of Ter Ma’aleh, killing at least a dozen people and sending most of the residents into hurried exile.”

“The assault on the village was part of a wider escalation of violence across the country that has displaced tens of thousands of people in just weeks and led relief workers to warn that Syria is facing one of its most serious humanitarian crises of the civil war.”

“The intensity of the fighting, they say (who is ‘they?’), is fueling increased desperation as a growing number of Syrians are fleeing to neighboring countries and, especially, to Europe.”

Russian airstrikes “l(ed) to the latest wave of displacement. (M)unitions (used) added to the sense of fear.” Russia “target(ed) hospitals and other medical facilities.” The Times cited a willfully misleading Human Rights Watch report accusing Russia of killing civilians, despite no corroborating evidence.

Fact: The Times article is a complete fabrication.

Fact: Washington bears full responsibility for Syria’s refugee crisis. Britain, France, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other rogue partners share blame.

Fact: Russian intervention is a liberating, not displacing force. More on this below.

Fact: Long before Russian airstrikes began on September 30 (less than a month ago), half of Syria’s 23 million people were internally or externally displaced.

Fact: Many headed for Europe years ago, numbers increasing dramatically in the past year or so.

Fact: Most Syrian refugees are in bordering countries Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq, as well as smaller numbers in Egypt.

The web site SyrianRefugees.eu said

“under 150,000 Syrians have declared asylum in the European Union, while member states have pledged to resettle a further 33,000 Syrians. The vast majority of these resettlement spots (85%) are pledged by Germany.”

Fact: Refugees arriving daily in Europe come from various countries, most either Pentagon war theaters or nations affected by US-inflicted instability, violence and chaos – including Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia, Eritrea, Mali, Syria and others.

Fact: Syria is Obama’s war, planned years before he took office, part of longstanding US strategy to replace all sovereign independent governments with US-controlled illegitimate puppet regimes.

Fact: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria are four of history’s great crimes, America bearing full responsibility, millions of lost lives and unspeakable human suffering considered a small price to pay – the appalling dark side of US imperial viciousness.

On October 24, the reliable Sputnik News service headlined “Syria Refugees Praise Russian Airstrikes, Consider Returning,” saying:

“Syria’s Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun previously said that over 800,000 refugees have returned since Russian airstrikes against terrorist targets in Syria began on September 30th.”

“The operation has also given refugees from the conflict hope that peace would return, according to interviews AP conducted around the Aleppo province, a hub for refugees leaving Syria.”

“ ‘I hope that with Russian pilots’ help, our military will advance and defeat terrorists so that we could return to our homes,’ one refugee told AP.”

This view is widely held and growing, opposite of deplorable Times propaganda, a Lying Machine for wealth, power and privilege, supporting all US wars of aggression, past and current.

In a few short weeks, Russia’s intervention dramatically changed the Syrian and regional landscape.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

German Company is Top Tax Evader in Greece

Region:

 

El-Venizelos1-400x285A German company was found to be the biggest tax evader in Greece. A court in Athens found that Hochtief, the German company that was running the “Eleftherios Venizelos” Athens International airport was not paying VAT for 20 years. It is estimated that Hochtief, will have to pay more than 500 million Euros for VAT arrears. Together with other outstanding payments, like those to social security funds, it might have to py more than 1 billion Euros.

It must be noted that under the “Troika” austerity programme Greek employees lost around 400 million Euros from cuts to their salaries.

Hochtief, which is the biggest German Construction company, specializing in airports, was also running the Athens International airport through a subsidiary until 2013, when it sold it’s share to a Canadian company.
(source: neurope)

 

 

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). Unruly Hearts will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.

Сириза дает мастерски урок демократии в мире

 

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Mondialisation.ca, 4 июля 2015
Этот адрес электронной Лейр строфа в ainhoa.aristizabal@gmail.com

Каждый гражданин несколько ответственность и должным образом проинформирован – подразумевая другие, чем средства массовой информации и их программирование отупляющей источники – настоящие и будущие времена выглядят довольно мрачно. Будь то в экономической, социальной, экологической, культурной, образовательной, безопасности, и т.д. … А в непрерывном потоке информации, который не пересекаются и часто сталкиваются, ничего более сложного, чем пытаться разобраться факты от ложь, чтобы попытаться выяснить, где находится мир идет и что будет сделано наши завтрашние, и те из наших детей …

В эти времена обобщенной террора, – которые не обязаны ничего на волю случая, но тщательно поддерживается некоторыми, кто получает прибыль, даже на самом высоком уровне [только помните шараду, что рано окруженный события Чарли-Hebdo в год и способ, в котором власть восстановлена, чтобы добиться цели быстро, законы драконовские более] – обо всем и часто ничего не ставить граждан и постоянно поддерживается в состоянии стресса, который парализует и предотвращает его от необходимости четкого отражения, которые могут быть разработаны с определенным отступлением от непредвиденных, которые окружают со всех сторон.

По останавливаясь, каждый понимает, что ситуация, в которой мы оказываемся не на основе какой-либо фатальности, а, скорее, результатом решений, принимаемых в основном политических сил. Эти полномочия чаще в сговор с миром индустриальной мощи, основные средства массовой информации они во многом контролировать, высокий финансов, мировой олигархии. Результат вообще обнищание политической вещь – что приводит к неверным решениям для людей в большинстве случаев [принять любую тему, вы увидите] – личного обогащения в пользу тех, которые стекаются в доступ к этим привилегированные сферы, где все валюты … Когда нынешний министр экономики Е. Макрон хотел иметь в Франция многих молодых людей, жаждущих стать миллиардерами, он мог завершить свое наказание и консультировать их Политическая карьера … кроме него, в основном за счет обучения, знания, культуры, компетентности, и это обобщенное обнищание политическом мире, который имеет более Другая цель, чем остаться в энергокомпаний, в результате тупика, который мы видим сегодня …

Хуже того, она, кажется, постоянная, независимо страна континента, режим, культура, с несколькими исключениями, но почти никто не говорит … Поэтому там, где взгляд падает, Ответственность политиков в мире дрейфа подавляющее!

В Европе сегодня, граждане присутствовавшие ошеломлен разрыва в хорошем положении страны поймали в зубах хищников. Гидра называется “Тройка” (ЕЦБ МВФ и ЕС) имеет постоянно поддерживать голову греческих людей под водой, в то время как сам объявив готов “возобновить диалог и помощь (!) Стране.” лицемерие и цинизм правящего класса находится на своем пике. Лукавые коммюнике имя широкой общественности ходу в диаметрально противоположном фактов. Таким образом, ценные бумаги этой бульварной прессы в последние дни, используя лексику и тенденциозную иждивенцев, А. Tsipras обвинили в “обнажить оружие референдума” … Кто имеет “наголо” первый “оружие” в шантаж и ультиматум А. Tsipras справедливо подчеркнул незаконность в глазах правил и договоров европейских? Или заявления различных должностных лиц, таких, как, что из J-Cl. Юнкер Председатель Комиссии, заявив, что “НЕТ” на референдуме “не будет означать, что греки говорят не в Европу”, в то время как правительство во главе с Syriza просто хочу еще Европу, чем тот, который ставит людей на колени для Преимущество мало, и какой видит провал по линии, даже правильно оценить это создает глубокие трещины в популяциях попали в постоянной конкуренции … Или, что немецкий министр Штайнмайер обвиняя А. Tsipras “принять греческую заложников” … когда 1 Греческий министр сделал прямо противоположное, обращаясь к своему народу, чтобы убедиться, чтобы всегда быть в уполномоченный представитель. Как долго мы должны терпеть эту авторитаризм, который больше не представляет стремление всех народов в европейской мечты? Как долго это возьмет, чтобы принять низведения на обочину теми, кто сами не остановить, чтобы пополнить слово «демократия» они опустели его сущности? Те, надеюсь, чтобы держать нас в страхе, чтобы держать нас от реакции, поддерживать решения СИРИЗА и ее альтернативы, чтобы противостоять диктату тройки несправедливой и его подхалимов?

Времена серьезно. Такое поведение политических персонал вдвое СМИ разгильдяев на самом деле поставить под угрозу сами принципы подлинной демократии, в которой большинство из этих сатрапов претендовать. Но они не попрали без стеснения. Разве не видно в последнее время, министр Вальс 1 – gôôôche него, кажется! – Спросите момент отражения в памяти парламента Ch Паскуа оказался мафию, файлы были сложены на протяжении многих лет, но всегда выходят из которого юстиции черные дыры, когда это известно. “Это политическое персонала? И следует пересмотреть ряд случаев, когда имя за Саркози … причудливый характер, в недобросовестных, которые, в то время как пьяный стыда, осмелился представить перед избирателями недостатками системы, что позволяет, в то время как менее неверный шаг, избран мандат должен быть запрещен для жизни? И так далее …

И это, наверное, то, что приводит к эксцессам выращивания мы посещаем. не Опасения этих людей уже не какие-то сомнения: они в любом случае, что греческий случай делает пятно масла и распространения в других европейских странах, включая Испанию и партии Podemos скоро не хотят. Проблемы носят иной вес, чем греческой случае. Кредиторы должны содрогнуться сделку с этой возможности. Банковская система уже трясутся. И кризис, который будет следовать будет кошмар хуже, чем в США ипотечных кредитов. Те, возможно, начинают понимать, что люди не позволяют себе манипулировать носа и хотите забрать их право смотреть в перспективу другого Европе, которая лишит их от бесстыдных привилегий. Я недавно заметил абсолютно непристойное Лагард зарплаты -. Всегда Заряженные в разных папках – покровителя МВФ, заплатил кажется, в соответствии с его навыками и высокой ответственности. Это не помешало лидерам небольшой Syriza участник принять МВФ против стопы и удивил своими знаниями выработок и тексты священного института, этих наглых чиновников, противопоставив два положения редко используемые ( видеть : http://www.lalibre.be/economie/actualite/quand-la-grece-maitrise-mieux-les-regles-du-fmi-que-le-fmi-lui-meme-5594d9b83570e4598cb01bf4 ).

“Греческий случай” Для этих финансовых хищников, лаборатория, где он, чтобы увидеть, как далеко мы можем поставить на коленях людей. И если она работает, формула будет применяться для всех европейских государств. Почему это абсолютно необходимо, чтобы греческий народ следовать за теми, он принес к власти путем голосования “НЕТ” во время референдума в воскресенье. И вопреки тому, что некоторые хотели бы заставить нас поверить, греческое правительство дает мир мастерски урок демократии, напоминая нам, кстати, что это причина и не намерен унизить значение и очистить его содержимое как некоторые технократов использовать ее с большим усердием …

Даниэль Vanhove

Даниэль Vanhove: Гражданское наблюдатель. Автор:

“Если вы разрушить наши дома, вы не будете уничтожить наши души” – 2005 – ред. М. Pietteur

“Ли демократия” – 2008 – Ред М. Pietteur.

Copyright © 2015 Mondialisation.ca

New York Times Warns Greece to Accept Endless Depression– Because Default Might Be Painful

 

Region:

 

 

130953James Stewart had a piece in the New York Times (6/25/15) telling readers that if Greece were to leave the euro, it would face a disaster. The headline warns readers, “Imagine Argentina, but Much Worse.” The article includes several assertions that are misleading or false.

First, it is difficult to describe the default in Argentina as a disaster. The economy had been plummeting prior to the default, which occurred at the end of the year in 2001. The country’s GDP had actually fallen more before the default than it did after the default. (This is not entirely clear on the graph, since the data is annual. At the point where the default took place in December of 2001, Argentina’s GDP was already well below the year-round average.) While the economy did fall more sharply after the default, it soon rebounded, and by the end of 2003 it had regained all the ground lost following the default.

Argentina’s economy continued to grow rapidly for several more years, rising above pre-recession levels in 2004. Given the fuller picture, it is difficult to see the default as an especially disastrous event, even if it did lead to several months of uncertainty for the people of Argentina.

In this respect, it is worth noting that Paul Volcker is widely praised in policy circles for bringing down the US inflation rate. To accomplish this goal, he induced a recession that pushed the unemployment rate to almost 11 percent. So the idea that short-term pain might be a price worth paying for a longer-term benefit is widely accepted in policy circles.

The pre-default decline has been much sharper in Greece than in Argentina: over 25 percent in Greece, compared to less than 10 percent in Argentina. This should mean that Greece has much more room to bounce back if it regains control over its fiscal and monetary policy.

At one point, the piece refers to the views of Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s finance minister, on the difficulties of leaving the euro. It relies on what it describes as a “recent blogpost.” Actually, the post is from 2012.

To support the argument that Greece has little prospect for increasing its exports, it quotes Daniel Gros, director of the Center for European Policy Studies in Brussels, on the impact of devaluation on tourism:

But they’ve already cut prices and tourism has gone up. But it hasn’t really helped, because total revenue hasn’t gone up.

Actually, tourism revenue has risen. It rose by 8.0 percent from 2011 to 2013(the most recent data available) measured in euros, and by roughly 20 percent measured in dollars.

In arguing that Greece can’t increase revenue from fishing, the piece tells readers, “The European Union has strict quotas to prevent overfishing.” However, the piece also tells readers that leaving the euro would cause Greece to be thrown out of the European Union. If that’s true, the EU limits on fishing would be irrelevant.

The piece also make a big point of the fact that Greece does not at present have a currency other than the euro. There are plenty of countries, including many which are poorer than Greece, who have managed to switch over to a new currency in a relatively short period of time. While this process will never be painless, it must be compared to the pain associated with an indefinite period of unemployment in excess of 20.0 percent, which is almost certainly the path associated with remaining in the euro on the Troika’s terms.

In making comparisons between Greece and Argentina, it is also worth noting that almost all economists projected disaster at the time Argentina defaulted in 2001. Perhaps they have learned more about economics in the last 14 years, but this is not obviously true.

Economist Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC. A version of this post originally appeared on CEPR’s blog Beat the Press (6/26/15).

You can send a message to the New York Times at letters@nytimes.com, or to public editor Margaret Sullivan at public@nytimes.com (Twitter:@NYTimes or @Sulliview). Please remember that respectful communication is the most effective.

The Greek Default: “It’s Already in the Market”? What Will the World Look like the Day Markets Try to Reopen?

 

global-economy-stocks-400x256You have heard the phrase many times “it’s already in the market”, meaning if “something” or some sort of event happens it is already factored in to prices.  I was overseas last week, travelled much of the week and stayed in a hotel that had only two English speaking channels …one of which was CNBC.  I cannot tell you how many talking heads were paraded forth whom all parroted the same pabulum, “a Greek default is already factored in the market”.  Really?  REALLY?

For CNBC or any media outlet to downplay a Greek default is plain evil deceit at its core.  We have looked at this many times and from many angles, Greece owes close to 350 billion euros and when the amount of written derivatives are included we are probably talking well over 3 trillion euros!  Yes, the talking heads keep saying “much of the Greek debt is now off of the banks balance sheets and is now owned by the ECB itself”.  Does this make it any better?  Or could it make the situation even worse because now a central bank has its balance sheet in peril and exposed?

The other side of the coin is the derivatives situation.  Please remember when a “default” occurs, the “notional value” becomes the true at risk amount.  This was the problem caused by Lehman Brothers in 2008, derivatives which had been supported by margin alone (and very thin at that) saw margin calls explode and the demands of 100% notional payments began.  This is why no one, ever, can be allowed to fail.  Because then the triggers are pulled and notional settlements begin …with a minor problem.  Derivatives simply cannot perform because they total more than the value of everything else added together on the planet.  The “money” simply does not exist for everyone to be paid.

The purpose for writing this piece is not to discuss Greece, whether they pull an “Iceland” and leave the central banks holding the bag …or talk about the odds of their banks opening Monday morning …or to speculate as to “when” they default (“if” is already in the rearview window).  A Greek exit from the Eurozone or a change in allegiance from NATO to Russia are both very real possibilities …but NONE OF THIS is “in the market”.  Greece is but one of an absolute litany of potential events being ignored!

The list of potential events being ignored by the markets is very long.  They include the geopolitics of Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, the South Sea islands Iran, and we might as well throw Israel into this mix.  Russia and China just announced trade to be done exclusively in yuan and rubles, is this factored in to the valuation of the dollar?  The U.S. has moved missiles into Poland and elsewhere to ring fence Russia, Russia has responded by repositioning ”EMP” weaponry.  China’s economy is slowing while their margin debt and speculation in stock markets are at an all time high after doubling in value over 6 months.  As for the U.S., bogus number after bogus number is being reported while the economy declines in recession…and the world moves further and further from the dollar.  It’s all “business as usual” as long as markets can be controlled…

The biggest “factor” being ignored is the fact credit markets around the world have already seriously crackedhttp://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-06-21/credit-market-warning.  Interest rates are rising and bond prices falling.  Please, never forget this, ”credit” is THE FOUNDATON to the “value” of everything we know and believe to have value.  “Credit” (debt) is THE foundation to every current currency on the planet.  If the underlying debt is beginning to lose value, what will this mean for currencies?  What will it mean for the “discount process” to be used to value stocks?  Or real estate?  Not to mention the fact current cash flows will have the capacity to carry LESS debt …which has been used to hold up current values?  To finish this thought process out, the big picture is quite simple.  Debt has continually expanded faster and faster than the underlying global GDP.  Current GDP is simply not sufficient in size any longer to carry the global debt burden…

I am going to tell you, NOTHING “bad” is factored into today’s markets… even slightly.  All markets, all assets, everything has been “priced to perfection”, FORCEFULLY “PRICED”.  Do you understand what I am saying here?  “Prices”, all prices are being “made”.  They are being made to paint a picture of a perfect world.  This picture is a must to portray “all is well and no worries”.  Almost none of the potentials I wrote of above (and there are many more) have even seen the light of day in the Western mainstream press …because if they did then they might affect values and partly be “priced in”.

Let me finish by talking about “black swans”.  A black swan by definition is a surprise event taking participants unaware.  How can anything we already know about …and is supposedly priced in to the market be a black swan?  Maybe because so few believe a systemic failure can happen?  Maybe we should categorize the entire financial system or even our way of life as a “black swan” because almost no one believes “it” (the ride) can ever end?  Americans in general know something is wrong but they just can’t put their finger on it.  A recent poll taken by Gallup shows confidence in almost everything has dropped

http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/ken-walshs-washington/2015/06/17/americans-have-lost-confidence-in-everything to previously unseen lows. 

As I have mentioned many times before, the last piece of glue holding the system together is confidence.  The confidence of a central bank in another central bank, the confidence of institutions in other institutions and of course the confidence of the general public.  While on this topic of confidence, why do you believe four European central banks have requested their gold back?  Or closer to home, why does Texas want to retrieve their gold from Yankee bankers?  Confidence is a peculiar thing, it takes a long time to build and may be retained by “reputation” for quite some time …but when it breaks it goes away like lightning!

None of the potential black swans have seemed to even move the dial because the puppeteers have used derivatives to collar, support and suppress various prices and thus “hide” any bad reaction.

I have to believe the ultimate black swan is exactly this, the loss of control of everything including perception.  After all, the most ingrained of thoughts are these; the government can never go broke, the government will never allow it or let it happen.  Maybe THE black swan is the most obvious of all, the government is in fact broke and Mother Nature does still exist.  We have gone so far down the rabbit hole where absolutely nothing is actually “in the market”, I believe the biggest shock of all will be what the world looks like the day markets try to reopen?

Why Is Europe Staying with the Leading Fascist Power, That’s Now Turned Nazi?

 

nazi-us-flag-400x252The United States is a gung-ho supporter of a genocide that it created. (Click on those links, for the verification of these shocking facts — shocking only because they’re covered up by our ‘press.’) Why does Europe tolerate this, and even participate in it? But, they do.

On November 14th, France missed the second deadline for them to supply to Russia the Mistral helicopter-carrier ship that Russia had already paid for in full, and which had been built to Russian specifications, not suitable for use by NATO.

Back on 14 May 2014, Michael R. Gordon — one of the New York Times ‘reporters’ (more-realistically: stenographers for the U.S. Administration) who had ‘reported’ back in 2002 about how horrific were the WMD or Weapons of Mass Destruction that Saddam Hussein was building up, but which actually didn’t exist except in the Administration’s disinformation-agencies — headlined in that propaganda-outlet for the U.S. Government (propagandistically calling itself a ‘news’paper), “France’s Sale of 2 Ships to Russians Is Ill-Advised, U.S. Warns,” and he lambasted the dastardly purveyor of what U.S. nationalists had contemptuously called “freedom fries”; he opened his ‘news report’ as the stenographer to power that he and his newspaper are, with: “In a closed-door meeting in February 2010, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates urged his French counterpart not to proceed with the sale of two amphibious assault ships to Russia because it ‘would send the wrong message to Russia and to our allies in Central and East Europe.’” In other words: Russia is the enemy; don’t deal with them in any other way.

Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post, headlined the next day disdainfully, “Europe goes its own way,” and she opened, “France’s attempt to sell warships to Russia is both a ‘sell the rope to hang themselves’ moment and a comment on U.S. stature these days.” She lied: Russia isn’t France’s enemy; the U.S. has become that. And France wasn’t in any “attempt to sell warships to Russia”; those warships had already been sold and built and paid for, but Washington was turning the screws on their ‘friend’ France, to induce them not to deliver what had already been sold and manufactured.

 America’s fascists, and even for our racist-fascists or “nazis,” the Cold War has never ended, not even when the Soviet Union did and when Marxist economics became rejected everywhere but in Cuba and North Korea. Apparently, the Cold War was never really about communism, if one believes these fascists; it was about destroying Russia. For them, it has actually been just a marketing plan for U.S.-made weapons. Now that Russia is a democracy — perhaps more so than the U.S. now is — the old hatred still burns like hot coals in the black hearts of Barack Obama, Republicans, and all other far-rightist, pro-oligarchic, U.S. politicians, who serve the people at Raytheon Corporation and Lockheed-Martin, and other producers for NATO, the Western arms-buying club.

Gutless France isn’t telling Uncle Sam to shove off about that, but is instead setting itself up to pay a very heavy price for today’s peddler of genocide, the U.S. You don’t see this fact — or this, or even this — reported in the New York Times, or theWashington Post, or the Wall Street Journal. Those facts come from ‘the enemy.’

America needs a real press, not an aristocratically controlled ‘news-media,’ that are constantly for sale to the highest bidder, whomever can put up the advertising bucks to buy the ‘news reporting’ and ‘editorial opinions,’ that shape ‘democracy.’