January 31, 2009

Has America Jumped the Shark?

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By James Quinn, Financial Sense
Originally Published on December 9, 2008

America has given indications that it has reached its peak and is on a downward slope. The U.S. government has taken measures in the last 11 months that appear to be a desperate attempt to keep our dysfunctional corrupt financial system propped up.

The phrase “jumped the shark” comes from the 1977 episode of Happy Days where Fonzi jumps a shark on water skis (watch video clip). It was so far outside the 1950’s nostalgia realm of the show that it marked the peak of the great sitcom. It was all downhill to its ultimate cancellation.

Have the extreme socialist schemes implemented by the President, Treasury, Federal Reserve, and Congress marked the climax of our great capitalist experiment? There is still time to get our Republic back on its original capitalist path, but time is running short. It will take straight talk from our leaders, intense political pressure from common citizens, politicians scared of losing their jobs, and Americans willing to change their ways and sacrifice for the good of the country.


According to the FDIC, there were 8,384 banking institutions with $13.6 trillion of assets as of September 30, 2008. Hank Paulson has dished out $180 billion to the largest 30 banks in the country in an effort to keep them solvent.

It has now become quite clear that the largest banks in the country, with the “smartest” MBAs, took excessive risk, created and then bought their own toxic derivatives, and lied to the public and their shareholders about their true financial position.

So, we had about 8,000 banks that loaned money to people they knew in their local communities, kept the loans on their books, and generally acted like George Bailey.

A handful of large banks did all of the damage to our global financial system and these are the banks who are receiving all of the TARP billions. Maybe just maybe we should be giving the TARP money to the 8,000 conservative banks run by George Bailey type bankers rather than the horrible, too big to fail, banks run by Mr. Potter type bankers. Badly run banks need to be replaced by well run banks. Every time a bell rings, another bad banker gets a billion dollars. I see many Potterville’s in our future.

The honorable professor from Princeton, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, couldn’t have been any clearer in his November 21, 2002 speech:
U.S. dollars have value only to the extent that they are strictly limited in supply. But the U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost. By increasing the number of U.S. dollars in circulation, or even by credibly threatening to do so, the U.S. government can also reduce the value of a dollar in terms of goods and services, which is equivalent to raising the prices in dollars of those goods and services. We conclude that, under a paper-money system, a determined government can always generate higher spending and hence positive inflation. Of course, the U.S. government is not going to print money and distribute it willy-nilly (although as we will see later, there are practical policies that approximate this behavior). One important concern in practice is that calibrating the economic effects of nonstandard means of injecting money may be difficult, given our relative lack of experience with such policies. A broad-based tax cut, for example, accommodated by a program of open-market purchases to alleviate any tendency for interest rates to increase, would almost certainly be an effective stimulant to consumption and hence to prices. A money-financed tax cut is essentially equivalent to Milton Friedman's famous "helicopter drop" of money.
The U.S. dollar is a green piece of paper. The only thing that gives it any value is confidence and trust. Confidence and trust are the only thing that distinguishes a U.S. Buck from a Schrute Buck.

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The more that we print, the less valuable they become. The government certainly appears to be printing money and distributing it willy-nilly. In 2002, Mr. Bernanke honestly admitted he had no idea what the economic effects of injecting money into the system would be. I guess we will find out.

The chart put together by Barry Ritholtz (see article) details what the Federal Reserve and Treasury have accomplished in the last 10 months with your money. This hodgepodge of frantic programs has committed you, your children and grandchildren to a maximum of $8.5 trillion in bailouts for dreadfully run financial institutions. Our government officials have already dished out $3.1 trillion or $300 billion per month.

It was only a year ago that President Bush submitted a budget that showed surpluses by 2012. That President Bush is a real card. He should have submitted that budget with a Mission Accomplished banner behind him. These programs have been rolled out non-stop during 2008 and the result has been a stock market that is down 37%. The Federal Reserve has been printing dollars in mass quantities. Famed investor Jim Rogers observed that, “Bernanke’s gonna keep printing money ’til they run out of trees.”

When I take a gander at this chart I can’t help but hear Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries playing in the background as Bernanke and Paulson fire up the helicopters and prepare to drop dollars rather than napalm. One helicopter won’t do when there is $8.5 trillion to drop.

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Colonel Kilgore explained why he was taking that particular beach with “Charlie don’t surf.”
Colonel Paulson could explain his latest bailout with “Citi don’t lend.”

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“I love the smell of napalm in the morning.” “I love the smell of bailouts on the weekend.”

If these efforts to revive our economy follow the plot of Apocalypse Now, it will end with Timothy Geithner gasping, “the horror, the horror,” when the hyperinflationary bust eventually brings our existing financial system down.


Our great country was founded upon trust; trust in our government leaders, trust in our commercial system, trust in our currency, and trust in each other. Without trust, a Republic will fail. A Republic is ruled by the people, not power hungry politicians, lifetime bureaucrats, or corporate interests.

Our currency is imprinted with the words, “In God We Trust.” It is not imprinted with “In Ben We Trust” or “In Hank We Trust.” Over time, trust in our government, financial leaders and corporate leaders has declined to the point where Americans cannot and should not trust anything they are told. It is essential that every citizen do their duty and skeptically assess everything they are told by politicians, bureaucrats and corporate CEOs. They will continue to speak authoritatively like they know exactly what will happen in the future. They are lying. None of these experts can even predict what will happen next week, let alone next year. If you don’t think my advice is applicable, just read what these “experts” have said in the last few years (see article).

The lesson that must be learned is that you cannot trust anything “experts” tell you. They are looking out for their own best interests, not yours. For the last two weeks I’ve watched “experts” conclude that the U.S. automakers must be saved and a stimulus package of at least $700 billion is needed to save America. The same experts that told us everything was fine a year ago are now telling us we must spend at least $700 billion to save our economy. Why should we believe them now?

Our country, our banks, our consumers, and our corporations are extremely overleveraged. We cannot stimulate ourselves out of this over leveraged situation. The debt must be paid off, and it cannot be done without much pain and sacrifice.

Stimulus is just another name for more leverage. President-elect Obama says that we can’t worry about the short term impact on the deficit. When was the last time that government worried about the short-term, medium term, or long-term impact of their actions on deficits? That is why our National Debt is $10.6 trillion and we have $53 trillion of unfunded liabilities. When this crisis subsides, the government will not recapture the stimulus spending and pay down our National Debt. There will be another crisis that “must” be addressed.

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January 29, 2009

The Global Agenda 2009

In addition to global taxes, “The Global Agenda 2009” report urges creation of a global television channel.

Global Taxes and Global TV Now on the Agenda

By Cliff Kincaid, Editor, AIM Report
January 26, 2009

President Obama’s pick for Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, is being urged to lay the foundation for “global governance” by considering “international taxation” measures to loot more money from U.S. taxpayers.

The recommendation is included in the report, “The Global Agenda 2009,” which is being considered by the World Economic Forum (WEF), meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 28 - February 1. The WEF is not an official government group but does include dozens of government, corporate and labor leaders at its annual meetings.

Media companies such as News Corporation (parent of Fox News, the Fox Business Network, and the Wall Street Journal), CNBC, and Forbes are official sponsors of the WEF meeting. News Corporation is listed as one of about 100 “strategic partners” of the World Economic Forum.
“Look for live coverage on CNBC, all day every day,” reports CNBC “Squawk Box” co-anchor Becky Quick. “We kick things off at 6 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday on Squawk, with serious interviews from the headliners.”
Her report, however, fails to disclose that CNBC is an “industry partner” of the World Economic Forum this week.

CNBC is a subsidiary of General Electric, whose GE Capital is receiving a $139-billion taxpayer-financed loan guarantee as part of the Wall Street bailout. CNBC’s sister networks are NBC and MSNBC.

Other “industry partners” of the WEF include Reuters, the British-based news agency. A Reuters story about the meeting that starts on Wednesday sounds like a press release from the organization, hailing its “achievements” over time but failing to note that Reuters is a sponsor of this year’s event.

CNBC is advertising a “No Way Back – the Road to Recovery” debate hosted at the conference by CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo. One of the participants is Steve Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and co-founder of the Chinese-funded and partly owned Blackstone Group.

Representing Chinese economic dominance in what Henry Kissinger has labeled a “New World Order,” Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is speaking to a special session of the conference on its first day.

The event’s corporate sponsors, which pay about half a million dollars each to participate, include several failing institutions that have received tens of billions of dollars from U.S. taxpayers. They include Bank of America, Citi, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Morgan Stanley. These entities are termed “Strategic Partners” of the World Economic Forum.

But will CNBC highlight this kind of extravagant spending when the cable business network is helping sponsor the event?

In a major embarrassment, the WEF has released a report, “The Future of the Global Financial System,” which acknowledges “intellectual stewardship and guidance” provided by a steering committee co-chaired by John Thain, the former Merrill Lynch & Co. chief executive officer who was recently ousted from Bank of America in a scandal. Thain oversaw the disastrous sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America and was criticized for lavish spending on office decorations, including a $1,405 waste basket and $87,784 rug.

The other co-chair of the committee was David Rubenstein, co-founder and managing director of The Carlyle Group, who has been quoted as saying that China holds the key to the world economy’s future. One report notes that Rubenstein says Carlyle “was an early investor in the Chinese marketplace,” that its China office “has hired many native-born Chinese, and the company is seeking to build its buyout and growth-capital businesses there.”
“The Global Agenda 2009” report says that “sovereign states do not adequately address problems reaching across borders” and that “international taxation” may be needed to generate the “additional resources” for “global governance.”
Could this become a source of new bailout money here and abroad?
“As current global governance problems come from market failures, sovereign failures and intergovernmental failures that cross boundaries, sacrificing sovereignty for greater gain may become an option,” the report says.
The report says the U.N.’s Law of the Sea Treaty, which is a top priority for Senate ratification under the Obama Administration, is a measure that has “earned the acceptance and compliance” of most nations. The treaty would turn over oil, gas, and mineral resources to the U.N. and authorize access to them through payment of a global tax to a U.N. body.

The so-called “Council on Global Governance” of the World Economic Forum includes Anne-Marie Slaughter, dean of the Princeton University Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs who has been picked by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to run the State Department’s Office of Policy Planning. Slaughter wrote the 2004 book, A New World Order.

In terms of media interest and backing for the controversial event, one of the co-chairs is Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corporation, the Fox News Channel parent company. Another co-chair is Kofi Annan, the disgraced former U.N. Secretary-General. As director of U.N. peacekeeping, Annan was accused of ignoring genocide in Rwanda. As Secretary-General, he was investigated for presiding over the oil-for-food corruption scandal involving Saddam Hussein’s Iraq regime.

Annan, however, claimed that he was “exonerated” by a report issued by Paul Volcker, the former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman and now one of Obama’s chief economic advisers.

In the past U.S. officials have been major participants in the World Economic Forum. But it’s not clear if any of Obama’s top officials will be going to this year’s event. However, some of his labor backers, including Andrew Stern of the Service Employees International Union, and John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO, are listed as participants.

In addition to global taxes, “The Global Agenda 2009” report urges creation of a global television channel.
“Media has the capacity to connect the world, bridging cultures and peoples, and telling us who we are and what we mean to each other. The media can also ensure that no voice goes unheard,” it says. “We believe that this new moment also calls for a new media platform, across all media channels, a global non-profit ‘CNN’ providing a new form of independent journalism to inform, illuminate and deepen knowledge about issues that improve the state of the world.”
The report doesn’t explain how this new global TV channel will be financed. But global taxes cannot be ruled out.

Perhaps this new era of transparency and disclosure can start with disclosing details about media sponsorship and backing of the World Economic Forum and its plans for “global governance.”

Cliff Kincaid is the Editor of the AIM Report. A veteran journalist and media critic, Cliff concentrated in journalism and communications at the University of Toledo, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He has written or co-authored nine books on media and cultural affairs and foreign policy issues. Cliff has appeared on Hannity & Colmes, The O’Reilly Factor, Crossfire and has been published in the Washington Post, Washington Times, Chronicles, Human Events and Insight. Web Site: www.AIM.org; E-Mail: cliff.kincaid@aim.org

[Read Cliff Kincaid's book
Global Bondage; The UN Plan to Rule the World]

Blackstone Group History

In less than a quarter century, Blackstone has become a leading global alternative investment manager and financial advisor and an established global financial brand. Here are a few of the milestones in Blackstones history.


Blackstone is the main financial sponsor for Transmission Developers Inc. (TDI). TDI plans to develop an innovative power transmission line that will bring safe, secure, affordable and renewable power to New York and New England from the U.S. Canadian border.

Dr. Axel Herberg joins Blackstone as a Senior Managing Director to the firm’s private equity business in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

GSO/ Blackstone acquired the Collateral Management Agreements for nine CDO and CLO funds from Callidus


Blackstone receives a Single 'A' rating from Standard and Poor's and an ‘A+’ rating from Fitch Ratings.

Blackstone sells senior notes of Blackstone Holdings Finance Co. LLC.

Fundraising for Blackstone Real Estate Partners Europe III (BREP III) closes with € 3.1 billion raised, expanding the firm’s real estate platform in Europe.

Blackstone signs an agreement with the Government of Pudong, China, to establish the firm’s first Renminbi (RMB)-denominated Blackstone Zhonghua Development Investment Fund.

As part of a group of investors, Blackstone acquires BankUnited out of receivership from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, with approximately $8 billion in deposits in over 85 branches in the United States.


GSO Capital Partners is acquired, firmly positioning Blackstone as one of the largest credit-oriented alternative asset managers.

Further strengthening its presence in China, Blackstone opens a representative office in Beijing.

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation is established, funded by the firm’s senior managing directors.


Blackstone completes its IPO, listing on the NYSE. The total offering is $7.6 billion, including a $3 billion investment by the China Investment Company (CIC). At the time, it is the largest IPO of a U.S. based issuer since 2002.

An office is established in Tokyo, strengthening Blackstone’s presence in the Asian markets.


The Park Hill Group, a fund placement business, is established. It has since served as a placement agent for corporate private equity, real estate, venture capital and hedge funds that have raised in excess of $108 billion to date.

Blackstone opens an office Mumbai.


The firm’s expansion continues internationally and domestically, with the opening of offices in Paris, France and Atlanta, Georgia.

Blackstone announces a strategic partnership with Patria-Banco de Negocios to develop corporate financing solutions for the Brazilian market.


The Blackstone Real Estate Partners (BREP) International Fund receives €800 million in commitments, expanding Blackstone’s resources for global real estate investments.


Increasing its proximity to the European hedge fund community, BAAM establishes a presence in Blackstone’s London office.


Blackstone opens its London office, establishing a physical presence after several years of investment activity in the U.K. and Europe.


The Corporate Debt group is formed and commits $1.1 billion to its first mezzanine fund.


Blackstone’s Real Estate group is established; since inception, its 10 real estate funds have raised a total of $29 billion.


The Financial Advisory practice is formed; it has since handled restructuring assignments involving $1 trillion in liabilities.


Blackstone Alternative Asset Management (BAAM) is founded, and evolves into a leading manager of hedge fund solutions, other institutional investment vehicles and publicly-traded closed end mutual funds.


The firm launches Blackstone Capital Partners I, its first private equity fund. To date, the combined Blackstone private equity funds have raised $44.4 billion.


Blackstone is founded by Stephen A. Schwarzman and Peter G. Peterson. They began with a balance sheet of $400,000 and a clear vision of an independent, conflict-free, client-focused firm whose interests would be closely aligned with those of its clients and investors.

U.S. Energy Chief Floats Idea of a Carbon Emissions Tax
The Four Pillars of the UN Agenda for Implementing World Government
World Leaders Openly Call for New World Order
Next Step in New World Order: America's Demonization
Global Television for Our Global Leader
The United Nations: Our Children’s New Parents?
Globalist Hillary Clinton: “Never Waste a Good Crisis”
The Financial New World Order: Towards a Global Currency & World Government (Excerpt Below)
In March of 2008, following the collapse of Bear Stearns, Reuters reported on a document released by research firm CreditSights, which said that, “Financial firms face a ‘new world order’,” and that, “More industry consolidation and acquisitions may follow after JPMorgan Chase & Co.” Further, “In the event of future consolidation, potential acquirers identified by CreditSights include JPMorganChase, Wells Fargo, US Bancorp, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America.”

In June of 2008, before he was Treasury Secretary in the Obama administration, Timothy Geithner, as head of the New York Federal Reserve, wrote an article for the Financial Times following his attendance at the 2008 Bilderberg conference, in which he wrote that, “Banks and investment banks whose health is crucial to the global financial system should operate under a unified regulatory framework,” and he said that, “the US Federal Reserve should play a "central role" in the new regulatory framework, working closely with supervisors in the US and around the world.”

In November of 2008, The National, a prominent United Arab Emirate newspaper, reported on Baron David de Rothschild accompanying Prime Minister Gordon Brown on a visit to the Middle East, although not as a “part of the official party” accompanying Brown. Following an interview with the Baron, it was reported that, “Rothschild shares most people’s view that there is a new world order. In his opinion, banks will deleverage and there will be a new form of global governance.”

In February of 2009, the Times Online reported that a “New world order in banking [is] necessary,” and that, “It is increasingly evident that the world needs a new banking system and that it should not bear much resemblance to the one that has failed so spectacularly.” But of course, the ones that are shaping this new banking system are the champions of the previous banking system. The solutions that will follow are simply the extensions of the current system, only sped up through the necessity posed by the current crisis.

Jesuits: the Real Spiritual Controllers of the New World Order

By Greg Szymanski, Artic Beacon
Originally Published on September 25, 2006

Former Bishop of Guatemala Gerard Bouffard says the Jesuit General, Fr. Peter Hans Kolvenbach, gives the marching orders to the Pope. He also backs up the accusations made by the late Fr. Alberto Rivera about the evil Jesuit Order.

Bishop Bouffard said the Vatican is "the real spiritual controller" of the Illuminati and New World Order while the Jesuits through the Black Pope, Jesuit Gen. Fr. Peter Hans Kolvenbach, actually control the Vatican hierarchy and the Roman Catholic Church.

Bishop Bouffard, who left the Church and is now a born again Christian living in Canada, based his conclusion after working six years as a Vatican priest, assigned the task of passing daily, sensitive correspondence between the Pope and the leaders of the Jesuit Order residing at Borgo Santo Spirito 5, near St. Peter's Square.

"Yes, the man known as the Black Pope controls all major decisions made by the Pope and he in turn controls the Illuminati," said Bishop Bouffard last week on Greg Szymanski's radio show, where archives of the startling statements can be heard in their entirety.

"I know this to be true since I worked for years in the Vatican and traveled with Pope John Paul II. The Pope takes his marching orders from the Black Pope as the Jesuits also art the leaders of the New World Order, with the task of infiltrating other religions and governments of the world in order to bring about a one world fascist government and a one world religion based on Satanism and Lucifer. People can't imagine how evil and how much destruction they have caused and will cause while, at the same time, using the perfect cover of hiding behind black robes and professing to be men of God."

Bishop Bouffard's first hand knowledge of the evil lurking within the hierarchy of the Vatican and particularly the Jesuit Order confirms the testimony of other researchers, including Bill Hughes, author of the shocking books The Enemy Unmasked and The Secret Terrorists, as well as preeminent researcher of the Jesuit Order, Eric Jon Phelps, author of Vatican Assassins.

Besides painting a dark picture of the Black Pope in Rome, Bishop Bouffard claims the evil power of the Jesuits extends throughout the world, including solid infiltration of the U.S. government, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and major religious organizations.

Bishop Bouffard claims the Jesuits act like the perfect chameleons, taking on the identity of Protestants, Mormons, Baptists and Jews with the intention of bringing about the downfall of America, as well as bringing the country under a one world religion based in Jerusalem and under the control of their leader, Lucifer.

"I know first hand that the Vatican controls and monitors everything in Israel with the intention of destroying the Jews," said Bishop Bouffard, adding the true purpose of the Jesuit Order is to orchestrate and control all leaders of the world in order to bring about a major worldwide conflict which will eventually destroy America, the Middle East and Israel. "They destroy everything from within and want to bring about the destruction of the Catholic Church, as well, in order to usher in a one world religion based on Satanism. This is also seen in the way priests worship in the Mass, actually worshipping the dead. Also, signs of Satanism are seen in many outward symbols, customs and vestments displayed by the Church."

After his service in Rome, Bishop Bouffard spent time in Africa and Guatemala, rising to a position of power within the church. However, with this religious power came affiliation and membership as a Freemason, something supposedly frowned upon in the Roman Catholic Church since, according to Canon Law, membership in a Masonic Lodge brings immediate excommunication.

According to Bishop Bouffard, Freemasonry is used by the Church to carry out its secret plans, as many other high-level priest, bishops, cardinals and even popes have joined secret societies, along with others in positions of power in other religions and governments, many working together to further the evil Illuminati agenda.

And his statements back up reports which surfaced in Italian and French newspapers in the early 1980's, reporting more than 150 high level priests with membership in Freemasonry, including the P2 Masonic Lodge and other secret societies.

"I finally was born again and denounced the Catholic Church," said Bishop Bouffard, who now is a practicing Christian following the Word of God through the Bible. "We must always pray for our leaders by openly denouncing evil and exposing the Jesuits for what they really are."

After leaving the Church, Bishop Bouffard also made amends and asked the late Jesuit priest Fr. Alberto Rivera for his forgiveness. Fr. Rivera was one of the few Jesuit priests with the courage to expose the evil intentions of the Society of Jesus, coming forward telling how he worked as one of the Jesuit Order's infiltrators in America with the job of infiltrating Protestant and Baptist churches with the intent of destroying them from within.

"When I was a bishop and still loyal to the Church, I once wrote a letter denouncing Fr. Rivera and advocating his death," said Bishop Bouffard. "When I realized the truth, I searched out Frt. Rivera and asked his forgiveness. We became good friends and I know he was telling the truth. He was an honest many who also found God.

"I know the Jesuits tried to change the truth, saying he never was a priest and destroying all evidence backing that up. They have tried to do the same to me, but Fr. Rivera was telling the truth without question. I know that for a fact and even was with him several weeks before his death. He was suffering terribly after being poisoned with acid. Like I said, you can't imagine the suffering and destruction that has been caused and will be caused by the Jesuits"

In an article entitled "Alberto: the Big Brou-haw-haw," an unknown writer who followed Bishop Bouffard career and his connection with Fr. Rivera had this to say, including the Vatican's difficulty in trying to cover-up both Rivera and Bouffard's accusations.

"Then there's the corroborating testimony provided by Fr. Gerard Bouffard. He was a high ranking bishop born in Quebec, Canada. He rose from lower levels of his orders to become an assistant for many years to Popes such as Paul VI and John Paul II. He converted to Protestantism and claims he was the man who received the order to eliminate Rivera.

In a documentary called Unveiling the Mystery Behind Catholic Symbols, Bouffard shows a fancy 18-carat gold plated pen containing a special disappearing ink with which the Holy Office authorities sign top secret documents. He claims: "With this pen that I am holding, I signed the order to kill Dr. Rivera." Pretty dramatic cloak and dagger stuff! His previous high profile position would make him an easy target for discrediting... Yet the silence is deafening."

The Vatican also has its own credibility problems to contend with. From a historical context, Alberto's claims to be a Jesuit working undercover to destroy protestant churches is not as far flung as it might seem. The Jesuits were created in 1541 by Ignatius De Loyola for that very purpose (although some Jesuits dispute this, naturally). They engaged in countless dirty tricks, assassinations, and treasonous plots during their hay day. The Office of the Inquisition was an out growth of their mission which resulted in the torture and/or murder of millions of innocent people for "heresy." That department has since been renamed The Holy Office, but the Jesuits have never bothered with a name change. How much their goals have changed with time is also a uncertain. Neither organization is very transparent and both serve the interests of the Pope. Bad reputations are not easily forgotten.

If Alberto's story is a lie, it's brilliant piece of fiction with amazing consistency. There are certainly other conspiracies that have been dreamed up which are equally vivid and intricate. The JFK assassination conspiracy and the UFO/Majestic 12 conspiracy come foremost to mind. But these conspiracies were created and improved by hundreds of people over a long period of time, then pieced together and rearranged until they formed a plausible narrative. After twenty or so years of "public input" and revisions, a semi-"official" version is adopted. If any particular part of it is proven to be false, it morphs into a slightly different version without the disproven parts.

Alberto had none of these resources. His own story came from him alone. It wasn't revised and honed for decades by committee before Chick published it. On the contrary, it was published in its entirety and then sublimated with additional volumes (five more comics) giving more names and dates but no retractions. If he in fact "made it all up", then he certainly deserves a prize for literary genius. Especially as far as his own biographical intrigues are concerned (move over Baron von Munchausen?).

After twenty years of investigation, all the Pope's resources have failed to "prove" Alberto was a fake. Of course, Alberto failed to "prove" his allegations against the Vatican as well. So at best, the contest is still a draw. Maybe future developments will yield something dramatic. But don't count on it. We'll probably never know if Alberto was really "real" unless the Pope were to come straight out and confess it. (And that stands about as much of a chance of happening as a flying saucer landing on the White House lawn.) It is definitely delicious food for thought, however, and far more scary than any premise aired on X-files.

Throughout history, the Jesuit Order has been tied together with war and genocide, being formally removed from many countries, including France and England. As researchers claim the Jesuits are the real spiritual controllers of the New World Order, author Phelps has also called for the Order's banishment in this country.

However, with more than 28 major universities from coast to coast, the Order has created a strong political and financial foothold here, including secret control of the CFR and control of many banks like Bank of America and the Federal Reserve banking system, making Phelps' call for banishment a difficult if not improbable task.

Greg Szymanski is an independent investigative journalist and his articles can been seen at Lewis News. He also writes for his own site, Artic Beacon.

How Evil Runs the World
Timeline to Global Governance
The Survival & Self-Reliance Studies Institute
A History of the New World Order
The New World Order, the Secrets of Their Success
EU Starting to Get Religion

Updated 5/12/2009
(Newest Additions at End of List)

January 19, 2009

Economic Crash: Fulfillment of Bible Prophecy

In 2007 the U.S. federal government collected $2.5 trillion in revenue, an amount equal to 18.8 percent of GDP. Federal revenue has ranged from 14.4 to 20.9 percent of GDP over the past five decades, averaging 18.0 percent. The individual income tax has been the largest single source of federal revenue since 1950, averaging just over 8 percent of GDP. - Tax Policy Center

The Coming Economic Crash Caused By World Debt

By Don Koenig, The Prophetic Years
Originally Published in 2000 with 2008 Update

Almost every nation of the world has such severe debt that just making the interest payments takes a large amount of their financial resources. Much of this world debt is owed to world bankers that then dictate their own economic policy to these countries. These policies do not favor the poor.

The largest economy in the world is the United States. The U.S. government is currently 10 trillion dollars in debt and that is projected to go to 11 trillion or more in two years. Paying the interest on that huge debt in future years will cost about as much as what is spent on national defense (using modern historical interest rates and the cost of defense under normal peace time conditions).

The United States is now by far the biggest debtor nation in the world. For many years we have been importing hundreds of billions more dollars in goods and services than we are exporting each year. In 2005 through 2008 the trade imbalance averaged well over 700 billion dollars per year! Trillions of U.S. dollars are now in the hands of foreign investors who at any time could dump the dollar causing a devaluation of the currency.

Just a few years ago, the U.S. government was forecasting surpluses of trillions of dollars based on the stupid assumption that there would not be a downturn in the economy for decades. This foolish assumption was of course proven wrong and deficit spending has returned to well over "four hundred billion dollars" a year.

The only reason the United States is not feeling the pinch of spending beyond its means has been the record low interest rates. The low interest rates were brought about by Federal Reserve manipulation to stimulate the economy, but interest rates now will rise. Sources of Federal Revenue Soon all who need loans will be making higher payments, and the U.S. government will be paying much more to service the national debt.

Debt and unfunded liabilities promised through entitlement programs is now over 50 trillion dollars. This amount of money in non inflationary dollars is impossible to raise! Thus, the U.S. is now technically bankrupt. In order to keep up the facade that the U.S. is solvent for even another decade or two, one or more of the following must happen.

1. Taxes must be raised.

2. Government spending will have to be drastically cut.

3. Deficit spending will dramatically increase.

If taxes are raised, it will kill the economy and the debt load will get worse and not better. Spending will not be Sources of Federal Revenuedrastically cut because these types of cuts would never get through the political system. Therefore, massive deficit spending will take place.

The monetary system will be inflated so that this debt can be paid by using a dollar worth only a fraction of what it is today. This means a much weaker dollar in the future and much higher prices for all goods and services imported to the United States (in short it means we should expect hyper-inflation).

The recent rise in all commodity prices might just be the start of what is to come. The best long term scenario is that the economy will expand for decades and we will partly grow our way out of this debt crunch (like we temporarily did under Ronald Reagan). But, I do not see stability for that length of time as even a remote possibility in this world full of crises.

I think it is only a matter of time before a downturn in the economy or an unforeseen world event brings about the collapse of this house of cards.

The catalyst for a crash can come in any number of ways. One likely scenario is that confidence in the U.S. dollar will falter. When this happens, interest rates will have to rise dramatically to try to lure foreign investors to re-service our debt. Higher interest rates will then shut down our economy and less tax money will be raised. The debt will still have to be paid at the higher interest rate, so the government will print even more money, and deficit spending will increase. The dollar will fall in value against other currencies, bringing about an inflation spiral in the United States and even more dumping of U.S. dollars for a more stable currency.

Banks and financial institutions holding today's unrealistic low interest loans on property will go under, causing a collapse of pension systems and/or a taxpayer bailout that will worsen the deficits even further. Many with adjustable rate mortgages will not be able to make the payments and will default on their loans. The foreclosed houses will be dumped on the market, bringing a collapse in all home values. All this in effect will cause an inflationary depression in the largest economy in the world.

The fall of the U.S. economy will have a domino effect: it will bring about a worldwide depression that will further depress the U.S. economy, and it will bring about a full fledged inflationary depression worse than the great depression of the 1930's. When this happens, most companies will go bankrupt and will be nationalized.

In the year 2000, when I first wrote about the coming economic crash caused by debt, the stock market was 300 percent overvalued. Since then the market has gone down and has gone back up, and it is now a bear market. When inflation and the fall of the dollar over the past seven years are factored in, stocks are doing much worse then in the year 2000. If investors today had a proper perspective on interest rates, the falling dollar, record oil prices, record deficit spending, the housing crash, terrorism, and the coming conflict with Iran, the value of stocks would decline to less then half of what it is in the summer of 2008. They will!

Paper money is only worth what it can be traded for in real goods and services. The United States record deficit spending is putting cash into the economy but, like all who spend beyond their means, the bill will come due. Soon foreign investors will lose confidence and others that hate the U.S. will deliberately cause more pain, and the dollar will fall like a rock.

The fall of the dollar has already begun. The U.S. dollar only buys half of what it did in Europe only a few years ago. Only time will tell if the current fall of the dollar will briefly stop or continue descending into a worse crises. Meanwhile, if there is another downturn anytime soon caused by economics or terrorism, or further collapse of housing, we will not be able to buy our way out of it again without hyper-inflation.

Inflationary Depression Worse Than the Great Depression

Two thirds of the families in the U.S. are now invested in the stock market compared to three percent in the great crash of 1929. When the economic crash comes, retirement accounts, mutual funds and most paper wealth will be wiped out. Most banks and financial institutions will fail, be bailed out, or be taken over by the government (causing further devaluation of the dollar). Most people making a living on the service sector of our economy will be unemployed. Prices on everything made in this country will either deflate or paper money will lose most of its value. The resultant depression will affect everyone, and it will be the worst that this nation has ever known.

When the U.S. economy goes down, it will take the world economy with it. This economic collapse will cause great civil unrest all over the world: cities will be filled with riots and later with troops. Democracy will be dead, and people will look to demigods to solve their problems. When the economy of the West crashes, Russia may get ideas to invade the Middle East to seize its riches.

This day will not take some of the elite of the world by surprise: they know that this day is coming (Satan pulls their strings). At the appropriate time, the solution to the crises will be to abolish almost all debt and all savings and to start over with a new world economic system that will set the stage for the end time economic system described in the book of Revelation.

There is little question that the world debt crash is coming. It does not even have to start in the United States (it could begin in Japan, China, Europe or elsewhere). The only question is the timing of this crash. The world debt situation is so bad now, that a deliberate or accidental crash could occur at any time. The world bankers and world leaders have been putting off the inevitable by huge bailouts and extensions of debts, but with these bailouts there is loss of sovereignty to world government and world bankers. They will continue in this mode until the house of cards collapses of its own weight, someone pulls a card, or some large scale economic disruption blows this house of cards over.

Students of Bible prophecy know that a new world economic system will be set up under a world government where no one will be able to buy or sell unless they take the "mark of the beast." The formerly debt-ridden world will embrace this worldwide cashless monetary system after the crash because a new system will wipe out most debt and all nations will start afresh. This new economic system will promise great prosperity to the world.

Signs of the Time

There is unparalleled greed and foolishness happening in the financial markets of today. People have lost their ability to reason. Like gamblers at casinos, the day traders believe that they cannot lose. They think the stock market will always go up. When they take a loss, they just double up on their bets. At the high roller's table, there are the derivative speculators that are gambling trillions and whole corporations on the wheel of fortune.

We allow government to spend more than it collects and thus defer the bills to our children with little thought to the consequences it will have for them. The Scripture says that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Even many Christians have embraced these evils. The number one message preached today in Christian media and in pulpits is "give us money." God has blessed the United States because of His people, but greed will ultimately bring correction.

The massive world debt load argues that borrowers have become enslaved by the lenders and will do their wishes. On a temporal national level, this means that debt-ridden nations must fall in line with the agenda of the globalist socialist elite or they will find themselves in a depression. In the longer term, when Satan is ready for his man to take control of the world, this generation will see a total crash of the old economic system. The solution of the new economic system will bring the 666 "mark of the beast" and enslavement.

Don Koenig actually wrote this article in 2000 and updated some figures and inserted a few comments in 2008.

January 18, 2009

U.S. Losing Superpower Status: Russia, China, Venezuela, Iran Rising

"We must learn the lessons of history. The Roman Republic was the longest-standing republic in the history of mankind. The Roman Empire lasted over a thousand years. There were many people that said Rome was too big to fail. I am sure that most of the citizens of the Roman Empire felt that way. The simple facts of the matter are that Rome fell for at least four reasons, and please listen carefully: a decline in moral values and political civility at home; an overconfident and overextended military; fiscal irresponsibility by the central government; and an inability to control one’s borders. Does that sound familiar? It’s time to wake up, study history, learn from it, and take steps to make sure that we are the first republic to stand the test of time." - David Walker, Former Comptroller General of the Government Accounting Office

The Sole Superpower in Decline

By Dilip Hiro
Originally Published on August 22, 2007

Throughout history, rising powers have overtaken superpowers. The United States will not prove an exception.

The Rise of a Multipolar World

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States stood tall - militarily invincible, economically unrivaled, diplomatically uncontestable, and the dominating force on information channels worldwide. The next century was to be the true "American century," with the rest of the world molding itself in the image of the sole superpower.

Yet, with not even a decade of this century behind us, we are already witnessing the rise of a multipolar world in which new powers are challenging different aspects of American supremacy - Russia and China in the forefront, with regional powers Venezuela and Iran forming the second rank. These emergent powers are primed to erode American hegemony, not confront it, singly or jointly.

How and why has the world evolved in this way so soon? The Bush administration's debacle in Iraq is certainly a major factor in this transformation, a classic example of an imperialist power, brimming with hubris, overextending itself. To the relief of many - in the United States and elsewhere - the Iraq fiasco has demonstrated the striking limitations of power for the globe's highest-tech, most destructive military machine. In Iraq, Brent Scowcroft, national security advisor to two U.S. presidents, concedes in a recent Op-Ed, "We are being wrestled to a draw by opponents who are not even an organized state adversary."

The invasion and subsequent disastrous occupation of Iraq and the mismanaged military campaign in Afghanistan have crippled the credibility of the United States. The scandals at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and Guantánamo in Cuba, along with the widely publicized murders of Iraqi civilians in Haditha, have badly tarnished America's moral self-image. In the latest opinion poll, only 9 percent of Turks - whose country is a secular state and a member of NATO - have a favorable view of the United States, down from 52 percent just five years ago.

Yet there are other explanations - unrelated to Washington's glaring misadventures - for the current transformation in international affairs. These include, above all, the tightening market in oil and natural gas, which has enhanced the power of hydrocarbon-rich nations as never before; the rapid economic expansion of the mega-nations China and India; the transformation of China into the globe's leading manufacturing base; and the end of the Anglo-American duopoly in international television news.

Many Channels, Diverse Perceptions

During the 1991 Gulf War, only CNN and the BBC had correspondents in Baghdad. So the international TV audience, irrespective of its location, saw the conflict through their lenses. Twelve years later, when the Bush administration, backed by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, invaded Iraq, Al Jazeera Arabic broke this duopoly. It relayed images - and facts - that contradicted the Pentagon's presentation. For the first time in history, the world witnessed two versions of an ongoing war in real time. So credible was the Al Jazeera Arabic version that many television companies outside the Arabic-speaking world - in Europe, Asia and Latin America - showed its clips.

Though, in theory, the growth of cable television worldwide raised the prospect of ending the Anglo-American duopoly in 24-hour TV news, not much had happened due to the exorbitant cost of gathering and editing TV news. It was only the arrival of Al Jazeera English, funded by the hydrocarbon-rich emirate of Qatar - with its declared policy of offering a global perspective from an Arab and Muslim angle - that, in 2006, finally broke the long-established mold.

Soon France 24 came on the air, broadcasting in English and French from a French viewpoint, followed in mid-2007 by the English-language Press TV, which aimed to provide an Iranian perspective. Russia was next in line for 24-hour TV news in English for the global audience. Meanwhile, spurred by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, teleSUR, a pan-Latin-American TV channel based in Caracas, began competing with CNN in Spanish for a mass audience.

As with Qatar, so with Russia and Venezuela, the funding for these TV news ventures has come from soaring national hydrocarbon incomes - a factor draining American hegemony not just in imagery but in reality.

Russia, an Energy Superpower

Under President Vladimir Putin, Russia has more than recovered from the economic chaos that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. After effectively re-nationalizing the energy industry through state-controlled corporations, he began deploying its economic clout to further Russia's foreign policy interests. In 2005, Russia overtook the United States, becoming the second-largest oil producer in the world. Its oil income now amounts to $679 million a day. European countries dependent on imported Russian oil now include Hungary, Poland, Germany and even Britain.

Russia is also the largest producer of natural gas on the planet, with three-fifths of its gas exports going to the 27-member European Union. Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland and Slovakia get 100 percent of their natural gas from Russia; Turkey, 66 percent; Poland, 58 percent; Germany, 41 percent; and France, 25 percent. Gazprom, the biggest natural gas enterprise on earth, has established stakes in 16 EU countries. In 2006, the Kremlin's foreign reserves stood at $315 billion, up from a paltry $12 billion in 1999. Little wonder that, in July 2006 on the eve of the G8 summit in St. Petersburg, Putin rejected an energy charter proposed by the Western leaders.

Soaring foreign-exchange reserves, new ballistic missiles and closer links with a prospering China - with which Russia conducted joint military exercises on China's Shandong Peninsula in August 2005 - enabled Putin to deal with his American counterpart, President George W. Bush, as an equal, not mincing his words when appraising American policies. "One country, the United States, has overstepped its national boundaries in every way," Putin told the 43rd Munich Trans-Atlantic conference on security policy in February 2007. "This is visible in the economic, political, cultural and educational policies it imposes on other nations ... This is very dangerous."

Condemning the concept of a "unipolar world," Putin added: "However one might embellish this term, at the end of the day it describes a scenario in which there is one center of authority, one center of force, one center of decision-making ... It is a world in which there is one master, one sovereign. And this is pernicious." His views fell on receptive ears in the capitals of most Asian, African and Latin American countries.

The changing relationship between Moscow and Washington was noted, among others, by analysts and policy makers in the Persian Gulf region. Commenting on the visit that Putin paid to longtime U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar after the Munich conference, Abdel Aziz Sagar, chairman of the Gulf Research Center, wrote in the Doha-based newspaper the Peninsula that Russia and Gulf Arab countries, once rivals from opposite ideological camps, had found a common agenda of oil, antiterrorism and arms sales. "The altered focus takes place in a milieu where the Gulf countries are signaling their keenness to keep all geopolitical options open, reviewing the utility of the United States as the sole security guarantor, and contemplating a collective security mechanism that involves a host of international players."

In April 2007, the Kremlin issued a major foreign policy document. "The myth about the unipolar world fell apart once and for all in Iraq," it stated. "A strong, more self-confident Russia has become an integral part of positive changes in the world."

The Kremlin's increasingly tense relations with Washington were in tune with Russian popular opinion. A poll taken during the run-up to the 2006 G8 summit revealed that 58 percent of Russians regarded America as an "unfriendly country." It has proved to be a trend. This July, for instance, Maj. Gen. Alexandr Vladimirov told the mass circulation newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda that war with the United States was a "possibility" in the next 10 to 15 years.

Chavez Rides High

Such sentiments resonated with Hugo Chavez. While visiting Moscow in June 2007, he urged Russians to return to the ideas of Vladimir Lenin, especially his anti-imperialism. "The Americans don't want Russia to keep rising," he said. "But Russia has risen again as a center of power, and we, the people of the world, need Russia to become stronger."

Chavez finalized a $1 billion deal to purchase five diesel submarines to defend Venezuela's oil-rich undersea shelf and thwart any possible economic embargo imposed by Washington. By then, Venezuela had become the second-largest buyer of Russian weaponry. (Algeria topped the list, another indication of a growing multipolarity in world affairs.) Venezuela acquired the distinction of being the first country to receive a license from Russia to manufacture the famed AK-47 assault rifle.

By channeling some of his country's oil money to needy Venezuelans, Chavez broadened his base of support. Much to the chagrin of the Bush White House, he trounced his sole political rival, Manuel Rosales, in a December 2006 presidential contest with 61 percent of the vote. Equally humiliating to the Bush administration, Venezuela was, by then, giving more foreign aid to needy Latin American states than it was.

Following his reelection, Chavez vigorously pursued the concept of forming an anti-imperialist alliance in Latin America as well as globally. He strengthened Venezuela's ties not only with such Latin countries as Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and debt-ridden Argentina, but also with Iran and Belarus.

By the time he arrived in Tehran from Moscow (via Minsk) in June 2007, the 180 economic and political accords the Chavez government had signed with Tehran were already yielding tangible results. Iranian-designed cars and tractors were coming off assembly lines in Venezuela. "[The] cooperation of independent countries like Iran and Venezuela has an effective role in defeating the policies of imperialism and saving nations," Chavez declared in Tehran.

Stuck in the quagmire of Iraq and lashed by the gusty winds of rocketing oil prices, the Bush administration finds its maneuverability woefully limited when dealing with a rising hydrocarbon power. To the insults that Chavez keeps hurling at Bush, the American response has been vapid. The reason is the crippling dependence of the United States on imported petroleum, which accounts for 60 percent of its total consumed. Venezuela is the fourth-largest source of U.S. imported oil after Canada, Mexico and Saudi Arabia; and some refineries in the United States are designed specifically to refine heavy Venezuelan oil.

In Chavez's scheme to undermine the "sole superpower," China has an important role. During an August 2006 visit to Beijing, his fourth in seven years, Chavez announced that Venezuela would triple its oil exports to China to 500,000 barrels per day in three years, a jump that suited both sides. Chavez wants to diversify Venezuela's buyer base to reduce its reliance on exports to the United States, and China's leaders are keen to diversify their hydrocarbon imports away from the Middle East, where American influence remains strong.

"The support of China is very important [to us] from the political and moral point of view," Chavez declared. Along with a joint refinery project, China agreed to build 13 oil-drilling platforms, supply 18 oil tankers, and collaborate with the state-owned company, Petróleos de Venezuela S.A., in exploring a new oilfield in the Orinoco Basin.

China on a Stratospheric Trajectory

So dramatic has been the growth of the state-run company PetroChina that, in mid-2007, it was second only to Exxon Mobil in its market value among energy corporations. Indeed, that year three Chinese companies made it onto the list of the world's 10 most highly valued corporations. Only the United States, with five, had more. China's foreign reserves of over $1 trillion have now surpassed Japan's. With its gross domestic product soaring past Germany's, China ranks No. 3 in the world economy.

In the diplomatic arena, Chinese leaders broke new ground in 1996 by sponsoring the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, consisting of four adjoining countries: Russia and the three former Soviet Socialist republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The SCO started as a cooperative organization with a focus on countering drug-smuggling and terrorism. Later, the SCO invited Uzbekistan to join, even though it does not abut China. In 2003, the SCO broadened its scope by including regional economic cooperation in its charter. That, in turn, led it to grant observer status to Pakistan, India and Mongolia - all adjoining China - and Iran, which does not. When the United States applied for observer status, it was rejected, an embarrassing setback for Washington, which enjoyed such status at the Association of South-East Asian Nations.

In early August 2007, on the eve of an SCO summit in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, the group conducted its first joint military exercises, code-named Peace Mission 2007, in the Russian Ural region of Chelyabinsk. "The SCO is destined to play a vital role in ensuring international security," said Ednan Karabayev, foreign minister of Kyrgyzstan.

In late 2006, as the host of a China-Africa Forum in Beijing attended by leaders of 48 of 53 African nations, China left the United States woefully behind in the diplomatic race for that continent (and its hydrocarbon and other resources). In return for Africa's oil, iron ore, copper and cotton, China sold low-priced goods to Africans and assisted African counties in building or improving roads, railways, ports, hydroelectric dams, telecommunications systems and schools. "The Western approach of imposing its values and political system on other countries is not acceptable to China," said Africa specialist Wang Hongyi of the China Institute of International Studies. "We focus on mutual development."

To reduce the cost of transporting petroleum from Africa and the Middle East, China began constructing a trans-Burma oil pipeline from the Bay of Bengal to its southern province of Yunan, thereby shortening the delivery route now traveled by tankers. This undermined Washington's campaign to isolate Myanmar. (Earlier, Sudan, boycotted by Washington, had emerged as a leading supplier of African oil to China.) In addition, Chinese oil companies were competing fiercely with their Western counterparts in getting access to hydrocarbon reserves in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

"China's oil diplomacy is putting the country on a collision course with the U.S. and Western Europe, which have imposed sanctions on some of the countries where China is doing business," comments William Mellor of Bloomberg News. The sentiment is echoed by the other side. "I see China and the U.S. coming into conflict over energy in the years ahead," says Jin Riguang, an oil-and-gas advisor to the Chinese government and a member of the Standing Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Council.

China's industrialization and modernization has spurred the modernization of its military as well. The test firing of the country's first anti-satellite missile, which successfully destroyed a defunct Chinese weather satellite in January 2007, dramatically demonstrated its growing technological prowess. An alarmed Washington had already noted an 18 percent increase in China's 2007 defense budget. Attributing the rise to extra spending on missiles, electronic warfare and other high-tech items, Liao Xilong, commander of the People's Liberation Army's general logistics department, said: "The present-day world is no longer peaceful, and to protect national security, stability and territorial integrity, we must suitably increase spending on military modernization."

China's declared budget of $45 billion was a tiny fraction of the Pentagon's $459 billion budget. Yet, in May 2007, a Pentagon report noted China's "rapid rise as a regional and economic power with global aspirations" and claimed that China was planning to project military farther afield from the Formosa Strait into the Asia-Pacific region in preparation for possible conflicts over territory or resources.

The Sole Superpower in the Sweep of History

This disparate challenge to American global primacy stems as much from sharpening conflicts over natural resources, particularly oil and natural gas, as from ideological differences over democracy American-style or human rights as conceived and promoted by Western policy makers. Perceptions about national (and imperial) identity and history are at stake as well.

It is noteworthy that Russian officials applauding the swift rise of post-Soviet Russia refer fondly to the pre-Bolshevik Revolution era when, according to them, Czarist Russia was a great power. Equally, Chinese leaders remain proud of their country's long imperial past as unique among nations.

When viewed globally and in the great stretch of history, the notion of American exceptionalism that drove the neoconservatives to proclaim the Project for the New American Century in the late 20th century - adopted so wholeheartedly by the Bush administration in this one - is nothing new. Other superpowers have been there, and they, too, have witnessed the loss of their prime position to rising powers.

No superpower in modern times has maintained its supremacy for more than several generations. And, however exceptional its leaders may have thought themselves, the United States, already clearly past its zenith, has no chance of becoming an exception to this age-old pattern of history.

Dilip Hiro is the author of Secrets and Lies: Operation "Iraqi Freedom" and, most recently, Blood of the Earth: The Battle for the World's Vanishing Oil Resources, both published by Nation Books.

Putin, Chavez Plug 'Multi-polar World'
Can the "Axis of Oil" Topple the U.S. Dollar?

January 11, 2009

Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land

Red Cross: Israel Has Breached Humanitarian Laws in Gaza

The U.N. special rapporteur for human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, former Princeton University law professor Richard Falk, calls what Israel is doing to the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza "a crime against humanity." Falk, who is Jewish, has condemned the collective punishment of the Palestinians in Gaza as "a flagrant and massive violation of international humanitarian law as laid down in Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention." He has asked for "the International Criminal Court to investigate the situation, and determine whether the Israeli civilian leaders and military commanders responsible for the Gaza siege should be indicted and prosecuted for violations of international criminal law."

Falk, while condemning the rocket attacks by the militant group Hamas, which he points out are also criminal violations of international law, goes on to say that "such Palestinian behavior does not legalize Israel's imposition of a collective punishment of a life- and health-threatening character on the people of Gaza, and should not distract the U.N. or international society from discharging their fundamental moral and legal duty to render protection to the Palestinian people."

December 2008 - January 2009 Gaza ConflictKilled in Gaza Conflict 2008-2009
"When Israelis in the occupied territories now claim that they have to defend themselves, they are defending themselves in the sense that any military occupier has to defend itself against the population they are crushing... You can't defend yourself when you're militarily occupying someone else's land. That's not defense. Call it what you like, it's not defense." – Noam Chomsky

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are cut off in walled ghettos, which former U.S. President Carter has likened to "apartheid." An international human rights group warns that a two-state solution to the 62-year Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been made a practical impossibility due to Israel's continuing expropriation of Palestinian property and denying Palestinian refugees the right to recover their orginal homes and lands. This is one of the main conclusions of the May 2005 report, "Ruling Palestine: A History of the Legally Sanctioned Jewish-Israeli Seizure of Land and Housing in Palestine." It reveals in stark detail how Zionist leaders and later successive Israeli governments manipulated key Ottoman and British laws, as well as the Israeli legal system, to dispossess Palestinians of their land and property. The report clearly documents how Israel has built a domestic legal framework which seeks to legitimize what are clearly discriminatory land and housing policies.

Palestinian Loss of Land 1946-2005
Palestinian Loss of Land 1946-2005

Gaza: Field of Death and Home of the Oppressed

According to the Associated Press on January 9, 2009: "In a surprise move, the United States abstained from a UN Security Council vote Thursday night, which urged an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, saying it wanted to see the results of Egyptian-mediated talks with Hamas and Israel before calling for a halt to military action." Israel has placed the Gaza Strip under a blockade ever since the democratically-elected Palestinian government, Hamas, took control of the coastal area in mid-June 2007. Palestinians had voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Islamic movement in the 2006 parliamentary elections.

Source: Javno
January 10, 2009

The American Senate on Thursday endorsed the Israeli offensive in Gaza. According to them, Israel is just defending itself, adding that they would have done the same in a similar situation. But what they forgot to mention was that Israel breached the Geneva Convention according to which the country committed itself to take care of the civilians in Gaza.

The Palestinians Have No Water, Jobs or Source of Energy

Women, children and elderly people have been living under occupation since 1967, and although the Israeli troops withdrew from the area in 2005, Israel is still controlling the border strip as well as exports and imports, the supply of fuels, and the movement of people. They also control the coast and air traffic. After the Hamas movement strengthened in 2006, so did the Israeli blockade. And the number of diseased people has increased due to poor hygienic conditions.

Israel Quashed the Last Hope for Negotiations

After Israel last year refused to rescind the blockade, Hamas’s shellings became more frequent, and the last glimmer for negotiations was extinguished after Israeli troops killed six Hamas’s operatives in November.

The bloodiest attack on the Palestinian people located in an area 40 kilometres long and only 10 kilometres wide began on December 27 of last year. Since then more than 700 Palestinians lost their lives. Several days ago the United Nations decided to cease all operations in that area after their convoy was attacked, as well as the school they founded. The war reports are coming only from Israel, which is no surprise, because reporters are forbidden to enter the Gaza strip.

Israeli Stance: Palestinians Were Made to be Oppressed

The New York Times writes that there are indications of a war crime being committed, both by the Israeli side and Hamas. Every human life is precious. But the numbers speak for themselves: nearly 700 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed since the conflict broke out at the end of last year. In contrast, there have been around a dozen Israelis killed, many of them soldiers wrote the New York Times.

Negotiations are possible only if Israel lifts its blockade, and although Israel’s politicians daily condemn the deaths of civilians, nobody has done much about it.

This war on the people of Gaza isn’t really about rockets. Far more revealing are the words of Moshe Yaalon, then the Israeli Defence Forces chief of staff, in 2002: “The Palestinians must be made to understand in the deepest recesses of their consciousness that they are a defeated people,” the New York Times reported.

The American Proxy War in Gaza

By Ali Abunimah
Originally Published on February 3, 2007

In recent days the unremitting, murderous brutality of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land has been eclipsed by the carnage in Gaza as dozens of Palestinians have been killed in what is commonly referred to as "interfactional fighting" between forces loyal to Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah faction (and his Presidential Guard), on the one hand, and the Hamas-led government on the other.

The airwaves have been filled with anguished calls from every sector of Palestinian society – political parties, nongovermental organizations, and Christian and Muslim religious leaders – for the fighting to cease and for a return to dialogue. Perhaps for fear of exacerbating the already bitter situation, few of these voices have directly confronted the engine of this violence.

In the fevered minds of Bush administration ideologues, Palestine has become another front in what they conceive of as a new Cold War against "Islamofascism." They see Iran as the central target, and proxy battles are being waged against a phantom enemy from Afghanistan and Pakistan and through Iraq into Palestine, Lebanon, Somalia, and ever onwards wherever Arabs and Muslims are to be found. In every case, local conflicts with specific histories are being escalated and marshalled into this grand narrative. Mahmoud Abbas and Gaza warlord Mohammad Dahlan have become the willing proxies for the Palestine franchise of this wider project, as their tactics and loyalists' statements reveal.

The latest round of fighting began on February 1, 2007, when forces of the Palestinian Ministry of Interior, run by the Hamas government, attempted to interdict a convoy of trucks that crossed into Gaza from Israel. Officials alleged that the trucks were carrying weapons destined for the Presidential Guard, the militia loyal to Abbas. Fatah figures, speaking on the BBC Arabic Service, vehemently denied the allegation, making contradictory claims about the contents of the trucks. One said they contained "food and medicine for the Palestinian people," another "tents and equipment," and another still "electrical generators and spare parts." No two denials matched.

Yet the fact that the Presidential Guard is receiving arms via Israel is common knowledge to Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank and has been talked about openly in the Israeli media for months. Since October, eight truckloads of AK-47 rifles and machine guns and several million rounds of ammunition have entered Gaza from Israel through the Nahal Oz and Kerem Shalom crossings, according to a high-ranking officer of the Force-17 Fatah militia, who conveyed this information to Hebron-based journalist Khaled Amayreh. Not all these guns go solely to the Presidential Guard; many are sold on to the highest bidder. And just days ago, President Bush announced that he would transfer $86 million dollars in the near future to further boost Abbas.

In order to change the subject from the scandal of the Palestinian "presidency" receiving US arms through Israel to use against the Palestinian people, the Presidential Guard launched a counterattack against the Islamic University in Gaza - shelling, burning and destroying parts of it. Abbas' officials claimed that their forces had arrested seven Iranian weapons experts working for Hamas, and labelled Hamas leaders "extremists" and "putschists."

Fatah and Fatah-backed local radio even accused Hamas of burning down the Islamic University themselves in order to blacken Fatah's 'glorious image.' The allegations about Iranians were universally dismissed but they revealed the extent to which Abbas officials have adopted the Israeli and American paradigm as their own.

In several recent demonstrations, Dahlan loyalists have shouted "Shia, Shia" at Hamas supporters. This was perhaps supposed to draw attention to Iranian support for Hamas (the movement, like the rest of the Palestinian Muslim community, is Sunni) but this hateful sectarian incitement, hitherto unknown in Palestinian society, serves (for now) the wider strategic agenda of Abbas' and Dahlan's sponsors.

After Hizbullah defeated Israel last summer, the Lebanese Shia movement, backed by Iran, gained enormous prestige among the region's people, especially Palestinians, as an Arab nationalist and pan-Islamic movement, standing firm against Israeli aggression, in contrast to toothless, unpopular and corrupt governments. Hence the active promotion of Sunni fear of their Shia brethren is designed to limit the influence of Iran – and serve up a good old-fashioned dose of divide and rule. (Thus from this perspective, the carnage in Iraq and the outrage at the brutal televised hanging of the Sunni-identified Saddam Hussein by a Shia-identified militia was a real bonus.)

Abbas is at last doing what Arafat was always urged to do, while Israel and the US watch with glee. As Ha'aretz explained, Israel felt no need to launch a large scale revenge operation against Gaza following the January 29 Eilat bombing: "When Fatah and Hamas are so good at killing each other, why should Israel intervene and spur them to close ranks against the common enemy?"

As the battles were raging in Gaza, the mouthpiece of American policy, the so-called Quartet (made up of representatives of the US, European Union, the United Nations and Russia) met to discuss the long-dead "peace process." The body voiced its "deep concern at the violence among Palestinians and called for respect for law and order." In a repeat of the American approach to last summer's Lebanon war, the Quartet pointedly did not call for a ceasefire.

It did however call "for Palestinian unity behind a government committed to non-violence, recognition of Israel and acceptance of the obligations under the Roadmap," while remaining totally silent about Israel's continued slow-motion ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, particularly last week's announcement by Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert that Israel was extending the illegal West Bank separation wall further east to annex several large Jewish-only colonies. This measure will add twenty thousand to the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians already cut off in walled ghettos that former US President Carter has likened to "apartheid."

The Quartet even "welcomed" US arming of the Presidential Guard, though in diplomatic doublespeak this was euphemized as "efforts to reform the Palestinian security sector and thus to help improve law and order for the Palestinian people."

Bleak as things are, cracks are starting to appear. Although US propaganda asserts that the arming of the Abbas militia is in part a response to growing Iranian influence, the British parliament's International Development Committee last week concluded that it was Western sanctions and isolation that had driven Hamas to seek Iranian support. The committee condemned the UK government's refusal to talk to Hamas, urged it to do so as it did with the IRA, and urged consideration of EU sanctions against Israel, such as suspending the Association agreement granting the Jewish state special trade privileges.

Israeli and American propaganda, now also adopted by the European Union, attempts to obscure the basic understanding that Palestine is the struggle of a colonized people for liberation. The policy of supporting a quisling group to fight as a proxy on behalf of empire, colonizer and occupier will only increase the bloodshed. But it will ultimately fail in Palestine as it did before in Northern Ireland, Southern Africa and Central and Southern America, and as it is failing in Iraq.

Ali Abunimah is the co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse.

U.S. Media & the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

The documentary film Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land provides a striking comparison of U.S. and international media coverage of the crisis in the Middle East, zeroing in on how structural distortions in U.S. coverage have reinforced false perceptions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This pivotal documentary exposes how the foreign policy interests of American political elites – oil and a need to have a secure military base in the region, among others – work in combination with Israeli public relations strategies to exercise a powerful influence over how news from the region is reported.

Through the voices of scholars, media critics, peace activists, religious figures, and Middle East experts, Peace, Propaganda & the Promised Land carefully analyzes and explains how – through the use of language, framing and context – the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza remains hidden in the news media, and Israeli colonization of the occupied terrorities appears to be a defensive move rather than an offensive one.

The documentary also explores the ways that U.S. journalists, for reasons ranging from intimidation to a lack of thorough investigation, have become complicit in carrying out Israel's PR campaign. At its core, the documentary raises questions about the ethics and role of journalism and the relationship between media and politics.

U.S. & Israel Vote Against UN Resolution Condemning Terrorism (Video)
Canadian Government Forming Pro-Israel Lobby
U.S. Blocks UN Vote for Gaza Cease-Fire January 4, 2009 (Video)
U.S. Abstains on UN Gaza Cease-Fire Resolution January 8, 2009 (Video)
Condoleeza Rice Explains Why U.S. Abstained on Cease-Fire Resolution (Full Video)
Israel Rejects UN Truce Resolution, Continues Gaza Operation
U.S. Seeks to Ship Hundreds of Tons of Arms to Israel
U.S. House Passes Landslide Vote Backing Israel in Fight Against Hamas
Hamas: Some Arabs Back Gaza Siege
European Jews Plan Demonstrations to Show Support of Israel's War on Gaza
Thousands in Lebanon, Europe Protest Over Gaza
European Protests Call for End to Gaza Conflict
Children Make Up Third of Gaza Dead
Israel Claims Success in PR War
Gaza: Residents Waving White Flags 'Shot Dead As They Flee Their Homes'
The Facts About Israel's War on Gaza

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