Monday, August 31, 2009

Mind blowing speech by Robert Welch in 1958 predicting Insiders plans to destroy America

Proof that the NEW WORLD ORDER has been planned by the elite. Robert Welch, Founder of The John Birch Society, predicted today's problems with uncanny accuracy back in 1958 and prescribed solutions in 1974 that are very similar to Ron Paul's positions today. This is proof that there are plans in place by the elite to systemically disassemble US sovereignty. I wonder who those elite are.

US military firm acts “against the Constitution of the Philippines”

“A Blackwater subsidiary operates a five-acre facility in the Philippines where they can train up to one thousand military contractors… for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan,” says investigative journalist Wayne Madsen.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Vital Signs and the “Fix”


Vital Signs and the “Fix”

Kal Gronvall, 321gold Ltd, Aug 28, 2009

As we approach the middle of the summer, 2009, it is of utmost importance to be able to slice deftly through the heavy propaganda fog that the government is pumping out through its mouthpiece the media. As Obama is optimistically predicting a miraculous recovery in the third quarter of this year, and promising, on top of that, to create 600,000 new jobs out of our current U. S. economic and financial graveyard, he is, in reality, “green shooting” us into the greatest disaster in our nation’s history, from which there will be no recovery.

Speaking of reality, and to illustrate my point about the media, years ago I read Michael Parenti’s book entitled Inventing Reality. The major premise of Parenti’s book was that the government, through the media, invents reality, while the real truth is never told. I remember a startling quote from the book that said it all. Parenti interviewed Walter Cronkite at the end of his career as a news commentator, and Walter Cronkite said, “In all my years as a news commentator I was never once, able to tell the truth, about anything.”

So what is the reality and the true condition of our country, and where are we headed? A brief, but succinct look at that reality is critical. When you go to the clinic for a physical or check up, the doctor examines your vital signs to determine your overall health: your blood pressure, your pulse, he takes a blood sample, checks your lungs, your eyes, your hearing and reflexes. In like manner, we need to keep our focus on the vital signs of our economy: unemployment, foreclosures, bankruptcies, consumer spending, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the dollar, the banks, retail sales, residential and commercial real estate markets. All these are the real indicators or vital signs of how alive, or not alive, we are inside.

How are the U.S. vital signs doing now? Unemployment is currently at 9.5% and rising unabated, with 14.7 million Americans out of work, the highest number of unemployed since they started keeping records in 1948. Fully 29% of the 14.7 million have been out of work for the last six months with more jobs evaporating every day. The real unemployment number, called the U6, or Greater Unemployment Rate, issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is much higher at 16.5%. That number includes not only people who have recently lost their jobs and are looking for work, but includes those who have run out of unemployment benefits and have stopped looking for a job because they could not find one. It also includes people who were forced to take a part-time job when they needed full time work.

The more people lose their jobs the more people lose their homes. Foreclosures are up 18% this year over last year and the number is growing unabated. The median home value dropped 19% in the first quarter of 2009, and home values are continuing to fall. The devastating sub-prime mortgage meltdown is almost over, but now the Alt-A mortgages (people with good jobs, good credit, good payment history), the prime mortgages (similar to Alt-A) and the Option ARMs (Adjustable Rate Mortgage) are starting to default, along with the commercial real estate market. These last four categories comprise two-thirds of the total meltdown that is still left to happen. According to the charts, the rest of this financial tsunami will total over $3.8 trillion and will peak in 2013. It is not an understatement to say that we will literally be buried way before then.

The government, however, has a plan to “fix it” before the end of 2009. Harry Schultz, an internationally acclaimed financial writer, in a recent newsletter, stated that he felt that the global elite are in the process of orchestrating a banking holiday in the U.S. in late August or early September, 2009. At that time they could either devalue the dollar drastically or switch from the dollar to another world currency. Schultz also postulated that the U.S. government has instructed many of their embassies around the world to buy huge amounts of currency from the particular country in which they are located, to allow them to function properly for a year or more. Perhaps something very ominous is going to happen to the dollar that the government doesn’t want to tell us.

To add further credence to the possibility of the dollar’s rapid, inevitable demise, I received a phone call last week Tuesday, June 30, 2009, from a man from California. What he told me I cannot completely verify, but what he said helped fit some of the pieces of the bigger puzzle together for me. As I have written about before, at the closed door session of Congress, March 13, 2008, they discussed the collapse of the U.S. economy and the banking system, civil war, martial law, the North American Union, and the issuing of the new currency, the Amero to replace the dollar.

As a little background about the phone call from the man from California, the man told me that he is in a gold buying group with people from around the world. Recently they have been buying gold from a gold mine in South Africa, about 1,000 kilos a week. The man who brokered the deal for the buying group is an international metals dealer who has been in the industry for over 30 years. In fact, he is so well known in international circles that he sits in on IMF (International Monetary Fund) meetings on a regular basis. At the end of 2007, right after an IMF meeting, this metals dealer reported to the buying group what was going to happen in the United States over the next two years. One of the primary topics at that IMF meeting was the global meltdown, and how it was going to affect the U.S. He stated that the U.S. was headed into an economic and financial meltdown so severe that there would be no way to salvage the economy or the dollar.

But the Fed has a plan to “fix it,” and it is not a warm fuzzy for us. First, the metals dealer said that the Fed was planning a slight-of-hand gold confiscation through gold buying parties. The ruse goes like this: in the beginning of 2008, you will see full-page ads in newspapers, magazines, TV ads, billboards, all promoting gold buying parties across the country. He said the IMF, along with the Fed and the other central banks in the world would run gold up to $1,000 an ounce, leave it there for a little while, and then knock it down a notch. The ads will say something like, “Sell your gold for cash. Gold is at an all time high. Now is the time to sell your gold, your jewelry, your rings, your pendants, anything gold you have; bring it in and get top dollar while gold is at an all time high.” Of course, selling gold is a hand-in-glove move now because of the bad economy when millions have lost their jobs and are strapped to pay bills. As I write this little narrative, these gold buying parties are still going on.

The Fed is dangling the “golden carrot” in front of these private people they have hired to hold the gold buying parties. According to this metals dealer, the Fed is paying these people $1,335 per ounce for the gold they buy at these parties. That is not a bad profit considering that gold is about $930 per ounce now. The Fed can’t lose. They exchange worthless paper for real money: gold. The Fed then melts down the gold and is stock piling it for their end of the year plan to “fix it.”

The man from California continued his story. He said that it is also the government’s intent to confiscate gold from the public in the forth quarter of 2009 through a call-in, very similar to what Roosevelt did in 1933. Once they have the rest of the gold from the public, in December, 2009, if we get that far, they plan to suddenly devalue the dollar by 50%. So, whatever used to cost one dollar will now cost two dollars. Once everyone is devastated with the dollar devaluation, they plan to switch over from the dollar to the Amero on January 1, 2010.

They plan an exchange rate from the dollar to the Amero will be one to one at first. But that won’t last long. Soon it will be two to one, three to one, four to one, and so on down the line. The Fed’s stock pile of gold which they have confiscated from the gullible public will then be used to provide a certain percent gold backing for the Amero. At that point, once they have all the gold in their possession they will let gold find its natural value in the market place, easily exceeding $2,500 per ounce in a short period of time.

As I mentioned before, I have no way to verify this information. But if you know our government as I know our government, and you are considering buying some gold and silver to preserve your wealth, you better do it before the government arrives with their “fix.” If you don’t act now, you might just find yourself one day soon, draped in flea-ridden rags, standing in a concentration camp soup line.

Kal Gronvall

321gold Ltd

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Bill would give president emergency control of Internet

August 28, 2009 12:34 AM PDT
Bill would give president emergency control of Internet
by Declan McCullagh, CNET,

Internet companies and civil liberties groups were alarmed this spring when a U.S. Senate bill proposed handing the White House the power to disconnect private-sector computers from the Internet.

They're not much happier about a revised version that aides to Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, have spent months drafting behind closed doors. CNET News has obtained a copy of the 55-page draft of S.773 (excerpt), which still appears to permit the president to seize temporary control of private-sector networks during a so-called cybersecurity emergency.

The new version would allow the president to "declare a cybersecurity emergency" relating to "non-governmental" computer networks and do what's necessary to respond to the threat. Other sections of the proposal include a federal certification program for "cybersecurity professionals," and a requirement that certain computer systems and networks in the private sector be managed by people who have been awarded that license.

"I think the redraft, while improved, remains troubling due to its vagueness," said Larry Clinton, president of the Internet Security Alliance, which counts representatives of Verizon, Verisign, Nortel, and Carnegie Mellon University on its board. "It is unclear what authority Sen. Rockefeller thinks is necessary over the private sector. Unless this is clarified, we cannot properly analyze, let alone support the bill."

Representatives of other large Internet and telecommunications companies expressed concerns about the bill in a teleconference with Rockefeller's aides this week, but were not immediately available for interviews on Thursday.

A spokesman for Rockefeller also declined to comment on the record Thursday, saying that many people were unavailable because of the summer recess. A Senate source familiar with the bill compared the president's power to take control of portions of the Internet to what President Bush did when grounding all aircraft on Sept. 11, 2001. The source said that one primary concern was the electrical grid, and what would happen if it were attacked from a broadband connection.

When Rockefeller, the chairman of the Senate Commerce committee, and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) introduced the original bill in April, they claimed it was vital to protect national cybersecurity. "We must protect our critical infrastructure at all costs--from our water to our electricity, to banking, traffic lights and electronic health records," Rockefeller said.

The Rockefeller proposal plays out against a broader concern in Washington, D.C., about the government's role in cybersecurity. In May, President Obama acknowledged that the government is "not as prepared" as it should be to respond to disruptions and announced that a new cybersecurity coordinator position would be created inside the White House staff. Three months later, that post remains empty, one top cybersecurity aide has quit, and some wags have begun to wonder why a government that receives failing marks on cybersecurity should be trusted to instruct the private sector what to do.

Rockefeller's revised legislation seeks to reshuffle the way the federal government addresses the topic. It requires a "cybersecurity workforce plan" from every federal agency, a "dashboard" pilot project, measurements of hiring effectiveness, and the implementation of a "comprehensive national cybersecurity strategy" in six months--even though its mandatory legal review will take a year to complete.

The privacy implications of sweeping changes implemented before the legal review is finished worry Lee Tien, a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco. "As soon as you're saying that the federal government is going to be exercising this kind of power over private networks, it's going to be a really big issue," he says.

Probably the most controversial language begins in Section 201, which permits the president to "direct the national response to the cyber threat" if necessary for "the national defense and security." The White House is supposed to engage in "periodic mapping" of private networks deemed to be critical, and those companies "shall share" requested information with the federal government. ("Cyber" is defined as anything having to do with the Internet, telecommunications, computers, or computer networks.)

"The language has changed but it doesn't contain any real additional limits," EFF's Tien says. "It simply switches the more direct and obvious language they had originally to the more ambiguous (version)...The designation of what is a critical infrastructure system or network as far as I can tell has no specific process. There's no provision for any administrative process or review. That's where the problems seem to start. And then you have the amorphous powers that go along with it."

Translation: If your company is deemed "critical," a new set of regulations kick in involving who you can hire, what information you must disclose, and when the government would exercise control over your computers or network.

The Internet Security Alliance's Clinton adds that his group is "supportive of increased federal involvement to enhance cyber security, but we believe that the wrong approach, as embodied in this bill as introduced, will be counterproductive both from an national economic and national secuity perspective."


Declan McCullagh is a contributor to CNET News and a correspondent for who has covered the intersection of politics and technology for over a decade. Declan writes a regular feature called Taking Liberties, focused on individual and economic rights; you can bookmark his CBS News Taking Liberties site, or subscribe to the RSS feed. You can e-mail Declan at

A Shocking Fall 2009 Economic and Monetary Collapse?

A Shocking Fall 2009 Economic and Monetary Collapse?

Government expenditure is surging and revenue collapsing. This is a recipe for bankruptcy!

Government expenditure is surging and revenue collapsing. This is a recipe for bankruptcy!

* Although, it is hard to assess the exact time the next collapse will come, I don’t think it will be like 2-3 years into the future. Crystal ball reading is always difficult. But the fundamental economic reasons behind an economic collapse is seldom in doubt. In this most excellent article by Egon von Greyerz of Matterhorn Asset Management, he does a lucid job in explaining what I see also. We are in agreement over global monetary collapse driven by the USD collapse, economic collapse and the price of gold will rocket!

The autumn of 2009 will be full of shocking surprises in the banking sector, in financial markets and in the world economy. The events that we outlined in our previous newsletter, “The Dark Years Are Here” are going to start unfolding. There will also be shocking falls in stockmarkets, in the dollar and in bond markets. But these falls will create major opportunities for investors which we will also discuss.

The syndrome of hope and false expectations
Some readers might feel that we are prophets of doom and that there is only gloomy news coming out of Matterhorn Asset Management. For people who want only good news we suggest that you listen to politicians or read the newspapers or your average stockbroker’s forecast. This is where you find the good news. But if you do listen to these people, remember that virtually nobody warned you about the events in the last couple of years, and that today most of these people are saying that the worst is over. And this is also what stockmarkets are telling us, isn’t it? These “optimists” whether they are politicians, bankers or from the media all make their living based on good news and this is why they will continually tell you lies and never warn you about the risks.

Investments are all about managing risk and our responsibility is to understand risk and warn investors when risk is unacceptably high. We have done this for many years and we will continue to do it. Sadly most investors base their investment decisions on hope. When government, private and corporate debt explodes the risk to the economy becomes very high. And when bank credit is growing exponentially and bank leverage is 50 times or more, this is very high risk. When derivatives reach $ 1 quadrillion with virtually no reserves against this astronomical exposure then investors should run for cover.

… In the next few years the leverage will hit back with a vengeance and the deleveraging of asset bubbles and credit bubbles will have a devastating effect on the world economy. This is will lead to a massive deflation of assets and credit. Governments will continue to print money at an accelerating rate. Eventually the money printing will lead to a collapsing currency creating hyperinflation in many countries and especially the US and the UK. But even with hyperinflation many assets such as real estate and stocks will decline in real terms.

Governments living in cloud cuckoo land
Never before have governments in the world expanded deficits and credit to the extent that we are seeing now. In 2009-10 government budget deficits will be at least $5.5 trillion. This amount needs to be raised by all the countries running deficits. The US, of course, has the biggest black hole and will need at least $3 trillion during this period. But these sums, which are unlikely to be sufficient, are just budget deficits and do not take into account the likely rescues of banks, other financial institutions, corporate failures, pension funds, insurance companies, cities, states, local government etc.

The US has lent or committed $13 trillion to prop up its collapsing financial system and economy. Virtually none of these funds have been written off yet and there will be a lot more to come in the next couple of years. It is still our view that the total cost to the US alone of the current crisis will be at least $25-30 trillion.

And where is the money coming from? …. Governments believe that they have found an unlimited source to prosperity. … Especially the US and UK governments, being the biggest culprits, believe that they can manufacture endless amounts of money and that this will create eternal wealth for their economies.

How do they do it? Governments use fancy terms like Quantitative Easing in order to confuse the people. In simple terms it means borrowing money that doesn’t exist or just printing money. To borrow money that doesn’t exist must be fraudulent and both against the law and the constitution. Yes of course the government is breaking the law and the constitution. But not only that , they are actually stealing money from the people, money that the people doesn’t have, but that they will have to work for generations to pay off.

But governments are not just creating money out of thin air. They are also looking after their affairs better than any other group in the economy. The only net increase in jobs in the last few years has been in the government sector, both in the US and the UK. Whilst the rest of the economy is suffering and cutting down, government is adding hundreds of thousands of jobs. Also pay and pensions in government jobs are superior to the private sector. So the main growth sector in the economy in the last few years has been the government sector that produces nothing but consumes 50% of GDP. No wonder we are all in trouble.

Government spending has gone from 10% of GDP in 1932 to almost 50% in 2008
Even more intriguing is of course that the financial institutions that caused the crisis, mainly through greed, are the ones that benefited from the bubbles they helped to create. They are also the beneficiaries of the trillions of dollars that governments have printed to rescue the system. This is like giving somebody who has robbed a bank the reward money.

This is Robin Hood in reverse, with governments robbing from the poor in order to reward the rich for their misdeeds. The poor, who are likely to get much poorer in the next few years, are unlikely to accept their fate without a fight. With the next stage in the downturn, due to start in the autumn, social unrest will grow and it could easily get out of hand in the next 2-3 years.

US Dollar UK Pound (and many other currencies) will have major falls
Both the US and UK governments have for years printed their currencies. From 2007 when the current crisis started the printing of dollars and pounds have accelerated. In the case of the US dollar we are looking at trillions of new dollars. So when money is created which has only air behind it and no assets or substance, is this money not worthless? Yes of course it is but because governments and financial institutions worldwide have benefited from a strongish dollar, no one has said that the emperor is naked although everyone know he is.

Supporting the dollar has also benefited the Chinese who have built up their own industrial base by financing the US deficits and excesses. But the Chinese with over $ 2 trillion in reserves of which as much as 2/3 could be in US dollars have now said in their veiled but very clear language: “The Emperor has no clothes”. The Chinese have now told the US to clean up their act but the Chinese know and the Americans know that their is no chance whatsoever that the US can reduce their deficits and dollar printing.

Therefore the dollar is living on borrowed time and as we outlined in last month’s newsletter “The Dark Years Are Here”, the autumn of 2009 will see a precipitous fall of the dollar. It will be relentless and greater than anyone can imagine. There is always a day of reckoning when the law of supply and demand is out of kilter and that day is now here. The move will be unexpected by many and this will mean that everyone will run for the exit and dump their dollars thus exacerbating the fall.

The situation for the pound is not much better due to the dire straits of the UK economy. The pound may not fall as much as the dollar and probably not at exactly the same time. Normally a currency is attacked one at a time so we might first see the dollar moving and then the pound. But the pound has started to move down against the Euro and Swiss Francs in August and it is also possible that it will fall with the dollar against other currencies.

Gold (and silver) – a spectacular rise
Investors who understand markets, know that if something has a major fall, something else will have a major rise. All you need to do is to turn the chart upside down. The major beneficiary of the dollar fall will be gold (and silver). Gold has all the advantages that the dollar has not:

- Gold can’t be printed
- Gold has no debt attached to it
- Gold has represented real money for 5,000 years whilst no paper currency has ever survived in tact throughout history

- Gold has limited supply – Gold production is declining and demand increasing
- Total annual mine production of gold is only $75 billion per annum which is 0.05% of world financial assets
- Total increase in debt in 2009 in the US alone will probably be in excess of $5 trillion against an increase in gold of $75 billion – a 66 to 1 ratio

- Central banks which have been net sellers are becoming net buyers of gold
- China and Russia are major buyers of gold and only declare increases in holdings with long delays
- Retail demand of gold in China and India is very high – These are nations who understand the virtue of gold as savings

With world debt probably increasing by as much as $7.5 trillion in 2009, there will be at least 100 times more paper money created than new gold produced. It can’t be difficult to forecast which money is likely to appreciate the most in the next few years – paper money with an unlimited supply or real money, GOLD, with very limited supply.

Short term gold is being suppressed by governments with the help of their bullion bank friends. Also, we would not be surprised if central bank gold has been lent to the market via the bullion banks. There has been no independent full audit of the gold in Fort Knox for decades. But we are convinced that gold cannot be held down for much longer. In the next few weeks gold will pass the $1,000 mark. Once firmly above $1,000 gold will move swiftly to probably $1,400-$1,600 in 2009. Even without the effects of hyperinflation gold will go up several times from current levels in the next couple of years….. to continue reading click here!

The fall of the dollar and the pound and the fall in US and UK government bonds (creating higher interest rates) will happen this autumn and will be much more dramatic than most people can imagine.

The fall of the dollar and the pound and the fall in US and UK government bonds (creating higher interest rates) will happen this autumn and will be much more dramatic than most people can imagine.

__________ Information from ESET Smart Security, version of virus signature database 4379 (20090829) __________

The message was checked by ESET Smart Security.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Celeb Searches: Most Dangerous Names on the Web

Celeb Searches: Most Dangerous Names on the Web
Computer Viruses Attached to Jessica Biel, Beyonce, Jennifer Aniston

Aug. 25, 2009 —

What's the matter with Jessica Biel? McAfee, the anti-virus software maker, is out with its third annual list of the most dangerous names to search on the web, and reports that if you Google "Jessica Biel screensavers" (or Yahoo or Bing it), almost half the downloads you could click on will try to deposit malware (viruses, pop-up ads, spyware, etc.) in your computer.

Here is McAfee's list of "the Riskiest Celebrities to Search on the Web":

1. Jessica Biel
2. Beyonce
3. Jennifer Aniston
4. Tom Brady
5. Jessica Simpson
6. Gisele Bundchen
7. Miley Cyrus
8. Megan Fox, Angelina Jolie (tie)
9. Ashley Tisdale
10. Brad Pitt (he was first last year)
11. Reese Witherspoon
12. Britney Spears
13. Rihanna
14. Lindsay Lohan
15. Kim Kardashian

"Cybercriminals are star watchers too -- they latch onto popular celebrities to encourage the download of malicious software in disguise," said Jeff Green, a McAfee senior vice president, in a press statement. "Consumers' obsession with celebrity news and culture is harmless in theory, but one bad download can cause a lot of damage to a computer."

McAfee says it compiled the rankings using software it makes called SiteAdvisor. There is a version one can download for free, which warns how risky a site is before you click on it.

This comes with the standard disclaimer that McAfee is in the business of selling software to protect your machine from such crises. Their virus-scan programs start at $29.99. They add that Windows computers are not the only vulnerable ones; users of Apple, Linux and so forth get hit too.

There are many competitors, of course, and some of the best are free. Norton, AVG, Kaspersky and F-Secure are among the most popular.

in June, McAfee went through the top 2,600 search terms from Google, Yahoo and elsewhere, and came out with an overall list of riskiest searches -- celebrities need not apply. It was a very different list:

1. Word Unscrambler
2. Lyrics
3. MySpace
4. Free Music Downloads
5. Phelps, Weber-Gale, Jones and Lezak Wins 4x 100m Relay
6. Free Music
7. Game Cheats
8. Printable Fill in Puzzles
9. Free Ringtones
10. Solitaire

The Most Dangerous Names on the Web

One thing that unifies these terms is that many of them lead you do downloadable files. Looking at any Web site means your computer will download something (the picture of Ms. Biel with this story, for instance), but larger files mean more room for malware.

Computer security people say the actual search is not what's risky; that plain-vanilla list of links you see if you Google something is pretty harmless. Clicking through to an actual site is where you court trouble.

What names are safe to search? Obviously, you do better if you're not looking for people in the headlines. But McAfee claims Barack Obama was only 34th on its new list, and Michele Obama was 39th.


Additional Titles

By: Devvy
August 24, 2009
© 2009 -

"This doesn't appear to be an especially deadly strain," said Deborah Lehman, Director of Pediatric Infectious Disease at Cedars Sinai hospital in Los Angeles. "At this point it looks like the seasonal flu will be responsible for more deaths than swine flu."

The Internet has been burning up for months with this question: Will there be forced vaccinations for the H1N1 'swine flu'? The WHO (World Health Organization) has been making splashy headlines about a "coming pandemic" that will dwarf anything seen in the history of the world! Who gives a tinker's damn what the WHO says? The big shots in the WHO with a banana republic mentality, actually think they have the authority to dissolve sovereign governments over a pandemic! These little Napoleons also label anyone who refuses a vaccine as criminals; see here.

There are three questions that everyone must consider:

1. Is a vaccine necessary for this so called swine flu?

2. Is a vaccine that is already being used for this H1N1 flu safe?

3. Does the federal or your state government have a legal right under the U.S. Constitution to sic their dragoons on any American who refuses a flu vaccine?

Question one: This is a personal decision for every American and one they should make with the greatest concern and consideration. Back in 1993, while traveling from California to Colorado, I picked up a 'flu bug.' Prior to that, I had not had the flu in a decade or more. By the time I got to the Denver area, I was very sick. My husband took me to Swedish Medical Center. The doc said I had the 'Beijing flu' and immediately needed a shot and pills. I said no and went home. It took eight days of liquids, Vitamin D and bed rest, but I was fine. I haven't had the flu since - 16 years this December. I've heard too many stories to list, but those who have taken a flu shot, not only get the flu every year, it is severe.

Why did I refuse the shot? Being suspicious by nature and one to question government's interference in my life, I determined it was not necessary. I had no idea what was in that syringe. I also knew that since I was a healthy woman who takes no over the counter medicines (except aspirin free Excedrin) no medications of any kind (except when I had surgery), no diseases and doesn't do "recreational" drugs, it would be best to let my natural immune system fight the 'flu bug.' I still take nothing except an occasional Excedrin, my vitamins and other natural products. The pharmaceutical companies don't make $10 a year off me.

Question two: Federal agencies and lackeys on cable networks continue to saturate the airwaves with the "coming pandemic." How do they know there is going to be a "pandemic" within the next few weeks? Americans get the flu every winter. Why, I don't know. I just know that sadly, Americans die every winter from the flu. According to all the credible research I've been doing, it is usually because their bodies have been compromised by poor immune systems due to other health conditions, not from the flu itself.

Additionally, there is great concern about the timing of this "coming pandemic." It appears from this patent application that the H1N1 was on the list, August 28, 2007. The actual filing was, August 28, 2008; see page seven for list of viruses. The first cases of H1N1 were only reported a few months ago here in the US. Mexico, April 2009; Iraq in June, 2009; Tunesia in June 2009; Australia, June 19, 2009; Manilla shows May 2009; Turkey, May 2009 and so on. It is my understanding from my research that the 'swine flu' is a "new" Influenza A strain that only appeared earlier this year. If it's so new, how come that patent for the H1N1 is dated back to August 2007?

But, is this H1N1 vaccine safe? The CDC and other government officials are insisting it is safe. I believe nothing could be further from the truth.

The tragedy is this dangerous and deadly cocktail is already being pumped into little babies, young children and pregnant women. Schools are being set up as 'staging areas' (supported by National Guard) to forceyou and your child to take this deadly vaccine. See the links below to legally stop it.

How can you determine whether or not these vaccines - any of them - are safe for you and your children? It requires research. Below in the links section, I have tried to give you credible and accurate information after an enormous amount of time researching. Believe me, there's no shortage of material out there. But, one has to set aside the hysteria and rely on qualified experts who have nothing to gain: government contracts, FDA hacks, pharmaceutical companies who will reap billions of dollars and members of Congress who own large amounts of stock in these pharma companies. Those sources I list only desire you get the truth.

It is my personal belief all these "newer" vaccines are deadly and unnecessary. I have four brothers and sisters. We all received only the polio, mumps/measles and diphtheria vaccines back in the early 50s. That was all I allowed my daughter when she was kindergarten age in the late 70s. I would never have allowed my daughter to be shot up with almost two dozen vaccines by her teen years as has been done for the past couple of decades. I don't know how parents can allow their precious children to get this massive menu of vaccines before their little bodies can ever begin to grow. I sure as hell would NEVER subject my daughter to the killer HPV vaccine.

These big pharmaceutical companies are already making a killing peddling these dangerous cocktails. That is why they're spending tens of millions of dollars buying the favors of Congress. Buying protection against lawsuits after millions have become sick and now have irreversible damage to their vital organs. The incestuous relationship between the Federal Death Administration (FDA), Congress and the big pharma houses is beyond outrageous. A RICO should be filed against all of them. This interview with a top epidemiologist sums it all up - it's all about money. 'A Whole Industry Is Waiting For A Pandemic'

Question three: This is the one millions of Americans fear: Does the federal or your state government have the constitutional right to force you to accept the H1N1 vaccine? We know that states of the Union already cruelly force certain health care workers get vaccinated or lose their jobs. I have received a fair amount of email from federal employees who are agonizing over whether to quit their jobs because they have been notified they must take this dangerous H1N1 cocktail.

Just for the sake of argument, some federal agency declares every American must jabbed with this H1N1 vaccine and millions refuse. What do you think is going to happen? Call in the National Guard? Round people up and put them in detention centers? How do you think that will play with those millions -- not 10,000 or a 100,000 Americans, but millions who will stand firm? Do these gutless cowards in Congress really want to take on the American people? Just take a look at what has been going on at these town hall meetings.

Will your governor incur the wrath of a few million people in his/her state with some declaration of forced vaccination? Have any of them considered our Oath Keepers, many who serve in the National Guard who do not want their family shot up with a deadly cocktail for corporate profits? Swine Flu Vaccine Makers to Profit $50 Billion a Year

The American people are being set up and hyped into believing there will be people climbing over each other's bodies to get a flu shot!!! Maine TV Station Airs Report on National Guard and Flu Pandemic Riots. Riots? What riots? Here's the solution: No one show up for their cocktail parties and avoid this silliness: Massachusetts deputizing paramedics, dentists, and pharmacists to help administer vaccines

Time is of the essence on this issue. The American people are enraged over the attempt to Sovietize these united States of America by the usurper in the White House and his Comrades, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Now, we must make them feel our rage against any plans they might have to force these deadly cocktails into our bodies against our will. Congress is out of session until Sept. 8, 2009. While many of the multi-multi millionaires like Comrade Pelosi are giving their constituents the bird, they are still in their districts.

As I did in this pdf file regarding the health care "reform" mess (sent to a few "Blue Dog" Democrats and "conservative" Republicans to their district offices), just send a post card to one of the district offices for your congressman and senator. Tell him/her that you will refuse any forced vaccination. Remember: We the people hold the power and if we bury these district offices with millions of post cards -- not emails -- over the next few weeks, I guarantee you there will be no attempt at forced vaccinating at the federal level. I have already sent one to my state rep and senator even though our legislature is out of session. There appears to be confirmation from the military that the states will make the decision to force vaccinations; see here. Get in the face of your state rep and senator today.

Now, we'll see who is the boss in this country: We the people or a totalitarian force masquerading as public servants. I've been an activist for going on twenty years and I can tell you that when the American people stand up in massive numbers, the lawbreakers back down - state or federal. It is how we killed Marxist Hillary Clinton's attempt to shove socialized medicine down our throats in 1993. Do not fear this puppet government for they are cowards when it comes right down to the wire. Fear these deadly cocktails they call vaccines. Call their bluff and then we can go to court if necessary.

The links blow are just a sampling of the most accurate I could find on vaccines and this current H1N1 manufactured "crisis." While I could provide a hundred links, I know everyone is pressed for time. I sincerely hope you will take time to read them and send that post card to the feds and and your state legislator and politely tell them to 'stick it.' Don't let this happen to you and your family in your state:

Nov. 16, 2007. Doctors oppose Maryland vaccine roundup: Expect dangerous reactions when children are treated like cattle

"In a scenario reminiscent of cattle round-ups, the state's attorney has issued summons to more than 1600 parents of children who have not provided certificates of immunization for their children. But instead of toting a cattle prod, this state’s attorney chooses to wield a syringe to keep the “herd” in line. "Parents have been told to appear in Court on Saturday, and to subject their children to on-the-spot state-mandated vaccines of up 17 vaccine doses, or face imprisonment. Parents who ignore the court’s demands could face a $50 fine for every day their child is out of compliance or up to 10 days in jail....

"Money and politics may be at the center of the round of threats. The school district will lose a substantial amount of state funding if students do not comply with the vaccine mandate. "Apparently the district wants that money, even if it gets it off the backs of children,” said Serkes."

Important Links:

1 - Leaked Letters Reveal Swine Flu Vaccine Lethal Link
2 - Flu Shot Not Effective in Preventing Flu-Related
3 - Squalene: The Swine Flu Vaccine’s Dirty Little Secret Exposed
4 - How Dangerous is the Swine Flu Vaccine?
5 - The truth about the flu shot
6 - Tamiflu (for swine flu) causes sickness and nightmares in children, study finds
7 - 1920 Book - Horrors Of Vaccination Exposed (Free on line)
8 - Next step in H1N1 scare: Microchip implants (When pigs fly!)
9 - Does virus vaccine increase risk of cancer?

Preventive medicine

1 - Dr. Mercola’s Top 5 Tips to Fight the Flu
2 - Russell Blaylock, MD - What To Do If Force Vaccinated?
3 - Critical Alert: The Swine Flu Pandemic – Fact or Fiction?
4 - Mini file Diseases

1 - Vaccines: State and Federal laws compiled by constitutional attorney, Lowell Becraft
2 - Now Legal Immunity for Swine flu Vaccine Makers

1 - Saying no to all vaccines
2 - How To Legally Avoid Unwanted Immunizations Of All Kinds
3 - Texas School District: “No Shots, No School” (unless you fill out paper work for exemptions)
4 - Medical Voices Vaccine Information Centre

Using the military or National Guard: Dangerous Precedent:
1 - Militarization of Swine Flu Preparations
2 - Government Prepares for “unwillingness to follow government orders”
3 - Military to administer vaccinations

The deadly, crippling HPV vaccine

1 - 1 in four girls have now been shot up with this "safe" cocktail
2 - Gardasil’s grim death toll is on the rise (HPV)
3 - "The FDA adverse event reports on the HPV vaccine read like a catalog of horrors."
4 - How many more will die before FDA ghouls are held accountable?
5 - Did Merck Dupe Public & FDA Over Gardasil Trials?
6 - Hundreds of Thousands of Reactions to Gardasil… Is Your Child Next?

1 - The flap over sealing court documents, vaccines and congressional stockholders (2002): 'Justice Department Seeks to Seal Vaccine Papers'
2 - Court Allows Eli Lilly to Bury Zyprexa Documents
3 - Letter From Congressman Weldon to Dr. Gerberding October, 2003

Human guinea pigs for corporate profit

1 - The Killer Vaccines
2 - Reconstruction of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic Virus
3 - Agency Approves First Use of Viruses as a Food Additive
4 - MMR Kids Vaccine Linked to Fever-Related Convulsions
5 - Pfizer to Pay Tens of Millions for Deaths of Nigerian Children in Drug Trial Experiment
6 - Polio surge in Nigeria after vaccine virus mutates
7 - One in three nurses does not want swine flu vaccine
8 - Australian Experts Warn of Infectious Disease Risk in H1N1 Vaccinations
9 - Vaccine officials knew about MMR risks

Keeping you in the dark:

1 - Government Again Concedes Vaccines Cause Autism; MSM Fails To Report:
3 - Congress gives immunity to manufacturers of these deadly cocktails
4 - Vaccine Injury Compensation: A Failed Experiment in Tort Reform?
5 - New Laws for Swine Flu May Create a Perfect Storm

Criminal complaint and lawsuit: Nothing but hype

1 - Preliminary Injunction Filed To Stop Forced Flu Vaccinations
2 - Misleading: Prelim Injunction To Halt Mandatory US Flu Vax Issued

© 2009 - - All Rights Reserved

Too Much Radiation From Medical Imaging?

Too Much Radiation From Medical Imaging?
Researchers Say Patients Need to Weigh Risks vs. Benefits of Imaging Tests
By Salynn Boyles
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Aug. 26, 2009 -- As many as 4 million adults in the U.S. under the age of 65 are being exposed to high, potentially cancer-causing levels of radiation from medical imaging tests of unproven value, according to a new government-funded study.

Analysis of insurance claims for close to 1 million non-elderly adults found that roughly two-thirds had at least one medical imaging test resulting in radiation exposure and one-fifth were exposed to moderate-to-high doses of radiation during the study period.

Nuclear imaging (often done to check for heart disease) and computed tomography (CT) scans delivered the most radiation.

An earlier study in 2007 estimated that as many as 2% of cancers in the U.S. are caused by radiation exposure from CT-related imaging alone.

The new study appears in this week's New England Journal of Medicine.

"We don't want to scare people and have them refuse necessary procedures, but physicians and patients need to be aware that radiation is not benign," study researcher Reza Fazel, MD, of Atlanta's Emory University School of Medicine, tells WebMD. "Our study shows that a lot of people are getting high doses of radiation."

Government estimates suggest that per capita radiation doses in the U.S. have risen sixfold since the early 1980s as a result of greater utilization of medical imaging tests performed to diagnose and monitor a wide range of diseases.

The study shows that:

* CT scans and nuclear imaging accounted for three-fourths of radiation exposure, with nuclear stress tests, also known as myocardial perfusion imaging, identified as the procedure accounting for the largest single radiation exposure.
* The highest radiation exposures occurred among women and older adults.
* Imaging-associated exposures among young adults were not insignificant. Thirty percent of men and 40% of women with high exposure per year in the study were under the age of 50.
* 80% of radiation exposures occurred among non-hospitalized patients.

Radiation exposure is commonly measured in millisieverts (mSv). The average person in the U.S. can expect to receive no more than 3 mSv of exposure per year from naturally occurring background radiation. An exposure of greater than 20 mSv is considered high, while greater than 3 mSv to 20 mSv is considered moderate.

Myocardial perfusion imaging for heart disease delivers about 15 mSv per test.
Value of Some Medical Imaging Unclear

In a perspective published with the study, cardiologist Michael S. Lauer, MD, of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) presented the hypothetical case of a 58-year-old man named Jim with risk factors for heart disease who has an inconclusive nuclear stress test followed by another commonly used imaging test known as CT angiography, which also fails to confirm his diagnosis.

The two tests would result in more than 20 mSv of radiation exposure.
Value of Some Medical Imaging Unclear continued...

"Jim's story reflects outpatient practice that has become increasingly common in the United States, which has the world's highest per capita imaging rate," Lauer writes.

"Most physicians who order imaging tests experience no consequences for incurring costs for procedures of unproven value. On the contrary, they or their colleagues are paid for their services, and their patients don't complain because the costs are covered."

While health care reform has the potential to slow the growth of medical imaging, Lauer says the real challenge is to identify which tests add value for the diagnosis and management of disease and which do not.

He tells WebMD that for some tests, like mammography, the benefits are clear. But for others, like nuclear stress testing to identify heart disease, the risks may very well outweigh the benefits.

"Medical practice should be based on the most rigorous science, and we don't have that for many of these tests," he says. "We need large, well-designed trials to figure this out

U.S. unveils new rules on border searches of laptops

U.S. unveils new rules on border searches of laptops
Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:25pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration unveiled new rules on Thursday for searching computers and other electronic devices when people enter the United States, attempting to address concerns about violating privacy and constitutional rights.

At the same time, the Department of Homeland Security defended such searches as necessary to detect information about potential terrorism plots as well as other crimes such as child pornography and copyright infringement.

"The new directives announced today strike the balance between respecting the civil liberties and privacy of all travelers while ensuring DHS can take the lawful actions necessary to secure our borders," DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a statement.

Between October 1, 2008 and August 11, 2009, 221 million travelers were processed at U.S. borders and about 1,000 searches of laptop computers were conducted, of which 46 were in-depth examinations, the agency said.

Searches often involve asking people to turn on the device to verify it is what it appears to be, the DHS said.

Privacy groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation have pushed Congress to stop border officers from searching laptops, cell phones and other electronic devices without probable cause when people enter or return to the country.

The rules permit searches of such devices without a person's consent. The review is to be done in the presence of the owner, unless there are national security or law enforcement reasons to conduct it elsewhere.

Immigration and customs officers can also hold the devices or the data, which may be copied without the knowledge of the owner for further review, according to the rules.

The new regulations note that border officers should be particularly careful when handling legal or business materials or other sensitive data like medical records or information carried by journalists.

(Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky; Editing by John O'Callaghan)

up and Down Wall Street Daily - The Deflation (Almost) Nobody Saw Coming
The Deflation (Almost) Nobody Saw Coming
By RANDALL W. FORSYTH, Barrons, AUGUST 27, 2009

The same seers who fretted about inflation last year are the ones now declaring the recession to be over.

IT SEEMS LIKE A LIFETIME AGO, but inflation that was driving the financial markets nuts in August 2008. Producer prices had their biggest year-on-year leap since the peak of the Great Inflation in 1981 while consumer prices saw their biggest jump since 1991.

Only a few weeks later in September, the markets would be facing the worst crisis in two generations with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, which sent the economy into a tailspin. Or so goes the popular recollection.

As the economy tumbled into the worst post-World War II recession, prices inevitably receded in tandem. On the anniversary of the worst inflation numbers in years, the latest readings show the most severe deflation in ages.

The consumer price index fell 2.1% in the year to July, the sharpest drop in prices at the retail level since the 12 months ended January 1950, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data charted by Bianco Research.

The current deflation followed a rise in the CPI of 5.6% in the year to July 2008, a pace of inflation that was the norm through much of the late 1960s and the trough of the 1970s. Only with the defeat of inflation by the mid-1980s would a "5 handle" inflation number seem high.

Meanwhile, the producer price index for finished goods shot up 9.8% in the 12 months to July 2008, the biggest increase the year to June 1981 and uncomfortably close to the double-digit inflation of that era. In the latest 12 months, the PPI plunged a record 6.8%.

But to ascribe the collapse of inflation entirely to the after-effects of last year's near-meltdown in the financial markets is to engage in some revisionist history.

While there were calls in the summer of 2008 for central banks to tighten policy, the signs pointed not only to a peak in inflation, but that deflation posed the clear and present danger.

Indeed, that's what I wrote in this space almost exactly a year ago: "The Inflationary Fever is About to Break; While producer prices rise the most in 27 years, deflation poses the danger ahead," Aug. 20, 2008.

I mention this column mainly because it elicited more vitriol than perhaps anything I've written in Up & Down Wall Street Daily in the past three-plus years.

I wasn't alone in making that call. In that column, I cited Dow Theory Letters' Richard Russell, who wrote at the time: "From what I see, the markets are telling us to prepare for hard times, and a global spate of the worst deflation to be seen in generations. That is why gold has been sinking, this is why stocks have been falling—big money, sophisticated money, is cashing out, raising cash, preparing for world deflation."

Similarly, Albert Edwards, the chief strategist of Societe Generale, was also looking for deflation. Indeed, he insisted a sharp contraction was inevitable -- weeks before Lehman's collapse and maelstrom that ensued.

Back in the summer of 2008, mainstream economists weren't sure we were in a recession -- even though it had begun in December 2007. Now, the same crowd that didn't see the recession a year ago confidently declares it has ended.


THE STUNNING COLLAPSE IN INFLATION has produced losers and winners. Among the former are Social Security recipients, which are unlikely to receive a cost-of-living adjustment next year and possibly none in 2011. At least they won't get a cut as a result of the negative CPI.

For consumers, the swing in inflation from 5.6% to minus 2.1% in the past 12 months is equivalent to tax cut that benefits them more than any other sector of the economy, according to the Portfolio Strategy team at ISI Group led by Francois Trahan.

As a result, consumer discretionary stocks have been the leaders in the market's rally. "Intuitively, this makes sense since the space is considered to be the classic 'early cycle' place of the market place," they write in a note to clients.

But, they add, that's about to change as the global economic recovery takes root. "This spells the end of the 'sweet spot' for the Consumer Discretionary sector as opportunities will develop in other segments," according to Trahan and his associates, Stephen G. Gregory, Brian J. Herlihy and Michael J. Kantrowitz.

They think the best performance is past for consumer durables, services and retailing stocks "as they would be classified as interest-rate sensitive, defensive and early-cyclical by our definitions."

That's the glass half-full reason to move out of consumer discretionary stocks.

With unemployment continuing to rise with one-sixth of the workforce either jobless, working part-time because they can't find full-time jobs, or "discouraged" and not find work; weekly earnings falling; house prices still down sharply from a year earlier, and credit conditions still tightening for consumers, it's hard to see how consumer discretionary spending will lead the economy.

After all those folks who traded in their clunkers for shiny, new cars, they won't be in the market for autos. And with their new car-loan payments, there will be less discretionary cash left over for stuff they might have bought if they still were driving that clunker.


Jack Perrine | Athena Programming | 626-798-6574
-----------------| 1175 N Altadena Dr | --------------- | Pasadena CA 91107 |

US Bank Enemies At The Gates

US Bank Enemies At The Gates

By Jim Willie CB

Aug 27 2009 4:10PM

Use the above link to subscribe to the paid research reports, which include coverage of several smallcap companies positioned to rise during the ongoing panicky attempt to sustain an unsustainable system burdened by numerous imbalances aggravated by global village forces. An historically unprecedented mess has been created by compromised central bankers and inept economic advisors, whose interference has irreversibly altered and damaged the world financial system, urgently pushed after the removed anchor of money to gold. Analysis features Gold, Crude Oil, USDollar, Treasury bonds, and inter-market dynamics with the US Economy and US Federal Reserve monetary policy.

While all manner of attention remains transfixed inside the United States on a remedy and recovery of its bank sector, once again Americans make dangerous assumptions. They tend to assume that the US Federal Reserve near 0% interest rates, Quantitative Easing (aka exploding Printing Pre$$ output), endless liquidity facilities (e.g. TALF), TARP funds (aka Wall Street slush fund), Stress Tests (rigged), bank stock sales (aided by FASB accounting fraud), bank carry trades (exploiting low short-term & higher long-term rates), and the passage of time can revive the US banking industry. They tend domestically to overlook the gradually worsening insolvency condition. Banks are bracing for a new wave of commercial mortgage losses, of prime Option ARMortgage losses, and credit card losses. The delinquency rate of prime Option ARMs is now higher than subprime home loans!!

Harken back to the summer 2007 when the hack USFed Chairman Bernanke called the bank crisis merely a subprime problem with upper limit potential for $200 billion in bank losses, and no risk of spilling over to the real USEconomy, and surely not the cause of any recession. Bernanke has understood next to nothing in advance, all forecasts hopelessly wrong, but is a great manager of the Printing Pre$$ Operation. So he is loved. This half blind man now is due for reappointment to USFed Chairman post, his past failure the qualifications for future service. The same is true of Treasury Secy Geithner, whose failure at the New York Fed was his qualification for current service. The approval of Bernanke is sure to cause a major rift with the Chinese credit masters. Their wishes and warnings have been ignored. Their vengeance is next.

The American perspective is almost always very limited in scope, due to chronic arrogance and delusions of grandeur. Their convenient parochial view tends to focus almost entirely within the United States, its bank leadership, its USFed monetary flexibility, its Wall Street syndicate influence, its federal tax latitude, its bank reserves management, and more. THE REAL THREAT TO US BANKS COMES FROM ENEMIES AT THE GATES, FOREIGN CREDITORS. The dangerous assumption made is that foreign creditors will remain firm and loyal. The arrogance extends from the continued belief that they have no choice, even if the trillion$ frauds on Wall Street occurred, even though such frauds were never prosecuted.

The real threat comes from foreign creditors who must contend with challenges greater than ever experienced, such as:

* Shrinking or vanished trade surpluses during global slowdown
* Their own financial systems in tatters (banks, stock & bonds, currencies)
* Vast regional construction booms gone bust (e.g. Dubai)
* Numerous nationwide housing bubbles gone bust
* Gathering storm from the need to liquidate insolvent banks
* Reserves erosion due to over-weight in US$-based bonds
* Systemic problems extended from a generation of USDollar reliance.


Take just two important examples, the Persian Gulf and China. Other regions bloated with USTreasurys exist, like Europe and Russia, eager to unload them in what soon could become a torrent. The regional construction boom in the Arab world has an epicenter in Dubai. Unfortunately, it has gone bust, and loudly so. If not for the prompt aid by Abu Dhabi bankers, a vast liquidation of Dubai would have embarrassed them in front of the world. Instead, a new threat comes. The Abu Dhabi rescue next must contend with an indigestion problem, as USTreasurys and likely other US$-based bonds are flooding their banking system. They might own a considerable batch of US bank stocks, soon to be dumped. Ambition led to a whiff of hubris, as fantastic architectural design led to large scope, seen in the skyscrapers and bridges. Not shown are the spectacular communities designed as trees with branches and leaf petals, many empty, busted, and without investment income. But they overdid it, and now must deal with corporate failures and liquidation challenges. But the Persian Gulf bank failures represent the clear and present threat. The outsized projects have yielded to outsized rescues and next outsized indigestion to handle the funds in ways so as to avoid a string of national bank failures. Vast liquidations come, word comes from contacts.

A bank panic in the Persian Gulf could ensue very soon, a back door threat. It would clearly have origins in the United Arab Emirates, spread to the entire Persian Gulf like to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and elsewhere. From this global toehold, the bank panic could then spread to London, New York, and points in Europe. The UAE bankers must manage their situation. They are loaded to the gills with USTreasurys, the main currency used in the liquidations and rescues local to the UAE. They also have pet stock accounts in big US banks. As further liquidations occur, avoidance of bank failures seems a remote prospect. Watch the enemies at the gates, outside looking in, in urgent need of dumping USTreasury Bonds and other US$-denominated securities.

China must contend with some unique problems. From 2000 to 2005, they insisted on a rigid currency structure of the Yuan pegged firmly to the USDollar. In doing so, they became the 51st state, yoked firmly to the USEconomy and subject completely to the USFed monetary policy. Yet they had no voting rights on USDollar policy. Ironically, now they do as chief creditor nation. Nobody thought twice about accumulation of Chinese debt to replace US income. It was the insane movement known as the ‘Low Cost Solution’ at the time, a policy that the great majority accepted as the next chapter of progress in the Globalization movement, a policy based in corporate abandonment of US shores. Some, like the Jackass and other analysts on some of these gold journal websites, gave loud warning of a time bomb in construction certain to explode down the road. We are now down the road, reaping the bitter rotten harvest of the latest Economic Myth chapter.

China is experiencing a 40%+ decline in export trade. They have a mammoth $550+ billion stimulus plan that might have run its course. They have banks that are failing on a low level. Their stimulus might have found its way as much to their Shanghai stock market as to bank lending. Their industrial expansion is primarily linked to global trade and the export markets. As much as they would like to generate internal demand, it cannot prevent over 1000 industrial plants from shutdown, already done. More are to come. They respond with Yuan-based swap facilities in numerous foreign lands, but that can only accomplish so much in export markets. China is actively attempting to diversify its reserves. The reality (not a joke) is that they are trying to cobble together 2000 different $1 billion deals to secure hard assets in exchange for USTreasury Bonds, enough to dump their $2000 billion US$-based hoard at risk. They are acquiring stakes in foreign mining firms, stakes in mining projects, and entire properties. They are cutting fewer but larger energy deals, which include development of infrastructure and communities. The inescapable fact of life is that China has embarked on an USTreasury dumping initiative. They are even acquiring industrial property in Europe, unloading up to $10 billion per month in USTBonds. This aids the Euro Central Bank, stuck with too much bad debt from its southern member nations. They are dealing with the impaired debt from PIGS nations by means of vast commercial and industrial property sales. Discounts are being seen for both the USDollar and British Pound Sterling. Details are in the August Hat Trick Letter Gold & Currency Report.


Loan loss reserves at US banks are at a shockingly miserable low level. They not only hide their badly impaired (ruined) credit assets, but they inadequately furnish their loan loss reserve accounts. Notice the trend in coverage ratio for loss reserves (in red) that trends down down down. Filling the loan loss reserves eats into stated earnings, a process forbidden if bank stock prices are to continue up up up. Resolution is sought. Bold lies about their shaky condition works at both ends. It is very difficult to give an accurate number of the failed US banks, when more are failing every week, on an accelerated basis. The failures of Colonial and Guaranty rocked the bank sector in the last two weeks, enough to set back the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp by over $5 billion. Their fund is dead broke. They already raised bank fees once this year, and are likely to do so again. That should crimp bank lending, in reports out just today. The declared official list of troubled banks stands at 416. Surely, the true number is closer to 1000.

The FDIC has responded in two ways. They have opened the door for foreign financial firms to rescue the growing list of insolvent US banks, taking equity in exchange for infused funds as capital. This is unprecedented. Could this be due to the general insolvency of the great majority of big US banks? Yes! The FDIC also announced it might appeal to the USCongress for more funds, sure to spark heavy debate. The FDIC is designed to be a self-sufficient company, but it is a basket case instead. Worse, the FDIC head Sheila Bair, despite her valiant resistance to the USDept Treasury lordship, has its own ethical problems. The FDIC has avoided bank shutdowns on a broad basis. They have thus permitted losing situations to grow much worse. Case in point is the Colonial asset portfolio, some of which are to be liquidated at 65% losses. Where was the FDIC several months ago? The answer is not pretty. The FDIC in my opinion has acted as the new investment banker agent for Wall Street. They have not shut down banks and liquidated them. They rather seek to feed assets to the Wall Street firms and thus avert more FDIC fund drainage. The FDIC has, like in courtship matchmaking, delivered insolvent midsized banks to the Wall Street syndicate for ready processing and grand asset raids. The FDIC has not done its job. Many more US banks are set to fall like flies in the summer Texas heat, almost all at once. The estimate of 150 or 200 US banks likely to fail soon, stated by Rochdale Securities analyst Dick Bove, is a gross under-statement, a very conservative low estimate, convenient for political circles, a pipedream on Main Street. He was brave to make the statement, and took heat.


The deception continues, worth mentioning regularly, worth harping on. THE REMOVAL OF PILLARS FROM BENEATH THE USDOLLAR FOUNDATION CONTINUES, INVITING A VIOLENT RESPONSE BY FOREIGN CREDITORS. The degree of monetization is staggering for USTreasurys. Issuance must be covered by the US$ Printing Pre$$ machinery, since the USGovt requires up to 7% of the entire global economy (its size, not its savings) to match that issuance. The USFed monetizes with Permanent Open Market Operations quickly after auctions, thus hiding their motive to monetize debt. Debt securities are taken by the primary bond dealers, only to find their way quickly to the USFed on their Permanent Portfolio. If the USFed bought them directly at auction, a firestorm of controversy would result immediately. Instead, the credit market observers are totally asleep at the wheel, or more likely badly compromised. CHINESE LEADERS SURELY NOTICE. This practice has come out into the open. Zero Hedge is on top of it, like expert sleuths. See their latest exposure data, the USFed’s dirty little secret entitled “$270 Billion Of POMOs To Date Running Ahead Of Schedule” (CLICK HERE)

The USFed established a gigantic Dollar Swap Facility. Last September 2008, it expanded this facility from $290 billion to $620 billion in order to enable a rush into the USTreasurys. The same $Swap Facility enables hidden monetization now, as foreign accounts chock filled with borrowed USDollars (in blue) bid on USTreasurys (in red). The USFed expanded balance sheet is also shown (in yellow). This is an old chart, but it makes the point well. Historically, monetization results in a severe devaluation of the inherent currency being debauched. This time will be no different.

Before showing a gold chart, something bears mention. USTreasurys are the current raging bubble, consuming wealth on a global scale. This represents a rush into bad money, soon to be recognized as a Third World Debt security. It is being actively discounted by cash currency intermediaries, in the unofficial restructuring of debt taking place. This is NOT in the financial news. However, a greater pox is evident. In the last couple weeks, a truly perverse phenomenon has begun to show itself, a rush into the worst junk imaginable. The stock rally in AIG, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac has taken root. They are seeing quite a runup in stock share values. Details are eye-opening. Since July, AIG has gone from 10 to 40 per share, Fannie Mae (FNM) from 0.5 to 1.7 per share, Freddie Mac (FRE) from 0.5 to 2.0 per share. Including Citigroup, a dead walking giant, this group accounts for 20% or more of the entire NYSE trading volume. THIS IS A RUSH TO JUNK. This is an end stage, just like in 1999 when was a hot stock with no income, priced on clicks and eyeballs.

The movement of chasing the worst quality stock issues brings to memory the famous quote by Sir Thomas Gresham in the 16th Century. He said, “Bad money drives out good money.” It does so on a temporary basis, while the craze continues, while the denial is rooted, while the propaganda prevails. But real money emerges triumphant after the inevitable crisis that ensues. THAT REAL MONEY IS GOLD, ALONG WITH SILVER, EVEN PLATINUM.


Many complain that the gold price cannot seem to overcome the important $1000 mark. It is true, the mark is stubborn. But $1000 gold would still be dirt cheap, given the flood of money on a global basis. The reasons why it should be overcome are growing a long list, and the gold price has a very firm support. The wizards did not enjoy the taste of a big single-day move up last Friday August 21st. The Powerz came out guns blazing on the following Monday to eradicate the gain. The 50-day moving average has provided reasonably strong support in the last month or more. Both it and the 200-day moving average are rising, a trend signal.

Pressures continue to mount. Surely impatience comes to many faithful gold investors, in whatever form (stocks, bullion, coins). The gold breakout will come suddenly, without warning. In my view it could easily come from ENEMIES AT THE GATE, foreign creditors responding to their own stress. It might come from a domestic shock from any of 20 potential events also. The US financial press gives the foreign front very limited coverage. When the breakout occurs, the gold price will vault past 1050 in a screaming move. The press will tell the wrong story, focusing again on domestic factors within the USEconomy, like price inflation, as they miss the importance of the USDollar. While prices might be due to rise in surprising fashion soon, the real issue is the global monetary crisis centered upon the USDollar. Foreign reserves are over 60%, nearly 65% in USTreasurys. The glut will be relieved before long. The fire sale comes, and afterwards the United States will suffer.


From subscribers and readers:

At least 30 recently on correct forecasts such as the Lehman Brothers failure, numerous nationalization deals such as for Fannie Mae, grand Mortgage Rescue, and General Motors.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Libya: A Hero's Welcome


Libya: A Hero's Welcome
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August 26, 2009 | 1923 GMT

Global Security and Intelligence Report

By Scott Stewart and Fred Burton

On Aug. 24, Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill addressed a special session of the Scottish Parliament. The session was called so that MacAskill could explain why he had decided to release Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the former Libyan intelligence officer convicted of terrorism charges in connection with the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, and who had been expected to spend the rest of his life in prison. MacAskill said he granted al-Megrahi a compassionate release because al-Megrahi suffers from terminal prostate cancer and is expected to live only a few months.

The Aug. 20 release of al-Megrahi ignited a firestorm of outrage in both the United Kingdom and the United States. FBI Director Robert Mueller released to the press contents of an uncharacteristically blunt and critical letter he had written to MacAskill in which Mueller characterized al-Megrahi’s release as inexplicable and “detrimental to the cause of justice.” Mueller told MacAskill in the letter that the release “makes a mockery of the rule of law.”

The flames of outrage over the release of al-Megrahi were further fanned when al-Megrahi received a hero’s welcome upon his arrival in Tripoli — video of him being welcomed and embraced by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was broadcast all over the world.

For his part, Gadhafi has long lobbied for al-Megrahi’s release, even while taking steps to end Libya’s status as an international pariah. Gadhafi first renounced terrorism and his nuclear ambitions in 2003, shortly after the U.S. invasion of Iraq. In October 2008 he completed the compensation agreement with the families of the U.S. victims of the December 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103 and of an April 1986 Libyan attack against the La Belle disco in Berlin.

Yet despite the conviction of al-Megrahi, the 2003 official admission of Libyan responsibility for the Pan Am bombing in a letter to the United Nations, and the agreement to pay compensation to the families of the Pan Am victims, Gadhafi has always maintained in public statements that al-Megrahi and Libya were not responsible for the bombing. The official admission of responsibility for the Pan Am bombing, coupled with the public denials, has resulted in a great deal of ambiguity and confusion over the authorship of the attack — which, in all likelihood, is precisely what the denials were intended to do.
The Pan Am 103 Investigation

At 7:03 p.m. on Dec. 21, 1988, an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated in one of Pan Am Flight 103’s cargo containers, causing the plane to break apart and fall from the sky. The 259 passengers and crew members aboard the flight died, as did 11 residents of Lockerbie, Scotland, the town where the remnants of the jumbo jet fell.

Immediately following the bombing, there was suspicion that the Iranians or Syrians had commissioned the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command (PFLP-GC) to conduct the bombing. This belief was based on the fact that German authorities had taken down a large PFLP-GC cell in Frankfurt in October 1988 and that one member of the cell had in his possession an IED concealed inside a Toshiba radio. Frankfurt is the city where Pan Am 103 departed before stopping in London. Indeed, even today, there are still some people who believe that the PFLP-GC was commissioned by either the Iranian or the Syrian government to conduct the Pan Am bombing.

The PFLP-GC theory might eventually have become the officially accepted theory had the bomb on Pan Am 103 detonated (as planned) while the aircraft was over the North Atlantic Ocean. However, a delay in the plane’s departure from London resulted in the timed device detonating while the aircraft was still over land, and this allowed authorities to collect a great deal of evidence that had been scattered across a wide swath of the Scottish countryside. The search effort was one of the most complex crime-scene investigations ever conducted.

Through months of painstakingly detailed effort, investigators were able to determine that the aircraft was brought down by an IED containing a main charge of Semtex, that the IED had been placed inside a Toshiba radio cassette player (in a macabre coincidence, that particular model of Toshiba, the RT-SF 16, is called the “BomBeat radio cassette player”), and that the radio had been located inside a brown Samsonite hard-side suitcase located inside the cargo container.

Investigators were also able to trace the clothing inside the suitcase containing the IED to a specific shop, Mary’s House, in Sliema, Malta. While examining one of the pieces of Maltese clothing in May 1989, investigators found a fragment of a circuit board that did not match anything found in the Toshiba radio. It is important to remember that in a bombing, the pieces of the IED do not entirely disappear. They may be shattered and scattered, but they are not usually completely vaporized. Although some pieces may be damaged beyond recognition, others are not, and this often allows investigators to reconstruct the device

In mid-1990, after an exhaustive effort to identify the circuit-board fragment, the FBI laboratory in Washington was able to determine that the circuit board was very similar to one that came from a timer that a special agent with the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service had recovered from an arms cache while investigating a Libyan-sponsored coup attempt in Lome, Togo, in 1986. Further investigation determined that the company that produced the timers, the Swiss company MEBO, had sold as many as 20 of the devices to the Libyan government, and that the Libyan government was the company’s primary customer. Interestingly, in 1988, MEBO rented one of its offices in Zurich to a firm called ABH, which was run by two Libyan intelligence officers: Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi and Badri Hassan.

The MEBO timer, model MST-13, is very different from the ice-cube timer in the PFLP-GC device found in Frankfurt in October 1988. Additionally, the ice-cube timer in the PFLP-GC device was used in conjunction with a barometric pressure switch, and the IED used a different main charge, TNT, instead of the Semtex used in the Pan Am 103 device.

Perhaps the fact that does the most damage to the PFLP-GC conspiracy theory is that the principal bombmaker for the PFLP-GC Frankfurt cell (and the man who made the PFLP-GC Toshiba device), Marwan Khreesat, was actually an infiltrator sent into the organization by the Jordanian intelligence service. Kreesat not only assisted in providing the information that allowed the Germans to take down the cell, but he was under strict orders by his Jordanian handlers to ensure that every IED he constructed was not capable of detonating. Therefore, it is extremely unlikely that one of the IEDs he created was used to destroy Pan Am 103.

One of the Libyans connected to MEBO, al-Megrahi, is an interesting figure. Not only was he an officer with Libyan intelligence, the External Security Organization, or ESO, but he also served as the chief of security for Libyan Arab Airlines (LAA) and had visited Malta many times. The owner of the Mary’s House clothing shop in Sliema identified al-Megrahi as the man who purchased the clothing found in the suitcase, and Maltese immigration records indicated that al-Megrahi was in Malta on Dec. 7, 1988, the time that the clothing was purchased. Al-Megrahi left Malta on Dec. 9, 1988, but returned to the country using a false identity on Dec. 20, using a passport issued by the ESO in the name of Ahmed Khalifa Abdusamad. Al-Megrahi left Malta using the Abdusamad passport on Dec. 21, 1988, the day the suitcase was apparently sent from Malta aboard Air Malta Flight KM180 to Frankfurt and then transferred to Pan Am 103.

On Nov. 13, 1991, the British government charged al-Megrahi and Lamin Khalifah Fhimah, the LAA station manager at Luqa Airport in Malta, with the bombing. One day later, a federal grand jury in the United States returned an indictment against the same two men for the crime. In March 1995, the FBI added the two men to its most wanted list and the Diplomatic Security Service’s Rewards for Justice Program offered a $4 million reward for their capture. Al-Megrahi and Fhimah were placed under house arrest in Libya — a comfortable existence that, more than actually confining them, served to protect them from being kidnapped and spirited out of Libya to face trial.

After many years of boycotts, embargos, U.N. resolutions and diplomatic wrangling — including extensive efforts by South African President Nelson Mandela and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan — a compromise was reached and all parties agreed to a trial in a neutral country — the Netherlands — conducted under Scottish law. On April 5, 1999, al-Megrahi and Fhimah were transferred to Camp Zeist in the Netherlands to stand trial before a special panel of Scottish judges.

On Jan. 31, 2001, after a very long trial that involved an incredible amount of technical and detailed testimony, the judges reached their decision. The Scottish judges acquitted Fhimah, finding that there was not proof beyond a reasonable doubt that he was involved in the plot (the British government had charged that he had been the person who stole the luggage tags and placed the suitcase on the Air Malta flight), but they did find al-Megrahi guilty of 270 counts of murder. He was sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum sentence of 27 years.

Although the case against al-Megrahi was entirely circumstantial — there was no direct evidence he or Fhimah had placed the device aboard the aircraft — the Scottish judges wrote in their decision that they believed the preponderance of the evidence, including al-Megrahi’s knowledge of airline security measures and procedures, his connection to MEBO, his purchase of the clothing in the suitcase that had contained the IED and his clandestine travel to Malta on Dec. 20 to 21, 1988, convinced them beyond a reasonable doubt that al-Megrahi was guilty as charged.

In a December 2003 letter to the United Nations, Libya accepted responsibility for the Pan Am 103 bombing. (In the same letter, Libya also took responsibility for the September 1989 bombing of UTA Flight 772, a French airliner destroyed by an IED after leaving Brazzaville, Congo, and making a stop in N’Djamena, Chad. All 170 people aboard the aircraft died when it broke up over the Sahara in Niger.) Nevertheless, the Libyan government continued to maintain al-Megrahi’s innocence in the Pan Am bombing, just as al-Megrahi had done throughout the trial, insisting that he had not been involved in the bombing.

Al-Megrahi’s reluctance to admit responsibility for the bombing or to show any contrition for the attack is one of the factors singled out by those who opposed his release from prison. It is also one of the hallmarks of a professional intelligence officer. In many ways, al-Megrahi’s public stance regarding the bombing can be summed up by the unofficial motto of the CIA’s Office of Technical Services — “Admit nothing, deny everything, make counter-accusations.”

In the shadow world of covert action it is not uncommon for the governments behind such actions to deny (or at least not claim) responsibility for them. These governments also often attempt to plan such attacks in a way that will lead to a certain level of ambiguity — and thereby provide plausible deniability. This was a characteristic seen in many Libyan attacks against U.S. interests, such as the 1986 La Belle Disco bombing in Berlin. It was only an intercept of Libyan communications that provided proof of Libyan responsibility for that attack.

Many attacks that the Libyans sponsored or subcontracted out, such as the string of attacks carried out against U.S. interests by members of the Japanese Red Army and claimed in the name of the Anti-Imperialist International Brigade, were likewise meant to provide Libya with plausible deniability. Gadhafi did not relish the possibility of another American airstrike on his home in Tripoli, like the one that occurred after the La Belle attack in April 1986. (A number of Libyan military targets also were hit in the broader U.S. military action, known as Operation El Dorado Canyon.) Pan Am 103 is considered by many to be Gadhafi’s retribution for those American airstrikes, one of which killed his adopted baby daughter. Gadhafi, who had reportedly been warned of the strike by the Italian government, was not injured in the attack.

During the 1980s, the Libyan government was locked in a heated tit-for-tat battle with the United States. One source of this friction were U.S. claims that the Libyan government supported terrorist groups such as the Abu Nidal Organization (ANO), which conducted several brutal, high-profile attacks in the 1980s, including the December 1985 Rome and Vienna airport assaults. There was also military tension between the two countries as Libya declared a “line of death” across the mouth of the Gulf of Sidra. The U.S. Navy shot down several Libyan fighter aircraft that had attempted to enforce the edict. But these two threads of tension were closely intertwined; the U.S. Navy purposefully challenged the line of death in the spring of 1986 in response to the Rome and Vienna attacks, and it is believed that the La Belle attack was retribution for the U.S. military action in the Gulf of Sidra. The Libyan ESO was also directly implicated in attacks against U.S. diplomats in Sanaa, Yemen, and Khartoum, Sudan, in 1986.

Because of the need for plausible deniability, covert operatives are instructed to stick to their cover story and maintain their innocence if they are caught. Al-Megrahi’s consistent denials and his many appeals, which often cite the PFLP-GC case in Frankfurt, have done a great deal to sow doubt and provide Libya with some deniability.

Like Osama bin Laden’s initial denial of responsibility for the 9/11 attacks, al-Megrahi’s claims of innocence have served as ready fuel for conspiracy theorists, who claim he was framed by the U.S. and British governments. However, any conspiracy to frame al-Megrahi and his Libyan masters would have to be very wide ranging and, by necessity, reach much further than just London and Washington. For example, anyone considering such a conspiracy must also account for the fact that in 1999 a French court convicted six Libyans in absentia for the 1989 bombing of UTA Flight 772. The six included Abdullah al-Sanussi, Gadhafi’s brother-in-law and head of the ESO.

Getting two or more governments to cooperate on some sort of grand conspiracy to frame the Libyans and exonerate the Iranians and Syrians is hard to fathom. Such cooperation would have to involve enough people that, sooner or later, someone would spill the beans — especially considering that the Pan Am 103 saga played out over multiple U.S. administrations. As seen by the current stir over CIA interrogation programs, administrations love to make political hay by revealing the cover-ups of previous administrations. Surely, if there had been a secret ploy by the Reagan or Bush administrations to frame the Libyans, the Clinton or Obama administration would have outed it. The same principle applies to the United Kingdom, where Margaret Thatcher’s government oversaw the beginning of the Pan Am 103 investigation and Labour governments after 1997 would have had the incentive to reveal information to the contrary.

While the U.S. and British governments work closely together on a number of intelligence projects, they are frequently at odds on counterterrorism policy and foreign relations. From our personal experience, we believe that it would be very difficult to get multiple U.S. and British administrations from different political parties to work in perfect harmony to further this sort of conspiracy. Due to the UTA investigation and trial, the conspiracy would have to somehow involve the French government. While the Americans working with the British is one thing, the very idea of the Americans, British and French working in perfect harmony on any sort of project — much less a grand secret conspiracy to frame the Libyans — is simply unimaginable. It is much easier to believe that the Libyans were guilty, especially in light of the litany of other terror attacks they committed or sponsored during that era.

Had the IED in the cargo hold of Pan Am 103 exploded over the open ocean, it is very unlikely that the clothing from Malta and the fragment of the MEBO timer would have ever been recovered — think of the difficulty the French have had in locating the black box from Air France 447 in June of this year. In such a scenario, the evidence linking al-Megrahi and the Libyan government to the Pan Am bombing might never have been discovered and plausible deniability could have been maintained indefinitely.

The evidence recovered in Scotland and al-Megrahi’s eventual conviction put a dent in that deniability, but the true authors of the attack — al-Megrahi’s superiors — were never formally charged. Without al-Megrahi’s cooperation, there was no evidence to prove who ordered him to undertake the attack, though it is logical to conclude that the ESO would never undertake such a significant attack without Gadhafi’s approval.

Now that al-Megrahi has returned to Libya and is in Libyan safekeeping, there is no chance that any death-bed confession he may give will ever make it to the West. His denials will be his final words and the ambiguity and doubt those denials cast will be his legacy. In the shadowy world of clandestine operations, this is the ideal behavior for someone caught committing an operational act. He has shielded his superiors and his government to the end. From the perspective of the ESO, and Moammar Gadhafi, al-Megrahi is indeed a hero.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Return of Swine Flu

Obama's Foreign Policy: The End of the Beginning


Obama's Foreign Policy: The End of the Beginning
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August 24, 2009 | 1845 GMT

Graphic for Geopolitical Intelligence Report

By George Friedman
Related Link

* Special Series: Obama’s Foreign Policy Landscape

As August draws to a close, so does the first phase of the Obama presidency. The first months of any U.S. presidency are spent filling key positions and learning the levers of foreign and national security policy. There are also the first rounds of visits with foreign leaders and the first tentative forays into foreign policy. The first summer sees the leaders of the Northern Hemisphere take their annual vacations, and barring a crisis or war, little happens in the foreign policy arena. Then September comes and the world gets back in motion, and the first phase of the president’s foreign policy ends. The president is no longer thinking about what sort of foreign policy he will have; he now has a foreign policy that he is carrying out.

We therefore are at a good point to stop and consider not what U.S. President Barack Obama will do in the realm of foreign policy, but what he has done and is doing. As we have mentioned before, the single most remarkable thing about Obama’s foreign policy is how consistent it is with the policies of former President George W. Bush. This is not surprising. Presidents operate in the world of constraints; their options are limited. Still, it is worth pausing to note how little Obama has deviated from the Bush foreign policy.

During the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign, particularly in its early stages, Obama ran against the Iraq war. The centerpiece of his early position was that the war was a mistake, and that he would end it. Obama argued that Bush’s policies — and more important, his style — alienated U.S. allies. He charged Bush with pursuing a unilateral foreign policy, alienating allies by failing to act in concert with them. In doing so, he maintained that the war in Iraq destroyed the international coalition the United States needs to execute any war successfully. Obama further argued that Iraq was a distraction and that the major effort should be in Afghanistan. He added that the United States would need its NATO allies’ support in Afghanistan. He said an Obama administration would reach out to the Europeans, rebuild U.S. ties there and win greater support from them.

Though around 40 countries cooperated with the United States in Iraq, albeit many with only symbolic contributions, the major continental European powers — particularly France and Germany — refused to participate. When Obama spoke of alienating allies, he clearly meant these two countries, as well as smaller European powers that had belonged to the U.S. Cold War coalition but were unwilling to participate in Iraq and were now actively hostile to U.S. policy.
A European Rebuff

Early in his administration, Obama made two strategic decisions. First, instead of ordering an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, he adopted the Bush administration’s policy of a staged withdrawal keyed to political stabilization and the development of Iraqi security forces. While he tweaked the timeline on the withdrawal, the basic strategy remained intact. Indeed, he retained Bush’s defense secretary, Robert Gates, to oversee the withdrawal.

Second, he increased the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The Bush administration had committed itself to Afghanistan from 9/11 onward. But it had remained in a defensive posture in the belief that given the forces available, enemy capabilities and the historic record, that was the best that could be done, especially as the Pentagon was almost immediately reoriented and refocused on the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq. Toward the end, the Bush administration began exploring — under the influence of Gen. David Petraeus, who designed the strategy in Iraq — the possibility of some sort of political accommodation in Afghanistan.

Obama has shifted his strategy in Afghanistan to this extent: He has moved from a purely defensive posture to a mixed posture of selective offense and defense, and has placed more forces into Afghanistan (although the United States still has nowhere near the number of troops the Soviets had when they lost their Afghan war). Therefore, the core structure of Obama’s policy remains the same as Bush’s except for the introduction of limited offensives. In a major shift since Obama took office, the Pakistanis have taken a more aggressive stance (or at least want to appear more aggressive) toward the Taliban and al Qaeda, at least within their own borders. But even so, Obama’s basic strategy remains the same as Bush’s: hold in Afghanistan until the political situation evolves to the point that a political settlement is possible.

Most interesting is how little success Obama has had with the French and the Germans. Bush had given up asking for assistance in Afghanistan, but Obama tried again. He received the same answer Bush did: no. Except for some minor, short-term assistance, the French and Germans were unwilling to commit forces to Obama’s major foreign policy effort, something that stands out.

Given the degree to which the Europeans disliked Bush and were eager to have a president who would revert the U.S.-European relationship to what it once was (at least in their view), one would have thought the French and Germans would be eager to make some substantial gesture rewarding the United States for selecting a pro-European president. Certainly, it was in their interest to strengthen Obama. That they proved unwilling to make that gesture suggests that the French and German relationship with the United States is much less important to Paris and Berlin than it would appear. Obama, a pro-European president, was emphasizing a war France and Germany approved of over a war they disapproved of and asked for their help, but virtually none was forthcoming.
The Russian Non-Reset

Obama’s desire to reset European relations was matched by his desire to reset U.S.-Russian relations. Ever since the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine in late 2004 and early 2005, U.S.-Russian relations had deteriorated dramatically, with Moscow charging Washington with interfering in the internal affairs of former Soviet republics with the aim of weakening Russia. This culminated in the Russo-Georgian war last August. The Obama administration has since suggested a “reset” in relations, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton actually carrying a box labeled “reset button” to her spring meeting with the Russians.

The problem, of course, was that the last thing the Russians wanted was to reset relations with the United States. They did not want to go back to the period after the Orange Revolution, nor did they want to go back to the period between the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Orange Revolution. The Obama administration’s call for a reset showed the distance between the Russians and the Americans: The Russians regard the latter period as an economic and geopolitical disaster, while the Americans regard it as quite satisfactory. Both views are completely understandable.

The Obama administration was signaling that it intends to continue the Bush administration’s Russia policy. That policy was that Russia had no legitimate right to claim priority in the former Soviet Union, and that the United States had the right to develop bilateral relations with any country and expand NATO as it wished. But the Bush administration saw the Russian leadership as unwilling to follow the basic architecture of relations that had developed after 1991, and as unreasonably redefining what the Americans thought of as a stable and desirable relationship. The Russian response was that an entirely new relationship was needed between the two countries, or the Russians would pursue an independent foreign policy matching U.S. hostility with Russian hostility. Highlighting the continuity in U.S.-Russian relations, plans for the prospective ballistic missile defense installation in Poland, a symbol of antagonistic U.S.-Russian relations, remain unchanged.

The underlying problem is that the Cold War generation of U.S. Russian experts has been supplanted by the post-Cold War generation, now grown to maturity and authority. If the Cold warriors were forged in the 1960s, the post-Cold warriors are forever caught in the 1990s. They believed that the 1990s represented a stable platform from which to reform Russia, and that the grumbling of Russians plunged into poverty and international irrelevancy at that time is simply part of the post-Cold War order. They believe that without economic power, Russia cannot hope to be an important player on the international stage. That Russia has never been an economic power even at the height of its influence but has frequently been a military power doesn’t register. Therefore, they are constantly expecting Russia to revert to its 1990s patterns, and believe that if Moscow doesn’t, it will collapse — which explains U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s interview in The Wall Street Journal where he discussed Russia’s decline in terms of its economic and demographic challenges. Obama’s key advisers come from the Clinton administration, and their view of Russia — like that of the Bush administration — was forged in the 1990s.
Foreign Policy Continuity Elsewhere

When we look at U.S.-China policy, we see very similar patterns with the Bush administration. The United States under Obama has the same interest in maintaining economic ties and avoiding political complications as the Bush administration did. Indeed, Hillary Clinton explicitly refused to involve herself in human rights issues during her visit to China. Campaign talk of engaging China on human rights issues is gone. Given the interests of both countries, this makes sense, but it is also noteworthy given the ample opportunity to speak to China on this front (and fulfill campaign promises) that has arisen since Obama took office (such as the Uighur riots).

Of great interest, of course, were the three great openings of the early Obama administration, to Cuba, to Iran, and to the Islamic world in general through his Cairo speech. The Cubans and Iranians rebuffed his opening, whereas the net result of the speech to the Islamic world remains unclear. With Iran we see the most important continuity. Obama continues to demand an end to Tehran’s nuclear program, and has promised further sanctions unless Iran agrees to enter into serious talks by late September.

On Israel, the United States has merely shifted the atmospherics. Both the Bush and Obama administrations demanded that the Israelis halt settlements, as have many other administrations. The Israelis have usually responded by agreeing to something small while ignoring the larger issue. The Obama administration seemed ready to make a major issue of this, but instead continued to maintain security collaboration with the Israelis on Iran and Lebanon (and we assume intelligence collaboration). Like the Bush administration, the Obama administration has not allowed the settlements to get in the way of fundamental strategic interests.

This is not a criticism of Obama. Presidents — all presidents — run on a platform that will win. If they are good presidents, they will leave behind these promises to govern as they must. This is what Obama has done. He ran for president as the antithesis of Bush. He has conducted his foreign policy as if he were Bush. This is because Bush’s foreign policy was shaped by necessity, and Obama’s foreign policy is shaped by the same necessity. Presidents who believe they can govern independent of reality are failures. Obama doesn’t intend to fail.