Thursday, March 31, 2011

Stop The Madness: Make The Dollar As Good As Gold

Stop The Madness: Make The Dollar As Good As Gold
Louis Woodhill - Unconventional Logic, FORBES, Mar. 30 2011

Unstable money creates anxiety. By now, the dollar has been unstable enough, for long enough, that this anxiety is popping out everywhere. TV commercials are urging people to buy gold, sales of “survivalist” books are rising, and consumer confidence is plunging. And, on March 22, “money” featured more prominently than tax cuts at a “Supply Side” conference in New York City, at which luminaries such as Robert Mundell, Steve Forbes, Arthur Laffer and Larry Kudlow offered their views.

Many of the participants in this conference called for “a return to the gold standard.” However, it is important to recognize that there are at least four distinct types of gold standards, and that some will work and some will not.

The most “fundamentalist” type of gold standard could be called the “Specie Standard” system. Under this system, the dollar is defined as a fixed weight of fine gold, and the monetary base consists of gold coins. Paper money is allowed, but only as warehouse receipts for gold coins. The size of the monetary base is determined by the amount of gold that is presented to the Treasury (or private banks) to be minted into gold coins. There is no central bank, and no attempt by government to influence interest rates. Fractional reserve banking is not allowed.

Proposals for setting the gold value of the dollar under a Specie Standard range from $20.67/oz (the gold price in 1930), to $14,300/oz, which is the gold price required to make it possible to replace all of M1 (currently about $1.9 trillion) with coins minted from half of the U.S. government’s gold holdings (which currently total about 261 million ounces).

A Specie Standard would not work. Gold cannot be used as money — there isn’t enough of it. Setting the gold price high enough (more than $14,000/oz) to make it possible to replace all of the dollars of M1 with gold coins would produce explosive inflation (as the rest of the world gleefully sold us gold and bought up our assets), followed by a steady, grinding deflation.

If it were possible to get past the “start up” issue, a Specie Standard would be operationally stable — it would not be prone to sudden, acute financial panics. However, it would yield a chronic deflation that would produce high unemployment and would likely make long-term debt financing too risky (for both lender and borrower) to be undertaken.

The second basic type of gold standard could be called the “Classic Gold Standard” system. This is what we had in the 1920s. Under this system, gold is the “final” money, and the dollars of the monetary base are redeemable for a fixed amount of gold upon demand. However, the monetary base consists not only of gold, but also of paper money and bank reserves created by the central bank. The size of the monetary base is under the discretionary control of the central bank, but is ultimately limited by a “gold coverage” law. The central bank sets short-term interest rates, and fractional reserve banking is allowed.

A Classic Gold Standard also will not work. Any monetary system that uses gold as money will produce deflation, as the economy grows faster than the supply of gold. Also, the central bank and the (fractional reserve) banking system would face a nearly irresistible temptation to use their ability to create money to hold the deflation at bay as long as possible. Unfortunately, this would cause deflation to build up in the system, and would guarantee a banking panic/liquidity crisis/economic collapse at some point. This is exactly what happened in 1930.

The third basic type of gold standard could be called the Bretton Woods system (after the monetary system that was used from 1948 to 1971). Under a Bretton Woods system, the monetary base consists of fiat dollars (both currency and bank reserves) created by the Federal Reserve. The monetary base is convertible into gold at the Fed or the Treasury (in the case of the actual Bretton Woods system, at $35/oz, but only for foreign central banks). The Fed sets short-term interest rates, and fractional reserve banking is allowed.

A Bretton Woods system could work. As in the case for all gold standards, setting the gold conversion price at the correct level would be crucial.

The actual Bretton Woods system failed because the Fed did not manage the size of the monetary base so as to keep the free market price of gold equal to the official price. However, a Bretton Woods system can be “attacked” via mass conversion of dollars into gold. It also creates the potential for the Fed to (mistakenly) provide opportunities for arbitrage between the official gold price and the interest rates set by the central bank.

The fourth type of gold standard could be called the “Dollar Bill” system. The name comes from the title of the bill that Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) is planning to introduce into the 112th Congress for the purpose of fulfilling Congress’ Constitutional mandate to “…coin money, (and) regulate the value thereof…” (Article I, Section 8).

Under a Dollar Bill system, the monetary base consists of fiat dollars (both currency and bank reserves) created by the Federal Reserve. The Fed is not allowed to set interest rates, and it is relieved of responsibility for promoting full employment. Instead, the Fed is tasked with employing its Open Market operations to adjust the size of the monetary base so as to keep the COMEX price of gold as close as operationally practical to a target gold price. Fractional reserve banking is allowed.

The target gold price is set by naming a “date and time certain” sometime in the near future, and then fixing the target price at the market price on the COMEX at that moment. This is similar to the approach that was used to establish the final exchange rates for the currencies that were replaced by the euro.

A Dollar Bill system could work. Unlike a Bretton Woods system, it cannot be “attacked” in an effort to drain Fort Knox and panic the Fed. And, because the Fed is not involved in setting short-term interest rates, it creates no opportunities for arbitrage. The mechanism used for setting the target gold price would force the markets to disclose “what gold is really worth”, thus avoiding both inflation and deflation at startup.

The Fed’s discretionary, fiat money, “dual mandate” system is failing. It is creating inflation, impeding economic growth, and provoking rising anxiety. It is sowing the seeds of a sudden, violent “dollar crisis”. It is time to stop the madness and make the U.S. dollar once again “as good as gold”. The “Dollar Bill” will show the way.

To Lower The Debt Ceiling, Fix The Monetary System
To Lower The Debt Ceiling, Fix The Monetary System
Rich Danker - Next Economy, FORBES, Mar. 30 2011

The federal debt limit is supposed to be a political straightjacket on tough-talking Republicans in Congress like Marco Rubio. However, there is a way out of it that would allow them to reset the debate on government spending rather than punt on an issue that has come to a head.

For decades, Republicans have been struggling to implement the conservative philosophy of limited government. What began as an unexpected sideshow with the budget deficits of Ronald Reagan turned into deep disappointment with George W. Bush and Republican Congresses of recent past. The return of the GOP leadership that was in place when that happened has been accompanied with a mea culpa of “We’re sorry, we won’t do it again.”

Which is why the federal debt ceiling, in most years an obscure technical aspect of public finance, means something in 2011. Republicans must either agree to raise it when it approaches its statutory limit in May or risk a default that would trigger a financial crisis. The best they might be able to do in terms of a negotiation is extract some discretionary spending cuts from the White House as something to show for raising the amount of approved federal borrowing past $14.3 trillion. The inevitability of this outcome reveals that despite the justified outrage on the part of voters, the GOP still has little in the way of viable solutions to the perennial size-of-government problem.

The way out of the debt ceiling straightjacket is to show that flawed fiscal policy enabled a truly flawed monetary system. Consider that half of the Treasury securities used to fund the public debt is in the hands of foreigners. This is not an accident but the result of the world’s monetary order: U.S. government IOUs form the basis of foreign central banks’ reserve money supply.

The federal debt ceiling is but an arbitrary limit on the seemingly limitless potential for our debt to be absorbed around the world because it has the unique feature of reserve currency status. Likewise, U.S. dollars are debt-based instruments themselves without any independent value beyond more dollars, which the Federal Reserve can always inject into the banking system through its open market operations. It is as if the whole monetary system was set up to enable over-borrowing and big government in America.

The dollar was solidified as the world’s reserve currency at the Bretton Woods monetary conference near the end of World War II. It was chosen as a compromise over the bancor, a supranational currency proposed by John Maynard Keynes. There was a check on dollar creation in the form of the gold exchange standard, which allowed foreign central banks to convert their dollar holdings into gold.

But the resulting systematic buildup of dollars abroad compelled the U.S. to completely back out of Bretton Woods by 1971, only a decade after it was fully up and running. Since that breaking point U.S. government debt has grown from $436 billion to the $14.3 trillion figure we are approaching. Federal spending, which under Bretton Woods had settled at a postwar average of about 18 percent of GDP, is now 25 percent of economic output. The monetary system, more than interest groups, pork-barrel politics, public choice theory, or weak-kneed Republicans, deserves most of the blame for this outcome.

The only way to get around the use of reserve currencies and the over-borrowing they lead to is to use an international money that is no particular government’s liability. Gold has served this role throughout history, being a commodity easily identifiable as money and one with a relatively steady production rate that mirrors economic growth in the long run.

Gold lets governments settle international payments deficits rather than recycle them into the reserve currency debt of choice, which supports excessive government borrowing and transmits market bubbles. The international gold standard, fully operational from 1873-1913, is the best historical model for price stability, economic growth, and transparency.

The party of limited government has been gradually losing the size-of-government struggle for decades. Now, shortly after taking office, an insurgency elected to Congress with fervent enthusiasm for cutting spending finds itself pressed to approve increasing the already outrageously-high debt limit. Hard budget rules were adopted as part of the same debate in the late 1980s, yet such terms have come and gone as the growing debt has remained a fact of economic and political life.

The only way to swear off overspending is to upend the monetary system that promotes it. A gold standard world, in addition to supporting economic prosperity, would compel governments to plan their spending based on conventional taxation and borrowing. It would likely produce something conservatives have always talked about but failed to deliver on: balanced budgets. If the new Republicans could help make that happen, they really would be different this time around.

Rich Danker is Project Director for Economics at American Principles Project, a Washington policy organization

AQAP and the Vacuum of Authority in Yemen


AQAP and the Vacuum of Authority in Yemen
March 31, 2011 | 0852 GMT

AQAP and the Vacuum of Authority in Yemen

By Scott Stewart

While the world’s attention is focused on the combat transpiring in Libya and the events in Egypt and Bahrain, Yemen has also descended into crisis. The country is deeply split over its support for Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and this profound divide has also extended to the most powerful institutions in the country — the military and the tribes — with some factions calling for Saleh to relinquish power and others supporting him. The tense standoff in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa has served to divert attention (and security forces) from other parts of the country.
Related Links

* Jihadism in 2011: A Persistent Grassroots Threat
* Middle East Unrest: Full Coverage

On March 28, an explosion at a munitions factory in southern Yemen killed at least 110 people. The factory, which reportedly produced AK rifles and ammunition, was located in the town of Jaar in Abyan province. Armed militants looted the factory March 27, and the explosion reportedly occurred the next day as local townspeople were rummaging through the factory. It is not known what sparked the explosion, but it is suspected to have been an accident, perhaps caused by careless smoking.

The government has reported that the jihadist group Aden-Abyan Islamic Army worked with militant separatists from the south to conduct the raid on the factory. Other sources have indicated to STRATFOR that they believe the raid was conducted by tribesman from Loder. Given the history of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) activity in the Loder area, if the tribesmen were indeed from Loder, it is highly likely they were at least sympathetic to AQAP if not affiliated with the group.

While it is in Saleh’s interest to play up the separatist and jihadist threats as a way of showing international and internal parties how important he is and why he should remain in power, these threats are indeed legitimate. Even in the best of times, there are large portions of Yemen that are under tenuous government control, and the current crisis has enlarged this power vacuum. Because of this lack of government focus and the opportunity to gather weapons in places like Jaar, militant groups such as AQAP, the strongest of al Qaeda’s regional franchise groups, have been provided with a golden opportunity. The question is: Will they be capable of fully exploiting it?

The Situation in Yemen

The raid on the arms factory in Jaar was facilitated by the fact that government security forces had been forced to focus elsewhere. Reports indicate that there was only a company of Yemeni troops in Jaar to guard the factory and that they were quickly overwhelmed by the militants. While the government moved a battalion into Jaar to restore order, those troops had to be taken from elsewhere. This confrontation between troops loyal to Saleh and those led by Brig. Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar in the capital city has also caused security forces from both sides to be drawn back to Sanaa in anticipation of a clash. It has also resulted in a vacuum of power in many parts of the country. Currently, government control over large parts of the country varies from town to town, especially in provinces such as Saada, al-Jouf, Shabwa and Abyan, which have long histories of separatist activity.

AQAP and the Vacuum of Authority in Yemen
(click here to enlarge image)

It is important to understand that Yemen was not a very cohesive entity going into this current crisis, and the writ of the central government has been continually challenged since the country’s founding. Until 1990, Yemen was split into two countries, the conservative, Saudi-influenced Yemen Arab Republic in the north and the Marxist, secular People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen in the south. In 1994, following a peaceful unification in 1990, a bloody civil war was fought between the north and the south. While the north won the war, tensions have remained high between the two sides, and there has long been a simmering anti-government sentiment in the south. This sentiment has periodically manifested itself in outbreaks of armed hostilities between the armed southern separatist movement and government forces.

In Yemen’s northwest, the al-Houthi rebels also have been waging a war of secession against the central government in Sanaa. In the last round of open hostilities, which ended in January 2010, the Yemeni government was unable to quell the uprising, and Saudi Arabia had to commit military forces to help force the al-Houthi rebels to capitulate.

Yemen’s tribes present another challenge to the central government. President Saleh had been able to use a system of patronage and payoffs to help secure the support of the country’s powerful tribes, but this recently has become more difficult with Saudi influence with the tribes eclipsing that of Saleh. In recent weeks, many prominent tribal leaders such as the al-Ahmars have decided to join the opposition and denounce Saleh. The tribes have always been largely independent and have controlled large sections of the country with very little government interference. Government influence there is even less now.

Saleh has also used the conservative tribes and jihadists to help him in his battles against secessionists in both the north and the south. They proved eager to fight the secular Marxists in the south and the Zaydi Shiite al-Houthi in the north. The practice of relying on the conservative tribes and jihadists has also blown back on the Yemeni regime and, as in Pakistan, there are jihadist sympathizers within the Yemeni security apparatus. Because of this dynamic, efforts to locate and root out AQAP elements have been very complicated and limited.

The Yemeni tribes practice a very conservative form of Islam, and their tribal traditions are in many ways similar to the Pashtunwali code in Pakistan. According to this tradition, any guest of the tribe — such as an al Qaeda militant — is vigorously protected once welcomed. They will also protect “sons of the tribe,” such as American-born Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a member of the powerful Awlak tribe (the Yemeni prime minister is the uncle of al-Awlaki’s father). The AQAP leadership has further exploited this tribal tradition by shrewdly marrying into many of the powerful tribes in order to solidify the mantle of protection they provide.


In late 2009, in the wake of the Christmas Day plot to destroy Northwest Airlines Flight 253, the Fort Hood shootings and the attempted assassination of the Saudi deputy interior minister, STRATFOR believed that 2010 was going to see a concerted effort by the Yemenis to destroy the AQAP organization. As 2010 passed, it became clear that, despite the urging and assistance of their U.S. and Saudi allies, the Yemenis had been unable to cause much damage to AQAP as an organization, and as evidenced by the Oct. 29, 2010, cargo-bomb attempt, AQAP finished 2010 stronger than we had anticipated.

In fact, as we entered 2011, AQAP had moved to the forefront of the international jihadist movement on the physical battlefield and had also begun to take a leading role in the ideological realm due to a number of factors, including the group’s popular Arabic-language online magazine Sada al-Malahim, the emergence of AQAP’s English-language Inspire magazine and the increased profile and popularity of al-Awlaki.

As we noted last month regarding Libya, jihadists have long thrived in chaotic environments such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia. Indeed, this is exactly why the leadership of AQAP left Saudi Arabia and relocated to the more permissive environment of Yemen. Unlike the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, AQAP is active, has attempted to conduct a number of transnational attacks, and has sought to encourage grassroots jihadists across the globe to think globally and attack locally. With the government of Yemen unable to prosecute a successful campaign against AQAP in 2010, the chance of them making much progress against the group in 2011 amid the current crisis is even more remote.

The United States has spent the past several years training up a “new guard” within the Yemeni security apparatus — mainly the Counter Terrorism Unit, National Security Bureau, Special Forces and Central Security Forces, which are all led by Saleh’s relatives — in an effort to counterbalance the influence of the Islamist old guard in the military (led by Saleh’s big competitor right now, Ali Mohsin). These select forces are now being tasked with protecting the Saleh regime against dissident units of the Yemeni military, which means there is no one left on the Yemeni side to focus on AQAP. This situation is likely to persist for some time as the standoff progresses and even after the installation of a new government, which will have to sort things out and deal with the separatist issues in the north and south. Indeed, these issues are seen as more pressing threats to the regime than AQAP and the jihadists.

If there is a transition of power in Yemen, and Mohsin and his faction come to power, there is likely to be a purge of these new guard forces and their leadership, which is loyal to Saleh. The result will be a removal of the new guard and an increase in the influence of the Islamists and jihadist sympathizers in the Yemeni security and intelligence apparatus. This could have a significant impact on U.S. counterterrorism efforts in Yemen, and provide a significant opportunity for AQAP.

The violence and civil unrest wracking Yemen has almost certainly curtailed the ability of American intelligence officers to travel, meet with people and collect much information pertaining to AQAP, especially in places that have fallen under militant control. Additionally, the attention of U.S. intelligence agencies has in all likelihood been diverted to the task of trying to gather intelligence pertaining to what is happening with Saleh and the opposition rather than what is happening with AQAP. This will likely provide AQAP with some breathing room.

The United States has been quietly active in Yemen, albeit in a limited way, under the auspices of the Yemeni government. If the Islamist old guard in the military assumes power, it is quite likely that this operational arrangement will not continue — at least not initially. Because of this, should the United States believe that the Saleh regime is about to fall, it may no longer be concerned about alienating the tribes that have supported Saleh, and if it has somehow obtained good intelligence regarding the location of various high-value AQAP targets, it may feel compelled to take unilateral action to attack those targets. Such an operational window will likely be limited, however, and once Saleh leaves, such opportunities will likely be lost.

If the United States is not able to take such unilateral action, AQAP will have an excellent opportunity to grow and flourish due to the preoccupation of Yemeni security forces with other things, and the possibility of having even more sympathizers in the government. Not only will this likely result in fewer offensive operations against AQAP in the tribal areas, but the group will also likely be able to acquire additional resources and weapons.

In the past, the leadership of AQAP has shown itself to be shrewd and adaptable, although the group has not displayed a high degree of tactical competence in past attacks against hard targets such as the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa and the British ambassador. Still, AQAP has come very close to succeeding in a number of failed yet innovative attacks outside of Yemen, including the assassination attempt against Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the Christmas Day 2009 underwear-bomb plot and the UPS printer-bomb plot in October 2010, and the window of opportunity that is opening for the group is sure to cause a great deal of angst in Washington, Riyadh and a number of European capitals. It remains to be seen if AQAP can take advantage of the situation in Yemen to conduct a successful attack outside of the country (or a hard target within the country) and finally make it into the terrorist big leagues.

Read more: AQAP and the Vacuum of Authority in Yemen | STRATFOR

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Plutonium found in the soil, radioactive fallout reaches Florida and the Carolinas

Plutonium found in soils near Fukushima, but governments say there's nothing to worry about
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of (See all articles...)

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(NaturalNews) In the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear meltdown catastrophe, plutonium has now been found in soil samples taken from five locations around Fukushima. Yes, plutonium. But here's the real whopper: The media is reporting "Officials insist that the plutonium poses no threat to humans." (

Seriously. I never thought I'd read in the press that "plutonium poses no threat to humans," but then again, there's practically nothing in the news these days that isn't distorted in order to either misinform or de-educate the masses.

Along similar lines, the TSA today applauded the publication of a new study in a conventional medical journal which claims that airport naked body scans are also perfectly safe for you (just like plutonium, eh?) (

On both the TSA's naked body scanners as well as nuclear meltdowns, the message from the government is exactly the same: Don't worry, what's a little fallout anyway? It's all good for ya!

Oh yeah, and mammograms are good for you, too. So is chemotherapy, and vaccines, and mercury fillings and fluoride in the water. Why not just dispose of all the radioactive water from Fukushima by dumping it into the public water supply and announcing it "prevents cavities?" (Don't repeat this too loudly, or some bureaucrat might actually overhear you and run with this idea...)

Latest status of the six reactors
• Reactor No. 1: Cooling systems still not functional. Reactor core damaged. Lights are on inside the building.

• Reactor No. 2: High radiation. Partial core meltdown admitted. Containment vessel likely damaged by the explosion.

• Reactor No. 3: Deadly MOX fuel. Very high radiation detected in cooling water. Partial core meltdown admitted. Cooling pumps are not working and radiation is too high to allow workers to fix them. Building severely damaged by explosion. Cooling pool may also be damaged.

• Reactor No. 4: Cooling water levels are low and efforts are being made to replenish the water levels.

• Reactor No. 5: Cooling pumps are working, the situation appears stable. This reactor was offline when the tsunami hit.

• Reactor No. 6: Appears to be safely under control. Cooling pumps are operating. This reactor was offline when the tsunami hit.


Meltdown events now confirmed
• A partial meltdown is now confirmed to have occurred at Reactor No. 2, where Chief cabinet secretary Yukio Edano now admits the highly radioactive water present in the plant had to have come into contact with a partially melted fuel core. (

• A similar meltdown almost certainly must have occurred in Reactor No. 3 where highly radioactive water is collecting in the basement of the power plant. "We're trying to prevent a deterioration of the situation," said Prime Minister Naoto Kan (

• The source of radioactive water in reactors 2 and 3 remains a mystery. Plant engineers can't figure out exactly where it's coming from, and at the same time, the very high levels of radiation in the water make it too dangerous for people to walk through it. (

• MSNBC has gone into total spin mode with its "happy happy" propaganda news about how safe and "natural" nuclear power will now become. In a puff piece entitled "New nuclear plants designed to be safest ever," actually states, "The key is humility. The next generation of plants must be built to work with nature -- and human nature -- rather than against them. They must be safe by design, so that even if every possible thing goes wrong, the outcome will stop short of disaster." ( That's a whole lot of wishful thinking, of course, but it's no surprise to hear it from a news organization that's largely owned by none other than General Electric, the manufacturer of the Fukushima power plant. Anyone who thinks they can get honest reporting on nuclear power from MSNBC is suffering from serious self delusion.

• Three reactors remain badly damaged, prompting BusinessWeek to publish this quote from UCS: "The cores of three reactors are still badly damaged and it's not clear that cooling can be restored to all the reactors, Edwin Lyman, a researcher at the Washington, D.C.-based Union of Concerned Scientists said." (

• The plan to restart the cooling pumps that would circulate water through the water pools that cool the spent fuel rods has turned out to be all but impossible to pursue. NISA spokesman Hidehiko Nishiyama said in an article on The Australian, "The problem is that right now nobody can reach the turbine houses where key electrical work must be done. There is a possibility we may have to give up on that plan." (

Learn more:

LIBYA—An Exercise in World Government

This little "charade" is nothing new, infact it has been going on for over 6 decades! Although the U.S. has started, supported, or covertly involved in so many wars all over the globe, the last official "Declaration Of War' that was declared by Congress was WORLD WAR 11, where our involvement could have been prevented. The attack against the U.S. was actually orchastrated and known months in advance and allowed to happen in order to claim defensive action and shock the American people INto demanding WE GO TO WAR because WE WERE ATTACKED FIRST.


An Exercise in World Government


While rightwingers keep declaiming about some vague,
future world government, a global regime is in the process
of actual establishment at this very moment. With the newest
undeclared war in the Middle East, we have here prima facie
evidence of an emerging pattern.

Forget all the proffered reasons for this latest act of aggression.
"Freedom & Democracy for the people of Libya" is stale vomit.
That the U.S. and its allies are intervening to protect civilians
is both laughable and oxymoronic, and those who planned
this war couldn't care less. The "collateral damage" that will
inevitably occur — as in Iraq and Afghanistan — is more likely
to exceed the number of deaths which intervention is supposed
to prevent. It's nothing but the same old story, designed to
provide a convenient cover for war.

Into the picture steps a president who, as head of the world's
greatest superpower, is eager to burnish his political credentials,
fancying perhaps that by going to war, he can go down in history
as a great man. And so, he orders the deployment of forces to
the target area. The stage is set.

All that is needed is proper authorization to proceed. After all,
doesn't the Constitution state (Article I, Section 8, Paragraph 11)
that Congress shall have the power to declare war, and we do
want to do things properly, don't we? Yes, but wait. That is no
longer necessary.

Why go to Congress to seek a declaration of war? After all,
there might be some misgivings about invading another country
that has not attacked us and where none of our vital national
interests are at stake. Better simply to go to the United Nations
and have its Security Council adopt some sort of vaguely
worded resolution giving one all the authority that is needed.

And that's just what the president does. With forces deployed,
he simply proceeds to order a sneak attack against the weaker,
selected, country — in an act of blatant, cowardly aggression.

This, in a nutshell, is what the president has done. In seeking
authorization for war from the U.N., a supranational body
nowhere mentioned in the Constitution, he has successfully
circumvented the Congress completely, excluding it from any
and all deliberative discussion. Thus, he has affirmed that the
authority of that international Frankenstein now supersedes
that of any lawful representative body of the United States.

De facto, the United States is thus no longer a sovereign nation,
but a vassal state, whose world policemen are called to shed
their blood, so that this planet might be made safe for Freedom
& Democracy. It operates solely at the pleasure and sufferance
of an alien, cosmopolitan cabal, representing not the interests
of any gentile people on this Earth, but the global agenda
of a putrid, decaying Old Order.

Magically recycled as a so-called "New World Order," this
Alice-in-Wonderland, plutocratic construct should thus be
correctly defined as a — Jew World Order (JWO).

What Happened to the American Declaration of War?


What Happened to the American Declaration of War?
March 29, 2011 | 0853 GMT

What Happened to the American Declaration of War?

By George Friedman

In my book “The Next Decade,” I spend a good deal of time considering the relation of the American Empire to the American Republic and the threat the empire poses to the republic. If there is a single point where these matters converge, it is in the constitutional requirement that Congress approve wars through a declaration of war and in the abandonment of this requirement since World War II. This is the point where the burdens and interests of the United States as a global empire collide with the principles and rights of the United States as a republic.

World War II was the last war the United States fought with a formal declaration of war. The wars fought since have had congressional approval, both in the sense that resolutions were passed and that Congress appropriated funds, but the Constitution is explicit in requiring a formal declaration. It does so for two reasons, I think. The first is to prevent the president from taking the country to war without the consent of the governed, as represented by Congress. Second, by providing for a specific path to war, it provides the president power and legitimacy he would not have without that declaration; it both restrains the president and empowers him. Not only does it make his position as commander in chief unassailable by authorizing military action, it creates shared responsibility for war. A declaration of war informs the public of the burdens they will have to bear by leaving no doubt that Congress has decided on a new order — war — with how each member of Congress voted made known to the public.

Almost all Americans have heard Franklin Roosevelt’s speech to Congress on Dec. 8, 1941: “Yesterday, Dec. 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan … I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, Dec. 7, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.”

It was a moment of majesty and sobriety, and with Congress’ affirmation, represented the unquestioned will of the republic. There was no going back, and there was no question that the burden would be borne. True, the Japanese had attacked the United States, making getting the declaration easier. But that’s what the founders intended: Going to war should be difficult; once at war, the commander in chief’s authority should be unquestionable.

Forgoing the Declaration

It is odd, therefore, that presidents who need that authorization badly should forgo pursuing it. Not doing so has led to seriously failed presidencies: Harry Truman in Korea, unable to seek another term; Lyndon Johnson in Vietnam, also unable to seek a new term; George W. Bush in Afghanistan and Iraq, completing his terms but enormously unpopular. There was more to this than undeclared wars, but that the legitimacy of each war was questioned and became a contentious political issue certainly is rooted in the failure to follow constitutional pathways.

In understanding how war and constitutional norms became separated, we must begin with the first major undeclared war in American history (the Civil War was not a foreign war), Korea. When North Korea invaded South Korea, Truman took recourse to the new U.N. Security Council. He wanted international sanction for the war and was able to get it because the Soviet representatives happened to be boycotting the Security Council over other issues at the time.

Truman’s view was that U.N. sanction for the war superseded the requirement for a declaration of war in two ways. First, it was not a war in the strict sense, he argued, but a “police action” under the U.N. Charter. Second, the U.N. Charter constituted a treaty, therefore implicitly binding the United States to go to war if the United Nations so ordered. Whether Congress’ authorization to join the United Nations both obligated the United States to wage war at U.N. behest, obviating the need for declarations of war because Congress had already authorized police actions, is an interesting question. Whatever the answer, Truman set a precedent that wars could be waged without congressional declarations of war and that other actions — from treaties to resolutions to budgetary authorizations — mooted declarations of war.

If this was the founding precedent, the deepest argument for the irrelevancy of the declaration of war is to be found in nuclear weapons. Starting in the 1950s, paralleling the Korean War, was the increasing risk of nuclear war. It was understood that if nuclear war occurred, either through an attack by the Soviets or a first strike by the United States, time and secrecy made a prior declaration of war by Congress impossible. In the expected scenario of a Soviet first strike, there would be only minutes for the president to authorize counterstrikes and no time for constitutional niceties. In that sense, it was argued fairly persuasively that the Constitution had become irrelevant to the military realities facing the republic.

Nuclear war was seen as the most realistic war-fighting scenario, with all other forms of war trivial in comparison. Just as nuclear weapons came to be called “strategic weapons” with other weapons of war occupying a lesser space, nuclear war became identical with war in general. If that was so, then constitutional procedures that could not be applied to nuclear war were simply no longer relevant.

Paradoxically, if nuclear warfare represented the highest level of warfare, there developed at the lowest level covert operations. Apart from the nuclear confrontation with the Soviets, there was an intense covert war, from back alleys in Europe to the Congo, Indochina to Latin America. Indeed, it was waged everywhere precisely because the threat of nuclear war was so terrible: Covert warfare became a prudent alternative. All of these operations had to be deniable. An attempt to assassinate a Soviet agent or raise a secret army to face a Soviet secret army could not be validated with a declaration of war. The Cold War was a series of interconnected but discrete operations, fought with secret forces whose very principle was deniability. How could declarations of war be expected in operations so small in size that had to be kept secret from Congress anyway?

There was then the need to support allies, particularly in sending advisers to train their armies. These advisers were not there to engage in combat but to advise those who did. In many cases, this became an artificial distinction: The advisers accompanied their students on missions, and some died. But this was not war in any conventional sense of the term. And therefore, the declaration of war didn’t apply.

By the time Vietnam came up, the transition from military assistance to advisers to advisers in combat to U.S. forces at war was so subtle that there was no moment to which you could point that said that we were now in a state of war where previously we weren’t. Rather than ask for a declaration of war, Johnson used an incident in the Tonkin Gulf to get a congressional resolution that he interpreted as being the equivalent of war. The problem here was that it was not clear that had he asked for a formal declaration of war he would have gotten one. Johnson didn’t take that chance.

What Johnson did was use Cold War precedents, from the Korean War, to nuclear warfare, to covert operations to the subtle distinctions of contemporary warfare in order to wage a substantial and extended war based on the Tonkin Gulf resolution — which Congress clearly didn’t see as a declaration of war — instead of asking for a formal declaration. And this represented the breakpoint. In Vietnam, the issue was not some legal or practical justification for not asking for a declaration. Rather, it was a political consideration.

Johnson did not know that he could get a declaration; the public might not be prepared to go to war. For this reason, rather than ask for a declaration, he used all the prior precedents to simply go to war without a declaration. In my view, that was the moment the declaration of war as a constitutional imperative collapsed. And in my view, so did the Johnson presidency. In hindsight, he needed a declaration badly, and if he could not get it, Vietnam would have been lost, and so may have been his presidency. Since Vietnam was lost anyway from lack of public consensus, his decision was a mistake. But it set the stage for everything that came after — war by resolution rather than by formal constitutional process.

After the war, Congress created the War Powers Act in recognition that wars might commence before congressional approval could be given. However, rather than returning to the constitutional method of the Declaration of War, which can be given after the commencement of war if necessary (consider World War II) Congress chose to bypass declarations of war in favor of resolutions allowing wars. Their reason was the same as the president’s: It was politically safer to authorize a war already under way than to invoke declarations of war.

All of this arose within the assertion that the president’s powers as commander in chief authorized him to engage in warfare without a congressional declaration of war, an idea that came in full force in the context of nuclear war and then was extended to the broader idea that all wars were at the discretion of the president. From my simple reading, the Constitution is fairly clear on the subject: Congress is given the power to declare war. At that moment, the president as commander in chief is free to prosecute the war as he thinks best. But constitutional law and the language of the Constitution seem to have diverged. It is a complex field of study, obviously.

An Increasing Tempo of Operations

All of this came just before the United States emerged as the world’s single global power — a global empire — that by definition would be waging war at an increased tempo, from Kuwait, to Haiti, to Kosovo, to Afghanistan, to Iraq, and so on in an ever-increasing number of operations. And now in Libya, we have reached the point that even resolutions are no longer needed.

It is said that there is no precedent for fighting al Qaeda, for example, because it is not a nation but a subnational group. Therefore, Bush could not reasonably have been expected to ask for a declaration of war. But there is precedent: Thomas Jefferson asked for and received a declaration of war against the Barbary pirates. This authorized Jefferson to wage war against a subnational group of pirates as if they were a nation.

Had Bush requested a declaration of war on al Qaeda on Sept. 12, 2001, I suspect it would have been granted overwhelmingly, and the public would have understood that the United States was now at war for as long as the president thought wise. The president would have been free to carry out operations as he saw fit. Roosevelt did not have to ask for special permission to invade Guadalcanal, send troops to India, or invade North Africa. In the course of fighting Japan, Germany and Italy, it was understood that he was free to wage war as he thought fit. In the same sense, a declaration of war on Sept. 12 would have freed him to fight al Qaeda wherever they were or to move to block them wherever the president saw fit.

Leaving aside the military wisdom of Afghanistan or Iraq, the legal and moral foundations would have been clear — so long as the president as commander in chief saw an action as needed to defeat al Qaeda, it could be taken. Similarly, as commander in chief, Roosevelt usurped constitutional rights for citizens in many ways, from censorship to internment camps for Japanese-Americans. Prisoners of war not adhering to the Geneva Conventions were shot by military tribunal — or without. In a state of war, different laws and expectations exist than during peace. Many of the arguments against Bush-era intrusions on privacy also could have been made against Roosevelt. But Roosevelt had a declaration of war and full authority as commander in chief during war. Bush did not. He worked in twilight between war and peace.

One of the dilemmas that could have been avoided was the massive confusion of whether the United States was engaged in hunting down a criminal conspiracy or waging war on a foreign enemy. If the former, then the goal is to punish the guilty. If the latter, then the goal is to destroy the enemy. Imagine that after Pearl Harbor, FDR had promised to hunt down every pilot who attacked Pearl Harbor and bring them to justice, rather than calling for a declaration of war against a hostile nation and all who bore arms on its behalf regardless of what they had done. The goal in war is to prevent the other side from acting, not to punish the actors.

The Importance of the Declaration

A declaration of war, I am arguing, is an essential aspect of war fighting particularly for the republic when engaged in frequent wars. It achieves a number of things. First, it holds both Congress and the president equally responsible for the decision, and does so unambiguously. Second, it affirms to the people that their lives have now changed and that they will be bearing burdens. Third, it gives the president the political and moral authority he needs to wage war on their behalf and forces everyone to share in the moral responsibility of war. And finally, by submitting it to a political process, many wars might be avoided. When we look at some of our wars after World War II it is not clear they had to be fought in the national interest, nor is it clear that the presidents would not have been better remembered if they had been restrained. A declaration of war both frees and restrains the president, as it was meant to do.

I began by talking about the American empire. I won’t make the argument on that here, but simply assert it. What is most important is that the republic not be overwhelmed in the course of pursuing imperial goals. The declaration of war is precisely the point at which imperial interests can overwhelm republican prerogatives.

There are enormous complexities here. Nuclear war has not been abolished. The United States has treaty obligations to the United Nations and other countries. Covert operations are essential, as is military assistance, both of which can lead to war. I am not making the argument that constant accommodation to reality does not have to be made. I am making the argument that the suspension of Section 8 of Article I as if it is possible to amend the Constitution with a wink and nod represents a mortal threat to the republic. If this can be done, what can’t be done?

My readers will know that I am far from squeamish about war. I have questions about Libya, for example, but I am open to the idea that it is a low-cost, politically appropriate measure. But I am not open to the possibility that quickly after the commencement of hostilities the president need not receive authority to wage war from Congress. And I am arguing that neither the Congress nor the president has the authority to substitute resolutions for declarations of war. Nor should either want to. Politically, this has too often led to disaster for presidents. Morally, committing the lives of citizens to waging war requires meticulous attention to the law and proprieties.

As our international power and interests surge, it would seem reasonable that our commitment to republican principles would surge. These commitments appear inconvenient. They are meant to be. War is a serious matter, and presidents and particularly Congresses should be inconvenienced on the road to war. Members of Congress should not be able to hide behind ambiguous resolutions only to turn on the president during difficult times, claiming that they did not mean what they voted for. A vote on a declaration of war ends that. It also prevents a president from acting as king by default. Above all, it prevents the public from pretending to be victims when their leaders take them to war. The possibility of war will concentrate the mind of a distracted public like nothing else. It turns voting into a life-or-death matter, a tonic for our adolescent body politic.

Read more: What Happened to the American Declaration of War? | STRATFOR

Southwesterly Winds Over Japan Could take Radioactive Materials Out to Sea

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Southwesterly Winds Over Japan Could take Radioactive Materials Out to Sea

State College, Pa. -- 28 March 2011 -- AccuWeather reports winds blowing out to sea from the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant will prevail in northeastern Japan the next few days.

Light southwesterly winds will waft over the eastward-facing shore site on Tuesday. Any emitted radioactive matter would tend to drift out to sea under such conditions.

On Wednesday, low pressure triggering some cold rain and mountain snow in northeastern Honshu will drift through the site, disrupting wind flow. Winds will vary, at times blowing onshore at the Fukushima site. Radioactive matter could be deposited over land near and downwind from the power plant.

In the wake of the low, offshore winds will set in anew, first from the northwest, then from the southwest on Friday.

By Heather Buchman, Meteorologist for

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Or call our 24-hour press hotline:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Unanswered questions about Libya


Unanswered questions about Libya
By: Glenn Thrush and Abby Phillip
March 24, 2011 04:31 AM EDT

It’s hard to find a precedent for a president ordering U.S. military forces into action, then heading off for a five-day tour of Latin America, but that’s just what President Barack Obama did when he approved the deployment of air and naval assets to establish a no-fly zone over Libya.

His homecoming gift is a barrage of questions about the military action Obama aides refuse to label a “war.”

Obama was asked the most obvious question — what is the U.S. endgame in Libya? — several times during his trip. His answers seemed deliberately obtuse: To stop a humanitarian crisis and, hopefully, drive Muammar Qadhafi from power, while at the same time ceding leadership of the effort to countries with a direct regional stake in the outcome — France and Arab League nations — sooner rather than later.

But here are four more questions, whose answers will likely determine whether Libya is a foreign policy success or failure for Obama:

Can we really get out fast?

As attacks on Libya entered their fifth day, American aircraft have been increasingly bearing the brunt of front-line combat operations – flying 113 of the 175 sorties conducted over the last 24 hours — despite repeated assurances from the White House and State Department that the U.S. was about to take a back seat. (Related: Obama: Allies to take Libya lead soon)

The Obama administration prides itself on moving quickly in times of crisis, but this time they have moved so quickly to counter Qadhafi’s threat to rebels they were forced to create a command structure “on the fly,” in the words of Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

The problem is that U.S. partners – France, Britain and Turkey – have spent the past two days squabbling about a new organizational structure to replace what Obama calls the U.S.’s “unique” capacity to quarterback command-and-control functions. (Related: Nicolas Sarkozy’s war)

In other words, we’re ready to turn in the rental car, but can’t find anyone to take the keys and contract.

Obama, said Lawrence Korb, a former Reagan administration defense analyst now with the left-leaning Center for American Progress, is trying to “have the best of all possible worlds. We’re still going to be involved, but we’re not going to be running the show.”

But that makes for a potentially muddled chain of command, an issue that was not settled before the U.S. decided to send in the first missiles.

“It is very dangerous to have confusion about command and control. If people’s lives are at risk and you’re using military forces, you need to have a rather clear understanding as to who’s in charge and who’s making the decisions,” former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who knows a thing or two about the hazards of poor planning, told POLITICO.

“And these unusual debates that are taking place about who’s going to be in command, what military official is going to be in command, which country, I think has to be worrisome for people.”

Still, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pronounced herself “relaxed” about the hand-off to U.S. allies in an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer Tuesday night. (Related: Hillary Clinton may testify on Libya)

France? Are you kidding?

There’s one problem with that scenario. While the U.S. is insisting NATO take charge, France, with an assist from Turkey, has thus far blocked NATO from assuming overall command of the mission.

The French argument: A NATO takeover would westernize the effort, discouraging already nervous Arab League countries from stepping up to take combat risks and to defray no-fly zone costs, estimated to be as high $100 million per month.

A gung-ho French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who ordered his planes into combat over Libya on Saturday before the ink on U.N. Resolution 1973 was quite dry, is eager to take a lead role and the White House is equally eager to bow out as quickly as possible (“Days not weeks,” has been Obama’s mantra). But the two sides aren’t yet close to agreement.

Even if a deal is cut, French leadership of the effort raises questions about whether the U.S. and France are on the same page about a complex military coalition requiring patience and tact. And the optics of a U.S. president handing over a sensitive operation to a nation parodied – especially by American conservatives - as the icon of European self-indulgence, are not good.

Then there’s France’s balky relationship with European neighbors, many of them now tilting to the U.S. position on the supremacy of NATO. On Wednesday, for instance, Italy’s foreign minister accused France of being “intransigent” and called on Sarkozy’s advisers to “to return to the rules” of NATO.

The larger problem, warns Scott Carpenter of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, is that the U.S. wants to cede leadership to France while still shaping the operation — classic back-seat driving.

“The [administration] is trying to cobble together this diplomatic coalition post facto while you already have planes in the air,” he said. “Trying to lead from behind is hard. … It’s very difficult, and it takes time, and it’s fragile and you have to work very, very hard at it.”

Again, Clinton remains confident. “NATO will definitely be involved,” she predicted, “It’s moving forward in the right direction, and we will have what we need in the next few days.” (Related: Hillary Clinton says she'll stay into a second term)

Will Congress rebel?

Obama’s decision to authorize military action was made on short notice and without even the most cursory consultation with congressional leaders beforehand. A coalition of progressive Democrats immediately raised questions about the constitutionality of committing U.S. forces based on a U.N. resolution alone — and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) has even threatened Obama with impeachment.

But the more serious threat comes from the right. Senate Minority Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been stone silent on Libya, leaving it to elder Indiana statesman Dick Lugar, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — and normally an ally of Obama’s on international issues — to question the lack of an endgame for the Libyan mission or a dedicated revenue stream to pay for it. (Related: What is the Libya endgame?)

And House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who was reportedly infuriated that he was only briefed on the mission by an Obama subordinate on the day the U.N. Security Council resolution passed, seems intent on confronting Obama directly on the issue.

“I and many other members of the House of Representatives are troubled that U.S. military resources were committed to war without clearly defining for the American people, the Congress, and our troops what the mission in Libya is and what America’s role is in achieving that mission,” Boehner wrote Wednesday in a less than friendly welcome back letter. (Related: W.H. to Hill: We're not at war)

“In fact, the limited, sometimes contradictory, case made to the American people by members of your administration has left some fundamental questions about our engagement unanswered. At the same time, by contrast, it appears your administration has consulted extensively on these same matters with foreign entities such as the United Nations and the Arab League.”

Boehner isn’t calling for legislative action yet — but he did present Obama with a list of questions he wants answered, including the cost of the mission, along with a demand for “a clear and robust assessment of the scope, objective, and purpose” of the Libyan no fly zone.

Several Democratic senators leapt to Obama’s defense, with Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, a friend of the president’s, saying Obama moved quickly to “stop the slaughter of the Libyan people by their own leader.”

And if White House press secretary Jay Carney had any regrets for the lack of consultation he wasn’t showing it. “I would also say that it’s important to remember that in the run-up to this action we were criticized somewhat, in fact fairly frequently, by those who felt like we weren’t moving quickly enough,” he told reporters on the flight back from San Salvador to Washington Wednesday. “And now there are some who are criticizing us for not going — for going too quickly.”

What if Qadhafi holds on?

Clinton and some Obama aides remain confident that airpower will be enough to topple Qadhafi within a relatively short time. But there’s a growing camp inside the administration that believes it will take longer — and if Libya is divided temporarily between Qadhafi-held Tripoli and rebel-controlled strongholds like Benghazi, it is an acceptable medium-term alternative to quick regime change, administration officials told POLITICO.

“The long game” alternative, an Obama adviser said, is boxing the dictator up in his citadel, subjecting him to a blockade and a cut-off of his overseas bank accounts — while allies arm, train, feed and support the ostensibly pro-democracy rebel forces.

“It’s not our first choice,” the person said. “But it could work.”

The downside of that strategy is that Qadhafi will have control over significant territory and be free to persecute or even murder his opponents — if Obama sticks to his no-boots-on-the-ground commitment.

“There is no button in the Pentagon that can be pressed to stop police in Tripoli from firing on innocent protesters,” said the Human Rights Council’s Tom Malinowski. “And I think that’s broadly understood.”

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated the day House Speaker John Boehner was briefed on the Libyan mission. The briefing occurred last Thursday, the day the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution calling for a no-fly zone.

Europe's Libya Intervention: A Special Report


Europe's Libya Intervention: A Special Report

March 25, 2011

Distinct interests sparked the European involvement in Libya. The United Kingdom and France have issued vociferous calls for intervention in Libya for the past month, ultimately managing to convince the rest of Europe — with some notable exceptions — to join in military action, the Arab League to offer its initial support, and global powers China and Russia to abstain from voting at the U.N. Security Council.

U.S. President Barack Obama said March 21 that the leadership of the U.S.-European coalition against Libya would be transitioned to the European allies “in a matter of days.” While the United States would retain the lead during Operation Odyssey Dawn — intended to incapacitate Tripoli’s command and control, stationary air defenses and airfields — Obama explained that Odyssey Dawn would create the “conditions for our European allies and Arab partners to carry out the measures authorized by the U.N. Security Council resolution.” While Obama pointed out that the U.S.-European intervention in Libya is very much Europe’s war, French nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (R91) and Italian aircraft carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi (551) arrived in waters near Libya, giving Europeans a valuable asset from which to increase European air sortie generation rates and time on station.

Before analyzing the disparate interests of European nations in Libya, one must first take stock of this coalition in terms of its stated military and political goals.

The Military Response to the ‘Arab Spring’

The intervention in Libya thus far has been restricted to the enforcement of a no-fly zone and to limited attacks against ground troops loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in the open. However, the often-understated but implied political goal seems to be the end of the Gadhafi regime. (Some French and British leaders certainly have not shied from stressing that point.)

Europeans are not united in their perceptions of the operation’s goals — or on how to wage the operation. The one thing the Europeans share is a seeming lack of an exit strategy from a struggle originally marketed as a no-fly zone akin to that imposed on Iraq in 1997 to a struggle that is actually being waged as an airstrike campaign along the lines of the 1999 campaign against Serbia, with the goal of regime change mirroring that of the 2001 Afghan and 2003 Iraq campaigns.

Underlying Europeans’ willingness to pursue military action in Libya are two perceptions. The first is that Europeans did not adequately support the initial pro-democratic protests across the Arab world, a charge frequently coupled with accusations that many European governments failed to respond because they actively supported the regimes being challenged. The second perception is that the Arab world is in fact seeing a groundswell of pro-democratic sentiment.

The first charge particularly applies to France — the country now most committed to the Libyan intervention — where Former French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie vacationed in Tunisia a few weeks before the revolution, using the private jet owned by a businessman close to the regime, and offered then-Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali the services of French security forces to suppress the rebellion. Though an extreme example, the French case highlights the close business, energy and often personal relationships Europeans had with Middle Eastern leaders.

In fact, EU states have sold Gadhafi 1.1 billion euros ($1.56 billion) worth of arms between 2004, when they lifted their arms embargo, and 2011, and were looking forward to much more in the future. Paris and Rome, which had lobbied hardest for an end to the embargo, were particularly active in this trade. As recently as 2010, France was in talks with Libya for the sale of 14 Dassault Mirage fighter jets and the modernization of some of Tripoli’s aircraft. Rome, on the other hand, was in the middle of negotiating a further 1 billion euros worth of deals prior to the unrest. British media meanwhile had charged the previous British government with kowtowing to Gadhafi by releasing Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, a Libyan held for the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing. According to widespread reports, the United Kingdom’s Labour government released al-Megrahi so that British energy supermajor BP would receive favorable energy concessions in Libya.

The second perception is the now-established narrative in the West that the ongoing protests in the Middle East are truly an outburst of pro-democratic sentiment in the Western sense. From this, there arises a public perception in Europe that Arab regimes must be put on notice that severe crackdowns will not be tolerated since the protests are the beginning of a new era of democracy in the region.

These two perceptions have created a context under which Gadhafi’s crackdown against protesters is simply unacceptable to Paris and London and unacceptable to domestic public opinion in Europe. Not only would tolerating Tripoli’s crackdown confirm European leaderships’ multi-decade fraternization with unsavory Arab regimes, but the eastern Libyan rebels’ fight against Gadhafi has been grafted on to the narrative of Arab pro-democracy movements seeking to overthrow brutal regimes — even though it is unclear who the eastern rebels are or what their intentions are for a post-Gadhafi Libya.

The Coalition

According to U.N. Security Council resolution 1973, the military objective of the intervention is to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya and to protect civilians from harm across all of Libya. The problem is that the first goal in no way achieves the second. A no-fly zone does little to stop Gadhafi’s troops on the ground. In the first salvo of the campaign — even before suppression of enemy air defenses operations — French aircraft attacked Libyan ground troops around Benghazi. The attack — which was not coordinated with the rest of the coalition, according to some reports — was meant to signal two things: that the French were in the lead and that the intervention would seek to protect civilians in a broader mandate than just establishing a no-fly zone.

Going beyond the enforcement of the no-fly zone, however, has created rifts in Europe, with both NATO and the European Union failing to back the intervention politically. Germany, which broke with its European allies and voted to abstain from resolution 1973, has argued that mission creep could force the coalition to get involved in a drawn-out war. Central and Eastern Europeans, led by Poland, have been cautious in providing support because it yet again draws NATO further from its core mission of European territorial defense and the theater they are mostly concerned about: the Russian sphere of influence. Meanwhile, the Arab League, which initially offered its support for a no-fly zone, seemed to renege as it became clear that Libya in 2011 was far more like Serbia 1999 than Iraq in 1997 — airstrikes against ground troops and installations, not just a no-fly zone. Italy, a critical country because of its air bases close to the Libyan theater, has even suggested that if some consensus is not found regarding NATO’s involvement it would withdraw its offer of air bases so that “someone else’s action did not rebound on us,” according to Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini. In reality, Rome is concerned that the Franco-British alliance is going to either reduce Italy’s interests in a post-Ghadafi Libya or fail to finish the operation, leaving Italy to deal with chaos a few hundred miles across the Mediterranean.

Ultimately, enforcing a humanitarian mandate across the whole of Libya via air power alone will be impossible. It is unclear how Gadhafi would be dislodged from power from 15,000 feet in the sky. And while Europeans have largely toed the line in the last couple of days that regime change is not the explicit goal of the intervention, French and British leaders continue to caveat that “there is no decent future for Libya with Gadhafi in power,” as British Prime Minister David Cameron stated March 21, virtually mirroring a statement by Obama. But wishing Gadhafi gone will not make it so.

Endgame Scenarios

With the precise mission of the intervention unclear and exact command and control structures yet to be decided (though the intervention itself is already begun, a summit in London on March 29 will supposedly hash out the details) it is no surprise that Europeans seem to lack a consensus as to what the exit strategies are. Ultimately some sort of NATO command structure will be enacted, even if it is possible that NATO never gives its political consent to the intervention and is merely “subcontracted” by the coalition to make coordination between different air forces possible. Europe's Libya Intervention: Special Series

U.S. military officials, on the other hand, have signaled that a divided Libya between the Gadhafi-controlled west and the rebel-controlled east is palatable if attacks against civilians stop. Resolution 1973 certainly does not preclude such an end to the intervention. But politically, it is unclear if either the United States or Europe could accept that scenario. Aside from the normative issues the European public may have with a resolution that leaves a now-thoroughly vilified Gadhafi in power, European governments would have to wonder whether Gadhafi would be content ruling Tripolitania, a pared-down version of Libya, given that the bulk of the country’s oil fields and export facilities are located in the east.

Gadhafi could seek non-European allies for arms and support and/or plot a reconquest of the east. Either way, such a scenario could necessitate a drawn-out enforcement of the no-fly zone over Libya — testing already war-weary European publics’ patience, not to mention government pocketbooks. It would also require continuous maritime patrols to prevent Gadhafi from unleashing migrants en masse, a possibility that is of great concern for Rome. Now that Europe has launched a war against Gadhafi, it has raised the costs of allowing a Gadhafi regime to remain lodged in North Africa. That the costs are not the same for all participating European countries — especially for Italy, which has the most to lose if Gadhafi retains power — is the biggest problem for creating European unity.

The problem, however, is that an alternative endgame scenario where Gadhafi is removed would necessitate a commitment of ground troops. It is unclear that the eastern rebels could play the role of the Afghan Northern Alliance, whose forces had considerable combat experience such that only modest special operations forces and air support were needed to dislodge the Taliban (or, rather, force them to retreat) in late 2001 through early 2002. Thus, Europe would have to provide the troops — highly unlikely, unless Gadhafi becomes thoroughly suicidal and unleashes asymmetrical terrorist attacks against Europe — or enlist the support of an Arab state, such as Egypt, to conduct ground operations in its stead. The latter scenario seems far-fetched as well, in part because Libyans historically have as much animosity toward Egyptians as they do toward Europeans.

What ultimately will transpire in Libya probably lies somewhere in between the extreme scenarios. A temporary truce is likely once Gadhafi has been sufficiently neutralized from the air, giving the West and Egypt sufficient time to arm, train and support the rebels for their long march to Tripoli (though it is far from clear that they are capable of this, even with considerable support in terms of airpower, basic training, organization and military competencies). The idea that Gadhafi, his sons and inner circle would simply wait to be rolled over by a rebel force is unlikely. After all, Gadhafi has not ruled Libya for 42 years because he has accepted his fate with resignation — a notion that should worry Europe’s governments now looking to end his rule.

Next: France and the United Kingdom have led the charge on the intervention in Libya. Our next installment in this series examines their role in the crisis there.

N.B. Radiation Exposure, Lies, Coverup

Information from Connie Fogal

Fukushima Reactors
Catastrophe: Radiation
Exposure, Lies and
Posted by Brian Andrews Chemtrail News, Featured Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011
Fukushima Reactor # 4

Fukushima Reactor # 4

©Dr. Ilya Sandra Perlingieri.

“Should the public discover the true health cost[s] of nuclear pollution, a cry would rise from all parts of the world and people would refuse to cooperate passively with their own death.” Dr. Rosalie Bertell. “No Immediate Danger,” xiii.

I write this article not just as a long-time environmental writer and author, but also as a survivor of the horrific 2003 1-million-acre Southern California FIRESTORM that took many lives (both human and millions of animals) during the three-and-a-half-weeks of out-of-control blazes and 400-foot-high walls of flames throughout San Diego and Orange counties. This nightmare blanketed a vast area from over the border into Tijuana up to just south of Los Angeles. Many “back county” areas and national and state parks were also destroyed. Hundreds of thousands of us could not evacuate because planes were grounded and the flames crossed over many freeways. Death and destruction continued for many years after. Many of my friends have died since then, due to fire-related illnesses, as the entire area was blanketed with a spew of toxins. As with the tragedy of September 11th, when Christy Todd Whitman said New York’s air was okay, our local “public” officials refused to monitor the air. Finally, unable to breathe, even with a high-tech respirator, I called the county with warnings. San Diego air “quality” samples were posted for only three days and then conveniently disappeared. Toxins were off the scale.

We had just 15 minutes to evacuate, when the helicopter flew overhead at 7 a.m. My entire neighborhood of 2,000 was destroyed, as well as 90 percent of all the wildlife! It was deliberately torched, and people and animals died. When we were finally allowed “home,” all that was left was burn, ash, skeletons of trees, and hot soil. I know what it means, day-to-day, to just barely survive a countywide catastrophe. I know what deep trauma is all about. I know how everyone in charge lies and deceives those of us in extremis. I know that when a place in the US is declared a “Federal Disaster” area, this quite literally means: “tough, you are on your own. There will be no help.” My heart aches for the people in Japan who are directly in harm’s way, while their government continues to make nuclear corporate profits the priority over the safety of millions of Japanese. It is criminal; and it happens all over.

During and for years after the FIRESTORM, public officials lied and deceived us. Insurance companies refused to honor thousands of policies, and many of us had to take them to court…but even the “justice” system is rigged. From the mayor and fire officials to the governor and a so-called “Blue Ribbon Commission,” the 14 arson fires and their causes were all covered-up. No one was held accountable. No one told us the truth. Further, we barely had any real help in clean-up or recovery –even if we had insurance. Knee-deep in warm ash, I shoveled it myself over seven-and-a-half months, with only 5 days of help. Thousands of us had to do it ourselves…even to getting our own Relief Center set up –again, because officials gave us the run-around.

A week-and-a-half into the Fukushima nuclear disaster, this is what is happening:

1. There are 4 reactors in various stages of collapse, releasing untold amount of dangerous radiation. Two more reactors may also be at risk.

2. The public generally has not been told that, in addition, there are 40 years of spent fuel rods on this already contaminated site. See:

3. Other fuel rods are fully exposed (meaning, unknown amounts of release of radiation) because they are no longer covered with the necessary 45-feet of water.

4. Last week the US refused to post online whatever radiation levels they were monitoring as radiation hits the West Coast and comes East. Then there were several reports that their monitors [all of them?] went off line, or crashed. It is doubtful that any official will report the truth. See:

The lies, criminality, and cover-up continue. This is how a totally broken system “works.” See:


Here is some additional excellent information about reactors and the extreme dangers of nuclear power:

1. Keith Harmon Snow’s “Nuclear Apocalypse in Japan. Lifting the Veil of Nuclear Catastrophe and cover-up”:

2. A report from the New York Academy of Science has been published on “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment”:

3. List of US nuclear plants:

Realistically, the Japanese catastrophe could last months or years, given the half-life of many radioactive particles. We don’t know, because no official or agency is reporting the truth, while we all are in danger of radiation exposure. How much? For how long? What kind (cesium, iodine, plutonium, strontium, uranium, all radioactive and each with different half life)? I think this catastrophe will turn out to be far worse than Chernobyl because again profits taken precedence over safety. See:


I URGE EVERYONE who has access to a good Geiger counter or other monitoring technology to monitor radiation levels –most especially on the West Coast; and all other US states, as it comes East on the Jet Stream. Some radiation has already been reported in Washington state. One website is already monitoring the situation in real time in Santa Monica (near Los Angeles), CA:

But we need much more collecting and reporting of radiation data. This is extremely urgent! Remember, for the past 12-15 years, our weather and air have been altered and deliberately manipulated. All along the Pacific Coast, from San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, we need real-time radiation figures. This goes for Canada, too. We can post these results on this website and others, so we can have an accurate collective picture of the on-going radiation dangers we may be facing throughout North America. This is a highly dangerous, yet invisible and real threat to our safety and wellbeing –most especially for children who are most vulnerable! [I also remind readers that the ENTIRE Gulf of Mexico, and its nearby southern states, continues to be poisoned daily in an unmitigated crisis!]

From the very beginning, nuclear energy has been totally unsafe. Even early on in the 1950s, when there were nuclear tests in Nevada, citizens were never warned about the extreme toxicity and dangers to which they were exposed. For our entire lives, the nuclear industry has done decades-long media campaigns to give us misinformation and lies. It’s all about greed, but never about our safety or well-being. The US government has indemnified these companies, just as they have done with the pharmaceutical companies and their dangerous drugs. We are all expendable, except as uninformed consumers to buy their toxic products, and then for the next generation to repeat this insanity. With each new generation that is less well educated (dumbed-down, and often on prescription drugs from an early age), there is less information, no accountability, but millions more people who now are far more ill from an environment rife with thousands of poisons that surround our every move.

Some of the Nuclear Dangers include:

1. The reactors have design flaws, as does Fukushima’s Mark 1, built by GE. There are many of these same-designed reactors here in the US. On March 16, the NY Times reported some of these flaws. But, it is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg:

2. For radioactive nuclear waste, there is no safe or secure storage anywhere on this planet. There are 1,623 hazardous Superfund sites all over the US (such as Hanford Nuclear Reservation, built in 1942, near Richland, WA, and the now highly polluted Columbia River) leaking radioactive poisons on a daily basis for decades. There is another working nuclear facility, San Onofre, located between San Diego and Los Angeles along the beach right on the Pacific Ocean. This facility was built on the San Andreas fault, an active earthquake zone. The nuclear contamination is enormous and, every day, this puts us all at risk. Dr. Rosalie Bertell, one of the world’s leading authorities who has written extensively about the spectacular flaws and true costs of nuclear energy, notes: “The problem of secure storage of nuclear waste…remains dangerous for millennia.” [See also her quote at the beginning of this article.]

3. The half-life of many radioactive elements is thousands of years. There is no safe level of exposure! It’s all Orwellian media hype and corporate lies. The plutonium fuel used at Fukushima Unit 3 reactor uses MOX [mixed oxide], a plutonium-uranium fuel mixture. A single milligram of MOX is 2-million times more deadly that enriched uranium. NOTE: Plutonium-239 has a half-life of 24,000 years; and Uranium-235 has a half-life of 700-million years.

4. Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic bomb survivors are still being monitored. Birth defects, cancers, and miscarriages are high, just as these continue to be so at Chernobyl. This April 25, it will be 25 years since Chernobyl’s nuclear catastrophe. Sterility figures (for human and all other life) continue to increase. Nothing is healed. Nothing is fixed for millions of people. The children are most vulnerable, and suffer enormously.

5. The horrific on-going crisis in Iraq [an ancient culture was illegally invaded and destroyed!] is also greatly exacerbated due to US bombings of Depleted (Radioactive) Uranium, poisoning the entire population. Now, illness and birth defects are common throughout the entire Iraqi population. It is all for control of their oil. Afghanis were also illegally bombed with DU. Is Libya next with yet another illegal invasion and DU bombings? None of the real and tragic stories are ever reported by the mainstream corporate-controlled media. This is in violation of international law and the Geneva Conventions. This is heinous! However, it all is irrelevant how much harm is perpetrated on innocent civilian populations when criminals are in charge. War is big business, while the rest of our economy is in a state of deliberately orchestrated collapse.

Connecting the Dots of Harm

The new report (#53) from GEAB [Global Europe Assessment Bulletin] published on March 17 from Brussels also is important news not generally reported. GEAB has been quite accurate in their evaluations, as the US economy (everything but military expenditures) continues to be intentionally destroyed:

Last week world-renowned author Dr. Helen Caldicott, co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, gave a lecture in Montreal on the dangers of the nuclear age. Dr. Caldicott has spent almost 40 years educating the public about the serious medical dangers surrounding this topic and the now very urgently needed changes in human behavior to stop the extensive environmental devastation. Although the lecture has not been posted online, here is a recent interview (March 12):

Finally, there are other enormous concerns regarding our safety and well-being, because there is absolutely NO PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE in place. That is the elite insider’s plan: grave harm! We MUST address these vital issues on a grassroots level, because those in charge are the ones causing us such extreme injury. We will need the help of independent scientists and health-care providers. It is a given that we no longer have any real air “quality.” What we are breathing with every single breath is a hazardous, now plasma-state, spew.(1) This impacts our immune system at the celluar DNA level. How will the thousands of tons of aerosolized poisons in Chemtrails, sprayed around the world, interact with radioactive materials (especially those with a long half life)? What might be the detrimental synergistic interaction(s) among the nano-Morgellons-fibers (that Clifford Carnicom has been researching microscopically for a decade(2), found in human, animals, and environmental samples), the nano-particles of fiber-coated aluminum, and now-unknown quantities of various radioactive particles?

How might all of this also interact with possibly thousands of tons of deadly Corexit 9500 dispersant sprayed (on land and over water for many months) and the unconscionable release of “Synthia,” a genetically modified synthetic genome bacteria now replicating exponentially throughout the Gulf of Mexico.(3) Tragically, the Gulf is now a biological and chemical war zone. However, it is all happening on an invisible level. This hazardous Gulf spew is in addition to what is heading our way from Japan to North America and thence to Europe and Asia. We must wake up. There is much we can do! Will YOU help?


1. Clifford Carnicom discusses the plasma state and other vital environmental issues in a recent web interview:

2. “The Biggest Crime of All Time.” March 1, 2011:

3. “Synthia”:;

“Permanent Biological Contamination of the Gulf”:

and Michael Edwards. “It’s not wise to fool other Nature.” This is part 1 of 4:

Essential reading:

Dr. Rosalie Bertell. “No Immediate Danger” and “ Planet Earth: The Latest Weapon of War.”

Theo Colburn et al. “Our Stolen Future.”

Pierpaolo Mittica et al. “Chernobyl. The Hidden Legacy.” London: Trolley, Ltd., 2007. There is a section in this book written by Dr. Bertell.


Educator and environmental writer Dr. Ilya Sandra Perlingieri is the author of the highly acclaimed book, “The Uterine Crisis.” London’s “The Ecologist” calls this book “an inspiration.” She is an Associate of the Carnicom Institute.

12 Warning Signs of U.S. Hyperinflation

12 Warning Signs of U.S. Hyperinflation

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive at the National Inflation Association (NIA) is what warning signs will there be when hyperinflation is imminent. In our opinion, the majority of the warning signs that hyperinflation is imminent are already here today, but most Americans are failing to properly recognize them. NIA believes that there is a serious risk of hyperinflation breaking out as soon as the second half of this calendar year and that hyperinflation is almost guaranteed to occur by the end of this decade.

In our estimation, the most likely time frame for a full-fledged outbreak of hyperinflation is between the years 2013 and 2015. Americans who wait until 2013 to prepare, will most likely see the majority of their purchasing power wiped out. It is essential that all Americans begin preparing for hyperinflation immediately.

Here are NIA's top 12 warning signs that hyperinflation is about to occur:

1) The Federal Reserve is Buying 70% of U.S. Treasuries. The Federal Reserve has been buying 70% of all new U.S. treasury debt. Up until this year, the U.S. has been successful at exporting most of its inflation to the rest of the world, which is hoarding huge amounts of U.S. dollar reserves due to the U.S. dollar's status as the world's reserve currency. In recent months, foreign central bank purchases of U.S. treasuries have declined from 50% down to 30%, and Federal Reserve purchases have increased from 10% up to 70%. This means U.S. government deficit spending is now directly leading to U.S. inflation that will destroy the standard of living for all Americans.

2) The Private Sector Has Stopped Purchasing U.S. Treasuries. The U.S. private sector was previously a buyer of 30% of U.S. government bonds sold. Today, the U.S. private sector has stopped buying U.S. treasuries and is dumping government debt. The Pimco Total Return Fund was recently the single largest private sector owner of U.S. government bonds, but has just reduced its U.S. treasury holdings down to zero. Although during the financial panic of 2008, investors purchased government bonds as a safe haven, during all future panics we believe precious metals will be the new safe haven.

3) China Moving Away from U.S. Dollar as Reserve Currency. The U.S. dollar became the world's reserve currency because it was backed by gold and the U.S. had the world's largest manufacturing base. Today, the U.S. dollar is no longer backed by gold and China has the world's largest manufacturing base. There is no reason for the world to continue to transact products and commodities in U.S. dollars, when most of everything the world consumes is now produced in China. China has been taking steps to position the yuan to be the world's new reserve currency.

The People's Bank of China stated earlier this month, in a story that went largely unreported by the mainstream media, that it would respond to overseas demand for the yuan to be used as a reserve currency and allow the yuan to flow back into China more easily. China hopes to allow all exporters and importers to settle their cross border transactions in yuan by the end of 2011, as part of their plan to increase the yuan's international role. NIA believes if China really wants to become the world's next superpower and see to it that the U.S. simultaneously becomes the world's next Zimbabwe, all China needs to do is use their $1.15 trillion in U.S. dollar reserves to accumulate gold and use that gold to back the yuan.

4) Japan to Begin Dumping U.S. Treasuries. Japan is the second largest holder of U.S. treasury securities with $885.9 billion in U.S. dollar reserves. Although China has reduced their U.S. treasury holdings for three straight months, Japan has increased their U.S. treasury holdings seven months in a row. Japan is the country that has been the most consistent at buying our debt for the past year, but that is about the change. Japan is likely going to have to spend $300 billion over the next year to rebuild parts of their country that were destroyed by the recent earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster, and NIA believes their U.S. dollar reserves will be the most likely source of this funding. This will come at the worst possible time for the U.S., which needs Japan to increase their purchases of U.S. treasuries in order to fund our record budget deficits.

5) The Fed Funds Rate Remains Near Zero. The Federal Reserve has held the Fed Funds Rate at 0.00-0.25% since December 16th, 2008, a period of over 27 months. This is unprecedented and NIA believes the world is now flooded with excess liquidity of U.S. dollars.

When the nuclear reactors in Japan began overheating two weeks ago after their cooling systems failed due to a lack of electricity, TEPCO was forced to open relief valves to release radioactive steam into the air in order to avoid an explosion. The U.S. stock market is currently acting as a relief valve for all of the excess liquidity of U.S. dollars. The U.S. economy for all intents and purposes should currently be in a massive and extremely steep recession, but because of the Fed's money printing, stock prices are rising because people don't know what else to do with their dollars.

NIA believes gold, and especially silver, are much better hedges against inflation than U.S. equities, which is why for the past couple of years we have been predicting large declines in both the Dow/Gold and Gold/Silver ratios. These two ratios have been in free fall exactly like NIA projected.

The Dow/Gold ratio is the single most important chart all investors need to closely follow, but way too few actually do. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) itself is meaningless because it averages together the dollar based movements of 30 U.S. stocks. With just the DJIA, it is impossible to determine whether stocks are rising due to improving fundamentals and real growing investor demand, or if prices are rising simply because the money supply is expanding.

The Dow/Gold ratio illustrates the cyclical nature of the battle between paper assets like stocks and real hard assets like gold. The Dow/Gold ratio trends upward when an economy sees real economic growth and begins to trend downward when the growth phase ends and everybody becomes concerned about preserving wealth. With interest rates at 0%, the U.S. economy is on life support and wealth preservation is the focus of most investors. NIA believes the Dow/Gold ratio will decline to 1 before the hyperinflationary crisis is over and until the Dow/Gold ratio does decline to 1, investors should keep buying precious metals.

6) Year-Over-Year CPI Growth Has Increased 92% in Three Months. In November of 2010, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS)'s consumer price index (CPI) grew by 1.1% over November of 2009. In February of 2011, the BLS's CPI grew by 2.11% over February of 2010, above the Fed's informal inflation target of 1.5% to 2%. An increase in year-over-year CPI growth from 1.1% in November of last year to 2.11% in February of this year means that the CPI's growth rate increased by approximately 92% over a period of just three months. Imagine if the year-over-year CPI growth rate continues to increase by 92% every three months. In 9 to 12 months from now we could be looking at a price inflation rate of over 15%. Even if the BLS manages to artificially hold the CPI down around 5% or 6%, NIA believes the real rate of price inflation will still rise into the double-digits within the next year.

7) Mainstream Media Denying Fed's Target Passed. You would think that year-over-year CPI growth rising from 1.1% to 2.11% over a period of three months for an increase of 92% would generate a lot of media attention, especially considering that it has now surpassed the Fed's informal inflation target of 1.5% to 2%. Instead of acknowledging that inflation is beginning to spiral out of control and encouraging Americans to prepare for hyperinflation like NIA has been doing for years, the media decided to conveniently change the way it defines the Fed's informal target.

The media is now claiming that the Fed's informal inflation target of 1.5% to 2% is based off of year-over-year changes in the BLS's core-CPI figures. Core-CPI, as most of you already know, is a meaningless number that excludes food and energy prices. Its sole purpose is to be used to mislead the public in situations like this. We guarantee that if core-CPI had just surpassed 2% and the normal CPI was still below 2%, the media would be focusing on the normal CPI number, claiming that it remains below the Fed's target and therefore inflation is low and not a problem.

The fact of the matter is, food and energy are the two most important things Americans need to live and survive. If the BLS was going to exclude something from the CPI, you would think they would exclude goods that Americans don't consume on a daily basis. The BLS claims food and energy prices are excluded because they are most volatile. However, by excluding food and energy, core-CPI numbers are primarily driven by rents. Considering that we just came out of the largest Real Estate bubble in world history, there is a glut of homes available to rent on the market. NIA has been saying for years that being a landlord will be the worst business to be in during hyperinflation, because it will be impossible for landlords to increase rents at the same rate as overall price inflation. Food and energy prices will always increase at a much faster rate than rents.

8) Record U.S. Budget Deficit in February of $222.5 Billion. The U.S. government just reported a record budget deficit for the month of February of $222.5 billion. February's budget deficit was more than the entire fiscal year of 2007. In fact, February's deficit on an annualized basis was $2.67 trillion. NIA believes this is just a preview of future annual budget deficits, and we will see annual budget deficits surpass $2.67 trillion within the next several years.

9) High Budget Deficit as Percentage of Expenditures. The projected U.S. budget deficit for fiscal year 2011 of $1.645 trillion is 43% of total projected government expenditures in 2011 of $3.819 trillion. That is almost exactly the same level of Brazil's budget deficit as a percentage of expenditures right before they experienced hyperinflation in 1993 and it is higher than Bolivia's budget deficit as a percentage of expenditures right before they experienced hyperinflation in 1985. The only way a country can survive with such a large deficit as a percentage of expenditures and not have hyperinflation, is if foreigners are lending enough money to pay for the bulk of their deficit spending. Hyperinflation broke out in Brazil and Bolivia when foreigners stopped lending and central banks began monetizing the bulk of their deficit spending, and that is exactly what is taking place today in the U.S.

10) Obama Lies About Foreign Policy. President Obama campaigned as an anti-war President who would get our troops out of Iraq. NIA believes that many Libertarian voters actually voted for Obama in 2008 over John McCain because they felt Obama was more likely to end our wars that are adding greatly to our budget deficits and making the U.S. a lot less safe as a result. Obama may have reduced troop levels in Iraq, but he increased troops levels in Afghanistan, and is now sending troops into Libya for no reason.

The U.S. is now beginning to occupy Libya, when Libya didn't do anything to the U.S. and they are no threat to the U.S. Obama has increased our overall overseas troop levels since becoming President and the U.S. is now spending $1 trillion annually on military expenses, which includes the costs to maintain over 700 military bases in 135 countries around the world. There is no way that we can continue on with our overseas military presence without seeing hyperinflation.

11) Obama Changes Definition of Balanced Budget. In the White House's budget projections for the next 10 years, they don't project that the U.S. will ever come close to achieving a real balanced budget. In fact, after projecting declining budget deficits up until the year 2015 (NIA believes we are unlikely to see any major dip in our budget deficits due to rising interest payments on our national debt), the White House projects our budget deficits to begin increasing again up until the year 2021. Obama recently signed an executive order to create the "National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform", with a mission to "propose recommendations designed to balance the budget, excluding interest payments on the debt, by 2015". Obama is redefining a balanced budget to exclude interest payments on our national debt, because he knows interest payments are about to explode and it will be impossible to truly balance the budget.

12) U.S. Faces Largest Ever Interest Payment Increases. With U.S. inflation beginning to spiral out of control, NIA believes it is 100% guaranteed that we will soon see a large spike in long-term bond yields. Not only that, but within the next couple of years, NIA believes the Federal Reserve will be forced to raise the Fed Funds Rate in a last-ditch effort to prevent hyperinflation. When both short and long-term interest rates start to rise, so will the interest payments on our national debt. With the public portion of our national debt now exceeding $10 trillion, we could see interest payments on our debt reach $500 billion within the next year or two, and over $1 trillion somewhere around mid-decade. When interest payments reach $1 trillion, they will likely be around 30% to 40% of government tax receipts, up from interest payments being only 9% of tax receipts today. No country has ever seen interest payments on their debt reach 40% of tax receipts without hyperinflation occurring in the years to come.

It is important to spread the word about NIA to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, if you want America to survive hyperinflation. Please tell everybody you know to become members of NIA for free immediately at: