Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Seattle Plot: Jihadists Shifting Away From Civilian Targets?


The Seattle Plot: Jihadists Shifting Away From Civilian Targets?
June 30, 2011 | 0853 GMT

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The Devolution of Al Qaeda


The Devolution of Jihadism: From Al Qaeda to Wider Movement

By Scott Stewart

On June 22 in a Seattle warehouse, Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif pulled an unloaded M16 rifle to his shoulder, aimed it, and pulled the trigger repeatedly as he imagined himself gunning down young U.S. military recruits. His longtime friend Walli Mujahidh did likewise with an identical rifle, assuming a kneeling position as he engaged his notional targets. The two men had come to the warehouse with another man to inspect the firearms the latter had purchased with money Abdul-Latif had provided him. The rifles and a small number of hand grenades were to be used in an upcoming mission: an attack on a U.S. Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) in an industrial area south of downtown Seattle.

After confirming that the rifles were capable of automatic fire and discussing the capacity of the magazines they had purchased, the men placed the rifles back into a storage bag intending to transport them to a temporary cache location. As they prepared to leave the warehouse, they were suddenly swarmed by a large number of FBI agents and other law enforcement officers and quickly arrested. Their plan to conduct a terrorist attack inside the United States had been discovered when the man they had invited to join their plot (the man who had allegedly purchased the weapons for them) reported the plot to the Seattle Police Department, which in turn reported it to the FBI. According to the federal criminal complaint filed in the case, the third unidentified man had an extensive criminal record and had known Abdul-Latif for several years, but he had not been willing to undertake such a terrorist attack.

While the behavior of Abdul-Latif and Mujahidh in this plot demonstrates that they were amateur “wannabe” jihadists rather than seasoned terrorist operatives, their plot could have ended very differently if they had found a kindred spirit in the man they approached for help instead of someone who turned them into the authorities. This case also illustrates some important trends in jihadist terrorism that we have been watching for the past few years as well as a possible shift in mindset within the jihadist movement.


First, Abu-Khalid Abdul-Latif and Walli Mujahidh, both American converts to Islam, are prime examples of what we refer to as grassroots jihadists. They are individuals who were inspired by the al Qaeda movement but who had no known connection to the al Qaeda core or one of its franchise groups. In late 2009, in response to the success of the U.S. government and its allies in preventing jihadist attacks in the West, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) began a campaign to encourage jihadists living in the West to conduct simple attacks using readily available items, rather than travel abroad for military and terrorism training with jihadist groups. After successes such as the November 2009 Fort Hood shooting, this theme of encouraging grassroots attacks was adopted by the core al Qaeda group.

While the grassroots approach does present a challenge to law enforcement and intelligence agencies in that attackers can seemingly appear out of nowhere with no prior warning, the paradox presented by grassroots operatives is that they are also far less skilled than trained terrorist operatives. In other words, while they are hard to detect, they frequently lack the skill to conduct large, complex attacks and frequently make mistakes that expose them to detection in smaller plots.

And that is what we saw in the Seattle plot. Abdul-Latif had originally wanted to hit U.S. Joint Base Lewis-McChord (formerly known as Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base), which is located some 70 kilometers (44 miles) south of Seattle, but later decided against that plan since he considered the military base to be too hardened a target. While Abdul-Latif and Mujahidh were amateurs, they seem to have reached a reasonable assessment of their own abilities and which targets were beyond their abilities to strike.

Another trend we noted in this case was that the attack plan called for the use of firearms and hand grenades in an armed assault, rather than the use of an improvised explosive device (IED). There have been a number of botched IED attacks, such as the May 2010 Times Square attack and Najibullah Zazi’s plot to attack the New York subway system.

These were some of the failures that caused jihadist leaders such as AQAP’s Nasir al-Wahayshi to encourage grassroots jihadists to undertake simple attacks. Indeed, the most successful jihadist attacks in the West in recent years, such as the Fort Hood shooting, the June 2009 attack on a military recruitment center in Little Rock, Ark., and the March 2011 attack on U.S. troops at a civilian airport in Frankfurt, Germany, involved the use of firearms rather than IEDs. When combined with the thwarted plot in New York in May 2011, these incidents support the trend we identified in May 2010 of grassroots jihadist conducting more armed assaults and fewer attacks involving IEDs.

Another interesting aspect of the Seattle case was that Abdul-Latif was an admirer of AQAP ideologue Anwar al-Awlaki. Unlike the Fort Hood case, where U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan had been in email contact with al-Awlaki, it does not appear that Abdul-Latif had been in contact with the AQAP preacher. However, from video statements and comments Abdul-Latif himself posted on the Internet, he appears to have had a high opinion of al-Awlaki and to have been influenced by his preaching. It does not appear that Abdul-Latif, who was known as Joseph Anthony Davis before his conversion to Islam, or Mujahidh, whose pre-conversion name was Frederick Domingue Jr., spoke Arabic. This underscores the importance of al-Awlaki’s role within AQAP as its primary spokesman to the English-speaking world and his mission of radicalizing English-speaking Muslims and encouraging them to conduct terrorist attacks in the West.


Once again, in the Seattle case, the attack on the MEPS was not thwarted by some CIA source in Yemen, an intercept by the National Security Agency or an intentional FBI undercover operation. Rather, the attack was thwarted by a Muslim who was approached by Abdul-Latif and asked to participate in the attack. The man then went to the Seattle Police Department, which brought the man to the attention of the FBI. This is what we refer to as grassroots counterterrorism, that is, local cops and citizens bringing things to the attention of federal authorities. As the jihadist threat has become more diffuse and harder to detect, grassroots defenders have become an even more critical component of international counterterrorism efforts. This is especially true for Muslims, many of whom consider themselves engaged in a struggle to defend their faith (and their sons) from the threat of jihadism.

But, even if the third man had chosen to participate in the attack rather than report it to the authorities, the group would have been vulnerable to detection. First, there were the various statements Abdul-Latif made on the Internet in support of attacks against the United States. Second, any Muslim convert who chooses a name such as Mujahidh (holy warrior) for himself must certainly anticipate the possibility that it will bring him to the attention of the authorities. Abdul-Latif and Mujahidh were also somewhat cavalier in their telephone conversations, although those conversations do not appear to have brought them to the attention of the authorities.

Perhaps their most significant vulnerability to detection, aside from their desire to obtain automatic weapons and hand grenades, would have been their need to conduct preoperational surveillance of their intended target. After conducting some preliminary research using the Internet, Abdul-Latif quickly realized that they needed more detailed intelligence. He then briefly conducted physical surveillance of the exterior of the MEPS to see what it looked like in person. Despite the technological advances it represents, the Internet cannot replace the physical surveillance process, which is a critical requirement for terrorist planners. Indeed, after the external surveillance of the building, Abdul-Latif asked the informant to return to the building under a ruse in order to enter it and obtain a detailed floor plan of the facility for use in planning the attack.

In this case, the informant was able to obtain the information he needed from his FBI handlers, but had he been a genuine participant in the plot, he would have had to have exposed himself to detection by entering the MEPS facility after conducting surveillance of the building’s exterior. If some sort of surveillance detection program was in place, it likely would have flagged him as a person of interest for follow-up investigation, which could have led authorities back to the other conspirators in the attack.

A New Twist

One aspect of this plot that was different from many other recent plots was that Abdul-Latif insisted that he wanted to target the U.S. military and did not want to kill people he considered innocents. Certainly he had no problem with the idea of killing the armed civilian security guards at the MEPS — the plan called for the attackers to kill them first, or the unarmed still-civilian recruits being screened at the facility, then to kill as many other military personnel as possible before being neutralized by the responding authorities. However, even in the limited conversations documented in the federal criminal complaint, Abdul-Latif repeated several times that he did not want to kill innocents. This stands in stark contrast to the actions of previous attackers and plotters such as John Allen Mohammed, the so-called D.C. sniper, or Faisal Shahzad, who planned the failed Times Square attack.

Abdul-Latif’s reluctance to attack civilians may be a reflection of the debate we are seeing among jihadists in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan and even Algeria over the killing of those they consider innocents. This debate is also raging on many of the English-language jihadist message boards Abdul-Latif frequented. Most recently, this tension was seen in the defection of a Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan faction in Pakistan’s Kurram agency.

If this sentiment begins to take wider hold in the jihadist movement, and especially the English-speaking jihadist community in the West, it could have an impact on the target-selection process for future attacks by grassroots operatives in the West. It could also mean that commonly attacked targets such as subway systems, civilian aircraft, hotels and public spaces will be seen as less desirable than comparably soft military targets. Given the limitations of grassroots jihadists, and their tendency to focus on soft targets, such a shift would result in a much smaller universe of potential targets for such attacks — the softer military targets such as recruit-processing stations and troops in transit that have been targeted in recent months.

Removing some of the most vulnerable targets from the potential-target list is not something that militants do lightly. If this is indeed happening, it could be an indication that some important shifts are under way on the ideological battlefield and that jihadists may be concerned about losing their popular support. It is still too early to know if this is a trend and not merely the idiosyncrasy of one attack planner — and it is contrary to the target sets laid out in recent messages from AQAP and the al Qaeda core — but when viewed in light of the Little Rock, Fort Hood and Frankfurt shootings, it is definitely a concept worth further examination.

Read more: The Seattle Plot: Jihadists Shifting Away From Civilian Targets? | STRATFOR

The Dollar Vigilante

The Dollar Vigilante


June 28, 2011

How many times have we heard that a new medication breakthrough has been discovered and has been shown to cure serious diseases - but are told it will be 5-10 years, or more, before it will be available to the public because it must first be thoroughly tested for safety by the FDA?
Yet, based on the actions of one individual on Christmas Day, 2009, Backscatter X-ray machines were installed all over the US in literally a matter of days without any independent testing or trials of the suitability of mass x-raying millions of people?
Remember the "underwear bomber"? Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had no passport, he was on a terror watch list, and his own father had tried to warn U.S. intelligence beforehand that he was a threat. And yet he walked right on board, aided by a well-dressed Indian man who has since disappeared with the FBI seemingly engaged in a cover-up to protect his identity.
Yet, despite all the breakdowns in supposed "security", the usual and opposite reaction of any private organization ensued. A private organization with such a breakdown would be fired. When Government screws up, which is not a rare occurance, the demand is always for more government... more money.
The Backscatter machines have been around for a while but the Government could never get enough support to install them (see this 2007 article on the Backscatter).
The "underwear bomber" was just what they needed. Michael Chertoff, Former Department of Homeland Security and now the head of the Chertoff Group, was the lead cheerleader for what is being called the Full Body Scanner Lobby and, coincidentally, was hawking full body scanners in the days after the underwear bomber. In 2009, Chertoff went on a media tour promoting the use of these scanners, without disclosing that he was getting paid by Rapiscan, one of the two companies currently contracted by TSA to provide the scanners.
But, today, news emerged that the TSA has been caught covering up a surge in cases of TSA workers developing cancer as a result of their close proximity to radiation-firing devices. The information came from the latest FOIA documents obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center.
It really shouldn't come as much of a surprise. After all, think about when you go to get an X-ray at your doctors office. They put a heavy lead vest on you and try to just focus the X-ray on the part of the body they wish to investigate. Meanwhile, the doctor, nurse or X-ray specialist goes into a separate room behind protected glass.
The Backscatters? The people being X-rayed are getting a full body X-ray... something that can really add up for frequent travellers (and part of the reason why a Pilot group has called for all pilots to refuse the Backscatter). Meanwhile, TSA agents stand literally feet away from the machine, being exposed to radiation hundreds of times per day.
Now, I abhor the TSA and I dislike most of the types of people who tend to gravitate to jobs in the TSA - but even I am not in favor of irradiating them constantly, on purpose.
Still, the TSA does not allow any independent outside testing of the safety of these machines even after some internal tests showed them emitting 10 times more radiation than they are purported to emit.
Some people have even vowed to never fly in or through the US as long as these machines are used, stating that even being in the same room as one of these machines is risky. It's hard to disagree with them - at least unless a serious independent study can be done.
The Top 3 Reasons Why This Machine is Unnecessary and Needs to be Removed
1. The whole reason for the existence of the TSA is 9/11. Despite all the evidence that the official 9/11 story is impossible (see the Loose Change documentary), the official story is that people with "box-cutters" hijacked the planes. Since then the door to the cockpit has been reinforced so people cannot now gain entry into the cockpit. As well, no airplane will ever be hijacked in the US again. The reason? The memories of 9/11 are still too fresh and any attempt to hijack a plane will immediately be met by passenger resistance just like the Turkish Airlines hijacking earlier this year.
2. They don't work. In numerous tests by the TSA sending undercover agents through the scanners, they have never detected the threat. In this instance earlier this year, an agent carrying a handgun went undetected through the Backscatter.
3. Both the 9/11 attacks and the Underwear Bomber were quite obviously either conducted by factions inside the US Government or, at the very least, allowed to happen despite prior knowledge by the Government. Efforts need to be focused on a serious, independent investigation into these serious events and not on irradiating hundreds of millions of people unnecessarily.
There are thousands of very good reasons not to travel to or anywhere in the US now, including this British couple who spent 5 weeks inside what they called a "third world prison" in the US because a US customs agent forgot to stamp their passport upon entry!
Welcome to America
Welcome to America
Or, the "seven hour security check" a bunch of old British people were subject to recently in Los Angeles.
Being forcibly irradiated or groped is just another reason not to go to the US. And, for those that live in the US, it is just another reason to want to get out of there.


Jeff Berwick
Chief Editor

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Maritime Counter-proliferation: The Case of MV Light

RSIS presents the following commentary Maritime Counter-proliferation: The Case of MV Light by Euan Graham. It is also available online at this link. (To print it, click on this link.). Kindly forward any comments or feedback to the Editor RSIS Commentaries, at
No. 96/2011 dated 29 June 2011

Maritime Counter-proliferation:
The Case of MV Light
By Euan Graham

The recent turning around of a cargo ship suspected of carrying missile technology was a qualified success for maritime counter-proliferation. It demonstrated both the effectiveness of internationally concerted action and the limits to interdiction operations at sea.
THE NEW YORK Times reported in mid-June on the turning around of a Belize-flagged ship MV Light, suspected of carrying missile technology from North Korea to Myanmar. This event was a notable and unusually public success for maritime counter-proliferation. A US guided-missile destroyer, the USS McCampbell, had on 26 May 2011, intercepted the MV Light, registered in Belize but North Korean-owned and -manned, in international waters south of Shanghai.
Since Belize has endorsed the US-led Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) and signed a bilateral boarding agreement with the US in 2005, flag state consent was quickly obtained. According to media reports, the US warship requested permission to board four times but the crew of the MV Light refused, claiming to be carrying industrial chemicals to Bangladesh. During a pursuit lasting several days international diplomatic efforts were coordinated, aided by the presence in Washington of an ASEAN delegation. Singapore and Malaysia reportedly gave assurances that they would detain the vessel if it made port. Before reaching Southeast Asian waters, however, the MV Light stopped and retraced its course back to North Korea, tracked by US surveillance aircraft.
North Korean role
Despite their importance to global security, counter-proliferation operations are by necessity mostly ‘below the radar’ of media attention. However, the MV Light incident recalled a widely reported 2009 stand-off between the US Navy and a North Korean freighter suspected of carrying conventional arms destined for Myanmar. The pursuit and eventual return of the freighter to North Korea occurred on the heels of UNSC Resolution 1874, which extended sanctions following Pyongyang’s second nuclear test of May 2009.
The MV Light’s suspected cargo made it a clear PSI priority. Ballistic missiles, as Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) delivery systems, are classified among “items of proliferation concern” in PSI terminology. Despite sanctions, North Korea remains a leading supplier of missile technology. Missile sales have been a major currency earner; Pyongyang’s own missile development is largely ‘export-led’. An abortive attempt to intercept a North Korean Scud-missile shipment to Yemen in December 2002 was the trigger for the establishment of the PSI.
Qualified success
As a case study in operationalising PSI, the MV Light was a qualified success. The major achievement was stopping a suspected ballistic missile shipment in violation of UNSC resolutions. That sufficient pressure was generated to turn the ship around owed much to the timely coordination of diplomatic and military efforts by the US and its partners. Achieving this outcome without a boarding operation that could have been opposed by the crew minimised the risk to life and helped to contain wider tensions on the Korean Peninsula. Proportionality was thus maintained.
While interceptions at sea are dramatic, as an intelligence-led activity maritime counter-proliferation is more likely to target suspect ships and cargoes in port. Legally and operationally this is easier and less costly than the high-profile option of interdiction at sea. That said, the fact that the MV Light was nearing Southeast Asian waters pursued by a US warship was useful for concentrating diplomatic efforts on clear, time-limited objectives. On the downside, assuming that a proliferation cargo was turned back on this occasion, items returned to source can be re-exported by alternative means. Concealed or trans-shipped consignments have presumably got through in the past and the options for interdicting air cargo are more stark.
While the decision not to board the MV Light was a demonstration of self-restraint it could also be viewed as a failing given that flag state consent was obtained. The US has concluded several bilateral boarding agreements with convenience registries since 2004 for precisely this scenario. The main International Maritime Organisation (IMO) instrument relevant to counter-proliferation, the 2005 Protocol to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (SUA), has now entered into force. But regional states, including PSI participants, remain reluctant to sign up despite boarding safeguards that accommodate flag-state interests.
Even with consent to board and reliable intelligence, locating items of proliferation concern is far from assured. Searches may require a lengthy port diversion, with the prospect of compensation claims if unsuccessful. Classifying dual-use materials as items of proliferation concern may require technical and legal expertise that is unavailable to the boarding party, and open to challenge by the owners. In a competitive business climate, port authorities and flag states may be tempted to see the diversion of business as more pressing than the cumulative threats of proliferation. However, reputation must also be borne in mind as a cost of business.
In view of the operational and legal challenges to maritime counter-proliferation, sustaining success requires political commitment to an across-government approach and international cooperation. But this is harder to achieve than countering the more acutely perceived terrorist threat.
Regional implications
While proliferation poses global security challenges, the case of the MV Light has regional implications. That Myanmar is identified as a proliferation consumer reflects poorly on ASEAN as the 2015 target date for the regional political and security community approaches. ASEAN’s treaty commitment to a Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (SEANWFZ), including surrounding waters, may be relevant here. Region-wide coordinated efforts to thwart proliferation, including the adoption of comprehensive export control legislation, would give practical expression to SEANWFZ.
Singapore has been ASEAN’s most active PSI participant. But counter-proliferation successes are not just tied to PSI. Malaysian authorities, in March 2011, impounded suspected proliferation materials from a ship at anchor in Port Klang, en route from Northeast Asia to Iran. Out of the spotlight, this has a discreetly deterring effect. Extending counter-proliferation cooperation among Southeast Asia’s littoral states will help keep the maritime gateway barred to would-be proliferators.

Euan Graham is a Senior Fellow in the Maritime Security Programme at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. He is also an Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute and was previously a Senior Research Officer for the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The Divided States of Europe


The Divided States of Europe
June 28, 2011 | 0848 GMT

The Divided States of Europe

By Marko Papic

Europe continues to be engulfed by economic crisis. The global focus returns to Athens on June 28 as Greek parliamentarians debate austerity measures imposed on them by eurozone partners. If the Greeks vote down these measures, Athens will not receive its second bailout, which could create an even worse crisis in Europe and the world.

It is important to understand that the crisis is not fundamentally about Greece or even about the indebtedness of the entire currency bloc. After all, Greece represents only 2.5 percent of the eurozone’s gross domestic product (GDP), and the bloc’s fiscal numbers are not that bad when looked at in the aggregate. Its overall deficit and debt figures are in a better shape than those of the United States — the U.S. budget deficit stood at 10.6 percent of GDP in 2010, compared to 6.4 percent for the European Union — yet the focus continues to be on Europe.

That is because the real crisis is the more fundamental question of how the European continent is to be ruled in the 21st century. Europe has emerged from its subservience during the Cold War, when it was the geopolitical chessboard for the Soviet Union and the United States. It won its independence by default as the superpowers retreated: Russia withdrawing to its Soviet sphere of influence and the United States switching its focus to the Middle East after 9/11. Since the 1990s, Europe has dabbled with institutional reform but has left the fundamental question of political integration off the table, even as it integrated economically. This is ultimately the source of the current sovereign debt crisis, the lack of political oversight over economic integration gone wrong.

The eurozone’s economic crisis brought this question of Europe’s political fate into focus, but it is a recurring issue. Roughly every 100 years, Europe confronts this dilemma. The Continent suffers from overpopulation — of nations, not people. Europe has the largest concentration of independent nation-states per square foot than any other continent. While Africa is larger and has more countries, no continent has as many rich and relatively powerful countries as Europe does. This is because, geographically, the Continent is riddled with features that prevent the formation of a single political entity. Mountain ranges, peninsulas and islands limit the ability of large powers to dominate or conquer the smaller ones. No single river forms a unifying river valley that can dominate the rest of the Continent. The Danube comes close, but it drains into the practically landlocked Black Sea, the only exit from which is another practically landlocked sea, the Mediterranean. This limits Europe’s ability to produce an independent entity capable of global power projection.

However, Europe does have plenty of rivers, convenient transportation routes and well-sheltered harbors. This allows for capital generation at a number of points on the Continent, such as Vienna, Paris, London, Frankfurt, Rotterdam, Milan, Turin and Hamburg. Thus, while large armies have trouble physically pushing through the Continent and subverting various nations under one rule, ideas, capital, goods and services do not. This makes Europe rich (the Continent has at least the equivalent GDP of the United States, and it could be larger depending how one calculates it).

What makes Europe rich, however, also makes it fragmented. The current political and security architectures of Europe — the EU and NATO — were encouraged by the United States in order to unify the Continent so that it could present a somewhat united front against the Soviet Union. They did not grow organically out of the Continent. This is a problem because Moscow is no longer a threat for all European countries, Germany and France see Russia as a business partner and European states are facing their first true challenge to Continental governance, with fragmentation and suspicion returning in full force. Closer unification and the creation of some sort of United States of Europe seems like the obvious solution to the problems posed by the eurozone sovereign debt crisis — although the eurozone’s problems are many and not easily solved just by integration, and Europe’s geography and history favor fragmentation.

Confederation of Europe

The European Union is a confederation of states that outsources day-to-day management of many policy spheres to a bureaucratic arm (the European Commission) and monetary policy to the European Central Bank. The important policy issues, such as defense, foreign policy and taxation, remain the sole prerogatives of the states. The states still meet in various formats to deal with these problems. Solutions to the Greek, Irish and Portuguese fiscal problems are agreed upon by all eurozone states on an ad hoc basis, as is participation in the Libyan military campaign within the context of the European Union. Every important decision requires that the states meet and reach a mutually acceptable solution, often producing non-optimal outcomes that are products of compromise.

The best analogy for the contemporary European Union is found not in European history but in American history. This is the period between the successful Revolutionary War in 1783 and the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1788. Within that five-year period, the United States was governed by a set of laws drawn up in the Articles of the Confederation. The country had no executive, no government, no real army and no foreign policy. States retained their own armies and many had minor coastal navies. They conducted foreign and trade policy independent of the wishes of the Continental Congress, a supranational body that had less power than even the European Parliament of today (this despite Article VI of the Articles of Confederation, which stipulated that states would not be able to conduct independent foreign policy without the consent of Congress). Congress was supposed to raise funds from the states to fund such things as a Continental Army, pay benefits to the veterans of the Revolutionary War and pay back loans that European powers gave Americans during the war against the British. States, however, refused to give Congress money, and there was nothing anybody could do about it. Congress was forced to print money, causing the Confederation’s currency to become worthless.

With such a loose confederation set-up, the costs of the Revolutionary War were ultimately unbearable for the fledgling nation. The reality of the international system, which pitted the new nation against aggressive European powers looking to subvert America’s independence, soon engulfed the ideals of states’ independence and limited government. Social, economic and security burdens proved too great for individual states to contain and a powerless Congress to address.

Nothing brought this reality home more than a rebellion in Western Massachusetts led by Daniel Shays in 1787. Shays’ Rebellion was, at its heart, an economic crisis. Burdened by European lenders calling for repayment of America’s war debt, the states’ economies collapsed and with them the livelihoods of many rural farmers, many of whom were veterans of the Revolutionary War who had been promised benefits. Austerity measures — often in the form of land confiscation — were imposed on the rural poor to pay off the European creditors. Shays’ Rebellion was put down without the help of the Continental Congress essentially by a local Massachusetts militia acting without any real federal oversight. The rebellion was defeated, but America’s impotence was apparent for all to see, both foreign and domestic.

An economic crisis, domestic insecurity and constant fear of a British counterattack — Britain had not demobilized forts it held on the U.S. side of the Great Lakes — impressed upon the independent-minded states that a “more perfect union” was necessary. Thus the United States of America, as we know it today, was formed. States gave up their rights to conduct foreign policy, to set trade policies independent of each other and to withhold funds from the federal government. The United States set up an executive branch with powers to wage war and conduct foreign policy, as well as a legislature that could no longer be ignored. In 1794, the government’s response to the so-called Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania showed the strength of the federal arrangement, in stark contrast to the Continental Congress’ handling of Shays’ Rebellion. Washington dispatched an army of more than 10,000 men to suppress a few hundred distillers refusing to pay a new whiskey tax to fund the national debt, thereby sending a clear message of the new government’s overwhelming fiscal, political and military power.

When examining the evolution of the American Confederation into the United States of America, one can find many parallels with the European Union, among others a weak center, independent states, economic crisis and over-indebtedness. The most substantial difference between the United States in the late 18th century and Europe in the 21st century is the level of external threat. In 1787, Shays’ Rebellion impressed upon many Americans — particularly George Washington, who was irked by the crisis — just how weak the country was. If a band of farmers could threaten one of the strongest states in the union, what would the British forces still garrisoned on American soil and in Quebec to the north be able to do? States could independently muddle through the economic crisis, but they could not prevent a British counterattack or protect their merchant fleet against Barbary pirates. America could not survive another such mishap and such a wanton display of military and political impotence.

To America’s advantage, the states all shared similar geography as well as similar culture and language. Although they had different economic policies and interests, all of them ultimately depended upon seaborne Atlantic trade. The threat that such trade would be choked off by a superior naval force — or even by North African pirates — was a clear and present danger. The threat of British counterattack from the north may not have been an existential threat to the southern states, but they realized that if New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania were lost, the South might preserve some nominal independence but would quickly revert to de facto colonial status.

In Europe, there is no such clarity of what constitutes a threat. Even though there is a general sense — at least among the governing elites — that Europeans share economic interests, it is very clear that their security interests are not complementary. There is no agreed-upon perception of an external threat. For Central European states that only recently became European Union and NATO members, Russia still poses a threat. They have asked NATO (and even the European Union) to refocus on the European continent and for the alliance to reassure them of its commitment to their security. In return, they have seen France selling advanced helicopter carriers to Russia and Germany building an advanced military training center in Russia.

The Regionalization of Europe

The eurozone crisis — which is engulfing EU member states using the euro but is symbolically important for the entire European Union — is therefore a crisis of trust. Do the current political and security arrangements in Europe — the European Union and NATO — capture the right mix of nation-state interests? Do the member states of those organizations truly feel that they share the same fundamental fate? Are they willing, as the American colonies were at the end of the 18th century, to give up their independence in order to create a common front against political, economic and security concerns? And if the answer to these questions is no, then what are the alternative arrangements that do capture complementary nation-state interests?

On the security front, we already have our answer: the regionalization of European security organizations. NATO has ceased to effectively respond to the national security interests of European states. Germany and France have pursued an accommodationist attitude toward Russia, to the chagrin of the Baltic states and Central Europe. As a response, these Central European states have begun to arrange alternatives. The four Central European states that make up the regional Visegrad Group — Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary — have used the forum as the mold in which to create a Central European battle group. Baltic states, threatened by Russia’s general resurgence, have looked to expand military and security cooperation with the Nordic countries, with Lithuania set to join the Nordic Battlegroup, of which Estonia is already a member. France and the United Kingdom have decided to enhance cooperation with an expansive military agreement at the end of 2010, and London has also expressed an interest in becoming close to the developing Baltic-Nordic cooperative military ventures.

Regionalization is currently most evident in security matters, but it is only a matter of time before it begins to manifest itself in political and economic matters as well. For example, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been forthcoming about wanting Poland and the Czech Republic to speed up their efforts to enter the eurozone. Recently, both indicated that they had cooled on the idea of eurozone entry. The decision, of course, has a lot to do with the euro being in a state of crisis, but we cannot underestimate the underlying sense in Warsaw that Berlin is not committed to Poland’s security. Central Europeans may not currently be in the eurozone (save for Estonia, Slovenia and Slovakia), but the future of the eurozone is intertwined in its appeal to the rest of Europe as both an economic and political bloc. All EU member states are contractually obligated to enter the eurozone (save for Denmark and the United Kingdom, which negotiated opt-outs). From Germany’s perspective, membership of the Czech Republic and Poland is more important than that of peripheral Europe. Germany’s trade with Poland and the Czech Republic alone is greater than its trade with Spain, Greece, Ireland and Portugal combined.

The Divided States of Europe
(click here to enlarge image)

The security regionalization of Europe is not a good sign for the future of the eurozone. A monetary union cannot be grafted onto security disunion, especially if the solution to the eurozone crisis becomes more integration. Warsaw is not going to give Berlin veto power over its budget spending if the two are not in agreement over what constitutes a security threat. This argument may seem simple, and it is cogent precisely because it is. Taxation is one of the most basic forms of state sovereignty, and one does not share it with countries that do not share one’s political, economic and security fate.

This goes for any country, not just Poland. If the solution to the eurozone crisis is greater integration, then the interests of the integrating states have to be closely aligned on more than just economic matters. The U.S. example from the late 18th century is particularly instructive, as one could make a cogent argument that American states had more divergent economic interests than European states do today, and yet their security concerns brought them together. In fact, the moment the external threat diminished in the mid-19th century due to Europe’s exhaustion from the Napoleonic Wars, American unity was shaken by the Civil War. America’s economic and cultural bifurcation, which existed even during the Revolutionary War, erupted in conflagration the moment the external threat was removed.

The bottom line is that Europeans have to agree on more than just a 3 percent budget-deficit threshold as the foundation for closer integration. Control over budgets goes to the very heart of sovereignty, and European nations will not give up that control unless they know their security and political interests will be taken seriously by their neighbors.

Europe’s Spheres of Influence

We therefore see Europe evolving into a set of regionalized groupings. These organizations may have different ideas about security and economic matters, one country may even belong to more than one grouping, but for the most part membership will largely be based on location on the Continent. This will not happen overnight. Germany, France and other core economies have a vested interest in preserving the eurozone in its current form for the short term — perhaps as long as another decade — since the economic contagion from Greece is an existential concern for the moment. In the long term, however, regional organizations of like-minded blocs is the path that seems to be evolving in Europe, especially if Germany decides that its relationship with core eurozone countries and Central Europe is more important than its relationship with the periphery.

The Divided States of Europe
(click here to enlarge image)

We can separate the blocs into four main fledgling groupings, which are not mutually exclusive, as a sort of model to depict the evolving relationships among countries in Europe:

The German sphere of influence (Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia, Switzerland, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland): These core eurozone economies are not disadvantaged by Germany’s competitiveness, or they depend on German trade for economic benefit, and they are not inherently threatened by Germany’s evolving relationship with Russia. Due to its isolation from the rest of Europe and proximity to Russia, Finland is not thrilled about Russia’s resurgence, but occasionally it prefers Germany’s careful accommodative approach to the aggressive approach of neighboring Sweden or Poland. Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are the most concerned about the Russia-Germany relationship, but not to the extent that Poland and the Baltic states are, and they may decide to remain in the German sphere of influence for economic reasons.

The Nordic regional bloc (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia): These mostly non-eurozone states generally see Russia’s resurgence in a negative light. The Baltic states are seen as part of the Nordic sphere of influence (especially Sweden’s), which leads to problems with Russia. Germany is an important trade partner, but it is also seen as overbearing and as a competitor. Finland straddles this group and the German sphere of influence, depending on the issue.

Visegrad-plus (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria): At the moment, the Visegrad Group members belong to different spheres of influence. The Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary do not feel as exposed to Russia’s resurgence as Poland or Romania do. But they also are not completely satisfied with Germany’s attitude toward Russia. Poland is not strong enough to lead this group economically the way Sweden dominates the Nordic bloc. Other than security cooperation, the Visegrad countries have little to offer each other at the moment. Poland intends to change that by lobbying for more funding for new EU member states in the next six months of its EU presidency. That still does not constitute economic leadership.

Mediterranean Europe (Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and Malta): These are Europe’s peripheral states. Their security concerns are unique due to their exposure to illegal immigration via routes through Turkey and North Africa. Geographically, these countries are isolated from the main trade routes and lack the capital-generating centers of northern Europe, save for Italy’s Po River Valley (which in many ways does not belong to this group but could be thought of as a separate entity that could be seen as part of the German sphere of influence). These economies therefore face similar problems of over-indebtedness and lack of competitiveness. The question is, who would lead?

And then there are France and the United Kingdom. These countries do not really belong to any bloc. This is London’s traditional posture with regard to continental Europe, although it has recently begun to establish a relationship with the Nordic-Baltic group. France, meanwhile, could be considered part of the German sphere of influence. Paris is attempting to hold onto its leadership role in the eurozone and is revamping its labor-market rules and social benefits to sustain its connection to the German-dominated currency bloc, a painful process. However, France traditionally is also a Mediterranean country and has considered Central European alliances in order to surround Germany. It also recently entered into a new bilateral military relationship with the United Kingdom, in part as a hedge against its close relationship with Germany. If France decides to exit its partnership with Germany, it could quickly gain control of its normal sphere of influence in the Mediterranean, probably with enthusiastic backing from a host of other powers such as the United States and the United Kingdom. In fact, its discussion of a Mediterranean Union was a political hedge, an insurance policy, for exactly such a future.

The Price of Regional Hegemony

The alternative to the regionalization of Europe is clear German leadership that underwrites — economically and politically — greater European integration. If Berlin can overcome the anti-euro populism that is feeding on bailout fatigue in the eurozone core, it could continue to support the periphery and prove its commitment to the eurozone and the European Union. Germany is also trying to show Central Europe that its relationship with Russia is a net positive by using its negotiations with Moscow over Moldova as an example of German political clout.

Central Europeans, however, are already putting Germany’s leadership and commitment to the test. Poland assumes the EU presidency July 1 and has made the union’s commitment to increase funding for new EU member states, as well as EU defense cooperation, its main initiatives. Both policies are a test for Germany and an offer for it to reverse the ongoing security regionalization. If Berlin says no to new money for the newer EU member states — at stake is the union’s cohesion-policy funding, which in the 2007-2013 budget period totaled 177 billion euros — and no to EU-wide security/defense arrangements, then Warsaw, Prague and other Central European capitals have their answer. The question is whether Germany is serious about being a leader of Europe and paying the price to be the hegemon of a united Europe, which would not only mean funding bailouts but also standing up to Russia. If it places its relationship with Russia over its alliance with Central Europe, then it will be difficult for Central Europeans to follow Berlin. This will mean that the regionalization of Europe’s security architecture — via the Visegrad Group and Nordic-Baltic battle groups — makes sense. It will also mean that Central Europeans will have to find new ways to draw the United States into the region for security.

Common security perception is about states understanding that they share the same fate. American states understood this at the end of the 18th century, which is why they gave up their independence, setting the United States on the path toward superpower status. Europeans — at least at present — do not see their situation (or the world) in the same light. Bailouts are enacted not because Greeks share the same fate as Germans but because German bankers share the same fate as German taxpayers. This is a sign that integration has progressed to a point where economic fate is shared, but this is an inadequate baseline on which to build a common political union.

Bailing out Greece is seen as an affront to the German taxpayer, even though that same German taxpayer has benefited disproportionally from the eurozone’s creation. The German government understands the benefits of preserving the eurozone — which is why it continues bailing out the peripheral countries — but there has been no national debate in Germany to explain this logic to the populace. Germany is still waiting to have an open conversation with itself about its role and its future, and especially what price it is willing to pay for regional hegemony and remaining relevant in a world fast becoming dominated by powers capable of harnessing the resources of entire continents.

Without a coherent understanding in Europe that its states all share the same fate, the Greek crisis has little chance of being Europe’s Shays’ Rebellion, triggering deeper unification. Instead of a United States of Europe, its fate will be ongoing regionalization.

Read more: The Divided States of Europe | STRATFOR

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Monsanto trying to take over world seed supply, nation by nation

Monsanto trying to take over world seed supply, nation by nation
(NaturalNews)--He who controls the seed controls the food supply; and he who controls the food supply controls the world. There is no question that Monsanto is on a mission to monopolize the conventional seed market. In fact, they are steadfastly working towards the goal of creating a world where 100% of all commercial seeds are genetically modified and patented--basically a world where natural seeds are extinct.(

Monday, June 27, 2011 by: Kaitlyn Moore

Unfortunately for the global community Monsanto is accomplishing their purpose. They currently own 90% of the world's patents for GMO seed including cotton, soybeans, corn, sugar beets and canola. (

Yep, the creators of chemicals that will go down in history for their toxicity and horrific side effects, is attempting to take over the world's seed supply. Ask yourself--do you really want companies such as BASF, Bayer, DuPont, Syngenta, and Dow involved with your food? Sadly, to a large extent they already are. These Monsanto chemical and GMO cronies all share genetically engineered traits and create the patented herbicides and pesticides that GMO crops require to thrive.

Monsanto is infamous for taking advantage of small farmers, and with the advent of MoU's they are doing so with governmental license. Countries like India, Pakistan, Australia, and New Zealand have all executed MoUs with Monsanto. MoUs or memorandum's of understanding permit Monsanto to use publicly owned lands to create so called demonstration farms (GMO breeding camps) which in turn--at least in the case of Rajasthan--are subsidized by the government.

Monsanto literally takes farmer seeds, creates genetically engineered copycat versions, and then retains all intellectual property rights. Dr. Vandana Shiva, Executive Director of the Navdanya Trust, an Indian organization committed to organic biodiversity, states that "the MoUs will in effect, facilitate bio-piracy of Rajasthan's rich biodiversity of draught -resilient crops .... by failing to have any clauses that respect the Biodiversity Act and the Farmers' Rights Act, the MoUs promote bio-piracy and legalize the great seed robbery." (

It is common knowledge that GMO seeds are much worse than conventional ones. As with all of their agreements, Monsanto shields itself from any liability--so when the Monsanto's promises of higher yields with less work ring hollow, when farmers crops fail, or when mass suicides are committed because of crop failure and spirit-crushing debt...Monsanto presses on with no worries. (

Farmers that sign up for Monsanto's seeds of destruction find themselves hooked. Year after year, no matter what prices are being charged, they are dependent on GMO seeds for new crops because GMO seeds--the bastardized versions they are--don't regenerate. (

Monsanto has no qualms about robbing farmers that don't play poker with them. As a mater of fact, it makes a business of it. Conventional and organic farmers in both Canada and the U.S., who have the misfortune of having lands that border GMO farms, often end up with trace contamination in their crops, making them (if organic), unsuitable for sale. Monsanto actually uses this situation against farmers and files patent infringement claims that they often win.

The result: Farm owners are left with exorbitant legal bills and fines often forcing them to shut down--clearing away Monsanto competition. In a savvy move for survival, a preemptive suit on behalf of almost 300,000 plaintiffs seeking legal safe harbor, has been filed in New York. (

Monsanto's product has changed from poison to food, but it has held true to its history of violating the rights and health of people around the globe. Monsanto is a 100% committed to the sale of their seeds of destruction no matter what it takes: bullying, infiltration of high government offices with company friendly individuals, or intimidation. The organic movement has taken up the standard against Monsanto's machinations in court as well as through grassroots education and activist efforts. The organic revolution is Monsanto's Achilles heel, and its goal is a world without Monsanto.



Articles Related to This Article:
• Monsanto: The world's poster child for corporate manipulation and deceit

• Monsanto nation: Exposing Monsanto's minions

• Monsanto: History of Contamination and Cover-up

• Who and What Is the Monsanto Chemical Corporation?

• The Organic Elite Surrender to Monsanto - What Now?

• South African GMO Crop Failure Highlights Dangers of Food Supply Domination

A Panda isn't corrupt - but the WorldWideFraud is

Subject: [DIVERSE_LIFE] A Panda isn't corrupt - but the WorldWideFraud is

A Panda isn't corrupt - but the WorldWideFraud is
The Silence of Pandas - What the WWF Isn’t Saying
Current Affairs / Politics and Economy

Title: Silence of Pandas
Original title: Der Pakt mit dem Panda - Ist der WWF käuflich ?
Film by: Wilfried Huismann
Format: 52`
Co-Production: WDR / SWR
Year of production: 2011
Language / subtitle version: German , English
Current Affairs / Politics / Economy

The WWF is the largest environmental protection organisation in the world. Trust in its green projects is almost boundless. With rousing campaigns, the WWF directly targets the conscience of its donors – everyone should do their part to save endangered species, the climate and the rainforest. The WWF was founded on September 11, 1961. Today it is the most influential lobby for the environment in the world. Thanks largely to its excellent contacts in both the political and industrial spheres. Behind this eco-facade, the film uncovered explosive stories from all around the world. Stories of displaced peoples, cleared rainforests and the huge money-making industry that is the WWF's green seal of approval. The documentary follows the donations.
In Indonesia, the WWF is fundraising for the threatened orang-utan of Borneo, but on the ground the filmmaker was unable to find a single WWF orang-utan protection project. On the contrary, it found that the WWF is cooperating with a company that is clearing the last forests at the heart of Borneo in order to create palm oil plantations, while the orang-utans keep dying. The WWF takes money from the company in exchange for its quality seal for “sustainable production”. Around the world, the WWF is entering into partnerships with huge companies in the fields of energy and agribusiness. Are WWF deals with industry helping to save the last intact eco-systems in the world or accelerating their destruction?

PDF downloadDownload synopsis (228,34 kb)
In German:
Der Pakt mit dem Panda: Was uns der WWF verschweigt. Doku über die
Umeltschutzorganisation in der ARD Mediathek

WWF-Doku Wiki: Wiki zum kollaborativen Faktencheck



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RSIS Commentary 95/2011 Framing Cyber Warfare: Between Offence and Defence by Alan Chong and Nah Liang Tuang

RSIS presents the following commentary Framing Cyber Warfare: Between Offence and Defence by Alan Chong and Nah Liang Tuang. It is also available online at this link. (To print it, click on this link.). Kindly forward any comments or feedback to the Editor RSIS Commentaries, at
No. 95/2011 dated 28 June 2011
Framing Cyber Warfare:
Between Offence and Defence
By Alan Chong and Nah Liang Tuang
The increasing frequency of cyber attacks purportedly mounted by state and non-state actors is causing worry worldwide. However policymakers need to steer carefully between their offensive and defensive dimensions in discussing options for cyber defence.
THE RECENT reported hacking into Google’s Gmail accounts in China purportedly by actors with links to the Chinese authorities through a dedicated Cyber Warfare unit are – if proved true - worrying developments for international IT security. The US administration has suggested that the alleged Chinese-sponsored infiltration into Google’s Gmail database might constitute an act of war requiring military action. Such a reaction, however, may be disproportionate considering that it was unclear if the hackers had provable links to the Chinese government. Nonetheless, the uproar highlights the growing possibility of a slide towards Cyber Warfare conflicts.
Cyber Warfare (CW) can include operations conducted in cyberspace to attack an adversary’s critical Information Technology (IT) infrastructure. The goal would be to disrupt military command and control systems, sabotage operations and logistics networks, cripple corporate IT services and remotely steal sensitive data. This could involve online infiltration of the target’s information systems via hacking attacks, the planting of computer viruses into the systems’ networks and co-ordinated attempts to overwhelm enemy servers via denial of service attacks.
Clarifying the Threat
As successful CW operations could cripple military operational readiness and result in severe economic disruption, the importance of CW defence for holistic national security cannot be gainsaid. However, it is often difficult to distinguish between corporate and juvenile mischief on the one hand, and an outright act of war on the other. An act of war requires the clear identification of a source. Consequently, the victim has to politically determine that a cyber attack would be crippling to its national life to the extent that it constitutes paralysis on a nation-wide scale of the order of the World War II attack on Pearl Harbour.
In 2007, Estonia suffered a massive cyber attack which was ostensibly routed through a number of servers based in Russia. While this attack coincided with offline tensions between ethnic Russians and Estonians, it could not be conclusively proven that the Russian government was behind it. More recently Malaysian government portals were hit in mid-June 2011 by an unknown group named Anonymous. And serial attacks were mounted against corporations such as Sony and Nintendo, as well as at the International Monetary Fund. Do these attacks on non-state actors and intergovernmental organisations amount to acts of ‘war’?
Offence, Conquest and Fending Off Intrusions
Most defence industry professionals and government experts suggest that militaries should invest in cyber defences simply because the Internet generates cyberspace as a fourth dimension of war. However, “cyber warfare” is rooted in old fashioned thinking. The Internet invites interdependence upon common software frames and its derivatives. Consider how Internet Explorer and Java programmes work with APPLE and Microsoft operating systems while Google search engines work in tandem with myriad book publishers and information agencies.
The Internet works for anyone who travels the information superhighway only if the ‘vendors’ of various services online collaborate and accept niche dominance in certain services. Indeed, the vast majority of the world’s corporations rely on software compatibility over the Internet so that virtual meetings can be conducted and work allocation efficiently coordinated. Accordingly an expert like Martin Libicki rightly claims that friendly ‘conquests’ of cyberspace have occurred through firms that have spearheaded software enhancements to the Internet or to services offered online.
These conquests are not territorial but are virtual conquering of Internet space akin to the capturing of uncontested market share. When these services appear online, they advertise themselves to attract clients and in turn, their competitors desire to learn, or steal, the secrets of their success.
Institutionalising Cyber Warfare ‘Defence’?
Therefore, one cannot speak of CW preparedness in the way one might seek to counter the latest conventional weapons. Defence in CW means fending off intrusions through vigilance in monitoring traffic and intent. One might even consider ‘cyberdeterrence’ a possibility. But it is one that is supported by law enforcement agencies skilled in electronic monitoring and coordinating prosecution of cyber malefactors through international collaboration. Interpol can be involved in these efforts because a crime online can be legislated to be a crime offline.
Aside from litigable cases, there are many intrusions that are mounted for vanity and thrill-seeking reasons. Finally, if one considers deterring state-sponsored cyber attacks, then the usual threats of suspending international online commerce apply. Interestingly, both China and Iran have insulated parts of their information infrastructure from the World Wide Web as a form of prophylactic.
Can Singapore afford to follow the containment approach to sanitising national virtual space? The answer is no. It has a globalised economy that relies on the Internet to augment its maritime and aviation connections, ports, airports and border checkpoints. Despite the fact that Singapore does not have overt state enemies and has not suffered any serious CW attacks to its critical infrastructure, its corporate IT infrastructure has experienced significant attacks over the past three years. A 2010 Symantec State of Enterprise Security Study reported that 67% of companies in Singapore have been subjected to cyberattacks between 2009 and 2010. It noted that the top three attacks featured theft of intellectual property (100 per cent), work environment downtime (67 per cent) and theft of other corporate data (33 per cent).
Respond and Recover
Hence, a clear case can be made for the institutionalisation and development of strong Cyber Warfare defence capability. The Singapore Infocomm Technology Security Agency (SITSA) is working with private sector professionals to foster a ‘respond and recover’ culture among companies and other vulnerable agencies.
Such an approach, while low-keyed, assures the global business community that cyber defence here is being treated with a clinical approach without going to the extreme of threatening forceful retaliation. The point is to practise vigilance, early detection, and round-the-clock monitoring, which is what cyber protection is all about. It supplements the protection of critical civil infrastructure functions like power and water supply, telecommunications, e-banking, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Singapore Stock Exchange.
‘Respond and recover’ is not just a mantra for an Internet-reliant nation-state. It is also about clarifying the principles of framing cyber warfare without venturing into the military template of offence and defence.

Alan Chong is an Associate Professor of International Relations at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. Nah Liang Tuang is an Associate Research Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University.

Another Step Closer To A One World Religion: 50 U.S. Churches To Read From The Quran On Sunday

----- Original Message -----
Another Step Closer To A One World Religion: 50 U.S. Churches To Read From The Quran On Sunday

This is amusing but deadly serious. First "they" rewrote the King James Bible (Scofield Reference Bible) to fit their globalist agenda. Worked like a charm. Mission accomplished... Then "they" convinced the puffy, putty faced, brain dead, evangelical morons that they should go out and kill Muslims for Jesus. After all, who would Jesus bomb? Mission accomplished. Now it is time for stage three. The so-called Christian world is exhausted from ten years of killing for Jesus. And to be brutally frank, the endless wars in Asia are starting to cut in to our standard of living. So, now it is time to convince the same brain dead morons that there really is not much difference between the Christians and the Muslims. So let's make nice and be friends.... In one Church? Or is it in one Mosque? Not going to happen? Listen carefully to Pat Robertson, John Hagee, and Rick Warren. They will tell you how to think.........And it will be so easy!!!!

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you committ atrocities."

The American Dream June 27, 2011
The three main pillars of the “New World Order” that the global elite want to bring about are a one world economy, a one world government and a one world religion. A lot of attention gets paid to the development of the first two pillars, but the third pillar gets very little attention. But the truth is that a one world religion is getting closer than ever. “Interfaith” conferences and meetings are being held with increasing frequency all over the globe. Major global religious leaders are urging all of us to focus on our “shared” religious traditions. The belief that all religions are equally valid paths to the same destination is being taught in houses of worship and at religious institutions all over the globe. This “interfaith movement” is being promoted by NGOs, “charitable foundations” and top politicians and it is being backed by big money all over the planet.
Another Step Closer To A One World Religion: 50 U.S. Churches To Read From The Quran On Sunday religion
Now some U.S. churches are trying to take things to another level. On June 26th, the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. and approximately 50 other churches in 26 U.S. states will publicly read from the Quran during their Sunday worship services.
This is all part of an interfaith project being promoted by the Interfaith Alliance and Human Rights First. The theme of this Sunday is “Faith Shared: Uniting in Prayer and Understanding”, and the goal is apparently to show how much Christian churches in the United States respect Islam.
The following are some of the other prominent U.S. churches that will be doing Quran readings this Sunday….
*Christ Church in New York City
*All Saints Church in Pasadena, California
*Park Hill Congregational in Denver
*Hillview United Methodist in Boise, Idaho
*First United Lutheran in San Francisco
*St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church in Honolulu
In all, churches in 26 U.S. states will be participating.
But these Quran readings are just supposed to be the beginning of something bigger. The following is from a description of the Quran reading project on the website of Human Rights First….

At its core, this project will bring together Christian, Jewish and Muslim clergy to read from and hear from each other’s sacred texts. In doing so, they will serve as a model for respect and cooperation and create a concrete opportunity to build and strengthen working ties between and among faith communities moving forward.

The truth is that all Americans have the freedom to read the Quran whenever they want. But should Christian churches be reading from it during Sunday worship and should they be seeking to “build and strengthen working ties” with Islamic groups that are seeking to promote the spread of another religion?

Obviously, many Christian leaders are not pleased with this development. Worldview Weekend President Brannon Howse recently made the following comment regarding the reading of the Quran in U.S. churches….

“They have denied the exclusivity of Jesus Christ. They have denied the inerrancy of Scripture; they’ve denied the inspiration of Scripture.”

Sadly, this is not a new trend. The truth is that the “interfaith movement” has been building momentum for decades and some of the most prominent religious leaders in the world are involved.
For example, the following excerpt from a CNS article talks about a huge “interfaith event” hosted by the Pope when he visited Washington D.C. in 2008….

When Pope Benedict XVI comes to the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington for an early-evening interfaith meeting April 17 with Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Muslims and representatives of other religions, space will be at a premium.

Many top U.S. Christian leaders have been very involved in the “interfaith movement” as well.
For example, Brian McLaren, one of the top leaders of the emerging church movement, actually celebrated Ramadan back in 2009.
Rick Warren, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, has been a guest speaker at the national conference of the Islamic Society of North America.
Some time ago, a virtual “who’s who” of evangelical Christian leaders that included Rick Warren, Robert Schuller, Brian McLaren, Richard Cizik and Bill Hybels all signed a letter to the Islamic community that was entitled “Loving God And Neighbor Together”. This letter made it abundantly clear that these Christians leaders consider Allah and the Christian God to be the same entity.
Let’s take a quick look at a couple of quotes from the letter….

Before we “shake your hand” in responding to your letter, we ask forgiveness of the All-Merciful One

In Islam, “the All-Merciful One” is one of the key names for Allah.
So in this letter the Christian leaders were praying to Allah and were asking for his forgiveness and were acknowledging that he is God.
Here is another quote from the letter….

If we fail to make every effort to make peace and come together in harmony you correctly remind us that “our eternal souls” are at stake as well.

Very strangely, in the letter the Christian leaders claim that their “eternal souls” are at stake if they do not make every effort to “come together in harmony” with the Islamic community.
Once again, people in America are free to believe whatever they want, but Christian leaders should not be trying to develop religious ties with Islam.
The truth is that Jesus would not have wanted anything to do with this one world religion that the New World Order is trying to bring in.
In John 14:6, Jesus made the following statement…..

I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

You would think that would be so clear that no Christian leader would ever be able to misunderstand it.
In fact, the very first two of the Ten Commandments are about how no other gods should ever be worshipped except for the one true God. In Exodus 20:3-6 it says the following….

Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

But today everybody wants to be “politically correct”.
That is especially true of religious leaders.
But this is exactly what the global elite want. They want everyone herded into one giant “global religion” that they will be able to take charge of and control.
Of course once the global religion is established, they won’t have much use for the real Jesus Christ or for the Bible.
Even if you are not a Christian, you should be deeply troubled by these developments.
Yesterday, I wrote about Agenda 21 and the radical population control agenda of the global elite. The reality is that they want to use “climate change” and environmentalism as social engineering tools in order to reconstruct society in the way that they see fit.
I have also previously written about the globalization of the world economy. The global elite eventually want to merge us all into a one world economic system that they will totally dominate.
So even if you are not of any faith, you should be alarmed when you see attempts being made to merge the major religions of the world into one global faith.
So what do all of you think about the trend toward a one world religion? Feel free to leave a comment with your opinion below….

On wasted military service and the fake Cold War-->>USSR propped up by main financial interests of the U.S.

"The comments below are not mine, but are from a friend. I agree with them completely. I urge everyone to listen to Dr. Anthony Sutton. Very important if you want to understand the matrix we live in. When the "music starts" will you know that you are being played?????"

Subject: On wasted military service and the fake Cold War-->>USSR propped up by main financial interests of the U.S.

More in the category of "waking-the-fuk-up" information.

The 13-minute audio file attached to this email is a sampling of a lecture given by the late Antony Sutton, once an economics professor at Cal-State (Los Angeles) and a research fellow at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University.

Sutton wrote several completely-sourced books (from official archives). He wrote, among many, "Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution" as well as "Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler." Now the fact that these two of books, as an example, which were published in the mid-1970s and early 1980s are never mentioned in US classroom, should give one pause as to how far the control of knowledge goes in the public and "private" US education system (see last item).

This audio file is a microscopic sampling of the type of irrefutable, archived information available which further exposes the reality of the world being a playground for geopolitical masturbation by big money. It should be pointed out to the less researched (or at least to those who have not ventured beyond the censored text book history taught in school) that the largest corporations and western tax-exempt foundations are behind the funding and authoring of foreign policy and domestic legislation as tools to squeeze out free enterprise and basic human freedom, the Council on Foreign Relations* being the main, central hub in New York.

The entire shocking Sutton lecture:

More on US funding of the Soviet Union:

Specifically, "Building the Big Red Machine:"

This is the tip of the ice berg on the past. Today, if you dig just a little beyond FOX News for example, you will eventually stumble upon tidbits like how British Intelligence got to fund the Muslim Brotherhood:
"When you control both sides of a argument, you always win, no matter what."

How your reality was shaped:

In 1954, a special Congressional Committee investigated the interlocking web of tax-exempt foundations to see what impact their grants were having on the American psyche. The Committee stumbled onto the fact that some of these groups had embarked upon a gigantic project to rewrite American history and incorporate it into new school text books.
Norman Dodd, the committee's research director found, in the archives of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace the following remarkable statement of purpose:
The only way to maintain control of the population was to obtain control of education in the U.S. They realized this was a prodigious task so they approached the Rockefeller Foundation with the suggestion that they go in tandem and that portion of education which could be considered as domestically oriented be taken over by the Rockefeller Foundation and that portion which was oriented to International matters be taken over by the Carnegie Endowment.
The Rockefeller Foundation agreed to take on the domestic portion of the task. The purpose of all this interest in history, was of course to rewrite it. Dodd explained:
They decided that the success of this program lay in the manner in which American history was to be presented. They then approached four of the then most-prominent historians -- such as Mary and Charles Beard -- with the suggestion that they alter the manner in which they were accustomed to presenting the subject. They [were] turned down flat, so...they decided they [had] to build a coterie of historians of their own selection.
The Guggenheim Foundation agreed to award fellowships to historians recommended by the Carnegie Endowment. Gradually, through the 1920's, they assembled a group of twenty promising young academics, and took them to London. There they briefed them on what was expected of them when they became professors of American history. That twenty were the nucleus of what was eventually to become the American Historical Association.
In 1928, the American Historical Association was granted $400.000 by the Carnegie Endowment to write a seven volume study on the direction the nation was to take. The thrust of these books, according to Dodd was that "the future of this country belongs to collectivism and humanism."
Dodd concluded from his study that these tax-exempt foundations -- by virtue of the fact that they pay for these studies -- lay at the heart of a group determined to destroy the United States.

*Hillary Clinton admits that the Council on Foreign Relations gives the orders:

Friday, June 24, 2011

Black Swans From New Normal


Black Swans From New Normal

By Jim Willie CB

Jun 23 2011 9:19AM

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

Mohammed El-Erian is given credit for the phrase 'The New Normal' to mean an altered state of perceived instability within the normalcy realm, as in crisis being called normal, like endless crisis. As buddy Jim Mess in Europe says, just like trying to redefine what debt default is, it sounds like high octane prevarication. El-Erian is considered one of the good guys. He served capably at Harvard University on the management team of the giant multi-$billion endowment fund. At PIMCO, he worked on the team to direct the biggest bond fund in the world to turn its back on the entire USTreasury Bond complex. In fact, their Total Return Fund, its flagship bond fund, is net short on USTreasurys as a group. That means they own a raft of Credit Default Swaps for USGovt debt default and an assortment of other vehicles like the TNX and TYX that track the 10-year and 30-year bond yield. They recognize an asset bubble when they see one, and even invest in Gold.

The other person relevant to the article title is Nassim Taleb, who coined the term Black Swan. Generally it refers to the extreme oddity that passes through view, shows up on the radar, the extreme warning signal being dire, but is largely ignored by the masses, regarded as the exception or outlier event. THE BLACK SWAN HAS BECOME THE NATIONAL BIRD!! When a few black swans appear, the alert analysts pay heed and express their warnings. When an armada of black swans appear, the message is clear. A systemic failure is in progress, and the important foundations are crumbling. In 2009 and 2010, it was clear that numerous black swans were sighted and identified. In 2011, something highly unusual and extraordinary has occurred. The black swans can be organized into groups. They are numerous within each important economic and financial camp. The Armada of Black Swans, well organized into regiments, has become dominant enough to be considered the New Normal. During the global financial crisis (which has earned a widely used GFC acronym), tragically the state of crisis has become an engrained latticework on the reality mosaic. A quick review at a high level should cause alarm, except for the gradual pathogenesis that dictates the pace of systemic failure in progress. If the list below were presented as a Wall Street Journal forecast in 2006, the author would have been subjected to laughter, derision, and mockery. Yet here and now, the organized groups of black swans are visible everywhere one looks. Worse, they are carrying nuclear slingshots, and excrete highly toxic green blobs into the liquidity streams that we have grown so dependent upon.

Quantitative Easing will continue for obvious reasons. Many were outlined in the last two articles. The QE2 will continue seamlessly, extending beyond the June 30th deadline. It will change in complexion slightly to become QE3, with some added twists like to include some municipal bonds. Later the entire financial initiatives will morph into a Global QE, since all major central banks will face the same plight. They will all purchase USTreasury Bonds or face extinction, in order to support their own balance sheets. The credibility of the US Federal Reserve has undergone major damage. In the next year, it will be totally destroyed. The factor ignored by many analysts is that the USFed balance sheet has expanded recklessly, and insolvency is its unavoidable condition. If the US housing market does not revive, then the US banks will go deeper into insolvency, carrying perhaps two million homes on their books at some point in the future. The resulting effect on the USFed balance sheet is permanent ruin. The USFed does have owners, and they cannot be pleased. The turnaround in the housing market never occurred. Its prospects look worse with each passing month. If the USGovt or the Elite operating as handlers for the captive USGovt decide to convert private property into collectivized syndicate ownership, and use their Fannie Mae device as agent for the process, then perhaps the USFed might serve as a facilitator to the vast Collectivism project. The United States Government might someday own the majority of homes in the nation, maybe even commercial buildings and shopping malls too. The disenfranchised can always go camping, guided by a emergency team.

Consider the following black swan specimens, each of which is astounding, each alarming, each serving as one more added element to the ruined situation. The swan organization is admittedly rough, but the regiments are put in sensible order. Any small handful of these signals would qualify as forewarning a profound crisis. Not anymore, since crisis is the new normal. Not anymore, since black swans adorn the entire landscape. A healthy white swan gradually suffers from toxic exposure, quickly to turn black from a fast acting decay process. Apologies for overlooking at least a dozen other important other black swans, as time and space did not permit the exhaustive catalogue process. Emphasis was given to the United States ponds and its migratory bird population.


USGovt debt ceiling standoff, with actual violations
Over 75% of USTreasurys auctioned bought by the USFed in debt monetization
Turnaround from primary bond dealers to POMO repurchase by the USFed is 3 weeks
Foreign banks form 12 of 21 primary bond dealers
PIMCO owns no USTreasury Bonds, even short
Global boycott of USTBond by creditors, some net sellers
Foreign creditors owns the majority of USGovt debt
A fixture of $1.5 trillion annual USGovt deficits
Greenspan and David Stockman warn of USGovt debt catastrophe
USMint officers admit Fort Knox has been shut down for 30 years, as in zero gold


QE permanence, otherwise called QE to Infinity, worked into standard policy
Bank of England urges more bond buying
Cost of money 0% for two full years, implication being destroyed capital
Chairman regards monetary hyper-inflation as being zero cost
Ron Paul pushes for a USFed audit, an end run to pay down USGovt debt
USFed owns more USTBonds than any other creditor
Competing Currency War has Euro weakness mean USDollar as all circle the toilet


USGovt could shut all operations but still be have a budget deficit
USGovt could confiscate all income but still have a budget deficit
USGovt must cover AIG payouts on Greek Govt debt default from CDSwaps
US Postal Service stops all payments into their pension system
New York Fed refuses to disclose the destination of $6.6 billion missing from Iraqi Reconstruction Fund
Federal Worker Pension Funds and G-Funds confiscated (called borrowed)
USMint runs out of gold & silver metal to make coins


GATA Gold Rush 2011 in London Savoy Hotel on August 4th will feature the COMEX whisteblower Andrew Maguire
Silver futures contracts settled almost exclusively in cash, often with 25% vig bonus
Gold & silver futures contracts often settled with GLD & SLV shares
Umpteen margin increases for gold & silver futures contracts, but reductions in USTBond futures contract margin requirements
Brent versus West Texas crude oil price has a $20 spread
Every time Bernanke assures US financial markets, gold & silver rise in price
Elimination of Over The Counter gold & silver contracts due in mid-July


Chronically insolvent USFed and EuroCB, balance sheets ruined
FASB accounting rules permit banks to grade their own test exams
Stress Test for banks had almost no stress, a sham
Shadow housing inventory held by banks over one million homes
Wall Street firms in court on the defensive, JPMorgan foreclosed soldiers
Wall Street firms banned in Europe on bond securitization and issuance
Strategic mortgage defaults by homeowners on the fast rise
Gold holdings by tyrant Arab rulers targeted by New York & London banks
War over Libya grabbed $90 billion in Qaddafi money by New York & London
PIGS sovereign debt default in Europe to have impact ripples that reach US banks
Standard & Poors reminds the players what constitutes a debt default
No liquidation of big US or London or European banks since Lehman Brothers
Much of dull US population believes the propaganda that Gold is a bubble


USEconomic indexes fall off the cliff, see Philly Fed, Empire State, ISMs
Rampant systemic insolvency in banks, homes, federal government
US housing resumes its powerful bear market
US land title system in the disintegration process, see MERS on mortgage titles
Unemployment at 20% across the Western world, economic misery index hit 30%
USGovt economic stimulus never contains stimulus
Shrinking US trucker industry from $4 gasoline and diesel
China begins to export price inflation to the United States
Killing state worker union pensions as part of the state budget shortfalls
Gulf of Mexico off limits for oil drilling
1 in 7 Americans is on Food Stamps, whose debit cards are good JPMorgan business


Food price inflation is staggering but denied
Floods across Midwest & Plains states to interrupt with planting & harvest
Australian floods have interfered with coal industry and agriculture
Big volcanoes like in Chile and Iceland disrupt weather and air travel


German bankers at war with Euro Central Bank
Germans abandon the EuroCB, leaving it to Goldman Sachs, see Draghi
Spanish banking system has yet to write down much on housing credit assets
Portugal, Italy, and Spain sure to follow Greece into a debt default
Belgium has had no government for a full year
Ireland prints more money per capita than the USFed


G-8 Meeting is pushed aside, as the Anglos deal with broad insolvency
G-20 Meeting takes center stage in a power play, led by China and the BRICs
China buys discounted PIGS sovereign debt, to redeem later in central bank gold
Chinese FX reserves exceed $3 trillion held in sovereign wealth funds
China owns most world major ports, as part of a strangulation process
China conducts the great Idaho experiment, toward re-industrialization of America


Swiss faces hundreds of $million lawsuits, for refusal to deliver Allocated gold
Saudi Arabia cuts new deal for Persian Gulf security protection, see Petro-Dollar
Citigroup has high hidden exposure to Greek Govt debt default
Chinese anger over reneged USGovt gold & silver lease, as part of the Most Favored Nation granted status, has motivated its extreme pursuit of precious metals
Containers hold $300 to $500 billion in EuroNotes at Greek port warehouses
Internet strides light years ahead of USGovt regulatory hounds at syndicate offices


The great spring 2011 precious metals consolidation is coming to an end. In no way is the Quantitative Easing program coming to an end, otherwise known as hyper monetary inflation. Printed money is being abused to cover bank insolvency and to redeem toxic bank assets. The central banks are taking down the QE billboards. They will continue with their debt monetization in order to manage the financial system collapse in an orderly manner. As David Malpass adroitly said on Bloomberg Financial News, the debt monetization known as quantitative easing will quietly become an integral but hidden part of the USFed monetary policy. The central bank must find a way to cover the $200 billion in monthly USTreasury auctions, to roll over the obligated primary bond dealer inventory, and to lap up the mountain of toxic mortgage bonds that prevent an all-out cave-in of the bank balance sheets. The reality is that nothing has been fixed, nor attempted in solution. The grotesque insolvency of banks, households, and government is the marquee message. Without continued monetization, the system would collapse rapidly and disorderly. However, with continued monetization, with a QE chapter by another name or conducted behind the same curtains, the system will collapse in a gradual and orderly manner. The USFed has no more credibility. Witness the early stage of another uniformly applied global Gold bull market breakout.

The Gold price has hit record highs in the British Pound Sterling, where their banks are insolvent, their economy is in reverse, price inflation is ramping up, and their currency is facing grandiose debasement. The SterlingGold price smells monetary ruin. The global breakout is manifested first in the most broken non-American locations, since the spring ambush orchestrated in the COMEX has put huge pressure on foreign currencies. The Competing Currency War still leads the desperate USFed officials to slam foreign currencies and to place financial press attention on their declines.

The EuroGold price smells monetary ruin. The attention has been squarely on the Greek battle to avoid debt default. Every news story about the USEconomy faltering is following immediately by a story of Greek bailout impasse or Athens challenge to ingest suicidal austerity pills or riots on the Athens streets. The differentiation of EuroBonds with greatly varying bond yields has permitted the Euro to trade on speculative merit. The Greek default threat surely pushes down the Euro. But the prospect of a higher Euro Central Bank interest rate leaves speculators to buy the Euro, since proper pricing mechanisms are in place on the sovereign bond yields. The European investors are clearly flocking to Swiss banks on the paper investment side, but their pursuit of Gold is enormous. The Euro Monetary Union is running on fumes. The pain in Spain is hardly on the wane. The Gold price will rise and break out soon enough.

The YenGold price smells monetary ruin. The situation in Japan is terrible, complicated, and tragic. The advent of trade deficits will aggravate the outsized cumulative debt burden on the nation. The paradox is starting to show itself. Their trade deficits will force the national insurance firms and banks, even the Bank of Japan, to sell existing US$-based assets in a political compromise. They do not want to monetize more debts. They do not want to create worse federal budget deficits. They will compromise by selling foreign assets to finance the reconstruction and dislocation costs. The paradox will manifest itself with a rising Yen currency in the face of worsening deficits in every conceivable crevice. As their nation slides into a sea of red ink, the salt on the wounds coming in the form of price inflation, the Gold price will rise and break out soon enough.

Last to break out will be Gold in US$ terms. The Gold price smells monetary ruin on home turf, not to be deceived by any USFed head fakes. Perhaps a sudden awakening to the obvious continuation of QE2 and merge into QE3 could enable a Gold breakout in double quick fashion, ahead of other currencies. Much more stability is seen in the Gold price rise in US$ terms, as the destruction is more stable, the monetary ruin more understood, the federal budget debate more openly futile, and the national insolvency more publicized. The early May high of 1563 will easily be surpassed, all in time. The impetus might be QE163 or a liberated USGovt deficit from a raised debt limit or a failed USTreasury auction or a big US bank failure or a spike in mortgage rates or a plummet in housing prices or a longer parade than the current stream of miserable USEconomic data. The Gold price rose toward $1550 following the vacant FOMC meeting on Wednesday, where the main purpose was to put us to sleep.


From subscribers and readers:

At least 30 recently on correct forecasts regarding the bailout parade, numerous nationalization deals such as for Fannie Mae and the grand Mortgage Rescue.

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Jim Willie CB Editor of the "HAT TRICK LETTER"
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June 22, 2011


Jim Willie CB is a statistical analyst in marketing research and retail forecasting. He holds a PhD in Statistics. His career has stretched over 25 years. He aspires to thrive in the financial editor world, unencumbered by the limitations of economic credentials. Visit his free website to find articles from topflight authors at For personal questions about subscriptions, contact him at