Saturday, December 27, 2014

Half of All Children Will Be Autistic by 2025, Warns Senior Research Scientist at MIT

Half of All Children Will Be Autistic by 2025, Warns Senior Research Scientist at MIT

Published: December 26, 2014
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Why? Evidence points to glyphosate toxicity from the overuse of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide on our food.
For over three decades, Stephanie Seneff, PhD, has researched biology and technology, over the years publishing over 170 scholarly peer-reviewed articles. In recent years she has concentrated on the relationship between nutrition and health, tackling such topics as Alzheimer’s, autism, and cardiovascular diseases, as well as the impact of nutritional deficiencies and environmental toxins on human health.
At a conference last Thursday, in a special panel discussion about GMOs, she took the audience by surprise when she declared, “At today’s rate, by 2025, one in two children will be autistic.” She noted that the side effects of autism closely mimic those of glyphosate toxicity, and presented data showing a remarkably consistent correlation between the use of Roundup on crops (and the creation of Roundup-ready GMO crop seeds) with rising rates of autism. Children with autism have biomarkers indicative of excessive glyphosate, including zinc and iron deficiency, low serum sulfate, seizures, and mitochondrial disorder.
A fellow panelist reported that after Dr. Seneff’s presentation, “All of the 70 or so people in attendance were squirming, likely because they now had serious misgivings about serving their kids, or themselves, anything with corn or soy, which are nearly all genetically modified and thus tainted with Roundup and its glyphosate.”
Dr. Seneff noted the ubiquity of glyphosate’s use. Because it is used on corn and soy, all soft drinks and candies sweetened with corn syrup and all chips and cereals that contain soy fillers have small amounts of glyphosate in them, as do our beef and poultry since cattle and chicken are fed GMO corn or soy. Wheat is often sprayed with Roundup just prior to being harvested, which means that all non-organic bread and wheat products would also be sources of glyphosate toxicity. The amount of glyphosate in each product may not be large, but the cumulative effect (especially with as much processed food as Americans eat) could be devastating. A recent study shows that pregnant women living near farms where pesticides are applied have a 60% increased risk of children having an autism spectrum disorder.
Other toxic substances may also be autism-inducing. You may recall our story on the CDC whistleblower who revealed the government’s deliberate concealment of the link between the MMR vaccine (for measles, mumps, and rubella) and a sharply increased risk of autism, particularly in African American boys. Other studies now show a link between children’s exposure to pesticides and autism. Children who live in homes with vinyl floors, which can emit phthalate chemicals, are more likely to have autism. Children whose mothers smoked were also twice as likely to have autism. Research now acknowledges that environmental contaminants such as PCBs, PBDEs, and mercury can alter brain neuron functioning even before a child is born.
This month, the USDA released a study finding that although there were detectable levels of pesticide residue in more than half of food tested by the agency, 99% of samples taken were found to be within levels the government deems safe, and 40% were found to have no detectable trace of pesticides at all. The USDA added, however, that due to “cost concerns,” it did not test for residues of glyphosate. Let’s repeat that: they never tested for the active ingredient in the most widely used herbicide in the world. “Cost concerns”? How absurd—unless they mean it will cost them too much in terms of the special relationship between the USDA and Monsanto. You may recall the revolving door between Monsanto and the federal government, with agency officials becoming high-paying executives—and vice versa! Money, power, prestige: it’s all there. Monsanto and the USDA love to scratch each others’ backs. Clearly this omission was purposeful.
In addition, as we have previously reported, the number of adverse reactions from vaccines can be correlated as well with autism, though Seneff says it doesn’t correlate quite as closely as with Roundup. The same correlations between applications of glyphosate and autism show up in deaths from senility.
Of course, autism is a complex problem with many potential causes. Dr. Seneff’s data, however, is particularly important considering how close the correlation is—and because it is coming from a scientist with impeccable credentials. Earlier this year, she spoke at the Autism One conference and presented many of the same facts; that presentation is available on YouTube.
Monsanto claims that Roundup is harmless to humans. Bacteria, fungi, algae, parasites, and plants use a seven-step metabolic route known as the shikimate pathway for the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids; glyphosate inhibits this pathway, causing the plant to die, which is why it’s so effective as an herbicide. Monsanto says humans don’t have this shikimate pathway, so it’s perfectly safe.
Dr. Seneff points out, however, that our gut bacteria do have this pathway, and that’s crucial because these bacteria supply our body with crucial amino acids. Roundup thus kills beneficial gut bacteria, allowing pathogens to grow; interferes with the synthesis of amino acids including methionine, which leads to shortages in critical neurotransmitters and folate; chelates (removes) important minerals like iron, cobalt and manganese; and much more.
Even worse, she notes, additional chemicals in Roundup are untested because they’re classified as “inert,” yet according to a 2014 study in BioMed Research International, these chemicals are capable of amplifying the toxic effects of Roundup hundreds of times over.
Glyphosate is present in unusually high quantities in the breast milk of American mothers, at anywhere from 760 to 1,600 times the allowable limits in European drinking water. Urine testing shows Americans have ten times the glyphosate accumulation as Europeans.
“In my view, the situation is almost beyond repair,” Dr. Seneff said after her presentation. “We need to do something drastic.”

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Terror and Grace in 1914

Terror and Grace in 1914

Marvin Olasky

12/25/2014 12:01:00 AM - Marvin Olasky
One hundred years ago this month, millions of Europeans got a foretaste of quasi-hell, and some saw a moment of quasi-heaven.
Most German, French, Austrian, and Russian generals had all hoped and planned for quick victories as World War I began in August 1914. By December, the horrible new normal of the next four years was sinking in. As historian Max Hastings put it, “Throughout history, armies had been accustomed to fight battles that most often lasted a single day, occasionally two or three, but thereafter petered out. Now, however, the allies and Germans explored a terrible new universe of continuous engagement. They accustomed themselves to killing and being killed for weeks on end.”
Some individuals had predicted this. German Commander in Chief von Moltke told Kaiser Wilhelm, “The war will utterly exhaust our own people even if we are victorious.” French writer AndrĂ© Gide spoke of entering “a long tunnel full of blood and darkness.”
As battles went on for weeks without respite, Bible-minded soldiers like Kresten Andresen of Germany saw how the dead piled up but the living also felt cursed: “We are on our way into the jaws of Hell.… We’re hardly human any more, at most we are well-drilled automatons who perform every action without any great reflection. O, Lord God, if only we could become human again.”
On Dec. 25, though, a bottom-up initiative in the trenches allowed many soldiers to become human again for a day. As one British soldier wrote to his hometown newspaper, “The Bedfordshire Times and Independent,” “There was no firing on Christmas Day and the Germans were quite friendly with us. They even came over to our trenches and gave us cigars and cigarettes and chocolate and of course we gave them things in return.”
Germans put up Christmas trees with hundreds of candles, and their bands serenaded the British with Christmas carols and ‘God Save the King.’
The informal “Christmas truce,” with about 100,000 British and German soldiers ceasing to fight, began on the night before Christmas, when along miles of trenches Germans put up Christmas trees with hundreds of candles, and their bands serenaded the British with Christmas carols and “God Save the King.” Then as one British soldier wrote, “I was never more surprised in my life when daylight came to see them all sitting on top of the trenches waving their hands and singing to us.”
British and German soldiers put down their rifles and came cautiously out of the trenches. Some had joint worship services and a few even played soccer. Letters home from British soldiers showed amazement: “Fancy shaking hands with the enemy! I suppose you will hardly believe this, but it is the truth.… Who would believe it if they did not see it with their own eyes? It is hard enough for us to believe.… It seemed like a dream.… Now I am going to tell you something which you will think incredible but I give you my word that it is true.… I saw it but thought I was dreaming.”
For the generals, though, this dream was a nightmare: How would the soldiers start killing each other again the next day? A British army order soon forbad “any rapprochement with the enemy in the trenches. All acts contrary to this order will be punished in high treason.” Other countries issued similar decrees, and soon one soldier could write to “The Whitehaven News,” “We’ve started scrapping again; and I can tell you it is not very nice in the trenches up to the knees in water.”
Isaiah, in chapters three and four of his book, forecast God’s judgment on nations that had gone astray: “Your men shall fall by the sword and your mighty men in battle.” Civilians will also suffer: “Instead of perfume there will be rottenness…instead of a rich robe, a skirt of sackcloth.” But misery creates pressure to repent: Some suffering comes for reasons beyond the ken of Job or the rest of us; but much of the time, when God slaps us in the face, our response should be, “Thanks, I needed that.”
One hundred years ago, God gave the czar, the kaiser, and their counterparts who claimed to be Christians an opportunity to admit that their strategies for early victory had failed. Yet they did not confess their pridefulness and kneel before God. Instead, they ignored His slap and poured out more buckets of blood.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Geopolitics of U.S.-Cuba Relations

The Geopolitics of U.S.-Cuba Relations
Geopolitical Weekly
December 23, 2014 | 09:00 GMT Print Text Size

By George Friedman

Last week, U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro agreed to an exchange of prisoners being held on espionage charges. In addition, Washington and Havana agreed to hold discussions with the goal of establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries. No agreement was reached on ending the U.S. embargo on Cuba, a step that requires congressional approval.

It was a modest agreement, striking only because there was any agreement at all. U.S.-Cuba relations had been frozen for decades, with neither side prepared to make significant concessions or even first moves. The cause was partly the domestic politics of each country that made it easier to leave the relationship frozen. On the American side, a coalition of Cuban-Americans, conservatives and human rights advocates decrying Cuba's record of human rights violations blocked the effort. On the Cuban side, enmity with the United States plays a pivotal role in legitimizing the communist regime. Not only was the government born out of opposition to American imperialism, but Havana also uses the ongoing U.S. embargo to explain Cuban economic failures. There was no external pressure compelling either side to accommodate the other, and there were substantial internal reasons to let the situation stay as it is.

The Cubans are now under some pressure to shift their policies. They have managed to survive the fall of the Soviet Union with some difficulty. They now face a more immediate problem: uncertainty in Venezuela. Caracas supplies oil to Cuba at deeply discounted prices. It is hard to tell just how close Cuba's economy is to the edge, but there is no question that Venezuelan oil makes a significant difference. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government is facing mounting unrest over economic failures. If the Venezuelan government falls, Cuba would lose one of its structural supports. Venezuela's fate is far from certain, but Cuba must face the possibility of a worst-case scenario and shape openings. Opening to the United States makes sense in terms of regime preservation.

The U.S. reason for the shift is less clear. It makes political sense from Obama's standpoint. First, ideologically, ending the embargo appeals to him. Second, he has few foreign policy successes to his credit. Normalizing relations with Cuba is something he might be able to achieve, since groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce favor normalization and will provide political cover in the Republican Party. But finally, and perhaps most important, the geopolitical foundations behind the American obsession with Cuba have for the most part evaporated, if not permanently than at least for the foreseeable future. Normalization of relations with Cuba no longer poses a strategic threat. To understand the U.S. response to Cuba in the past half century, understanding Cuba's geopolitical challenge to the United States is important.
Cuba's Strategic Value

The challenge dates back to the completion of the Louisiana Purchase by President Thomas Jefferson in 1803. The Territory of Louisiana had been owned by Spain for most of its history until it was ceded to France a few years before Napoleon sold it to the United States to help fund his war with the British. Jefferson saw Louisiana as essential to American national security in two ways: First, the U.S. population at the time was located primarily east of the Appalachians in a long strip running from New England to the Georgia-Florida border. It was extremely vulnerable to invasion with little room to retreat, as became evident in the War of 1812. Second, Jefferson had a vision of American prosperity built around farmers owning their own land, living as entrepreneurs rather than as serfs. Louisiana's rich land, in the hands of immigrants to the United States, would generate the wealth that would build the country and provide the strategic depth to secure it.

What made Louisiana valuable was its river structure that would allow Midwestern farmers to ship their produce in barges to the Mississippi River and onward down to New Orleans. There the grain would be transferred to oceangoing vessels and shipped to Europe. This grain would make the Industrial Revolution possible in Britain, because the imports of mass quantities of food freed British farmers to work in urban industries.

In order for this to work, the United States needed to control the Ohio-Missouri-Mississippi river complex (including numerous other rivers), the mouth of the Mississippi, the Gulf of Mexico, and the exits into the Atlantic that ran between Cuba and Florida and between Cuba and Mexico. If this supply chain were broken at any point, the global consequences — and particularly the consequences for the United States — would be substantial. New Orleans remains the largest port for bulk shipments in the United States, still shipping grain to Europe and importing steel for American production.

For the Spaniards, the Louisiana Territory was a shield against U.S. incursions into Mexico and its rich silver mines, which provided a substantial portion of Spanish wealth. With Louisiana in American hands, these critical holdings were threatened. From the American point of view, Spain's concern raised the possibility of Spanish interference with American trade. With Florida, Cuba and the Yucatan in Spanish hands, the Spaniards had the potential to interdict the flow of produce down the Mississippi.

Former President Andrew Jackson played the key role in Jeffersonian strategy. As a general, he waged the wars against the Seminole Indians in Florida and seized the territory from Spanish rule — and from the Seminoles. He defended New Orleans from British attack in 1814. When he became president, he saw that Mexico, now independent from Spain, represented the primary threat to the entire enterprise of mid-America. The border of Mexican Texas was on the Sabine River, only 193 kilometers (120 miles) from the Mississippi. Jackson, through his agent Sam Houston, encouraged a rising in Texas against the Mexicans that set the stage for annexation.

But Spanish Cuba remained the thorn in the side of the United States. The Florida and Yucatan straits were narrow. Although the Spaniards, even in their weakened state, might have been able to block U.S. trade routes, it was the British who worried the Americans most. Based in the Bahamas, near Cuba, the British, of many conflicting minds on the United States, could seize Cuba and impose an almost impregnable blockade, crippling the U.S. economy. The British depended on American grain, and it couldn't be ruled out that they would seek to gain control over exports from the Midwest in order to guarantee their own economic security. The fear of British power helped define the Civil War and the decades afterward.

Cuba was the key. In the hands of a hostile foreign power, it was as effective a plug to the Mississippi as taking New Orleans. The weakness of the Spaniards frightened the Americans. Any powerful European power — the British or, after 1871, the Germans — could easily knock the Spaniards out of Cuba. And the United States, lacking a powerful navy, would not be able to cope. Seizing Cuba became an imperative of U.S. strategy. Theodore Roosevelt, who as president would oversee America's emergence as a major naval power — and who helped ensure the construction of the Panama Canal, which was critical to a two-ocean navy — became the symbol of the U.S. seizure of Cuba in the Spanish-American War of 1898-1900.

With that seizure, New Orleans-Atlantic transit was secured. The United States maintained effective control over Cuba until the rise of Fidel Castro. But the United States remained anxious about Cuba's security. By itself, the island could not threaten the supply lines. In the hands of a significant hostile power, however, Cuba could become a base for strangling the United States. Before World War II, when there were some rumblings of German influence in Cuba, the United States did what it could to assure the rise of former Cuban leader Fulgencio Batista, considered an American ally or puppet, depending on how you looked at it. But this is the key: Whenever a major foreign power showed interest in Cuba, the United States had to react, which it did effectively until Castro seized power in 1959.
The Soviet Influence

If the Soviets were looking for a single point from which they could threaten American interests, they would find no place more attractive than Cuba. Therefore, whether Fidel Castro was a communist prior to seizing power, it would seem that he would wind up a communist ally of the Soviets in the end. I suspect he had become a communist years before he took power but wisely hid this, knowing that an openly communist ruler in Cuba would revive America's old fears. Alternatively, he might not have been a communist but turned to the Soviets out of fear of U.S. intervention. The United States, unable to read the revolution, automatically moved toward increasing its control. Castro, as a communist or agrarian reformer or whatever he was, needed an ally against U.S. involvement. Whether the arrangement was planned for years, as I suspect, or in a sudden rush, the Soviets saw it as a marriage made in heaven.

Had the Soviets never placed nuclear weapons in Cuba, the United States still would have opposed a Soviet ally in control of Cuba during the Cold War. This was hardwired into American geopolitics. But the Soviets did place missiles there, which is a story that must be touched on as well.

The Soviet air force lacked long-range strategic bombardment aircraft. In World War II, they had focused on shorter range, close air support aircraft to assist ground operations. The United States, engaging both Germany and Japan from the air at long range, had extensive experience with long-range bombing. Therefore, during the 1950s, the United States based aircraft in Europe, and then, with the B-52 in the continental United States, was able to attack the Soviet Union with nuclear weapons. The Soviets, lacking a long-range bomber fleet, could not retaliate against the United States. The balance of power completely favored the United States.

The Soviets planned to leapfrog the difficult construction of a manned bomber fleet by moving to intercontinental ballistic missiles. By the early 1960s, the design of these missiles had advanced, but their deployment had not. The Soviets had no effective deterrent against a U.S. nuclear attack except for their still-underdeveloped submarine fleet. The atmosphere between the United States and the Soviet Union was venomous, and Moscow could not assume that Washington would not use its dwindling window of opportunity to strike safely against the Soviets.

The Soviets did have effective intermediate range ballistic missiles. Though they could not reach the United States from the Soviet Union, they could cover almost all of the United States from Cuba. The Russians needed to buy just a little time to deploy a massive intercontinental ballistic missile and submarine force. Cuba was the perfect spot from which to deploy it. Had they succeeded, the Soviets would have closed the U.S. window of opportunity by placing a deterrent force in Cuba. They were caught before they were ready. The United States threatened invasion, and the Soviets had to assume that the Americans also were threatening an overwhelming nuclear attack on the Soviet Union. They had to back down. As it happened, the United States intended no such attack, but the Soviets could not know that.

Cuba was seared into the U.S. strategic mentality in two layers. It was never a threat by itself. Under the control of a foreign naval power, it could strangle the United States. After the Soviet Union tried to deploy intermediate range ballistic missiles there, a new layer was created in which Cuba was a potential threat to the American mainland, as well as to trade routes. The agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union included American guarantees not to invade Cuba and Soviet guarantees not to base nuclear weapons there. But Cuba remained a problem for the United States. If there were a war in Europe, Cuba would be a base from which to threaten American control of the Caribbean, and with it, the ability to transit ships from the U.S. Pacific Fleet to the Atlantic. The United States never relieved pressure on Cuba, the Soviets used it as a base for many things aside from nuclear weapons (we assume), and the Castro regime clung to the Soviets for security while supporting wars of national liberation, as they were called, in Latin America and Africa that served Soviet strategic interests.
Post-Soviet Cuba

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Castro lost his patron and strategic guarantor. On the other hand, Cuba no longer threatened the United States. There was an implicit compromise. Since Cuba was no longer a threat to the United States but could still theoretically become one, Washington would not end its hostility toward Havana but would not actively try to overthrow it. The Cuban government, for its part, promised not to do what it could not truly do anyway: become a strategic threat to the United States. Cuba remained a nuisance in places like Venezuela, but a nuisance is not a strategic threat. Thus, the relationship remained frozen.

Since the Louisiana Purchase, Cuba has been a potential threat to the United States when held by or aligned with a major European power. The United States therefore constantly tried to shape Cuba's policies, and therefore, its internal politics. Fidel Castro's goal was to end American influence, but he could only achieve that by aligning with a major power: the Soviets. Cuban independence from the United States required a dependence on the Soviets. And that, like all relationships, carried a price.

The exchange of prisoners is interesting. The opening of embassies is important. But the major question remains unanswered. For the moment, there are no major powers able to exploit Cuba's geographical location (including China, for now). There are, therefore, no critical issues. But no one knows the future. Cuba wants to preserve its government and is seeking a release of pressure from the United States. At the moment, Cuba really does not matter. But moments pass, and no one can guarantee that it will not become important again. Therefore, the U.S. policy has been to insist on regime change before releasing pressure. With Cuba set on regime survival, what do the Cubans have to offer? They can promise permanent neutrality, but such pledges are of limited value.

Cuba needs better relations with the United States, particularly if the Venezuelan government falls. Venezuela's poor economy could, theoretically, force regime change in Cuba from internal pressure. Moreover, Raul Castro is old and Fidel Castro is very old. If the Cuban government is to be preserved, it must be secured now, because it is not clear what will succeed the Castros. But the United States has time, and its concern about Cuba is part of its DNA. Having no interest now, maintaining pressure makes no sense. But neither is there an urgency for Washington to let up on Havana. Obama may want a legacy, but the logic of the situation is that the Cubans need this more than the Americans, and the American price for normalization will be higher than it appears at this moment, whether set by Obama or his successor.

We are far from settling a strategic dispute rooted in Cuba's location and the fact that its location could threaten U.S. interests. Therefore, opening moves are opening moves. There is a long way to go on this issue.

Read more: The Geopolitics of U.S.-Cuba Relations | Stratfor
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The Lawless Manipulation of Bullion Markets by Public Authorities

The Lawless Manipulation of Bullion Markets by Public Authorities

By Paul Craig Roberts and Dave Kranzler

        Note: In this article the times given are Eastern Standard Time. The software that generated
        the graph uses Mountain Standard Time. Therefore, read the x-axis two hours later than the axis indicates.

December 23, 2014 "ICH" - The Federal Reserve and its bullion bank agents are actively using uncovered futures contracts to illegally manipulate the prices of precious metals in order to keep interest rates below the market rate. The purpose of manipulation is to support the U.S. dollar’s reserve status at a time when the dollar should be in decline from the over-supply created by QE and from trade and budget deficits.

Historically, the role of gold and silver has been to function as a means of exchange and a store of wealth during periods of economic and political turmoil. Since the bullion bull market began in late 2000, It rose almost non-stop until March 2008, ahead of the Great Financial Crisis, which started with the collapse of Bear Stearns. When Bear Stearns collapsed, gold was taken down over the course of the next 7 months from $1035 to $680, or 34%; silver from $21 to $8, or 62%. The most violent takedown occurred as Lehman collapsed and Goldman Sachs was about to collapse. This takedown occurred during a period of time when gold should have been going parabolic in price. The price of gold finally took off in late October 2008 from $680 to $1900 while the Government and the Fed were busy printing money to bail out the banks. While the price of gold rose nearly 300% from late 2008 to September 2011, the U.S. dollar lost over 17% of its value, falling from 89 on the dollar index to 73.50.

The current takedown of gold from $1900 to $1200 has occurred during a period of time when financial and political fraud and corruption becomes worse and more blatant by the day. Along with this, the intensity and openness with which the metals are systematically beat down seems to grow by the day.

Comex futures trade 23 hours a day via a global computerized trading system known as Globex.  The heaviest period of trading occurs when the actual Comex floor operations are open, which is 8:20 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. EST.  All other times Comex futures trade electronically via Globex.  Gold and silver are smashed primarily  during the Globex-only trading periods, when volume is often  light to non-existent.

This graph of Comex futures trading on December 16th shows the sudden plunge in the price of silver.


The second stage of the sharp price drop begins at 1:30 pm eastern time (11:30 mountain time), after the Comex floor trading operation was closed for the day. This is typically one of the lowest volume trading periods, during which orders to buy or sell can cause significant price disruption to the market. There were no news or events that would have triggered the sudden selling of bullion futures, and none of the other markets experienced unusual movements while gold and silver were quickly plunging in price.

To put in perspective the 9,767 silver contracts sold in 15 minutes, the total trading volume in Comex silver for the 23-hour global trading period for Comex contracts ending at 5:00 p.m. on December 15th was 149,964 contracts, or an average of 6,520 contracts per hour.  The only type of market participant that would dump almost 10,000 contracts in a 15-minute period is a seller who’s only motivation is to push the price of silver as low as possible.  One entity that can afford to use capital like this is the Federal Reserve, because the Fed can create its own capital for free using the printing press.

In the background, the financial markets are becoming increasingly pressured by declines in emerging market currencies, insolvent sovereign governments–including here in the US–and perhaps a renewed derivatives crisis triggered by the collapse in the price of oil.  The oil price decline could result in derivative problems larger than the subprime mortgage derivatives of the 2008 crisis.

The downward manipulation of the prices of precious metals prevents the “crisis warning transmission system” from properly functioning.  More important, the decline in the price of gold/silver vs. the U.S. dollar conveys the illusion that the dollar is strong at a time when, in fact, the dollar should be under pressure from the over-issuance of dollars and dollar-denominated debt.

What we have been experiencing since the 2008 crisis is not only the subordination of US economic policy to the needs of banks “too big to fail,” but also the subordination of law and the financial regulatory agencies to the interests of a few private banks. The manipulation of the bullion markets is illegal whether done by private parties or on public authority, and so we have the spectacle of the US government supporting a handful of banks via illegal means. Not only has economic accountability been set aside, but also legal accountability.

Just as Washington places itself above laws prohibiting torture and naked aggression in order to conduct its self-declared “war on terror” and above the Constitution in order to construct a domestic police state, Washington places itself above the laws prohibiting market manipulation.

Obviously, the government’s claim to represent the rule of law is as false as all its other claims. The foul stench of corruption and hypocrisy that emanates from Washington is the smell of a dying country.
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts' latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West and How America Was Lost.

Airline Boss Says MH370 Taken Out by U.S. Military

Airline Boss Says MH370 Taken Out by U.S. Military

“September 11-style” terror attack feared on military base at Diego Garcia
Airline Boss Says MH370 Taken Out by U.S. Military
RT and the International Business Times in Australia will cover it, but The New York Times and The Washington Post won’t touch it with a ten foot pole.
Former Proteus Airlines boss Marc Dugain believes the mysterious disappearance of MH370 on March 8, 2014 was the work of the United States military.
The latest statement on the doomed airline flight follows that of Emirates president and CEO Sir Tim Clark who made world headlines in October when he questioned official explanations.
Dugain speculates the flight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia to Beijing Capital International Airport, People's Republic of China was taken out because the U.S. feared a “September 11-style” hijacked aircraft attack on the U.S. naval support and satellite communications base at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. The atoll is currently home to 1700 military personnel and 1500 civilian contractors.
U.S. naval support and satellite communications base at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. Photo: NASA
U.S. naval support and satellite communications base at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. Photo: NASA,
Previous speculation about the U.S. downing the aircraft and killing 12 Malaysian crew members and 227 passengers from 15 nations has been dismissed by the United States government. It insists the aircraft was nowhere near the remote atoll.
Dugain, however, cites the testimony of residents of the Maldives. On March 8, they reported a commercial aircraft heading toward Diego Garcia, but those claims were discounted. In addition, a fisherman on Kudahuvadhoo island told him a “huge plane … with red and blue stripes on a white background” had flown overhead at a low altitude.
Dugain also said he was shown photos “of a strange object that had washed up on a beach of neighboring Baraah island,” according to, an Australian website. “According to Dugain, two aviation experts and a military officer believed the object was an empty Boeing fire extinguisher, but the mystery object was subsequently seized by the Maldives military.”
Other theories on the disappearance have been floated, including a claim by the media in China that they had received an open letter claiming to be from the leader of the Chinese Martyrs Brigade, a previously unknown group. The group said it downed the aircraft in response to the Chinese government's response to the knife attacks at Kunming railway station on 1 March 2014 and as part of a wider separatist campaign against Chinese control over Xinjiang province.
The message was received through Hushmail, a PGP-encrypted web-based email service that is virtually impossible to trace. "You kill one of our clan, we will kill 100 of you as pay back,” the message reportedly read.
A CNN poll conducted in May revealed a number of theories on the disappearance.
Nearly 60% believe terrorists were involved, while 52% said mechanical error disabled the aircraft.

This Was One Of The Biggest Lies Ever Told

It’s known as “the largest airborne transfer of currency in the history of the world” and is the subject of one of the largest financial mysteries of all time
This Was One Of The Biggest Lies Ever Told
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons
Throughout history the elite have used geopolitics to line their pockets, influencing events and controlling the narrative to sneak through their greedy plans. This is one of the worst examples ever.
As Dick Cheney makes the rounds defending his inhumane torture policies on every talk show he can visit, we should take a look back and see what he’s really covering for.
All lies aside about why we went into Iraq, each time there is an open secret that points to the real reason. It’s common knowledge that the collusion between defense companies, oil companies, logistics companies, like Halliburton, and the US government was an unholy union meant to drain the taxpayers coffers and enrich those with their hands on the levers of power. Let’s take a look at a few of the most egregious larcenies.
In 2006, Andrew Natsios, administrator of USAID, went on a publicity tour to assuage American fears that the impending war and its aftermath were perfectly reasonable expenditures for the American taxpayer. In this Nightline interview with Ted Koppel he brazenly makes the ludicrous case that the reconstruction of Iraq would cost only $1.7bn. Koppel is so incredulous, he returns to the subject three times, and each time Natsios gets more and more adamant. With the benefit of hindsight its clear now that not only was this a bold face lie, but one that any rational person could have seen through.
It’s known as “the largest airborne transfer of currency in the history of the world” and is the subject of one of the largest financial mysteries of all time. Beginning at the start of the Iraq war, the New York Federal Reserve started flying in billions of dollars in hard cash under the guise of paying for the restoration of basic services.
In east Rutherford, New Jersey, pallets were packed with fresh loads of newly minted greenbacks, trucked to Andrews Air Force Base outside of Washington and then flown on military transports directly to Baghdad International Airport.
The NY Fed shipped approximately $40 billion in cash between 2003 and 2008. In just the first two years, the shipments included more than 300 million individual bills weighing a total of 363 tons.
Since then there have been audits, congressional hearing and investigations that can barely account for a small percentage of where that money actually ended up. The accounts of the time relate an environment awash in hundred dollar bills, contractors paid in duffel bags full of millions in cash and no accounting or chain of custody.
Details of the shipments have emerged in a memorandum prepared for the meeting of the House committee on oversight and government reform. Its chairman, Henry Waxman, a fierce critic of the war, said the way the cash had been handled was mind-boggling. “The numbers are so large that it doesn’t seem possible that they’re true. Who in their right mind would send 363 ton’s of cash into a war zone?”
While the bulk of this money most certainly flowed into the pockets of the contractors and the stakeholders of the reconstruction, we’ll never really know because it has been shrouded in mystery and will now recede into the mists of time as America forgets about the torture, and quickly becomes indignant about the censorship of a B-level comedy.
The end of this story is where Halliburton and its subsidiaries were paid the lion’s share of the almost $400 billion dollars that has been spent in Iraq. And what do we have to show for it? A fractured state that is rapidly regressing back to its bloody tribal history and another fertile breeding ground for the next generation of manufactured Jihadis. A flawless victory by Cheney and his compatriots. We can only hope that the American people awake from their slumber and become enraged by the lies and rampant graft that is inherent in the current system. We should remember these incidents as we go forward as a nation and do our best to vilify and prosecute those who would be so brazen as to take our lives and treasure in their own pursuit of wealth.

Supreme Court: Police Can Make Up Laws And Violate Rights

Justices rule that a “mistaken understanding” of the law is reasonable
Supreme Court: Police Can Make Up Laws And Violate Rights
The Supreme Court ruled this week that police officers will not be held accountable for violating the rights of Americans if they have a “mistaken understanding” of legislation.
In other words, if a cop doesn’t know the law, they can do whatever they want to you.
The ruling stems from an incident in 2009 when a police officer violated the Fourth Amendment by stopping and searching a driver’s vehicle after making up his own law.
The New York Times reports:
The case arose from a traffic stop in North Carolina based on a broken brake light. But state law there required only a single working “stop lamp,” which the car in question had.
In an opinion by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., the Supreme Court ruled that the officer’s mistake was reasonable and so did not run afoul of the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches and seizures.
The driver gave officer Matt Darisse consent to search the vehicle, in which he found a bag of cocaine. The cop stole the drugs, according to the filing, but would not have been able to do so had the illegal traffic stop not occurred in the first instance.
Eight of the nine Justices of the court agreed that Darisse’s mistaken understanding of the law was reasonable, and therefore the traffic stop was valid.
Sonia Sotomayor was the one justice who disagreed, noting that the ruling “means further eroding the Fourth Amendment’s protection of civil liberties in a context where that protection has already been worn down.”
In a written statement, Chief Justice Roberts claimed that the court’s decision “does not discourage officers from learning the law,” arguing that only objectively reasonable mistakes would be acceptable.
“An officer can gain no Fourth Amendment advantage,” the chief justice wrote, “through a sloppy study of the laws he is duty-bound to enforce.”
While the Supreme Court has upheld the right to film police officers, it has also ruled this year that police can stop US drivers based purely on anonymous tip offs. Indeed, over the past decade, the court has routinely ruled in lockstep with the trend toward a police state.
John W. Whitehead of rights group The Rutherford Institute provides an excellent in depth analysis on the court’s latest ruling and how it enables a power overreach in law enforcement.
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’, and He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.

Don’t Miss Live Infowars Coverage of Saturday’s Big Anti-Police State Protest

Americans to send a powerful message against militarization of cops
Don't Miss Live Infowars Coverage of Saturday's Big Anti-Police State Protest
Protesters in Spokane, Washington are set to send a resounding message on Saturday that Americans will not tolerate the militarization of domestic law enforcement and Infowars will be live on the ground to cover this exciting event.
Infowars reporters Darrin McBreen, Joe Biggs and Josh Owens will be bringing you live coverage of the ‘We Will Not Comply’ rally which will take place outside the Spokane Valley Police Department on East Sprague Avenue.
The demonstration will send a powerful message to the Spokane Valley Police Department that the use of armored militarized vehicles previously seen in places like Iraq and Afghanistan are not welcome on the streets of America.
A shocking video which went viral earlier this month featured a Spokane Sheriff’s Deputy defending the use of an MRAP armored vehicle by saying it was needed to deal with the threat posed by “constitutionalists”.
The video, exclusively obtained by, prompted thousands of comments and a 9 minute video response from Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich in which he claimed that the video was being taken out of context.
The footage shows a Spokane Valley resident asking why police need vehicles that are designed for fighting foreign enemies abroad.
“I mean, we’ve got a lot of constitutionalists and a lot of people that stockpile weapons, lots of ammunition,” one deputy says. “They have weapons here locally.”
Spokane Valley Republican Representative Matthew Shea responded to the video by asking, “Will law abiding citizens who love the Constitution and Rule of Law be hunted down with MRAPs?”
Knezovich’s failure to apologize for the comments and his doubling down on the issue only prompted further anger, leading Scott Maclay, president of the Rattlesnakes Motorcycle Club, to organize the protest.
This is going to be a fantastic event and you’ll be able to watch it all unfold live at and on the AlexJonesLive and RealAlexJones Ustream channels from tomorrow afternoon onwards.
Watch the videos below for special reports and interviews from the Infowars crew on the scene in Spokane, Washington.

Staff Picks: Favorite Alex Jones Rants

Is your favorite on the list?
Staff Picks: Favorite Alex Jones Rants
Multiple members of the Infowars staff were asked to choose what their all-time favorite Alex Jones rant was.
In no particular order, here are the four most popular picks!
1. The Justin Bieber rant
Arguably his best known rant, Alex blasted the world’s obsession with manufactured plastic heroes as opposed to the real trailblazers of history in this epic 2011 tirade.

Memorable quote: “I mean, kids, Magellan is a lot cooler than Justin Bieber! He circumnavigated, with one ship, the entire planet!”
2. The Kony Trendies
Responding to Kony 2012′s Pentagon-scripted propaganda, Alex blasted the viral scam’s obvious deception and the mindless trendies used to push it.

Memorable quote: “Chicken neck weakness is like a god now, and being totally passive and being a huge jellyfish slacker who looks like a fried egg in a chair. That is the culture of this, the worship of being destroyed.”
3. The FBI Rant
After the FBI approached an Infowars employee and began demanding information on Alex in 2012, Jones delivered a fiery rant in response to the nefarious encounter.

Memorable quote: “Get this through your fat brains, I am an American patriot! I am the good guy!”
4. The Demonic Mustache
Another 2012 rant surrounded federal and police corruption and how agencies become consumed when accountability goes out the window.

Memorable quote: “And all the average feds care about is dressing up in black uniforms and having mustaches and staring at people.”
Was your favorite on the list? Comment below with your favorite rant!

ASEAN-Korea Commemorative Summit 2014: Towards an “Asian Community”?

RSIS Commentary is a platform to provide timely and, where appropriate, policy-relevant commentary and analysis of topical issues and contemporary developments. The views of the authors are their own and do not represent the official position of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, NTU. These commentaries may be reproduced electronically or in print with prior permission from RSIS and due recognition to the author(s) and RSIS. Please email: for feedback to the Editor RSIS Commentary, Yang Razali Kassim. 

No. 251/2014 dated 23 December 2014
ASEAN-Korea Commemorative Summit 2014:
Towards an “Asian Community”?
By Sukjoon Yoon


ASEAN and South Korea recently held a summit to mark 25 years of partnership. President Park Geun-hye spoke confidently of ASEAN and South Korea working together to build a multilateral “Asian Community”.


ASEAN and South Korea held their commemorative summit in Busan on 11-12 December 2014, seeking to strengthen their increasingly important partnership amid growing uncertainties in the region. The 21st century is predicted to be an Asian century, so can ASEAN and South Korea help to realise an “Asian Community”?

What steps can they take to leverage their middle-power status to promote economic, cultural and security integration in the region? Can they become the bridge between Northeast and Southeast Asia?

Why an “Asian Community”
Under the theme of “Building Trust and Bringing Happiness”, the Commemorative Summit celebrated the growing economic significance of the region. Asian nations recorded GDP growth exceeding five percent between 2007 and 2013, and the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is being launched next year. South Korea also presented its vision for the future with President Park’s Northeast Asian Peace and Cooperation Initiative, which is based on the foreign policy philosophy of trustpolitik.

In line with this, there is growing enthusiasm for the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which Seoul hopes can lead to an “East Asian Economic Community”. With the US’ pivot to Asia strategy and China’s assertive behaviour, ASEAN and South Korea have acquired increasing geostrategic importance. Both have been seeking to build networks with other middle powers – with India, Australia, and perhaps Japan. Can this be a step towards developing an “Asian Security Community” based on mutual economic interdependence?

South Korea and several ASEAN members are former colonies, and this experience of dealing with great powers should prove useful in confronting the rise of China. There is also great potential for socio-cultural exchanges, for example South Korea is promoting its Saemaul Undong rural development programme, and the Korean Wave is popular throughout ASEAN. Similar middle classes are beginning to emerge throughout the Asia-Pacific, and frequent person-to-person interchanges through business and tourism are building a resource of soft power.

Cornerstones of an "Asian Community”

Two-way trade between ASEAN and South Korea went from US$8.2 billion in 1989 to US$135 billion in 2013. ASEAN has rich natural resources and an increasingly educated labour force while South Korea can provide technology and manufacturing investment.

Even more important than these economic interactions is the vision shared by ASEAN and South Korea for an Asian Community comparable with the European Union but with values based on the "Asian Way”. ASEAN is an established centre for multilateral integration, responsible for initiating the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the East Asia Summit, the Asia-Europe Meeting (AEM), and the ASEAN+3 involving China, Japan and South Korea.

Seoul can also play an important role in binding the North and South sub-regions into the kind of future Asian Community implied by the “Vision Statement” of the Busan summit. As the two great powers – China and the US - struggle for hegemony, ASEAN and South Korea are seeking to set an example of prosperous and peaceful cooperation: South Korea has established a reputation as the a reliable security partner, and ASEAN has a population of 640 million and a GDP of US$3 trillion.

Although South Korea cannot offer the large-scale contributions or financial investments which China and Japan supply to the 10 members of ASEAN, it is still an appealing partner. ASEAN is currently heavily dependent upon the Chinese market, which is showing signs of an economic downturn, and South Korean trade and investment provides a useful diversification. Moreover, these emerging (ASEAN) and established (South Korean) middle powers enjoy dynamic and promising economic and trade opportunities with all the nations of the region.
Enhanced security cooperation

South Korea and ASEAN are targeting US$200 billion in two-way trade by 2020, but a closer partnership can also tackle regional security issues. In the closing joint statement of the Commemorative Summit, the 11 leaders of South Korea and ASEAN agreed to strengthen their mutual security cooperation on various regional challenges, including maritime security and Korean affairs.

The ARF is the only multilateral security platform which North Korea is a member of, so ASEAN is a valuable intermediary between the Asia-Pacific region and the wider world. They can help to manage tensions not only for the Cold-War hangover on the Korean Peninsula, but also among the Northeast Asian countries. However, three members of the ARF – Myanmar, Vietnam and Laos – voted against the recent UN resolution condemning North Korean human rights violations, and this should remind South Korea of the importance of securing ASEAN’s support on North Korean issues.

Moreover, the South China Sea issues between China and some ASEAN members are also significant for South Korea and Japan, since they threaten the freedom of the seas upon which Northeast Asian economies depend. In fact, the South China Sea is both economically and geostrategically essential for the whole of East Asia, yet it remains a very dangerous flashpoint in which a catastrophic physical confrontation could erupt at any time. Ultimately such disputes must be resolved through a law-based framework.

Bridging Northeast and Southeast Asia

ASEAN and South Korea should utilise their multi-faceted relationship to promote a vision of the future in which the Asian Community is united economically, strategically and culturally.

In recent years Southeast Asia has become the strategic space in which the regional great powers, the US and China, compete, with Japan and India also vying to expand their economic and political influence.

Meanwhile, less attention has been paid to the geostrategic importance of Northeast Asia. Arguably, the single most important outcome of the 2014 ASEAN-South Korea Commemorative Summit was the articulation of a firm intention to bridge the gaps between Northeast and Southeast Asia, and to initiate a new regional order of prosperous and peaceful cooperation.

Captain (ROK Navy Ret.) Sukjoon Yoon is a Senior Research Fellow at the Korea Institute for Maritime Strategy and a visiting Professor at the Department of Defense Systems Engineering, Sejong University, Seoul.
Click HERE to read this commentary online.

Russia, China mock divide and rule

Russia, China mock divide and rule
By Pepe Escobar 

ROME and BEIJING - The Roman Empire did it. The British Empire copied it in style. The Empire of Chaos has always done it. They all do it. Divide et impera. Divide and rule - or divide and conquer. It's nasty, brutish and effective. Not forever though, like diamonds, because empires do crumble. 

A room with a view to the Pantheon may be a celebration of Venus - but also a glimpse on the works of Mars. I had been in Rome essentially for a symposium - Global WARning - organized by a very committed, talented group led by a former member of European Parliament, Giulietto Chiesa. Three days later, as the run on the rouble was unleashed, Chiesa was arrested and expelled from Estonia as persona non grata, yet another graphic illustration of the anti-Russia hysteria gripping the Baltic nations and the Orwellian grip NATO has on Europe's weak links. [1] Dissent is simply not allowed. 

At the symposium, held in a divinely frescoed former 15th century Dominican refectory now part of the Italian parliament's library, Sergey Glazyev, on the phone from Moscow, gave a stark reading of Cold War 2.0. There's no real "government" in Kiev; the US ambassador is in charge. An anti-Russia doctrine has been hatched in Washington to foment war in Europe - and European politicians are its collaborators. Washington wants a war in Europe because it is losing the competition with China. 

Glazyev addressed the sanctions dementia: Russia is trying simultaneously to reorganize the politics of the International Monetary Fund, fight capital flight and minimize the effect of banks closing credit lines for many businessmen. Yet the end result of sanctions, he says, is that Europe will be the ultimate losers economically; bureaucracy in Europe has lost economic focus as American geopoliticians have taken over. 

Only three days before the run on the rouble, I asked Rosneft's Mikhail Leontyev (Press-Secretary - Director of the Information and Advertisement Department) about the growing rumors of the Russian government getting ready to apply currency controls. At the time, no one knew an attack on rouble would be so swift, and conceived as a checkmate to destroy the Russian economy. After sublime espressos at the Tazza d'Oro, right by the Pantheon, Leontyev told me that currency controls were indeed a possibility. But not yet. 

What he did emphasize was this was outright financial war, helped by a fifth column in the Russian establishment. The only equal component in this asymmetrical war was nuclear forces. And yet Russia would not surrender. Leontyev characterized Europe not as a historical subject but as an object: "The European project is an American project." And "democracy" had become fiction. 

The run on the rouble came and went like a devastating economic hurricane. Yet you don't threat a checkmate against a skilled chess player unless your firepower is stronger than Jupiter's lightning bolt. Moscow survived. Gazprom heeded the request of President Vladimir Putin and will sell its US dollar reserves on the domestic market. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier went on the record against the EU further "turning the screw" as in more counterproductive sanctions against Moscow. And at his annual press conference, Putin emphasized how Russia would weather the storm. Yet I was especially intrigued by what he did not say. [2] 

As Mars took over, in a frenetic acceleration of history, I retreated to my Pantheon room trying to channel Seneca; from euthymia - interior serenity - to that state of imperturbability the Stoics defined as aponia. Still, it's hard to cultivate euthymia when Cold War 2.0 rages. 

Show me your imperturbable missile
Russia could always deploy an economic "nuclear" option, declaring a moratorium on its foreign debt. Then, if Western banks seized Russian assets, Moscow could seize every Western investment in Russia. In any event, the Pentagon and NATO's aim of a shooting war in the European theater would not happen; unless Washington was foolish enough to start it. 

Still, that remains a serious possibility, with the Empire of Chaos accusing Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) even as it prepares to force Europe in 2015 to accept the deployment of US nuclear cruise missiles. 

Russia could outmaneuver Western financial markets by cutting them off from its wealth of oil and natural gas. The markets would inevitably collapse - uncontrolled chaos for the Empire of Chaos (or "controlled chaos", in Putin's own words). Imagine the crumbling of the quadrillion-plus of derivatives. It would take years for the "West" to replace Russian oil and natural gas, but the EU's economy would be instantly devastated. 

Just this lightning-bolt Western attack on the rouble - and oil prices - using the crushing power of Wall Street firms had already shaken European banks exposed to Russia to the core; their credit default swaps soared. Imagine those banks collapsing in a Lehman Brothers-style house of cards if Russia decided to default - thus unleashing a chain reaction. Think about a non-nuclear MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) - in fact warless. Still, Russia is self-sufficient in all kinds of energy, mineral wealth and agriculture. Europe isn't. This could become the lethal result of war by sanctions. 

Essentially, the Empire of Chaos is bluffing, using Europe as pawns. The Empire of Chaos is as lousy at chess as it is at history. What it excels in is in upping the ante to force Russia to back down. Russia won't back down. 

Darkness dawns at the break of chaos 
Paraphrasing Bob Dylan in When I Paint My Masterpiece, I left Rome and landed in Beijing. Today's Marco Polos travel Air China; in 10 years, they will be zooming up in reverse, taking high-speed rail from Shanghai to Berlin. [3] 

From a room in imperial Rome to a room in a peacefulhutong - a lateral reminiscence of imperial China. In Rome, the barbarians swarm inside the gates, softly pillaging the crumbs of such a rich heritage, and that includes the local Mafia. In Beijing, the barbarians are kept under strict surveillance; of course there's a Panopticon element to it, essential to assure internal social peace. The leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) - ever since the earth-shattering reforms by the Little Helmsman Deng Xiaoping - is perfectly conscious that its Mandate of Heaven is directly conditioned by the perfect fine-tuning of nationalism and what we could term "neoliberalism with Chinese characteristics". 

In a different vein of the "soft beds of the East" seducing Marcus Aurelius, the silky splendors of chic Beijing offer a glimpse of an extremely self-assured emerging power. After all, Europe is nothing but a catalogue of multiple sclerosis and Japan is under its sixth recession in 20 years. 

To top it off, in 2014 President Xi Jinping has deployed unprecedented diplomatic/geostrategic frenzy - ultimately tied to the long-term project of slowly but surely keeping on erasing US supremacy in Asia and rearranging the global chessboard. What Xi said in Shanghai in May encapsulates the project; "It's time for Asians to manage the affairs of Asia." At the APEC meeting in November, he doubled down, promoting an "Asia-Pacific dream". 

Meanwhile, frenzy is the norm. Apart from the two monster, US$725 billion gas deals - Power of Siberia and Altai pipeline - and a recent New Silk Road-related offensive in Eastern Europe, [4] virtually no one in the West remembers that in September Chinese Prime Minister Li Keiqiang signed no fewer than 38 trade deals with the Russians, including a swap deal and a fiscal deal, which imply total economic interplay. 

A case can be made that the geopolitical shift towards Russia-China integration is arguably the greatest strategic maneuver of the last 100 years. Xi's ultimate master plan is unambiguous: a Russia-China-Germany trade/commerce alliance. German business/industry wants it badly, although German politicians still haven't got the message. Xi - and Putin - are building a new economic reality on the Eurasian ground, crammed with crucial political, economic and strategic ramifications. 

Of course, this will be an extremely rocky road. It has not leaked to Western corporate media yet, but independent-minded academics in Europe (yes, they do exist, almost like a secret society) are increasingly alarmed there is no alternative model to the chaotic, entropic hardcore neoliberalism/casino capitalism racket promoted by the Masters of the Universe. 

Even if Eurasian integration prevails in the long run, and Wall Street becomes a sort of local stock exchange, the Chinese and the emerging multipolar world still seem to be locked into the existing neoliberal model. 

And yet, as much as Lao Tzu, already an octogenarian, gave the young Confucius an intellectual slap on the face, the "West" could do with a wake-up call. Divide et impera? It's not working. And it's bound to fail miserably. 

As it stands, what we do know is that 2015 will be a hair-raising year in myriad aspects. Because from Europe to Asia, from the ruins of the Roman empire to the re-emerging Middle Kingdom, we all still remain under the sign of a fearful, dangerous, rampantly irrational Empire of Chaos. 

1. See here.
2. What Putin is not telling us, Russia Today, December 18, 2014.
3. Eurasian Integration vs. the Empire of Chaos, TomDispatch, December 16, 2014.
4. China set to make tracks for Europe, China Daily, December 18, 2014. China's Li cements new export corridor into Europe, Channel News Asia, December 16, 2014.

Pepe Escobar's latest book, just out, is Empire of Chaos. Follow him on Facebook

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009). 

He may be reached at

Beijing established South China Sea ADIZ in secret: Kanwa

Beijing established South China Sea ADIZ in secret: Kanwa

Staff Reporter
Want China Times
The East China Sea ADIZ (blue hashes) and what may be an undeclared ADIZ in the South China Sea in red. (Photo/China Times)
The East China Sea ADIZ (blue hashes) and what may be an undeclared ADIZ in the South China Sea in red. (Photo/China Times)
China secretly set up an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over the disputed South China Sea before the incident in August where a PLA Navy Air Force’s J-11 fighter intercepted a US P-8 patrol aircraft, according to Kanwa Defense Review, a Chinese-language military magazine based in Canada.
Unlike the establishment of the ADIZ in the East China Sea in November of last year, the creation of a South China Sea ADIZ was never announced, the magazine said, and the US Navy aircraft was intercepted because it had entered the area.
While China has a dispute only with Japan in the East China Sea, it is in contention with several of its neighbors over territories in the resource-rich South China Sea, making the establishment of an ADIZ more sensitive as an implied assertion of China’s sovereignty claims.
Atr the same time, Beijing has been seeking to improve its relations with Southeast Asian nations through holding the 2014 APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in Beijing. Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia may have refused to send representatives to Beijing to attend the meeting in November if China had announced it had decreed that the entire airspace over the South China Sea should be subject to its inspection.
However, the presence of the US military aircraft in the region is still considered a threat by the PLA. The P-8 flying over the South China Sea had apparently taken off from a US base in Okinawa. Kanwa said the plane was tracked and monitored by the PLA’s coastal radar systems before being intercepted by a J-11 fighter taking off from Hainan. As the J-11 has a longer range than the earlier J-8, it was able to follow the patrol plane for an extended period of time.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Financial Imperialists Attack Russia Financial Market Manipulation Is The New Trend: Can It Continue?

Financial Imperialists Attack Russia
Financial Market Manipulation Is The New Trend: Can It Continue?
By Paul Craig Roberts
December 19, 2014 "ICH" - A dangerous new trend is the successful manipulation of the financial markets by the Federal Reserve, other central banks, private banks, and the US Treasury. The Federal Reserve reduced real interest rates on US government debt obligations first to zero and then pushed real interest rates into negative territory. Today the government charges you for the privilege of purchasing its bonds.
People pay to park their money in Treasury debt obligations, because they do not trust the banks and they know that the government can print the money to pay off the bonds. Today Treasury bond investors pay a fee in order to guarantee that they will receive the nominal face value (minus the fee) of their investment in government debt instruments.
The fee is paid in a premium, which raises the cost of the debt instrument above its face value and is paid again in accepting a negative rate of return, as the interest rate is less than the inflation rate.
Think about this for a minute. Allegedly the US is experiencing economic recovery. Normally with rising economic activity interest rates rise as consumers and investors bid for credit. But not in this “recovery.”
Normally an economic recovery produces rising consumer spending, rising profits, and more investment. But what we experience is flat and declining consumer spending as jobs are offshored and retail stores close. Profits result from labor cost savings from employee layoffs.
The stock market is high because corporations are the biggest purchases of stock. Buying back their own stock supports or raises the share price, enabling executives and boards to sell their shares or cash in their options at a profitable price. The cash that Quantitative Easing has given to the mega-banks leaves ample room for speculating in stocks, thus pushing up the price despite the absence of fundamentals that would support a rising stock market.
In other words, in America today there are no free financial markets. The markets are rigged by the Federal Reserve’s Quantitative Easing, by gold price manipulation, by the Treasury’s Plunge Protection Team and Exchange Stabilization Fund, and by the big private banks.
Allegedly, QE is over, but it is not. The Fed intends to roll over the interest and principle from its bloated $4.5 trillion bond portfolio into purchases of more bonds, and the banks intend to fill in the gaps by using the $2.6 trillion in their cash on deposit with the Fed to purchase bonds. QE has morphed, not ended. The money the Fed paid the banks for bonds will now be used by the banks to support the bond price by purchasing bonds.
Normally when massive amounts of debt and money are created the currency collapses, but the dollar has been strengthening. The dollar gains strength from the rigging of the gold price in the futures market. The Federal Reserve’s agents, the bullion banks, print paper futures contracts representing many tonnes of gold and dump them them into the market during periods of light or nonexistent trading. This drives down the gold price despite rising demand for the physical metal. This manipulation is done in order to counteract the effect of the expansion of money and debt on the dollar’s exchange value. A declining dollar price of gold makes the dollar look strong.
The dollar also gains the appearance of strength from debt monetization by the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank. The Bank of Japan’s Quantitative Easing program is even larger than the Fed’s. Even Switzerland is rigging the price of the Swiss franc. Since all currencies are inflating, the dollar does not decline in exchange value.
As Japan is Washington’s vassal, it is conceivable that some of the money being printed by the Bank of Japan will be used to purchase US Treasuries, thus taking the place along with purchases by the large US banks of the Fed’s QE.
The large private US and UK banks are also manipulating markets hand over fist. Remember the scandal over the banks fixing the LIBOR rate (the London Interbank Borrowing Rate) and the opening gold price on the London exchange. Now the banks have been caught rigging currency markets with algorithms developed to manipulate foreign exchange markets.
When the banks get caught in felonies, they avoid prosecution by paying a fine. You try doing that.
The government even manipulates economic statistics in order to paint a rosy economic picture that sustains economic confidence. GDP growth is exaggerated by understating inflation. High unemployment is swept under the table by not counting discouraged workers as unemployed. We are told we are enjoying economic recovery and have an improving housing market. Yet the facts are that almost half of 25 year old Americans have been forced to return to live with their parents, and 30% of 30 year olds are back with their parents. Since 2006 the home ownership rate of 30 year old Americans has collapsed.
The repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act during the Clinton regime allowed the big banks to gamble with their depositors’ money. The Dodd-Frank Act tried to stop some of this by requiring the banks-turned-gambling-casinos to carry on their gambling in subsidiaries with no access to deposits in the depository institution. If the banks gamble with depositors money, the banks’ losses are covered by FDIC, and in the case of bank failure, bail-in provisions could give the banks access to depositors’ funds. With the banks still protected by being “too big to fail,” whether Dodd-Frank would succeed in protecting depositors when a subsidiary’s failure pulls down the entire bank is unclear.
The sharp practices in which banks engage today are risky. Why gamble with their own money if they can gamble with depositors’ money. The banks led by Citigroup have lobbied hard to overturn the provision in Dodd-Frank that puts depositors’ money out of their reach as backup for certain types of troubled financial instruments, with apparently only Senator Elizabeth Warren and a few others opposing them. Senator Warren is outgunned as Citigroup controls the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve.
The falling oil price has brought concern that oil derivatives are in jeopardy. Citigroup has a provision in the omnibus appropriations bill that shifts the liability for Citigroup’s credit default swaps to depositors and taxpayers. It was only six years ago that Citigroup was bailed out to the tune of a half trillion dollars. Already Citigroup is back for more while nothing whatsoever is done to bail the American people out of their hardships caused by Citigroup and the other financial gangsters.
What we are experiencing is not a repeat of the past. The ability or, rather, the audacity of the US government itself to manipulate the major financial markets is new. Can this new trend continue? The government is supposed to be the enforcer of laws against market manipulation but is itself manipulating the markets.
Governments and economists take their hats off to free markets. Yet, the markets are rigged, not free. How long can stocks stay up in a lackluster or declining economy? How long can bonds pay negative real interest rates when debt and money are rising. How long can bullion prices be manipulated down when the world’s demand for gold exceeds the annual production?
For as long as governments and banks can rig the markets.
The manipulations are dangerous. Manipulations blow a bigger bubble economy, and manipulations are now being used by Washington as an act of war by driving down the exchange value of the Russian ruble.
If every time the stock market tries to correct and adjust to the real economic situation, the plunge protection team or some government “stabilization” entity stops the correction by purchasing S&P futures, unrealistic values are perpetuated.
The price of gold is not determined in the physical market but in the futures market where contracts are settled in cash. If every time the demand for gold pushes up the price, the Federal Reserve or its bullion bank agents dump massive amounts of uncovered futures contracts in the futures market and drive down the price of gold, the result is to subsidize the gold purchases of Russia, China, and India. The artificially low gold price also artificially inflates the value of the US dollar.
The Federal Reserve’s manipulation of the bond market has driven bond prices so high that purchasers receive a zero or negative return on their investment. At the present time fear of the safety of bank deposits makes people willing to pay a fee in order to have the protection of the government’s ability to print money in order to redeem its bonds. A number of events could end the tolerance of zero or negative real interest rates. The Federal Reserve’s policy has the bond market positioned for collapse.
The US government, perhaps surprised at the ease at which all financial markets can be rigged, is now rigging, or permitting large hedge funds and perhaps George Soros, to drive down the exchange value of the Russian ruble by massive short-selling in the currency market. On December 15 the ruble was driven down 19%.
Just as there is no economic reason for the price of gold to decline in the futures market when the demand for physical gold is rising, there is no economic reason for the ruble to suddenly loose much of its exchange value. Unlike the US, which has a massive trade deficit, Russia has a trade surplus. Unlike the US economy, the Russian economy has not been offshored. Russia has just completed large energy and trade deals with China, Turkey, and India.
If economic forces were determining outcomes, it would be the dollar that is losing exchange value, not the ruble.
The illegal economic sanctions that Washington has decreed on Russia appear to be doing more harm to Europe and US energy companies than to Russia. The impact on Russia of the American attack on the ruble is unclear, as the suppression of the ruble’s value is artificial.
There is a difference between economic factors causing foreign investors to withdraw their capital from a country, thereby causing the currency to lose value, and manipulation of a currency’s value by heavy short-selling in the currency market. The latter can cause the former also to occur. But the outcome for Russia can be positive.
No country dependent on foreign capital is sovereign. A country dependent on foreign capital, especially from enemies seeking to subvert the economy, is subject to destabilizing currency and economic swings. Russia should self-finance. If Russia needs foreign capital, Russia should turn to its ally China. China has a stake in Russia’s strength as part of China’s protection from US aggression, whether economic or military.
The American attack on the ruble is also teaching sovereign governments that are not US vassals the extreme cost of allowing their currencies to trade in currency markets dominated by the US. China should think twice before it allows full convertibility of its currency. Of course, the Chinese have a lot of dollar assets with which to defend their currency from attack, and the sale of the assets and use of the dollar proceeds to support the yuan could knock down the dollar’s exchange value and US bond prices and cause US interest rates and inflation to rise. Still, considering the gangster nature of financial markets in which the US is the heavy player, a country that permits free trading of its currency sets itself up for trouble.
The greatest harm that is being done to the Russian economy is not due to sanctions and the US attack on the ruble. The greatest harm is being done by Russia’s neoliberal economists.
Neoliberal economics is not merely incorrect. It is an ideology that fosters US economic imperialism. By following neoliberal prescriptions, Russian economists are helping Washington’s attack on the Russian economy.
Apparently, Putin has been sold, along with his internal enemies, the Atlanticist integrationists, on “free trade globalism.” Globalism destroys the sovereignty of every country except the world reserve currency country that controls the system.
As Michael Hudson has shown, neoliberal economics is “junk economics.” But it is also a tool of American financial imperialism, and this makes neoliberal Russian economists tools of American imperialism.
The remaining sovereign countries, which excludes all of Europe, are slowly learning that Western economic institutions are deceptive and that placing trust in them is a threat to national sovereignty.
Washington intends to subvert Russia and to turn Russia into a vassal state like Germany, France, Japan, Canada, Australia, the UK and Ukraine. If Russia is to survive, Putin must protect Russia from Western economic institutions and Western trained economists.
It is too risky for the US to take on Russia militarily. Instead, Washington is using its unique symbiotic relationship with Western financial institutions to attack an incautious Russia that foolishly opened herself to Western financial predation.
Note: The winter issue of Gerald Celente’s Trends Journal identifies financial market manipulation as a Top Trend for 2015.
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts' latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West and How America Was Lost.
See also
Russia to supply banks with up to $6.54bn to fight off crisis: Banks in Russia will get a government boost to finance debt and projects as the country risks recession. On Friday, the State Duma passed the last two readings of a law to allocate up to 10 percent, or $6.54 billion, from a sovereign wealth fund. The law is essentially a bank bailout from the Ministry of Finance.
China Prepares To Bailout Russia: It would mark the first time China is called upon to use its currency to bail out another currency in crisis. The deal was signed by the two central banks in October, when Premier Li Keqiang visited Russia.
Investment to build ties with Europe: China is contemplating a fresh investment drive into Central and Eastern Europe to place its relations with Europe on a firmer footing.
Dumping the dollar: Video - China and other economies in the emerging world are intent on freeing themselves from the stranglehold of the US dollar. Is it only a matter of time before the Chinese currency seriously challenges the dollar?