Wednesday, June 28, 2017

US Threatens Syria Again: Treading on the Path of War

Strategic Cultures is now okay with my Malwarebytes.

The US is losing the war in Syria but seems intent on not giving up. The US are the 'good guys' who will see to Assad if launches a chemical attack. More war propaganda.

Here and there, there are signs that the United States is planning a large-scale military operation in Syria. The plans include combat operations against the Syrian army and its allies, such as the foreign pro-Iranian Shia militias and Hezbollah.


The White House said on June 26 it had reasons to believe the Syrian government is preparing another chemical weapons (CW) attack. The statement warned that the Syrian government led by President Bashar al-Assad and his military would «pay a heavy price» if such an attack takes place. No specifics on the intelligence showing a chemical attack by the Syrian regime was imminent were provided. Nothing was said about what a US response such an attack would entail.

US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Twitter: «Any further attacks done to the people of Syria will be blamed on Assad, but also on Russia and Iran who support him killing his own people». Neither the White House, nor Nikky Hailey explained in detail what prompted the warning.

Strategic Cultures


But the 'good guys' blanket bombed and napalmed Laos for a decade.


John Bacher, a historian and a Metro Toronto archivist once wrote about “The Secret War”: “More bombs were dropped on Laos between 1965 and 1973 than the U.S. dropped on Japan and Germany during WWII. More than 350,000 people were killed. The war in Laos was a secret only from the American people and Congress. It anticipated the sordid ties between drug trafficking and repressive regimes that have been seen later in the Noriega affair.” 
In this biggest covert operation in the U.S. history, the main goal was to “prevent pro-Vietnamese forces from gaining control” over the area. The entire operation seemed more like a game that some overgrown, sadistic boys were allowed to play: Bombing an entire nation into the Stone Age for more than a decade. But essentially this “game” was nothing else than one of the most brutal genocides in the history of the 20th century.

 https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/10/02/southeast-asia-forgets-about-western-terror/




Chris Dillow — Why libertarians should read Marx


Very good post. Of interest to all.

Marx was a libertarian of the left, that is, he was concerned with not only the individual but also the person.

As individuals, each human being is unique. Libertarians of the right emphasize this aspect.

As persons, all human beings are equal. Libertarians of the left emphasize this aspect.

Personhood is the basis of key tenets of liberalism — equality before the law and democracy as necessary for political freedom as the self-determination by a people. It is also the basis of equal rights and equal opportunity for self-development. It is fair to say that liberalism as an integrated social, political and economic theory hangs on the understanding of personhood relative to individuality and freedom.

Individual freedom needs to be tempered with personal freedom. All animals are free individually in the state of nature. Only humans are capable of personal freedom in society, and personal freedom is a necessary condition for living a good life in a good society fully.

Marx and Engels got that.

Stumbling and Mumbling
Why libertarians should read Marx
Chris Dillow | Investors Chronicle

Bill Mitchell — When the top-end-of-town realise their strategy is failing

There was an interesting article in the Financial Times on Monday (June 26, 2017) – Why US big business is listening to Bernie Sanders – which, despite the somewhat misleading and over-the-top headline, tells us a little of the way the full neo-liberal attack on workers is in regression. Not, I might add because of any philosophical or moral consideration. But, rather, the top-end-of-town is starting to work out that their headlong race-to-the-bottom approach over the last three years is not actually in their best interests. The top-end-of-town is not that bright. More brutish than bright and it takes some time for them to work out what we have known all along. Globalisation mixed with neo-liberalism is poison. Globalisation mixed with social democracy is progress.
The difference between zero-sum (competition) and win-win (cooperation). Adaptability and coordination increase returns in the biological world to paraphrase Roger Erickson. Instead of fighting over the size of shares of a pie, make a bigger the pie so all get more.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
When the top-end-of-town realise their strategy is failing
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Young Americans against Fake News - with Brittany Pettibone & Inessa S


In light of CNN revealing that all their Russia stories are fake, which can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdP8T... ; I recently sat down with US based current affairs YouTuber, Brittany Pettibone, for a chat about Russia. Brittany has been offered numerous roles on proper network channels, but has refused to sell her soul to the devil. Here’s how our chat went down. (We had a terrible internet connection between Idaho, USA and Serbia, and my audio was fading out, so I included subtitles in the more tricky bits. )


Inessa S translates into English subtitles of what Putin says and puts the clips out on YouTube. We've all seen some of the clips. This is a very interesting interview.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Moon of Alabama — White House Says It Will Fake "Chemical Weapon Attack" In Syria — and more


Laying out coalition strategy to escalate in Syria in response to the recent success of the Syrian military supported by Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. Look for a false flag to justify it and a lot of reporting of fake news in the Western media.

Incidentally, Seymour Hersh's latest, published in Die Welt, hasn't been published in any US or UK mainstream media. It contradicts the false flag-fake news narrative and cites evidence.

Moon of Alabama
White House Says It Will Fake "Chemical Weapon Attack" In Syria
b

See also

Publius Tacitus deconstructs the fake news at the source of media propaganda on Syria.

Sic Semper Tyrannis
Bellingcat Buffoonery on Khan Sheikyoun
Publius Tacitus
A few hours after the publication by Welt of Hersh’s story White House spokesman Sean Spicer rushed out a warning that the US has detected Syrian preparations for a further chemical attack like the one which supposedly happened in April in Khan Sheikhoun. The warning threatens President Assad and the Syrian government that they will “pay a heavy price” if such an attack takes place.
The State Department knows nothing of this supposed intelligence. Nor do the US military. The warning is said to have come from the White House straight out of the blue with no attempt made to coordinate it across the US government. Note that there have been no supporting comments for the White House’s warning from any senior US officials apart from the US’s ghastly UN ambassador Nikki Haley. General Mattis, Secretary of State Tillerson, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, and National Security Adviser General H.R. McMaster have said nothing in public about it.
Meanwhile there has been no official word in response to Seymour Hersh’s Welt story from the US government, and the story is being ignored by the media in the US and Britain.
Does anyone see a connection?
The Duran
White House ‘warning’ of ‘imminent threat of chemical attack in Syria’ is phoney. Here’s why
Alexander Mercouris

Basically censorship.

Counterpunch
Hersh’s New Syria Revelations Buried From View
Jonathan Cook


Julian Assange Explains Why The Democrats Are Doomed


I was surprised to learn that Russia has a lower GDP than South Korea. This Jimmy Dore show goes a lot into the 'Russian hacking' fiasco.

Macron Is Doing Merkel’s Dirty Work With Russia Over Syria

Europe is rethinking its role in Syria, and Macron is able to say things that Merkel can’t directly without causing more tensions within NATO


French President Emmanuel Macron’s statement yesterday changes the game in Syria.
Until yesterday France had been the most vocal supporter of U.S. regime change policy in Syria. Now it is its most pragmatic critic.

This signifies a multitude of changes geopolitically.

First, it dovetails with German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s statement that the EU should no longer consider the U.S. a reliable partner in foreign affairs. The EU will, indeed, pursue a more independent foreign policy.

But, more importantly, it opens the door wide for a growing rapprochement with Russia that began with Merkel right after her meeting with Donald Trump back in March. We’re seeing the dam break now in Europe to defy U.S. policy in the Middle East and with Russia.


As the narratives erected by the U.S. oligarchy crumble, EU leadership sees the opportunity to jump ship and save their reputation while leaving the U.S. holding the bag.

If reports are true that Iran is ready to provide damning proof that the U.S. is backing ISIS in Syria (which is all but confirmed anyway) then backing away from regime change there is simply good politics.

Russia Insider: macron-doing-merkels-dirty-work-russia-over-syria



Ellen Brown: Sovereign Debt Jubilee, Japanese-Style

Japan has found a way to write off nearly half its national debt without creating inflation. We could do that too.

Let’s face it. There is no way the US government is ever going to pay back a $20 trillion federal debt. The taxpayers will just continue to pay interest on it, year after year.
A lot of interest.

If the Federal Reserve raises the fed funds rate to 3.5% and sells its federal securities into the market, as it is proposing to do, by 2026 the projected tab will be $830 billion annually. That’s nearly $1 trillion owed by the taxpayers every year, just for interest.

Personal income taxes are at record highs, ringing in at $550 billion in the first four months of fiscal year 2017, or $1.6 trillion annually. But even at those high levels, handing over $830 billion to bondholders will wipe out over half the annual personal income tax take. Yet what is the alternative?
Japan seems to have found one. While the US government is busy driving up its “sovereign” debt and the interest owed on it, Japan has been canceling its debt at the rate of $720 billion (¥80tn) per year.

How? By selling the debt to its own central bank, which returns the interest to the government. While most central banks have ended their quantitative easing programs and are planning to sell their federal securities, the Bank of Japan continues to aggressively buy its government’s debt. An interest-free debt owed to oneself that is rolled over from year to year is effectively void – a debt “jubilee.” As noted by fund manager Eric Lonergan in a February 2017 article:


Bill Mitchell — France has received its orders from the masters


Angela Merkel and Bundesbank's Jens Weidmann rain on Charles DeGaulle wannabe Emmanuel Macron's parade. There will be no fiscal union with the North picking up the tab for the South.

This is a long post setting forth the issues standing in the way and why they are unlikely to be overcome. The chief obstacles are cultural and political rather than economic. A federation among sovereign nation states is not possible without restrictive concessions that the German elite reject.
Conclusion
The point is clear.
Macron can say what he likes. But unless he can get it past the masters (Germany) anything he says will be hot air.
And it is clear from history that Germany will never tolerate the creation of a true federal fiscal capacity.
Which tells me the Eurozone is never going to work in the way the leaders claimed it would at the outset – it will always be prone to stagnation and crisis.
Macron destined to be another Hollande? Bill thinks so.
Bill Mitchell – billy blog
France has received its orders from the masters
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Republicans Still Pushing False Flags In Syria And Cold War With Russia

Sixty two percent of the US electorate believe that there is no hard evidence that the Russians hacked the election. The majority of Americans think this Russiagate nonsense is taking too much time of congress.


A new Seymour Hersh article is out showing that the US knew there was no Assad chemical attack in April, but President Trump decided to bomb anyway. Republicans cannot let go of "regime change" for Syria and new Cold War with Russia -- even as the Democrats are starting to back away. Will the mainstream media stick with the narrative as well? Or is it all about to come crashing down?

Brad DeLong — David Brooks: The G.O.P. Rejects Conservatism

David Brooks is wrong, I think, in his claim that the current crop of Republican politicians have no vision of American society. I think they do have a vision....
WCEG
David Brooks: The G.O.P. Rejects Conservatism
Brad DeLong | Professor of Economics, UCAL Berkeley

Lars P. Syll — Marketization undermining the welfare system


1. Privatization is supposed to reduce cost by increasing efficiency. However, "efficiency" can be increased by trading off effectiveness and reducing quality.

2. The argument about privatization and deregulation generally assumes that there is no distinction between public and private goods, and it often also ignores externalities.

Lars P. Syll’s Blog
Marketization undermining the welfare system
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

Economic Growth And Private Sector Debt Levels: Lessons (Not Yet?) Learned — Investment Cycle Engine, Inc

Summary
  • High private sector debt/GDP ratios will continue to hamper US economic growth.
  • Mainstream macroeconomic models by design ignore the financial cycle and do not provide any insights about the financial cycle.
  • Macroeconomic models should have macroeconomic foundations and incorporate financial stability considerations.
Good post based on a Post Keynesian analysis. But doesn't mention either Hyman Minsky, whose financial instability hypothesis explains the financial cycle, or MMT, which would bolster his argument. However, I understand the scope of posts at blogs is limited, so he had to make choices, and overall the post is well done the way he sets it up.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Russia Insider — BREAKING: White House Threatens to Murder More Syrians Over Imaginary 'Chemical Weapons Attacks'

Is this Trump's insane way of reacting to Seymour Hersh's story?
Russia Insider
BREAKING: White House Threatens to Murder More Syrians Over Imaginary 'Chemical Weapons Attacks' 
RI staff

Also

Raw Story
Defense officials ‘caught off guard’ by White House statement on Syria chemical weapons prep: report
Elizabeth Preza

Crooks and Liars
Sean Spicer Issues Statement On Syria No One Should Believe
Karoli Kuns

David Fields — Capitalism is national & transnational, but what about the money?


Marxians picking up on MMT.

Radical Political Economy
Capitalism is national & transnational, but what about the money?
David Fields

Cyra Master — White House warns of Syrian preparation for chemical attack


Setting up a false flag after US cut off in race for Syria-Iraq border to justify further incursion? Hey, you didn't expect the US to give up and throw in the towel, did you?
Such an attack “would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children,” Spicer added, noting the activity is “similar to preparations the regime made before its April 4, 2017 chemical weapons attack.”
The April 4th "attack" was debunked by Seymour Hersh in Die Welt. Hersh previously debunked the previous "sarin attack" in 2013 in his London Review of Books article, "Whose sarin?"

The Hill
White House warns of Syrian preparation for chemical attack
Cyra Master

See also

For more details.

Zero Hedge
Seymour Hersh: US Lied About Syrian Chemical Attack Then Bombed Them Anyway
Tyler Durden

Notice that no of this is published or even mentioned in the "lamestream media" (Sarah Palin did come up with a few good ones.).

The US media propaganda drive continues in high gear.

beowulf — June 14, 1946 or how to pay for universal healthcare

As I’ve mentioned before, the guy who had universal healthcare figured out was the gruff former Congressman Pete Stark. His Americare bill from 2009 should be updated and made the Democratic alternative to the Senate bill….
Monetary Realism
June 14, 1946 or how to pay for universal healthcare
beowulf

Ramanan — The Los Angeles Review Of Books On Liberalism

Rensin says:
The most significant development in the past 30 years of liberal self-conception was the replacement of politics understood as an ideological conflict with politics understood as a struggle against idiots unwilling to recognize liberalism’s monopoly on empirical reason. The trouble with liberalism’s enemies was no longer that they were evil, although they might be that too. The problem, reinforced by Daily Kos essays in your Facebook feed and retweeted Daily Show clips, was that liberalism’s enemies were factually wrong about the world.…
Comeuppance.

The Case for Concerted Action
The Los Angeles Review Of Books On Liberalism
V. Ramanan

Pepe Escobar — House of Saudi Cards: The Inside Story


Backgrounder.

Sputnik International
House of Saudi Cards: The Inside Story
Pepe Escobar

David F. Ruccio — This is the end—or is it?

Where I think Mishra goes wrong is in arguing that “A new economic consensus is quickly replacing the neoliberal one to which Blair and Clinton, as well as Thatcher and Reagan, subscribed.” Yes, in both the United Kingdom and the United States—in the campaign rhetoric of Theresa May and Trump, and in the actual policy proposals of Corbyn and Sanders—neoliberalism has been challenged. But precisely because the existing framing of the questions has not changed, a new economic consensus—an alternative common sense—cannot be born.
To put it differently, the neoliberal frame has been discarded but the ongoing debate remains framed by the terms that gave rise to neoliberalism in the first place. What I mean by that is, while recent criticisms of neoliberalism have emphasized the myriad problems created by individualism and free markets, the current discussion forgets about or overlooks the even-deeper problems based on and associated with capitalism itself. So, once again, we’re caught in the pendulum swing between a more private, market-oriented form of capitalism and a more public, government-regulated form of capitalism. The former has failed—that era does seem to be crumbling—and so now we begin to turn (as we did during the last system-wide economic crisis) to the latter.**
However, the issue that keeps getting swept under the political rug is, how do we deal with the surplus? If the surplus is left largely in private hands, and the vast majority who produce it have no say in how it’s appropriated and distributed, it should come as no surprise that we continue to see a whole host of “morbid phenomena”—from toxic urban water and a burning tower block to a new wave of corporate concentration and still-escalating inequality.
As long as it is assumed that capital (ownership of means of production) must be favored over labor (people) and land (environment) because capital formation in the sine qua non of growth, then the frame remains it place.

A frame that integrates people, environment and productive capacity needs to be developed to replace the flawed frame, which can never work satisfactorily for all the factors. hence, will always lead to social and environmental problems if balance is not restored.
Questioning some dimensions of neoliberalism does not, in and of itself, constitute a new economic consensus. I’m willing to admit it is a start. But, as long as remain within the present framing of the issues, as long as we cannot show how unreasonable the existing reason is, we cannot say the existing era has actually come to an end and a new era is upon us.
For that we need a new common sense, one that identifies capitalism itself as the problem and imagines and enacts a different relationship to the surplus.
For this it is necessary to acknowledge that the problem is based on the expropriation of workers and the environment, which is not sustainable in the long run and leads to periodic breakdowns. Short term fixes just put off dealing with the causes.

Occasional Links & Commentary
This is the end—or is it?
David F. Ruccio | Professor of Economics, University of Notre Dame

Bill Mitchell — When Austrians ate dogs


Bill covers a lot of ground on work in progress and future publications. Important in keeping current on MMT work in progress.

Bill Mitchell – billy blog
When Austrians ate dogs
Bill Mitchell | Professor in Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), at University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia

CrowdStrike’s Out on Russian Hacking



RT’s Alexey Yaroshevsky RT’s Alexey Yaroshevsky breaks down just how the DNC’s favorite Cyber Security Firm just struck out on Russian Hacking and how will that effect the rising McCarthyism on Capitol Hill.

Yes, you have read all about it here, but this is the video version which has some interesting facts in.














Sunday, June 25, 2017

Paul Robinson — Not so intelligent


Anonymous sources. Real, or …...
The distinct lack of concern about the disclosure of a source allegedly so stunningly valuable that their information is restricted to just four people, is extraordinary. There can be only two explanations:
  • People in Washington don’t give a damn about protecting the CIA’s sources, no matter how valuable they are, and are quite happy to throw them under the bus if it gives them some political advantage. That includes both the people who leak such stories to the press, the press itself, and also the wider political establishment, which doesn’t seem to be too upset by such stuff. That in turn would suggest that these people are utterly untrustworthy, so we should take what they say with the largest pinch of salt; or
  • People aren’t concerned by the ‘leak’ for the simple reason that the source ‘deep in the Russian government’ doesn’t actually exist. The story is straightforward BS, pure and simple.
Personally, I tend toward option b.
Count me in.

Irrussianality
Not so intelligent
Paul Robinson | Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa

A Baseless Justification for War in Syria — Dennis J. Bernstein interviews Francis Boyle

U.S. government officials, including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., claim the current U.S. authority to mount military operations in Iraq and Syria is legally based on the Authorization for the Use of Military Force [AUMF] declaration to go after Al Qaeda and related terror groups after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. But how does that cover the recent U.S. attacks on Syrian government forces that have been battling both Al Qaeda and its spinoff, Islamic State?
Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law, asserts that the recent U.S. shoot-down of a Syrian government jet inside Syria on June 18 was not only illegal under international law but amounts to an impeachable act by President Trump.
In an interview with Flashpoints’ Dennis J. Bernstein, Professor Boyle said, “What the U.S. government is getting away with here is incredible.” Boyle also talked to Bernstein about the questionable Russia-gate investigation and the darker history behind Special Prosecutor Robert Swan Mueller III, the former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Dennis Bernstein: Will Syria’s hot war and the recent U.S. bombings there lead us into a hot war with Russia? Well, the generals are saying this shoot-down in Syria is legal. You want to jump into this?
Francis Boyle: You know Dunford doesn’t have a law degree that I’m aware of. But, of course, still the Pentagon is going to try to justify whatever war crimes it can. They always do.
Clearly the U.S. invasion, which we have done, and now repeated military attacks against Syria constitutes a Nuremberg crime against peace, and in violation of the Nuremberg charter, judgment and principles, and, of course, a violation of the United Nations’ charter. [It is] an act of aggression as defined by, oh even the new element of the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court that is not yet in force. But it has a definition based upon the 1974 definition of aggression which the World Court found to be customary international law in the very famous Nicaraguan case when it applied it against Nicaragua....
Quite an interview. Professor Boyle unloads.

Dennis J. Bernstein interviews Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law

Ray McGovern — Intel Behind Trump’s Syria Attack Questioned

Legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh is challenging the Trump administration’s version of events surrounding the April 4 “chemical weapons attack” on the northern Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun – though Hersh had to find a publisher in Germany to get his information out.
In the Sunday edition of Die Welt, Hersh reports that his national security sources offered a distinctly different account, revealing President Trump rashly deciding to launch 59 Tomahawk missiles against a Syrian airbase on April 6 despite the absence of intelligence supporting his conclusion that the Syrian military was guilty.
Hersh draws on the kind of inside sources from whom he has earned longstanding trust to dispute that there ever was a “chemical weapons attack” and to assert that Trump was told that no evidence existed against the Syrian government but ordered “his generals” to “retaliate” anyway.
Marine General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and former Marine General, now Defense Secretary James “Mad-Dog” Mattis ordered the attacks apparently knowing that the reason given was what one of Hersh’s sources called a “fairy tale.”
They then left it to Trump’s national security adviser Army General H. R. McMaster to further the deceit with the help of a compliant mainstream media, which broke from its current tradition of distrusting whatever Trump says in favor of its older tradition of favoring “regime change” in Syria and trusting pretty much whatever the “rebels” claim.
Another tale of perfidy.
As of this writing, there is no sign in “mainstream media” of any reporting on Hersh’s groundbreaking piece. It is a commentary on the conformist nature of today’s Western media that an alternative analysis challenging the conventional wisdom – even when produced by a prominent journalist like Sy Hersh – faces such trouble finding a place to publish.
The mainstream hatred of Assad and Putin has reached such extraordinary levels that pretty much anything can be said or written about them with few if any politicians or journalists daring to express doubts regardless of how shaky the evidence is.
Even the London Review of Books, which published Hersh’s earlier debunking of the Aug. 21, 2013 sarin-gas incident, wouldn’t go off onto the limb this time despite having paid for his investigation....
Consortium News
Intel Behind Trump’s Syria Attack Questioned
Ray McGovern | veteran CIA analyst, Chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch; prepared the President’s Daily Brief, and conducted the early morning briefings of President Reagan’s top national security advisers

Sandwichman — Marshall's Magic Confidence-Wand


Alfred Marshall quote.

EconoSpeak
Marshall's Magic Confidence-Wand
Sandwichman

Warren Mosler — Credit Check


US domestic private credit continues to be weak.

The Center of the Universe
Credit Check
Warren Mosler

Lars Syll — Keynes & MMT


Keynes quote.

Lars P. Syll’s Blog
Keynes & MMT
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

See also

Mainstream monetary theory — neat, plausible, and utterly wrong

Bill McBride — Goldman on the Next Recession

CR note: Some day there will be another recession, but I don't see signs of a recession in the next year or more.
Calculated Risk
Goldman on the Next Recession
Bill McBride

Seymour Hersh — Trump‘s Red Line


How Trump overreacted at the time of the putative (faked) sarin attack in Syria.
President Donald Trump ignored important intelligence reports when he decided to attack Syria after he saw pictures of dying children. Seymour M. Hersh investigated the case of the alleged Sarin gas attack.
Trump is a loose cannon on deck in a storm. Scary when the captain is the loose cannon.

Welt
Trump‘s Red Line
Seymour M. Hersh
ht Jesse at Jesse's Café Américan