Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 25, 2012

Open Thread 2012-18

Only on thing to read today:


Plus your news & views thread ...

Posted by b on June 25, 2012 at 17:42 UTC | Permalink


Who exactly are the Muslim Brotherhood?

Are the MB exclusively Sunni, or can Shia join?
Did the MB support the invasion of Iraq?
Do they support the resistance in Bahrain?
Egypt's new President wants to join with Iran to stabilize region. Is this at the expense of Syria?

Posted by: hans | Jun 25 2012 17:53 utc | 1

today the SCOTUS upheld Citizens United by destroying a century old law in Montana banning the kind of money the copper kings threw around to own the political process.

what's perhaps more frustrating than this predictable decision is how our state's attorney general, Steve Bullock (who is running for governor) is being criticized for not mounting a vigorous defense, including the 11th amendment defense.

Posted by: lizard | Jun 25 2012 17:59 utc | 2

time to insist on democratic control of secret services in European countries

this is the state of the Mohamed Merah case in France -

this is Germany
every tenth member in a right wing terror group was an agent - they did not stop anything ...

Posted by: somebody | Jun 25 2012 18:23 utc | 3


"However, some challenge the assertions inherent in the idea of an
emerging Shia Crescent. Maximilian Terhalle, a former head of Middle East
affairs for Germany’s Defense Department, argues that the Shia ascendance
has been exaggerated, and Graham Fuller, a Middle East expert and former
high-ranking intelligence officer at the CIA, contends that this exaggeration
is the result of Sunni autocrats attempting to hold on to power. Fuller argues
that the ‘‘real split. . . is between the Sunni autocrats and their own citizens.’’
He continues, ‘‘Most Sunni Islamists, except the most fanatic Wahabi-type
jihadis, do not condemn these Shiites. Those who they condemn are their
illegitimate Sunni rulers, who in the eyes of the masses, are craven creatures
abandoning their peoples and rushing to take refuge in Washington’s

Posted by: somebody | Jun 25 2012 18:33 utc | 4

Thanks for the Carter piece, b. It's a sad thing to watch the downward spiral the US is locked into. Other, more forward thinking countries, will have to show us the way out of this corporate controlled hole we've dug for ourselves.

Posted by: ben | Jun 25 2012 19:02 utc | 5

When Carter cites the past US human rights record -- support for the UDHR, etc -- is he naive or just ignorant, I wonder? The fact that interests aligned at that point to wield "human rights" (at the expense of economic rights-- see,_Social_and_Cultural_Rights) as a stick against communists/leftists seems like an important point in explaining why the situation has changed. And how to fix it.

Or does Carter just think the US is getting meaner? That we just need to appeal to the kindness of their hearts?

Posted by: David R | Jun 25 2012 19:45 utc | 6

...and Carter was no saint either...

Posted by: Amar | Jun 25 2012 20:23 utc | 7

Jimmy Carter the President who did more good when he left office than while he was in office.

- Speaking of people leaving office... whichever EU leaders voted today to move forward with the full Iranian oil embargo scheduled for 1st July deserves to be kicked out of office and sent to the nearest public square for beheading.

EU governments on Monday formally approved an embargo on Iranian oil to start on July 1, dismissing calls by debt-ridden Greece for possible exemptions to help ease its economic crisis.


These sanctions will cripple Greece, Italy and the Eastern European countries that import Iranian oil, while causing price increases at the pumps for the rest of the continent. No articles that I have read think Saudi Arabia will be able to make up the 13 million barrel a day decrease. Doing this while in the middle of negotiations is the shoddiest piece of diplomacy I've seen in a while. Plus it just shows how spineless the EU leadership is in meekly obeying Washington and Israel. I'm disgusted with it.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jun 25 2012 20:45 utc | 8

The sanctions are completely silly, trade will just get rerouted

At least two of Asia's four top buyers of Iranian crude will keep imports flowing, though at overall reduced rates, as they find ways around an EU ban on insuring tankers carrying the Islamic country's oil.

Asia needs oil to feed growing demand and top consumers are reluctant to entirely halt imports from Iran and depend entirely on top exporter Saudi Arabia, especially given that output from other alternative suppliers such as Libya and Iraq has not stabilized.

Japan has secured a parliament approval that allows the government to provide insurance cover, while China is asking Iran to take on the risk and deliver the crude on their ships. South Korea and India have yet to find a way out.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 25 2012 21:02 utc | 9

From "Julian Borger, Martin Chulov in Beirut and Miriam Elder in Moscow, Monday 25 June 2012 19.11 BST"

The claim undermines Damascus's insistence that mistaken identity caused the attack on the first jet.

Clearly this isn't a piece of journalism. Question: Did Turkey warn Syria that the flight was taking place? If not, why not? This happened during the Libyan war, questions unasked. Claims taken as evidence.

Last week, Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, admitted that the Alaed was carrying supplies for Syria..

Why "admitted" and not "said". Did he previously deny its cargo but now we have his admission?

My question for you all: are these writers directly MI6? Are some of them and the others are. . . what? Journalistic alarm bells would ring, questions unasked.

I can't believe they are all true believers, as the evidence is too unhinged - it just makes no sense. A journalist would, surely, try and piece it all together. But how else to explain what comes out of so many disparate news organisations?

Didn't I read today that a BBC report into their reporting on Libya was late in picking up on rebel atrocities? I can't find it now. The BBC's Wyre Davies reported while the rebels behind him were firing rockets into Sirte.

When Ghaddafi was killed, their was a report by, I think, Wyre Davies where he said, "The BBC is the only broadcaster allowed into the area." That itself - how did they stop the others? Who threatened or warned who? Isn't this a story in itself?

Etc. etc.

So, what are your theories?

Posted by: ahji | Jun 25 2012 21:03 utc | 10

It looks like Greek "crisis" is another fabrication (Greece's foreign debt as a per cent of GDP is about the same as the US'.)

So what gives? Privatization of oil and gas under the Aegean at fire sale prices, along with everything else, particularly what could be used to support oil and gas.

Not surprisingly, Hillary the Horrible is involved as is Bill the Bubba, now a lobbyist for Noble Oil, which has made big discoveries in the Aegean.

It looks increasingly specious when the Clintons' claim that it was "just coincidental" when Bill killed of Glass-Steagall weeks before Hillary's run for Senate to represent Wall Street and service the rest of us.

It used to be that Presidents retired after serving. Now the Presidency is used as just a stepping stone to making money, just as John Major and Tony B-Liar used the Prime Ministry. The exception is Republicans, who are already filthy rich went they set out to buy the office.

Posted by: JohnH | Jun 25 2012 22:04 utc | 11

Carter and John Quincy Adams are our two greatest ex-presidents. They accomplished much more after leaving office then they did in their one disappointing term. JQA served 20 years in the House and helped pave the political path for the abolitionists movement.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jun 25 2012 23:31 utc | 12

Yes, I am aware this is a fox news link. But if there is any truth... it sure puts the U.S. vs Iranian Drone episode in the perspective many here though it should have been.

Posted by: Eureka Springs | Jun 26 2012 1:10 utc | 13

@ no. 8

I'm not exactly sure that the European elite are "meekly obeying the US and Israel". I tend to think a good deal of their actions stem from their perceived mutual interestes with the elite of the US.

Posted by: slepy | Jun 26 2012 2:08 utc | 14

Kevin Gosztola posted this analysis of Carter's op-ed, bringing in a memo on US concern for human rights which "clearly demonstrates the cause of human rights is used to bully countries in the world that do not support America’s global agenda" and Glenn Greenwald's reaction to the Carter piece.

Grosztola too notes that Carter overlooks the long, long history of US interventionism and militarism.

Actually, I've been meaning to find out the percentage of years when the US was not involved in a declared war, undeclared war, military "action," or other forceful interventions in other nations. At one of the 2003 NYC anti-Iraq Invasion gatherings, someone was carrying a huge poster listing every military action undertaken by the US in, iirc, just the 20th Century. It was a long, long list and I had to get really close to the poster to be able to read the many listings.

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 26 2012 2:54 utc | 15

From Eureka Springs' link @ 30 --

... Professor Todd Humphreys and his team at the University of Texas at Austin's Radionavigation Laboratory have just completed a successful experiment: illuminating a gaping hole in the government’s plan to open US airspace to thousands of drones.

They could be turned into weapons.

“Spoofing a GPS receiver on a UAV is just another way of hijacking a plane,” Humphreys told Fox News.

In other words, with the right equipment, anyone can take control of a GPS-guided drone and make it do anything they want it to.

Just another thing to consider when letting these things fly around, whether managed by businesses or goverment entities, hangin' out to surveill and invade privacy. There's also the somewhat alarmingly high percentage of the things crashing or otherwise going rogue.

Read more:

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 26 2012 3:04 utc | 16

Talking about cruel and unusual...I heard on the news a few hours ago re US troops in Afghanistan, that suicide is killing more US troops than the enemy - about one suicide per day. The same report mentioned that suicide among war veterans is running at a rate of one every 80 minutes. So America's fake wars are bad for everyone - except the obscenely wealthy 10% of the 1% whose mock-war dividends just keep piling up.
Hopefully, the movie will be called The Curs That Ate America.

It speaks volumes for the style/quality of training/brainwashing the troops go through that none of these suicides had the acumen to deduce who his real enemy was and chose self-destruction instead. It can't possibly be mere coincidence that this happens. Imo stripping a person of his or her ability to think as a functioning individual should be classified as a war crime - or in America's case, a mock-war crime.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 26 2012 3:49 utc | 17

I know the F word is taboo around here. *laughing* But, b, this is live giant crane action of some fast and furious demolition at the Fukushima plant right now.

Posted by: Eureka Springs | Jun 26 2012 4:14 utc | 18

@E. Springs #18:

Here's another view:

Tepco Cam

...although there is speculation that this one occasionally runs a 'tape loop' to hide current goings-on.

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Jun 26 2012 4:35 utc | 19

@ahji #10
are these writers directly MI6?

I guess they would get nowhere near the action if they weren't close to the official line. Ditto the photographers. The "liberal" Guardian is especially toxic in the way it brainwashes its left liberal readership. Which makes it an excellent target for entryism in its Foreign news departments. The Telegraph, Times, BBC, Sky do what is expected of them.
Alex Thomson of Channel 4 is a tricky one to read though. Would they present sporting fixtures like they report wars?

Posted by: felix | Jun 26 2012 4:55 utc | 20

>>> time to insist on democratic control of secret services in European countries

this is the state of the Mohamed Merah case in France - >>>

Somebody #3, is there an admission anywhere by Merah of having committed the killing of the soldiers and at the school? It's getting obvious that there was a connection between Merah and French SS with operations to help Islamists in Irak, Pakistan and Syria. I can't help thinking that because of the timing of this event, Sarkozy's reelection campaign must have had something to do with it in a similar manner of Bush pulling a Bin Ladin out of a hat whenever he needed to.

Posted by: www | Jun 26 2012 7:27 utc | 21

Arabi Souri: in the below picture they wrote in yellow: "the picture was leaked from one of their 'Takfiri' gangs showing one of the terrorists who stole the belongings of the Syriac Archbishopric and they're using the funeral car to carry out terrorist attacks
a grinning villain!
these are the guys supported by the western 'democracies' the MSM the R2P Amnesty etc

Posted by: brian | Jun 26 2012 7:44 utc | 22

Somebody #4, Helfont's piece isn't really about exploring anything between the Brotherhood and other Sunnis and Shia but simply another analysis of how this and that element about them reflect on the Iranian Shia and how it could ultimately have an effect on Israel. In plain English, as ever, it's about le nombril du monde, Israel.

Posted by: www | Jun 26 2012 7:50 utc | 23

>>> Arabi Souri: in the below picture they wrote in yellow>>>

Is Arabi Souri another one of your invisible friends, Brian? It's the 3rd such friend you mention here.

Posted by: www | Jun 26 2012 7:53 utc | 24

look, www generally I think people are too stupid for successful conspiracies, so, yes, Sarkozy, definitively tried to exploit this, however, I do not believe he would have risked to plan it.

I think there are enough events happening anyway a politician might turn to his advantage.

No, the possibility now is, that Merah - and others - thought they worked for an Islamic cause, but without their knowledge worked for the Renseignement Generale. Of course secret service people then can create events as they deem fit and it is impossible to prove when they "forget" to document or "accidentally" destroy documents.

This technique has been used to create court cases, but of course can be used to produce real assassination. It should not happen in a democratic society.

I think kids should be educated about this, however, though widely known, shell games are still successful.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 26 2012 7:58 utc | 25

arab souri commented on the photo on facebook

Posted by: brian | Jun 26 2012 8:32 utc | 26

I guessed as much, Brian, I was just kidding; I remembered you saying that you administer a FB site and understood where this had come from. We haven't heard any more about your interesting piece about the F4 being a drone.

Posted by: www | Jun 26 2012 9:48 utc | 27


Grosztola too notes that Carter overlooks the long, long history of US interventionism and militarism.

Actually, I've been meaning to find out the percentage of years when the US was not involved in a declared war, undeclared war, military "action," or other forceful interventions in other nations.

If you haven’t run across it yet, I would recommend “Killing Hope” by William Blum (his website) who worked in the U.S. State Dept. in the mid 60's. The following will give you at least a partial answer to your query:
Book Contents

China - 1945 to 1960s: Was Mao Zedong just paranoid?
Italy - 1947-1948: Free elections, Hollywood style
Greece - 1947 to early 1950s: From cradle of democracy to client state
The Philippines - 1940s and 1950s: America's oldest colony
Korea - 1945-1953: Was it all that it appeared to be?
Albania - 1949-1953: The proper English spy
Eastern Europe - 1948-1956: Operation Splinter Factor
Germany - 1950s: Everything from juvenile delinquency to terrorism
Iran - 1953: Making it safe for the King of Kings
Guatemala - 1953-1954: While the world watched
Costa Rica - Mid-1950s: Trying to topple an ally - Part 1
Syria - 1956-1957: Purchasing a new government
Middle East - 1957-1958: The Eisenhower Doctrine claims another backyard for America
Indonesia - 1957-1958: War and pornography
Western Europe - 1950s and 1960s: Fronts within fronts within fronts
British Guiana - 1953-1964: The CIA's international labor mafia
Soviet Union - Late 1940s to 1960s: From spy planes to book publishing
Italy - 1950s to 1970s: Supporting the Cardinal's orphans and techno-fascism
Vietnam - 1950-1973: The Hearts and Minds Circus
Cambodia - 1955-1973: Prince Sihanouk walks the high-wire of neutralism
Laos - 1957-1973: L'Armée Clandestine
Haiti - 1959-1963: The Marines land, again
Guatemala - 1960: One good coup deserves another
France/Algeria - 1960s: L'état, c'est la CIA
Ecuador - 1960-1963: A text book of dirty tricks
The Congo - 1960-1964: The assassination of Patrice Lumumba
Brazil - 1961-1964: Introducing the marvelous new world of death squads
Peru - 1960-1965: Fort Bragg moves to the jungle
Dominican Republic - 1960-1966: Saving democracy from communism by getting rid of democracy
Cuba - 1959 to 1980s: The unforgivable revolution
Indonesia - 1965: Liquidating President Sukarno … and 500,000 others East Timor - 1975: And 200,000 more
Ghana - 1966: Kwame Nkrumah steps out of line
Uruguay - 1964-1970: Torture—as American as apple pie
Chile - 1964-1973: A hammer and sickle stamped on your child's forehead
Greece - 1964-1974: "Fuck your Parliament and your Constitution," said the President of the United States
Bolivia - 1964-1975: Tracking down Che Guevara in the land of coup d'état
Guatemala - 1962 to 1980s: A less publicized "final solution"
Costa Rica - 1970-1971: Trying to topple an ally—Part 2
Iraq - 1972-1975: Covert action should not be confused with missionary work
Australia - 1973-1975: Another free election bites the dust
Angola - 1975 to 1980s: The Great Powers Poker Game
Zaire - 1975-1978: Mobutu and the CIA, a marriage made in heaven
Jamaica - 1976-1980: Kissinger's ultimatum
Seychelles - 1979-1981: Yet another area of great strategic importance
Grenada - 1979-1984: Lying—one of the few growth industries in Washington
Morocco - 1983: A video nasty
Suriname - 1982-1984: Once again, the Cuban bogeyman
Libya - 1981-1989: Ronald Reagan meets his match
Nicaragua - 1981-1990: Destabilization in slow motion
Panama - 1969-1991: Double-crossing our drug supplier
Bulgaria 1990/Albania 1991: Teaching communists what democracy is all about
Iraq - 1990-1991: Desert holocaust
Afghanistan - 1979-1992: America's Jihad
El Salvador - 1980-1994: Human rights, Washington style
Haiti - 1986-1994: Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?
The American Empire - 1992 to present

U.S. government assassination plots

1949 - Kim Koo, Korean opposition leader
1950s - CIA/Neo-Nazi hit list of more than 200 political figures in West Germany to be "put out of the way" in the event of a Soviet invasion
1950s - Chou En-lai, Prime minister of China, several attempts on his life
1950s, 1962 - Sukarno, President of Indonesia
1951 - Kim Il Sung, Premier of North Korea
1953 - Mohammed Mossadegh, Prime Minister of Iran
1950s (mid) - Claro M. Recto, Philippines opposition leader
1955 - Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India
1957 - Gamal Abdul Nasser, President of Egypt
1959, 1963, 1969 - Norodom Sihanouk, leader of Cambodia
1960 - Brig. Gen. Abdul Karim Kassem, leader of Iraq
1950s-70s - José Figueres, President of Costa Rica, two attempts on his life
1961 - Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, leader of Haiti
1961 - Patrice Lumumba, Prime Minister of the Congo (Zaire)
1961 - Gen. Rafael Trujillo, leader of Dominican Republic
1963 - Ngo Dinh Diem, President of South Vietnam
1960s-70s - Fidel Castro, President of Cuba, many attempts on his life
1960s - Raúl Castro, high official in government of Cuba
1965 - Francisco Caamaño, Dominican Republic opposition leader
1965-6 - Charles de Gaulle, President of France
1967 - Che Guevara, Cuban leader
1970 - Salvador Allende, President of Chile
1970 - Gen. Rene Schneider, Commander-in-Chief of Army, Chile
1970s, 1981 - General Omar Torrijos, leader of Panama
1972 - General Manuel Noriega, Chief of Panama Intelligence
1975 - Mobutu Sese Seko, President of Zaire
1976 - Michael Manley, Prime Minister of Jamaica
1980-1986 - Muammar Gaddafi, leader of Libya, several plots and attempts upon his life
1982 - Ayatollah Khomeini, leader of Iran
1983 - Gen. Ahmed Dlimi, Moroccan Army commander
1983 - Miguel d'Escoto, Foreign Minister of Nicaragua
1984 - The nine comandantes of the Sandinista National Directorate
1985 - Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, Lebanese Shiite leader (80 people killed in the attempt)
1991 - Saddam Hussein, leader of Iraq
1993 - Mohamed Farah Aideed, prominent clan leader of Somalia
1998, 2001-2 - Osama bin Laden, leading Islamic militant
1999 - Slobodan Milosevic, President of Yugoslavia
2002 - Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Afghan Islamic leader and warlord
2003 - Saddam Hussein and his two sons

Another book that fills in some of the gaps especially regarding motivations and covert techniques: “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” by John Perkins (summary and review)

Pretty difficult reading for someone who was brought up in the belly of the beast, bought into, believed in and “fought for” all the lies and propaganda about freest and most democratic country ever.

Posted by: juannie | Jun 26 2012 13:04 utc | 28

because it is an open thread ...

Running in a window on my secondary display is this live feed of seven young kittens and their mother. She goes away quite often when the kiddies sleep but comes back about once an hour to let them drink.

I want the dark one.

Posted by: b | Jun 26 2012 14:11 utc | 29

Robert Mundell, Nobel Prize Winner, creator of "supply side economics" (AKA Voodoo Economics, AKA Trickle Down Economics) is a man credited with laying the groundwork for the Euro currency. Below Greg Palast talks about how Mundell always intended for it to be used to crash the Eurozone and pave the way for the wholesale selling of state assets and stripping of workers rights.

That progenitor is former University of Chicago economist Robert Mundell. The architect of "supply-side economics" is now a professor at Columbia University, but I knew him through his connection to my Chicago professor, Milton Friedman, back before Mundell's research on currencies and exchange rates had produced the blueprint for European monetary union and a common European currency.
"It's very hard to fire workers in Europe," he complained. His answer: the euro. The euro would really do its work when crises hit, Mundell explained. Removing a government's control over currency would prevent nasty little elected officials from using Keynesian monetary and fiscal juice to pull a nation out of recession. "It puts monetary policy out of the reach of politicians," he said. "[And] without fiscal policy, the only way nations can keep jobs is by the competitive reduction of rules on business."
As another Nobelist, Paul Krugman, notes, the creation of the eurozone violated the basic economic rule known as "optimum currency area". This was a rule devised by Bob Mundell.

Source The Guardian: Robert Mundell, Evil genius of the Euro

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jun 26 2012 14:26 utc | 30

"because it is an open thread ..." (b)

Thats bullshit. Your definition of "open" is, quite frankly, unique. Its only "open" if the topic offered meets your approval. Hey, its your blog, so whatever floats your boat. But at least be honest about it.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Jun 27 2012 0:11 utc | 31

@juannie #28:

You're only going back as far as 1945 there. Smedley Butler shows us that this is all business as usual at least as far back as the dawn of the 20th century... and we can find many citations of human rights abuses for commercial interests before that as well. Ask any Mexican about the motivations behind the doctrine of Manifest Destiny in the 1840's.

So, yes, Carter is being either hopelessly naive or selectively blind with his implication that the United States was formerly a beacon for truth and justice. What's his agenda for framing things in this way...? There's an easy answer to that one: Because nobody would listen otherwise.

Want to keep a thing from being fixed? Suggest that it was broken the instant it came out of the box. Want to turn away supporters? Vilify the very people you are asking assistance from. Conversely, if you are appealing to nobility, the last thing you want to do is to suggest to somebody that they don't have it in them and never have. It would be the height of stupidity for Carter to lambast the Obama administration simply for adhering to the way things have always been done, wouldn't it? Doesn't feel so urgent when you frame it that way, does it?

So, yes... the USA has a history of doing some very nasty things. We want to rectify the very specific nasty things it is doing at this moment which many (myself included) would argue are quantitatively or qualitatively worse than the excruciatingly long litany of previous nasty things it has done, but there will hardly be a groundswell of support for doing that when we promote the perception that present abuses are in no way exceptional. As a matter of fact, that is currently the go-to discussion derailment technique used by many if not most pro-Obama trolls or partisan cheerleaders (or even those who simply don't like to rock the status quo... there are always those guys.)* They suggest that the indefinite detention provision of the NDAA is no different than the powers granted by USAPATRIOT Act, or that waterboarding didn't begin under this administration, or (and this one just takes chutzpah!) that the government has always surveilled and assassinated its own citizens, we just didn't hear so much about it in the old days. Why clamour for accountability now when it's something we have always gotten along without before?

People don't stand up for what is right by sitting back wistfully and sighing, "plus ça change..." whether it's true or not. People are only motivated to break their inertia when they feel they have lost something, whether it's true or not. A dry list of things that are wrong is of interest to a statistician possibly, but in order to be meaningful to the people, it has to be contrasted with the idea that things weren't always this way. Dry facts alone do not produce any response more than a disappointed shaking of the head; it takes contrast to make the response visceral.

Therefore, while it's a valid criticism that Carter is invoking an imaginary past with his Op-Ed and that our rose-coloured nostalgia of the Grand Old Days isn't technically accurate, doing so isn't really all that productive if you live outside of the top 1% (those guys, on the other hand, might pat you on the head for doing so since it takes some of the onus off of them to do it.) If it feels like I am embracing a Noble Lie by sweeping a lot of the dirty past under the rug in order to promote a more progressive future, I reconcile my position with the fact that the lie of America's latent greatness is no more egregious than the other lies we are fed daily to promote the repressive and regressive present we find ourselves in.

*I'm going to have to admit that the Democrat's method of pretending that nothing has changed in order to advance a blatantly un-Constitutional agenda is preferable to me when compared to the Republican's method of invoking imaginary "terrorists" and "ticking time bomb" scenarios... but the results, just like the power brokers who employ these methods, are identical.

Posted by: Monolycus | Jun 27 2012 2:41 utc | 32

And just to clarify, I wasn't taking you to task or anything with that rant, juannie. It was just a rant. Also, sorry about my failure to properly close the italics tag halfway through it.

Carry on.

Posted by: Monolycus | Jun 27 2012 4:03 utc | 33

Posted by: Colm O' Toole, it is clear that economically the Eurozone has to be treated as one country with subventions of the parts that lag behind. However it is also one labour market and the trade unions will have to get used to fight for the whole of the Euro zone.
There are enough tools left to fight austerity in your country if you want to, e.g. creating local currencies whereby people (and the state) exchange their services and products. The state can take part in that if it wishes. The class fight in the Euro zone will get much more interesting with different ideas how to do it. Living in Germany all I can say is that austerity is dead thanks to the Eurozone. The fact of the Greek elections is that people want to keep the Euro, they just want to force their government to get a better deal.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 27 2012 6:09 utc | 34

Syria 24 English shared Breaking News | شبكة عاجل الإخبارية's status.
50 seconds ago
#Syria #syria #RealSyria - Union of Journalists calls for solidarity sit-in with Syrian News TV Channel at 11.30 in front of the General Authority for Radio and Television in Umayyad Square

where dose aljazeera source its news? the attack on a news studio

Posted by: brian | Jun 27 2012 9:16 utc | 35

Making forecasts is known to be a chancey business but I'm now going to put myself on record with eight forecasts about the crisis in Syria. I'm well aware that various other people have different forecasts than mine. And my forecasts also incorporate some assertions on today's facts that are not universally accepted. With the passing of time I shall be finding out whose forecasts were right.

(1) The foreign powers will not intervene militarily. A military intervention would result in essentially nothing worthwhile for the foreigners and would be absolutely catastrophic for the Syrians. The foreigners will continue to give moral and rhetorical support to the rebels.

(2) Syria is in a state of armed rebellion which can fairly be called a civil war and it won't be extinguished quickly.

(3) The majority of Syrians support the established government and will continue to do so. Also, (3a), the majority of Syrians who are Sunni in their religion will continue to support the established government and that includes the Sunni religious leadership of muftis and mosque leaders.

(4) The government will only change its political position if the people of Syria change theirs. No amount of hectoring by foreign powers and foreign news media is going to change the minds of the Syrian public. And no amount of economic setbacks will cause the Syrian public to lose faith the established government, because such setbacks are caused by the forces of opposition and not by the government.

(5) The bulk of the army and other security forces have been loyal to the government and will remain so.

(6) The government has not been taking the fight to the rebels aggressively enough. For the necessary restoration of elementary law and order, it is and will be necessary for the government to attack the rebels with more firepower. If the government does not do this, the rebellion will keep on growing.

(7) Bashar Assad will be elected President in the presidential election in 2014.

(8) Those who are supporting the rebels today will be supporting a boycott of the parliamentary elections in 2016. The political crisis will last until sometime after the 2016 elections.

The extent to which the Syrian economy will suffer more adverse effects is unforecastable. That includes the severity of price inflation among other things.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 27 2012 9:38 utc | 36

Who doesn't have their fingers crossed?

Posted by: ruralito | Jun 27 2012 15:57 utc | 37

This highly questionable allegation on Iran's intention to close the Strait of Hormuz is interesting and merits deconstruction. The source "passing this information along" is suspect, and the origin cited seems to be extraneous to the Iranian government. There remains the question of the usefulness of such dubious data in creating a casus belli. Needless to say, one can hardly expect the purported Iranian view on international law regarding rights of navigation through the Strait of Hormuz to receive confirmation from Western chancelleries.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Jun 28 2012 6:15 utc | 38

>>> This highly questionable allegation on Iran's intention to close the Strait of Hormuz is interesting and merits deconstruction. >>>

Why bother, Hannah? It's a given that when the West has made up its mind to assault a country, it's of no consequence to disprove or deconstruct the drummed-up facts on which the decision to asault it was based. A case in point are Iraq's WMDS that all specialists were clamoring did not exist. A more recent case was that of Libya with the West (and the East) going as far as fabricating stories about Gaddafi strafing civilians with his air force to justify NATO's bombing of 100,000 civilians. The current bogus stories being cooked up about the impending closure of the Strait of Hormuz such as by the ex-CIA mole that wrote your article brings to mind another bogus story about another strait from not so recent past that was cooked up to start the 6-day war in 1967:

"... Several days later, the Soviets informed Eshkol that Nasser had unequivocally relayed through a USSR ambassador on May 27 that "Egypt does not want war and is not heading in that direction."

To assuage Israel, US President Lyndon Johnson urged Eshkol not to succumb to his warmongering generals, assuring him that the US would sponsor international efforts to open the strait while promising economic and military aid if it was given an opportunity to resolve the Egyptian blockade peacefully.

When briefed on the US offer, Israeli army generals lectured Eshkol on the prospect of expanding Israeli borders. General Ariel Sharon, who would himself go on to be prime minster, emphasised: "The question isn't the (strait of Tiran) passage."

In reviewing newly released records and public statements, Israeli leaders have unequivocally acknowledged the June war was neither pre-emptive nor defensive. In an interview in 1968, Rabin was quoted as saying: "I don't believe that Nasser wanted war... He knew it and we knew it."

In 1982, then Prime Minister Menachem Begin said: "(The) Egyptian army concentration in the Sinai approaches did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us... We decided to attack him."

Despite this, most in the West continue to adopt Israel's false narratives for the Palestine-Israel conflict since 1948, with pro-Israel, Jewish media conglomerates suppressing candid discussion on Palestine - in effect allowing Israel to maintain the longest, cruellest occupation in modern history."

Posted by: www | Jun 28 2012 8:27 utc | 39

Thanks to www for providing the sort of "deconstruction" (albeit justifiably pessimistic) for which I had hoped. As to "why bother", I can only answer that trying to bring the truth to light seems to me to be the right thing to do, futile though it may be to try.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Jun 29 2012 14:21 utc | 40

Hannah, it is the right thing to do, but alas, the bad guys carry a very big stick and the truth doesn't affect them.

Posted by: www | Jun 29 2012 17:14 utc | 41

If not for those voices warning about an Iraq rerun in Iran this year, I'm sure we would be looking at a fullblown invasion in Iran right now. By rerun or Iraq, I'm reffering to the lies that led up to it.

Posted by: Alexander | Jun 29 2012 19:19 utc | 42

Well B, with the German Bundestag and Bundesrat now having confirmed the ESM, looks like Germany has with the European Obergouverneurratsfuehrer finally a new leader they can't vote out of office. Whats your reading on this, do you think the courts in Karlsruhe will cancel Angela's German sell out? Whats are the rumblings in the street?

Posted by: Juan Moment | Jun 30 2012 3:12 utc | 43

for the european friends, if anybody knows about economy, pls, send your ideas about the current situation en europe. right now the euro and europe is crisis. what do you think could be the best solution?. the final unification of europe under germany-merkel. or the rupture, or rapture maybe, of the european community, and the search of new masters like china or usa?.

Posted by: curious | Jun 30 2012 9:44 utc | 44

IMHO the whole Eurobond idea is nothing but a trap to bring down the German economy.

Then the vultures will move in - as they did in the past

Posted by: Hu Bris | Jun 30 2012 9:49 utc | 45

imho, at the heart of the Euro crisis are the following factors:
1) the dumping of the Glass-Steagall Act
2) the privatization of national banks
3) the ECB statute which prohibits it to play the normal role of lender of last resort (it wasn't a "mistake")
4) the decision to create funds to finance states' bailouts of banks - this has been reversed in the last summit: now bank bailouts won't weight on state debts

1+2 rendered the "real economy" hostage of investment banks that cannot be allowed to fail
1+2+3 made possible the speculative attacks on state bonds
1+2+3+4 created vicious circles that quickly rendered nation debt unsustainable

the plan to transform the "crisis" in an "opportunity" to impose neoliberist policies has come into effect, and will soon resume after the effects of the display of political will at the recent summit wear down

only #4 has been addressed at the last summit;
1+2+3 must be addressed for a durable solution to the problems created by excessive power of financial markets and speculation

Posted by: claudio | Jun 30 2012 10:57 utc | 46

The street in this country does not feel it at all, as for them it is paper shifted around but nothing real. The inflation rate is low, and unemployment is between 5 to 6 percent.

The way this was told - Germans have to pay other people's debt - is silly. It is one market.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 30 2012 11:04 utc | 47

This post on Barclays attempt to rig the LIBOR from Yves Smith's Naked Capitalism blog seems to me to merit discussion, especially in view of earlier posts on related matters by b and others here at MOA. As usual, I have no expertise, but I can't help wondering if the alleged "mis-guidance" imparted by a "senior Barclays manager" and described in the following quote

As Barclays struggled to avoid being forced to take bailout money from the UK government, on 29 October 2008: “A senior Bank of England official contacted a senior Barclays manager… As the substance of the conversation was passed to other Barclays employees, certain Barclays managers formed the understanding that they had been instructed by the Bank of England to lower Barclays’ Libor submissions, and instructed the Barclays Dollar and Sterling Libor submitters to do so – even though that was not the understanding of the senior Barclays individual who had the call with the Bank of England official.”

was not indeed, a perfectly well understood operation between gentlemen well aware of the need for "plausible deniability" and "responsible action in a time of crisis". If so, is Barclays management now taking a spear to the heart in order to protect their
co-conspirators? Naturally, one can, if willfully determined or motivated by a superabundance of charitable sentiment, take all these statements at face value, but by now such obstinate good will would seem to be abundant only in the pronouncements of official perception managers like Cass Sunstein.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Jul 3 2012 10:39 utc | 48

Its happened, they'we finally detected the Higgs boson!

Posted by: Alexander | Jul 4 2012 13:13 utc | 49

the 'arab spring' in egypt returns women to the middle ages:
'Egypt's Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice

One day after Mohamed Morsi became Egypt's president, Egyptian Islamists stabbed a student to death for 'walking next to his fiancee'.

Egyptian women are now being harassed for not wearing the veil.

And, in Egypt, drivers of minibuses are now being told to segregate male and female passengers.

And, in Egypt, women's hairdressing salons are now being told to get rid of male employees or close
the media covered the rallies in egypt last year as tho it were a new french revolution...i wonder how those fools who cheered the 'arab spring' will understand they were fooled

Posted by: brian | Jul 6 2012 12:54 utc | 50

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