News agencies reported Saturday morning that weeks ago President Obama signed an order, kept secret until now, to authorize continuation of the Afghan war for at least another year. The order “to support Afghan military operations in the country” and U.S. ground troops to continue normal operations, which is to say, to “occasionally accompany Afghan troops” on operations against the Taliban.
The administration, in its leak to the New York Times, affirmed that there had been “heated debate” between Pentagon advisers and others in Obama’s cabinet chiefly concerned not to lose soldiers in combat. Oil strategy isn’t mentioned as having been debated and neither is further encirclement of China, but the most notable absence in the reporting was any mention of cabinet members’ concern for Afghan civilians affected by air strikes and ground troop operations, in a country already afflicted by nightmares of poverty and social breakdown. Continue reading
In a few days the Swiss people will go to the polls to decide whether the Swiss central bank is to be required to hold 20% of its reserves in the form of gold. Polls show that the gold requirement is favored by the less well off and opposed by wealthy Swiss invested in stocks. These poll results provide new insight into the real reason for Quantitative Easing by the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank.
First, let’s examine the reasons for these class-based poll results. The view in Switzerland is that a gold backed Swiss franc would be more valuable, and a more valuable franc would increase the purchasing power of wage earners, thus reducing their living costs. For the wealthy stock owners, a stronger franc would reduce Swiss exports, and less exports would reduce stock prices and the wealth of the wealthy. Continue reading
On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the current world order at a meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club. During his speech, Putin spoke out in condemnation of the United States, and its relations with the rest of the world, and he proposed the need for a new system.
Putin prefaced his message by saying that although he may seem “a bit too harsh,” he felt it was necessary to speak directly and honestly. Continue reading
Across the media and political establishment in Australia, a silence has descended on the memory of the great, reforming prime minister Gough Whitlam. His achievements are recognised, if grudgingly, his mistakes noted in false sorrow. But a critical reason for his extraordinary political demise will, they hope, be buried with him.
Australia briefly became an independent state during the Whitlam years, 1972-75. An American commentator wrote that no country had “reversed its posture in international affairs so totally without going through a domestic revolution”. Whitlam ended his nation’s colonial servility. He abolished royal patronage, moved Australia towards the Non-Aligned Movement, supported “zones of peace” and opposed nuclear weapons testing. Continue reading
The two most significant turmoil’s in the Middle East today are Israel’s continued occupation, oppression and colonization of the Palestinian people reflected most recently in Operation Protective Edge as well as the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in relation to Syria and Iraq. Notwithstanding the normalization of suffering and injustice that the world has been conditioned to embrace in relation to the Palestinians and given Netanyahu’s constant warped comparison of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to Hamas, it is ironic but also not surprising that there are more similarities between the State of Israel and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in comparison to their differences in terms of significance and consequences in the region. This can already be demonstrated with pro-Palestinian activists coining the term the Jewish State of Israel and the Levant in reference to the State of Israel; as well as recent reports of protesters against African asylum seekers and refugees in Israel waving Islamic State style flags.It is further demonstrated with the fact that both share the same enemies, Hezbollah, Hamas and Iran reinforced by Netanyahu’s mentioning that Iran is a greater threat than the Islamic State which leaves us with the question- whose interests is the Islamic State serving? Continue reading
According to an August 2014 poll, half of Israelis want to send Obama Ebola for only supporting Israeli terrorism 95, not 100%.
In the wake of Israel’s summer 2014 genocidal massacre in Gaza, euphemistically called Operation “Protective” Edge,” the US corporate media is finally (somewhat) catching on to the egregious degree of violent extremism, racism, and downright fascism in Israeli culture.
A 5 August NBC story, titled “Send President Obama Ebola as Birthday Gift, Some Israelis Say,” reports that, according to a recent poll, 46% of Israelis “said they wanted to give Barack Obama an envelope containing the Ebola virus as a present for his 53rd birthday.” Continue reading
Sweden’s new Prime Minister, Stefan Lofven, has announced that that nation will be the first of the European Union to grant official recognition to Palestine. To date, 134 of the 193 member states of the United Nations recognize Palestine. This is a reasonable step that will, hopefully, set the example for other European nations to do the same.
The United States, Israel’s best friend in all the world, and that bottomless pit of financial assistance for Israel, is, not surprisingly, seriously displeased. A spokeswoman for President Barack Obama said this: “We believe international recognition of a Palestinian state is premature. We certainly support Palestinian statehood, but it can only come through a negotiated outcome, a resolution of final status issues and mutual recognitions by both parties.” Continue reading