Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Red Lines and Ticking Clocks: U.S. War Plans Against Iran


Any way it is stacked, invading Iran, a sovereign nation - "preemptivly" - will ignite WWIII, total economic collapse in U.S., martial law, draft; American military casualties will be in tens of thousands

Global Research
By Tom Burghardt12/26/2011

Before the first bomb falls disinformation specialists prepare the ground. Leading media outlets, foreign policy journals and a plethora of think tanks funded by elite foundations, energy and weapons' conglomerates, "right," "left" or "center" take your pick, churn out war propaganda disguised as "analysis."

From the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI) to the neoliberal Center for American Progress (CAP), rhetorical skirmishes aside, the line is remarkably similar. Indeed, for "conservative" and "liberal" elite bloviators alike, Iran poses an "existential threat" to Israel and America's regional "allies," a disparate crew of land-grabbing colonizers, murderous princes and profligate potentates.

Only U.S. intervention, in the form of an overt military attack now or crippling economic sanctions followed by military action later, can save the day and bring "democracy" to the benighted Iranian people.

    If we're to believe neocon acolyte Thomas Donnelly, "The rapid ticking of the Iran nuclear clock also marks an increasingly dark hour for the United States and its closest allies and partners, because it coincides with a third clock ... the timetable of retreat set in motion by Barack Obama."
 
Obama:  Liar, traitor, delusional narcissist
 Meanwhile, liberal interventionists Rudy deLeon and Brian Katulis over at CAP tell us that "President Barack Obama and his administration are ratcheting up the pressure on the Iranian regime, building an international coalition that is increasingly isolating and weakening Iran--making it pay a price for not living up to its international responsibilities."

    While AEI and their fellow-travelers claim that "in the after-midnight hour when the Obama retreat is complete, the United States would find itself with few options at the chiming of the nuclear clock," CAP's liberal hawks loudly proclaim that the "Obama administration has adopted a tough approach to Iran, centered on three main components: Unprecedented defense cooperation with regional allies that enhances their security and independence; An international coalition that holds Iran accountable for its actions; Smart, targeted economic sanctions."

    In other words, while elite Washington factions may disagree over tactical issues, they are in full agreement on the wider strategic goals: undisputed American hegemony over energy corridors in Central Asia and the Middle East.

    From the darkest days of the Cold War to the present moment, American policy is designed with one goal in mind: smash the competition, firstly China and Russia, but also the crisis-ridden European Union, whose main task is to keep quiet and fall in line.

Red Lines

     Last week in an interview with the CBS Evening News, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said that "despite the efforts to disrupt the Iranian nuclear program, the Iranians have reached a point where they can assemble a bomb in a year or potentially less."

Powell testifying at U.N. that Iraq has WMD
"So are you saying that Iran can have a nuclear weapon in 2012?," reporter Scott Pelley asked. Panetta replied, "It would probably be about a year before they can do it. Perhaps a little less. But one proviso, Scott, is if they have a hidden facility somewhere in Iran that may be enriching fuel."

   Never mind that the U.S.-controlled International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has not discovered a so-called "secret facility," or that two National Intelligence Estimates produced by all 16 U.S. secret state agencies, the latest one this year, reported there is not a shred of credible evidence supporting claims that Iran has diverted uranium towards the development of a bomb.

    No matter; as we learned in the aftermath of the disastrous invasion of Iraq, "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy" and therefore, the march to war with Iran will continue, indeed accelerate in the near term.

    "If the Israelis decide to launch a military strike to prevent that weapon from being built," Pelley asked, "what sort of complications does that raise for you?"

Sound familiar?  Panetta panicking, knows Obama, JCS will bomb Iran
Panetta replied, "Well, we share the same common concern. The United States does not want Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. That's a red line for us and that's a red line, obviously, for the Israelis. If we have to do it we will deal with it."

    When Pelley asked what "it?" is, Panetta said: "If they proceed and we get intelligence that they are proceeding with developing a nuclear weapon then we will take whatever steps necessary to stop it."

    Pelley: "Including military steps?"

    Panetta: "There are no options off the table."

Ticking Clocks

   While the media have gone to great lengths to portray the Israelis as proverbial loose cannons who just might launch an Iran attack without first consulting their American partners, this is a smokescreen providing political cover for the Obama administration during an election year.

    As analyst Michel Chossudovsky pointed out on Global Research, "In late December 2008, coinciding with the onslaught of Israel's 'Operation Cast Lead' directed against Gaza, the Pentagon dispatched some 100 military personnel to Israel from US European Command (EUCOM) to assist Israel in setting up a new sophisticated X-band early warning radar system as part of a new and integrated air defense system."

    Chossudovsky observed this development indicates that there has been "a fundamental turning point in the structure of Israel's Air Defense system and its relationship to the US global missile detection system."

   Although "casually heralded as 'military aid,'" Chossudovsky wrote, "the project consisted in strengthening the integration of Israel's air defense system into that of the US, with the Pentagon rather than Israel calling the shots."

     Since the Obama regime came to power, Chossudovsky noted there has "been a significant hike in US military aid to Israel," and "in fact much of this so-called military aid constitutes a veiled increase in the U.S. Defense budget."

     This has been borne out by several reports in the Israeli press.

     Last week, Israel National News disclosed that the "United States will double the special aid it gives Israel for the development and implementation of anti-missile systems, the Globes financial newspaper reported on Thursday."

israel-2-arrow-ballistic-missile-shield-abm-lg.jpg
Indeed, "the House and Senate's Committees on Appropriations approved the aid following a request by the U.S. Administration to approve aid totaling $106.1 million for the Arrow 3 anti-ballistic long-range air defense system, for the program to improve the basic capabilities of the Arrow systems, and for the David's Sling mid-range anti-missile system."

    Significantly, both "Appropriations Committees went far beyond the request, the report noted, and raised the amount of aid from $129 million to $235.7 million in 2012," Israel National News reported.
   
    These developments were underlined in a report last week by the right-wing Jerusalem Post.

    According to the Post's defense correspondent Yaakov Katz, "Israel is moving forward with plans to hold the largest-ever missile defense exercise in its history this spring amid Iranian efforts to obtain nuclear weapons."

    "Last week," Katz wrote, "Lt.-Gen. Frank Gorenc, commander of the US's Third Air Force based in Germany, visited Israel to finalize plans for the upcoming drill, expected to see the deployment of several thousand American soldiers in Israel."

    The Jerusalem Post disclosed that "the drill, which is unprecedented in its size, will include the establishment of US command posts in Israel and IDF command posts at EUCOM headquarters in Germany--with the ultimate goal of establishing joint task forces in the event of a large-scale conflict in the Middle East."

    "The US," Katz noted, "will also bring its THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) and shipbased Aegis ballistic missile defense systems to Israel to simulate the interception of missile salvos against Israel," and that the "American system will work in conjunction with Israel's missile defense systems--the Arrow, Patriot and Iron Dome."

Terminal High Altitude Area Defense
Similar deployments are also underway in Turkey, the staging area for terrorist attacks targeting the Syrian government for "regime change" à la Libya.

As analyst Sibel Edmonds pointed out for Boiling Frogs Post, a "joint US-NATO secret training camp in the US air force base in Incirlik, Turkey, began operations in April-May 2011 to organize and expand the dissident base in Syria."

    Edmonds noted that "weekly weapons smuggling operations have been carried out with full NATO-US participation since last May."

    According to Edmonds' Turkish and Pentagon sources, "the HQ also includes an information warfare division where US-NATO crafted communications are directed to dissidents in Syria via the core group of Syrian military and Intelligence defectors."

    It now appears that U.S.-NATO war plans against Iran will also rely heavily on Turkish participation.

    The PanArmenian News Agency reported Saturday (h/t Stop NATO) "NATO's Malatya-based ballistic missile early warning radar system will begin functioning next week, a senior Turkish official said Dec 23, reiterating that the device 'is defensive and not directed at any particular country, especially Iran'."

   However, with U.S.-NATO plans already underway to install so-called Ballistic Missile Defense systems in Eastern Europe which threaten Russia with a nuclear first-strike, the deployment of these systems in Turkey can only be viewed as a shot across the bow by both Iran and Russia.

    After all, as The New York Times reported earlier this month, "the American commitment to work with NATO allies and deploy the missile shield is founded on a belief that Iran is accelerating its program to field missiles capable of reaching across NATO territory in Europe."

   The American ambassador to NATO, Ivo Daadler, told the Times, "our estimate of the threat has gone up, not down. It is accelerating--this is the Iranian ballistic missile threat--and becoming more severe than even we thought two years ago."

   Dismissing Russian concerns that "the alliance's system of radars and interceptors could blunt Moscow's own arsenal of missiles, and thus undermine Russia's strategic deterrent," Daadler proclaimed: "Whether Russia likes it or not, we are about defending NATO-European territory against a growing ballistic missile threat."

    Despite claims by Turkey that the radar deployment is strictly "defensive" and not aimed at Iran, the PanArmenian News Agency informed us that "the agreement signed between Ankara and Washington calls for the deployment of a U.S. AN/TPY-2 (X-band) early warning radar system at a military installation at Kürecik in Malatya as part of NATO's missile defense project."

    Remarkably similar to the accord signed with Tel Aviv, the Turkish agreement calls for the deployment of "around 50 U.S. soldiers" at the installations, "accompanied by a number of Turkish troops."

    "In addition," the news agency disclosed, "a Turkish senior commander is to be posted at NATO's headquarters in Germany, where the intelligence gathered through the radar system will be processed, Hurriyet Daily News reported."

    These reports indicate that the United States, with Israel and NATO as junior partners, are coordinating strategic deployments which the Iranians will undoubtedly view as preparations for a large scale attack.

    Coming on the heels of a report earlier this month by Haaretz that the "Israel Defense Forces is forming a command to supervise 'depth' operations, actions undertaken by the military far from Israel's borders," military action by the U.S., Israeli and NATO forces are perhaps only a provocation away.

    The New York Times reported last week that "Iran put neighbors on notice Thursday that it was about to conduct vast naval exercises in the Arabian Sea, including war games near the Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping lane for international oil traffic."

    "The exercises," the Times reported, "to start Saturday and last 10 days, are Iran's first since May 2010 and were described by the official news media as the largest the country ever planned."

    "The scale of the maneuvers, the Times disclosed, "appeared intended to demonstrate Iran's military capabilities as it faces increased isolation over its suspect nuclear energy program."

    These exercises "are bound to put Iranian warships close to vessels of the United States Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain, which patrols some of the same waters, including the Strait of Hormuz."

    War threats are being taken seriously far beyond the Persian Gulf.

Earlier this month Russia Today disclosed that the "geopolitical situation unfolding around Syria and Iran is prompting Russia to make its military structures in the South Caucasus, on the Caspian, Mediterranean and Black Sea regions more efficient."

    RT's correspondent Sergey Konovalov wrote that "Defense Ministry sources are saying that the Kremlin has been informed about an upcoming US-supported Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. The strike will be sudden and take place on 'day X' in the near future. One could assume Iran's reaction will not be delayed. A full-scale war is possible, and its consequences could be unpredictable."

    "Recently," RT reported, "the Northern Fleet's aircraft carrier group with the heavy aircraft carrier 'Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Kuznetsov', headed towards the Mediterranean with plans to ultimately enter the Syrian port of Tartus."

    Russian Defense Ministry sources would neither confirm nor deny "that the surface warships are being accompanied by the Northern Fleet's nuclear submarines."

    "The tasks that will be carried out by the army and the navy in the event of a war against Iran are, of course, not being disclosed," Konovalov wrote.

    That an attack on Iran might set-off a global conflict with far-reaching, and deadly, consequences was underscored by Russia Today.

    Analyst Col. Vladimir Popov said that "if in the midst [of an attack on Iran] Azerbaijan supported by Turkey, attacks Armenia, then, of course, all of the adversary's attacks against Armenia will be repelled by Russia in conjunction with Armenian anti-missile defense forces."

    "The analyst does not exclude the possibility of Russia's military involvement in the Iranian conflict."

    "'In the worst-case scenario'," Popov told RT, "'if Tehran is facing complete military defeat after a land invasion of the US and NATO troops, Russia will provide its military support--at least on a military-technical level."

     As the United States, Israel and NATO prepare the ground for war against Iran, and with operations already underway by the U.S. and NATO to effect "regime change" in Syria, Iran's close regional ally, the pieces of a slow-motion global catastrophe are falling into place.

Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly and Global Research,  he is a Contributing Editor with Cyrano's Journal Today. His articles can be read on Dissident Voice, Pacific Free Press, Uncommon Thought Journal, and the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks. He is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military "Civil Disturbance" Planning, distributed by AK Press and has contributed to the new book from Global Research, The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century.

Tom Burghardt is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.

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This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.




Panetta is Raising the Specter of Preemptive War: Avocates of a "Hot War with Iran" Take Some Heavy Media Hits


Panetta scared of own shadow, let alone a country and rulers that will use gas and chemicals on U.S. troops, among other things like the Chinese Silkworm anti-ship missiles Iran will sink U.S. ships with

Global Research
By Sherwood Ross
12/26/2011

Advocates of a hot war with Iran have just taken some heavy hits from a Harvard professor of international relations and two prominent journalists. 

Panetta:  Doing Obama and Clinton's dirty work for them
Harvard’s Professor Stephen Walt has savaged an article in the forthcoming “Foreign Affairs” magazine(Jan.-Feb.) by Matthew Kroenig titled, “Time to Attack Iran: Why a Strike Is the Least Bad Option.” Kroenig is an Assistant Professor of Government at Georgetown University who wrote:

“The truth is that a military strike intended to destroy Iran’s nuclear program, if managed carefully, could spare the region and the world a very real threat and dramatically improve the long-term national security of the United States.”

    Calling this “a remarkably poor piece of advocacy,” Harvard’s Walt writes that Kroenig “makes the case for war by assuming everything will go south if the U.S. does not attack and that everything will go swimmingly if it does. This is not fair-minded ‘analysis’; it is simply a brief for war designed to reach a predetermined conclusion,” Walt writes of the “Foreign Affairs” piece.

    “He (Kroenig) is openly calling for preventive war against Iran, even though the United States has no authorization from the U.N. Security Council, it is not clear that Iran is actively developing nuclear weapons, and Iran has not attacked us or any of our allies---ever,” Walt writes.

Iranian subs
“He is therefore openly calling for his country to violate international law. He is calmly advocating a course of action will inevitably kill a significant number of people, including civilians...and Kroenig is willing to have their deaths on his conscience on the basis of a series of unsupported assertions, almost all of them subject to serious doubt.”

    Writing in UK’s “The Guardian” newspaper December 7th, journalist Seumas Milne points out that Iran is a peaceful nation that “has invaded no one in 200 years” while “the US. and Israel have attacked 10 countries or territories between them in the past decade.” What’s more, Milne adds, “Britain exploited, occupied and overthrew governments in Iran for over a century. So who threatens who exactly?”

   He goes on to write, “For months the evidence has been growing that a US-Israeli stealth war against Iran has already begun, backed by Britain and France. Covert support for armed opposition groups has spread into a campaign of assassinations of Iranian scientists, cyber warfare, attacks on military and missile installations, and the killing of an Iranian general, among others.”

Iranian modified missile boats
Milne also called it an “extraordinary admission” that British defense officials said if the U.S. planned to attack Iran, as they believed it might, America would receive “UK military help,” including sea and air support. “The British military establishment fully expects to take part in an unprovoked US attack on Iran---just as it did against Iraq eight years ago,” he said.

   (This admission shouldn’t be that astonishing as the U.S. and U.K. are inextricably tied together militarily and in a number of other significant ways and appear to be bent on advancing the imperial goals of the old British Empire. A superficial difference today is that the Empire’s capital has moved from London to Washington. In reality, from their joint intelligence operations to their collaborating oil companies to their defense contractors, etc., US/UK operate as One. Maybe the long-time partners should rebrand themselves the United States of England?)

    Meanwhile, American journalist Patrick J. Buchanan pointed out that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta “dropped some jolting news” when he told CBS, “If we get intelligence they (Iranians) are proceeding with developing a nuclear weapons, then we will take whatever steps necessary to deal with it.”

Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar
In his column of December 22, Buchanan charged, “Panetta is raising the specter of preemptive war,” adding, “This is no minor matter. For not only have Panetta and Barack Obama talked about ‘all options on the table’ regarding Iran---i.e., we do not rule out military strikes---so, too, have the GOP presidential candidates, save Rep. Ron Paul.”

    Responding to Pentagon Press Secretary George Little’s statement, “We have no indication that the Iranians have made a decision to develop a nuclear weapons,” Buchanan wrote it “coincides with the consensus of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, including the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency, in December, 2007.”

    Or, to put it another way, in the blunt words of “The Guardian’s” Milne, “The case against Iran is...spectacularly flimsy.”

Sherwood Ross is a U.S.-based public relations consultant for “good causes” who formerly reported for the Chicago Daily News and worked as a columnist for several wire services. Reach him at sherwoodross10@gmail.com.

Sherwood Ross is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.

Images:  Google royalty free unless otherwise attributed.


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.





World Banks Brace for Euro Collapse


Once again, the delusional elitists and eugenicists have overplayed their hand and failed to unite tyranny; now are getting desperate to attack anything,  another possible "false-flag" by government(s) could be closer to reality

PRESS TV

Banks around the world are preparing for the possible collapse of the euro as fears of the European debt crisis increase.

Christmas present for democracy and cause for hope

Several banks are even installing systems capable of coping with trading in old European currencies. 
Meanwhile finance firms, corporations, and different governments have also turned to plans that aim at preparing them for harsh times.

   Regulators have asked banks in the US and UK to provide updates on readiness levels in case of a possible euro collapse.

   Some corporate firms have also started transferring their cash on a daily basis out of European countries, including debt-ridden Greece instead of once every two weeks.

Probably no more kissy-face for Sarkozy and Merkel these days
Europe has for months grappled with an economic and financial crisis. 
Insolvency now threatens in-debt countries such as Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland and Spain.
Since its formation, the European Union had been a haven for those seeking refuge from war, persecution and poverty in other parts of the world.

   The worsening debt crisis, however, has forced European governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms. Tens of thousands of Europeans are migrating from their homelands as a result of these difficulties.

    There are fears that more delays in resolving the eurozone debt crisis could push not only Europe, but also much of the rest of the Western world back into recession.

SZH/JR/HGH
 

Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.

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This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.



Electricity sparks new life into Indonesia’s corals


Just in time; Indonesia's corals can use all the help they can get, many reefs already destroyed by dynamiting and cyanide

Agence France-Presse
12/26/2011

PEMUTERAN, Indonesia —

Cyanide fishing and rising water temperatures had decimated corals off Bali until a diver inspired by a German scientist’s pioneering work on organic architecture helped develop a project now replicated worldwide.

   Based on “Biorock” technology (http://www.globalcoral.org), it is implemented in 20 countries, mainly in Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Pacific.

Indonesia has some of the most beautiful and diverse reefs in world
In the turquoise waters of Pemuteran off the north coast of Bali where the project was launched in 2000, a metal frame known as “the crab” is covered with huge corals in shimmering colours where hundreds of fish have made their homes.

    “It’s amazing, isn’t it ?” Rani Morrow-Wuigk says proudly. The 60-year-old German-born Australian first dived in Pemuteran bay back in 1992, to see its beautiful reefs.

   But at the end of the nineties rising water temperatures had led to the near-disappearance of the reef, already badly affected by cyanide and dynamite fishing in the area.

    “I was devastated. Basically, all the corals were dead. It was gravel and sand,” Rani recalled.

    But when German architect and marine scientist Wolf Hilbertz told her about a discovery he had made in the 1970s, the diver’s ears pricked up.

Most life is dependent upon the corals
Hilbertz had sought to “grow” construction materials in the sea, and had done so by submerging a metallic structure and connecting it to an electric current with a weak and thus harmless voltage.

The ensuing electrolysis had provoked a build-up of limestone, in a kind of spontaneous building work.

    When he tested out his invention in Louisiana in the United States, Hilbertz saw that after a few months oysters progressively covered the whole structure, and colonised the collected limestone.

    More experiments were carried out and the same phenomenon was confirmed for corals.

    “Corals grow 2-6 times faster. We are able to grow back reefs in a few years,” Thomas J. Goreau, a Jamaican marine biologist and biogeochemist, told AFP.

Goreau began working with Hilbertz in the mid-1980s to develop Biorock technology, and he has continued their work since Hilbertz’s death four years ago.

When Rani saw the discovery, it gave her an idea for how she might save “her” bay.

    She decided to expand the project to 22 structures using her own money with the help of Taman Sari, the holiday resort in front of the coral restoration project.

   Today there are around sixty of these “cages” in Pemuteran bay, across a surface of two hectares, and the reef has not only been saved from near-death, it is flourishing better than ever before.

    “Now we’ve got a better coral garden than we used to have,” said Rani.

    Biorock not only revives the corals but it makes them more resistant, in particular against bleaching and global warming.

“Biorock is the only method known that protects corals from dying from high temperatures. We get from 16-50 times higher survival of corals from severe bleaching,” Goreau said.

The evidence of this has been on show in Pemuteran, said Rani.
    
   “We had coral bleaching happening in the last two years. The water temperature was 34 degrees (93 Fahrenheit), instead of 30. Only 10 percent of the corals were affected and two percent died. Whereas, in 1998, they basically all died”.

    The local community in Pemuteran has also been won over after early reticence on the merits of the project.

    “At first, I thought he was a crazy ‘bule’ (white guy) putting iron in the water,” Komang Astika said, recalling his first meeting with Goreau, but in 2000, Komang joined the project when he left college.

Today he is the diving instructor and manager in charge of the Biorock information centre, located on Pemuteran beach and set up with funds from the sponsorship programme, “Adopt a baby coral” (http://biorockbali.webs.com/).

    The tourists have also cottoned-on. “It was a poor village when I arrived,” Rani said, “since 2000, the number of dive shops doubled.”

    And the local fishermen have also seen the merits of the project they initially regarded as a threat to their livelihoods.

    “At the beginning, the fishermen didn’t want Biorock because we were trying to stop them fishing. They were saying ‘It’s my ocean,’ but now they see the fish coming back and the tourists coming,” said Astika.


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This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.





'Hormuz naval drill, message to West, Obama'


American Naval personnel are the pawns in this showdown, if U.S. attacks thousands will die in Persian Gulf sunk by Iranian Silkworm missiles

PRESS TV
12/26/2011

A senior Iranian lawmaker says the ongoing Velayat 90 naval drill aim to send a warning to the West that the Strait of Hormuz will be closed if Iran is threatened.

Iranian Navy launches anti-ship missile
“The [Iranian] Navy's military maneuvers in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman indicate the power and dominance of Iran's Navy in regional waters,” member of the Majlis (parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Zohreh Elahian said Monday.


    The lawmaker stated that military drills also aim to increase Iran's deterrence power and prove its regional dominance.

    “The exercises send an important message to the whole world, especially the colonialist powers…and also show the power of [Iran's] armed forces, particularly [the country's] Navy,” she noted.

   Elahian added foreign media have admitted that Iran and its Navy are so powerful that if threatened, the country can take control of the Strait of Hormuz as the global economic and energy conduit.

Iranian missile frigate
On Saturday, December 24, Iran's Navy launched a massive 10-day Velayat 90 naval exercise, covering an area stretching from the east of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Aden.

   Different classes of submarines, including Tareq and Qadir, the newest ground-to-sea missile systems and torpedoes have been employed in the maneuvers.
 
    Over the past years, Iran has made important breakthroughs in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing important military equipment and systems.

     The country has repeatedly clarified that its military might is merely based on the nation's defense doctrine of deterrence and poses no threat to other countries.

SS/AZ/HGH

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This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

  

Obama Year Three: Continuing His "Rogue Agenda"


Obama taking pointers from Bush and Rove on how to intimidate "lawmakers," subvert rule of law, Constitution and Bill of Rights

Global Research
By Stephen Lendman
12/26/2011

In 2011, Obama continued the destructive pattern he followed in years one and two. Throughout his tenure, he's done what supporters thought impossible.

    Across the board on domestic and foreign issues, he governed to the right of George Bush. He's waged multiple imperial wars, plans others, looted the nation's wealth, wrecked the economy, consigned growing millions to impoverishment without jobs, and institutionalized tyranny to target dissenters challenging political corruption, corporate crooks, or abuse of power lawlessness.

Obama and buddy, the now-dead Mommar Khadafi
He also promotes regime change in Syria, Iran, Venezuela, Lebanon, and other independent states. In addition, he targets Russia's military strength and China's growing economic might. At the same time, he supports ruthless, corrupt tyrants.


   Moreover, he authorized indefinitely detaining anyone called a national security threat without charge (including US citizens). He continues Bush's rendition and torture policies, authorized killing US citizens abroad, (like Anwar Al-Awaki for opposing America's belligerency), and deployed Special Forces death squads covertly to 120 or more countries.

    Notably, he destroyed hard won labor rights, wants education commodified and made another business profit center, and wages war on whistleblowers, dissenters, Muslims, Latino immigrants, and environmental and animal rights activists called terrorists.

    Throughout his tenure, he's governed lawlessly for the monied interests that own him. He hasn't disappointed at the expense of core constituents and others deserving better.

    Year three: Obama's destructive agenda continued.

Obama's Anti-Progressive Agenda

    In year three, like years one and two, he's been anti-progressive, hard-right, reactionary, belligerent, and pro-corporate. He's pursued anti-populist policies favoring wealth and privilege, not social justice when more than ever it's needed.

Obama can't control self when blowing corporate interests
In contrast, progressive change demands social reforms benefitting ordinary Americans, citizens having more control over government, establishing comprehensive education and universal healthcare as fundamental rights, curbing excessive corporate power, purging corruption and waste, and ending imperial wars that ravage the world one country at a time or in multiples.

    It also advocates supporting organized labor, preventing exploitation of children, workers and minorities, environmental conservation, equity and justice, and other democratic values.

   In contrast, Obama supports wealth and power, not populist change. Throughout his tenure, he's been pro-war, pro-business (with Wall Street atop the pecking order), anti-dissent, anti-democratic, anti-freedom, anti-civil and human rights, anti-environmental sanity, and anti-government of, by and for the people.

     After winning the most sweeping non-incumbent victory in over 50 years, he broke every major promise made, imposed austerity when stimulus is needed, escalated imperial wars, and hardened repression to curb popular anger.

    James Petras calls him "the perfect incarnation of Melville's Confidence Man. He catches your eye while he picks your pocket. He gives thanks as he packs you off to war."

    He spurns human need, rule of law principles, other democratic values, and right over wrong. Supporters expecting change in year four or a second term are delusional and misguided. In fact, his worst policies lie ahead.

Obamanomics: Waging War on American Workers

    In April 2011, Obama announced $4 trillion in largely social spending budget cuts over the next 12 years. In December 2010, with Democrats controlling both Houses, he extended Bush's super-rich tax cuts after saying he'd end them.

    He also agreed to $38 billion in vital social services cuts after promising to preserve them. They include:

    $3.5 billion from Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funding;

    $2.2 billion from nonprofit health insurance cooperatives;

    $600 million from community healthcare centers;

  $1 billion from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and other disease prevention programs;

    $1.6 billion from EPA's clean/safe drinking water and other projects;

    $950 million from community development grants;

   $504 million from nutrition aid for poor Women, Infants, and Children (WIC);

    $500 million from education programs;

    $390 million from home heating subsidies to the poor, as well as $2.5 billion for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) announced in February;

    $350 million from labor programs, including grants for community service jobs for seniors;
Other social service cuts:
    
    $786 million from FEMA first-responder funding;

    $407 million from energy efficiency and renewable energy programs;

    $260 million from National Institutes of Health (NIH) medical research;

   $127 million from the National Park Service; and billions less for public infrastructure and transportation spending, while increasing war appropriations by multiples more, including for conquering and controlling Libya.

    Moreover, Obama agreed to more draconian FY 2012 cuts and corporate tax breaks as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling before reaching its mid-May limit. More as well over the next 12 years, including:

    $4 trillion overall;

  $770 billion from education, environmental, transportation, and other infrastructure cuts, as well as lower wages and benefits for federal workers when they need more, not less;

   $480 billion from Medicare and Medicaid, besides another $1 trillion from Obamacare;

   $360 billion from mandated domestic programs, including food stamps, home heating assistance, income for the poor and disabled, federal pension insurance, and farm subsidies; and 
    
    $400 billion from military-related spending from unneeded weapons, as well as healthcare and other benefits for active service members and veterans.

    Priority Pentagon items remain untouched to assure annual budget increases, generous supplemental add-ons, and secret open-checkbook intelligence allocations for numerous nefarious purposes.

    As a result, people needs are on the chopping block for elimination to satisfy the insatiable appetites of Wall Street, war profiteers, other corporate favorites, and America's super-rich. Obama's fully on board.

Eliminating Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Public Pensions
    
    Political Washington hard-liners want them ended to transfer maximum public and private wealth to the recipients explained above.

   Claims about Social Security and Medicare going broke are duplicitous. In fact, both programs are sound when responsibly administered. Nonetheless, they're on the chopping block for elimination, beginning with benefit cuts, then privatizations to let corporate crooks profit at the expense of beneficiaries.

  Obama tasked two deficit hawks for the job. They head his National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (NCFRF) - former Senator Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, former Clinton White House Chief of Staff. They're part of an 18-member team of like-minded members.

War Criminal Obama playing tough-guy now
They recommended sharp tax reductions for business and super-rich elites. They also want deep Medicare cuts, co-pay increases, Social Security's retirement age raised, and lower cost-of-living increases among other draconian proposals harming ordinary people enormously.

They're coming and much more under bipartisan agreement to slash trillions of dollars from domestic spending over the next decade.
By law, automatic $1.2 trillion in cuts over 10 years will start in 2013. They're to be equally divided between defense and domestic programs.

    In fact, expect sustained military spending at the expense of gutting America's social contract. Either way, lost purchasing power means less spending, fewer jobs, and greater public anger than today's high levels.

    In fact, deficit cutting is secondary. Key is protecting corporate handouts and Bush era tax cuts, as well as expanding them for business and upper-bracket earners.

   Obama supports making ordinary Americans and seniors bear the burden so corporations and rich folks are spared. As usual, he talks tough, then caves, no matter the harm and injustice caused.

America's Permanent War Agenda

    In inflation adjusted dollars, annual defense spending more than doubled under George Bush. They've kept rising under Obama despite growing budget cutting pressures, at a time America's national debt burden is much higher than acknowledged.

Deadly, criminal doofus Barak Obama
It hardly matters, given the military/industrial complex's power to demand what it wants with Obama in tow to provide it. He also advanced America's imperium destructively across North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia to Russia's borders.

After a decade, Afghanistan is now America's longest war. No end of conflict is in sight. Withdrawing US forces from Iraq concealed their regional repositioning and continued presence on major bases America will keep operating.

    In fact, increased force levels are planned on one or more Libyan bases, larger contingents in Kuwait, expanded ties with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE and Oman, and a greater overall regional footprint to establish an enhanced "security architecture" to integrate air, ground, and naval units for future combat missions.

    Throughout 2011, Obama bears direct responsibility for committing one of history's greatest crimes against Libya. NATO's killing machine under US direction dispatched truth by calling naked aggression against a nonbelligerent country the responsibility to protect.

    When is war not war? It's when cold-blooded killing is called the right thing. It's when major media scoundrels cheerlead it, lies substitute for truth, and when public apathy lets criminal politicians, crime boss presidents, and NATO killers cause mass deaths, destruction and human misery with impunity.

   Objectives included replacing an independent regime with a client one; colonizing, occupying, pillaging, and raping Libya for profit; controlling its resources; excluding China and Russia from access; privatizing its enterprises; exploiting its people; ending Jamahiriya social benefits; and letting America establish strategically located North African bases among other reasons for waging war.

U.S. AFRICOM photo by Vince Crawley
Also at issue is Washington's Greater Middle East agenda. One country at a time is ravaged toward achieving America's goal of unchallenged regional dominance to Russia and China's borders.


   Years earlier, constructive chaos was planned to redraw regional lines to achieve key geopolitical goals. Wars followed, shifting from one target to another. Obama's pursued them more aggressively than Bush and plans more, no matter their lawlessness or body count.

    Syria's now targeted. Washington replicated its Libya model. Heavily armed insurgents are involved. So are Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon's March 14 alliance, other Arab League partners, and Israel.

    Regime change is planned, with or without war. Expect it if other measures fail. Internal and external forces are involved. In Libya, NATO formed the Transitional National Council (TNC) to replace Gaddafi and Jamahiriya government. Proxy Syrian National Council (SNC) members were enlisted to replace Bashar al-Assad's regime after it's ousted.

    Disturbing reports surfaced about hundreds of US and NATO Special Forces massed on Syria's border. Using them perhaps with air power is planned if sanctions and internal insurgency fail.

   Anti-Iranian rhetoric is also heated. America claims Tehran threatens world peace. In October, Washington falsely charged Iran with plotting to kill Saudi Arabia's US ambassador.

    In November, outdated, forged, long ago discredited, and perhaps nonexistent documents were used to claim Iran's developing nuclear weapons. According to America's latest March 2011 intelligence estimate, no credible evidence proves it. Instead, baseless accusations may precede replicating Libya's model to target Iran belligerently.

    On December 15, Manhattan Federal Judge George Daniels said he'll sign an order accusing Iran, Hezbollah, and Al Qaeda of 9/11 responsibility.

   In response to a lawsuit brought by family members of 9/11 victims, he claimed Iran provided material support to Al Qaeda, based on spurious testimonies from three Iranian defectors whose affidavits remained sealed during court proceedings.

    Testimonies given were false. Iran, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda had nothing to do with a plot hatched in Washington to initiate America's global war on terror. Ravaging the world one country at a time was planned. Syria and Iran may be next.

Supporting Dangerous Nuclear Power


    Despite Fukushima's multiples worse disaster than Chernobyl, Obama supports jump-starting nuclear power construction. In 2008, candidate Obama said unless a "safe way to produce (and store) nuclear energy (is found), then absolutely we shouldn't build more plants....I am much more interested in solar and wind and bio-diesel (to produce) clean energy and (new) jobs."

Fukushima reactor melting down, continues to smoke and burn
At the same time, he accepted generous industry contributions, as well as earlier for his 2004 Senate campaign. As president, he now supports tens of billions of dollars in industry loan guarantees for new facilities - free money. He's committed to accelerating new construction. It's been halted since Three Mile Island in 1979. Numerous takers are lining up to take advantage.

   Energy Secretary Steven Chu and other officials downplay the hazards, including 23 US nuclear plants at 16 locations using the same failed GE-designed Mark 1 containment vessels as Fukushima. Earlier, the NRC called them susceptible to explosions and failure because of cost-cutting design features.

    No matter the risks, Obama's an unabashed nuclear power supporter. He believes no new regulatory oversight is needed. He's endangering public safety promoting it. It should be abandoned in favor safer, clean, renewable alternatives.

Partnering with Israeli Lawlessness

    Obama calls his commitment to Israel "unshakable." Claiming he's done more than anyone, he said:

    "I am proud to say that no US administration has done more in support of Israel's security than ours. Don't let anybody tell you otherwise. It is a fact." America's "led the way." Whatever Israel wants it gets, including more military and other foreign aid than all other countries combined.

   No wonder James Petras calls him "America's first Jewish president." He "crossed the River Jordan," backing its "colonial power in a strategic region of the" world, no matter how threatening "to world peace (and) democratic values...."

    He partners with Israel's worst crimes and provides assured Security Council vetoes of measures harming its interests.

    Like past administrations, he also supplies annual billions of dollars in aid, state-of-the-art weapons and munitions, the latest technology, intelligence, interest-free loans, special privileges afforded no other nations, and other generous benefits.

    Moreover, despite hard economic times, he approved more in Washington's FY 2012 budget bill. It provides $236 million for Israel's missile defense programs, including Arrow-2, Arrow-3, and David's Sling.

    Beholden to America's powerful Israeli Lobby, world peace and America's own interests are threatened.

Jeopardizing Internet Freedom

    Candidate Obama promised to "(s)upport the principle of network neutrality to preserve the benefits of open competition on the Internet."

   As president, his FCC, congressional Democrats, and political extremists threaten it. On May 12, Senator Patrick Leahy (D. VT) introduced "S. 968: Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 (PROTECT IP)." Referred to the Judiciary Committee, May 26 hearings were held. So far, no further action was taken.

    Leahy calls it a measure to "protect the investment American companies make in developing brands and creating content and will protect the jobs associated with those investments."

    In fact, it introduces new censorship provisions that violate First Amendment freedoms, without which all others are at risk.

  If enacted, Internet service providers (ISPs), search engines, and other information location tools must block user access to sites accused of very loosely defined copyright infringement.

    On October 26, Rep. Lamar Smith (R. TX) introduced "HR 3261: Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA): To promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of US property, and for other purposes."

    Referred to the House Judiciary Committee, no further action so far was taken. In enacted, SOPA will sabotage the domain name system. It may also eliminate DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) safe harbors that spur economic growth and online creativity.

   Along with Leahy's PROTECT-IP Act, SOPA will force ISPs to disappear certain websites, endangering Internet security.

    At issue is targeting free expression. It's not about curbing online piracy or promoting prosperity, creativity and entrepreneurship. An appointed Internet czar would decide if US interests are harmed at the expense of user rights and providers serving them.

    After promising to protect Net Neutrality, expect Obama to end it if these measures pass.

Legislating Tyranny

    In mid-December, Congress passed the FY 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. It includes little reported harsh police state provisions. After earlier promising a veto, Obama signed them into law. Another promise made, another broken. His betrayal record stays intact.

Dreaming of destroying the United States
Henceforth, anyone anywhere, including US citizens, may be indefinitely held without charge or trial, based solely on suspicions, spurious allegations or none at all.

No reasonable proof is needed, just suspicions that those detained pose threats. As a result, indefinite detentions can follow mere membership (past or present) or support for suspect organizations.

     
    Presidents now have unchecked dictatorial powers to arrest, interrogate and indefinitely detain law-abiding citizens if accused of potentially posing a threat.

    Constitutional, statute and international laws won't apply. Martial law will replace them if so ordered.

    As a result, US military personnel anywhere in the world may arrest US citizens and others, throw them in military dungeons, and hold them indefinitely outside constitutionally mandated civil protections, including habeas rights, due process, and other judicial procedures.

     In other words, presidents may order anyone arrested and imprisoned for life without charge or trial. Tyranny arrived in America. Abuse of power replaced rule of law protections, despite three post-9/11 Supreme Court decisions supporting habeas and other constitutional protections in civil courts for anyone charged with crimes.

A Final Comment

    Obama exceeded the worst of George Bush. With another year in office and likely reelection, he'll continue waging permanent wars, flaunting democratic values, imposing repressive police state harshness, concentrating wealth and power disproportionately, destroying the nation's middle class, turning workers into serfs, and making the country more than ever unfit to live in.

    It's happening under a president promising change unless public outrage stops him. Sustaining pressure without letup is crucial for as long as it takes. There's no other way.

    Quitting's not an option! There can't be to have any chance for success!

   The alternative is Orwell's vision of "a boot stamping on a human face forever." If preventing that isn't job one, what is?

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/

Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.

Images:  Google royalty free unless otherwise attributed.


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.




Unrelenting Global Economic Crisis: A Doomsday View of 2012

The economic, political and social outlook for 2012 is profoundly negative 
Global Research
12/25/2011
Introduction 

The economic, political and social outlook for 2012 is profoundly negative. The almost universal consensus, even among mainstream orthodox economists is pessimistic regarding the world economy. Although, even here, their predictions understate the scope and depth of the crises, there are powerful reasons to believe that beginning in 2012, we are heading toward a steeper decline than what was experienced during the Great Recession of 2008 – 2009. With fewer resources, greater debt and increasing popular resistance to shouldering the burden of saving the capitalist system, the governments cannot bail out the system. 
Tent City, Reno Nevada, USA
Many of the major institutions and economic relations which were cause and consequence of world and regional capitalist expansion over the past three decades are in the process of disintegration and disarray. The previous economic engines of global expansion, the US and the European Union, have exhausted their potentialities and are in open decline. The new centers of growth, China, India, Brazil, Russia, which for a ‘short decade’ provided a new impetus for world growth have run their course and are de-accelerating rapidly and will continue to do so throughout the new year.

The Collapse of the European Union
    
    Specifically, the crises wracked European Union will break up and the de facto multi-tiered structure will turn into a series of bilateral/multi-lateral trade and investment agreements. Germany , France , the Low and Nordic countries will attempt to weather the downturn. England - namely the City of London, in splendid isolation, will sink into negative growth, its financiers scrambling to find new speculative opportunities among the Gulf petrol-states and other ‘niches’. Eastern and Central Europe, particularly Poland and the Czech Republic , will deepen their ties to Germany but will suffer the consequences of the general decline of world markets. Southern Europe ( Greece , Spain , Portugal and Italy ) will enter into a deep depression as the massive debt payments fueled by savage assaults on wages and social benefits will severely reduce consumer demand.

Depression level unemployment and under-employment running to one-third of the labor force will detonate year-long social conflicts, intensifying into popular uprisings. Eventually a break-up of the European Union is almost inevitable. The euro as a currency of choice will be replaced by or return to national issues accompanied by devaluations and protectionism. Nationalism will be the order of the day. Banks in Germany , France and Switzerland will suffer huge losses on their loans to the South. Major bailouts will become necessary, polarizing German and French societies, between the tax-paying majorities and the bankers. Trade union militancy and rightwing pseudo ‘populism’ (neo-fascism) will intensify the class and national struggles

    A depressed, fragmented and polarized Europe will be less likely to join in any Zionist inspired US-Israeli military adventure against Iran (or even Syria ). Crises ridden Europe will oppose Washington ’s confrontationalist approach to Russia and China .

The US : The Recession Returns with a Vengeance
    
    The US economy will suffer the consequences of its ballooning fiscal deficit and will not be able to spend its way out of the world recession of 2012. Nor can it count on ‘exporting’ its way out of negative growth by turning to previously dynamic Asia, as China, India and the rest of Asia are losing economic steam. China will grow far below its 9% moving average. India will decline from 8% to 5% or lower. Moreover, the Obama regime’s military policy of ‘encirclement’, its economic policy of exclusion and protectionism will preclude any new stimulus from China .

Militarism Exacerbates the Economic Downturn

   The US and England will be the biggest losers from the Iraqi post war economic reconstruction. Of $186 billion dollars in infrastructure projects, US and UK corporations will gain less than 5% (Financial Times, 12/16/11, p 1 and 3). A similar outcome is likely in Libya and elsewhere. US imperial militarism destroys an adversary, plunging into debt to do so, and non-belligerents reap the lucrative post-war economic reconstruction contracts.

    The US economy will fall into recession in 2012 and the “jobless recovery of 2011” will be replaced by a steep increase of unemployment in 2012. In fact, the entire labor force will shrink as people losing their unemployment benefits will fail to register.

New definition of poverty
Labor exploitation (“productivity”) will intensify as capitalists force workers to produce more, for less pay, thus widening the income gap between wages and profits.

The economic downturn and growth of unemployment will be accompanied by savage cuts in social programs to subsidize financially troubled banks and industries. The debates among the parties will be over how large the cuts to workers and retirees will be to secure the ‘confidence’ of the bondholders. Faced with equally limited political choices, the electorate will react by voting out incumbents, abstaining and via spontaneous and organized mass movements, such as the “occupy Wall Street” protest.

    Dissatisfaction, hostility and frustration will pervade the culture. Democratic Party demagogues will scapegoat China ; the Republican Party demagogues will blame the immigrants. Both will fulminate against “the Islamo-fascists” and especially against Iran .

New Wars in the Midst of Crises: Zionists Pull the Trigger

    The ‘52 Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations’ and their “Israel First” followers in the US Congress, State Department, Treasury and the Pentagon will push for war with Iran . If they are successful it will result in a regional conflagration and world depression. Given the extremist Israeli regime’s success in securing blind obedience to its war policies from the US Congress and White House, any doubts about the real possibility of a major catastrophic outcome can be set aside.

China: Compensatory Mechanisms in 2012
    
    China will face the global recession of 2012 with several possibilities of ameliorating its impact. Beijing can shift toward producing goods and services for the 700 million domestic consumers currently out of the economic loop. By increasing wages, social services and environmental safety, China can compensate for the loss of overseas markets. China ’s economic growth, which is largely dependent on real estate speculation, will be adversely affected when the bubble is burst. A sharp downturn will result, leading to job losses, municipal bankruptcies and increased social and class conflicts. This can result in either greater repression or gradual democratization. The outcome will profoundly affect China ’s market - state relations. The economic crisis will likely strengthen state control over the market.

Russia Faces the Crises
    
    Russia ’s election of President Putin will lead to less collaboration in backing US promoted uprisings and sanctions against Russian allies and trading partners. Putin will turn toward greater ties with China and will benefit from the break-up of the EU and the weakening of NATO.

   The western media backed opposition will use its financial clout to erode Putin’s image and encourage investment boycotts though they will lose the Presidential elections by a big margin. The world recession will weaken the Russian economy and will force it to choose between greater public ownership or greater dependency on state funds to bail out prominent oligarchs.

The Transition 2011 – 2012: From Regional Stagnation and Recession to World Crises
    
    The year 2011 laid the groundwork for the breakdown of the European Union. The crises began with the demise of the Euro, stagnation in the US and the outbreak of mass protests against the obscene inequalities on a world scale. The events of 2011 were a dress rehearsal for a new year of full scale trade wars between major powers, sharpening inter-imperialist struggles and the likelihood of popular rebellions turning into revolutions. Moreover, the escalation of Zionist orchestrated war fever against Iran in 2011 promises the biggest regional war since the US-Indo-Chinese conflict. The electoral campaigns and outcomes of Presidential elections in the US , Russia and France will deepen the global conflicts and economic crises.

Chinese Navy preparing for war with U.S.
During 2011 the Obama regime announced a policy of military confrontation with Russia and China and policies designed to undermine and degrade China ’s rise as a world economic power. In the face of a deepening economic recession and with the decline of overseas markets, especially in Europe , a major trade war will unfold. Washington will aggressively pursue policies limiting Chinese exports and investments. The White House will escalate its efforts to disrupt China ’s trade and investments in Asia, Africa and elsewhere. We can expect greater US efforts to exploit China ’s internal ethnic and popular conflicts and to increase its military presence off China ’s coastline. A major provocation or fabricated incident in this context is not to be excluded. The result in 2012 could lead to rabid chauvinist calls for a costly new ‘Cold War’. Obama has provided the framework and justification for a large-scale, long-term confrontation with China . This will be seen as a desperate effort to prop up US influence and strategic positions in Asia . The US military “quadrangle of power” – US-Japan-Australia-South Korea – with satellite support from the Philippines , will pit China ’s market ties against Washington ’s military build-up.

Europe: Deeper Austerity and Intensified Class Struggle

   The austerity programs imposed in Europe, from England to Latvia to southern Europe will really take hold in 2012. Massive public sector firings and reduced private sector salaries and job opportunities will lead to a year of permanent class warfare and regime challenges. The ‘austerity policies’ in the South, will be accompanied by debt defaults resulting in bank failures in France and Germany . England ’s financial ruling class, isolated from Europe, but dominant in England , will insist that the Conservatives ‘repress’ labor and popular unrest. A new tough neo-Thatcherite style of autocratic rule will emerge; the Labor-trade union opposition will issue empty protests and tighten the leash on the rebellious populace. In a word, the regressive socio-economic policies put in place in 2011 have set the stage for new police-state regimes and more acute and possibly bloody confrontations with workers and unemployed youth with no future.

The Coming Wars that Ends America “As We Know It”

    Within the US , Obama has laid the groundwork for a new and bigger war in the Middle East by relocating troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and concentrating them against Iran . To undermine Iran , Washington is expanding clandestine military and civilian operations against Iranian allies in Syria , Pakistan , Venezuela and China . The key to the US and Israeli bellicose strategy toward Iran is a series of wars in neighboring states, world- wide economic sanctions , cyber-attacks aimed at disabling vital industries and clandestine terrorist assassinations of scientists and military officials. The entire push, planning and execution of the US policies leading up to war with Iran can be empirically and without a doubt attributed to the Zionist power configuration occupying strategic positions in the US Administration, mass media and ‘civil society’.

War with Iran would be suicide for Israel, U.S.
A systematic analysis of American policymakers designing and implementing economic sanctions policy in Congress finds prominent roles for such mega-Zionists (Israel-Firsters) as Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Howard Berman; in the White House, Dennis Ross in the White House, Jeffrey Feltman in the State Department, and Stuart Levy, and his replacement David Cohen, in the Treasury. The White House is totally beholden to Zionist fund raisers and takes its cue from the ‘52 Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organization. The Israeli-Zionist strategy is to encircle Iran , weaken it economically and attack its military. The Iraq invasion was the US ’s first war for Israel ; the Libyan war the second; the current proxy war against Syria is the third. These wars have destroyed Israel ’s adversaries or are in the process of doing so.

    During 2011, economic sanctions, which were designed to create domestic discontent in Iran , were the principle weapon of choice. The global sanctions campaign engaged the entire energies of the major Jewish-Zionist lobbies. They have faced no opposition from the mass media, Congress or the White Office. The Zionist Power Configuration (ZPC) has been virtually exempt from criticism by any of the progressive, leftist and socialist journals, movements or grouplets – with a few notable exceptions. The past year’s re-positioning of US troops from Iraq to the borders of Iran , the sanctions and the rising Big Push from Israel ’s Fifth Column in the US means expanded war in the Middle East . This likely means a “surprise” aerial and maritime missile attack by US forces. This will be based on a concocted pretext of an “imminent nuclear attack” concocted by Israeli Mossad and faithfully transmitted by the ZPC to their lackeys US Congress and White House for consumption and transmission to the world. It will be a destructive, bloody, prolonged war for Israel ; the US will bear the direct military cost by itself and the rest of the world will pay a dear economic price. The Zionist-promoted US war will convert the recession of early 2012 into a major depression by the end of the year and probably provoke mass upheavals.

Conclusion

    All indications point to 2012 being a turning point year of unrelenting economic crisis spreading outward from Europe and the US to Asia and its dependencies in Africa and Latin America . The crisis will be truly global. Inter-imperial confrontations and colonial wars will undermine any efforts to ameliorate this crisis. In response, mass movements will emerge moving over time from protests and rebellions, and hopefully to social revolutions and political power.

James Petras is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.

Images:  Google royalty free unless otherwise attributed.


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

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ANDREW KREIG: EXPERTS REJECT FIRE AS CAUSE FOR 9/11 WTC COLLAPSES

The real truth on 9/11 slowly continues to bleed out

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Technical experts are mounting major challenges to official U.S. government accounts of how three World Trade Center skyscrapers collapsed in near-freefall after the 9/11 attacks 15 years ago.

Many researchers are focusing especially on the little-known collapse of

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The Geopolitics Of The United States, Part 1: The Inevitable Empire

The Empire and the inevitable fall of the Obama criminal regime

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STRATFOR Editor’s Note: This installment on the United States, presented in two parts, is the 16th in a series of STRATFOR monographs on the geopolitics of countries influential in world affairs.

Like nearly all of the peoples of North and South America, most Americans are not originally from the territory that became the United States.

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Geopolitics Of The United States Part 2: American Identity And The Threats of Tomorrow

A look back at 2011 predictions for the future in order to put events of today into perspective

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We have already discussed in the first part of this analysis how the American geography dooms whoever controls the territory to being a global power, but there are a number of other outcomes that shape what that power will be like. The first and most critical is the impact of that geography on the American mindset.

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By Robert S. Finnegan

This e-mail outlines and confirms the acts of espionage against Indonesia and Indonesians by Akiko Makino and the others involved both in Kobe University and in AI Lab at University of Airlangga, Surabaya; Bahasa Indonesia original follows English translation...

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UPDATED 01/07/2015 : New Analysis Challenges Tamiflu Efficacy; Hong Kong Corona Virus Outbreak

UPDATED 01/07/2015 : FOX NEWS CORPORATE PHARMA SHILL MEGAN KELLY AND FOX NEWS QUACK DOCTOR NOW PUSHING TAMIFLU FOR PREGNANT WOMEN AND CHILDREN;

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THE 5TH ESTATE UNEQUIVOCALLY WARNS THE PUBLIC NOT TO TAKE OR GIVE THIS PROVEN DANGEROUS, INEFFECTIVE DRUG TO ANYONE

Obama criminals now resulting to biowarfare in quest to destroy Chinese and ASEAN economy; "novel virus substrain" points directly to a Kawaoka / Fouchier / Ernala-Ginting Kobe lab virus weaponized and genetically altered to specifically target and infect the Asian population: Ribavirin...

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The 5th Estate has just purchased a library on H5N1 "Novel" virus pandemics, there are dozens of PDF and Exel documents we feel will assist you in saving lives following intentional releases of the H5N1 and now MERS viruses; we will begin by printing those that appear to be extremely relevant here: H5N1 Kobe-Kawaoka-Ernala series continues soon with more "Smoking Gun" e-mails from Teridah Ernala to The 5th Estate . . .

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By Robert S. Finnegan

On October 12, 2002 the Indonesian island of Bali experienced a terrorist attack that rocked the world. It was unquestionably well-coordinated and executed, the largest in the country's history.

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