Ron Paul: How to End the Korea Crisis; ronpaulinstitute, Sep 25, 2017

globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS
Martin Zeis
25.09.2017

Below a more prudent voice regarding important aspects of the Korea Crisis.

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/september/25/how-to-end-the-korea-crisis/

How to End the Korea Crisis
by Ron PAUL
Sep 25, 2017

The descent of US/North Korea “crisis” to the level of schoolyard taunts should be remembered as one of the most bizarre, dangerous, and disgraceful chapters in US foreign policy history.

20170925_butt_0.jpg

President Trump, who holds the lives of millions of Koreans and Americans in his hands, has taken to calling the North Korean dictator “rocket man on a suicide mission.”

Why? To goad him into launching some sort of action to provoke an American response? Maybe the US president is not even going to wait for that.

We remember from the Tonkin Gulf false flag that the provocation doesn’t even need to be real.

We are in extremely dangerous territory and Congress for the most part either remains asleep or is cheering on the sabre-rattling.

Now we have North Korean threats to detonate hydrogen bombs over the Pacific Ocean and US threats to “totally destroy” the country.

We are told that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is a “madman.” That’s just what they said about Saddam, Gaddafi, Assad, and everyone else the neocons target for US military action. We don’t need to be fans of North Korea to be skeptical of the war propaganda delivered by the mainstream media to the benefit of the neocons and the military industrial complex.

Where are the cooler heads in Washington to tone down this war footing?

Making matters worse, there is very little understanding of the history of the conflict. The US spends more on its military than the next ten or so countries combined, with thousands of nuclear weapons that can destroy the world many times over. Nearly 70 years ago a US-led attack on Korea led to mass destruction and the death of nearly 30 percent of the North Korean population. That war has not yet ended.

Why hasn’t a peace treaty been signed? Newly-elected South Korean president Moon Jae-in has proposed direct negotiations with North Korea leading to a peace treaty. The US does not favor such a bilateral process. In fact, the US laughed off a perfectly sensible offer made by the Russians and Chinese, with the agreement of the North Koreans, for a “double freeze” – the North Koreans would suspend missile launches if the US and South Korea suspend military exercises aimed at the overthrow of the North Korean government.

So where are there cooler heads? Encouragingly, they are to be found in South Korea, which would surely suffer massively should a war break out. While US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, was bragging that the new UN sanctions against North Korea would result in a near-complete blockade of the country (an act of war), the South Korean government did something last week that shocked the world: it announced an eight million dollar humanitarian aid package for pregnant mothers and infant children in North Korea. The US and its allies are furious over the move, but how could anyone claim the mantle of “humanitarianism” while imposing sanctions that aim at starving civilians until they attempt an overthrow of their government?

Here’s how to solve the seven-decade old crisis:

pull all US troops out of North Korea;

end all military exercises on the North Korean border;

encourage direct talks between the North and South and offer to host or observe them with an international delegation including the Russians and Chinese, which are after all Korea’s neighbors.

The schoolyard insults back and forth between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un are not funny. They are in fact an insult to all of the rest of us!

wikileaks, 19.09.2017: Spy Files Russia

globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS
Martin Zeis, 19.09.2017

Im Folgenden werden Auszüge aus einem Bericht auf zerohedge zu den heute von WikiLeaks veröffentlichten Dokumenten über die Ausspähpraxis und dazugehörige technische Infrastruktur der Russisichen Föderation wiedergegeben.

Einleitend schreibt WikiLeaks:

Spy Files Russia

This publication continues WikiLeaks‘ Spy Files series with releases about surveillance contractors in Russia.

While the surveillance of communication traffic is a global phenomena, the legal and technological framework of its operation is different for each country. Russia’s laws – especially the new Yarovaya Law – make literally no distinction between Lawful Interception and mass surveillance by state intelligence authorities (SIAs) without court orders. Russian communication providers are required by Russian law to install the so-called SORM ( Система Оперативно-Розыскных Мероприятий) components for surveillance provided by the FSB at their own expense. The SORM infrastructure is developed and deployed in Russia with close cooperation between the FSB, the Interior Ministry of Russia and Russian surveillance contractors.

All Releases

„… Today Wikileaks released a new cache of documents which it claims detail surveillance apparatus used by the Russian state to spy on Internet and mobile users. It’s the first time the organization has leaked material directly pertaining to the Russian state.
In its summary of the cache of mostly Russian-language documents, Wikileaks claims they show how a long-established Russian company which supplies software to telcos is also installing infrastructure – with the government’s blessing – that enables Russian state agencies to tap into, search and spy on citizens’ digital activity, suggesting a similar state-funded mass surveillance program to the one utilized by the U.S.’s NSA or by GCHQ in the U.K. (both of which were detailed in the 2013 Snowden disclosures). …
Shortly following the publication, another famous whistleblower, one also exiled and currently residing in Russia, Edward Snowden tweeted „Plot twist: @Wikileaks publishes details on Russia’s increasingly oppressive internet surveillance industry.“ …

… One of Wikileaks’ media partners for the release, the Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports that the documents cover “an extended timespan from 2007 to June 2015”, and describes the contents as “extremely technical”. It also caveats that the documents do not mention Russia’s spy agency, the FSB, but rather “speak only of state agencies”, a formula it asserts “certainly includes law enforcement, who use metadata for legal interception”. It also says the documents do “not clarify what other state apparatus accesses those data through the solution of the St. Petersburg company”.

Wikileaks says that under Russia law operators must maintain a Data Retention System (DRS), which can store data for up to three years. La Repubblica reports that Peter-Service’s DRS stores telephone traffic data and “allows Russian state agencies to query the database of all stored data in search of information” — which it specifies can include calls made by a certain telephone company’s customer; payment systems used; the cell phone number to which a user is calling.

“The manuals published by WikiLeaks contain the images of interfaces that allow you to search within these huge data fields, so access is simple and intuitive,” it adds.

Some technical details:

  • According to Wikileaks, Peter-Service’s DRS solution can handle 500,000,000 connections per day in one cluster. While the claimed average search time for subscriber related-records from a single day is ten seconds. “State intelligence authorities use the Protocol 538 adapter built into the DRS to access stored information,” it adds.
  • Peter-Service has also apparently developed a tool called TDM (Traffic Data Mart) — which allows the database to be queried to determine “where users’ data traffic is stored in order to understand visited sites, forums, social media”, as well as how much time is spent on a certain site and the electronic device used to access it.
  • Wikileaks describes TDM as “a system that records and monitors IP traffic for all mobile devices registered with the operator”,  and says it maintains a list of categorized domain names — “which cover all areas of interest for the state. These categories include blacklisted sites, criminal sites, blogs, webmail, weapons, botnet, narcotics, betting, aggression, racism, terrorism and many more”.
  • “Based on the collected information the system allows the creation of reports for subscriber devices (identified by IMEI/TAC, brand, model) for a specified time range: Top categories by volume, top sites by volume, top sites by time spent, protocol usage (browsing, mail, telephony, bittorrent) and traffic/time distribution,” it adds.

Wikileaks points to a 2013 Peter-Service slideshow presentation (it says this also appears to be publicly available on the company’s website), which it claims is targeted not at telco customers but at state entities such as Russia’s FSB and Interior Ministry (despite this document apparently being in the public domain) — in which the company focuses on a new product, called DPI*GRID; which it says is a hardware device for Deep Packet Inspection that takes the form of “black boxes” apparently able to handle 10Gb/s traffic per unit.

Wikileaks adds that “the national providers are aggregating Internet traffic in their infrastructure and are redirecting/duplicating the full stream to DPI*GRID units. The units inspect and analyse traffic (the presentation does not describe that process in much detail); the resulting metadata and extracted information are collected in a database for further investigation. A similar, yet smaller solution called MDH/DRS is available for regional providers who send aggregated IP traffic via a 10Gb/s connection to MDH for processing.”

Wikileaks also makes a point of noting that the presentation was written “just a few months after Edward Snowden disclosed the NSA mass surveillance program and its cooperation with private U.S. IT-corporations such as Google and Facebook”.

“Drawing specifically on the NSA Prism program, the presentation offers law enforcement, intelligence and other interested parties, to join an alliance in order to establish equivalent data-mining operations in Russia,” it adds — sticking its boot firmly back into U.S. government mass surveillance programs.“

full release see: 

Source: https://wikileaks.org/spyfiles/russia

F. William ENGDAHL: Gold Oil Dollars Russia and China; New Eastern Outlook, Sep 13, 2017

globalcrisis/-change NEWS
Martin Zeis, 15.09.2017

Dear all,
below extracts of Engdahl’s epitome about the US-Dollar’s story since 1944 (Bretton Woods) until our day. In addition it’s appropriate to read Paul Craig Robert`s article „China Must Pray That US Carries out Its Threat to Cut It off From the Dollar“ – URL: http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/china-must-pray-us-carries-out-its-threat-cut-it-dollar/ri20924
____________

13./14.09.2017 — https://journal-neo.org/2017/09/13/gold-oil-dollars-russia-and-chinahttp://russia-insider.com/en/politics/we-should-take-latest-china-russia-challenge-dollar-seriously/ri20900

Gold Oil Dollars Russia and China

We Should Take the Latest China-Russia Challenge to the Dollar Seriously

Wall Street and Washington are not amused, but they are powerless to stop it.

By F. William ENGDAHL

William Engdahl is one of the best in the world on this subject. He has been writing about the world monetary system for decades, and few writers have the wealth of insight and experience in the subject that he has. What Engdahl says, matters.

Intro:

The 1944 Bretton Woods international monetary system as it has developed to the present is become, honestly said, the greatest hindrance to world peace and prosperity.

Now China, increasingly backed by Russia—the two great Eurasian nations—are taking decisive steps to create a very viable alternative to the tyranny of the US dollar over the world trade and finance.

Wall Street and Washington are not amused, but they are powerless to stop it.


Shortly before the end of the Second World War, the US Government, advised by the major international banks of Wall Street, drafted what many mistakenly believe was a new gold standard. In truth, it was a dollar standard in which every other member currency of the International Monetary Fund countries fixed the value of their currency to the dollar. In turn, the US dollar was fixed then to gold at a value equal to 1/35th of an ounce of gold. At the time Washington and Wall Street could impose such a system as the Federal Reserve held some 75% of all world monetary gold as a consequence of the war and related developments. Bretton Woods established the dollar which then became the reserve currency of world trade held by central banks.

Death Agony of a Defective Dollar Standard

By the end of the 1960’s with soaring US Federal budget deficits from costs of the Vietnam War and other foolish spending, the dollar standard began to show its deep structural flaws. A recovered Western Europe and Japan no longer needed billions of US dollars for financing reconstruction. Germany and Japan had become world class export economies with higher efficiency than US manufacturing owing to a growing obsolescence of US basic industry from steel to autos and basic infrastructure. Washington should then have significantly devalued the dollar against gold in order to correct the growing world trade imbalance. Such a dollar devaluation would have boosted US manufacturing export earnings and reduced the trade imbalances. It would have been a huge pus for the real US economy. However for Wall Street banks it spelled huge losses. So instead, the Johnson and then Nixon administrations printed more dollars and in effect exported inflation to the world.

The central banks of especially France and Germany reacted to the deafness in Washington by demanding US Federal Reserve gold for their US dollar reserves at $35 per unce s in the Bretton Woods 1944 agreement. By August 1971 the redemption of gold for inflated US dollars had reached a crisis point where Nixon was advised by a senior Treasury official, Paul Volcker, to rip up the Bretton Woods system.

By 1973 gold was allowed by Washington to trade freely and was no longer the backing of a sound US dollar. Instead, an engineered oil price shock in October 1973 that sent the dollar price of oil higher by 400% in a matter of months, created what Henry Kissinger then called the petrodollar.

The world needed oil for the economy. Washington, in a 1975 deal with the Saudi monarchy, insured that Arab OPEC would refuse to sell one drop of their oil to the world for any currency other than US dollars. The value of the dollar soared against other currencies such as the German Mark or Japanese Yen. Wall Street banks were awash in petrodollar deposits. The dollar casino was open and running, and the rest of the world was being fleeced by it.

In my book, Gods of Money: Wall Street and the Death of the American Century, I detail how the major New York international banks such as Chase, Citibank and Bank of America used the petrodollars then to recycle Arab oil profits to oil-importing countries in the developing world during the 1970’s, laying the seeds for the so-called Third World Debt Crisis. Curiously, it was the same Paul Volcker, a protégé of David Rockefeller and Rockefeller’s Chase Manhattan Bank, who this time, in October, 1979 as Chairman of the Fed, triggered the 1980s debt crisis by pushing Fed interest rates through the roof. He lied and claimed it was to nip inflation. It was to save the dollar and the Wall Street banks.

Today, the dollar is a strange phenomenon to put it mildly. The United States since 1971 has gone from being a premier industrial nation to a giant debt-bloated casino of speculation.

With Fed Funds interest rates between zero and one percent the past nine years—unprecedented in modern history—the major banks of Wall Street, the ones whose financial malfeasance and murderous greed created the 2007 Subprime crisis and its 2008 global financial Tsunami, set about to build a new speculative bubble. Rather than lend to debt-bloated cities for urgently-needed infrastructure or other productive avenues of the real economy, instead they created another colossal bubble in the stock market. Major companies used cheap credit to buy their own stocks back, thereby spurring the stock prices on Wall Street exchanges, a rise fed by hype and myths about “economic recovery.” The S&P-500 stock index rose by 320% since the end of 2008. I can assure you those paper stock rises are not because the real US economy has grown 320%.

American households earn less in real terms each year over decades. Since 1988 median household income has been stagnant amid steadily rising inflation, a declining real income. They must borrow more than ever in history. Federal Government debt is at an unmanageable $20 trillion with no end in sight. American industry has been closed and production shipped offshore, “outsourced” is the euphemism. Left behind is a high-debt, rotted out “service economy” where millions work two even three part-time jobs just to keep afloat.

The only factor keeping the dollar from total collapse is the US military and Washington’s deployment of deceptive NGOs around the world to facilitate plundering of the world economy.

So long as Washington dirty tricks and Wall Street machinations were able to create a crisis such as they did in the Eurozone in 2010 through Greece, world trading surplus countries like China, Japan and then Russia, had no practical alternative but to buy more US Government debt—Treasury securities—with the bulk of their surplus trade dollars. Washington and Wall Street smiled. They could print endless volumes of dollars backed by nothing more valuable than F-16s and Abrams tanks. China, Russia and other dollar bond holders in truth financed the US wars that were aimed at them, by buying US debt. Then they had few viable alternative options.

Viable Alternative Emerges

Now, ironically, two of the foreign economies that allowed the dollar an artificial life extension beyond 1989 – Russia and China – are carefully unveiling that most feared alternative, a viable, gold-backed international currency and potentially, several similar currencies that can displace the unjust hegemonic role of the dollar today.

For several years both the Russian Federation and the Peoples’ Republic of China have been buying huge volumes of gold, largely to add to their central bank currency reserves which otherwise are typically in dollars or euro currencies. Until recently it was not clear quite why.

For several years it’s been known in gold markets that the largest buyers of physical gold were the central banks of China and of Russia. What was not so clear was how deep a strategy they had beyond simply creating trust in the currencies amid increasing economic sanctions and bellicose words of trade war out of Washington.

Now it’s clear why.

China and Russia, joined most likely by their major trading partner countries in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), as well as by their Eurasian partner countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) are about to complete the working architecture of a new monetary alternative to a dollar world.

Currently, in addition to founding members China and Russia, the SCO full members include Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and most recently India and Pakistan. This is a population of well over 3 billion people, some 42% of the entire world population, coming together in a coherent, planned, peaceful economic and political cooperation.

If we add to the SCO member countries the official Observer States—Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia, states with expressed wish to formally join as full members, a glance at the world map will show the impressive potentials of the emerging SCO. Turkey is a formal Dialogue Partner exploring possible SCO membership application, as are Sri Lanka, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia and Nepal. This, simply said, is enormous.

BRI and a Gold-Backed Silk Road

Until recently Washington think tanks and the Government have sneered at the emerging Eurasian institutions such as SCO. Unlike BRICS which is not made up of contiguous countries in a vast land-mass, the SCO group forms a geographic entity called Eurasia. When Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the creation of what then was called the New Economic Silk Road at a meeting in Kazakhstan in 2013, few in the West took it seriously. The name officially today is the Belt, Road Initiative (BRI). Today, the world is beginning to take serious note of the scope of the BRI.

It’s clear that the economic diplomacy of China, as of Russia and her Eurasian Economic Union group of countries, is very much about realization of advanced high-speed rail, ports, energy infrastructure weaving together a vast new market that, within less than a decade at present pace, will overshadow any economic potentials in the debt-bloated economically stagnant OECD countries of the EU and North America.

What until now was vitally needed, but not clear, was a strategy to get the nations of Eurasia free from the dollar and from their vulnerability to further US Treasury sanctions and financial warfare based on their dollar dependence. This is now about to happen.

At the September 5 annual BRICS Summit in Xiamen, China Russian President Putin made a simple and very clear statement of the Russian view of the present economic world. He stated, “Russia shares the BRICS countries’ concerns over the unfairness of the global financial and economic architecture, which does not give due regard to the growing weight of the emerging economies. We are ready to work together with our partners to promote international financial regulation reforms and to overcome the excessive domination of the limited number of reserve currencies.” To my knowledge he has never been so explicit about currencies. Put this in context of the latest financial architecture unveiled by Beijing, and it becomes clear the world is about to enjoy new degrees of economic freedom.

China Yuan Oil Futures

(…)

further see attachment (pdf)

FWE-China+Russia-Challenge-of-USD170914.pdf

Diana JOHNSTONE: U.S. Sanctions Aimed at Russia Strike Western European Allies

Elke Schenk

globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/07/28/collateral-damage-u-s-sanctions-aimed-at-russia-strike-western-european-allies/

via

http://www.defenddemocracy.press/collateral-damage-u-s-sanctions-aimed-at-russia-strike-western-european-allies/

Collateral Damage: U.S. Sanctions Aimed at Russia Strike Western European Allies

31/07/2017

by Diana Johnstone

Do they know what they are doing? When the U.S. Congress adopts draconian sanctions aimed mainly at disempowering President Trump and ruling out any move to improve relations with Russia, do they realize that the measures amount to a declaration of economic war against their dear European “friends”?

Whether they know or not, they obviously don’t care. U.S. politicians view the rest of the world as America’s hinterland, to be exploited, abused and ignored with impunity.

The Bill H.R. 3364 “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” was adopted on July 25 by all but three members of the House of Representatives. An earlier version was adopted by all but two Senators. Final passage at veto-overturning proportions is a certainty.

This congressional temper tantrum flails in all directions. The main casualties are likely to be America’s dear beloved European allies, notably Germany and France. Who also sometimes happen to be competitors, but such crass considerations don’t matter in the sacred halls of the U.S. Congress, totally devoted to upholding universal morality.

Economic “Soft Power” Hits Hard

Under U.S. sanctions, any EU nation doing business with Russia may find itself in deep trouble. In particular, the latest bill targets companies involved in financing Nord Stream 2, a pipeline designed to provide Germany with much needed natural gas from Russia.

By the way, just to help out, American companies will gladly sell their own fracked natural gas to their German friends, at much higher prices.

That is only one way in which the bill would subject European banks and enterprises to crippling restrictions, lawsuits and gigantic fines.

While the U.S. preaches “free competition”, it constantly takes measures to prevent free competition at the international level.

Following the July 2015 deal ensuring that Iran could not develop nuclear weapons, international sanctions were lifted, but the United States retained its own previous ones. Since then, any foreign bank or enterprise contemplating trade with Iran is apt to receive a letter from a New York group calling itself “United Against Nuclear Iran” which warns that “there remain serious legal, political, financial and reputational risks associated with doing business in Iran, particularly in sectors of the Iranian economy such as oil and gas”. The risks cited include billions of dollars of (U.S.) fines, surveillance by “a myriad of regulatory agencies”, personal danger, deficiency of insurance coverage, cyber insecurity, loss of more lucrative business, harm to corporate reputation and a drop in shareholder value.

The United States gets away with this gangster behavior because over the years it has developed a vast, obscure legalistic maze, able to impose its will on the “free world” economy thanks to the omnipresence of the dollar, unrivaled intelligence gathering and just plain intimidation.

European leaders reacted indignantly to the latest sanctions. The German foreign ministry said it was “unacceptable for the United States to use possible sanctions as an instrument to serve the interest of U.S. industry”. The French foreign ministry denounced the “extraterritoriality” of the U.S. legislation as unlawful, and announced that “To protect ourselves against the extraterritorial effects of US legislation, we will have to work on adjusting our French and European laws”.

In fact, bitter resentment of arrogant U.S. imposition of its own laws on others has been growing in France, and was the object of a serious parliamentary report delivered to the French National Assembly foreign affairs and finance committees last October 5, on the subject of “the extraterritoriality of American legislation”.

Extraterritoriality

The chairman of the commission of enquiry, long-time Paris representative Pierre Lellouche, summed up the situation as follows:

“The facts are very simple. We are confronted with an extremely dense wall of American legislation whose precise intention is to use the law to serve the purposes of the economic and political imperium with the idea of gaining economic and strategic advantages. As always in the United States, that imperium, that normative bulldozer operates in the name of the best intentions in the world since the United States considers itself a ‘benevolent power’, that is a country that can only do good.”

Always in the name of “the fight against corruption” or “the fight against terrorism”, the United States righteously pursues anything legally called a “U.S. person”, which under strange American law can refer to any entity doing business in the land of the free, whether by having an American subsidiary, or being listed on the New York stock exchange, or using a U.S.-based server, or even by simply trading in dollars, which is something that no large international enterprise can avoid.

In 2014, France’s leading bank, BNP-Paribas, agreed to pay a whopping fine of nearly nine billion dollars, basically for having used dollar transfers in deals with countries under U.S. sanctions. The transactions were perfectly legal under French law. But because they dealt in dollars, payments transited by way of the United States, where diligent computer experts could find the needle in the haystack. European banks are faced with the choice between prosecution, which entails all sorts of restrictions and punishments before a verdict is reached, or else, counseled by expensive U.S. corporate lawyers, and entering into the obscure “plea bargain” culture of the U.S. judicial system, unfamiliar to Europeans. Just like the poor wretch accused of robbing a convenience store, the lawyers urge the huge European enterprises to plea guilty in order to escape much worse consequences.

Alstom, a major multinational corporation whose railroad section produces France’s high speed trains, is a jewel of French industry. In 2014, under pressure from U.S. accusations of corruption (probably bribes to officials in a few developing countries), Alstom sold off its electricity branch to General Electric.

The underlying accusation is that such alleged “corruption” by foreign firms causes U.S. firms to lose markets. That is possible, but there is no practical reciprocity here. A whole range of U.S. intelligence agencies, able to spy on everyone’s private communications, are engaged in commercial espionage around the world. As an example, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, devoted to this task, operates with 200 employees on an annual budget of over $30 million. The comparable office in Paris employs five people.

This was the situation as of last October. The latest round of sanctions can only expose European banks and enterprises to even more severe consequences, especially concerning investments in the vital Nord Stream natural gas pipeline.

This bill is just the latest in a series of U.S. legislative measures tending to break down national legal sovereignty and create a globalized jurisdiction in which anyone can sue anyone else for anything, with ultimate investigative capacity and enforcement power held by the United States.

Wrecking the European Economy

Over a dozen European Banks (British, German, French, Dutch, Swiss) have run afoul of U.S. judicial moralizing, compared to only one U.S. bank: JP Morgan Chase.

The U.S. targets the European core countries, while its overwhelming influence in the northern rim – Poland, the Baltic States and Sweden – prevents the European Union from taking any measures (necessarily unanimous) contrary to U.S. interests.

By far the biggest catch in Uncle Sam’s financial fishing expedition is Deutsche Bank. As Pierre Lellouche warned during the final hearing of the extraterritorial hearings last October, U.S. pursuits against Deutsche Bank risk bringing down the whole European banking system. Although it had already paid hundreds of millions of dollars to the State of New York, Deutsche Bank was faced with a “fine of 14 billion dollars whereas it is worth only five and a half. … In other words, if this is carried out, we risk a domino effect, a major financial crisis in Europe.”

In short, U.S. sanctions amount to a sword of Damocles threatening the economies of the country’s main trading partners. This could be a Pyrrhic victory, or more simply, the blow that kills the goose that lays the golden eggs. But hurrah, America would be the winner in a field of ruins.

Former justice minister Elisabeth Guigou called the situation shocking, and noted that France had told the U.S. Embassy that the situation is “insupportable” and insisted that “we must be firm”.

Jacques Myard said that “American law is being used to gain markets and eliminate competitors. We should not be naïve and wake up to what is happening.”

This enquiry marked a step ahead in French awareness and resistance to a new form of “taxation without representation” exercised by the United States against its European satellites. They committee members all agreed that something must be done.

That was last October. In June, France held parliamentary elections. The commission chairman, Pierre Lellouche (Republican), the rapporteur Karine Berger (Socialist), Elisabeth Guigou (a leading Socialist) and Jacques Myard (Republican) all lost their seats to inexperienced newcomers recruited into President Emmanuel Macron’s République en marche party. The newcomers are having a hard time finding their way in parliamentary life and have no political memory, for instance of the Rapport on Extraterritoriality.

As for Macron, as minister of economics, in 2014 he went against earlier government rulings by approving the GE purchase of Alstom. He does not appear eager to do anything to anger the United States.

However, there are some things that are so blatantly unfair that they cannot go on forever.

* Diana Johnstone is co-author of From MAD to Madness, by Paul H. Johnstone (Clarity Press).
She can be reached at diana.johnstone

Shaun BRADLEY: The End Of The (Petro)Dollar: What The Fed Doesn’t Want You To Know; antimedia/zerohedge 27.06.2017

Below Shaun BRADLEY surveys the increasingly loss of the Petro-Dollar’s importance and indicates, that the (US-backed) attacks on Qatar are motivated among other reasons by the country’s cautious shift away from the US currency …

Greets,
Martin Zeis

27.06.2017 — www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-27/end-petrodollar-what-fed-doesnt-want-you-know

The End Of The (Petro)Dollar: What The Fed Doesn’t Want You To Know

Authored by Shaun Bradley via TheAntiMedia.org

The United States’ ability to maintain its influence over the rest of the world has been slowly diminishing. Since the petrodollar was established in 1971, U.S. currency has monopolized international trade through oil deals with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and continuous military interventions. There is, however, growing opposition to the American standard, and it gained more support recently when several Gulf states suddenly blockaded Qatar, which they accused of funding terrorism.

Despite the mainstream narrative, there are several other reasons why Qatar is in the crosshairs. Over the past two years, it conducted over $86 billion worth of transactions in Chinese yuan and has signed other agreements with China that encourage further economic cooperation. Qatar also shares the world’s largest natural gas field with Iran, giving the two countries significant regional influence to expand their own trade deals.

Meanwhile, uncontrollable debt and political divisions in the United States are clear signs of vulnerability. The Chinese and Russians proactively set up alternative financial systems for countries looking to distance themselves from the Federal Reserve. After the IMF accepted the yuan into its basket of reserve currencies in October of last year, investors and economists finally started to pay attention. The economic power held by the Federal Reserve has been key in financing the American empire, but geopolitical changes are happening fast. The United States’ reputation has been tarnished by decades of undeclared wars, mass surveillance, and catastrophic foreign policy.

One of America’s best remaining assets is its military strength, but it’s useless without a strong economy to fund it. Rival coalitions like the BRICS nations aren’t challenging the established order head on and are instead opting to undermine its financial support. Qatar is just the latest country to take steps to bypass the U.S. dollar. Russia made headlines in 2016 when they started accepting payments in yuan and took over as China’s largest oil partner, stealing a huge market share from Saudi Arabia in the process. Iran also dropped the dollar earlier this year in response to President Trump’s travel ban. As the tide continues to turn against the petrodollar, eventually even our allies will start to question what best serves their own interests.

Many E.U. member states are clashing with the unelected leadership in Brussels over immigration, terrorism, and austerity measures. If no solutions are found and things deteriorate, other countries could potentially follow the U.K.’s lead and vote to leave, as well. It is starting to become obvious that countries in Eastern Europe will look to the East to get the resources their economies need.

China, Russia, and India are all ahead of the curve and started stockpiling gold years ago. They recognize that hard assets will be the measure of true wealth in the near future — not fiat money. The historic hyperinflation that has occurred in these countries solidified the importance of precious metals in their monetary systems. Unfortunately, most Americans are ignorant of the past and will likely embrace more government bailouts and money printing when faced with the next recession. Even Fed officials have admitted that more quantitative easing is likely the only path going forward.

Several renowned investors have warned about this ongoing shift of economic power from West to East, but bureaucrats and central bankers refuse to admit how serious things could get. The impact on the average person could be devastating if they are not properly educated and prepared for the fallout. (…)

Oliver STONE’s „The Putin Interviews“ (Part I- IV – English Subtitles) now generally accessible

globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS
Martin Zeis / martin.zeis@gmxpro.net

Dear all,

since June 16, 2017 the complete series of Oliver STONE’s „The Putin Interviews“ (Part I-IV – English Subtitles) is generally accessible:

Part 1 – 57:50

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xejO7e2xUJc

Part 2 – 57:41

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E68wDqTfHmg

Part 3 – 57:51

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0S6d3wHq5tk

Part 4 – 56:38 min

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wJGB8X3Fb0

„Will the Oliver Stone interview change any minds? It’s too soon to tell“, notes James George JATRAS, former U.S. diplomat and foreign policy adviser to the Senate GOP leadership, in a recent article and evaluates the feedback of the American media:

„… It remains to be seen whether Oliver Stone’s extended interview with Putin on the Showtime network will have any impact. So far the commentary seems to be divided between descriptions of the substance of the discussion and attacks on Stone for talking with such a bad, bad man: «Speaking after the interview, Stone refuted allegations that he became an unwitting messenger of pro-Putin propaganda or of dishonest information given by the president».

With regard to substance, relatively little attention has been accorded in American media to Putin’s flat accusation that U.S. «special services» have supported terrorists, including in Chechnya. Of course anyone paying attention would know that arming jihadists is a standard part of U.S. policy, going back at least to Afghanistan in the 1980s and repeated in Bosnia, Kosovo, Libya, and today in Syria. Indeed, as early as the 1950s the U.S. had established a very close relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood and its terrorist elements as a weapon against Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser and Baathists in Syria and Iraq, who Washington thought were a little too cozy with the Soviet Union and far too socialist and secular for the taste of our pals in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.

There is a real symbiosis between the anti-Russian imperative in American foreign policy and support for radical Islamic elements. It did not end when the Soviet Union and communism collapsed but rather was intensified. This is why Moscow’s constant calls for a common front against terrorism are always rebuffed. Such cooperation doesn’t make any sense for anomenklatura whose number one goal is hostility to Moscow and for whom jihadists are at worst «frienemies» – people who may be troublesome but useful.

We can only imagine how completely different the world would be if the U.S. were to recognize that Russia is a country that in many respects is not that different from the United States or Europe and that we had common interests. But for the U.S. Deep State, that would amount to switching sides in a global conflict, where we see jihadists essentially as «freedom fighters» against a geopolitical adversary. These same clueless «elites» are then puzzled when their carefully nurtured, cuddly, «moderate» jihad terrorists attack us back here at home. …“ — emphasis, m.z. —

Source: https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/06/16/it-the-russia-stupid.html

Ergänzung (StB):

„The Putin Interviews“ von Oliver Stone mit deutschen Untertiteln.

Teil 1: https://rutube.ru/video/5ae16f6d3a968a7eaa74ed83e7e5500d/
Teil 2: https://rutube.ru/video/41427b2cc19d838aadb846df6e128297/
Teil 3: https://rutube.ru/video/46f725f1e97d13f12ef5d4e74be68115/
Teil 4: https://rutube.ru/video/44d55cc5b61f47ec8549a4e61d4ae6c4/

THE SAKER A multi-level analysis of the US cruise missile attack on Syria and its consequences 20170411

Globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS
Stephan Best

11.04.2017

Dear all,

as following we document a new piece of the well known US military analyst, The Saker, on the US attack on Syria.

-=The full document attached=-

thesaker.is

A multi-level analysis of the US cruise missile attack on Syria and its consequences

The Saker

The latest US cruise missile attack on the Syrian airbase is an extremely important event in so many ways that it is important to examine it in some detail. I will try to do this today with the hope to be able to shed some light on a rather bizarre attack which will nevertheless have profound consequences. But first, let’s begin by looking at what actually happened.

The pretext:

I don’t think that anybody seriously believes that Assad or anybody else in the Syrian government really ordered a chemical weapons attack on anybody. To believe that it would require you to find the following sequence logical: first, Assad pretty much wins the war against Daesh which is in full retreat. Then, the US declares that overthrowing Assad is not a priority anymore (up to here this is all factual and true). Then, Assad decides to use weapons he does not have. He decides to bomb a location with no military value, but with lots of kids and cameras. Then, when the Russians demand a full investigation, the Americans strike as fast as they can before this idea gets any support. And now the Americans are probing a possible Russian role in this so-called attack. Frankly, if you believe any of that, you should immediately stop reading and go back to watching TV. For the rest of us, there are three options:

  1. a classical US-executed false flag
  2. a Syrian strike on a location which happened to be storing some kind of gas, possibly chlorine, but most definitely not sarin. This option requires you to believe in coincidences. I don’t. Unless,
  3. the US fed bad intelligence to the Syrians and got them to bomb a location where the US knew that toxic gas was stored. (…)

I would note that those who say that the Russian air defense systems did not work don’t know what they are talking about. Not only did Russia sign an agreement with the US not to interfere with US flight operations, the Russian air defenses in Syria are NOT tasked with the protection of the Syrian Air Space. That is a task for the Syrian air defenses. The Russians air defenses in Syria are only here to protect Russian personnel and equipment. This is why the Russians never targeted Israeli warplanes. And this is hardly surprising as the Russian task force in Syria never had the mission to shut down the Syrian air space or, even less so, to start a war with the USA or Israel. (…)

Trump did get what he apparently wanted, though: the very same corporate media which he claimed to despise is now praising him. And nobody is calling him a “Putin agent” any more. None of which will prevent the Neocons from impeaching him, by the way. He chose a quickfix solution which will stop acting in just days. How totally stupid of him. He apparently also chose the option of an “attack for show” to begin with, which turned into one of the most pathetic attacks in history, probably courtesy of Russian EW, and now that the USA has wasted something in the range of 100 million dollars, what does Trump have to show? A few flattering articles from the media which he has always hated and which will return to hate him as soon as ordered to do so by its Neocon masters. (…)

Political consequences (external)

Trump has single handedly destroyed any hopes of a US collaboration with Russia of any kind. Worse, he has also destroyed any hopes of being able to defeat Daesh. Why? Because if you really believe that Daesh can be defeated without Russian and Iranian support I want to sell you bridges all over the world. It ain’t happening. What is much, much worse is that now we are again on a pre-war situation, just as we were with Obama and would have been with Clinton. Let me explain.

The following are the measures with Russia has taken following the US attack on Syria:

  1. Denunciation at UN (to be expected, no big deal)
  2. Decision to strengthen the Syrian air defenses (big deal, that will give the Syrians the means to lock their airspace)
  3. Decision to cancel the Memorandum with the USA (now the Russians in Syria will have the right to decide whether to shoot or not)
  4. Decision to shut down the phone hot line with the US military (now the US won’t be able to call the Russians to ask them to do or not do something) (…)

The Russians expressed their total disgust and outrage at this attack and openly began saying that the Americans were “недоговороспособны”. What that word means is literally “not-agreement-capable” or unable to make and then abide by an agreement. While polite, this expression is also extremely strong as it implies not so much a deliberate deception as the lack of the very ability to make a deal and abide by it. For example, the Russians have often said that the Kiev regime is “not-agreement-capable”, and that makes sense considering that the Nazi occupied Ukraine is essentially a failed state. But to say that a nuclear world superpower is “not-agreement-capable” is a terrible and extreme diagnostic. It basically means that the Americans have gone crazy and lost the very ability to make any kind of deal. Again, a government which breaks its promises or tries to deceive but who, at least in theory, remains capable of sticking to an agreement would not be described as “not-agreement-capable”. That expression is only used to describe an entity which does not even have the skillset needed to negotiate and stick to an agreement in its political toolkit. This is an absolutely devastating diagnostic.

This is bad. Really bad. This means that the Russians have basically given up on the notion of having an adult, sober and mentally sane partner to have a dialog with. What this also means is that while remaining very polite and externally poker faced, the Russians have now concluded that they need to simply assume that they need to act either alone or with other partners and basically give up on the United States. (…)

In fact, I don’t think that there was much of a plan at all beyond showing that Trump is “tough” and no friend of Putin. That’s it. I think that the so-called “elites” in charge running the USA are infinitely arrogant, stupid, uneducated, incompetent and irresponsible. I don’t buy the “managed chaos” theory nor do I buy the notion that if before the Anglo-Zionists imposed their order on others now they impose their dis-order. Yes, that is the consequence of their actions, but it’s not part of some diabolical plan, it is a sign of terminal degeneracy of an Empire which is clueless, frightened, angry and arrogant. (…)

Conclusion: what happens next?

Simply reply: I don’t know. But let me explain why I don’t know. In all my years of training and work as a military analyst I have always had to assume that everybody involved was what we called a “rational actor”. The Soviets sure where. As where the Americans. Then, starting with Obama more and more often I had to question that assumption as the US engaged in what appeared to be crazy and self-defeating actions. You tell me – how does deterrence work on a person with no self-preservation instinct (whether as a result of infinite imperial hubris garden variety petty arrogance, crass ignorance or plain stupidity)? I don’t know. To answer that question a what is needed is not a military analyst, but some kind of shrink specializing in delusional and suicidal types. (…)

Ciao Stephan Best

THESAKER US cruise missile attack 20170411.docx