The Hunger Games Economy

Military Industrial Complex

  • Currently 0.00/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Rating: 0.0 out of 0 votes
You need to have the Flash Player installed and a browser with JavaScript support.


The Hunger Games Economy,

Military Industrial Complex

The Hunger Games Economy
Jeff Faux: Dreams of Wall St. and Military Industrial Complex are not compatible with dreams of American middle class
Jeff Faux is the Founder and now Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, DC. He is an activist, economist and writer, He has written extensively on issues from globalization to neighborhood development. His latest book is “The Servant Economy; Where America¹s Elite is Sending the Middle Class.”
PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Baltimore.
There's been some debate amongst the American governing elite about America's place in the world and its declining power. Barack Obama went to Australia not long ago and declared that America will continue to be an Asia-Pacific power. And the issue of the Brzezinskian grand chessboard is still very much on their mind. But what does this maintaining America's position in the world mean for ordinary Americans? Who's going to pay for all this? When it comes to competitiveness, it really means wages, although that word doesn't get talked about very much, not in the mainstream press or in the halls of Congress.
Well, it does get talked about in a piece written by Jeff Faux, and he's now joining us. Jeff is a founder and distinguished fellow of the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. He's an activist, economist, and writer. He's written extensively on issues from globalization to neighborhood development, and his latest book is The Servant Economy: Where America's Elite is Sending the Middle Class. Thanks very much for joining us, Jeff.
JEFF FAUX, AUTHOR: Oh, it's great to be here, Paul. Thank you.
JAY: So, I mean, clearly we are dealing with a different world. And it's not just that it's militarily different, in the sense that China's now somewhat of a power, so is Russia and—back somewhat of a power—I mean, nothing on the scale of the United States, but the geopolitics and chessboard has changed somewhat. But where it's changed a lot more is with this massive industrial capacity in areas of the world where 20, 30 years ago there was nothing like it—advanced technology, high-quality production, very low wages. And America wants to maintain its competitiveness in all of this. So talk a bit about that and what that might mean for ordinary Americans, and maybe what the word competitiveness means.
FAUX: Well, I think—start from what I think is the basic assumption, and that is the United States can no longer satisfy the three great dreams that have driven American politics over the last decades. The first dream is the dream of Wall Street and business for unregulated access to speculative profits. The second dream is the dream of the military and foreign-policy elite and the military-industrial complex for global hegemony. The third dream is the dream of ordinary Americans for a rising living standard.
Now, we can have one out of three, certainly. Two out of three, maybe. Three out of three? No way. So in effect the decision is being made right now—or has been made—by this country's elite.
There's a lot of talk in Washington, as you know, about the grand bargain between Republicans and Democrats over budgets and taxes. But the real deal has already been cut. The average American income in real wages is going to decline over the next 10 years, 15 years, as far into the future as we can see. Now, this has been coming for a long time. It's not just about the recession and it's not temporary. As you probably know, for the last 30 years we've had stagnant wages in America. After wages rise steadily since World War II, they flattened out after 1979 and essentially have been flat.
So the question is: if wages were flat, how come everything looked so good? That is, people went to shopping centers and bought cars and houses during those 30 years that ended in 2008. And the reason is two. One, family incomes kept up because we sent more members of the family to work, usually the wife. Now there are more women than men in the labor force so that that strategy for most people is exhausted. The second is debt. People weren't getting raises, but they were getting access to cheaper and accessible credit. That has evaporated with the collapse of the financial sector.
JAY: Jeff, before you continue, let me ask: so if this process more or less began in the '70s, why? What happened? Why? If you could—you know, to some extent one could say that third dream of ordinary Americans, you know, to own a house, send the kids to college, not to be terrified of losing their job, to some extent that's—dream was still possible, at least in the early '60s.
FAUX: Oh, yeah. And the reason—.
JAY: So what happens?
FAUX: Yeah. There are three things that happened since the end of the '70s. The data starts from 1979; the kink in the curve starts from 1979. One was globalization, and by that I mean, essentially, exposing American workers to a very brutal and competitive global labor market before they were prepared.
Second, the weakening of the bargaining position of the average American worker. A lot of that had to do with the decline of unions. But it affected union members and nonunion members. The second thing that happened was the weakening of the bargaining position of the average American worker. This was not just about weaker unions, but weaker unions played a key role, not just for union members, but for people who aren't union members. Because unions were strong—or certainly stronger than they are now—the threat of unionization kept the bosses and kept the employers from cutting wages too much, cutting pensions too much, even though they would have liked to. So weaker unions, weaker bargaining positions [crosstalk]
JAY: And is weaker unions and bargaining positions linked to number one, which is globalization and the threat of moving offshore?
FAUX: That's right, certainly linked to number one. And number three, later, was the shredding of the safety net, the real value of the minimum wage, and the kinds of New Deal protections for labor that have been frayed away over the last 10 or 15 years.
But on the first, on globalization, there's something very important here to remember, and that is it not only affected working people, but it changed the culture of the American elite. You know, if you go back to the early part of the 20th century, labor and capital were in fierce struggles. But both labor and capital knew that they needed each other and were stuck in the same country. So, you know, when Henry Ford raised the wages of his Ford employees to $5 a day, the Wall Street guys said, Henry, what are you doing here? I mean, you can't pay—you're spoiling these people, you're paying them too much. And Henry Ford, who was a SOB union buster, said, look, I've got to pay them enough to come in to make the cars, but I also need to pay them enough to buy the cars. So it was an economy in which, while there were labor and capital disputes, we were all in it together.
What happened—what's happened since the 1980s is that globalization, the deregulation of trade and investment, has allowed the American commercial and economic elite to roam the world in search of lower wages, in search of government subsidies by Third World countries, etc.
JAY: Yeah, so you now have a situation where they saved GM and Chrysler, but workers'—starting worker wages go from, what, $26 to $14 an hour, and you probably couldn't buy a new car at $14 an hour.
FAUX: Exactly. And unlike Henry Ford, the people who run the Ford Motor Company today, you know, have other people they can use to sell their cars to. And so high wages, which we sort of learned after the 1930s were good for the economy because it created consumer demand and consumers bought the goods that were being produced, high wages in America are no longer what they were. They're now a threat to multinational corporations who still produce and sell things. And that's been a critical change.
JAY: They also seem to no longer think they need an educated workforce. I used to—in the '50s and '60s, all this talk about, you know, America will compete because it's going to be the most educated working class and this and that, they don't seem to care anymore. The public school system can go to hell and they don't seem to care.
FAUX: They don't care. But that's sort of the last excuse of the political governing class. I mean, whether it's, you know, Barack Obama, George Bush, Bill Clinton, they're all the so-called education presidents, and their answer to this decline in living standards and wages is not to worry, just go get an education. Barack Obama was in Florida about a year ago touring the country, saying the way we're going to compete in the world is to out-educate everyone.
Well, first what's obvious: that we're shrinking the schools, we're laying off teachers, kids can't go to college because it costs too much. But second, which is really important, we are not creating jobs for educated young people. You go into Apple, in the Apple Store, there is the future. And it's not the technology. It's in all those smart college-educated kids working as retail clerks for $10, $12 an hour. The Bureau of Labour Statistics—government agency—projects that between 2010-2020, the largest, fastest-growing occupations in this country, of the ten largest and fastest-growing, only one requires a college education.
JAY: Well, Jeff, we're going to pick this up in part two, and what I'll be asking in part two is it seems to me while this may make sense for Apple and it may make sense for a lot of individual companies to drive wages down and have more and more service jobs, as an economy somebody's got to be making money to buy all this stuff, and that seems to be where the rub is. So join us for part two of our series of interviews with Jeff Faux on The Real News Network.

Post your comment

Your name:

Your comment:


* Please keep your comments clean. Max 400 chars.


Be the first to comment


دیو داعش و نقش غرب Image


دیو داعش و نقش غرب

دیو داعش و نقش غرب

گوینده: نیک پاکپور

گوینده آنچه را که مربوط به ریشه سعودی،سلفی،سیاه ایی، زهش یا زایش، پیدایش یا پالایش تاول یا تکاثر،ترسناک،تروریسم تکفیری میشود را در یک ویدئویی،بتاریخ 24 فوریه 2014 میلادی،با نوضیح و نفسیر، و بر پایه پویش پروسه تیک پژوهشی،تکوینی،تاریخی،در جهت آژیرنده و آگاه کننده، مورد ارزیابی و آنالیز منطقی قرار داده ام

ولی بعد و بنیاد پحث امروز گوینده بطور اختصار و در حد اختیار،اختصاص دارد به حوادث دهشتناک و دردناکی که بطور فزاینده و فژاگن در کشور همسایگی،ما ایرانیان یعنی کشور عراق جریان دارد.


راهبرد راسیستی غرب علیه ایران Image


راهبرد راسیستی غرب علیه ایران

راهبرد راسیستی غرب علیه ایران

گوینده: نیک پاکپور

بحثی تحلیلی،تفسیری بر اساس جامه شناسی علمی،تاریخی،تکوینی در پیرامن یا prephery  یا راهبرد راسیستی آخر و اخیر پارلمان اروپا علیه ایران بتاریخ ماه آوریل 2014 میلادی.

امید است که کار گوینده در عقل وعمل، در verbal و visual ، در واقعیت و factual بمثابه وظیفه ملی، میهنی، مدنی، مفید واقع گردد!

نوروز امسال: نیک پرس Image


نوروز امسال: نیک پرس

نوروز امسال: نیک پرس


نیک پرس، با افتخار، امیدوار وآرزومند است که فرارسیدن فروردین و نوروز، این فراشگرد فروزندهٔ فرهنگ ایرانی، بر همهٔ شهروندان شیدا و شیفتهٔ سر زمین کهن و زرخیز و زرفام، ایران زمین، خجسته و فرخنده باشد!

امید است که نوروز امسال شروع دیگری باشد که ایرانیان در سراسر گیتی، با فراست وفرزانگی و فرهیختگی پیروزمندانه، بسان پارتیزانهای پیشرو و پیشاهنگ، پژواک گر و مشعل دار مدنیت ملی، بر فرازستان بشریت باشند تا با اتخاذ گروش به راه و روش اعتقاد و اعتماد به مقاومت مداوم و مقتدرانهٔ خویش در جهت همبستگی، همگرایی وهمبودگی، هم سویی وهم گونی ملی و وارستگی سیاسی ـ اقتصادی، آلبته با اهداف دست یازیدن به قلعهٔ ایده آل های ایرانی، بتوانند چون گذشتهٔ دورتر، اما اکنون بیشتر،

نقشه های ابلیسانه و اهریمنانهٔ جانیان جهانی، یعنی یاغی های اروپايئ و یانگی ها ی آمریکایی را که با سلاح و سخن تهدید وتحریم، تخریب وترور، تزویر و ترفند، با آمیزه ای آغشته و آمیخته به دروغ و دیو دروج، و با تکیه بر مدد مزدوران وموریدان مرتد و مکار، چون دوزخیان دون پایهٔ ایرانی نما، که با دژآهنگی و کژآهنگی سیاسی وبا سپر سرسپردگی، جاسوسی و سالوسی به همراه چاکری و چابلوسی، در تلاشند تا سرعت سمند تکامل وتداوم تمدن ایران را سترون سازند را با سرسختی سرآفرازانه وسرورمنشانه با عقل و عاطفه و علاقهٔ ملی ـ میهنی، سد نمایند!

فروردین 93 .سوئد: نیک پاکپو


Britain Leaving the EU? Image


Britain Leaving the EU?
Could Britain Be Leaving the EU?
Could Britain Be Leaving the EU?
Prof. John Weeks and Prof. Trevor Martin discuss British PM David Cameron's call for a referendum vote to decide whether the UK remains a part of EU, as stagnation continues in the Eurozone and bleeds into economic powerhouses like Germany -
John Weeks is Professor Emeritus of the University of London and author of the forthcoming book, The Economics of the 1%: How mainstream economics serves the rich, obscures reality and distorts policy. His recent policy work includes an supplemental unemployment program for the European Union and advising the central banks of Argentina and Zambia.
Trevor Evans has a PhD in economics from the University of London. He worked for many years at the Regional Centre for Economic and Social Research (CRIES) in Managua, Nicaragua, and has been a professor of economics at the Berlin School of Economics since 2006. He is a member of the coordinating committee of the European Economists for an Alternative Economic Policy in Europe.
Nuclear arms treaty Image


Nuclear arms treaty
‘Why should Russian resources be given to Wall Street?’
Published on Jul 29, 2014
The US has accused Moscow of violating laws dating back to the 1980s. Washington says Russia has breached a nuclear arms treaty signed with the Soviet Union in 1987, by testing a ground-launch cruise missile. RT is joined by Willy Wimmer, the former State Secretary of the German Ministry of Defense.
War crime in Lugansk Image


War crime in Lugansk
GRAPHIC: Five killed after home for elderly shelled in Lugansk, E.Ukraine
Published on Jul 29, 2014
A home for the elderly in Lugansk was targeted in a shelling attack on Monday, leaving at least five people dead. The facility is located in the Artemovksy District of South-Western Lugansk.

Middle east

Bloody caliphate in Iraq Image


Bloody caliphate in Iraq
Uncut Chronicles: ISIS/ISIL forges bloody caliphate in Iraq (RAW Timeline)

Published on Jul 9, 2014
Radical Sunni militants of Al-Qaeda offshoot, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS/ISIL) are advancing and capturing cities in the north of Iraq. The jihadists have declared the capture of the capital Baghdad as their top priority objective.
Abu Bakr al Baghdadi Image


Abu Bakr al Baghdadi
First public appearance of Abu Bakr al-#Baghdadi, ISIS leader (With Translation)

Published on Jul 5, 2014
Translation is in comments section, where I commented. Like the comment to keep it on top for everyone else to see or click here:
ISIS.kidnap children Image


ISIS.kidnap children
Sunni ISIS jihadists are recruiting children as young as 10 years old to fight for an Islamic state in Iraq and Syria. While there are boys who voluntarily join the ISIS, there are many more who are being forced to fight for jihad.

United state

Global Jihad? Image


Global Jihad?
CrossTalk: Global Jihad?
Published on Jul 6, 2014
Who is drawing the map of the New Middle East today? Does the crisis need any more outside intervention? And who are the powers that can replace Washington in the region? CrossTalking with Michael Barnett, Gawdat Bahgat and Scott Rickard.
Brutal beating of woman Image


Brutal beating of woman
California Highway Patrol 'to investigate' officer's brutal roadside beating of woman (VIDEO)
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) says it is investigating a video taken by a passing motorist of one of its officers repeatedly punching a woman in the head after she was allegedly walking along a Los Angeles motorway.
Independence Day Image


Independence Day
The Untold History of Independence Day
Historian Peter Linebaugh: The rights and freedoms that we celebrate on the Fourth of July are the product of vast human struggle that remains unfinished -   July 4, 14
Peter Linebaugh is an American Marxist historian who specializes in British history, Irish history, labor history, and the history of the colonial Atlantic. He recently retired after fifty years as a professor of history. Peter is the author of many books, including The London Hanged: Crime And Civil Society In The Eighteenth Century, The Magna Carta Manifesto: Liberties and Commons for All, The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic, and most recently, Stop, Thief!: The Commons, Enclosures, and Resistance.
The Untold History of Independence DayJAISAL NOOR, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to Real News Network. I'm Jaisal Noor in Baltimore.
July 4 is celebrated here in the U.S. as Independence Day to mark the adoption of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain by the Second Continental Congress in 1776.
Now joining us to discuss the radical, little-known history of Independence Day is Peter Linebaugh. Peter is a historian and author. He just retired from the University of Toledo, where he taught for 20 years. He's the author of many books, including The Many Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic. He's also the author of the The Magna Carta Manifesto: Liberties and Commons for All, as well as, most recently, Stop, Thief! The Commons, Enclosures, and Resistance.
Thank you so much for joining us, Peter.
LINEBAUGH: So, Peter, you know, in popular memory, this day, Independence Day, we remember the signing of the Declaration of Independence, but it was a long process that got the colonists to that point. Talk a little bit about the different political forces, social forces that helped get the US--and this was just within the first year or two of the Revolutionary War, but it had been a decade or longer that this conflict had been ongoing between the colonies and Great Britain. Talk about how we got to this point.
LINEBAUGH: Okay, Jaisal, I will talk about that, but it's hard. And even your question, you referred to how the U.S. got to this point, but, of course, it wasn't the U.S. at the time. The United States of America is an expression that Tom Payne invented and used to apply to what had been 13 colonies in revolt against Great Britain. So we're talking about an era before the U.S. has been formed. We're talking about a period of historical creation.
And it's complex. There are several sides to it. One side, it's the struggle of freedom against monarchy, a struggle of the notion of a republic against monarchy. And that is probably the principal theme of the Declaration of Independence.
I would suggest, you know, that people reread the Declaration of Independence, because they'll find 28 reasons for declaring independence from Great Britain. And these reasons reflect "a long train of abuses and usurpations" (or takeovers), to use Thomas Jefferson's language in the Declaration of Independence.
And I think one of the most important of these grievances was that the King of England had opposed conditions for new appropriation of land. This is the seventh of 28 different reasons for declaring independence. And what that meant was that these settlers from Europe wanted to appropriate lands belonging to the Indians, belonging to different Native American peoples--the Haudenosaunee people, a confederation in New York; the Cherokee people of what's now Tennessee and the Carolinas; the Potawatomi, from my part of the country, in Michigan and Ohio. The settlers wanted these lands. But Great Britain, as a result of the Seven Years' War, had said that these lands were off-limits to settlement. This was part of the Treaty of Paris of 1763. So here is one of the lesser-known reasons for declaring independence, that is, that the settlers could not take as much land as they wanted.
On that same theme of wars against Native Americans, the 28th reason given is really misleading. It claims that the king of England, George III, and his ministry and parliament had caused the inhabitants of, quote, "our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions"--. So this was like--Jaisal, I liken it to a jihad or I liken it to a crusade, because this is precisely what Thomas Jefferson claims of the Native Americans is actually what will happen to them as a result of the Declaration of Independence, that is, that the wars against Great Britain led to a merciless destruction--in New York particularly of Sullivan's raid of 1779 of the orchards, the cornfields, the senior citizens, the men and the women of the Haudenosaunee people of the Confederation in New York.
NOOR: And, Peter, it's worth mentioning that the British weren't necessarily against expanding and taking more of the natives' land. It was just getting too expensive for them. They had, you know, spent an enormous amount of money fighting the French in the French and Indian War, as well as--and so they had been taxing the colonists, which had, you know, caused a great protest.
LINEBAUGH: Yes, a very good point, very good. They wanted the settlers, the settler colonists to pay for those wars against France. Quite right. And that's where the famous phrase "no taxation without representation" comes in, and it's--I think it's the 17th reason given in the Declaration of Independence for severing the connection with Great Britain, that. And also the 19th reason--I'll quote that--is "for transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences".
And that--I pause there for a minute to let the words sink in, because what will come to mind to those who've been following subsequent U.S. history is the practice by the CIA to render terrorist suspects and have them tried overseas, where torture is a form of investigation in secret courts in Egypt and Poland and in other countries we don't know about. This process is called rendition. But I was amazed, you know, in the early part of this millennium, after the invasion of Iraq and when this kind of torturing began, that it was explicitly given as a reason for independence back in 1776, that is, transporting people beyond the seas to be tried for pretended offenses in foreign courts. So excuse me, Jaisal, for jumping, you know, right into the Iraq Wars, but the Declaration of Independence, if it's going to live at all in current realities, you know, we must--we go back and forth between our present and our past.
NOOR: And, Peter, so we were going to talk about a whole range of issues, but, you know, in your book Many-Headed Hydra, you talk about the little-known role that commoners and even slaves played in fomenting the American Revolution. Can you give us a little bit of that history?
LINEBAUGH: I can give you a little bit of it. The Dunmore's Proclamation in Virginia promised freedom to slaves. Dunmore was a British general. So the slave, like the Indian, was caught between a rock and a hard place, that is, whether to join the colonists in their bid for independence, or whether to join the British, who promised immediate emancipation.
But slave revolts preceding the War of Independence, like the Indian revolts, like the great revolt of Pontiac in 1763, or the revolts against impressment that took place up and down the coast of the colonies, all of these here--you know, I gesture to Indians, to African Americans, and to European sailors and workers--I call them--we call them commoners because so many of them before they came to colonies under terms of coerced labor, so many of them had participated in economies which were not based on private property or incessant accumulation and aggression for land belonging or used by others. And these forms of other forms of economies, especially in England, were called commons. They were common lands. And when those lands were enclosed are fenced off, the people who formerly had subsisted on them now had few choices in life. And even if they weren't enslaved or coerced as teenagers in West Africa or as commoners in England who were impressed, they began in the United States, in Philadelphia and Boston, in Providence, Rhode Island, they began to get to know each other, they began, and they did so in taverns, they did so in poorer parts of the town, and they did so above all on ships. So the ship itself was a machine--we usually see it as a machine of commerce or a machine of war, but it was also a machine where the people of the world first got to know each other, they first get to hear one another's stories. And in some ways you can say, this is where multicultural America began to be formed.
NOOR: And so, Peter, you call that the motley crew, because it's a multiethnic crew. Then the population may--oh, not even a crew, not just a crew, but also bands of people that worked on land as well, and, you know, they were multiethnic, and, you know, their relationships might have crossed class lines as well.
LINEBAUGH: Yes, this is quite true. You know, Herman Melville was the man who had the imagination to see this in all his great nautical books, whether Billy Budd or /taɪfuː/ or White-Jacket, and then of course Moby-Dick. But that reality of democracy on shipboard and, as you say, multiethnic communication was a big part of the background to the American Revolution. And it was--even though those people did not lead the revolution in the sense of signing their names to documents, they led the freedom from actual slavery, they led the freedom from actual coerced labor on ships, and they also led--in Philadelphia here I'm thinking, Jaisal--they led the struggle for fair prices, and they led the struggle against debt. And these are two issues that remain with us. So this motley crew will provide the force of the revolutionary armies. And when they're not paid or when they're mistreated, they are perfectly capable of mutiny.
NOOR: And, Peter, you mentioned one of the slogans of the revolution, "no taxation without representation". But as we touched upon in this conversation already, there were many groups that were not franchised at the culmination of the revolution--obviously African-Americans, women, and men that were not--that didn't don't land. And, you know, it's often portrayed as the elites created this framework, they created a constitution that would eventually grant these rights and, you know, the right to vote and other civil rights to the entire population. But talk about the revolutionary process that actually led to those rights being achieved.
LINEBAUGH: Okay, Jaisal, that's a process of American history, that's a process of struggle. That's a--I hesitate to say class struggle, though it is a class struggle of slaves, it's a struggle of poor people, it's a struggle of weavers and spinners, it's a struggle of housewives, it's a struggle of women more generally, it's a struggle that is not over. And sometimes the American Civil War is seen as a continuation, as the Chapter 2 where the Declaration of Independence and Fourth of July was Chapter 1.
This is why the Fourth of July, you know, has this military flavor to it, you know, and we all turn out and we watch the fireworks. But the first fireworks, of course, were, as we know from the song, "the rockets' red glare". This came from a war. Speaking to you in Baltimore, I don't need to remind you that Fort McHenry in Baltimore was where the British invaded in 1812. So what I'm trying to say is that war is the most extreme form of struggle, on a large scale, anyway. And those powers and rights and freedoms that you referred to and that we celebrate on the Fourth of July, they are the product of vast human struggle. I mean, the struggle for American independence was not just that war but was goes back to the 17th century.
The struggle against slavery was at least 100 years old. You know, if you take 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation, 100 years earlier it was 1763. That's the plantation of George Washington. A hundred years before that, 1673, you also have slavery. So the struggle against slavery is a very old and long struggle and reaches a great, great culmination in the war between the states, in the Civil War. And may I quote, Jaisal, from Frederick Douglass, the abolitionist?
NOOR: Yes, absolutely.
LINEBAUGH: Okay, because he says something that I'm thinking about, and I wonder whether you all are thinking about it too. This is the speech he gave on the Fourth of July. And I think a lot of you are familiar with that speech where he says, what is the meaning of the Fourth of July to the slave? But before he says that, he says, what it is that we need. In this now is just a few years before John Brown's raid, it's a few years before Fort Sumter and the beginning of the Civil War. Here in the words of Frederick Douglass is what we need:
[I]t is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.
Isn't that powerful? Here he's using the rhetoric from the era of the Declaration of Independence, and he's prophesying--it's a prophetic voice from the Old Testament imagining the war to come, the American Civil War that at last put an end--well, not quite; it didn't quite end slavery, did it? Because the Thirteenth Amendment permits slavery or involuntary servitude in cases of prison. And so I think it's--you know, if we're going to jump from the past to the present continuously, then we need to say, that is not yet finished, as the prison population of the U.S. continues to grow and to grow.
NOOR: Peter Linebaugh, thank you so much for joining us.
LINEBAUGH: You're very welcome.
NOOR: And we'll continue this conversation at Thank you so much for joining us.

Video details

Artist: Military Industrial Complex
Video title: The Hunger Games Economy
Category: Economy
Views: 330
Submitted by: admin



  • Weapons of mass production: US Army making warheads with 3D printing
    Weapons of mass production: US Army making warheads with 3D printingBy RTThe US Army is building deadlier, more efficient, and less costly warheads using 3D-printing technology, according to new reports. While 3D printers have made more headlines for their ability to make homemade firearms, and for more benevolent uses like the development of prosthetic arms or facial reconstruction surgery, the Army is planning to use them to print sophisticated warhead components on the cheap, according to Army Technology magazine. “3D printing of warheads will allow us to have better design control and utilize geometries and patterns that previously could not be produced or manufactured,” James Zunino, a researcher at the Armament Research, Engineering and Design Center, told Motherboard. Traditional manufacturing methods are no match for what 3D printers can offer such weapons of mass destruction. 3D-processed components could allow for superior design such as the ability to “pack in additional payloads, sensors, and safety mechanisms,” Motherboard wrote. Weaponry made by 3D printers will also allow the military to engineer more precise specifications on warheads, such as blast radiuses. “Warheads could be designed to meet specific mission requirements whether it is to improve safety to meet an Insensitive Munitions requirement, or it could have tailorable effects, better control, and be scalable to achieve desired lethality,” Zunino said. And while the US Army is attracted to 3D printing’s ability to offer more efficient mechanisms for killing, the cost-effectiveness at a time of budgetary cutbacks is enticing as well. “3D printing also allows for integrating components together to add capabilities at reduced total life cycle costs,” Zunino said. “It is expected that 3D printing will reduce life-cycle costs of certain items and make munitions more affordable in the long run through implementation of design for manufacturability, and capitalizing on the add capabilities that 3D printing and additive manufacturing can bring to munitions and warheads.” Zunino added that the Army is not likely to stop at mere component manufacturing. “Maybe someday an entire warhead or rocket could be produced as the technology further matures,” Zunino said. Printing weaponry in 3D doesn’t stop with the Pentagon. Defense giant BAE Systems announced in January that the British Royal Air Force’s Tornado fighter jets have performed their first flights with some onboard metal parts manufactured using 3D-printing technology. BAE has also claimed in recent months that by 2040, aircraft will be able to use 3D printers to self-heal or produce mini-drones during missions using what they called 'Transformer' technology.
  • MH17 Shootdown Continues
    MH17 Shootdown Continues (2)by Michael Shrimpton    "VT"It is now clear that Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down over Eastern Ukraine, near Grabovo, by the Ukrainian Army, the intent being to blame pro-Russian separatists. My conclusions last week were only provisional, but vital new satellite, radar (particularly from the Ust-Donetsk and Buturinskaya radar stations) and air traffic control (ATC) data is now in, together with some very professional GRU analysis of the photo pushed out by Kiev of a Buk allegedly in separatist hands.  This clearly shows that the photo was taken in the Ukraine, in Krasnoarmeysk to be precise. When faking a photo always make sure that there isn’t an advertising hoarding lurking in the background! If anyone asks why I was not sure last week, my answer is that intelligence analysis tends to firm up as more facts become available. Contrary to the lies and rumours spread by my competitors (with apologies to Joe Don Baker!), I don’t leap to conclusions. Last week’s article was written 24-hours after the shootdown. The Rebels’ Buk Buk-M2-9S36-Fire-Dome-1S-9S36 Low Altitude AcquisitionEngagement Radar It does seem that the rebels were handed an SA-11 Buk system, as part of the set-up. The evidence here is a bit murky, but it looks like the Ukrainians left them an old SA-11 Transporter Erector Launcher (TEL). As I explained last week, they are about as much use as titz on a bull (if you will forgive the expression), when it comes to shooting down airliners at 33,000 feet. That is because unlike a TELAR (Transporter Erector Launcher And Radar), they don’t have a radar, i.e. you have to fire them blind. Reporting suggests that the TEL was in a pretty dilapidated state, as you would expect. The Ukrainians would hardly be likely to leave a working SA-11 behind. It also seems to have been an old system, i.e. an early SA-11, and may even have been minus missiles. Just as significant as the fact that it couldn’t shoot down a passing pigeon is that apparently you need firing codes to launch a Buk, new or old. That makes sense – the Buk is a powerful system, capable as we have seen of blowing a large airliner out of the sky, or at any rate bringing it down. Why would you have a mobile system, which can be driven away, without a safety feature which prevents the missiles being fired except through the chain of command? We can safely exclude the possibility of the Ukrainians leaving the missile firing codes around for the rebs to find. __________________________ SA-11, SA-17 or HQ-16? HQ-16 There is some doubt about whether the Ukrainians used an SA-11, SA-17 or an HQ (or Hongqi) 16. Allow me to elucidate. The term Buk can be used to describe both an SA-11 (NATO reporting name Gadfly) or an SA-17 (NATO reporting name Grizzly).  The Gadfly was the original system, introduced into service in 1979. The Grizzly is the development of the Gadfly, with the powerful NIIP 9S36 passive phased array radar. It did not enter service until 2008. There is an export version, and some have indeed been exported, e.g. to those nice people the Byelorussians. What I have not been able to establish is whether the Russians have supplied any SA-17s to the Ukraine, although oddly the Ukrainians did the radar for the Byelorussian Grizzlies, albeit before the DVD’s coup. The literature is conflicting and the Ukrainians are keeping very quiet about it. There is however a third possibility. The Russians and Chinese have developed a more advanced version of the SA-17 for the PLA Army, Navy and Air Force — remember there are naval variants of the SA-11 and S-17. This version is known as the HQ-16. Not only is it in service with the PLA at this time, they have been practising high-altitude interceptions. This raises the intriguing possibility that MH-17 was actually shot down by the Chinese, as the Ukrainians would not have any crews trained on the HQ-16, whose instrumentation would probably be marked in Mandarin or Cantonese. There are not a lot of Chinese-speaking Ukrainians, in fact there are not a lot of Chinese restaurants in Kiev. If MH17 was shot down by an HQ-16 system flown into the Ukraine for the purpose, with a Chinese launch crew, it would cast a flood of light on the selection of a Malaysia Airlines flight. Remember it was the PLA/Navy which shot down MH370. My money’s on the Chinese at this time. Since President Putin has been reaching out to Peking, that might explain the slight reticence on the part of Moscow on the subject. I would not be surprised if the excellent Russian GRU were way ahead of me on this (they don’t have a day job, after all, and can call up satellite piccies almost at will!) and reached the same conclusion days ago. Expect Kuala Lumpur to start scaling down their anger/outrage if they also conclude that it was the Chinese. Malaysia is effectively a Chinese client-state. KL were willing to cover up China’s role in shooting down MH370, indeed it looks as though KL are willing to sacrifice poor old Malaysia Airlines, who must be wondering why they now have so much hangar space to rent out.  China and the Ukraine are each close to Germany of course. __________________________ The Fighter ‘Escort’ SU-27 flanker Radar evidence suggests that MH17 was ‘escorted’, i.e. forced, into the kill-zone by two Ukrainian fighters.  Some reporting suggests that these might have been Su-25 Frogfoots (Frogfeet?). It has been pointed that the Su-25 only has a ceiling of FL250, i.e. 25,000 feet, but the Russian Ministry of Defence, who ought to know, state that it can reach FL330 for a limited period. One has to be careful with the performance envelope of a ground-attack aircraft like the Su-25.  The service ceiling figure will be for an aircraft with full military equipment, such as armor plate. You don’t need armor when shooting down an unarmed airliner. The 25 also has an air refuelling probe, which adds weight and increases drag. I suspect that a lightened Su-25 could easily reach and maintain 33,000 feet. However, the escort was more likely Su-27s. They are highly agile and powerfully armed. A 777 captain isn’t going to take on a couple of Su-27s. Their role was to make sure that the target airliner followed Kiev ATC’s direction to fly over territory controlled by separatists, so that they could be blamed. Russian satellite overheads show several Buks, or shall we say Buk-like vehicles, positioned close to rebel territory, within range of the interception point. __________________________ Carlos, the Spanish Air Traffic Controller Spanish Air Traffic control This brings me to the curious case of Carlos, the decent Spanish air traffic controller. For a few precious hours we got a stream of information out of Kiev ATC, via Twitter of all things, although there are worse ways of going public with crucial information.  Ignored by the MSM this brave man stated that the Ukrainian security services had taken over the Kiev control tower and seized the controllers’ cellphones, and that Kiev wanted the 777 shot down. Of course Thames Valley Police would say it was a hoax, but I am not so sure. What impresses me is the level of knowledge displayed at a time when the general public were still in the dark. If it were a hoax one might expect to see statements to that effect coming out of Kiev, since these were damning tweets. Since then, we have had silence.  I am not sure that Carlos is still alive. If he is, he has surely lost his job. At this time I am calling Carlos’s reporting as real, i.e. I don’t think this has been faked, or is a hoax. It might just possibly be an intel set-up, to discredit anyone saying that Kiev shot the plane down, but as indicated I don’t think so. I would like to see this matter investigated. There aren’t that many air traffic controllers brave enough to tell the truth in an airliner shootdown. Spanish ATC involvement in at least three staged air disasters, including Tenerife, would sensitize informed Spanish air traffic controllers to the possibility of ATC being involved in bringing down a plane deliberately. __________________________ Proximity Fuzing TWA flight 800 memorial to Alabama victims It has now emerged that there are small punctures in the fuselage skin. These have puzzled some commentators, but they are exactly what I would expect. All variants of the Buk use proximity fuzes, where the warhead is radar-detonated. For five years, I have been trying to get the aviation and intelligence communities to accept that AF447 depressurized slowly because its hull had been penetrated by shrapnel from a warhead exploding in close proximity. You always look at the wreckage field in an air disaster investigation – I nearly said ‘accident’ but this was no accident. I find it significant that the cockpit section landed a short distance away from the wreckage.  It may have broken away from the rest of the fuselage near the ground (it’s too close to the main debris field to have broken away at altitude, like PanAm 103).  The SA-17/HQ-16 uses semi-active homing, i.e. the missile homed in on MH370’s radar. On nearly all civilian airliners, indeed on all radar-equipped Western airliners, the weather/navigation radar, usually X-Band, is mounted in the nose. With a target in level flight (TWA800 was climbing) we would expect detonation near the nose, i.e. near the cockpit. Most of the shrapnel damage was probably in the forward part of the fuselage, which would have been significantly weakened. The flight crew may well have been wounded in the attack, although the autopsy results are not in yet. I suspect that the aircraft would still have been able to put out a Mayday message, but for the Ukrainian jamming. The post-strike maneuvers observed by horrified Russian radar controllers may not have been deliberate, as the aircraft may not have been under control by then. The Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) ought to tell us if the crew saw the fighters or the incoming, and had been trying to get a Mayday out. __________________________ The Black Boxes Moscow Air Traffic control Don’t expect anything to come out of The West on the black boxes.  The Flight Data Recorder (FDR) is going to be pretty neutral. It will pretty much tell us what we already know – that the plane was shot down. The CVR is the critical black box, but if it shows Ukrainian involvement, either due to ATC instructions or the crew observing Ukrainian fighters alongside, there is no way that it will be made public. We saw with AF447 how the French were willing to rig the black box data in order to cover up the shootdown, contributing to the two Malaysia Airlines disasters, as official willingness to turn a blind eye to mass murder in the skies simply encourages the Bad Guys. Farnborough have a track record of covering up sabotage going back to the Comets in 1954.  With TWA800 we had to wait for over 15 years before NTSB investigators came clean – after their retirement. The good news is that it looks like the GRU were able to extract and copy the data before returning the FDR and the CVR to the rebels, for handing over to the Dutch, who in turn handed them over to AAIB, who are Cabinet Office-controlled and have much greater experience of faking ‘accident’ reports than the Dutch. The Dutch by the way didn’t fake the Tenerife report – they simply didn’t know about the Spanish intelligence officers in the tower, nor the Luftwaffe ground radar unit. They got it wrong, but in good faith. The AAIB doesn’t do good faith, unless it’s an amateur pilot in a Cessna who’s made the rookie mistake of trying to turn back to the field when his engine has conked out. (You always lose too much altitude in the turn and you are going to be downwind, i.e. basically screwed. If your engine fails soon after take-off stretch your glide, look in the vee between 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock and find somewhere to put her down, forgetting about the runway behind you, which will generally be about as much use as balls on a mermaid, again if you will forgive the expression). The thought that the Russians have a copy of the CVR tape will give them sleepless nights at AAIB and NTSB. Great. They get far too much sleep anyway for the lives they have cost by covering up airliner sabotage and shootdowns. Never forget that after the failure to identify sabotage as the cause of the Comet Yoke Peter disaster the DVD went ahead and blew Yoke Yoke out of the sky, also with an IED. Had NTSB gone public with the Iranian missile strike on TWA800 that would have been an end to medium-range missile shootdowns of airliners. __________________________ The Air Algerie MD-83 Air Algerie Flight AH5017 Jury’s still out on this one, but you can forget a medium or long-range missile. Unlike with MH370 or MH17 there were no known hostile systems within range.  You can also forget MANPADs, as always when the plane is above FL150, or 15,000 feet. My provisional conclusion is that the plane was brought down by a haboob, or dust storm. This particular aviation hazard will be known to any reader of Captain W.E. Johns’s splendid Biggles books. Biggles of course was the hero, along with his chums Algy, Lord Bertie Lissie and Ginger, not forgetting Flight Sergeant Smyth and Air Commodore Raymond, their intelligence chief. Captain Johns, late of the Royal Flying Corps, was the one of the best pilots who ever wrote aviation fiction, let alone for the young. As I point out in Spyhunter he was also the air intelligence officer who recruited Lawrence of Arabia into the Royal Air Force after World War 1, indeed it is more than likely that he encountered a haboob whilst ferrying Lawrence in the war in a Bristol Fighter, one of Bill’s favorite steeds. Forget the literature which states that haboobs only reach up a few miles. You can get real doozies over the Sahara. More than that you can get dust and sand blown high into the atmosphere above the storm itself, which will not show up on weather radar, i.e. you think you are above the storm and then your engines start flaming out. Those P & W JT8D-219s on the MD-83 are pretty old bits of kit by modern standards. The JT8D’s first application was on the Boeing 727 and you don’t see many of them around anymore, sadly.  The 200 series has a higher bypass ratio and is a lot more powerful, cranking out 21,000 lbs thrust in the -219, but the 8D has always had a slight weather vulnerability. The 80 series ‘9’s have been involved in over 30 hull loss accidents. Witness reports that the plane crashed in flames have to be viewed with caution. Aviation illiterate witnesses can easily confuse engine fires or flameouts with the whole plane being on fire. Watching a civilian airliner plummet to the ground is a traumatic experience. If you will forgive the anecdote, I well remember sitting in the cockpit (in the jump seat) of an RAF VC-10 C Mk 1 at Luqa (Malta), watching with mounting horror as an overloaded old PIA Boeing 720 struggled to get airborne on a hot day. The flight crew were watching this highly marginal piece of aviating with evident concern. I don’t think they were convinced she was going to make it, and indeed if an engine had failed she would have gone straight in. It was pretty alarming, and that was watching from the ground. I suspect that we will find scoring on the turbine blades consistent with dust, and compressor blade failures, triggering a flame out. If the pilots were not experienced they may have lost control as they went asymmetric, particularly if they were experiencing power loss on the opposite engine. There are not a lot of reserves of power on a heavily laden MD-83. While far from full, thankfully, this plane was not flying light. You have got to regain control pretty quickly, or you’ll be imitating Denzil in the movie and flying tits-up, as the saying goes. My provisional conclusion is that Flight AH5017 encountered upper atmosphere dust and sand associated with a powerful haboob, leading to a flame out of either No 1 or No2 engine, or both, followed by a loss of control by inexperienced or inadequately trained pilots, with poor visibility and possible disorientation a contributing factor. It might have been an IED, but there no evidence of it at this time. __________________________ On a lighter note Dhoti clad judge denied entry May I respectfully congratulate the committee of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association? They very properly refused to admit Mr Justice Hariparanthaman, who was wearing a dhoti (Great Scott!).  His Honour with respect should have known that as with the MCC Pavilion a jacket and tie is required, and rightly so. At the risk of sounding like Higgins in Magnum it is pleasing to record that standards are being maintained in at least a part of India!   __________________________ Classic Movie of the Week – Grand Prix (1966), dir. John Frankenheimer James Garner in Grand Prix This is in tribute of course to the great American actor James Garner, who sadly died on July 19. His considerable acting ability is on display in this fine movie, marked by cameo appearances from great Formula One drivers, including Jim Clark, murdered by the DVD only two years later, and Graham Hill, assassinated in 1975.The racing cinematography is superb, and the movie accurately captures the atmosphere of mid-60s Grand Prix racing and its dangers, especially at Monza and Monaco. It is well worth watching again, if only to remind you of what a great loss James Garner is. My favorite Garner movie is Space Cowboys, but Grand Prix is probably the more famous.  Rest in Peace, James. It will be a long time before you are forgotten. __________________________ Spyhunter Michael Shrimpton is a barrister, called to the Bar in London 1983. He is a specialist in National Security and Constitutional Law, Strategic Intelligence and Counterterrorism. Michael was formerly an Adjunct Professor of Intelligence Studies in what was then the Department of National Security, Intelligence and Space Studies at the American Military University. Michael’s ground-breaking, 700 page intelligence text “Spyhunter: The Secret History of German Intelligence” was published in England by June Press on April 14th 2014. Editing: Erica P. Wissinger
  • The Sisi his allies can't see
    The Sisi his allies can't seeBy Monte Palmer Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows guest writers to have their say. Please click here if you are interested in contributing. The world's press is rife with speculation about the impact of recently crowned Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on the future course of Egypt and the Middle East. Will he transform Egypt into a bastion of peace, stability, and democracy, or is he the latest in a long line of military tyrants and destined to plunge the Middle East into deeper despair? The answer to this question should be of vital interest to Sisi's staunch supporters including the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel. If they guess wrong, it is they who will be the big losers in the long run. The best way to answer the question it to simply examine Sisi's words and deeds since he became a key figure in Egyptian politics following the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in January 2011. Sisi presents himself as a Moses-type father figure come to lead the Egyptian masses to a promised land of stability, prosperity, modernity, equality, freedom and religious moderation. All of the ills of the past will be gone including corruption, police brutality, terror, religious extremism, sexual harassment, bureaucratic strangulation, and Egypt's humiliating role as an American puppet. Gone, too, will be grinding poverty, massive unemployment, the hideous slums that are home to about a fifth of Egypt's population, and the collapsing buildings that threaten the lives of more than a third of its population. Sisi's actions, by contrast, portray Egypt's new pharaoh as an exceptionally ambitious man who lusts for power, craves adulation, demands subservience, and inclines toward violence. They also reveal an authoritarian leader who appoints all members of what passes for a civilian government and controls everything that they do and say. This is because Sisi is a fearful and suspicious individual who sees plots, conspiracies, and assassination attempts behind every pyramid. Perhaps Sisi's paranoia is also a product of his own duplicity. He has, after all, turned against all those who supported his rise to power. The list begins with the elite generals who made him the head of military intelligence, the Muslim Brotherhood that appointed him Minister of Defense, the youth groups that spawned the January 2011 revolution, the liberal press who believed his promises of democracy, and the labor unions who dreamed of a return to socialism. Now in the line of fire is the economic elite who supported Sisi in the belief that he would transform Egypt into a capitalist paradise free of government restrictions. Much to their dismay, it is the military that is driving the Egyptian economy, not the private sector. He is also demanding payment of US$69 billion in delayed taxes for this year and $74 billion for last year. The military needs the money. Whatever the case, opposition to Sisi and his policies is not tolerated. People and groups are either for him or against him. There is no middle ground or room for compromise. Opponents of Sisi's policies are branded traitors or terrorists and treated accordingly. The Muslim Brotherhood that had swept to power with some 70% of the popular vote in Egypt's first and only democratic election has been targeted for annihilation. Mohammed el-Baradi, former head of the UN Atomic Energy Agency and former presidential candidate, was declared both a traitor and a terrorist. His ostensible crimes were suggesting that Sisi's rule was less than democratic and warning that violence begets violence. His real crime was having far more stellar dust than Sisi. Too powerful for Sisi to kill or control, he was forced into exile. To make matters worse, Sisi is easily offended, cannot accept blame for his mistakes, and refuses to back down from his decisions or make conciliatory gestures that might be interpreted as a sign of weakness. This is particularly dangerous because Sisi often makes contradictory decisions on the spur of the moment. Sisi is also an elusive individual who wants complete freedom of action and doesn't like to be pinned down to specifics. Even the lapdog Egyptian press was puzzled by the absence of anything approaching a platform in his presidential campaign. But, then, why should he have bothered. He had the votes. This combination of words and actions has resulted in a style of rule that relies primarily on force and fear. The military is the foundation of Sisi's power in Egypt and it is also the foundation of his aspirations to become the dominant power broker in the Middle East. As a result, the military gets most of what there is go get. The political-economic elite that organized the counter-revolution comes in second, and a rapacious bureaucracy sucks up what is left. Sisi promises to help the poor, but his passion for strengthening what is already the 13th largest army in the world doesn't leave much left for anyone beyond the military. Sisi's rule by force is supported by a cult of personality, a term originally used to characterize Joseph Stalin and later applied to Arab leaders who wore the cloak of infallibility. It is Sisi and Sisi alone, according to the Egyptian press, who can rescue Egypt from the chaos that followed the January 2011 revolution and the even greater threat of Islamic rule. Sisi makes no claim to being a deity (Mahdi), but the leaders of Egypt's government controlled Islamic establishment have made support of his policies a religious obligation. How else could they justify his overthrow of a moderate Islamic president? He has no ideology to speak of, and he has clearly stated that his legitimacy is based the emotional outpourings of mass emotions rather than elections. As Egypt's rightly guided savior, it is Sisi alone who is gifted with the power to read the will of the masses. Having established himself as the head of the military and the savior of the country, Sisi uses the old Mubarak political apparatus to control his self-appointed civilian government in all areas except those of particular interest to the military. It was the Mubarak political apparatus that plotted the counter revolution, scripted Sisi's cult of personality, managed Sisi's election, and that is now assuring that Sisi will have an overwhelming majority in the resurrected faux parliament if and when Sisi proclaims that it can be elected. There will be a parliament of some sort or other, because Sisi insists that everything that he does be justified by the rule of law. Just what that parliament will look like is still being determined and in the final analysis, will be dictated by Sisi. As things currently stand, Egypt's anti-terror laws and subservient judiciary give Sisi the legal right to use force against anyone or anything that he choses. All he has to do is call them terrorists. Over anxious judges condemn hundreds to death within a few minutes and scant representation. Sisi remains aloof in the name of supporting an independent judiciary. Sisi is also most adept at utilizing the propaganda value of laws that he has no intention of enforcing or lacks the capacity to enforce. Sexual harassment laws cast him in guise of a humanist but can't be solved by a simple piece of legislation because sexual harassment is so deeply embedded in Egyptian culture that the police ignore it. The police are also part of the problem. Imagine Sisi's embarrassment when his supporters were filmed harassing females during his inauguration as president. It's the same with highly publicized anti-corruption laws. Nothing gets done without baksheesh (petty bribes) and the Mubarak establishment, now part of the Sisi team, had earlier been convicted of massive corruption. Alas, past sins have been forgiven and the pillars of the Mubarak regime have been cleared to run for parliament. Slum clearance laws portray Sisi as a man of the people intent on doing away with the squalid slums. Where are these people to go? Even people with money can't find adequate housing in the urban areas of Egypt. One might also ask, who is getting the cleared land? The answer is simple. First the military, and second the old Mubarak economic elite. The evicted poor will merely build new slums. They won't get the promised new housing projects that remain below the level of population growth because they lack wasta (influence.) Topping things off, Sisi keeps potential opponents off guard by playing group against group, issuing contradictory decisions, turning on supporters, and making his had picked civilian cabinet grovel by accepting the blame for his mistakes. He also humiliates the Islamic clergy by forcing them to preach a single sermon approved by the Minister of Islamic Endowment, a throwback to the darkest days of the Mubarak regime. The clergy had dreamed of independence from government control, but no more. The story in the judiciary has been even more devastating, as any semblance of legal justice has been destroyed by massive show trials in which hundreds are condemned to death with a wave of the hand. Sisi is also vague on the timing of the parliamentary elections, warning Egyptians that terrorists will attempt to use the elections to destroy the state and transform Egypt into a jihadist caliphate. Given Egypt's vague anti-terrorist laws, Sisi has already provided himself with a pretext for his nullifying the elections if the outcome is not to his liking. Sisi's perpetual circus does keep his opponents off guard because no one really knows where Sisi is going next. The press is full of predictions, but they are invariably wrong. Perhaps Sisi, himself, isn't sure of where he is going and is merely playing everything by ear. On the other hand, the chaos created by Sisi's circus may be a calculated strategy to intensify mass demands for a savior and military rule. Why else does he repeatedly proclaim that Egypt is in a state of civil war? Whatever the case, Sisi's style of rule has resulted in weak political institutions totally dominated by the whim of a single individual. In the process, the Egyptian population has become fragmented and intensely polarized. To make matters worse, any hope for the peaceful reconciliation of conflict has been eliminated. Violence and submission are the only choices that remain. As a result, violence is soaring while submission has intensified a sycophant political culture in which the only way to survive is superficial subservience. Pretense does not lead to hard work, loyalty, or anti-terrorism. Is Sisi's behavior rational? It might be for a man intent on becoming the strongman of the Arab world. If this is not the case, Sisi is simply a befuddled amateur who is making things up as he goes along. Either way, I fail to see how Sisi is going to transform Egypt into a bastion of peace and stability in the Middle East. Democracy is not even on the cards. Neither, for that matter, are dreams that Sisi will become a compliant puppet of the US and Saudi Arabia. Far more likely is the probability that American, Saudi, and Israeli support for Sisi will spawn yet another Saddam Hussein. This being the case, the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel may be wise to ponder how they will cope with a Sisi's based upon his behavior rather than his words. Sisi has vowed to protect Saudi Arabia from terrorist attacks, but will he go home when he has finished? Just think of what Sisi could do with all that Saudi oil. I also wonder about the Israelis who seem to find solace in Sisi's hostility to the Muslim Brotherhood and its Hamas offshoot. Do they really want a massive military machine headed by Sisi on their border? He has crossed all of his other allies. What will stop him from turning against Israel? The US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel might also consider how they will regroup if the Sisi regime should collapse. The slavishly loyal Egyptian press is now hinting at this possibility. There have even been articles about grumbling within the military over Sisi's appointment of relatives and cronies to key positions. It is not a rush, but Egyptians constantly scrutinize their leaders for signs of weakness. They also know how to read between the lines. Perhaps the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel could learn from them. Whether Sisi survives or fails, they will be the big losers. Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows guest writers to have their say. Please click here if you are interested in contributing. Articles submitted for this section allow our readers to express their opinions and do not necessarily meet the same editorial standards of Asia Times Online's regular contributors. Monte Palmer is Professor Emeritus at Florida State University, a former Director of the Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies at the American University of Beirut, and a senior fellow at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies. His recent books include The Arab Psyche and American Frustrations, The Politics of the Middle East, Islamic Extremism (with Princess Palmer), Political Development: Dilemmas and Challenges, and Egypt and the Game of Terror (a novel). His email is and his blog is
  • Bolivia declares Israel ‘terrorist state’, scraps visa exemption agreement
    Bolivia declares Israel ‘terrorist state’, scraps visa exemption agreementBy RTBolivia has declared Israel to be a “terrorist state” and renounced a visa exemption agreement with the country in protest over the ongoing Israeli military offense in Gaza which already killed more than 1,300 dead and left over 7,000 wounded. LIVE UPDATES: Israel launches ground incursion in Gaza Strip Canceling the 1972 agreement which allowed Israelis to travel freely to Bolivia “means, in other words, we are declaring (Israel) a terrorist state,” the country's President Evo Morales announced. Morales explained that Operation Protective edge clearly shows that “Israel is not a guarantor of the principles of respect for life and the elementary precepts of rights that govern the peaceful and harmonious coexistence of our international community.” The announcement came after a cabinet meeting of the government of Evo Morales which decided that; “The Bolivian state and people have made a firm decision to terminate the agreement on visas to Israel, from August 17, 1972, signed under a regime of dictatorship in Bolivia and that allowed Israeli citizens to enter Bolivia freely without even entry visa." Earlier in July, Morales filed a request with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to prosecute Israel for “crimes against humanity.” Other Latin American countries including Chile and El Salvador recalled their ambassadors in Israel on Tuesday for consultations due to the increased violence in the Gaza Strip against civilians. The move follows similar actions by Ecuador, Brazil and Peru who have also recalled their ambassadors. Palestinians carry the body of a local Palestinian journalist, whom medics said was killed by Israeli shelling near a market in Shejaia, as smoke rises in the east of Gaza City July 30, 2014. (Reuters/Ashraf Amrah) Bolivia broke off diplomatic relations with Israel in 2009 over a previous military operation in Gaza. Just on Wednesday morning shelling of a UN School in Gaza, left at least 20 dead. The incident has brought worldwide condemnation. READ MORE: 20 killed in Israeli UN school shelling United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has condemned a deadly attack by Israel against a UN school in the besieged Gaza Strip. "It is outrageous. It is unjustifiable. And it demands accountability and justice," said the UN chief in Costa Rica on Wednesday. The IDF military campaign which began July 8, so far has left more than 1,300 dead and over 7,000 wounded.
  • Israeli attacks continue: 1,370 Gazans killed
    Israeli attacks continue: 1,370 Gazans killedBy presstvIsrael is relentlessly continuing its aggression against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, killing at least 1,370 people and injuring around 7,700 others since it launched its offensive on July 8. In its most recent military attacks, Israeli forces killed one Palestinian in Rafah and five others in Khan Yunis. A Palestinian journalist was also killed, succumbing to injuries sustained in an Israeli attack.Earlier, Israeli forces killed at least 17 people and injured 200 others in a busy market in Shejaiya district near the Gaza City. The military wing of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, also fired retaliatory rockets, hitting Israel’s Kerem Shalom and setting off sirens. Moreover, Israel’s Zikim naval base has reportedly come under attack. Sirens have also been sounded in Eshkol Regional Council. Reports say that about 140 Israeli soldiers have been wounded, with 14 being in critical condition. Tel Aviv says that overnight it attacked over 19 locations in Gaza.Israel has been pounding the Gaza Strip since July 8. The air, sea and land strikes by Israel have also left thousands of others in the coastal sliver. Israeli forces also began a ground offensive against the impoverished Palestinian land on July 17. About 300 children have been killed.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to continue attacks against Gaza. Earlier in the day, Israel mobilized 16,000 reservists for the ground military operations in Gaza, putting the total number at 86,000. Tel Aviv has targeted hospitals, clinics, and shelters over the past 24 days. SZH/HMV
  • The Coming Return of the Real USDollar
    The Coming Return of the Real USDollarBy  *Lee Wanta (Edited by Preston James, Ph.D.)  "VT"The Federal Reserve System (aka the “Fed”), a bank franchisee of the City of London private Zionist Bankers, is now cornered and in a predicament with no simple solution possible. It is like the tree trimmer cutting off the limb he is standing on or the painter painting himself into a corner with no way out. This impasse has no apparent solution for these Private Federal Reserve “Officials” and the real World Zionist Powers behind them (whom they serve). The Federal Reserve System has operated as an Unregulated Checkbook for an out of control, out of touch, bought-off Congress that takes its marching orders from Israeli espionage fronts and wealthy lobbying groups inside America like AIPAC.   These Israel Espionage Fronts inside America are controlled by the World Zionists operating out of the City of London Financial District, a separate country with its own Police Force and Ambassadors. Normally any governmental spending body such as Congress would be limited by the amount of taxes collected, and would have to balance its books like any normal family. However, because the Federal reserve System issues as much money as Congress want to borrow, there have been no real spending limits. The alleged debt owed by Americans (with interest accruing constantly) to this private Federal Reserve System is now estimated to have exceeded 14 trillions USDollars, or approximately five times the current annual Congressional Budget, a staggering total, and approximately one year of America’s Gross National Product. And the most startling thing about this supposed “National Debt” is that is clearly Illegal, Unconstitutional, and actually imaginary. Yes, that’s right, Americans cannot be legally charged interest or principal for using their own money. How did this illegal Ponzi scheme ever develop and why would our Congress allow such a fraud to be perpetrated? Our Founding Fathers intended the USG to have a very limited role and to be financed from Excise and import taxes, never a personal income tax. There was a secret Coup d’ etat in 1913 when the City of London Secret Agents were able to get their illegal, Unconstitutional Federal reserve Act passed in the U.S. Congress with no quorum present on a Friday night before Christmas.(1)Numerous Members of Congress were influenced, bribed and even coerced to go along with this intended legislation being covertly promoted by the City of London Rothschild Zionist private Central bankers. The rest is history and is a secret most sordid one at that. The Federal Reserve Board run by the individual Banking Families who own the stock is a closely guarded secret. This Board has no USG oversight and is beyond the current reach of the USG as long as Congress, the Judiciary and the Administration refuses to enforce the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights or the Rule of Law. Consequently the the City of London Zionist Bankers have been able to remotely control the American Economy by determining monetary policy and setting interest rates and determining how much money is issued. This unregulated issuance of money and the providing of it to greedy Members of Congress to distribute to their campaign sponsors and “special friends” through special interest legislation has resulted in a complete disconnect between Congressional Spending and any true financial reality. It is now generally recognized by Political Insiders that immense kickbacks are provided in very creative ways to those that vote for these “Special Interest,Corporate Welfare” legislation. These kickbacks are often disguised as very liberal honorariums for short meaningless speech appearances, large PAC campaign donations, special all-paid junkets, lucrative revolving-door jobs and consultancies, and even special deposits to offshore accounts. And beside the so-called “Money” issued (FIAT money issued and put into circulation and use by the Federal Reserve System), is not real money at all, but consists of Debt-based FIAT monetary Notes which USG laws have mandated must be accepted as legal tender for all debts inside America. yes, technically a Note is a loan for which the Principal and the Interest must be repaid. Thus all the Interest and Principal paid back to the Federal Reserve System is truly “Money for Nothing.” A very crafty trick.This is truly a very crafty trick performed by the private Central Bankers to acquire the wealth of the users of their FIAT debt-note money. American used to have real money issued that was redeemable in Gold and Silver. They were called USDollars and were either Gold Certificates or Silver Certificates. But all that changed when President Nixon changed the USDollar to have no real backing by Gold and Silver anymore as he negotiated an international agreement for the USDollar to become the US Petro Dollar and be used for all crude Oil Transactions. Making money from Nothing. What this means now in practical terms that when the Federal Reserve System creates “Money” and puts it into circulation and use, it retains ownership of the Principal and expects it to be repaid with Interest which constantly accrues. This is what the so-called National Debt consists of and is clearly financial fraud since FIAT/fake currency is not real money and is not allowed to masqueraded as such by the US Constitution. Calling issued debt-notes money is the biggest trick ever perpetrated against the American public and perhaps the greatest financial fraud in history against the American Citizen. Certainly Madoff should be proud of his Federal Reserve System Associates and is a “chip off the old block” so to say. World’s largest Ponzi Scheme. The Federal Reserve System has become the World’s greatest Ponzi Scheme because it has issued an absurd amount of money to Congress to spend like drunken sailors all over the World. In fact so many American debt-notes aka “US Petro Dollars” have been spent and disbursed all over the world that experts now believe that eventually, if not sooner than later, the value of the US Petro Dollar will easily descend to almost nothing. This descent to minimal value will likely be greatly accelerated when the BRICS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BANK comes on line in the near future. The US Petro Dollar has functioned as the World’s Reserve Currency ever since an arrangement was negotiated by President Richard Nixon who took America off the Gold Standard at that time. But once the BRICS System goes live, many economic experts expect the Worldwide USDollar Derivative System, the largest Ponzi scheme in History, to collapse like a house of cards. Once this happens there is likely to be a catastrophic collapse in the vale of the USDollar and it will become unlinked to oil sales and will no longer be the World’s Reserve Currency. Now for the really bad news. As of right now there are supposedly 139 nations that have signed onto the BRICS System, either by actually signing the Agreement or sending a Letter of Intent to do so. This now includes Germany, France, Australia and picture this, even the UK. It is no secret that the BRICS System originated in the imagination of the leaders of Russia, China and Brazil who felt that they had been used and abused due to the USD being used against them. Much of the World now feels that America has used the US Petro Dollar as a means to abuse them economically and politically and want to completely detach all their trade from it and eliminate the great advantage American economy has had from their debt-notes being accepted as the World’s Reserve Currency. Perhaps the USG view the BRICS phenomena as the pet-project of President Putin and the Russian Federation and is now attempting to start a New Cold War despite the fact that the Soviet Union and Russian Bolshevism no longer exists in the Russian Federation, only in the City of London where it originated, and in Israel, the sole surviving nation-state remnant of Russian Bolshevism. How did this illegal, Unconstitutional Federal Reserve System which claims to be a Bank and a Cash Reserve, when it is neither, get themselves and America into this current impasse and unresolvable debacle in the first place? This was all accomplished through political intrigue and covert operations run by the City of London Rothschild run Zionist Central bankers. it was also accomplished by a partnership between Big Oil run by the World Zionists and the private Federal reserve System. Here is the part that is hard for most to fathom. The Zionist controlled Big Oil companies have used America’s debt-note system as political and financial cover to enslave the world and make many millions complete debt-slaves to the City of London Bankers and their stateside franchisee the Federal Reserve System. Accountability is perhaps right around the corner. The Federal Reserve System’s proxy hold on the World is now facing a sudden catastrophic end. Those who created and still run this huge Ponzi scheme and fraud against the American people and the  World, are going to fall flat on their faces and be fully exposed. they are likely to then be held accountable for this immense financial fraud and theft of the ages upon America and the World. Unless……….they create some immediate catastrophic cover and use this as a means to activate their World Zionist secret police occupation force DHS inside America. Serious options for the Bankster Kingpins to be able to head-off a very serious problem of impending and complete accountability to the public they have asset stripped of most of their wealth, jobs and futures. If the US Petro Dollar collapses and a catastrophic Global reset occurs as is expected (unless somehow mitigated), those bankers responsible will be fingered and held accountable one way or another unless they do something major.Their options include starting a nuclear WW3 with the Russian Federation and/or China, instituting a major epidemic that kills many millions inside America, or starting a new American Civil War between their Zionist Occupation force Homeland Security (DHS) and the American Gun Owners, hunters, Veterans, Patriots and folks who have “woken up” to the USG scam and major illegal power grab since 1913 and the USG Assassination of JFK. The USG is now working hard to start a major war with Putin and the Russian Federation over Crimea using Cutout Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland. She has admitted that the USG has already funneled 5 Billion USD to the Ukraine Leaders, and many experts view this as money to support Terrorist actions and attacks against Pro-Russian Federation people living in the Ukraine, especially Crimea. Putin, the consummate Statesman, doesn’t show his cards, but perhaps holds a full hand. So far, Putin has shown himself to be a true Statesman and has avoided the USG provocations which are clearly dictated by the City of London World Zionists. It should be pointed out that it is probably not a wise choice to continue these provocations unless the USG truly wants a nuclear WW3, since experts who know Putin personally, claim that he will become a very resourceful and competent opponent in any forced war effort against the Russian Federation.So far there appears to be an unwillingness in the High Command of the US Military to engage in any Nuclear WW3 with the Russian Federation. It such is ordered I suspect there will be stalling and recommendations further analysis and space based satellite Intel must be reviewed carefully. Avoidance of accountability for the Zionist that seized America in a secret Coup d’ etat in 1913 with the passage of the illegal, Unconstitutional Federal Reserve Act is dependent on the Zionists getting complete control over America, disarming all Americans, and instituting of martial law using their Secret Police Occupation Army inside America, Homeland Security (DHS). If they fail in this, basically its over for them and their evil spell on America will be forever broken and millions will demand justice.  And as the masses demand justice they will insist on prosecutions of all involved, bankers and Politicians and actions to “claw-back” all the alleged lawful BAILOUT funding, as well as the complete cancellation of all the USG deficit which is a phony debt anyhow. It would be an understatement to describe these perps who run this huge Ponzi Scheme as in a state on ongoing panic. Normally their Hubris would deaden any such anxiety or fear, but this time they can easily imagine their whole system coming down upon them like a House of Cards blown apart by the BRICS System as soon as it comes on line. The World Zionists tried to draw our Great Nation America into another major war for Israel and the Multinational Oil companies. President Obama is caught right in the middle of all this. His current strategy is to beg for an impeachment attempt which he knows will be blocked in the US Senate where he has a clear majority of Democrats. He believes this will strengthen his position and he can say, “See I am the real President and cannot be impeded any longer.” Then perhaps he plans to keep instituting what he can’t get Congress to do using “Executive Orders” which many view as illegitimate, unlawful and Unconstitutional. Actually he is not really the President at all and neither were any others supposedly elected after President Ronald Reagan became President on January 20 1989 after winning his election.(2) Lately President Obama has been threatening Putin and the Russian Federation with serious sanctions. This has been unwise because Putin hand other nations have countered by making huge Intel dumps into the public sector of exceedingly embarrassing incriminating information related to the hijacking and asset stripping of America by World Zionists working out of the City of London and their use of Nuclear Blackmail to manipulate and control numerous US presidents since Ronald Reagan. European Allies are ditching America at an unprecedented rate as never before. The US Administration and the AIPAC controlled members of Congress were hoping that Germany and France would join the US sanctions against the Russian Federation.  No dice, they both buy a great deal of oil and Natural gas from the Russian Federation and understand such an actions would be stupid, easily ending up doubling their pricing of such or even higher. Conclusion: There are numerous Intel insiders and true Patriot “Intel Cowboys — White Hats”, members of the High Military Command and many others who are working to restore the American Dollar to what it should rightfully be, real true Constitutional money, backed by Gold and other commodities. This coming major World Financial Reset should more realistically be called a World Monetary “Restart” or “Re-grouping” rather than “Reset.” The final result of all this is likely to be a major Restart and Re-grouping of monetary and credit policy inside America and a restoration of Constitutional currency without offshore, City of London controlled foreign invaders disguised as bankers. As long as cooler heads prevail and prevent the World Zionists invaders and hijackers of America from starting a nuclear WW3, or a major new war in the Mideast or the Ukraine, or Homeland Security from provoking a major Civil War inside America, it looks like Americans will see a return of the real USDollar, real United States Constitutional Money. *Lee Wanta was a former Presidential Secret Agent under the Totten Doctrine [92 U.S. 105, 107 (1875), National Security Decision - Directive Number 166, dated March 27, 1985, inter alia] under U.S. President Ronald W. Reagan, whom some experts consider to be our last legally and duly elected President. Ambassador Wanta served – under Presidential Mandate – as a close personal consultant to President Reagan and was credited with having a major role engineering an end to the Soviet Union Cold War and the “tearing down of the Iron Curtain”. Ambassador Wanta negotiated a ground-breaking Agreement of Cooperation between the United States of America and the new Russian Federation. This historical Agreement was a notable win/win situation based on a new mutual respect for each others borders. An important Part of this Agreement was to never interfere with nations bordering each other’s country. Ambassador Wanta’s remarkable story is now revealed in detail for the first time in a book authored by his biographer, Marilyn MaGruder Barnewell, titled, “Wanta! Black Swan,White Hat”, and numerous articles written about his detailed plans to revitalize America which have been published on   References: (1) (2) (3)   Addendum: (Note: Fair use only for intellectual discussion) True News Update: 30 July 2014. Folks, I SWEAR…you just can’t make this stuff up! Even if you found one of Hollywood’s worst screen writers, and asked them to concoct a plot that would start World War III…even they wouldn’t try to pass any of this stuff off as being plausible…but then again, this isn’t a movie, it’s real life, and it’s messy, and here are the FACTS as we know them now: 1.)    In 2010: Brazil, Russia, China and India formed a new international trading bloc called BRIC. 2.)    In 2011, South Africa joined this union and it was renamed BRICS. 3.)    As of 2013: the five BRICS countries represent almost 3 billion people which is 40% of the world population, with a combined nominal GDP of $16.039 trillion (20% world GDP) and an estimated US$4 trillion in combined foreign reserves. As of 2014, the BRICS nations represented 18 percent of the world economy. 4.)    In 2013: During the fifth BRICS summit in Durban, South Africa, the member countries agreed to create a global financial institution which they intended to rival the western-dominated IMF and World Bank. 5.)    In 2013: In December, BRICS member Russia and Ukraine agreed to a $15-billion loan and a more than 30% cut in the price of Russian natural gas. 6.)    In 2013: In December, Ukraine turned down an EU loan of $15 billion because it came with too many bad conditions…such as 50% energy hikes to its peoples, and the selling off to both EU and US all state owned companies. 7.)    In 2014: In February, a US-backed coup overthrew Ukraine’s elected government and installed a right-wing government friendly to the US and EU. 8.)    In 2014: In March, Crimea declared its independence from Ukraine and joined the Russian Federation. 9.)    In 2014: In March, a number of Russian speaking regions in eastern Ukraine declared their independence…WAR BEGINS! Now to TRULY understand what is going on in Ukraine you have to understand that being there is like being in Chicago during the 1920′s-1930′s when gang warfare ruled everyone’s life. But, instead of Al Capone fighting it out with Dutch Shultz, in Ukraine you have the neo-Nazi western gangs battling it out against the Russian eastern gangs. That’s right…Ukraine is now, and has been for decades, one of the most corrupt nations in the world ruled by powerful gangs (both east and west) who if their leaders aren’t in prison, they are ruling the country! For anyone wanting to believe, REALLY BELIEVE, that Russia wants any part of eastern Ukraine you couldn’t be more mistaken. For example…how many of you would want to own Detroit, Newark, Baltimore…or any other such dilapidated, antiquated and corrupt area? On the other hand…how many Americans would fight to defend Detroit, Newark or Baltimore if the Mexicans invaded and started to kill off their citizens? More simply put….eastern Ukraine (indeed the whole country) is a proverbial “tar baby” that NO ONE REALLY WANTS…EVER! So if no one really wants Ukraine, you ask, why is about to cause World War III? Simple…nearly all of the energy supplies that flow from Russia to the EU go through it. Even worse (at least for the US), Russia is preparing to start selling its energy supplies to the EU in anything other than the US Dollar! But guess what? That’s right! If the US controls Ukraine’s pipelines it can also control what currency the EU nations pay for it! Last year, you may remember, the US attempted this same Great Game gambit when they tried to overthrow the Syrian government in order to “clear a path” for Qatar and Saudi Arabia gas pipelines to connect with Turkey’s thus bypassing Russia. That still hasn’t worked out so far, has it? So with their being blocked in both Syria and Ukraine from achieving their goal of continuing their US Dollar hegemony…what’s the poor US superpower supposed to do? START WORLD WAR III!!! Now the US is trying to convince you that Putin is the reincarnation of Hitler, Stalin, Genghis Khan…you name it! Putin, while leading his Russian hordes, Obama wants you to believe, is responsible for EVERYTHING! He bombs babies…he shoots down planes…he (maybe) even killed Santa Claus! Proof you ask? HOW UN-AMERICAN CAN YOU BE TO ASK THAT QUESTION? To even question Obama and his media acolytes is akin to treason….like those members of the United States Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) who sent a letter to the President yesterday basically telling him: “ARE YOU NUTS?” Or some of the top financial experts in the US who this week warned that World War III is coming. Such as Billionaire hedge fund manager Kyle Bass who said: “Trillions of dollars of debts will be restructured and millions of financially prudent savers will lose large percentages of their real purchasing power at exactly the wrong time in their lives. Again, the world will not end, but the social fabric of the profligate nations will be stretched and in some cases torn. Sadly, looking back through economic history, all too often war is the manifestation of simple economic entropy played to its logical conclusion. We believe that war is an inevitable consequence of the current global economic situation.” But not worry too much Folks! After all, Obama and his “friends” are going to sanction Russia until they collapse! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? Russia wrote the BOOK on how a large nation survives sanctions…and over the past quarter century has insulated itself to such a degree that no one can really hurt it. And don’t forget….why should Russia care about the US or EU when it’s got as it’s customers China, India, all of South America, and just about every other semi-developing nation (i.e. growing) nation on Earth as its customers? Remember…Russia has oodles and oodles of things other nations (especially growing ones) need…like really cheap oil and gas, iron, steel, precious metals, wood, you name it, it has it all! Now for any Americans who REALLY want to believe that the EU is going to join World War III against Russia…THINK AGAIN! Right about now, in fact, the people in Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy would most likely join with Russia in fighting against the EU! After all, they’ve nothing better to do since almost all of them are out of work anyway. So here’s the bottom line folks….wars get starting (especially really big ones) for the stupidest and smallest of reasons that NO ONE sees coming. And the ONLY protection against them is not starting them in the first place! Now I’m here to tell you that this one can be stopped too! You just have to STOP believing the propaganda being heaped on you and listen to the truth! And once you know the truth…tell your leaders their game is up and you’re not going to put up with it this time! (See below for Links you need to know about) Russia, China, India Ready to Launch Rival to World Bank US Dollar’s Days Are Numbered as BRICS Meet France lashes out against US dollar, calls for ‘rebalancing’ of world currencies Currency Wars Intensify As Russia Buys 18.6 Tonnes Of Gold In June Top Financial Experts Say World War 3 Is Coming … Unless We Stop It American Intelligence Officers Who Battled the Soviet Union for Decades Slam the Flimsy “Intelligence” Against Russia Australian govt blindfolds citizens with ‘unprecedented’ media gag order – WikiLeaks a move to restrict Russia’s access to EU capital markets, new sanctions ban EU nationals and companies to buy or sell new bonds, equity or similar financial instruments with a maturity exceeding 90 days, issued by state-owned Russian banks, development banks, their subsidiaries and those acting on their behalf. Russia’s Top Import Partners Russia’s Top 10 Exports U.S. Exports to World Total by 5-digit End-Use Code 2004 – 2013 Russia bans Polish fruit and vegetable in apparent retaliation for sanctions Oil Deals Make Putin Immune to Sanctions Rosneft agreed to purchase drilling and oilfield service assets owned by Weatherford International in Venezuela as part of Rosneft’s development of its energy service business.   Oil and gas companies want Washington to believe that fracking can save Ukraine from Russia. It can’t. Ukraine: Stop! Thief! Stop! Kiev’s hastily assembled, post-coup coalitions couldn’t hold, and Ukrainian PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk threw in the towel last Thursday. On his way out, news stories said, the PM expressed his “disappointment with Ukrainian parliament’s decision to reject a bill that allows the government to hand over up to 49 percent of the country’s gas transport system to investors from the European Union and the United States.” Ukraine’s pipelines will lose 50% of value when South Stream starts Huge US Military Buildup In Ukraine Ukraine rebel chief Igor Bezler threatens to execute interviewer Moscow may walk out of nuclear treaty after US accusations of breach  
  • Mr. President, What Are You Waiting For?
    Mr. President, What Are You Waiting For?An open letter to President Barack Obama President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500   Dear Mr. President  "VT" I am writing to you this personal letter, because you, perhaps more than any other person on this earth can make a difference between war and peace, between justice and injustice, between right and wrong and you as leader of this great nation can steer America back to its principals and ideals as a world leader standing for freedom and justice for all. Not so sure what was your agreement with Bibi Netanyahu when he commenced his criminal war on Gaza? Not so sure what was the figures or numbers of causalities that are acceptable to both of you? Not  sure if a thousand or two thousand or three thousands or ten thousands innocent Palestinians lives in Gaza are sufficient to stop this criminal war and enough for”mowing the lawn” this time around. Not so sure if the injuries should be 7,000 or 10,000 or 15,000 and whether the destruction of 5,000 or 10,000 homes and buildings would justify the US interference for it to demand an immediate end to this blatant aggression. Not so sure of the number of civilians targets acceptable to you and to Bibi Netanyahu and whether deliberate attacks on hospitals, on schools, on old age nursing homes, and attacks on infrastructures such as the US funded electricity power generation ( only one in Gaza) is part of the destruction and punishment of the people of Gaza. And whether deliberate targeting of little children playing on the beach is acceptable and part of the agreement with Netanyahu. You should know that Israel on previous occasions totally destroyed Gaza International Airport, Gaza Sea Port and over 40,000 homes and buildings. I and millions here in the US and around the world not knowing the extent to which you as president and leader of the US is willing to allow Israel to continue with its criminal war on Gaza. Dear Mr. President, You and so many within your administration and US media always claim and justify Israel’s continued aggressions and war crime as “self defense”. Did you and your administration ever think that the people of Gaza also have the right to “self defense” no different to that of Israel and its people. Do you think as an intelligent person perhaps a moral person that you and your administration should know that Israel never ended its occupation of Gaza. And how can you justify the illegal and continued siege and blockade of Gaza? A blockade that kept Gaza under siege for over 8 years, with more than 2 million people kept in large concentration camp minus the “ovens”. Blocked and prevented Gazans from free access to the world, prevented from Gazans from importing goods and services directly for their needs and prevented from being secure and safe just like the Israelis leaving the “tunnels” as their only means of getting what they need.  If the people of Gaza are denied their safety and security why should Israel and the Israelis have theirs. Do you think it is right and fair for Israel to vacate its soldiers and criminal settlers from Gaza, and keep its siege and blockade and prevent the people of Gaza from importing pasta and tomatoes sauce afraid that such items be used for military purpose? How insulting to Israelis before it is to Palestinians. Do you think it is right and in keeping with the moral principals and ideals of the US to accept the notion that Israel as an Occupying power can develop a “calorie count” enough to keep the people of Gaza close to starvation but not to die? As a candidate for the presidency, you made it a point to visit the Israeli town of Sedrot showing support, but chose not to visit Gaza and witness first hand the damage done on a daily basis by the Israeli military machine funded and supplied by our citizens and taxpayers. Do you think it is right for Israel to use all its military might from F-15 and F-16, tanks, artillery, tanks, smart bombs, and assault ships to target civilian, wiping out entire neighborhoods and killing entire families while denying the rights of the Palestinians to use “useless” poorly aimed rockets that does little damage and hardly any deaths? Why the double standards? Or should Israel have the absolute right to use whatever in its arsenal while the helpless Palestinians could not use what little they have. Do you think it is right for the Palestinians to accept the occupation, land theft, mass kidnapping, targeted killings by the IDF, jailing of hundreds of thousands without charges, demolitions of homes, uprooting and burning of century old olive trees, attacks by criminal armed settlers without any right to self defense. The Palestinians have been subjected to incitement of hatred by Jewish Rabbis in Israel and in America, subjected to incitement of hatred by senior politicians ( one member of the Knesset, certainly a Russian immigrant proposed the mass killings of ALL Palestinian mothers) and had to endure the daily humiliations at the more than 500 “security checkpoints” enduring the waiting for hours to get to their farms ,if allowed, or to visit their neighbors and family, let alone travel on segregated roads while denied the right to travel on designated “Jewish Only Roads” and have to endure living between an Apartheid Wall that snakes its way through villages, farms even homes and barbed wires on the other side.  Should the Palestinians simply accept their fate and and simply die without a fight? Mr. President You of all people, a lawyer, a civil right activist who won the Noble Peace Prize should think that people under Occupation have NO right to self-defense, have NO rights to resort to armed resistance against a military Occupation, let alone the Israeli Occupation? An occupation that lasted more than 47 years not to mention the initial occupation of Palestine and the forced exile of majority of Palestinians from present day Israeli. Not so sure when the last time you looked at the map of Palestine and saw the extents of the “Judifications” of the West Bank. The late Yasser Arafat not only aborted the First Intifada which was the closest thing the Palestinians came to a national civil unarmed uprising that could have without the interference from Yasser Arafat and the PLO could have brought the people closer to freedom and ending the Israeli Jewish Occupation. The US and the world cheered Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas and PLO leadership for negotiating Oslo, for granting Israel full and unconditional recognition with open borders, Jerusalem, no Rights of Return and look what Arafat, Abbas and the PLO got in return. Continued military and settlers occupations, security cooperation with Israel for its army and armed settlers, relieving Israel from the financial burden of the Occupation, ever expanding Jewish settlements, ever expanding security check points, perpetual endless negotiations, a corrupt incompetent administrations that fails to protect its people from daily attacks by the IDF and armed Jewish settlers. The question begs itself what did the Palestinians get under Oslo? Nothing, in fact they are worst off today than before Oslo? This Palestinian leadership failed the Palestinians at every turn and failed the Palestinians in liberation and ending the Israeli Jewish Occupation through negotiations while raking hundreds of millions in its private bank accounts, denied the right to civil uprising. The Israeli military and criminal settlers Occupation continued, with Israel leaving little land for the future “Palestinian State”. And if you look at the ever expanding settlements, the future “Palestinian State” that Mahmoud Abbas been begging for over 22 years will look like a “Swiss Cheese” more holes and less cheese with some 500,000 illegal criminal trespassing settlers occupying more than 60% of the future Palestinian State. You Mr. President should know better. The US was never a fair honest broker, if anything dishonest, and has always stood in the way of implementing UNSC resolutions. Always stood in the way of getting to peaceful solution that addresses Israel’s needs and address the legitimate needs of Palestinians for the Rights of Return, a shared open Jerusalem for all, an end to the Occupation. The US, its chief executives, its Congress and media always supported Israel right and wrong and are key partners of this most inhuman occupation. Mr. President I and millions of people in the US and around the world think it is time for you to earn the Noble Peace Prize awarded to you in anticipation of being the “ Peace President” and the first step should be to address the nation and let the American people know who is the abstinent intransigent party that have blocked peace in the Middle East, frank and honest and factual talk, and yes speak of the role of the American Jewish leadership in blocking any kind of peace. You Mr. President should have the courage to do the right thing, to issue an executive order to stop all military, political and financial aid to Israel until its agrees to unilaterally vacate the Occupied Territories since 1967 and to negotiate a fair and equitable deal to address the Right of Return in accordance with UNSC resolution, giving Israel a time limit to do that, not years but months, including the vacating of all illegal criminal trespassing Jewish settlers. If it can occupy the land in days, then it can vacate it in weeks. Otherwise, there will be no choice for the Palestinians but to dump the PLO/PA and chase its leadership out of Ramallah and seek a One State for ALL of its citizens even if the Palestinians have to live in an Apartheid State and fight for equal citizenship. Thank you Mr. President, please let your heart and mind decide your course of action and not worry about what Republicans might do to your agenda. Please trust the American people sense of fairness and decency. They will be on your side and on the side of justice and peace. American and the American people have paid a very high price because of Israel and its occupation. Thank you Mr. President, God bless. Sami Jamil Jadallah US Army Veteran Note: 5 brothers served honorably in the American military ( 3 Army and 2 Marines).
  • US resupplying Israel with ammunition even after condemning shelling of Gaza school
    US resupplying Israel with ammunition even after condemning shelling of Gaza schoolBy RTNo sooner than the White House condemned the shelling of a United Nations-operated school in Gaza on Wednesday did news break that the Pentagon will supply the Israeli military with new ammunition to further their campaign on the war-ravaged city. That afternoon, CNN reported that the United States military will be honoring a request from Israel for assistance in the midst of their weeks-long campaign against militants from Hamas residing in Gaza City. According to the network, Pentagon officials have confirmed that the US will honor a request from Israel for several types of ammunition, including 120mm mortar rounds and 40mm ammunition for grenade launchers. The exchange will not be an emergency sale, the unnamed officials said, and is coming from a stockpile of weapons maintained by the US in Israel worth more than $1 billion. Only moments beforehand, however, the White House officially spoke out against an attack attributed to the IDF from earlier that day on an UN Relief and Works Agency school in Gaza’s Jabaliya refugee camp. Officials in Gaza say the shelling killed at least 15 and wounded 90 others, and is but the latest strike waged by the IDF in a war against Hamas that continues to claim the lives of Palestinian civilians caught in the crossfire. “The United States condemns the shelling of a UNRWA school in Gaza, which reportedly killed and injured innocent Palestinians – including children – and UN humanitarian workers,” Bernadette Meehan, a spokesperson for US President Barack Obama’s National Security Council, said in a statement. "We are extremely concerned that thousands of internally displaced Palestinians who have been called on by the Israeli military to evacuate their homes are not safe in UN designated shelters in Gaza. We also condemn those responsible for hiding weapons in United Nations facilities in Gaza. All of these actions, and similar ones earlier in the conflict, are inconsistent with the UN’s neutrality. This violence underscores the need to achieve a cease-fire as soon as possible.” The White House neglected to blame Israel by name for the attack, but both a military spokesperson and a lieutenant colonel in the IDF admitted the nation’s role in the offensive to New York Times journalists reporting from Gaza on Wednesday. Palestinian militants “opened fire at Israeli soldiers from the vicinity” of the school early Wednesday, the spokesperson told the paper, and Israeli troops “responded by firing toward the origins of the fire.” Pierre Krähenbühl, the commissioner-general of the UNRWA, tweeted that Wednesday’s attack was the sixth time one of his organization’s school have been hit by one of these strikes. “Children, woman and men killed [and] injured as they slept in place where they should have been safe and protected. They were not. Intolerable,” he wrote in one Twitter post’ “Our staff leading [international] response are being killed. This is a breaking point,” in another. Last week, the UN Human Rights Council agreed to investigate the “widespread, systematic and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms” that have been attributed to Israel since their latest campaign on Gaza launched on June 13. Twenty-nine countries approved the motion, with the US being the only abstainer. As Israel’s operation escalated through the weekend, on Monday the UN Security Council finally called for both Israel and Hamas "to accept and fully implement the humanitarian cease-fire into the Eid period and beyond." Just two days later, the Pentagon will reportedly now re-supply one of the two parties at war with additional ammunition. The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza said earlier this week that at least 1,242 people there have died since the latest Israeli operation began. As many as 80 percent of the dead may be civilians, the UN has estimated.
  • Revelations of German Pilot: Shocking Analysis of the “Shooting Down” of Malaysian MH17.
    Revelations of German Pilot: Shocking Analysis of the “Shooting Down” of Malaysian MH17. “Aircraft Was Not Hit by a Missile”By Peter Haisenko "Global Research"Zur deutschen Version bitte hier anklicken The tragedy of Malaysian MH 017 continues to elude any light of clarity being cast over it. The flight recorders are in England and are evaluated. What can come of it? Maybe more than you would assume. Especially the voice recorder will be interesting when you look at the picture of a cockpit fragment. As an expert in aviation I closely looked at the images of the wreckage that are circulating on the Internet. Peter Haisenko in Cockpit of Condor DC 10 First, I was amazed at how few photos can be found from the wreckage with Google. All are in low resolution, except one: The fragment of the cockpit below the window on the pilots side. This image, however, is shocking. In Washington, you can now hear views expressed of a “potentially tragic error / accident” regarding MH 017. Given this particular cockpit image it does not surprise me at all. Entry and exit impact holes of projectiles in the cockpit area Source for all photos: Internet I recommend to click on the little picture to the left. You can download this photo as a PDF in good resolution. This is necessary, because that will allow you understand what I am describing here. The facts speak clear and loud and are beyond the realm of speculation: The cockpit shows traces of shelling! You can see the entry and exit holes. The edge of a portion of the holes is bent inwards. These are the smaller holes, round and clean, showing the entry points most likely that of a 30 millimeter caliber projectile. The edge of the other, the larger and slightly frayed exit holes showing shreds of metal pointing produced by the same caliber projectiles. Moreover, it is evident that at these exit holes of the outer layer of the double aluminum reinforced structure are shredded or bent – outwardly! Furthermore, minor cuts can be seen, all bent outward, which indicate that shrapnel had forcefully exited through the outer skin from the inside of the cockpit. The open rivets are are also bent outward. In sifting through the available images one thing stands out: All wreckage of the sections behind the cockpit are largely intact, except for the fact that only fragments of the aircraft remained . Only the cockpit part shows these peculiar marks of destruction. This leaves the examiner with an important clue. This aircraft was not hit by a missile in the central portion. The destruction is limited to the cockpit area. Now you have to factor in that this part is constructed of specially reinforced material. This is on account of the nose of any aircraft having to withstand the impact of a large bird at high speeds. You can see in the photo, that in this area significantly stronger aluminum alloys were being installed than in the remainder of the outer skin of the fuselage. One remembers the crash of Pan Am over Lockerbie. It was a large segment of the cockpit that due to the special architecture survived the crash in one piece. In the case of flight MH 017 it becomes abundantly clear that there also an explosion took place inside the aircraft. Tank destroying mix of ammunition Bullet holes in the outer skin So what could have happened? Russia recently published radar recordings, that confirm at least one Ukrainian SU 25 in close proximity to MH 017. This corresponds with the statement of the now missing Spanish controller ‘Carlos’ that has seen two Ukrainian fighter aircraft in the immediate vicinity of MH 017. If we now consider the armament of a typical SU 25 we learn this: It is equipped with a double-barreled 30-mm gun, type GSh-302 / AO-17A, equipped with: a 250 round magazine of anti-tank incendiary shells and splinter-explosive shells (dum-dum), arranged in alternating order. The cockpit of the MH 017 has evidently been fired at from both sides: the entry and exit holes are found on the same fragment of it’s cockpit segment! Now just consider what happens when a series of anti-tank incendiary shells and splinter-explosive shells hit the cockpit. These are after all designed to destroy a modern tank. The anti-tank incendiary shells partially traversed the cockpit and exited on the other side in a slightly deformed shape. (Aviation forensic experts could possibly find them on the ground presumably controlled by the Kiev Ukrainian military; the translator). After all, their impact is designed to penetrate the solid armor of a tank. Also, the splinter-explosive shells will, due to their numerous impacts too cause massive explosions inside the cockpit, since they are designed to do this. Given the rapid firing sequence of the GSh-302 cannon, it will cause a rapid succession of explosions within the cockpit area in a very short time. Remeber each of these is sufficient to destroy a tank. What “mistake” was actually being committed – and by whom? Graze on the wing Because the interior of a commercial aircraft is a hermetically sealed pressurized chamber, the explosions will, in split second, increase the pressure inside the cabin to extreme levels or breaking point. An aircraft is not equipped for this, it will burst like a balloon. This explains a coherent scenario. The largely intact fragments of the rear sections broke in mid air at the weaker points of construction most likely under extreme internal air pressure. The images of the widely scattered field of debris and the brutally damaged segment of cockpit fit like hand in glove. Furthermore, a wing segment shows traces of a grazing shot, which in direct extension leads to the cockpit. Interestingly, I found that both the high-resolution photo of the fragment of bullet riddled cockpit as well as the segment of grazed wing have in the meantime disappeared from Google Images. One can find virtually no more pictures of the wreckage, except the well known smoking ruins. If you listen to the voices from Washington now who speak of a “potentially tragic error / accident”, all that remains is the question of what might have been the nature of this “mistake” perpetrated here. I am not given to hover long in the realm of speculation, but would like to invite others to consider the following : The MH 017 looked similar in it’s tricolor design to that that of the Russian President’s plane. The plane with President Putin on board was at the same time ”near” Malaysia MH 017. In aviation circles “close” would be considered to be anywhere between 150 to 200 miles. Also, in this context we might consider the deposition of Ms. Tymoshenko, who wanted to shoot President Putin with a Kalashnikov. But that this remains pure speculation. The shelling of the cockpit of air Malaysia MH 017, however, is definitely not speculation. 
  • Russia fears Kiev trying to destroy implicating MH17 evidence
    Russia fears Kiev trying to destroy implicating MH17 evidenceBy RTKiev authorities may be seeking to “destroy evidence” which implicates their role in the crash of the Malaysian jet, Russia's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said, expressing concerns over the ongoing military operation in E. Ukraine in breach of UN resolution. LIVE UPDATES: Malaysia Airlines MH17 plane crash in Ukraine According to Churkin, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko promised a cease-fire in the disaster area,“but this promise was immediately broken, while Ukrainian officials have publicly announced a new task – to cleanse of the militias and take control of this territory," Churkin said in New York. Such actions directly violate UN Security Council resolution 2166, which calls for a ceasefire and for thorough and impartial investigation into the Boeing tragedy under the ICAO umbrella, Churkin added. “We fear that Kiev authorities are moved by the intention to destroy evidence, implicating their role in the Malaysian airliner catastrophe,” Churkin said. In order to ensure compliance with the ceasefire resolution and reinforce it, on Monday the Russian delegation to the UN proposed to adopt“a simple and unambiguous statement to the press.” “However, [Russia’s proposal] was unceremoniously blocked by some members of the Security Council, clearly not interested in strict compliance with resolution 2166,” Churkin explained. Once again urging for a ceasefire in Ukraine, Churkin reminded the Council that the Netherlands, Australia and Malaysia have mobilized “considerable resources” to investigate the crash. A woman walks past wreckage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), Donetsk region July 26, 2014. (Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin) Russia in the meantime handed over its surveillance data of the disaster area of the Boeing 777 crash. "We have passed the objective observation data of the disaster area to the international organizations, including the UN and the OSCE. We expect that others will also act concretely and constructively, instead of spreading unsubstantiated accusations and insinuations," said the Russian diplomat. The Ambassador said that Russia is “offering all kinds of assistance to the investigation," highlighting that Russian Civil Aviation Authorities “promptly formulated questions that need to be clarified to reveal the full picture of the tragedy." Malaysian Boeing disaster – Russia’s questions to Ukraine At the same time, Churkin pointed out that despite the willingness of anti-Kiev forces to cooperate with the efforts of the investigators, as noted by Australia's MH17 special envoy and former Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, the investigative team is still having trouble reaching the crash site. “One of the key provisions of the resolution, which was included at the insistence of the Russian delegation, is the requirement to immediately, in the area adjacent to the site of the disaster, cease all military action in order to allow for safety and security during the international investigation.” ‘Vicious circle of violence’ Churkin reminded that the world hoped that the Berlin Declaration of July 2 would be able to break the “vicious circle of violence,” but Kiev has shown no mercy since then. “However, in practice the cruelty of Kiev authorities in fighting is going through the roof. Donetsk, Lugansk, Gorlovka and many other localities have undergone massive bombardments, including indiscriminate Grad fire and aerial assaults,” Churkin said, pointing out that residential buildings, hospitals and transportation hubs are deliberately being bombed. A woman walks out of a damaged multi-storey block of flats carrying her belongings following what locals say was recent shelling by Ukrainian forces in central Donetsk, July 29, 2014. (Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin) In most cases, Churkin pointed out, anti-Kiev forces were nowhere near those objects. He also raised questions about the reported use of ballistic missiles by the Ukrainian military, which is another clear sign of a “rampant military escalation.” Russia qualifies Kiev's actions as “a punitive operation against its own people,” the envoy said. READ MORE: Kiev forces fire ballistic missiles into E. Ukraine Russia is on the receiving end of the conflict, as hundreds of thousands refugees crossing into the Russian territory, more than 150,000 of whom already officially filed for temporary asylum and Russian citizenship, Churkin said. In the meantime Ukraine continues to shell Russian territory near the border, Churkin reminded. The priority now, the diplomat said, should be to end the hostilities and to establish a peaceful negotiation process on the basis of the Geneva Declaration of April 17 and the Berlin Declaration of July 2. ‘Exclusionary’ diplomacy fails Palestinians Touching on other issues, Churkin switched over to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, blaming the US for its approach to mediating the violent crisis. “As the practice shows, crises in Israeli-Palestinian relations often arise as a result of failure of US unilateral efforts to reconcile the warring parties. We have repeatedly pointed out that the 'exclusionary' method has exhausted itself,” he said, adding that a new mechanism of crisis resolution is needed to deal with this urgent matter. Smoke rises following what witnesses said was an Israeli air strike in Gaza City July 30, 2014. (Reuters/Suhaib Salem)