SELECTED ARTICLES


Following are selected articles--some in English, some in French--which appear in Dr. Tremblay's blog at www.TheNewAmericanEmpire.com/blog


Click on the title to read the article.

June 28, 2016

The 2016 U.S. Election: A Possible Repeat of the 1964 Election?

May 30, 2016
Barack Obama’s Meager Legacy of incomplete accomplishments and of provoked wars: What happened?


May 15, 2016
Why Have Politicians Abandoned Economic and Financial Policies to Non-Elected Bankers?
The EUROPEAN FINANCIAL REVIEW pp 51-55
By Rodrigue Tremblay



April 17, 2016
Ten Reasons Why Bill and Hillary Clinton Do Not Deserve a Third Term in the White House

February 20, 2016
The Lies, Fabrications and Forgeries of the Bush-Cheney administration to Go to War Against Iraq, for Oil and for Israel


January 23, 2016
Financial Turmoil and Increasing Risks of a Severe Worldwide Economic Recession in 2016-17


September 18, 2015
A Confused Situation as to Syria and ISIS

June 25, 2015
Pitfalls of Economic Globalisation

April 13, 2015
The Normalization of U.S.-Cuba Relations: the Best Accomplishment of President Barack Obama


February 27, 2015
International Islamist Terrorism: It's More than a Mere Question of Semantics

January 2, 2015

2015: A Pivotal Year for Economic and Financial Crises and Wars?

November 7, 2014
The Vicious Politico-religious Sunni-Shi’ite Civil War that the U.S. Government has Ignited in Iraq and in Syria


October 14, 2014
PERSONAL EULOGY of EMERITUS PROFESSOR RONALD IAN McKINNON,
Stanford University


September 19, 2014
In Iraq and Syria, A Vietnam-type Quagmire over Oil and Gas?


August 15, 2014
Bill Clinton’s Three Crucial Neocon-inspired Decisions that Led to Three Major Crises in our Times

July 11, 2014
The Blundering  Obama Administration and its Apparent Incoherent Foreign Policy


April 1, 2014
Le chef du PLQ M. Philippe Couillard fait peur


March 19, 2014
La Charte des valeurs est nécessaire et raisonnable et il faut un gouvernement Marois majoritaire pour l’adopter

March 9, 2014
Ukraine: A Classic “False Flag” Operation to provoke an armed “Coup d'état” ?

March 4, 2014
The Bush-Obama's Neocon Foreign Policy of Isolating Russia and of Expanding NATO is a Dismal Failure



June 28, 2016
The 2016 U.S. Election: A Possible Repeat of the 1964 Election?
By Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay
(Author of the books “The Code for Global Ethics”, and
 The New American Empire)


I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”
Barry Goldwater (1909-1998)
US Senator (R-Arizona) and 1964 Republican Presidential candidate, (in his Acceptance speech as the 1964 Republican Presidential candidate, in San Francisco, July 16, 1964)
 
“Sometimes, I think this country would be better off if we could just saw off the Eastern Seaboard and let it float out to sea.”
Barry Goldwater (1909-1998)
US Senator (R-Arizona) and 1964 Republican Presidential candidate, (in a December 1961 news conference)
 
We’re going to hit them and we’re going to hit them hard. I’m talking about a surgical strike on these ISIS stronghold cities using Trident [nuclear] missiles.”
Donald Trump (1946- ), Republican presidential candidate, (in an interview with ‘Meet the Press’, NBC News, August 9, 2015)
 
They asked me the question [about torture], ‘What do you think of waterboarding?’ —Absolutely fine. But we should go much stronger than waterboarding.
Donald Trump (1946- ), Republican presidential candidate, (in a statement during a campaign event at a retirement community, in Bluffton, S. C., Feb. 17, 2016)

 
The way this 2016 American presidential election is unfolding, there is a good chance that it could be a repeat of the 1964 U.S. election. In both instances, a Democratic presidential candidate is facing a flawed and frightening Republican presidential candidate who multiplies provocative and reckless statements and off-hand comments.
 
Politicians sometimes forget that, once elected, they are expected to serve all the people, not their narrow base of fanatical partisans. In that regard, their public statements are very important because they give a clue about what type of public servant a candidate would be. A candidate can easily self-destruct if he or she forgets that, when talking to partisans, the entire electorate is listening. Strong statements, good or bad, remain in people’s consciousness when time comes to vote.
 
Let us look back 52 years to the 1964 U.S. election. Seeking election in his own right was sitting Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973), who had taken office in 1963 following President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, and who was about to escalate the Vietnam War, which ended up costing the lives of 58,000 Americans and the lives of more than a million Vietnamese. His Republican opponent was Senator Barry Goldwater (1909-1998) of Arizona, who had fought against the party establishment and succeeded in winning the Republican nomination over New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller.
 
In 1964, Republican candidate Barry Goldwater soon developed an image as an extremist on many issues with a series of reckless and ill-thought out statements. For instance, in foreign policy, he advocated using ‘low-yield’ nuclear weapons in Vietnam and in Europe. Domestically, he wanted to make Social Security voluntary. He even suggested that the United States would be better off if the entire East Coast of the country were cut off and sent out to sea!
 
Goldwater was never able to shake off his image as an extremist on many issues, and he was never in a position to unmask the Democratic candidate’s war plans. This was a key factor in his crushing defeat in November 1964: Lyndon B. Johnson won about 61 percent of the vote to Goldwater’s 39 percent, and took all but six states.
 
Therefore after the election, President Johnson had a free hand in escalating the Vietnam War, especially considering that the U.S. Congress had already adopted the infamous Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, on August 7, 1964. The disastrous war would last ten more years, until 1975.
 
There is a good chance that history might repeat itself next November.
 
Indeed, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has been acting as if he doesn’t really care whether he wins the election or not, drawing attention to himself with outlandish statements and reckless comments, presumably designed to shock and create free “publicity” for his candidacy.
 
One day candidate Trump wants to adopt torture as a public policy. The next day, he wants to prevent Muslims from entering the United States and build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico to stop illegal Mexican immigration. Later on, he advocates using nuclear missiles against Islamist terrorists in the Middle East, and—throwing away any humanitarian principle—even kill their families. Domestically, he wants to abolish Obamacare, but so far, he has not spelled out any replacement. Etc. etc. etc!
 
Moreover, he doesn’t mind contradicting himself. Sometimes, he rebuts the pro-Israel lobby, professing not to need its money. But then, he lets his Middle East advisor state that a Trump administration would give the Israeli government a free hand in expropriating the Palestinians.
 
Since Mr. Trump has no government experience of any kind, one would think that he would consult about policy issues he knows little about, before issuing a statement. This does not seem to be the case. He even jokes: “my primary consultant is myself.” That is a sobering thought. The candidate does not seem to have an overall plan; everything seems to be left to improvisation. This indicates a lack of discipline. Indeed, candidate Trump seems to be his own worst enemy. As a businessman, Mr. Trump may have great qualities. As a politician, he seems to be lacking in political instincts, self-control and restraint.
 
As a result of his flippancy and inconsistencies, Mr. Trump's poll numbers are slipping badly, not because people necessarily like the alternative Democratic choice, but mainly because they become increasingly disillusioned by the lack of seriousness on candidate Trump’s part. They sense that he is unstable and unpredictable, that he has no plan and no program.
 
All this is a free gift to Democratic presidential Hillary Clinton who has to defend 40 years of political involvement. Unless an unexpected event occurs, and unless Mr. Trump changes profoundly his approach, the choice in the U.S. next November will be between two main candidates with net negative approval ratings, and the candidate with the lowest net negative rating will win, by default. One would think that the American electorate deserves better.


____________________________

Economist Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is the author of the book
The Code for Global Ethics, Ten Humanist Principles,
Please visit his blog at:
http://www.thenewamericanempire.com/blog.htm
 Posted, Tuesday, June 28, 2016, at 7:30 am
Email to a friend.

 To write to the author:
rodrigue.tremblay1@gmail.com


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May 30, 2016
Barack Obama’s Meager Legacy of incomplete accomplishments and of provoked wars: What happened?
By Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay
(Author of the books “The Code for Global Ethics”, and
 The New American Empire)


“The evil that men do lives after them.”
William Shakespeare (1564-1616), ‘Julius Caesar’
 
“The Constitution supposes, what the History of all Governments demonstrates, that the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war and most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care, vested the question of war in the Legislature…
—No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”
James Madison (1751-1836), in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 1798, (and, in ‘Political Observations’, 1795)
 
“…War is sometimes necessary, and war at some level is an expression of human folly.”
Barack H. Obama (1961- ), Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Dec. 2009
 
“As a nuclear power, as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act… today, I state clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”
Barack H. Obama (1961- ), in a speech in Prague, Czech Republic, on April 5, 2009, [N.B.: On May 27, 2016, Pres. Obama repeated essentially the same commitment at Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park, in Japan, calling for a "world without nuclear weapons"]
 
“As commander-in-chief, I have not shied away from using force when necessary. I have ordered tens of thousands of young Americans into combat…
I’ve ordered military action in seven countries.” [Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia]
Barack H. Obama (1961- ), in a speech at the American University, Aug. 5, 2015


Ever since Neocons de facto took over American foreign policy, after the collapse of the Soviet empire in 1991 and the end of the Cold war, rejecting the Peace Dividend that many had logically expected, the cry in Washington D.C. has been to impose an America-centered New World Order, mainly through military means.

 

Successive administrations, both republican and democratic, have toed the line and dutifully pursued the same policy of world domination by launching a series of unilateral, direct or covert, wars of aggression around the world, in violation of international law. This explains why the United States has over 1,400 foreign military bases in over 120 countries, and why they are being expanded.

 

First there was the Gulf War of 1991, when Saddam Hussein’s regime felt into a trap, thinking it had Washington’s tacit go ahead to integrate Kuwait, a territory that had been part of Iraq throughout the nineteenth century and up until World War I. Then there were the 1998-1999 U.S. military interventions in the Yugoslavia’s ethnic conflicts, under the cover of NATO, in order to undermine Russian influence in that region. In 2001, the “Pearl Harbor” type attack of 9/11 was also a “god-given” event on the march to the new world order. Some high-ranking U.S. officials had implicitly hoped for such an event to justify huge increases in the U.S. military budget. Nevertheless, it served as a justification to launch the 2001 war in Afghanistan, eventually leading to a U.S.-led “preventive war” to “liberate” Iraq, in 2003.

 

All this was followed by a string of covert operations to overthrow governments, elected or not, and to impose regime changes in independent countries, such as in Syria, Libya, Ukraine, Honduras, Haiti, Somalia… etc., as this has been done in other countries since 1953.

 

The election of Senator Barack Obama, in 2008, was expected to stop these destructive American military vendettas around the world, most of them under the initiative of the Executive, with little input from Congress, contrary to what is stipulated in the U.S. Constitution. After all, in 2009, President Obama accepted the Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize, which carried a stipend of about $1.4 million, for his promise of creating a new climate” in international relations and of promoting “nuclear disarmament“. Instead, it can be said that “Two Full Terms of War” is the legacy of his two terms in office. Mr. Obama didn’t settle any war, and he initiated many more.

 

In accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, President Obama, referring to the more or less discredited theory of “Just War” in modern times, said that wars must be waged “as a last resort or in self-defense; if the force used is proportional; and if, whenever possible, civilians are spared from violence.”

 

Note, however, that Obama was honest and lucid enough to acknowledge that there were people “more deserving” than him to receive such a peace prize, stating that his “accomplishments were slight”. —As it turned out, he was right. Antiwar candidate Obama did not rise to the high expectations placed on him in 2008: He did not bring peace to the world; he did not stop American wars of aggression around the world, he did not stop the American policy of overthrowing other independent countries’ governments, nor did he bring “nuclear disarmament”. In the latter case, he did just the reverse, as we will see below.

 

That is why, after a double mandate in the White House, it can be demonstrated that President Barack Obama’s legacy is indeed very slight, if not net negative. Let us look more closely, beginning with the positive side of President Obama’s legacy, and following with the severe failures of his administration.

 

Obamacare: A timid step in the right direction toward social justice

 

Before spelling out the Obama administration’s main failures, it is only fair to stress some important successes it has achieved, even though some may deplore that they have been few and far between. For one, in domestic affairs, President Obama succeeded in getting a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, passed by Congress, in 2010. That law brought health coverage to close to some 20 million Americans who previously had been left out of secured access to health services through employer-sponsored insurance. A similar attempt by Hillary Clinton in 1993 had failed.

 

Obamacare, a private-based health insurance program, was copied from a Republican program signed into law in Massachusetts, in 2006, by then Governor Mitt Romney. The initial objective was to adopt a universal health plan similar to the 1965 single-payer Medicare program for the elderly, but Republican opposition in Congress made that option impossible. It is estimated that slightly more than 30 million Americans are still lacking comprehensive health insurance. Nevertheless, it can be said that the Obamacare program, even though flawed, was a step in the right direction.

 

It is worth noting, however, that many American doctors are in favor of a Single-Payer Health system. Last May, an impressive group of 2,231 physicians called for the establishment of such a system to cover all Americans in need of medical care. The only presidential candidate, this time around, who proposes a universal single-payer health system, is Senator Bernie Sanders.

 

President Obama has, on occasion, stood up to pro-war pressures

 

In foreign affairs, President Barack Obama has taken some initiatives, which have distanced himself from President George W. Bush, by resisting pressures to enlarge some ongoing military conflicts.

 

For instance, in 2013, the governments of Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, anxious to overthrow the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad, orchestrated what is widely believed to have been a false flag operation, in order to place the blame on the Assad government for having allegedly used chemical weapons against rebels. The objective was to provoke a hesitant Obama administration into getting involved militarily in the Syrian conflict. Such a gimmick had worked in 1986 in persuading the Reagan administration to bomb the country of Libya.

 

To his credit, President Obama did not fall for the plot, and resisted the “intense” pressures coming from neocons, and from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in his own administration, for a direct U.S. military involvement in Syria. He backed instead a Russian proposal to remove chemical weapons from Syria, thus avoiding the deaths of thousands of people.

 

The Iran deal as a triumph of diplomacy over waging destructive wars

 

Other neocon-inspired pressures were exerted on President Obama, coming also from the Israeli government, to have the U.S. launch military attacks against Iran, a country of 80 million people. The pretext advanced this time was that Iran was threatening Israel’s nuclear monopoly in the region in allegedly developing a nuclear weapon of its own.

 

Even though the Iranian government asserted that its nuclear program was to produce energy and was exclusively peaceful, President Obama was under strong pressure to attack Iran “preventively” to destroy its nuclear installations. To his credit, President Barack Obama resisted the pressures to launch what would have been another illegal war of aggression, similar to the one George W. Bush initiated against Iraq in 2003.

 

Instead, President Obama opted to rely on diplomacy, and on July 14, 2015, six countries (China, France, Germany, Russia, the U.K. and the United States) reached an Iran deal, which removed the possibility that Iran develop nuclear weapons in the foreseeable future. Here again, an unnecessary war was avoided and thousands of lives were saved.

 

The ending of more than half a century of an American boycott of Cuba

 

President Barack Obama must also be congratulated for having accepted Pope Francis’ mediation, in 2014, to end the more than half a century of hostilities between the government of the United States and the government of Cuba, two neighboring countries. The Pope had written a personal appeal to Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro and led closed-door negotiations between the delegations of both countries. 

 

In December 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced that they would begin normalizing diplomatic relations between the two nations. On April 11, 2015, President Obama and Cuban President Castro met in Panama to finalize the new reality and declared themselves ready to “turn the page and develop a new relationship between our two countries”, in Mr. Obama’s words.

 

Since then, the two leaders have reopened embassies in each other's countries and normalized exchanges. President Obama even visited Cuba in March 2016.

 

Therefore, President Obama’s decision put an end to a sad chapter in the history of 20th Century American foreign policy, especially considering that the U.S. government has established full diplomatic relations with countries such as China and Vietnam.

_____________________________

 

The list of favorable actions by the Obama administration is not very long. There is, however, a longer list of policies that belie many of Barak Obama’s promises and the expectations he created when he ran for president in 2008.

 

President Obama enlarged the powers of the White House to launch imperial wars with no temporal or geographical limits

 

As the quote above by James Madison indicates, the U.S. Founding Fathers were well aware of the danger of giving a king or dictator the right to launch wars on his own. They feared that this would bring tyranny and oppression to their nation.

 

President George W. Bush, in power from 2001 to 2009, behaved in a way the U.S. Founding Fathers would have strongly disapproved, since he vied with the Congress to concentrate the power to wage war in his own hands, using Congress as a rubber stamp.

 

One would have thought that newly elected President Barack Obama, in a democratic spirit, would have attempted to reverse this dangerous move toward turning the U.S. presidency into an initiator of foreign wars. Unfortunately, President Barack Obama did the reverse, increasing rather than reducing the president’s discretionary powers to wage wars.

 

Indeed, Nobel Peace Laureate Obama didn’t waste any time in arguing that he had, as U.S. president, the authority to wage war in Iraq, in Syria, in Libya, or elsewhere, without U.S. Congress’s approval, contending that previous so-called ‘use of force congressional authorizations’ remain in effect indefinitely. Indeed, President Obama claimed, just as President George W. Bush had done before him, that the broad ‘Authorization for use of Military Force’ on terror (AUMF) passed by Congress after Sept. 11, 2001, and the 2002 ‘Authorization to use Military Force’ in Iraq had, in fact, no expiration date and that they authorize an American president to act like an emperor or a king, and to unilaterally use military force or wage war of his own volition.

 

This is a very serious matter, because if this theory were to be confirmed and entrenched in practice, without a formal constitutional amendment, the precedent would mean that the U.S. Constitution has de facto been pushed aside and the United States has become less of a republic, and more of an empire. [This would tend to confirm the title of my book ‘The New American Empire’]

 

What is more, President Obama has acted aggressively according to his theory of presidential war powers. He has launched eight times as many drone strikes in other countries as did President George W. Bush; and, according to his own boasting, he has “ordered military action in seven countries”. This is not a legacy he should be proud of.

 

The destruction of the independent nations of Iraq, Libya and Syria and the worsening of the chaos in the Middle East

 

As far as U.S. involvements in the Middle East are concerned, President Barak Obama did not substantially break away from the neocon-inspired imperial policies of the George W. Bush administration.

 

It is sometimes argued that president Obama’s decision to withdraw American troops from Iraq, in 2011, marked a break with the previous administration. In fact, the Bush-Cheney administration had already decided on such a withdrawal in 2008, when the Iraqi government refused to grant legal immunity to American troops in that country.

 

In supervising the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, the Obama administration was simply implementing a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), which had previously been signed between the U.S. government and the Iraqi government to that effect. According to the agreement, U.S. combat troops had to be out of Iraq by December 31, 2011.

 

With one or two exceptions mentioned above (the Iran deal and the normalizing of relations with Cuba), President Obama has not failed to embrace a military solution to serve the neocons’ many narratives in the Middle East and elsewhere.

 

In fact, if it can be said that President George W. Bush destroyed the country of Iraq, President Barack Obama, through his policies and actions, most of the time without the support of Congress, destroyed two other Middle East countries, i.e. Libya and Syria, while extending the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan, and while supporting an embarrassing ally, Saudi Arabia, in destroying Yemen.

 

These countries were no threat to the United States. Even though President Obama received a Nobel Peace Prize, he was no peace president, by a long shot. As a matter of fact, President Obama has been continuously at war longer than any other American president in U.S. history. With his administration, it was really more of the same and a far cry from his campaign promises to “change things in Washington D.C.

 

Under the cover of fighting terrorism, and to destabilize, divide and provoke “regime changes” in Libya and in Syria, for example, the United States—but also European countries such as France and the U.K., leading members of NATO—has relied on covert operations to support foreign mercenaries and Islamist groups of terrorists in these countries, giving them arms and logistics support, and inciting them to overthrow the established governments.

 

Thanks to the financial assistance given these terrorist groups, especially the self-proclaimed Sunni Islamist State (ISIS), by Sunni countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar or Turkey, the pro-Israeli neocons, who wanted to redraw the Middle East according to their mad theory of  “constructive chaos”, have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, with a devastating international refugee crisis as an extra. Ironically, European countries are, for now, the main victims of the waves of refugees resulting from the politics of chaos. 

 

As the de facto head of NATO, President Barack Obama and his neocon advisers, with the latter’s Manichean view of the world, must bear a large part of the responsibility for these disastrous results. The chaos in the Middle East is a huge failure for him, even though the neocons in his administration would deem such a manufactured chaos, a success!

 

Indeed, the countries of Iraq, Libya and Syria were considered, to different degrees, to be regional rivals of Israel, besides having large reserves of oil. Moreover, the latter countries have been on top of the list of seven countries discovered by General Wesley Clark, in late September 2001, as being the very countries the Pentagon planned to attack and destroy.

 

The destruction of Iraq can be attributed to the Bush-Cheney administration, since they are the politicians who used different subterfuges to launch an illegal war of aggression against that country, on March 20, 2003. However, what is most amazing is the fact that the Obama administration decided to follow the same policy in Libya and in Syria. Sooner or later, Mr. Barack Obama will have to explain why.

 

President Obama has sided with Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries in their efforts to spread Wahhabi extremism around the world

 

The world, and especially Western Europe, is under the threat of the most virulent brand of Islamism, i.e. Wahhabi extremism, a theo-fascist ideology, which is promoted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries, and which is, to a large extent, behind global Islamic terrorism. Instead of denouncing that curse of the 21st Century, President Obama has gone out of his way to be subservient and even to bow to the leaders of Saudi Arabia during multiple trips to that country. The question has been often raised: Why has President Obama been so cozy with the Saudi Royal Family, even when the latter snubbed him publicly?

 

There is no country in the world that violates more openly basic human rights than the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. One would think the United States would be at the forefront to denounce such violations. The Wahhabi, either from Saudi Arabia or other Islamic countries, have used hundreds of billions of petro-dollars to build madrassas and huge mosques in Western countries, including in the United States, to promote their corrosive ideology. The Obama administration did not raise any objection when the largest mosque in the United States was built, in Lanham, Maryland. It is worth noting that, in 2010, Norway did refuse the construction of mosques with foreign money in that country.

 

The Obama administration has extended the neocon-inspired politics of chaos to Ukraine and Russia, and it has rekindled a Cold War II with Russia

 

Why has the Obama administration been so anxious to start a New Cold War with Russia? We see here another contradiction between what President Barack Obama says, and what he does. For a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, are an aggressive military encirclement of a country and the sending of military forces to its borders acts of peace or acts of war? Why is Obama doing precisely that to Russia? Why is he risking a nuclear confrontation with Russia? That defies logic.

 

The only stretch of logic to explain such warmongering is that it is an attempt by the U.S. government to sabotage any economic and political cooperation between Russia and European countries, in order to keep Europe under some sort of an American protectorate.

 

Why is President Obama following the neocon plan? Why did he choose Ashton Carter as Secretary of Defense, a known warmonger and the Pentagon’s former chief weapons buyer, who is on record as wanting a military confrontation with Russia?

 

These are important questions that should be addressed to Mr. Obama, and all the more so since Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has indicated she would push in the same direction, if she were elected president.

 

Let us keep in mind that in February 2014, the Obama administration eagerly jumped at the opportunity to support a coup in Ukraine to overthrow that country’s elected government. It also armed the putchists, and encouraged them to commit atrocities against Ukraine’s ethnic Russian population. Such interference in the affairs of another nation is part of a larger neocon-inspired policy of militarizing Eastern Europe under the cover of NATO.

 

President Obama’s personal contribution to the nuclear arms race and to the threat of nuclear war

 

Even though president Barack Obama promised a nuclear-free world, and pledged, in a speech delivered in Prague, on April 5, 2009, “to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons” and to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy”, and again in Hiroshima, on Friday May 27, 2016, his words have not been followed by concrete steps in that direction. Instead, Mr. Obama seemed satisfied to passively pursue the same nuclear “modernization” program that involved the development of a new set of American nuclear weapons, initiated under the previous George W. Bush administration.

 

On September 30, 2004, then Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, in a debate with President George W. Bush, complained that the Bush administration was “spending hundreds of millions of dollars to research bunker-busting nuclear weapons. The United States is pursuing a new set of nuclear weapons. It doesn’t make sense. You talk about mixed messages. We’re telling other people, ‘You can’t have nuclear weapons,’ but we’re pursuing a new nuclear weapon that we might even contemplate using.

 

In a Nuclear Posture Review on April 6, 2010, the Obama administration seemed to echo Mr. Kerry and stated that the United States would “not develop new nuclear warheads or pursue new military missions or new capabilities for nuclear weapons.”

 

However, President Barack Obama wasted no time in violating his promise of not “developing new nuclear warheads” and of “reducing the role of nuclear weapons in U.S. military strategy”. Instead, he seemingly embarked on the same nuclear program, which had apparently not been stopped at all, to develop an array of new nuclear weapons that made contemplation of their use more acceptable (smaller, more accurate, less lethal), just as the Bush II administration had done before. In other words, Mr. Obama has prepared the United States to get engaged in “small nuclear wars” in the future. This is quite a “legacy”!

 

The new American nuclear weapon is, as the New York Times has reported, the B61 Model 12, a nuclear bomb tested in Nevada in 2015. This is the first of five new nuclear warhead types planned as part of an American atomic revitalization program budgeted at a cost estimated at $1 trillion over three decades. So much for “a world without nuclear weapons”!

 

Domestically, income and wealth inequalities have continued to rise to high levels and poverty to increase under the Obama administration

 

On Jan. 20, 2014, a Gallup poll found that two-thirds of Americans were dissatisfied with the way income and wealth are distributed in the U.S. —People are therefore vaguely aware that there is something fundamentally wrong with the way the economic system works, and they are right to think that the economy is rigged against the interests of the majority and in favor of special interests.

 

According to a new Pew Research Center analysis of public data, the American middle class is shrinking, its proportion among U.S. households falling from 55 percent in 2000 to 51 percent in 2014. [N.B.: An American middle class family of two adults and two children, in 2014, is one earning a minimum of $48,083]. This shift has produced a wave of discontent throughout the United States.

 

Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, on opposite sides of the electoral spectrum, reflect this deep dissatisfaction and even the anger at the economic, financial and taxation policies pursued by the U.S. government and the establishment, over the last thirty years.

 

Indeed, for the last fifteen years, from 1999 to 2014, the median income of American households globally has declined by 8 percent.

-The median incomes of lower-income families fell by 10 percent during the same period, from $26,373 to $23,811.

- The median income of middle-income households decreased by 6 percent, from $77,898 to $72,919.

- And, reflecting the large inequalities even among upper-income households, the median income in that group also fell by 7 percent, even though, as a group, the relative importance of this segment of American households went from 17 to 20 percent. The group’s median income fell from $186,424 in 1999 to $173,207 in 2014.

 

In fact, the only segment of the U.S. population that has benefited from the economic, financial and taxation policies of the last three administrations (Clinton-Bush-Obama), and from technological changes that have occurred during the period, is the top echelon of the upper-income class.

 

The super rich have raked in the most, while profiting the most from various tax loopholes, which have lowered their average tax rate from 27 percent in 1992 to less than 17 percent in 2012. In fact, America's super rich get richer and they are laughing their way to tax havens!

 

There is something fundamentally wrong and corrupt going on in the U.S. economy, and obviously, the Obama administration has been unable or unwilling to address the problem.

 

Official government statistics tend to underestimate real unemployment and real inflation

 

All those wars waged abroad and the trillions of dollars spent on them have enriched some super wealthy Americans, but not ordinary Americans. Instead, they have impoverished them. Ordinary Americans are falling behind because their incomes are stagnant or falling, and because real unemployment rates and inflation rates are higher than reported.

 

According to official statistics, the annual rates of unemployment and of inflation (the consumer price index) would seem to be under control. For the first quarter of 2016, the U.S. unemployment rate hovers around 5.0 percent, while the inflation rate is just above 1.0 percent, pushed down by the decline in oil prices and by a relatively strong U.S dollar.

 

The problem with official statistics, however, is that the method to measure them has changed over time. This doesn’t mean that the new measures are willfully misleading. It only means that the old measures may be a better indicator of how unemployment and inflation impact certain sectors of the population.

 

In fact, some economists prefer to rely on the old methods of calculating unemployment and inflation to get a more realistic picture of what ordinary people are going through. For example, U.S. economist Walter J. Williams calculates so-called “alternate” statistics of unemployment and inflation.

 

For unemployment, certain categories of unemployed people have been excluded from the published official statistics. For instance, long-term and short-term discouraged workers, not actively searching for work, were excluded from the new official measure of unemployment rates, in 1994. Neither do official statistics count part-time workers who are forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment.

 

As a consequence, when labor force participation rates drop because of the above, official unemployment figures indicate a decline in unemployment, even though this is not really exact. According to some estimates, if unemployment and underemployment were taken into consideration, the alternate rate of unemployment, in April 2016, would have been 22.9 percent, not the narrow official measure of 5.0 percent.

 

Similarly, official measures of inflation were changed in 1980 and in 1990, as a way to reduce the annual cost-of-living-adjustments for retirement benefits. For instance, when the price of certain items increases, they are replaced in the basket of consumer goods by other items, which cost less. Similarly, even if the price of some goods increases, such increase is reduced by a factor reflecting the higher quality of the goods available. If the old method of calculating inflation had been used, in April 2016, the alternate annual inflation rate would not have been 1.13 percent, as the official CPI measurements indicated, but would have been close to 5.0 percent, according to one measure, and even close to 9.0 percent according to another measure.

 

All this is to say that when people see their rents, condo fees, taxes, grocery purchases, etc., increase in price, and they experience a drop in their standard of living because of their stagnant or declining incomes, they are not necessarily hallucinating.

 

The Obama administration has allowed corporations and megabanks to offshore jobs and profits

 

A major feature of our times is that corporate profits are way up, while wages are stagnant, and corporate taxes are way down.

 

Indeed, a partial answer to the many issues raised above is the fact that the Obama administration has been guilty of pursuing and even intensifying the move toward lower taxes for corporations, and more profits for large corporations and megabanks on two accounts.

 

First, the Obama administration has initiated two mammoth international “trade deals”. Those trade “deals” were mostly kept secret because one of their main objectives is to guarantee legal protection to world corporations and megabanks against elected national governments and give them immunity from national prosecution.

 

The most recent examples of such “deals” are the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with Europe and the Transpacific Trade Partnership (TTP) with countries in Asia.

 

It must be understood by all that these so called “free trade” agreements are really not genuine free trade agreements for the unhampered movement of goods between countries, based on comparative national advantages, but are really instead corporate and banking agreements to protect corporations and megabanks against national governments, their taxation and their regulations.

 

Such agreements, negotiated in near complete secrecy, pursue geopolitical objectives. They are an attempt to build a worldwide economic and financial order that supersedes national states and they represent also an effort to protect the corporate and banking elites—the establishment 1%—against national governments. In the case of the TTIP, its geopolitical objective is to prevent European countries from developing comprehensive trade agreements with Russia. In the case of TTP, the objective is to isolate China. In the eyes of Washington D.C. neocon planners, they are part of ongoing economic warfare.

 

Second, the Obama administration has not taken the necessary steps to stop rich individuals and profitable corporations and banks from using tax havens and industrial inversion schemes to avoid paying taxes at home.

 

The Obama administration, and even more so the entire U.S. Congress, are under the influence of those interests whose objective is to build a worldwide economic and financial system that shields the 1% establishment’s wealth and power against any encroachment by national governments, at least from those governments the international elite does not yet fully control. We are talking here about an unelected world economic and financial empire with no frontiers, unencumbered by normal democratic rules.

 

This may be a big factor in explaining why the economy is languishing. Indeed, when corporate profits are not reinvested in the economy, but are hoarded and stashed away in tax havens, they do not increase domestic demand. U.S. corporations have about $1,400 billion ($1.4 trillion) sleeping in foreign tax havens. If all that money were repatriated, not only would the government have a lower deficit, but also the economy would greatly benefit from increased investments.

 

This is a somewhat scandalous situation the Obama administration and the U.S. Congress have done very little about. On the contrary, both have been slow in putting a stop to so-called corporate “inversions”, which have allowed companies to find a foreign suitor and switch their headquarters abroad to dodge taxes. Both have also extended patent protection to already entrenched corporations at the expense of startup companies. And it is only recently that they have moved to block so-called megamergers—all developments that have reduced competition, created oligopolies, increased corporations’ market power and raised prices.

 

This maybe the most glaring example of a lack of economic leadership on the part of the Obama administration, second only perhaps to the imperial wars it has initiated and encouraged. It is true that Mr. Obama has himself little competence or experience in economics and in finance, and that may explain why the above issues have not received all the attention they deserve.

 

President Barack Obama let neocons infiltrate his administration at the highest levels

 

After President Obama began making appointments to senior positions in his new administration, in late 2008, a leading neocon, Richard Perle, former chair of the Defense Policy Board under President George W. Bush and a leading architect of the Iraq war, expressed his contentment in these words: “I’m quite pleased… There’s not going to be as much change as we were led to believe.”

 

Therefore, it can be said that President Obama’s betrayal of his promises to enact change began very early in his administration. For instance, he kept George W. Bush’s Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, in his post, as an indication he wanted continuity and not a break with the previous administration.

 

Then, he went on paying his electoral debts. First, he named Rahm Emanuel as his White House chief of staff, a neocon member of the House of Representatives, and also a former assistant to President Bill Clinton and a supporter of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

 

Then, in a move that brought glee to the ranks of neoconservatives, he appointed belligerent and neocon-supported Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. The neoconservative Weekly Standard applauded her nomination, calling her a “Warrior Queen! Even Bush’s Vice President Dick Cheney declared to be “impressed with her nomination. As MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough branded her, Hillary Clinton is a “neocon’s neocon, because “there’s hardly been a military engagement that Hillary hasn’t been for in the past twenty years.”

 

President Barack Obama went on to appoint a long list of other neocons to senior positions in his administration, not the least being the nomination of Ms. Victoria Nuland, a Dick Cheney adviser, as Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, in May 2013. From then on, the die was cast as to what kind of administration President Obama would lead. Real change would have to wait.

 

President Obama had zero influence in solving the secular Palestinian-Israeli Conflict (1948-  )

 

For nearly three quarters of a century now, the rotten Palestinian-Israeli conflict has endured for two main reasons: the intransigence of the Israeli government in closing the door to any new settlements, and the active pro-Israel veto of the U.S. government at the United Nations.

 

In 2008, one of presidential candidate Barack Obama pledges was to actively pursue a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. He had, as he said, a two-fold strategy: restoring America’s tarnished image among Muslims and persuading the Israeli government to stop settlement expansion on Palestinian lands. On both accounts, he failed. As it has been the case with Mr. Obama’s other promises, there was less substance behind the rhetoric and the platitudes than met the eye. For example, he did not set up a special task force to implement the policy he professed to wish to put forward.

 

Consequently, President Barack Obama has had no observable influence in stopping the far-right Netanyahu Israeli government from pursuing its illegal settlements in Palestinian territory. He did not get any success either in persuading the government of Israel to enter into serious peace talks to solve the festering conflict and end the occupation of Palestine. And the reason is obvious: President Obama did not dare withdraw the U.S. veto protecting the state of Israel at the United Nations, even though there were some rumblings to that effect.

 

Worse maybe, is the fact that President Obama let himself be publicly snubbed and humiliated by Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in early 2015, when the latter disregarded a non-invitation by the Obama administration and nevertheless entered the United States and addressed the U.S. Congress. This created a weird occurrence, because this was a violation of basic diplomatic rules. It was a public display of the Israeli government’s contempt for the American President.

 

In 2001, Benjamin Netanyahu boasted that he knew what America is. —America is a thing that you can move very easily, move it in the right direction.” What Netanyahu meant, of course, is that the pro-Israel lobby in the United States is so financially and politically powerful that an Israeli leader can publicly insult the American president, with no consequences, and even with the enthusiastic approval of an obliging U.S. Congress. President Barack Obama never looked so weak and so despondent as during this awkward and unreal situation.

 

President Obama did not release elements of proof linking Saudi Arabia to the 9/11 terrorists

 

A last point is also worthy of mention. Despite numerous requests, President Obama has refused to inform adequately the American people on the extent of Saudi Arabia’s involvement in supporting the 9/11 terrorists. The families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks and scores of others have called on Mr. Obama to release the classified 28-page portion of a special House-Senate congressional report on the 9/11 attacks, produced in 2002, and purportedly identifying individuals at the highest levels of the Saudi government as the financing agents of some of the 9/11 terrorists. In mid-April, President Obama even said that a decision to release the information was “imminent”.

 

After his trip to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia last April, it seems that the “imminence” of the release was postponed sine die. Rather, President Obama went even further and promised to refuse to sign into law a bill that would have made the kingdom of Saudi Arabia liable for damages stemming from the September 11 terror attacks. However, he did not extend the same privilege to the Government of Iran, which is being sued by Americans for alleged damages.

 

Even though president Barack Obama promised, on January 29, 2009,a new era of transparent and open Government”, this seemingly did not apply to the rights of Americans to know who was behind the 9/11 attacks that resulted in 3,000 horrific American deaths. This has led some observers to call his administration “the least transparent in history”. This is another example of Mr. Obama saying one thing and doing the opposite. It seems to be a pattern in his modus operandi.

 

General conclusion

 

Why has there been such a contrast between President Obama’s words and his deeds? After all, he promised “to end the mindset that got us into war”.

 

There are three possible explanations. First, as a politician, Barack Obama may not have been completely sincere when he said he wanted to change the mentality in Washington D.C. He may have thought that these were only words to be soon forgotten. —Politicians are ambitious opportunists and Mr. Obama was not different. Second, those who wrote his speeches may not have been the same ones making the policies. Thus, the gulf observed between the flowery speeches and the actual policies. Third, there is possibly a less generous explanation: Mr. Obama may have been a convenient figurehead used by those who really control the U.S. government in the shadows. —It could be a mixture of all these explanations.

 

One can surely argue that the Obama administration, on the whole, was ‘less bad’ than the previous Bush-Cheney administration, both domestically and internationally. However, because elected presidential candidate Barack Obama arrived at the White House without any administrative experience and without having his own brain trust, and seemingly, without having a clear plan on how to implement his lofty promises, he had to submit himself to the same neocon advisers and warmongering interventionists who were omnipresent in the previous administration. He ended up reacting rather than acting; following rather than leading.

 

That is why the Obama administration’s policies, especially foreign policy, with a few notable exceptions, did not diverge appreciably from those imperial policies pursued by the previous Bush-Cheney administrations. President Barack Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has failed to live up to the promises he made and the hopes he raised.

 

Both neocon-inspired administrations ended up creating an enduring mess in the world that future governments, and even future generations, will have to deal with.


COMMENTS (11)

_________________________________
Economist Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is the author of the book The Code for Global Ethics, Ten Humanist Principles,
Please visit his blog at:
http://www.thenewamericanempire.com/blog.htm
 Posted, Monday, May 30, 2016, at 7:30 am
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April 17, 2016
Ten Reasons Why Bill and Hillary Clinton Do Not Deserve a Third Term in the White House
By Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay
(Author of the books “The Code for Global Ethics”, and
 The New American Empire)


“Few things are more dangerous than empires pushing their own interest in the belief they are doing humanity a favor.”
 Eric Hobsbawm (1917-2012)
British historian, June 10, 2003
 
"It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq..." Bill Clinton (1946- ), The neocon-sponsored Iraq Liberation Act, signed by President Clinton into law, in 1998
 
“I’m going to ask for his ideas, I’m going ask for his advice, and I’m going use him [former President Bill Clinton] as a goodwill emissary to go around the country to find the best ideas we’ve got, because I do believe, as he said, everything that’s wrong with America has been solved somewhere in America.” Hillary Clinton (1947- ), during a debate on January 17, 2016
 
 “I'll tell you how good our military is doing under [former CIA Director] Michael Hayden and people such as this. We've been fighting wars in the Middle East for 15 years, 18 years. We were in for four or five trillion dollars; we don't know what we're doing; we don't know who we're fighting; we're arming people that we want on our side, we don't know who they are.
When they take over a country, they're worse than people they depose.” Donald Trump (1946- ), in a response to a public letter by establishment national security so-called ‘experts’

 Polls indicate that most of the 2016 U.S. presidential candidates, with a few exceptions, have more than 50 % negative ratings. Also, poll after poll, after poll show that most Americans are dissatisfied with the way things are, and some are even outspokenly “angry” at the current situation. The polls also indicate a high degree of polarization.
 
That may also explain why two of the leading presidential candidates this year, Democratic Bernie Sanders and Republican Donald Trump, are both proposing anti-establishment and populist policies to get the United States out of its current rut.
 
On the domestic front, each, if elected, would advance economic policies designed to assist the American middle class, which has been decimated after nearly thirty years of economic and financial globalization and from so-called “trade deals” which have mainly benefited large corporations and mega banks, because they are essentially “investment and financial deals”, before being bona fide “trade deals”.
 
On foreign policy, both would like to extricate the U.S. from costly wars abroad that have been going on for so long. Most of these wars have been the pet projects of pro-Israel neoconservatives (shortened to neocons), inside and outside the U.S. government, ever since the latter de facto took over American foreign policy, after the end of the Cold War, in 1991.
 
It is indeed well documented that prominent neocons became very influential during the Bush I and Bush II administrations, in 1989-1993 and in 2001-2009. Many people remember how characters such as Paul Wolfowitz, John Bolton, Elliott Abrams, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, …etc. used different tactics to push the United States into a never-ending imperialistic war, branded as “preemptive wars” in the Middle East, beginning with an unprovoked military aggression against Iraq, in 2003.
 
But, even if this has been less publicized, neocons have also played important roles in the Bill Clinton administration (1993-2001) and in the current Barack Obama administration (2009-2017), in promoting a series of wars abroad, especially in the Middle East and in Europe, and in sowing the seeds of financial crises at home.
 
Since Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has publicly declared that she intends to consult with her former-president husband, if she becomes president, it is of paramount importance to know what this means. Indeed, the question can be raised as to the likelihood that a Hillary Clinton’s presidency could be, in fact, some sort of a third term for the Clinton couple in the White House.
 
I have previously identified three major crises, which have their origin during the Bill Clinton administration.
 
Let us summarize them here and add a few more:

 1-The de facto rekindling of a Cold War II with Russia
 
History will record that President Bill Clinton broke a promise made by his predecessor, President George H. Bush, that the U.S. government would not expand NATO into Eastern Europe, if Russia were to disband the Warsaw Pact. As we know, during his 1996 reelection campaign, on October 22,1996, President Clinton thought to be to his political advantage to promise an enlargement of NATO to include Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. Nobody realized at the time that this heralded the beginning of a new cold war with Russia.
 
What is less well known is the fact that Ms. Hillary Clinton, when she was State Secretary in the Obama administration, appointed a prominent neocon, Victoria Nuland, wife of leading neocon Robert Kagan, to the post of Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State. Ms. Nuland was promoted to Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs a few years later, in May 2013, in the same Democratic administration of Barack Obama. Previously, she had served as the principal deputy foreign policy adviser to Republican Vice President Dick Cheney in the George W. Bush administration, and later as U.S. ambassador to NATO.
 
Ms. Nuland is considered to be the key person in charge of provoking Russia into a Cold War II. (This is an indication that in Washington D.C., one can go easily from a Republican administration to a Democratic administration, provided one belongs to the neocon brotherhood).
 
2- The Clinton administration engineered the demise of the United Nations in 1998-1999
 
President Bill Clinton played a major role in undermining the credibility of the United Nations when he decided, in 1998 and in 1999, to enter the Kosovo War in Yugoslavia without an explicit mandate from the U.N. Security Council, as the 1945 U.N. Charter mandates. This was a very dangerous precedent.
 
Only a few years later, his successor, President George W. Bush invoked that precedent to launch the 2003 Iraq War, again with no outright mandate from the U.N. Security Council. Therefore, it can be said that President Bill Clinton bears an obvious responsibility for the current international state of anarchy, considering that the United Nations, for all practical purpose, has been sidelined in favor of NATO, to pursue U.S.-led imperialistic wars, which are waged outside of the international legal framework of the United Nations Charter and even in opposition to the Nuremberg Principles, which define military aggression as a crime against peace.
 
In 1991, few people anticipated that the collapse of the Soviet Union would eventually bring about the collapse of the United Nations, which has de facto been reduced to the same influence that the old League of Nations had before World War II.
 
3- Bill Clinton Sowed the Seeds of the 2008 Subprime Financial Crisis in 1999
 
On November 12, 1999, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Republican-sponsored Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which effectively removed the separation that previously existed under the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 between investment banking, which issue securities, and commercial banks that accept government insured deposits.
 
Before 1999, the Glass-Steagall Act made it illegal for a bank holding FDIC-insured deposits to invest in anything other than government bonds and similarly low-risk vehicles. With his signature, however, President Clinton allowed largely unregulated super large banks and large insurance companies to engage in risky financial practices, as they are known to have done historically and as it should have been expected. The banks and insurance companies’ new financial products collapsed, and that led to the devastating 2008 financial crisis.
 
While Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has said that he would fully reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, his opponent, former Secretary Hillary Clinton, has said that she would not reinstate the banking law, preferring instead to rely on measures to better control so-called shadow banking.
 
4- The 2003 Iraq War Began in 1998: President Bill Clinton’s Iraq Liberation Act of 1998
 
On February 19, 1998, a group of prominent neocons (Robert Kagan, Paul Wolfowitz, Elliot Abrams, John Bolton, Richard Perle, …etc.), anxious to get the United States involved in wars in the Middle East, wrote an open letter to President Bill Clinton. They were offering him a strategy for “the removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime from power” in Iraq.
 
President Clinton did not immediately go to war to please the neocons, after all he was nearing the end of his term, but he did sign the Republican-sponsored Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, on October 31, 1998, stating that "It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq…." That law opened the door for an American-led war against Iraq.
 
Indeed, President George W. Bush, in search for bi-partisan support for his planned war against Iraq, cited President Clinton’s Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 as a basis of support for the Congressional Authorization for use of Military Force Against Iraq of October 2002. We can say that President Bill Clinton set the U.S. government on a warpath against Iraq as early as 1998, and he therefore must share some responsibility for the disasters that have since resulted from that war.
 
5- Hillary Clinton’s Own Personal War of Aggression in Libya, (with false and misleading claims, and resulting in a huge refugee crisis)
 
President Barack Obama was reluctant to duplicate George W. Bush’s disaster with his military invasion of Iraq in 2003. That is why, in 2011, he hesitated to launch a new American war of aggression, this time against Libya, even though neocons inside and outside his administration were pushing hard for such a war. The latter country, headed by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, had the misfortune of having been singled out in the neocons’ grand plan as one of the Arab countries the neocons wished to overthrow and to destabilize the entire Middle East, using for that purpose the U.S. military to do Israel’s heavy lifting.
 
At the time, two heavyweights in the Obama administration, vice president Joe Biden and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, were both adamantly opposed to getting the U.S. government and its military involved in another neocon-inspired ‘regime-change war’ in the Middle East. That wasn’t counting on the neocons’ main ally, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
 
Indeed, Hillary Clinton overcame the Biden-Gates’ formidable opposition to a U.S. military intervention in Libya by persuading a weak President Obama that Libyan President Gaddafi had a supposed plan to carry out a “genocide” against his own people and that the U.S government had a “responsibility to protect” to avoid such a “genocide”, no matter what international law said. There is a dictum in French that “he who wants to kill his dog accuses him of having rabies”!
 
Such a proposal was in conformity with the precedent created by her president husband, Bill Clinton, who bombed Yugoslavia under similar circumstances, outside of international law, in 1998 and in 1999. It was also ironic that the President would side with her, considering that Barack Obama himself had campaigned against candidate Hillary Clinton in 2008, arguing that she had endorsed Bush's 2003 Iraq-war policies.
 
In 2011, the demonized Gaddafi government was indeed fighting some groups of rebels, supported by outside powers, who wanted to overthrow his government, but the claim of a planned “genocide” was greatly exaggerated.
 
After the U.S. intervened in Libya along with a few European nations, some rebel groups succeeded in capturing Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, on October 20, 2011. They sodomized him, and they murdered him and his family. Chaos ensued and Libya is still to this day a failed state run by groups of Islamic fanatics, besides creating millions of refugees fleeing their devastated land.
 
Hillary Clinton took full credit for creating the political mess in Libya, when she appeared on a TV interview and bragged with the boast, “we came; we saw; he died!” Her neocon advisers had told her that she would be remembered as having implemented some sort of a “Clinton Doctrine”! If creating a human catastrophe counts as “experience” in a résumé, then candidate Clinton is undoubtedly ‘qualified’ to become U.S. president. Her lack of basic human empathy is evident.


6- Hillary Clinton: Proud Candidate of the Establishment 1%
 
As professional politicians, Bill and Hillary Clinton have become the richest political couple of all times. In 2012, their combined net worth was in excess of $112,000,000.00. In contrast, Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders had a net worth of only $420,000.00. There is not a shadow of a doubt that the Clinton political family belongs to the 1% and even to the 0.1% of American taxpayers. Politics has been a most rewarding industry for them.
 
It is therefore no surprise that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is by far the establishment’s favored choice. Neocons find her a most reliable ally. If she becomes U.S. President, they will be able to continue and even accelerate their over-all plan for the Middle East. There would be joy in the land!
 
In contrast, presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are both considered outsiders who oppose neocon-inspired American involvements in foreign wars and who favor fundamental domestic reforms. Democratic candidate Sanders, for one, backs aggressive social-oriented policies while Republican candidate Trump proposes to reign in industrial and financial globalization that has resulted in the loss of millions of well paid American jobs, when U.S. corporations began investing and moving their installations and their profits abroad.
 
In the case of Hillary Clinton, the entire Democratic primary system is biased and the dice are loaded, since some 719 so-called unelected “superdelegates”, representing party officials and organizers, sitting Democratic senators and representatives, lobbyists …etc., stand to tip the balance in her favor, as the establishment candidate, even if Bernie Sanders were to obtain a majority of the people behind him during the primaries. The superdelegate system was adopted in the 1980s to give the Democratic establishment a definitive advantage in determining the party’s presidential nominee and, if need be, to cancel the choice of the people.
 
Of all the 2016 U.S. presidential candidates, none is more pro-establishment than Hillary Clinton, and none more associated to that establishment and the mess the latter has created over the last quarter of century.


7- Hillary Clinton’s Eagerness to Launch “Regime change” Wars and Create Chaos in other Countries
 
Belligerent Hillary Clinton appears to be a John McCain in a skirt. As a U.S. Democratic senator from New York (2001-2009), she enthusiastically supported President George W. Bush's 2003 illegal Iraq War.
 
In her many thousand personal emails containing state secrets and sent to friends when she was U.S. Secretary of State, (possibly an illegal act), and discussing American foreign policies with outsiders, Hillary Clinton indicated on numerous occasions her willingness to use the U.S. military to fulfill Israel’s objectives in the Middle East. In one revealing email of hers, for example, and sent in the spring of 2012, she spelled out her views very clearly:
The best way to help Israel deal with Iran's growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad
For Israeli leaders, the real threat from a nuclear-armed Iran is not the prospect of an insane Iranian leader launching an unprovoked Iranian nuclear attack on Israel that would lead to the annihilation of both countries. What Israeli military leaders really worry about  —but cannot talk about —is losing their nuclear monopoly…
Then, Israel and the United States might be able to develop a common view of when the Iranian program is so dangerous that military action could be warranted…
In short, the White House can ease the tension that has developed with Israel over Iran by doing the right thing in Syria.
 
There is no doubt that if and when candidate Hillary Clinton becomes U.S. president, she will be more than willing to use the United States military to do the heavy lifting and go to war so that a foreign country, Israel, could fulfill its political objectives in the Middle East. This is surely an important enough issue to warrant a discussion during a presidential election.


8- Hillary Clinton’s Close Ties to Wall Street and Special Interests
 
While candidate Bernie Sanders is mainly financing his campaign with small donations from supporters, and while candidate Donald Trump is self-financing his campaign, candidate Hillary Clinton has principally relied on large contributions from professional lobbyists and large corporations and mega banks. Citigroup Inc, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley are among her top contributors.
 
This should raise red flags as this could mean that she could naturally be more inclined to act in favor of big corporations and mega banks, before being the president “of the people, by the people and for the people”, in President Lincoln’s words.
 
U.S. financier and politician Simon Cameron (1799-1889) used to quip, “An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought”. Indeed, considering the importance that big money has taken in American politics after the 2010 ‘Citizens United’ (5-4) decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, stating in effect that for profit ‘corporations’ are breathing people and that the use of ‘money’ is speech, the issue of how those who control huge amounts of money can influence the results of elections cannot be swept under the rug.
 
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is the only Democratic candidate accepting donations from federal lobbyists, corporate interests and super Political Action Committees (PACs), and even indirectly from foreign donors. Any candidate to high office who primarily relies on big money to be elected should be held accountable.
 
9- Hillary Clinton’s Responsibility in Ambassador Stevens’ Assassination and the Entire Benghazi Disaster
 
There were two scandals in the Benghazi Disaster, and Secretary Hillary Clinton was involved in both of them.
 
The first was that, on September 11, 2012, U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith were left unprotected, in a hostile environment, by Hillary Clinton’s State Department. And what is worse, before they were attacked and killed by Islamic militants in the diplomatic consular compound, they had requested military assistance and had been denied that assistance. Hillary Clinton has taken responsibility for the lapse in security.
 
The second scandal is the fact that Secretary Hillary Clinton had seemingly accepted that the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya be merged with the CIA’s covert operations in that country, thus placing the State Department personnel in harm's way. As early as March 2011, Ambassador Stevens had been named the first liaison with the Libyan opposition made of Islamic rebels, to whom the CIA was channeling weapons and providing tactics to overthrow the Libyan government.
 
According to investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, “The [U.S.] consulate’s only mission [in Benghazi] was to provide cover for the moving of arms. It had no real political role.” And those arms and weapons were not only supplied to Islamic rebels to overthrow the Libyan government of President Gaddafi, they were also smuggled into Syria to other Islamic rebels in their attempt to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad.
 
This is a very murky affair considering that all those covert operations were illegal under international law, and this casts a long shadow on Hillary Clinton’s record and ‘experience’.

10- Hillary Clinton is Publicly Committed to U.S.-led Imperial Wars, Especially in the Middle East
 
In her 2016 speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), on March 21, candidate Hillary Clinton stated clearly her intentions to push the United Nations aside when she declared, “I would vigorously oppose any attempt by outside parties to impose a solution [to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict], including by the U.N. Security Council.” In a similar speech during the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania, in April 2008, when she was also a presidential candidate, she went as far as to declare, that to defend Israel, “If I’m President, we will attack Iran… We would be able to totally obliterate them.”
 
Only a political psychopath could make such an outlandish statement to annihilate a country of 80 million people. That frame of mind should disqualify any person running to become American president. Her Democratic opponent at that time, candidate Barack Obama, accused Hillary Clinton of sabre-rattling and pointed out that this was the kind of language used by the George W. Bush administration.
 
Hillary Clinton has all the credentials as a pro-perpetual war candidate. That is probably because she adopts the self-serving and dangerous myth of American Exceptionalism. In her biographical book ‘Hard Choices’ and in various interviews, she has proclaimed her belief that “America remains the ‘indispensable nation.’ ” This is a dangerous posture by politicians who control nuclear arms. The history of the 20th Century and the rise of Nazi Germany should teach any democratic leader to refrain from brandishing the superiority of their nation over others.
 
For example, candidate Hillary Clinton is still on the record as supporting a U.S. imposed no-fly zone in Syria, similar to the one she advocated in Libya, in 2011, with disastrous results, since Islamist terrorists have taken over that country. It seems that Hillary Clinton has learned nothing from the Libyan fiasco she created. That shows very bad judgment.


Conclusion
 
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), said, in 2015, "Hillary Clinton is a neocon, [because] she supported the war in Iraq, in Afghanistan…
If Hillary Clinton is president, we will be back at war in the Middle East."
 
Considering Hillary Clinton’s numerous hawkish statements over the years and her dismal record at the State Department, the question whether she is, or she is not, a neoconservative should be squarely put to her to be answered in a proper forum. From her statements, there is no doubt that candidate Hillary Clinton would be a pro-perpetual war American president. This is a perspective that Democrats and the American electorate in general should ponder.
 
Even more fundamentally, perhaps, considering the questionable legacy that President Bill Clinton left behind during his two presidential terms, in 1993-1997 and in 1997-2001, and considering that the former president is most likely going to be a close adviser to his wife, if she becomes president, Americans should ask themselves if they want to support the Clinton couple for a third term (2017-2021) in the White House.


COMMENTS (13)
________________________________________
Economist Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is the author of the book The Code for Global Ethics, Ten Humanist Principles”,
Please visit the book site at:
http://www.thecodeforglobalethics.com/
and his blog at:
http://www.thenewamericanempire.com/blog.htm
 
Posted, Sunday, April 17, 2016, at 7:30 am
 
To write to the author:
rodrigue.tremblay1@gmail.com



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February 20, 2016
The Lies, Fabrications and Forgeries of the Bush-Cheney administration to Go to War Against Iraq, for Oil and for Israel

We [the United States] spent $2 trillion, thousands of lives. ... Obviously, it was a mistake… George W. Bush made a mistake. We can make mistakes. But that one was a beauty. We should have never been in Iraq. We have destabilized the Middle East…
—They [President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney] lied… They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none. And they knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction.
Donald Trump (1946- ), during a CBS News GOP presidential debate, on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016.
 
[George W. Bush] wants to remove Saddam Hussein, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).
—But the intelligence and facts are being fixed around the policy.
Richard Dearlove (1945- ) Head of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), (in ‘Downing Street memo’, July 23, 2002).
 
There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.
Dick Cheney (1941- ), comment made at the Veterans of Foreign Wars 103rd National Convention, Aug. 26, 2002
 
Spinning the possible possession of WMDs as a threat to the United States in the way they did is, in my opinion, tantamount to intentionally deceiving the American people.
Gen. Hugh Shelton (1942- ), former Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1997 to 2001, (in his memoirs ‘Without Hesitation: The Odyssey of an American Warrior’, 2010)
 
We [the USA] went to war [in Iraq] not just against the Iraqi forces and insurgent groups but also against a large part of the Arab world, scores and scores of millions…It is a strategic error of monumental proportions to view the war as confined to Iraq… [The Iraq war] is turning out to be the greatest strategic disaster in our history.
Gen. William E. Odom (1932-2008), in a testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, January 18, 2007


Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has rendered a great service to the truth and to historians in stating publicly, on Saturday, February 13, 2016, what most people by now know, i.e. that the US-led war of aggression against Iraq, in March 2003, was not only illegal under international law, it was also an exercise in pure deceptive propaganda, and it was promoted thanks to well-documented lies, fabrications and forgeries.
 
I personally published a book in early 2003 detailing how the Bush-Cheney administration, with the help of pro-Israel neocons in the higher echelons of the U.S. government, built a case for war under false pretenses.
 
The publishing house ‘Les Intouchables’ in Montreal, initially published the book in Canada, in French, under the title of ‘Pourquoi Bush veut la guerre’. It was then published in the U.S., by Infinity Publishing, in English, under the title ‘The New American Empire’. The book was also published in Europe by l’Harmattan in Paris under the title ‘Le Nouvel Empire Américain’, and later on translated into Turkish by Nova Publishing in Ankara, under the title ‘Yeni Amerikan Imparatorlu›u’.
 
The machinations and deceptions behind the disastrous war against Iraq, which have resulted in literally hundreds of thousands of deaths and created millions of refugees, and which has completely destabilized the entire Middle East, constitute therefore a topic that I have been studying for many years.
 
It is no surprise that I was pleased to hear Mr. Trump forcefully conveying the truth to the American people, even though those who have engaged in war crimes under the Nuremberg Charter and the United Nations Charter have never been indicted for gross negligence and duplicity—if not outright treason—let alone prosecuted. Worse still, there has never been a serious public inquiry into this sordid episode at the beginning of the 21st Century and how the Bush-Cheney administration planned a pre-meditated military attack against Iraq in order to bring about a political “regime change” in that country.
 
Let us summarize the sad series of events that have led to what American General William Odom has dubbed “the greatest strategic disaster in U.S. history”. We may add that this has also led to a great disaster for the Middle East populations, and it could also prove to have been a disaster for Europe and the world as a whole, if the current mess in that part of the world were to lead to World War III.
 
1- DECEPTION: When George W. Bush took power in January 2001, his Treasury Secretary, Paul H. O'Neill (1935- ), the former CEO of Alcoa, recalls that the goal of removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq was raised by Bush during the very first cabinet meeting of the new administration. In O’Neill’s biography written by journalist Ron Suskind and titled The Price of Loyalty, it is stated that George W. Bush fully intended to invade Iraq and was desperate to find an excuse for pre-emptive war against Saddam Hussein. As Mr. Suskind writes it, there was even a Pentagon document, dated March 5, 2001, and entitled “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield contracts”, which included a map of potential areas in Iraq for oil exploration. Such a detailed plan for a U.S.-led military take-over of Iraq had never been mentioned during the 2000 U.S. presidential election, let alone debated.
 
However, a pro-Israel neoconservative think-tank, The Project for the New American Century, had drafted a blueprint for regime change in Iraq as early as September 2000. The fundamental goal was to secure access to Iraq’s oil reserves and remove a potential enemy to the state of Israel. This think-tank, founded by William Kristol and Robert Kagan, was mainly run by vice-president Dick Cheney; by defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld; by Paul Wolfowitz, (Rumsfeld's deputy at the Defense Department); by George W. Bush's younger brother Jeb Bush, then governor of Florida; and by Lewis Libby, Cheney’s deputy.
 
Their document about Iraq was entitled “Rebuilding America's Defences: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century”. It stated clearly that: “The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein”. It was this plan that the newly elected Bush-Cheney administration obviously intended to implement in secret, eight months before the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
 
It is also most relevant to mention that the document on Iraq mentioned above was mimicking a previous report written in 1996 for the Benjamin Netanyahu Israeli government and titled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm”. The latter outlined a strategy for the state of Israel in the Middle East in these terms:
“Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq –an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right –as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions.”
 
In 2001, the Bush-Cheney administration seemed to have made its own the proposed strategy.
 
2- POSSIBLE NEGLIGENCE: To what extent was the Bush-Cheney administration negligent in not preventing the 9/11 terrorist attacks? This is a legitimate question, considering that the George W. Bush White House received, on Monday August 6, 2001, 36 days before the terrorist attacks, a confidential report by the CIA entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US”. Mr. Bush was then on a month-long vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, and no special security steps seem to have been taken to alert various authorities of the threat.
 
3- A PARALLEL GOVERNMENT: Early on, the new Bush-Cheney administration established a special bureaucratic agency for intelligence gathering, propaganda and war preparations. This was the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plan (OSP) placed under the supervision of Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense. It was designed, as reported by renowned journalist Seymour Hersh, to circumvent the CIA and the Pentagon’s own Defense Intelligence Agency, the DIA, and to serve as President Bush’s main source of intelligence regarding Iraq’s possible possession of weapons of mass destruction and its possible connection with al-Qaeda. That is also where various fake arguments were invented to steer the United States into a war against Iraq. Douglas Feith, a defense undersecretary, ran the shadow agency with the assistance of William Luti, a former navy officer and an ex-aide to Vice President Dick Cheney.
 
Something that should have been investigated, but has not been, is how some Israeli generals had free access to the OSP, as reported by Karen Kwiatkowski who worked in that agency.
 
4- WAR PROPAGANDA: After 9/11, few Americans were blaming Iraq for the terrorist attacks, since none of the 19 terrorists involved had any connection with Iraq. In fact, the 19 hijackers in the September 11 attacks of 2001 were affiliated with the Islamist terrorist group al-Qaeda. Fifteen out of 19 were citizens of Saudi Arabia, 2 were from the United Arab Emirates, and the other 2 came from Egypt and Lebanon. None were from Iraq. And their training camps had been in Afghanistan.
 
That is why in polls taken soon after Sept. 11, 2001, only 3 percent of Americans mentioned Iraq or Saddam Hussein as the dark forces behind the attacks. Obviously, such a perception had to be changed if the Bush-Cheney administration were to start a war with Iraq. That is when the fear of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the possible links of Saddam Hussein with al-Qaeda were invented, with the active assistance of neocon media. By September 2003, the propaganda had worked so well that, according to a Washington Post poll, 69 percent of Americans had come to believe that Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the attacks carried out by al-Qaeda, even though there had been no proof of such a link between the two. Such is the force of government propaganda when the mass media collaborate in the exercise.
 
This propaganda was instrumental in building a case for a war with Iraq, without regard to factual evidence. History will reckon that the United States did not retaliate against Saudi Arabia, a country that had a lot to do with the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but it did react viciously against Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with the attacks.
 
All these facts are well documented and corroborated. Future historians will have numerous sources to establish the historical truth.
 
Conclusion
 
The fact that presidential candidate Donald Trump has alerted the American people to the treachery used by the Bush-Cheney administration to go to war against Iraq is a welcome development. Undoubtedly, the Iraq War has unleashed untold destruction and misery in Iraq and in the entire Middle East. And the sequels to the initial disaster continue today, thirteen years after the 2003 U.S.-led military invasion of Iraq.
 
The only recent comparable historical event, when a powerful country invaded militarily another weaker country, was the decision by the German Chancellor Adolf Hitler to invade Poland on September 1, 1939, thus plunging Europe into chaos for many years. Let us hope that the current turmoil in the Middle East, with so many countries conducting military operations in the devastated countries of Iraq and Syria, will not lead to even greater catastrophes.


COMMENTS (13)
_______________________________________________
Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is an international economist and author, whose last two books are:
The Code for Global Ethics, Prometheus Books, 2010; and
The New American Empire, Infinity Publishing, 2004.
 
To read Dr. Tremblay’s blog, please visit:
www.thenewamericanempire.com/blog
The author can be reached at:
 rodrigue.tremblay1@gmail.com.
 
Posted, Saturday, January 20, 2016, at 7:30 am


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January 23, 2016
Financial Turmoil and Increasing Risks of a Severe Worldwide Economic Recession in 2016-17

“May you live in interesting times."
Popular curse, purported to be a translation of a traditional Chinese curse
 
"The sources of deflation are not a mystery. Deflation is in almost all cases a side effect of a collapse of aggregate demand —a drop in spending so severe that producers must cut prices on an ongoing basis in order to find buyers. Likewise, the economic effects of a deflationary episode, for the most part, are similar to those of any other sharp decline in aggregate spending—namely, recession, rising unemployment, and financial stress."
Ben S. Bernanke (1953- ), on November 21, 2002
 
“I’m about to repeat what I said at this time last year and the year before…Sooner or later a crash is coming and it may be terrific. The vicious circle will get in full swing and the result will be a serious business depression. There may be a stampede for selling which will exceed anything that the Stock Exchange has ever witnessed. Wise are those investors who now get out of debt.
Roger Babson (1875-1967), on September 5, 1929


The onset of 2016 has been most chaotic for global financial markets with, so far, a severe stock market correction. As a matter of fact, the first month of 2016 has witnessed the most severe drop in financial stocks ever, with the MSCI All-Country World Stock Index, which measures major developed and emerging stock markets, dropping more than 20 percent, as compare to early 2015. For sure, there will be oversold rallies in the coming weeks and months, but one can expect more trouble ahead.
 
Many commentators are saying that the epicentre of this unfolding financial and economic crisis is in China, with the Shanghai Composite Index beginning to plummet at the beginning of the year. In my view, reality is more complex and even though China’s financial and economic problems are contributing to the collapse in commodity prices, the epicenter of the crisis is still in Washington D.C.
 
That is because the current unfolding crisis is essentially a continuation of the 2007-08 financial crisis which has been temporarily suspended and pushed into the future by the U.S. central bank, the Fed, with its aggressive and unorthodox monetary policy of multiple rounds of quantitative easing (QE), i.e. buying huge quantities of financial assets from commercial mega-banks and other institutions, including mortgage-backed securities, with newly created money. As a consequence, the Fed’s balance sheet went from a little more than one trillion dollars in 2008 to some four and a half trillion dollars when the quantitative easing program was ended in October 2014. Other central banks have followed the Fed example, especially the central bank of Japan and the European central bank, which also adopted quantitative easing policies in monetizing large amounts of financial assets.
 
Why did the Bernanke Fed adopt such an aggressive monetary policy in 2008? Essentially for three reasons: First, the lame-duck Bush administration in 2008 was clueless about what to do with the financial crisis that had started with the de facto failure of Bear Stearns in the spring of 2008 and of Merrill Lynch in early September 2008, culminating on September 15, 2008, with the failure of the large global investment bank of Lehman Brothers. So the U.S. central bank felt that it had to step in. In fact, it financed the merger of the two first failed mega-banks with the JPMorgan Chase bank and the Bank of America respectively. (For different reasons, it did not intervene in the same way when the Lehman Brothers bank failed.)
Secondly, bankers who have a huge influence in the way the Fed is managed did not want the U.S. government to nationalize the American mega-banks in financial difficulties, as it had been done in the 1989 when the George H. Bush administration established the government-owned Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) to take over some 747 insolvent savings and loans thrift banks.
 
Thirdly, the Bernanke Fed was very worried that the 2007-08 banking crisis would lead to a Japanese-style deflation that would wreak havoc with an overleveraged economy. The hope was to avoid a devastating debt-deflation economic depression like the one suffered in the 1930s.
 
By injecting so much liquidity in the system, the Bernanke Fed created a gigantic financial bubble in stocks and bonds, even though the real economy has grown at a somewhat languishing 2 percent growth rate. Stock prices went into the stratosphere while interest rates fell as bond prices rose. Last December 16, the Fed announced officially that it will no longer blow into the financial balloons and that it was raising short-term interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis, setting the target range for the federal funds rate to between 1/4 to 1/2 percent. This was a signal that the financial party was over. And what’s more, this means that the stock market and the bond market will once again go in different directions, as a reflection of the state of the real economy, no matter what the Fed does.
 
Since 2008, the U.S. Fed has painted itself into a financial corner from which I personally felt it would be difficult to extricate itself. Indeed, it would be extremely difficult to correct the financial bubbles it has created
as an unintended consequence of salvaging the mega-banks in creating trillions of free money without damaging the real economy of production and employment. If global stock markets collapse and if price deflation accelerates, making it more difficult to service the debt of consumers, corporations, and government alike, a repeat on a larger scale of what has happened in Japan over the last twenty-five years can be feared. This, at the very least, could lead to a global economic recession in 2016-17. If we go back in history, it could also be a repeat of the 1937-38 crash and recession, eight years after the crash and financial crisis of 1929-32.
 
One thing can be made clear: The creation of the Fed in 1913, as a semi-public American central bank, has not prevented the occurrence of financial crises. It has, however, been a boon to large banks because it has served as an instrument to socialize their losses.
 
Stay tuned.

_______________________________________________
Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay, an economist, is the author of the book
The Code for Global Ethics, Ten Humanist Principles”,
Please visit the book site at:
http://www.thecodeforglobalethics.com/
and his blog at:
http://www.thenewamericanempire.com/blog.htm
 
Posted, Saturday, January 23, 2016, at 5:30 am
 
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September 18, 2015
A Confused Situation as to Syria and ISIS
by Rodrigue Tremblay
(Author of the books “The Code for Global Ethics”, and
 The New American Empire)

 
[There are] “three ways to be influential in American politics: make donations to political parties, establish think tanks, and control media outlets.”
Haim Saban, Pro-Israel billionaire and major political contributor, and adviser to Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, (2009)
 
[There] is a memo [at the Pentagon] that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.”
General Wesley Clark, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO (1997-2000), (March 2, 2007)
 
“Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them.”
Mark Twain (1835-1910), American author and satirist
 
"The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation." 
Sen. Barack Obama (D.-Ill.), (in a Dec. 20, 2007 interview with the Boston Globe)
 
“Our objective is clear, and that is: degrade and destroy ISIL [ISIS] so that it’s no longer a threat, not just to Iraq but also to the region and to the United States.”
Pres. Barack H. Obama, (at a news conference on Sept. 3, 2014)


The chaotic situation in Syria, a country of 22 million, source of some 220,000 Syrian deaths and of between 6 to 8 million refugees fleeing to Europe, is most confusing.

On the one hand, the Obama administration has been openly violating international law in actively supporting and arming a rebellious insurrection and a civil war against the established Assad government. On the other hand, the same administration seems to consider the Sunni-dominated and foreign-supported terrorist Islamic State organization (ISIS) opposed to Assad as illegitimate, and declares to want to “degrade and destroy” it through bombings.
 
If a foreign government wanted to destroy a country and turn it into ruins, that is probably what it should do, considering that the same Obama administration has for years supported protests and fanned the rebellion in Syria, as part of the color revolutions the CIA has sponsored in many countries, and it has facilitated the rise of Islamic extremism directly and indirectly in the hope that it would succeed in toppling the secular Syrian regime. From the start, this has been a most ambivalent, a most irresponsible, a most inconsistent, a most incoherent, a most misguided, a most indecent, a most insane, a most destructive and a most immoral policy, because it has destabilized both Iraq and Syria, because it has resulted in millions of victims and because it has contributed in a big way to creating the psychopathic monster that is the ISIS.
 
Indeed, the ongoing provoked chaos in Syria seems to be a repetition of what the Obama-cum-Hillary Clinton administration did in nearby Libya when that country was destabilized and destroyed from top to bottom through outside intervention, and reduced to a state of anarchy. It also followed the illegal military incursion by the Bush-Cheney administration in Iraq in order to engineer illegally a regime change in that country, at the same time that it left it completely destroyed and dysfunctional. All these interventions have resulted in unmitigated disasters.
 
Destroying countries in violation of international law and with no empathy for the human suffering of millions of people seems to have been the official policy of the US government over the last twenty years, whoever happened to sit in the White House at any given time, be he a Republican or a Democrat.
 
There is a pattern here that even the most ignorant and the most dishonest or obtuse brains cannot help but notice. We all know that this has been the well-publicized plan of the pro-Israel neocon clique that has been advising successive US governments ever since the George H. Bush administration of 1989-1993. Their overall objective was to reshape and transform (i.e. destabilize and destroy) the entire Middle East by provoking the downfall and breakup of Israel’s neighboring Arab countries (Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc.), and by using American military power and NATO to do it.
 
And now, the Obama administration is working hard to deliberately and immorally destroy the country of Syria to please the Israeli government and other allies such as the totalitarian Wahhabist regime of Saudi Arabia and the increasinglly Islamist regime in Turkey. Just as there was no al-Qaida organization in Iraq before the Bush-Cheney administration invaded the country in 2003, there was no Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria before the US and its allies supported the insurrection against the Assad regime, beginning in 2011.
 
Surrounded by his neocon advisers, who are presumably recommended to their posts by deep pocket political campaign contributors, President Barack H. Obama gives the sad spectacle of a politician who has morphed into a repeat of George W. Bush, using lies and false pretenses to justify an incoherent and destabilizing US policy in the Middle East. One day he says that his government’s policy is to contain and destroy the murderous ISIS Califate; the next day he gives a tacit or explicit go ahead to the demagogue President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to attack with F-16 fighter jets the only credible force on the ground fighting ISIS, besides the armed forces of the Iraqi and Syrian governments, the Kurdish militias.
 
And when the Russian government brings some assistance to the embattled Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad—still the legitimate government of that country, ravaged by outside intervention by the way—President Barrack H. Obama not only denounces such assistance, but he warns Russia not to do it, curiously asserting that Russia’s efforts to back the Syrian government against ISIS are “doomed to failure”! What strategy and what failure? One would like to know.
 
Indeed, if President Obama were really serious in wanting to eradicate the medieval terrorist cancer that is ISIS, as he claims he does, one would think that he would logically welcome any assistance to reach that objective, whether it comes from Russia or from Iran, or anybody else. But no, Mr. Obama rather says that such assistance is not at all welcomed, at the same time that the killers of ISIS consolidate their control over a large part of Syria and of Iraq, and continue decapitating and persecuting Christian Assyrians, Shiites and other ethnic groups. The result is the creation of millions of refugees that only Europe seems ready, albeit reluctantly, to accept, after they have been expelled from Turkey, Lebanon or Jordan, and while the other richest Arab nations, such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, close their doors to them.
 
This does not make any sense. When is Mr. Obama sincere? When he says that his NATO ‘coalition’ attacks in Syria are aimed at eradicating ISIS, or when he says that he has no legal authority for provoking a neocon-inspired regime change in Syria?
 
If Pres. Obama does not want to fight al Qaeda—the group behind the 9/11 attacks, and its close ally the Islamic State (ISIS)—he should at the very least let those who want to fight them do it. Nowadays, he seems much more anxious to train and arm small groups of so called “moderate” Islamist Syrian rebels, (who have not a chance in hell to take control of the Syrian government), than to really fight the terrorists of al Qaeda and of the Islamist State (ISIS), who are the ones who would take over Syria if the Assad government were to fall. On the contrary, for months now Mr. Obama has done his best to prevent the Kurds, the Iranians and the Russians, along with the al-Assad government, from fighting the Islamist terrorists. Why? Could somebody ask him why? And for what purpose?
 
US-led airstrikes in Iraq and in Syria against the Islamist terrorists have been judged ineffective from the start, and ISIS has demonstrated it by pursuing its expansion, presumably because such very selective bombings were never a priority and were rather a covert and dishonest show to fool people about the real objective of the US-NATO bombings.
 
That objective appears not as a priority to destroy ISIS or push it back, but rather to illegally provoke a regime change in Syria. This is done by backing different sets of Islamist rebels over time. This is a dangerous game. And all this is for mainly crass economic motives, i.e. to facilitate the construction of pipelines from the Middle East toward Europe, Turkey and Israel.
 
This Machiavellian policy is not only destabilizing and destroying the entire Middle East, it is now about to destabilize and destroy Europe itself with millions of migrants and refugees fleeing the mess that has resulted ever since the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and the US and its allies’ support for the Syrian insurrection since 2011. European countries have already suspended the Schengen Agreement regarding freedom of movement within the European Union (EU), and other similar policy decisions of European disintegration by member states are to be expected in the coming months if the avalanche of migrants and refugees continues unabated from the Middle East and northern Africa.
 
Ever since the neocons have dominated US foreign policy, American-led interventions in the world have been a source of great instability and of devastating destruction. They have resulted in creating disaster upon disaster, with hundreds of thousands people dead and many millions displaced and impoverished, and forced into exile.
 
So far, at least three countries have been completely destroyed, i.e. Iraq, Libya and Syria, and the carnage goes on in Afghanistan and in Yemen, with the US supporting Saudi Arabia’s bombing of the latter country. American politicians and the US government cannot close their eyes and wash their hands of this chaotic mess because they started it, and because of that, they have a special responsibility to correct it and contribute to bringing back peace and order in that part of the world.
 
If the secular al-Assad government is ever toppled and is replaced by one led by fanatical Islamists, and if revenge killings and massacres of the Syrian Christians, Alawites, and Druze ensue—a possible result of the confused imperialistic US-NATO foreign policy—Barack H. Obama and other American and European politicians will have to place a large part of the blame on themselves. This is not a trivial matter.

______________________________________________

Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is an international economist and author, whose last two books are:
The Code for Global Ethics, Prometheus Books, 2010; and
The New American Empire, Infinity Publishing, 2004.
 
To read Dr. Tremblay’s blog, please visit:
www.thenewamericanempire.com/blog
The author can be reached at:
 rodrigue.tremblay1@gmail.com.
 
Posted Friday, Sept. 18, 2015, at 5:30 am
Email to a friend:
www.thenewamericanempire.com/tremblay=1172.htm
 
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_________________________________
© 2015 by Big Picture World Syndicate, Inc.


 

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June 25, 2015
Pitfalls of Economic Globalisation
*
by Rodrigue Tremblay
(Author of the books “The Code for Global Ethics”, and
 The New American Empire)


‘Nations that trade with each other make themselves mutually dependent: if one has an interest in buying, the other has an interest in selling, and all unions are based on mutual needs.
Montesquieu, (Charles Louis de Secondat), (1689-1755)
 
‘An agreement [with the U.S.] to harmonize trade, security, or defence practices would, in the end, require Canada and Mexico to… cede to the United States power over foreign trade and investment, environmental regulation, immigration, and, to a large degree, foreign policy, and even monetary and fiscal policy.
Roy McLaren (1934-), former Canadian liberal trade minister, (1983)
 
‘The greatest happiness principle: The greatest happiness of the greatest number of people is the foundation of morals and legislation.’
Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)


Despite the evidence of the inherent risks of free [international] capital flows, the Wall Street-Treasury complex is currently proceeding on the self-serving assumption that the ideal world is indeed one of free capital flows, with the IMF and its bailouts at the apex in a role that guarantees its survival and enhances its status.
But the weight of evidence and the force of logic point in the opposite direction, toward restraints on capital flows. It is time to shift the burden of proof from those who oppose to those who favor liberated capital.’
Jagdish Bhagwati (1934- ), international economist, (1998)



One of the most important phenomena of the last quarter century, and without a doubt the most significant in the economic field, but also in the political field, has been the rise of economic globalization. This has brought the increased interdependence of national economies and a rise in competition, not only between corporations but also between countries.
 
This interdependence and competition have increased much more quickly than could have been envisaged, 25 or 30 years ago, with the result that international economic integration today greatly exceeds the realm of international trade to encompass the international mobility of corporations and the integration of financial and money markets. In some areas dominated by technology, especially in the field of digital and information technology, we already live in a world almost without national borders. The consequences of increased globalization are not only economic; they are also political and social.
 
But globalization also means a greater complexity of economic relations and an increased vulnerability of national economies to shocks from outside. This requires, for a given country, that the net benefits resulting from globalization must be greater than the net losses of any nature arising from such greater complexity and greater vulnerability.
 
Beside the purely economic costs of complexity, there are social and political costs that arise from such enhanced global economic complexity.
 
Indeed, the increased complexity of international economic and financial relations has had the effect of increasing the costs of political transactions and may have impaired the good functioning of domestic democratic systems by reducing the possibility for citizens to be adequately informed about issues that concern them and, if necessary, to be able to raise objections. Socially, it has also meant that the economy is less embedded in a larger social system; it is rather the social system that has been compressed and has become embedded in an increasingly globalized economy.
 
A primarily political global project has also been grafted upon economic globalization, mainly under American auspices, with the avowed purpose of weakening and subverting the national consciousness of people in their sovereign nation states, through the promotion of "multiculturalism" within countries and through the equally important aim of dismantling the welfare state system and the social safety net erected after the Second World War in most Western countries, and replace them with an essentially anti-democratic and oligarchic globalist system.
 
In the end, we shall conclude that the increased complexity of the global economic system over the last quarter century has had a general consequence: it has resulted in increasing the power and incomes of the CEOs of large corporations and of mega banks as never seen before, as well, to the lesser extent, of those of politicians and bureaucrats, at the expense of the less educated segments of the population and the less mobile people generally, thus weakening the democratic spirit and practices in many countries.
 
I- Main causes of economic globalization
 
There have been two revolutions behind the phenomenon of economic globalization.
-The first was the digital technology revolution, which can be seen as a new industrial revolution. This appeared with basic innovations that were, among others, the computer, the Internet as a global computer network, and telecommunications satellites, the latter enabling communication almost instantly to the four corners of the planet.
-The second revolution was the collapse, in 1991, of the Soviet empire and its centralized communist economic system. It has been said that this politico-economic revolution heralded the "triumph of (corporate) capitalism" worldwide and its decentralized and scarcely regulated markets.
 
Over the last quarter century, the rush towards economic globalization has accelerated. Its three main components are:
- Firstly, the globalization of trade relations;
- Secondly, the industrial and technological globalization; and
- Thirdly, the overall financial globalization (financial, banking and monetary).
 
These three sides of economic globalization have not had the same effect on all people and on every country.
 
It is therefore necessary to identify the net effects for each of these three components of overall economic globalization. Indeed, it was expected, at least in theory, that the move towards economic globalization would strengthen the economic integration of countries, generate some convergence of national economies by increasing their productivity levels and their economic growth, reducing global poverty, and creating, in addition, a better climate for world peace.
 
In practice, we can say today that this view was perhaps too optimistic, and we must recognize that the results of economic globalization in the past quarter century have been more complex and less inevitable than some would have believed.
 
That is because economic globalization and enhanced international competition have resulted in consequences that have certainly been positive for some people, but they have also created perverse effects for certain categories of workers, as well as for governments and their populations, because of the increased international mobility of corporations and of financial and banking institutions, and not just for those that are inherently ‘multinational' in nature.
 
In other words, economic globalization has created net winners and net losers, and it would be good to establish a provisional assessment of these results, even if it is only a partial synopsis of a complex phenomenon.
 
II- The globalization of trade relations
 
The establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1994 marked an acceleration of the movement towards multilateral trade liberalization of the previous decades that had been undertaken under the auspices of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the latter having been created in 1947.
 
Indeed, during the last quarter century, world exports have grown at an exponential rate of 6.0 percent in volume, a much faster rate than the average annual rate of growth in world real output, which progressed at the pace of a little less than 4.0 percent between 1990 and 2010. However, we observe that since the financial crisis of 2008-09, there has been a break in world trade growth, global exports growing presently at a pace that approximates overall world economic growth, which ranges from two to four percent annually.
 
Of the three components of the phenomenon of economic globalization, trade globalization is probably the least deserving of criticism. There is even a fairly broad consensus among economists that, all things considered, its net effects have been more positive than negative.
 
Consumers have benefited greatly, as a result of lowered prices and better quality for a wider range of imported products and services. The other big winners of the growth in multilateral trade are owners of capital in general (higher yields) and officers of large corporations (increased incomes and revenues).
 
On the negative side, in many industrialized countries, least skilled workers have faced personal losses due to unemployment and stagnant or falling real wages. The same can be said about some industries that have faced increased international competition and have suffered contractions, relocations and some form of de-industrialization.
 
Overall, empirical studies on these issues have arrived at the conclusion that the gains reaped by industrialized countries from a better international division of labor have outweighed the losses, and that this has created a win-win situation for most countries.
 
It would appear that for industrialized countries, the problems arising from enhanced international trade are primarily a problem of distribution of the net gains in order to compensate the losers in proportion to their losses.
 
In other words, this is a matter of public policy and of social justice. It is thus up to a government, for example, to make sure that workers displaced by international competition are compensated and retrained.
 
If we consider all countries, the newly industrialized countries of Asia (China, Japan, South Korea, etc.) have profited greatly from increasing trade globalization, and they have also been on the receiving end of industrial globalization, as we will discuss later. Their rates of economic growth and of industrial catching up have simply been all but phenomenal.
 
III- Industrial and technological globalization
 
Alongside the globalization of trade relations of the last quarter century, the world has also experienced a similar explosion in foreign direct investment (direct capital inflows and outflows). Thus, the share in GDP of all countries of foreign direct investment has increased from 11 percent on average in 1980 to 34 percent on average in 1998. Since the financial crisis of 2008-09, however, foreign direct investment has also experienced a sharp downturn. It reached a historical high in 2007 of 2,000 billion$. Six years later, in 2013, foreign direct investment had dropped 30 percent from its 2007 peak.
 
The international mobility of corporations, their technologies and their capital, is much more problematic than trade globalization as such, which is based on the comparative advantages of trading countries, in a general context of international immobility for people between countries and of currency fluctuations to equilibrate each country’s balance of payments.
 
We cannot put on the same footing free trade, with rules against dumping and unfair competition and fluctuating exchange rates, and the free international movement of corporations, their technologies and their capital when labor is mostly immobile.
 
In the first case, we are dealing with international trade of goods and services based on comparative advantages in resources, manpower and technology in each country, which encourages specialization in production and which generates economies of scale, productivity gains and increases in living standards in all countries, even if the net gains are not evenly distributed among countries.
 
On the other hand, when corporations transfer their capital and their technologies from one country to another, this has the potential of modifying the economic comparative advantages of each country. This is a much more problematic component of economic globalization than simply free trade, because it is not impossible then that one country ends up a net loser while another is a net winner of such transfers.
 
Outsourcing production from one country to another could become a substitute to international trade between countries. The exception is when international trade within a corporation increases both ways.
 
A process of deindustrialization can result for the country losing its most productive industries, thus translating into problems of productivity and of economic growth, while national governments are unable to face the challenge properly. As I have alluded to before, this is not inevitable. When industrial globalization translates into more intra-firm trade and if a country’s total exports increase, a country can be a net winner of industrial globalization. For example, if a car manufacturer in a developed country transfers an assembly activity in a low-wage countries but exports from its national base engines and other specialized parts, the country can emerge a net winner from such production outsourcing. This becomes an empirical question. That is why a national government should monitor the situation closely.
 
It is a fact, however, that industrial globalization has made it increasingly difficult for a national government to pursue its own industrial policy. Indeed, nowadays, most of so-called 'free trade agreements' are in fact 'agreements for the free international movement of corporations' and have clauses that prevent national governments from actively pursuing an industrial policy to boost a country’s industrial productivity and raise the real wages of its workers. Moreover, these 'agreements on free movement of companies' are usually negotiated in secret and are often adopted by blindfolded politicians. It goes without saying that such an industrial disarmament by nations may erode the benefits expected from trade globalization and industrial specialization.
 
We may have here a reason why popular sentiment, especially in Western countries, is turning against comprehensive de facto ‘trade and investment agreements’ because they are wrought in secrecy, because they gave too much weigh to corporate prerogatives and their gimmicks to avoid paying taxes to local governments, because they have resulted in wage stagnation, unemployment, income inequalities and deindustrialization in many advanced economies, without compensations for the net losers, and because the governments of some large nations cannot resist dangerously mixing economics and politics and pushing smaller nations around.
 
Industrial globalization can also raise a tax fairness issue and one about income and wealth inequalities between different categories of taxpayers when corporations and the most internationally mobile workers insist on tax cuts from national governments. The latter are thus obliged to increase regressive tax rates on the incomes of ordinary workers and on their consumer spending.
 
National governments may also be called on to compete downward between themselves when the time comes to formulate some industrial regulations, or implement social policies or environmental preservation policies.
 
IV- Financial globalization (financial, banking and monetary)
 
If industrial globalization is problematic in its effects, financial globalization, (financial, banking and monetary), is even more dubious, considering the high level of speculation that surrounds the international movements of finance capital.
 
International borrowing and lending have been around for a long time. For instance, in the 19th century, savers from rich countries made it possible to fund major infrastructure projects in poorer countries. The inflows and outflows of portfolio capital (bonds, stocks, etc.) benefit both savers and borrowers and encourage trade. Indeed, a country that is a net borrower is also a net importer, and the opposite is true from a lender country’s perspective. Such international borrowing and lending are factors of economic efficiency and should be encouraged.
 
The international integration of financial markets reflects an objective reality, i.e. the reality that some countries generate external surpluses and other external deficits. The international mobility of savings is in itself a good thing from an economic point of view. What is important is that countries can retain their power to regulate their financial and money markets, and maintain domestic control over their banking sector.
 
In recent decades, however, mega banks and other financial institutions have exerted enormous political pressure to be exempted from national regulations. In the United States, for example, lobbies have succeeded in having the 'Glass-Steagall Act' abolished by the Clinton administration in 1999. That important law had been put in place in 1933 in order to avoid a repeat of the financial crisis of 1929. History will record that the abolition of the Glass-Steagall Act played a major role in paving the way to the financial crisis of 2008-09, a crisis whose harmful effects continue to be felt around the world.
 
When a nation loses its national sovereignty over financial, banking and monetary regulation, it largely loses the option to rely on price adjustments to correct imbalances in its external accounts, and it must instead rely on quantity adjustments through layoffs, cuts in public spending, tax increases, etc. This is a much more costly way, in terms of welfare, to improve a balance of payments.
 
For example, when a country suffers a drop in the external demand for its products while placed in the straightjacket of price rigidity, domestic prices and wages cannot move downward to correct an external deficit (and, conversely, cannot move upward to correct an external surplus).
 
Instead, the country must then resort to implementing so-called ‘austerity policies’ (cuts in public spending, increases in taxes, etc.), the latter having the negative consequences of slowing down domestic demand on top of the drop in international demand. As a result, the economy suffers two blows instead of one. Such an adjustment process to outside economic shocks creates an economic downturn that could translate into an economic recession (a drop in production and employment), hurting more severely some segments of the population than others.
 
This is a major structural problem within badly structured monetary unions, as it is currently the case in Europe within the euro zone, which encompasses economies with very high productivity levels, such is the case with the German economy, and other less productive economies, such as those of Greece or Portugal.
 
When no institutional mechanisms have been designed to transfer purchasing power between surplus countries and deficit countries, the rigidities of the single currency, (whatever its microeconomic benefits to businesses and consumers), can result in major macroeconomic problems. For instance, the common currency may be simultaneously undervalued for surplus economies and overvalued for deficit economies. Deficit economies must then rely on austerity measures to lower imports and increase exports, while surplus economies are more or less left outside the adjustment process.
 
Another severe drawback to financial integration (financial, banking and monetary) is the greater vulnerability of countries to external economic shocks and the transmission of economic and financial crises from one country to another.
 
The 2008-09 financial crisis is a good example of this phenomenon wherein a financial or a banking crisis originating in one country spreads quickly through financial and money markets from one country to another and affects the entire global economy. Financial crises are often the result of risky banking practices and of poorly regulated international financial and money markets.
 
Indeed, one of the consequences of increased financial integration has been the increased vulnerability of fragile economies to negative outside influences and a certain globalization of economic and financial crises, in a context where domestic governments are losing many of their instruments of intervention.
 
V- General conclusions
 
Is the world a better place today than it was twenty-five years ago? In certain aspects, the answer is yes; in some other aspects, the answer is no.
 
We can say that the overall economic globalization of the past quarter century has certainly had positive economic effects for several countries and their people, but that such globalization has perhaps gone too far, too fast, in some countries, especially since the global financial crisis of 2008-09.
 
Indeed, on one hand, trade globalization has resulted globally in economic benefits for consumers, for large corporations, their CEOs and for the most skilled workers. Some newly industrialized economies, such as the Chinese one, have also derived substantial benefits from economic globalization.
 
On the other hand, industrial globalization has set into motion a process of deindustrialization in many developed countries—especially in Europe—which has hurt small and medium businesses.
 
It has also concentrated the benefits of economic globalization on the most mobile factors of production (capital, corporations, new technologies) to the detriment of more immobile factors of production (labor, labor organizations and especially less-skilled workers).
 
Similarly, financial globalization has reduced the national sovereignty of most countries and lowered their governments’ capability to react to economic and social crises. The weakening of nation states and the disarmament of national governments in the face of international corporations and globalized mega banks are also important features or pitfalls of the overall movement towards economic globalization during the last quarter century.
 
How can we weigh the various elements of economic globalization? Have they benefited primarily an economic elite and left behind a trail of net losers, or have they benefited everybody to various degrees? It depends if we look at things from the viewpoint of a particular country or if we consider the entire world economy, and whether or not there are institutional mechanisms for the net winners of economic globalization to compensate the net losers.
 
For the global economy as a whole, the move towards economic globalization of the last quarter century has encouraged the spread of economic activity geographically, and it has resulted in a certain convergence of living standards, especially as the newly industrialized countries of Asia are concerned. On the other hand, this was made possible at the cost of a certain deindustrialization in many industrialized countries and of a rise in income and wealth inequalities in many countries. At the level of the particular country, the net economic results of economic globalization are an empirical question.
 
However, one thing stands out: globalization has profoundly changed the structure of social and political power within each country by strengthening corporate power and their leaders’ influence, and by decreasing the power of workers in general and of labor organizations in particular. There are indications that it has hurt the functioning of democracy in several countries.
 
One general conclusion in terms of economic policy: in the context of economic globalization, it would appear essential that national governments retain control over their financial and banking sectors, as well as over their monetary policies, if they want to avoid, in times of crisis, that their economies behave like a ship without a captain, without direction on a rough sea.
 
More generally speaking, because of so many hazards, I am afraid that the all-out economic globalization that is currently being imposed on nations and people alike risks imploding, sooner or later. This is a model that has too many economic and political pitfalls to persist without profound reforms. That is because it de facto transfers the real power in our societies from legitimate elected officials to officers of large corporations and of mega banks, and to owners of capital in general who, in turn, can use it to corrupt the political system to their advantage. —There exists a basic economic and democratic deficit to economic globalization that will not be easily corrected.

 
* Drawn from a conference by the author at the Humanist Symposium on Human Nature, held in Montreal, Saturday June
6, 2015.

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April 13, 2015
The Normalization of U.S.-Cuba Relations: the Best Accomplishment of President Barack Obama
by Rodrigue Tremblay
(Author of the books “The Code for Global Ethics”, and
 The New American Empire)


“At the beginning of 1959, United States companies owned about 40 percent of the Cuban sugar lands—almost all the cattle ranches—90 percent of the mines and mineral concessions—80 percent of the utilities—practically all the oil industry—and supplied two-thirds of Cuba's imports.”
Senator John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), (speech at a Democratic Dinner, Cincinnati, Ohio, October 6, 1960, during the 1960 Presidential campaign)
 
 “I believe that there is no country in the world including any and all the countries under colonial domination, where economic colonization, humiliation and exploitation were worse than in Cuba, in part owing to my country's policies during the Batista regime.
—I approved the proclamation which Fidel Castro made in the Sierra Maestra, when he justifiably called for justice and especially yearned to rid Cuba of corruption. I will even go further: to some extent it is as though [Dictator] Batista was the incarnation of a number of sins on the part of the United States. Now we shall have to pay for those sins.
—In the matter of the Batista regime, I am in agreement with the first Cuban revolutionaries. That is perfectly clear.”
President John F. Kennedy, October 24, 1963, (interview with journalist Jean Daniel, The New Republic, published on December 14 1963, pp. 15-20)
 
“It is clear that counter-terror became the strategy of the Batista government. It has been estimated by some that as many as 20,000 civilians were killed.”
A Report to the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence Volume 2, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1969, p. 582.


In December 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced that they would begin normalizing diplomatic relations between the two nations, an agreement brokered by Catholic Pope Francis. Last Saturday, April 11, U.S. President Obama and Cuban President Castro met in Panama to finalize the new reality and to “turn the page and develop a new relationship between our two countries," in Mr. Obama’s words.
 
This development is about to put an end to more than a half-century scandalous boycotting of the small island of Cuba by American politicians, as this small Caribbean island became a pawn in the Cold War between the U.S. and the USSR. In the U.S., this was done also mainly for purely domestic electoral motives, i.e. to obtain the Miami exiled Cubans’ votes and money, and against basic human morality.
 
This is a sad chapter in 20th Century American foreign policy history, especially considering that the U.S. government has established full diplomatic relations with countries such as China and Vietnam, and also considering that Canada has recognized and has traded with Cuba since 1960.
 
Indeed, a few years after the 1959 Cuban revolution that overthrew the corrupt government of dictator Fulgencio Batista (1952-1959), a government under the direct influence of elements of the American mafia who controlled the drug, gambling, prostitution, racetrack and casino businesses in Cuba, successive U.S. governments imposed on the inhabitants of Cuba a blanket of severe economic and political sanctions that crushed the small Cuban economy and lowered its people’s standard of living.
 
Two generations of Cubans were the victims of this cruel policy. That President Obama agreed to restore diplomatic ties with the Cuban government, ties that were unilaterally broken off by Washington in 1961, is all to his credit. Kudos also to Pope Francis, an Argentine, who pressed for ending such an insane policy that saw a powerful country crush a small neighbor, irresponsive to the human suffering that resulted.
 
As the two quotes above from President John F. Kennedy show, there were American politicians who felt that Cubans were in their right to overthrow the mafia and their corrupt local collaborators who controlled most of everything in Cuba under Dictator Batista. How could a nation that threw off the yoke of British king George III not understand that?
 
An obvious question begs to be asked: To what extent President Kennedy’s statements and intentions played a role in his assassination one month later, on October 23?
 
Three groups had special reasons to be adamantly opposed to President Kennedy’s support of the Cuban revolution and to his avowed intention to establish political and economic relations with Cuba.
 
First, the elements of the American mafia who had been kicked out of Cuba and had to abandon their lucrative trades in that Caribbean island country.
 
Second, the Cuban supporters of dictator Batista who left Cuba for an exile in Florida, leaving behind properties and other possessions, with no hope of returning to their country if the U.S. government was to have normal relations with the Cuban-Castro government.
 
A third group is composed of some elements of the United States government's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), under then CIA Director Allen Dulles (1953-1961), who had sponsored the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in April 1961, and whose objective was the overthrow of the Cuban government of Fidel Castro. Such a plan had been drafted under the previous Eisenhower administration (1953-1961). (Keep in mind that CIA Director Allen Dulles was the brother of John Foster Dulles, Dwight D. Eisenhower's Secretary of State.)
 
After his election, President John F. Kennedy had been informed of the CIA’s invasion plan and had initially approved it, but when it unfolded, he refused to commit U.S. armed forces to the operation. The CIA thus had ample reasons to blame President Kennedy for the glaring failure of the Bay of Pigs para-military invasion of Cuba, considering that a similar invasion of Guatemala in 1954 had required the assistance of U.S. troops to succeed. Later, President Kennedy discharged CIA Director Allen Dulles and replaced him with John McCone (1961-1965).
 
Cui Bono? (Who profits?) All three of these groups had special motives for blaming President John F. Kennedy for their misfortunes in Cuba. And all three of them had reasons to be violently opposed to President Kennedy’s intentions to normalize political and economic relations with Cuba.
 
The 1964 controversial Warren Commission Report on John F. Kennedy’s assassination (with Allen Dulles as one of its seven members) did not establish any link between these groups who had reasons to hate the President, and his assassination, concluding instead that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone in the November 1963 shooting of the President. And this, even after it had been established that the murderer had been monitored by the FBI under Director J. Edgar Hoover and by the CIA under Director Allen Dulles in the months before the assassination.
 
It is true that not all the evidence surrounding the Kennedy Assassination has been released to the public, some of which has been classified and kept secret. However, these documents are scheduled for release two years from now, in 2017. It is anybody’s guest if they might reveal new information about the circumstances that led to President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.

____________________________

Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is an international economist and author, whose last two books are:
The Code for Global Ethics, Prometheus Books, 2010; and The New American Empire, Infinity Publishing, 2004.
To read Dr. Tremblay’s blog, please visit: http://www.thenewamericanempire.com/blog.htm
The author can be reached at: rodrigue.tremblay1@gmail.com.
 
Posted Monday, April 13, 2015, at 5:30 am
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February 27, 2015
International Islamist Terrorism: It's More than a Mere Question of Semantics
by Rodrigue Tremblay
(Author of the books “The Code for Global Ethics”, and
 The New American Empire)


“Since the Bible also contains verses calling for war and the destruction of the other, then what difference is there with the Koran?
None, if not for the attitude of the religious leaders themselves.
-If they consider, as is the case with the majority of Christians and Jews, that these verses are related to bygone historic times, they therefore cannot be inspired by them to justify violence and murder.
-On the other hand, if these verses are considered the “divine word” and bearers of the only truth, everything is to be feared.”
François Garai (1945- )
Rabbi in Geneva, Switzerland, and head of the GIL (Liberal Jewish Group) and member of the World Union of Progressive Judaism.
 
“The mosques [in Western countries] will be our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets will be our swords, and the faithful will be our army.”
Recep Tayyip Erdogan (1954- )
President of Turkey, [in December 1997 when he was mayor of Istanbul, citing in his speech the nationalist poet Ziya Gökalp (1876-1924)].
 
“We could have just said no [to Saudi financing of a mosque in Norway], in principle the ministry doesn't approve such things. But when we were first asked, we used the opportunity to add that an approval would be paradoxical as long as it's a crime to establish a Christian community in Saudi Arabia.”
Jonas Gahr Støre (1960- ), Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, (Oct. 2010).
 
“We must speak clearly: Yes, France is at war against terrorism, jihadism and radical Islamism.”
Manuel Valls (1962-), French Prime Minister (speech to the National Assembly on 13 January 2015).
 
“Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam. Violent extremists have exploited these tensions in a small but potent minority of Muslims.  The attacks of September 11, 2001 and the continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against civilians has led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably hostile not only to America and Western countries, but also to human rights...
The truth [is] that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition.  Instead, they overlap, and share common principles -- principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings...
I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear...
So let there be no doubt:  Islam is a part of America.
Barack Obama (1961- ), Speech at Cairo University: A New Beginning, June 4, 2009, in which the words “terror” or “terrorism” were not mentioned at all.
 
“Our objective is clear:  We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL [ISIS] through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy.”
Barack Obama, Statement by the President on ISIL, September 10, 2014.
 
[The ISIS terrorist networks] “are not an existential threat to the United States or to the world order.“
Barack Obama, CNN interview of February 1, 2015.


 

Early last January, it was widely reported that President Barack Obama’s staff had said that for him or his Vice President not joining other heads of state in the largest rally in the history of Paris to protest the carnage done by Islamist terrorists in their attacks against journalists and against French Jews, had been a “mistake”, made by an “unnamed senior White House staff.”

I personally did not buy that line of thought for an instant, even though nearly all American media swallowed the story “hook, line and sinker”! Anybody who knows how a government functions also knows that such an explanation is absolutely impossible, because that kind of decision is widely discussed at the White House, but also at the State Department and elsewhere within the government. The final decision not to have the U.S. President or his Vice President present at the anti-Islamist terror rally in Paris had to be made, in the last analysis, by President Obama himself. The real motive: President Obama did not want to be personally associated, nor his administration, to a high profile rally against international Islamist terrorism.

 

In 2008, I wrote an article about then U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama, following the publication in the U.S. of my book ‘The New American Empire’, a few years before. I had arrived at the conclusion that even though Obama was probably “the least worst” candidate, he was also showing a dangerous propensity to double-talk. The last two quotes above could be an example of such a tendency.
 
This brings me to the observation that over the last few weeks and months, some politicians in Western countries have also adopted a somewhat distinctive and curious linguistic approach to describe the current phenomenon of international Islamist terrorism and its Islamist jihadist ideology. This is basically a form of escapism, denial, willful delusions and dodges.

U.S. President Barack Obama, for example, has gone out of his way in not using in his speeches the perfectly appropriate words of “Islamist terrorism”, but has preferred to use instead the more general and the more vague and vacuous words of “violent extremismto describe the repetitive killings of innocent people by Islamist terrorists in many countries. He has even gone so far as to imply that criticism of the failings of Islam, as a prerogative of free speech in any democracy, could be a major cause of the rise of violent jihadists, rather than the bombing of populations in the Middle East by Western powers.
 
Added to that is Mr. Obama's proclivity to make his own the twisted logic of the National Rifle Association (NRA) when the latter asserts that freely and widely available “guns do not kill people; only people kill people”! Now Mr. Obama says, with perhaps even less justification, that "no religion is responsible for terrorism —people are responsible for violence and terrorism," as if most Islamist terrorists were not motivated by a backward Islamist ideology that has its roots in the Dark Ages. —This is not to deny that in many cases, it may be difficult to separate the political motives from the religious ones behind the bloody and gory crimes committed by delusional psychopaths.


Other Western politicians, in Europe and in Canada, (luckily they are a minority!) have also tried to downplay the true character of international Islamist terrorism by playing a trivial and potentially self-delusional game of semantics to gloss over and obscure reality. In their view, when well-financed and well-identified Islamist terrorists kill journalists or innocent Jewish by-standers by the dozens in Paris and in Copenhagen, or when the medieval butchers of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) decapitate two dozen Egyptian Christian workers in Libya just because of their religious affiliation, or again when the same madmen are bent on establishing a caliphate and carry out mass-executions of ethnic or religious minorities in Iraq and in Syria, these should be considered, according to some politicians, to be some “random” criminal acts committed by some freelance extremists, not related whatsoever to the Islamist jihadist ideology! Egads!
 
With such a misappropriate and somewhat dishonest play with words to describe the criminal murders by international Islamist terrorists, it would seem that what these politicians wish to do is to confuse people's mind and conceal the anti-freedom of the press ideology, the anti-freedom of religion ideology and the anti-Jewish ideology of the killers. Their purpose, it would seem, is to separate international Islamist terrorism from its religious Islamic source, even when the killers themselves do their misdeeds while yelling "Allahu Akbar" (Allah is the greatest!) while shooting and beheading innocent people.


The intention of that type of cowardly politicians is to inculcate in the minds of people the idea that these cruel terrorist acts are the result of random ordinary violence by individuals unconnected to a particular religious ideology, and therefore, that they are not that important. Such a play with words and with the truth could also be an attempt to justify a politician's inaction and his concealed position of irenicism and of defeatism.
 
This is most disingenuous, because from Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization and the 9/11 mass killers in the USA to the butchers of ISIS in Iraq, Syria and Libya, or to the Islamist terrorists in Chechnya or Yemen or in Nigeria, and not forgetting the Islamist killers of the Charlie Hebdo journalists in Paris in January 2015, and those killed in Copenhagen and in Ottawa, it can be said unequivocally that even though it is true that “not all Muslims are terrorists”, far from it, it should nevertheless be ascertained nowadays that “most high profile international terrorists are Muslims,” no matter how hard some complacent characters do their best to hide this obvious fact.
 
Mr. Obama and some other politicians might think that this is not a “holy war” that Western civilization faces, but the jihadists do.
 
Therefore, can we ask if this semantic game to limit the freedom of thought is only a demonstration of misplaced political correctness as a form of George Orwell's Newspeak, or if it is a cowardly attempt by some politicians to willfully mislead the people regarding the real threat of Islamist terrorism, not only in the Middle East, but increasingly also in Western countries?
 
The reality is made of daily instances of horrors and of extreme brutality as thousands of people, in many countries, are being slaughtered, crucified, decapitated, stoned to death, raped, forced into marriage, burnt alive, tortured, enslaved, expatriated, etc., all in the name of the Islamist jihadist ideology. This is a much too serious and dark reality for the international community to feign to ignore or to camouflage through semantic tricks.
 
In such a chaotic situation, it would seem obvious that the United Nations must be more pro-active in implementing the principles of the U.N. Charter and of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Above all, and at this important juncture of human history, the current Secretary-General of the United Nations Mr. Ban Ki-moon holds a special responsibility.
 
A lack of fortitude and of foresight on his part could bring catastrophic, even apocalyptic, consequences for the world order, for fundamental human rights and for the fate of hundreds of millions of innocent people, men, women and children. At the very least, the U.N. General Assembly should declare the murderous ISIS organization illegal, and to be rejected by the international community, with the proviso that any member country supporting it directly or indirectly could be severely blamed.
 
Indeed, this savagery of another age has to stop. Islamist terrorism is a political cancer that should not be allowed to metastasize.
 
Now is not the time to discuss the sex of angels but to lead and to fight this rising threat to our civilization and to basic humanitarian and civilized principles, ideologically, politically and militarily. There is no way out. This is the challenge of our times and the world must rise to the challenge. As one woman told me after a meeting: “Maybe the world would be better off with no religions at all!”
Think about it.
 
However, to fully understand why and how the monstrosity that is ISIS came into existence, one has to understand its source in the ill-conceived policy pursued by some American administrations and by some European governments to willfully destabilize Middle Eastern countries. This was done according to a neocon plan designed long ago to systematically sponsor insurgencies and civil wars in that part of the world and to overthrow their secular governments.
 
To avoid more man-made disasters, such a destructive strategy should be denounced and stopped, possibly reversed, and be replaced with a more coherent policy to help the populations over there rather to draw them into a daily hell.
 
The semantic game referred to above and carried on by some politicians may be a way to conceal the over all catastrophe that has resulted from the U.S.-led policy of destabilization of the entire Middle East for more than a decade. The ISIS crisis has arisen as a consequence of these past failed policies. Many parts of the world are now in a mess, and some sitting politicians and previous ones have to share responsibility for the situation, —and they know it.
 
Conclusion
 
Nevertheless, if for any reason, some of these sitting failed politicians, especially in our democracies, do not have in their character or in their belly to change course and do what is right, they should have the decency to step aside and let men or women of the quality of Winston Churchill in the U.K., Charles De Gaulle in France and Franklin D. Roosevelt in the USA take command in each of our countries.

____________________________
 

Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is an international economist and author, whose last two books are:
The Code for Global Ethics, Prometheus Books, 2010; and The New American Empire, Infinity Publishing, 2004.
To read Dr. Tremblay’s blog, please visit: http://www.thenewamericanempire.com/blog.htm
The author can be reached at: rodrigue.tremblay1@gmail.com.
 
Posted Friday, February 27, 2015, at 5:30 am
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January 2, 2015
2015: A Pivotal Year for Economic and Financial Crises and Wars?

by Rodrigue Tremblay
(Author of the books “The Code for Global Ethics”, and
 “The New American Empire”)


"The dangerous patriot: The one who drifts into chauvinism and exhibits blind enthusiasm for military actions. He is a defender of militarism and its ideals of war and glory. Chauvinism is a proud and bellicose form of patriotism, …which identifies numerous enemies who can only be dealt with through military power and which equates the national honor with military victory." - James A. Donovan (1916-1970), American lawyer and Commander in the United States Navy Reserve
 
"Where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control." - Lord Acton (1834-1902) (John E. Dalberg), English Catholic historian, politician, and writer
 
"If you want war, nourish a doctrine. Doctrines are the most frightful tyrants to which men ever are subject... " - William Graham Sumner (1840-1910), American academic
 
"The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. … It is our true [foreign] policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world." - George Washington (1732-1799), First President of the United States, (1789-1797), Farewell Address, 1796
 
These days, militaristic Neoconservatives, or Neocons, have near complete control of the American government under the façade of whoever is president at the time. They direct U.S. policies at the State Department, at the Pentagon, at the U.S. Treasury and at the Fed central bank. They are thus in position to influence and frame American foreign policy, military policy, economic and financial policies and monetary policy.
 
This was not the case before the Ronald Reagan administration (1981-1989) when the latter adopted a neocon-inspired "muscular foreign policy" based on military intervention abroad, perpetual war, arbitrary regime changes, and imperial worldwide governance in any matters deemed to be in American interests and of that of its close allies. Even though they fared less well under the George H. Bush administration (1989-1993), when they were considered the "crazies in the basement", they resumed their ascendance within the American government under the Bill Clinton administration (1993-2001) with the U.S.-led Kosovo war and with the irresponsible dismantling of the Glass-Steagall Act, thus paving the way for the 2008 worldwide financial crisis.
 
The Neocons’ greatest success, however, came with the George W. Bush and Dick Cheney administration (2001-2009) when they persuaded the latter to launch the (illegal) 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, a war still with us and expanding today, twelve years later. They also drafted the so-called "Bush Doctrine" of (illegal) preemptive wars and of forced political regime changes in other countries.
 
This was an ideology that the Neocons had long advanced, both when Paul Wolfowitz was Deputy Secretary of Defense for policy in the George H. Bush administration (1989-1993), even though the latter publicly repudiated it, and in various essays published by a neocon think-tank dubbed "The Project for the New American Century (PNAC)" and founded by William Kristol and Robert Kagan.
 
After the fall of the Soviet empire in 1991, the warmongering Neocons argued that there should not be any "Peace dividend" for American taxpayers but rather that the United States should seize the opportunity to become the sole world military superpower and should therefore increase and not decrease its military spending. The intention was to establish a military New American Empire for the 21st Century, along the lines of the British Empire in the 19th Century.
 
Indeed, after the events of 9/11 and the arrival of George W. Bush in the White House in 2001, Paul Wolfowitz, as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense under Donald Rumsfeld, was in a better position to push for increased U.S. military spending and for the adoption of a new aggressive U.S. foreign policy. What was most troubling is the fact that the PNAC produced a paper in 2000, titled "Rebuilding America's Defenses", (of which Paul Wolfowitz was a signatory), which enigmatically noted that only a "new Pearl Harbor" would make Americans accept the military and defense policy transformations that the neocon group was proposing. Then, in September 2001, the “new Pearl Harbor” coincidentally and conveniently morphed into the 9/11 attacks.
The war against Afghanistan, where the 9/11 terrorists had trained (and who came from Saudi Arabia and a few other countries), and the war against Iraq, a country not even remotely connected with the events of 9/11, followed.
 
At the beginning of 2015, Neocons occupy key positions within the Barack Obama administration and it should be no surprise that U.S. foreign policy is hardly any different than it was under the George W. Bush administration. They are constantly pushing for provocations, confrontations, conflicts and wars. In fact, the year 2015 could be the year when many of the fires they have lit could turn into conflagrations.
 
Let us look at a few of them.

1.
The danger of another major financial and economic crisis
 
On July 21, 2010, President Obama signed an already watered down version of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to reign in financial corruption that brought about the 2008 financial crisis. The new law was supposed to re-establish part of the provisions of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act gutted out by the Clinton administration in 1999, in order to prevent megabanks and insurance companies from using government-insured deposits to build for themselves a pyramid of risky bets on the derivatives market (credit default swaps, commodity swaps, collateralized-debt obligations and other risky derivative financial products, etc.).
 
But guess what! Only four years later, on December 16, 2014, lobbyists and lawyers working full time for the megabanks persuaded President Obama to sign a massive $1.1 trillion omnibus bill disguised as a Budget Bill and which contains a provision to remove a rule known as the ‘swaps push-out’ rule, the latter requiring insured banks to establish uninsured subsidiaries to conduct their speculative derivatives trading activities.
 
As a consequence, American megabanks are now back in business speculating with government-insured deposits. When the entire financial house of cards will blow out again is unknown, but you can be sure that it will, especially if a serious political or economic shock hits the economy.
 
I would call that ‘financial brinkmanship’ and I would call Obama’s caving in to the megabanks ‘political cowardice’. And who do you think will pay in various ways for the economic mess when it occurs? Certainly not the megabanks that transformed their insolvent asset-backed securities into newly printed cold cash after the 2008 financial crisis, but ordinary people.
 
The U.S. economy and many other economies are still reeling from the 2008 financial crisis brought about by corrupted politicians and bankers with their lax or nonexistent regulations and excessive speculation schemes. Such economies are vulnerable and sensitive to unforeseen financial shocks because debt-to-income ratios are still high in many countries, including in the U.S. where the indebtedness ratio reached a peak of 177 percent just before the 2008-09 economic recession and still now stands at a lofty 152 percent. (Historically, the debt-to-income ratio has remained well below 90 percent.) A sudden rise in interest rates could therefore wreak havoc with many economies.
 
For one, the European Union (EU), the largest world economy, is teetering on the brink of recession, suffering from various government-imposed austerity programs, from an overvalued euro currency (for those countries in the euro zone) and from the economic blowback of its conflicts with Russia over including Ukraine into NATO. Europe is indeed in the midst of a lost decade of high unemployment, low economic growth and deteriorating social conditions. And, there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
 
China’s economy, the third largest world economy, is also slowing down fast, with excess manufacturing capacity while its exports are suffering from a 25 percent appreciation of the Chinese renminbi since 2004 and from weak world demand. Moreover, its financial sector is also vulnerable to the fact that China’s debt level is now at a lofty 176 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Chinese economy is also going through structural changes as the Chinese government pursues policies to reduce the country's reliance on foreign markets and to shift from an export-oriented model to more domestic sources of growth.
 
As for the U.S. economy, it is still weak and unable to generate enough new jobs, despite a rebound during the last few months, while the labor force participation rate has declined from 66.5 percent before the 2008-09 recession to 62.7 percent today. The fact that millions of Americans have part-time jobs and would like to have full-time jobs, and that real wages of those who work are stagnant or falling are also indicators that things have not come back to normal.
 
Since there is no fiscal policy and no industrial policy originating from the U.S. government, the Fed central bank has been obliged to step in with the most aggressive monetary policy in its history. Indeed, the Fed has quadrupled its bank lending to $4.5 trillion since 2008 and it has pursued a policy of risky zero-rate and low-rate policies.
 
As a consequence, the Fed has created a gigantic financial asset bubble. The unwinding of such monetary prodigiousness won’t be an easy task. What’s more, the U.S. government will be paralyzed by a political gridlock over the coming two years, a republican-controlled Congress being pitted against a lame-duck Democratic president, thus making it difficult for the U.S. government to respond adequately to a new financial crisis.
 
Another ominous sign is the collapse of the velocity of money in the U.S., just as during the late 1920s, right before the start of the Great Depression, and it is now at a nearly 20 year low. That both the American political and financial sectors are unhealthy should be worrisome for the coming years.
 

2. The real danger of a nuclear war with the rekindling of the old Cold War with Russia
 
Brinkmanship in financial matters is one thing; brinkmanship with nuclear war is another. Sadly, the neocon-inspired U.S. government is today involved in both.
 
Indeed, for many years now, the U.S. government has been engaged in an aggressive geopolitical warfare against Russia, first in pursuing a policy of geopolitical and military encirclement of Russia by expanding NATO to its borders with the integration of Ukraine, and second, by implementing a policy of economic warfare against Russia in order to undermine its economy and, eventually, to provoke a regime change in that country. It’s a game of “dare you?”
 
Some of the more lunatic Neocons openly call for a new World War III, presumably with Russia a country against which they seem to have personal animosities. These are some of the lunatics President Barack Obama listens to.
 
Oil as a geopolitical tool
 
The 50 percent drop of oil price in 2014 may be part of a wider U.S.-led economic warfare plan to destabilize the Russian economy and provoke an Oil Slump, knowing full well that 50 percent of Russian state revenue comes from its export sales of oil and gas. Above all, policy-makers in Washington D.C. want to break the Gazprom-E.U. supply dependency to weaken Russia and keep control over the E.U. via American allies such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
 
Such an artificial drop in oil price appears to be a complement to the already known decisions to saddle Russia with stiff American-led economic and financial sanctions designed by the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, (an outfit created in 2004 after intensive lobbying by AIPAC) and other attempts by the U.S. government to reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian oil and gas.
 
Since September, Saudi Arabia, a country with excess oil capacity and low-cost production, (and in a position to manipulate the international price for oil), has suddenly and dramatically decided to sell crude oil at deeply discounted prices and to maintain its oil production at high levels in face of a declining world oil demand.
 
This is a reversal of what Saudi Arabia and the OPEC countries did in the fall of 1973 when they suddenly quadrupled the price for oil and provoked a global economic recession.
 
This is, however, a strategy similar to what Saudi Arabia adopted in 1986 when it flooded the world with cheap Saudi oil, thus collapsing the international price of oil to below $10 a barrel, after an agreement with the U.S. government. The objective then was to undermine the economies of the Soviet Union and its then Iraq ally, even though other economies such as the Canadian economy suffered greatly from such a gambit.
 
This time, there seems to be a convergence of interests between the U.S. government and the Saudi kingdom. From a U.S. government’s point of view, the main objective is to hurt the Russian and Iranian energy sectors and damage the finances of President Vladimir Putin’s Russian government, while securing Saudi Arabia’s assistance in fighting the Islamist State (IS) in Iraq and in Syria.
 
From a Saudi point of view, a world oil price war meets its regional and global objectives in three ways. First, it is well known that the Saudi government wants to dominate oil and gas production in the entire Middle East region and is in opposition to Iran and Syria for securing the rich European market. Second, the Saudi government would also like to pressure Russia to end its support for the Syrian al-Assad government. Third, Saudi Arabia also wishes to regain market shares that it lost to more costly oil from shale oil and oil sands. By lowering oil prices, Saudi Arabia hopes to reduce or even put such competing oil production out of business by making their production less profitable.
 
However, such a move is bound to severely damage oil production from oil shale in North Dakota in the USA and oil-producing states like Texas may fall into recession, even though the overall U.S. economy will benefit from cheaper oil. Oil production from tar sands in Alberta, Canada will also badly suffer and this means a drop in the Canadian dollar, and possibly a Canadian recession. The shale and tar sands oil industries will be the main innocent victims of the overall geopolitical policy pursued by the U.S. government and its Middle East allies.
 
Indeed, since the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an American client state, it is most unlikely that such a move to flood oil markets and precipitate a stiff drop in oil price was decided without a tacit, if not an overt, approval by the U.S. government. In fact, there is wide speculation that when U.S. secretary of state John Kerry met with King Abdullah in September 2014, they allegedly struck an overall deal to that effect.
 
Ukraine as a geopolitical pawn
 
As to the destabilization of Russia’s neighboring Ukraine, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland has pretty much confirmed that the U.S. government was deeply involved in overthrowing the legitimate elected Ukrainian government last February, with the avowed objective of installing a U.S. puppet government in that country. This makes a mockery of democracy and only demonstrates how deeply the U.S. government is involved abroad in power politics and in aggressive interference in the domestic affairs of other countries.
 
Neoconservative Victoria Nuland, appointed Assistant Secretary of State by President Barack Obama, has publicly confirmed that the U.S. government has “invested” $5 billion to destabilize Ukraine and create a conflict between the latter country and Russia. It is hard not to conclude that the Ukrainian crisis is a made-in-Washington crisis. Her famous and insulting remark about Europe [“f*** the E.U.”] is another clear indication that the U.S. government wished to provoke a crisis with Russian not to help Europeans but to serve its own narrow imperial objectives, whatever the costs to the Russian people and to Europeans.
 
What is most disturbing is the irresponsibility with which the U.S. House of Representatives passed Resolution 758, on December 4, 2014, that is tantamount for all practical purposes to a declaration of war against Russia, based on false premises, distorted facts and false accusations. With that kind of irresponsible leadership, the world is presently in very bad hands.
 
The truth is that if Soviet missiles in Cuba, 90 miles from U.S. territory, were unacceptable to the U.S. government in 1962, American missiles in Ukraine, on the Russian borders, are unacceptable to the Russian government in 2015. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. For whoever knows history, that should not be too difficult to understand.
 
Conclusion
 
If world affairs take a turn for the worse in 2015, the world should know where to point the finger at the culprits. Some people think that world events occur by pure chance and there is no planning behind them. They are wrong. Dead wrong. Bad government policies, misdeeds, false flag operations or simple miscalculations are often at the heart of many geopolitical crises, be they financial, economic or military. Sometimes, it just happens that the "crazies in the basement" are in charge.
 
It is becoming clearer and clearer, even for the uninformed and the misinformed among us, that the resurgence of the Cold War confrontation with Russia has been engineered in Washington D.C. and that Russia has not been the aggressor, (as the official propaganda wants us to believe), but has rather reacted to a whole series of U.S.-led provocations.
 
Why have there been so many destabilizing interventions by the U.S. government around the world and who profit the most from this man-made instability? This is a good question that ordinary Americans should ask themselves.
 
Domestically, should the U.S. economy continue to be run by bankers? Internationally, should the U.S. government pursue its policy of deliberately attempting to drive the Russian government into a corner and takes measures to destroy the Russian economy? These are acts of war. Are ordinary Americans in agreement with such policies? Who will profit the most and who will loose the most if there were to be a nuclear war with Russia? Since Europeans would be at the forefront of such a conflict, this is a question that has also to be answered in Europe.
 
What the world desperately needs now is a law-governed international environment, not a jingoistic and chauvinistic world empire that looks only after its narrow self-interests.
 
More fundamentally maybe, we should reject the false ideology of clash between nations. It is a grave and dangerous fallacy that can only lead the world to disaster.

__________________________________________
 Posted January 2, 2015, at 5:30 am
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November 14, 2014
The Vicious Politico-religious Sunni-Shi’ite Civil War that the U.S. Government has Ignited in Iraq and in Syria
by Rodrigue Tremblay
(Author of the books “The Code for Global Ethics”, and
 “The New American Empire”)


[There] is a memo [at the Pentagon] that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.”
General Wesley Clark, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO (1997-2000), (March 2, 2007)
 
"I don't want to just end the [Iraq] war, but I want to end the mind-set that got us into war in the first place."
Presidential candidate Barack Obama, (January 31, 2008)
 
“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.”
Abraham Lincoln (1809—1865), 16th President of the United States (1861-65)

 
 When the U.S. government of George W. Bush (2001-2009) decided to illegally invade militarily the country of Iraq and overthrow the Sunni government of Saddam Hussein, against the advice of many thinking persons, it opened a “Pandora Box” of woes that is still spewing out its calamities today, and probably will for many years to come. This is the first and foremost cause of the current quagmire prevailing in Iraq and in Syria today.
 
In 2009, the Barack Obama administration thought that it could wash its hands and walk away from the “biggest mistake in American military history” and let local Iraqi politicians sort things out and form an “inclusive” government in Baghdad. Here is what President Obama said on February 27, 2009:
“Let me say this as plainly as I can: by August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end... Through this period of transition, we will carry out further redeployments. And under the Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government [negotiated by the previous Bush administration], I intend to remove all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2011.”
 
Well, as it should have been expected by anybody who has any knowledge of history in that part of the world, Iraq was far from being a stable “democracy”. Instead, the Shi’ite-led and paranoid Malaki government was everything but “inclusive” of the Sunni minority. Indeed, the Shi’ite-controlled Iraqi government was bent on taking revenge on the Sunnis for the suffering Shi’ites endured under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. Using the sophisticated military gear supplied by the U.S., it tracked down Sunni opposition and dissenters to the regime, many were killed, and it excluded prominent Sunni politicians from the government.
 
There lies the second cause of the Sunni revolt that has helped create the terrorist organization known as the Islamic State militia (IS), [also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)], whose fighters are often foreign volunteers, at least in Syria. Some are ethnic Chechens, and many come from western countries such as the U.K. —When one sows terrorism, one should expect to reap terrorism. And that’s what the U.S. government and some other western countries have got in Iraq and Syria. In the U.S. case, it is for invading the former militarily and for reneging on its obligations to behave as a responsible occupying power under international law.
 
Added to that ill-thought and improvised U.S. policy in Iraq was the incoherent and misguided American policy of destabilizing the neighboring Syria by supporting and arming Islamist rebels against the established Assad government, in association with the Sunni governments of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. These three countries had political and economic reasons of their own to oppose the Syrian Assad government, but not the United States. Many of these American-supported “moderate” Islamist terrorist organizations have since been absorbed by the rabidly terrorist ISIL organization. One can hardly think of a more flawed policy.
 
Last year, while the religious totalitarian terrorist IS organization was gaining strength both in Iraq and in Syria, and U.S. ambassadors in those countries were sounding the alarm, the Obama administration’s attention was concentrated on overthrowing the elected government of Ukraine and on overthrowing the Assad regime in Syria. Now, the IS militia are well entrenched in many cities and well armed with sophisticated American-supplied weapons that they have used to terrorize, torture and slaughter thousands of people who oppose their lunatic views, both in Iraq and Syria. That’s a total mess.
 
But what does the Obama administration do? Faced with a most serious humanitarian and military crisis in Iraq and in Syria that the United States itself has ignited with its policies, President Obama, surrounded by his neocon advisers (whose real allegiance is most dubious), has appeared hesitant, confused, overwhelmed, clueless, incoherent, passive and reactive. The old saying “A stitch in time saves nine” would seem to apply here. Indeed, problems tend to pile up when solutions are postponed and delayed. The brutal monster of IS in Iraq and in Syria has been allowed to develop and grow because of the U.S. government's wishful indifference in Iraq and of its misplaced policies in Ukraine and in Syria. The result has been a Washington D.C.-made quagmire in those countries. It is not exaggerated to say that the U.S. government has blood on its hands for the savage carnage taking place in these countries.
 
How could the world stand still when fanatical and delusional seventh century barbaric butchers slaughter people right and left, for their ethnicity, their religion or their ideas? There is a word for that savage behavior, and that is ethnic cleansing. It is genocide.
 
The sad truth is that for the last twenty some years, there has been very weak intellectual leadership in Washington D.C., and this at the highest echelons. Ruinous wars and costly financial crises have resulted.
 
In the future, the Clinton-Bush-Obama years will probably be known as the “Vacuum years”, because the U.S. government of the day would have abused and de facto destroyed the international law system created after WWII, while being incapable of providing an efficient and socially and politically responsible alternative. In fact, the U.S. neocon-inspired U.S government of the last twenty years has been unable to match its world empire ambitions with concrete solutions and workable institutions. This is not a good record, far from it.
 
On Tuesday, November 4, American voters had their say about the U.S. elected officials who have been behind the mayhem and destruction brought to Iraq and Syria, and also Libya, by their failed policies. Indeed, the November 2014 mid-term election was dubbed a “referendum on President Barack Obama“, focusing on his competency, coherence and relevancy, but also on the weak state of the U.S. economy. The electoral results have not been very good for democratic candidates who paid a heavy price for their president's failures.
 
With both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate now under firm Republican control, it is obvious that the last two years of the Obama presidency will be difficult for the embattled “lame-duck” president.
 
With both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate now under firm Republican control, it is obvious that the last two years of the Obama presidency will be difficult for the embattled “lame-duck” president.


__________________________
  Posted November 7, 2014, at 5:30 am
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Disclaimer: All quotes mentioned above are believed in good faith to be accurately attributed, but no guarantees are made that some may not be correctly attributed.
_________________________________
© 2014 by Big Picture World Syndicate, Inc.


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October 14, 2014
PERSONAL EULOGY of EMERITUS PROFESSOR RONALD IAN McKINNON, Stanford University

by Rodrigue Tremblay

My wife Carole and I were in Europe celebrating our 50th anniversary when we received the tragic news of Professor McKinnon's accident at SFO and his untimely death on October 1st.
 
Our first thoughts were for Margaret, their children Neil, Mary and David, and for all their grandchildren. We share with them our deepest sorrow at their husband's and father's unexpected death.
 
Only a few months before, Ron and Margaret visited us in our home in Vaudreuil, Quebec, near Montreal. We had no inkling that this would be the last time we would see Ron. Carole has known the McKinnons since 1962-63, when she was a student at Stanford-in-France and Ron was her economics professor. Little did she expect that those two semesters of economics classes were preparing her for a life, like Margaret, with a professor of economics! Each visit with the McKinnons and the sight of Ron's boyish smile brought back fond memories of France V.
 
During their visit last June, Ron and I exchanged books and articles, discovering that we were still on the same wavelengths on so many issues. Indeed, back nearly 50 years ago, when I did my doctoral studies at Stanford, Ron was one of the pillars of advisers I had the privilege of working with. The others were Lorie Tarshis, Ed Shaw, John Gurley, and Emile Despres, the latter was known then as an "economists' economist".
 
Professor Ronald McKinnon was an innovative applied economist and a realist economist. Some would say he was a 24/7 economist. He had economics for breakfast, lunch and dinner! When he visited us last summer, he had Thomas Piketty's huge tome about capitalism and inequalities under his arm. To the chagrin of our wives, I discussed with him the intricacies of why the rate of return of capital tends to be higher than the rate of economic growth over time, and how that leads to economic inequalities, and in what circumstances and for what reasons.
 
Professor McKinnon did path-breaking work in government-induced distortions in financial markets, economic development, monetary and financial systems, optimum currency areas, financial repression, and the importance and functioning of the dollar system. He was often travelling to conferences all over the world. Over the last twenty years, he made frequent trips to China, a country he developed a special affection for, and where he could work with many of his former students. No other economist in the US and in the world knew more about the Chinese economy and its financial system than Professor McKinnon.
 
Professor McKinnon was not only a superb international economist and a prolific author who made huge contributions in economics, he was also an extremely well-liked and most appreciated personality. His regretful demise will be mourned all over the world by all professional economists and by his grateful former students. He will be sadly missed.
 
Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay
Emeritus professor of economics,
University of Montreal,
and former Minister of Industry in the
Quebec government,
Former president of the
North American Economics and Finance Association
(NAEFA)
Email: rodrigue_tremblay@yahoo.com


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September 19, 2014
In Iraq and Syria, A Vietnam-type Quagmire over Oil and Gas?
by Rodrigue Tremblay
(Author of the books “The Code for Global Ethics”, and “The New American Empire”)


“The Pottery Barn rule: You break it, you own it.
Colin Powell (1937- ), George W. Bush’s Secretary of State, (2001-2004) when he warned President George W. Bush in the summer of 2002 of the consequences of military action in Iraq, (quoted in Plan of Attack, 2004, by journalist Bob Woodward).
 
[The secret involvement of the United States in arming the Islamist Mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan] “was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan. …The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President [Jimmy] Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.
Zbigniew Brzezinski (1928- ), national security advisor to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981 and one of President Barack Obama's main advisors on foreign policies, (interview of January 15, 1998, by Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris).
 
“The use of force is only legal [internationally] when it is in self-defense [against an armed attack] or with a [formal] U.N. Security Council authorization.”
Ban Ki-Moon (1944- ), United Nations Secretary General, (2013)


If the political and military situation in the oil-rich Middle East appears to be most chaotic, most complex and most confused, it's because it is. How could it be otherwise when there are twenty-some governments jockeying for power and influence over there, trying to put their hands on the oil and gas faucets and they have no scruples about getting directly involved in the affairs of each other to reach their goals. Indeed, there is no part of the world where foreign intervention in the domestic affairs of other nations by a host of governments is so prevalent and is even taken for granted.
 
At the top of the list of outside interventionists, we find the well armed United States of America with its military gear spread all over the world. In March 2003, the Bush-Cheney administration, assisted by the U.K. Tony Blair government and pushed by the Israeli government, used false pretenses and outright lies, and opened a Pandora's Box of woes in that part of the world by militarily invading the country of Iraq. It did it to overthrow Iraq’s Sunni-controlled government and replaced it with a Shiite-controlled government. This invasion has since destabilized the entire Middle East by rekindling the dormant Sunni-Shiite antagonism, and it has put into motion a series of civil wars and a series of proxy wars in many countries of the region, mainly along the politico-religious lines of Sunni populations vs. Shiite populations, but also along ethnic and tribal loyalties.
 
In 2011, the U.S. Obama administration thought it could safely withdraw American troops from a devastated Iraq and wash its hands of the entire mess. —Well, it did not turn out that way. The current insurgency of Sunni Muslims both in Syria and in Iraq is a fall-out from the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.
 
The ongoing civil war in Syria has been a fertile ground for disenchanted Sunnis to form an Islamic State militia (IS), [also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)]. Their aim is to carve up a large chunk of land out of Syria and Iraq that they call an Islamic caliphate to underline the links between politics and religion in that part of the world.
 
After having left behind a country governed by a sectarian Iraqi Shiite government in December 2011, the Obama administration has very limited options to counter the rise of the most barbaric IS militia in that part of the world. For domestic political reasons, however, Mr. Obama must go into the motion of waging war in the Middle East. (There could be a more logical reason why Obama wants to bomb Syria, as explained below).
 
On September 10 (2014), President Obama announced that his administration stands ready to send hundreds of American military “advisors” back to Iraq and to intensify the campaign of airstrikes against the Islamic State militia (IS), both inside Iraq and inside Syria, with the assistance of some other governments that are expected to provide ground troops to occupy any territory “liberated” from the IS organization.
 
Such a strategy raises a few fundamental questions.
 
First, there is a legal question. How can the United States government say openly that it intends to violate Syria’s airspace to attack the IS jihadists without either a formal agreement with the Bashar al-Assad Syrian government and/or without a supportive resolution of the United Nations Security Council?
 
Secondly, there is the feasibility of a military ground operation in Iraq and in Syria when the three most directly involved governments in the region, i.e. the Assad Syrian government, the Sunni Turkish government and the Shiite Iranian government are not participants in the operation.
 
Considering that many countries in the Middle East have complicated interests, their direct military involvement in Syria is questionable, … unless the true objective of the Obama operation is to complete the overthrow of the Assad regime in Damascus. In which case, the IS organization would only be serving as a convenient pretext for another more important purpose, i.e. the overthrow of the Syrian Assad government.
 
The organization IS (or some other manipulating power behind it) deliberately provoked American media and American conscience with well-staged barbaric beheadings. Keep in mind that in September 2013, Syrian rebel groups had staged a false flag operation by using chemical weapons against civilians in order to provoke an American response. This time, one year later, they seem to have succeeded.
 
Indeed, what are the ultimate political and military objectives in Syria? Does the U.S. State Department still want to topple the Assad government? If yes, why? What has the Syrian government done to the United States? And, if it is overthrown, who will take its place?
 
This would be a most curious “strategy” indeed if the U.S. were to fight both the Islamic State militia IS and the secular Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad, and end up creating a political vacuum like the one the same policy created in Libya. Politics does not support a vacuum of power. In a country where 60 per cent of the population is Sunni, compared with only 20 per cent in Iraq, the likely successor to an Assad government in Syria would be a sectarian Sunni-controlled Islamist government, whether it be called IS or any other name. It could also become a complete mess as it is today in Libya, where different armed factions are fighting each other to grab some political foothold.
 
Who would then benefit? This can be ascertained if we rely on some economic analysis. Indeed, let us consider the all-important geopolitics of proposed gas pipelines in the Middle East. Such pipelines are planned to go from the Persian Gulf to Europe in order to diversify and reduce European energy dependence upon Russian gas.
 
Two main pipeline routes have been considered in recent years to bring natural gas to an energy-starved Europe that is in a more or less open conflict with Russia and which would like to find alternative gas supplies to balance out the Russian dominance of its markets:
-First, there is what has been dubbed the “Islamic pipeline“, (also called the “Friendship Pipeline“ by the governments involved), because it is a proposed 3480 mile-long Iran-Iraq-Syria natural gas pipeline going toward Europe from east to west, from Iran and Iraq to the Mediterranean coast of Syria and Lebanon.
-Secondly, there is an alternative pipeline to supply natural gas to Europe and it is the Qatar-Turkey pipeline which would take a more northbound route and would go from Qatar (the world's leading exporter of liquefied natural gas) and Saudi Arabia via Syria to Turkey, where it would connect with the Nabucco pipeline originating from the Caspian Sea to supply European customers through Austria, as well as gas-starved Turkey.
 
This later pipeline is supported by many European states and by the United States, and by Israel who would benefit with a connected pipeline. Therefore, many countries’ involvement in the Syrian civil war is based in part on their desire to see the building of that gas pipeline from Qatar to Turkey through Syria.
 
However, the Syrian government has rejected this later proposal, preferring the first option. That is why the country of Syria is at the center of decisions regarding the building of pipelines to bring natural gas to Europe. This is also an important source of political conflict in that part of the world. It explains why the governments of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel and the European Union (EU) have worked so hard to overthrow the Syrian Assad government and have financed various rebel groups, including the IS organization.
 
Conclusion
 
Oil and gas production, pipeline building and sales are important factors in explaining the political frictions present in the Middle East and the reason why so many governments want to topple the Assad Syrian government. Such an overt or camouflaged policy will only bring more chaos to the Middle East.
 
To bring peace to the Middle East would require a spirit of compromise and concessions, and serious political negotiations, not decades-long wars. A negotiated political solution would seem preferable to constant military confrontations, especially considering the carnage that wars bring to the people.
The sooner this is recognized, the better for all those involved.
_________________
 Posted September 19, 2014, at 5:30 am
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August 15, 2014
Bill Clinton’s Three Crucial Neocon-inspired Decisions that Led to Three Major Crises in our Times
by Rodrigue Tremblay
(Author of the books “The Code for Global Ethics”, and “The New American Empire”)


“In 1936, I declared that it was not the Covenant of the League that was at stake, but international morality...The Charter of the United Nations expresses the noblest aspirations of man: abjuration of force in the settlement of disputes between states; the assurance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion; the safeguarding of international peace and security.“
Haile Selassie (1892-1975), address to the United Nations, Oct 6, 1963.
 
“The beauty of the Glass-Steagall act, after all, was its simplicity: banks should not gamble with government insured money. Even a six-year-old can understand that...”
Luigi Zingales (1963- ), (A Capitalism for the People, 2014).
 
“Today, Congress voted to update the rules that have governed financial services since the Great Depression and replace them with a system for the 21st century...This historic legislation will better enable American companies to compete in the new economy.”
Lawrence H. Summers (1954- ), U.S. Treasury Secretary, November 12, 1999.
 
"We are aware that NATO membership for a unified Germany raises complicated questions. For us, however, one thing is certain: NATO will not expand to the east."
Hans-Dietrich Genscher (1927- ), the German foreign minister,
(February 10, 1990, promising Russia that NATO would not expand to Eastern Europe.)
 
"I think it is the beginning of a new cold war. I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies. I think it is a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever...It shows so little understanding of Russian history and Soviet history. Of course there is going to be a bad reaction from Russia, and then [the NATO expanders] will say that we always told you that is how the Russians are -- but this is just wrong."
George F. Kennan, (1904-2005), U.S. diplomat and Russia specialist,
(in 1998, after the U. S. Senate voted to extend NATO to include Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.)

 
An eye-popping new book has alleged that U.S. President Bill Clinton had his White House phones tapped in real time, for the benefit of the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The book also reveals how the Israeli Prime Minister could have used taped conversations of the American president regarding Mr. Clinton’s 1990s sexual scandal in the White House, to exert pressure on him to release from prison a convicted Israeli spy, Jonathan Pollard, who had been arrested in 1985, for espionage against the United States. In fact, the Israeli surveillance activities in the United States may be very widespread.
 
I suspect that such illegal activities and the fact that an American president (and other members of the U.S. administration) could have been placed under electronic surveillance and could have been potentially blackmailed by a foreign country will not go down well with ordinary patriotic Americans, if this becomes widely known. This comes after it has been discovered that the CIA, which works closely in tandem with the Israeli Mossad, has been illegally and unconstitutionally spying on U.S. senators.
 
These revelations can also encourage us to cast a second look at some crucial decisions made by the Clinton administration, fifteen years ago, because the consequences of such decisions are very much with us today.
 
Indeed, the fuses of three major crises still smoldering were lit during the U.S. Clinton administration (1992-2000), especially during Clinton’s second term (1996-2000). People tend to forget such matters while they concentrate their attention solely on current events. However, it often happens that what we are witnessing in current times has been years in preparation, long after the initiators have left the political scene. What the George W. Bush administration did and what Barack Obama is doing have been a continuation of policies that the Bill Clinton administration initiated in the first place.
 
What are these three crises that one can trace back to “innovations” introduced by the Bill Clinton administration in the late 1990s?
 
 
1- First, there is the Clinton Kosovo Precedent of wars for “humanitarian” reasons.
 
The current crisis of multiple wars being waged today around the globe, in direct violation of the United Nations Charter, originates largely in that precedent initiated by Bill Clinton.
 
The Preamble solemnly establishes the main objective of the 1945 U.N. Charter when it says “We the Peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war…” and to this end, “armed force(s) shall not be used, save in the common interest…”
 
As the current United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon reminded the world last year, according to the U.N. Charter, agreed by all the member countries, “the use of force is only legal when it is in self-defense [against an armed attack] or with a [formal] U.N. Security Council authorization.”
 
—That is what international law says.
 
Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, indeed, formally prohibits any war that is not to maintain or restore international peace (Article 42) or that is not undertaken in individual or collective self-defense (Article 51). There are no exceptions for “preventive wars”, “so-called humanitarian wars” or any kind of war of aggression.
 
However, in 1998 and in 1999, the Democratic Clinton administration decided unilaterally to join the on-going Kosovo War in Yugoslavia without an explicit mandate from the U.N. Security Council, instead relying for the first time not on legality but on an extra-judicial arbitrary argument of political legitimacy for “humanitarian” motives to protect “human rights”.
 
This was done without even a resolution by the U.S. Congress, and with the sole reliance on the NATO alliance as an instrument of military intervention. (In that case, it was NATO air military operations.) The Kosovo War has been described as “the first war for values” and has opened the Pandora Box of wars of choice, outside of the international legal framework of the United Nations Charter.
 
Since the Kosovo Precedent of unilateral humanitarian intervention, war of aggression has become a matter of political will rather than of strict legality, the intervening countries using different versions of their “national interests”. In other words, the world has gone back to before 1945, before the creation of the United Nations, when powerful countries could go to war whenever they felt that it was in their national interests to do so.
 
The demise of the United Nations as a legal framework against war was greatly accelerated by the Bill Clinton administration’s decision to sidestep the U.N. Charter in favor of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The world is less secure now that the United Nations has been de facto sidelined in its principal mission of preventing and stopping wars.
 
2- Then there is the Repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999
 
In the 1990s, super large American banks launched a $300 million campaign of lobbying efforts to have the Roosevelt-era-Glass-Steagall act repealed. That important 1933 law had prevented American banks from gambling with government insured money by merging risky and uninsured investment banks that underwrite securities and commercial banks that take insured deposits.
 
However, powerful bankers, some of them having important posts within the Clinton administration, such as Robert Rubin, Treasury Secretary (1995-1999) and a previous co-chairman from 1990 to 1992 of the large investment bank Goldman Sachs, argued that things had changed and that the limitations imposed by the Glass-Steagall act on their banking activities were hindering their capabilities to “innovate” in the types of financial products they could create and sell to investors, not only in the U.S. but all over the world, thus preventing them from being competitive internationally.
 
Initially, the Clinton administration was reluctant to gut an act that had prevented the abuses and predatory banking practices that had preceded the Great Depression. However, after some tremendous pressure had been exerted on the Clinton administration, from outside and from within, President Bill Clinton finally signed the repeal of the Glass-Steagall act, on November 12, 1999, as a bill newly renamed the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act under the names of Senate Banking Committee Chair Phil Gramm (R-Texas), House Banking Committee chair James Leach (R-Iowa), and Virginia Representative Thomas Bliley (R-Virginia).
 
This allowed commercial banks, investment banks, securities firms, and insurance companies to consolidate, but without giving the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), or any other financial regulatory agency for that matter, the authority to regulate large investment bank holding companies.
Largely unregulated super large banks and large insurance companies used the newly acquired liberty to engage in Ponzi finance practices, as they have often done historically and as it should have been expected.
Indeed, they proceeded with creating new financial derivative products that turned out to be very toxic and which became an important cause of the subprime financial crisis of 2007-09.
What we know, moreover, is that the 2007-2008 financial crisis has resulted in income and wealth losses of trillions of dollars by American families and of subsidies in the trillions of dollars for large banks, thus resulting in a massive wealth transfer and damaging the U.S. economy for years to come.
 
3- Thirdly, there is the cancellation of the Bush I-Baker promise to Russian Prime Minister Gorbachev not to expand NATO
 
As the German foreign minister Genscher’s quote above indicates, it is widely accepted that after the Warsaw Pact, (the Eastern Europe military alliance), was dissolved in the early 1990s, and after the German reunification, it was at the very least implicitly promised that NATO would not take advantage of the situation to encircle Russia militarily by expanding in Eastern Europe. For example, it was reported that U.S. Secretary of State James Baker in the George H. Bush administration and German foreign minister Genscher, after a meeting on February 10, 1990, had agreed that there was to be no NATO expansion to the East.
 
Moreover, this was also the understanding of Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet president at the time, when he said that there was a promise not to expand NATO “as much as a thumb's width further to the East.” In the past, Jack Matlock, the US ambassador in Moscow at the time, confirmed that Moscow was given a “clear commitment” to that effect. Therefore, Gorbachev’s mistake may have been to have taken the western politicians’ word too much at its face value instead of requesting a formal agreement.
 
In any case, the informal agreement not to expand NATO to encompass Russia’s former partners in the Warsaw Pact held for a few years, that is until President Bill Clinton, on October 22, 1996, saw it to his advantage during his 1996 reelection campaign to promise to enlarge NATO to include Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia.
 
In other words, in 1996, Clinton stopped enforcing the promise made by his predecessor. The rest is history, and NATO was from then on transformed from a defensive military alliance into an offensive military alliance under American control. It went on to include not only Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia, but also countries such as Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Latvia, and Slovenia, among others, thus pushing its military infrastructure right up to the Russian border. Recent attempts to draw Ukraine into NATO are only a continuation of an aggressive policy of expanding NATO and of isolating Russia, initiated by the Bill Clinton administration in the late 1990s.
 
Under the influence of American Neocons, Clinton rejected the idea of a peace dividend to be reaped after a reduction in military expenditures due to the lessening of the Soviet threat and the end of the Cold War.
 
Conclusion
 
The geopolitical global chaos that the world has been going through in the beginning of this 21st Century, the devastating 2008 financial crisis that imposed such heavy losses on so many people, and the threatening resurgence of the old Cold War with Russia, all have causes that can be traced back to short-sighted and disastrous decisions made by the Clinton administration in the 1990s.
 
The failed subsequent administrations of George W. Bush and of Barack H. Obama merely followed in the path open during the Clinton era. This is something that future historians will need to consider closely when attempting to understand the thread of events that created the apparent current chaos in many fields today.
___________________________________________
Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is an international economist and author, whose last two books are:
The Code for Global Ethics, Prometheus Books, 2010; and The New American Empire, Infinity Publishing, 2003.
To read Dr. Tremblay’s blog, please visit: http://www.thenewamericanempire.com/blog.htm
The author can be reached at: rodrigue.tremblay1@gmail.com.
 
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Posted August 15, 2014, at 5:30 am
Email to a friend:
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© 2014 by Big Picture World Syndicate, Inc.


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July 11, 2014
The Blundering  Obama Administration and its Apparent Incoherent Foreign Policy

by Rodrigue Tremblay
(Author of the books “The Code for Global Ethics”, and “The New American Empire”)


“I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being. But what makes us exceptional is not our ability to flout international norms and the rule of law; it is our willingness to affirm them through our actions.”
President Barack Obama
May 29, 2014 commencement speech at West Point
 
“War is mankind’s most tragic and stupid folly; to seek or advise its deliberate provocation is a black crime against all men.”
President Dwight Eisenhower
1947 commencement speech at West Point
 
"Politically speaking, tribal nationalism always insists that its own people is surrounded by "a world of enemies", "one against all", that a fundamental difference exists between this people and all others. It claims its people to be unique, individual, incompatible with all others, and denies theoretically the very possibility of a common mankind long before it is used to destroy the humanity of man."
Hannah Arendt (1906-1975), The Origins of Totalitarianism, 1951
 
"...An empire is a despotism, and an emperor is a despot, bound by no law or limitation but his own will; it is a stretch of tyranny beyond absolute monarchy. For, although the will of an absolute monarch is law, yet his edicts must be registered by parliaments. Even this formality is not necessary in an empire."
John Adams (1735-1826), 2nd American President


Am I alone in having the uneasy feeling, while listening to Barack Obama's speeches, that we are witnessing an actor playing the role of an American president and carefully reading the script he has been given? As time goes by, indeed, Barack Obama seems to be morphing more and more into a Democratic George W. Bush. Those who write his speeches seem to have the same warmongering mentality as those who wrote George W. Bush's or Dick Cheney’s speeches, ten years ago.
 
That's probably no accident since Neocons occupy key positions in Barack Obama's administration as they did under George W. Bush when they pushed the United States into the war in Iraq, and as they have also tried to push the United States toward a military showdown with Iran and as they are now attempting to provoke Russia into a military conflict. How Neocons can infiltrate both Republican and Democratic administrations and be trouble-makers in both administrations is the daily wonder of American politics!
 
But we know the Neocons’ “Grand Plan”. They have published it. Indeed, this is a plan that has been outlined in many reports published by the (now defunct) Project for a New American Century (PNAC), an organization created in 1997, and whose many founders became prominent members of the Bush-Cheney administration. They have rebranded themselves as the Foreign Policy Initiative and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and have now succeeded in becoming influential within the Obama-Biden administration, especially at the State Department as leftovers of former Secretary Hillary Clinton. They and their allies are the main force behind the disastrous and incoherent U.S. foreign policies being pursued by the United States government both in the Middle East and in Eastern Europe.
 
Basically, it is a plan that has little to do with the fundamental interests of ordinary Americans, and everything to do with those of some foreign and domestic entities, most prominently the state of Israel because of its influence in American domestic politics and the Sunni state of Saudi Arabia because of its crucial role in influencing the price of oil internationally. It is also a plan that fits in very well with the interests of the military-industrial complex, which needs a permanent war environment to justify huge defense budgets.
 
Such a plan is based on the old principle of “Divide and Conquer” (or in Latin, « Divide ut Regnes or “Divide et Impera). This sometimes requires creating political chaos where stability prevails. And stirring the pot is what the Neocons want to do in order to attain their goals. In the Middle East, they do it by fanning the flames of the old sectarian conflict between Sunni Muslims and Shiite Muslims in order to overthrow unfriendly established governments and to disintegrate countries into smaller and more easily controlled parts, even though the human costs for the local populations are horrific.
 
For example, even though it may seem absurd for the Obama administration to arm and support fanatical Islamist rebels in Syria while fighting them in Iraq with drones and Marines, such a bizarre policy appears rational in the eyes of the Neocons if it results in Sunnis and Shiites killing each other and if the country of Iraq is broken down into parts.
 
In Europe, the Neocons have persuaded the clueless Obama administration that provoking a rekindling of the old Cold War and re-igniting tensions between Russia and the West were necessary steps to be taken in order to solidify the U.S.’s influence on the European Union (E.U.) and to establish a reframed and enlarged NATO as an American-controlled offensive military alliance that can sidestep the United Nations, justifying military interventionism abroad.
 
But, because the neocon plan is often in conflict with long term economic and political American interests at home and abroad, the neocon plan to launch a string of American-sponsored wars in the Middle East and in Eastern Europe may explain why Obama’s current foreign policy appears to be so incoherent and so inconsistent. Let us elaborate.
 
1- First, consider the chaotic situations in Syria, in Libya, and in Iraq, where well-armed Islamic militias are well positioned to destabilize these countries’ established governments through civil wars that could easily lead to their political disintegration and economic downfall.
 
However, while permanent chaos in that oil-rich part of the world may serve certain political interests, especially those of Israel whose geopolitical advantage is to weaken surrounding Islamic states and even break them up into smaller entities, and those of Sunni and oil-rich Saudi Arabia whose advantage is to profit from higher oil prices and to weaken the Middle East Shiite states (Iran, Iraq and their ally Syria), such permanent military conflicts hardly serve the interests of American consumers and workers and may threaten the business interests of the large American oil companies operating in the region.
 
Indeed, higher oil prices are one of the causes behind the current relative economic stagnation in the United States and in Europe, while the possibility that Islamic militias can attack and take control of oil fields in those countries runs counter to the interests of American oil companies.
 
This partly explains why there are conflicting demands being made on the Obama administration by different political and economic interests, and it has become increasingly difficult to accommodate them all, notwithstanding how hard President Obama tries to do so. Thus, the apparent incoherence and inconsistency in that foreign policy.
 
Sometimes Barack Obama acts as if he accepts the neocon agenda of destabilizing most Middle East Muslim countries for the benefit of Israel and Saudi Arabia. Witness the U.S. government’s financial and military support of terrorist organizations to provoke “regime change” in Syria as it has done in Libya. Remember that last September, Obama had acquiesced to his neocon advisers’ recommendation to bomb the country of Syria, whose Assad government was deemed too close to Shiite Iran, before realizing that the entire cabal of justifications was a false flag operation.
 
Sometimes, however, the economic costs of such instability are considered too high and a timid Obama, to the chagrin of his neocon advisers, hesitates to implement fully the Machiavellian neocon plan. President Obama then becomes the target of the neocon media who picture him as weak, “out of touch”, inexperienced and irresolute, thus contributing to his increasing unpopularity.
 
2- Secondly, consider the new Cold War that the Neocons have succeeded in rekindling in Europe, with their aggressive policy of encircling Russia with missiles and hostile neighboring countries and of engineering a “regime change” in Ukraine. Who profits from these renewed tensions? Certainly not ordinary Americans and ordinary Europeans. The profiteers are the empire builders and the arms traffickers, and all those who like to fish in troubled waters.
 
Conclusion
 
It is most unfortunate that President Barack Obama has not been able to establish a coherent and credible American foreign policy of his own, with clear principles and clear objectives, and has had to rely on discredited Neocons for advice. Therefore, he has placed himself and his government at the mercy of various and contradictory influences, sometimes jerking in one direction, sometimes in another direction. That’s called a lack of vision and a lack of leadership.
 
It may not be too late for Barack Obama to be his own man in his second term and to stop emulating George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. For that, however, he would have to fire all the Neocons in positions of power and policy-making in his administration. If he does not have the guts to do that, he may turn out to be one of the worst American presidents ever, on a par with George W. Bush.

__________________________
Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is an international economist and author, whose last two books are:
The Code for Global Ethics, Prometheus Books, 2010; and The New American Empire, Infinity Publishing, 2003.
To read Dr. Tremblay’s blog, please visit: http://www.thenewamericanempire.com/blog.htm
The author can be reached at: rodrigue.tremblay1@gmail.com.
 
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April 1, 2014
Le chef du PLQ M. Philippe Couillard fait peur

Par Rodrigue Tremblay, économiste
Professeur émérite de l’Université de Montréal, ancien ministre et auteur du livre « Le Code pour une éthique globale », [http://www.amazon.ca/Code-pour-une-éthique-globale/]
 
« Depuis 1763, nous n’avons plus d’histoire, sinon celle, par réfraction, que nos conquérants veulent bien nous laisser vivre, pour nous calmer. Cette tâche leur est d’autant plus facile que nous sécrétons nos propres bourreaux. »
Léon Dion (1922-1997)
 
« Le laquais, en imitant les vices de ses maîtres, a l’impression de s’approprier leur puissance. »
Voltaire (1694-1778)
 
« Tous les colonisés du monde et de l’histoire se sont fait dire que leur affranchissement les conduirait à la ruine et au marasme social. »
André Langevin (1927-2009)

 
Avec son indécrottable conservatisme et son passéisme historique, le Dr. Philippe Couillard fait vraiment peur. Nous sommes en face d’un politicien dont la pensée politique en est une du 19ème Siècle et qui récuse la plupart des progrès que le Québec moderne a réalisés au cours des dernières décennies.
 
Essentiellement parce que les journalistes n’ont pas fait correctement leur travail au cours de cette curieuse de campagne électorale, les gens connaissent très mal l’actuel chef du PLQ et son idéologie politique, beaucoup plus rapprochée de celle d’un Stephen Harper que des chefs traditionnels du PLQ, à commencer par Georges-Émile Lapalme et Jean Lesage, ou de Robert Bourassa et Claude Ryan, qui tous avaient un amour pour le Québec et sa survie en tant que société francophone distincte en Amérique du nord.
 
Avec Philippe Couillard, en effet, le PLQ a un leader qui croit plutôt que le Québec a fait fausse route avec la Révolution tranquille, et même que tous les efforts pour construire une classe d’affaires francophone, le Québec Inc., n’auraient pas dû être entrepris parce que non conformes à son idéologie du « véritable libéralisme » classique.
 
Comment le sait-on ?
 
Parce que Philippe Couillard l’a lui-même expliqué dans un article radical qu’il publia dans le journal Le Devoir, le 5 décembre 2012, quand il voulut se distinguer des deux autres candidats dans la course à la chefferie libérale, les ex ministres Raymond Bachand et Pierre Moreau. Dans cet article de 2012 et intitulé « Revenir aux sources de l’idée libérale », M. Couillard se présente lui-même comme un libéral d’avant la Révolution tranquille qui a la nostalgie du bon vieux temps, soit celui des Wilfrid Laurier, Alexandre Taschereau et Adélard Godbout, tous selon lui de « véritables libéraux » partisans du laisser faire, de l’attentisme et de l’immobilisme gouvernemental.
 
Un refus obstiné de l’héritage nationaliste de grands leaders du PLQ
 
Le Dr. Couillard ne semble manifester aucune véritable admiration pour les architectes de la Révolution tranquille que furent les Georges-Émile Lapalme, Jean Lesage, René Lévesque, Paul Gérin-Lajoie, et même pas pour Robert Bourassa, et pour tous les autres leaders politiques du Québec depuis plus d’un demi-siècle. Avec lui, surtout pas de slogan de « Maîtres chez-nous », ou de celui de « Québec d’abord ! », ou même de faire sienne la déclaration du chef libéral Georges-Émile Lapalme qui affirmait qu’il « n’est pas de province, dans la Confédération canadienne, qui ait autant besoin de son autonomie pour vivre que la province de Québec ». Philippe Couillard n’a que faire d’une autonomie politique pour le Québec. Il aspire plutôt à se fondre dans le tout ‘Canadian’.
 
Georges-Émile Lapalme et Jean Lesage ont beau avoir été des figures de proue dans l’histoire du Québec, ils sont anathèmes aux yeux du bon docteur Couillard. Il se dit en rupture avec ces grands leaders libéraux québécois.
 
Il faudrait aussi demander au Dr. Couillard ce qu’il pense de la déclaration du Premier ministre Robert Bourassa, de juin 1970, quand ce dernier déclara que « quoi qu’on dise et qu’on fasse, le Québec est aujourd’hui et pour toujours une société libre de ses choix et capable d’assurer son développement… ». Je ne crois pas me tromper en pensant qu’il aurait le même mépris envers M. Bourassa que celui d’un Pierre-Elliot Trudeau arrogant, quand celui-ci avait traité publiquement le Premier ministre du Québec de « mangeur de hot-dogs » !
 
Avec le Dr. Couillard, il n’aurait pas été question de reconquête économique et d’affirmation nationale, tel que mis de l’avant dans les années ’60 par Georges-Émile Lapalme, Jean Lesage, René Lévesque et Paul Gérin-Lajoie. Il n’aurait pas fallu surtout compter sur lui pour réaliser la nationalisation de l’électricité ou pour créer une Caisse des dépôts. Non. Le bon docteur aurait laissé faire, parce que conforme à son idéologie ultra conservatrice. Où serait le Québec moderne d’aujourd’hui si un Philippe Couillard avait dirigé le Québec ?
 
Est-ce que les partisans francophones du PLQ savent cela ? Permettez-moi d’en douter. Savent-ils qu’ils ont à leur tête une personne qui a des idées politiques très rapprochées de celle du chef conservateur fédéral Stephen Harper ?
 
Quelle différence y–a-t-il, en effet, entre Philippe Couillard et le conservateur Stephen Harper ? En réalité, ce sont deux conservateurs d’extrême droite, sauf que le premier s’exprime mieux en français que le second.
 
Les deux sont, en effet, des conservateurs dans l’âme, et ils sont des nostalgiques du bon vieux temps. Dans le cas de Harper, c’est la nostalgie de l’Empire britannique, tandis que pour Couillard c’est la nostalgie du Québec « province comme les autres » dans un Canada irréformable. Pour M. Couillard, son Canada c’est le Canada de Pierre-Elliot Trudeau.
 
Les deux sont aussi des royalistes à tout crin et des admirateurs enthousiastes de l’Empire britannique et de la Reine d’Angleterre.
 
Les deux font partie du Conseil privé de la Reine à Ottawa à qui ils ont prêté allégeance.
 
Les deux sont des politiciens religieux qui se félicitent assurément que le gouvernement Trudeau ait inséré dans l’Acte constitutionnel de 1982, dénoncé à l’unanimité par l’Assemblée nationale du Québec, que le Canada reconnaît « la suprématie de Dieu », ce qui est contraire aux grandes constitutions américaine et française qui reconnaissent plutôt la « suprématie du peuple ».
 
Les deux sont convaincus que le Québec doit redevenir « une province comme les autres », sauf que M. Harper a eu au moins la décence de faire adopter une loi de principe déclarant les Québécois « une nation dans un Canada uni », même si ce geste symbolique ne conférait aucun pouvoir additionnel au gouvernement du Québec.
 
Messieurs Couillard et Harper sont tous les deux des partisans du laisser faire dans tous les domaines, économique, social, culturel et linguistique. Et si cela l’exige, ce sont des politiciens dont on peut s’attendre à ce qu’ils se rangent du côté des riches contre les pauvres.
 
L’indifférence que manifeste le chef actuel du PLQ pour la langue française et pour l’histoire du Québec tient aussi à sa vision ultra conservatrice des choses. La proposition qu’il a laissé échapper lors du deuxième débat des chefs le 27 mars dernier, à savoir d’instituer un « bilinguisme sur le plancher des usines » du Québec, relève de son inconscience de la précarité du français en Amérique du nord et de son refus de défendre la langue française en tant que langue officielle du Québec. On sent, en effet, chez Philippe Couillard l’impression nette que si la loi 101, laquelle dit que la langue officielle du Québec est le français, disparaissait, il en serait fort aise.
 
La conclusion est claire, à savoir que jamais le Québec n’a risqué autant qu’aujourd’hui d’avoir un Premier ministre en Philippe Couillard aussi inféodé aux forces qui veulent écraser le Québec et le faire reculer, et aussi associé à leur volonté de « remettre le Québec à sa place ».
 
Gardons à la mémoire que M. Couillard s’est dit prêt à signer la constitution de 1982, rejetée à l’unanimité par l’Assemblée nationale du Québec, en ne demandant en retour que le reste du Canada reconnaisse la « spécificité » du Québec, et cela sans consulter la population du Québec. Si ce politicien n’est pas dangereux pour la démocratie québécoise, je me demande qui peut bien l’être !
 
Par conséquent, si jamais Philippe Couillard était élu Premier ministre du Québec le 7 avril, ce sera comme si on venait d’élire un jumeau politique de Stephen Harper à la tête du Québec. Certains des anciens premiers ministres du Québec se retourneraient surement dans leur tombe !
 
Et le Québec pourra continuer de glisser vers cette « louisianisation »* que je craignais il n’y a pas si longtemps.
 
Oui, le chef du PLQ M. Philippe Couillard fait peur.
 
Au cours de cette dernière semaine de la campagne électorale, ce sera l’occasion pour les Québécoises et les Québécois de se demander s’ils veulent vraiment être dirigés, au cours des quatre prochaines années, par Philippe Couillard et un PLQ de plus en plus conservateur.
 
Il nous importe à tous de faire en sorte qu’un pareil désastre ne se produise point. Et surtout, n’allons pas bêtement faire le jeu de nos adversaires en émiettant nos votes entre plusieurs tiers partis, lesquels n’ont aucune chance de prendre le pouvoir.
 
De grâce, ayons un minimum de solidarité nationale !
 
______________________
* La Louisianisation du Québec, dans Les grands enjeux politiques et économiques du Québec, chap. 5, Rodrigue Tremblay, Éd. Transcontinentales, 1999. [http://classiques.uqac.ca/contemporains/tremblay_rodrigue/grands_enjeux_pol_eco_qc/grands_enjeux_tdm.html]

 _____________________________________________________________________
Rodrigue Tremblay, est économiste et humaniste
Professeur émérite, Université de Montréal
Ancien ministre
Auteur du livre  “Le Code pour une éthique globale, vers une civilisation humaniste”, Éditions Liber, 2009.

 
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March 19, 2014
La Charte des valeurs est nécessaire et raisonnable et il faut un gouvernement Marois majoritaire pour l’adopter

de Rodrigue Tremblay, économiste et humaniste
Auteur du livre “Le Code pour une éthique globale, vers une civilisation humaniste”,
Éditions Liber, 2009
http://www.amazon.ca/Code-pour-une-éthique-globale/


« Avec un ensemble de théories, on peut fonder une école; mais sur un ensemble de valeurs, on peut créer une culture, une civilisation, une nouvelle façon de vivre ensemble, entre nous. »
Ignazio Silone (1900-1978)
Pseudonyme de Secondino Tranquilli, homme politique et auteur Italien, (Pain et Vin, 1936)
 
L'état ne doit « adopter aucune loi concernant l'établissement d'une religion ou interdisant son libre exercice », créant ainsi « un mur de séparation entre l'Église et l'État ».
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
Auteur de la Déclaration d’Indépendance des États-Unis, et troisième Président des États-Unis (1801-09), (réponse à un comité de la Danbury Baptist Association, 1802).
 
« Le voile est un outil d’oppression. ... Le hidjab, le niqab, la burqa, le tchador font partie d’un même projet de réduire la population féminine en esclavage. »
Salman Rushdie ( -1947)
auteur du livre Les Versets Sataniques, 1988


De nos jours, il y a trois nécessités absolues qui interpellent un gouvernement responsable et le poussent à agir.
 
1- Premièrement, il y a la nécessité de proclamer la laïcité et la neutralité de l’État envers toutes les religions, ce qui s’impose avec le pluralisme religieux et laïque croissant de la société québécoise moderne.
 
En effet, nous ne sommes plus au 19ème Siècle où le Québec était très majoritairement catholique, et avait une minorité presqu’exclusivement protestante.
 
Un premier effort de composer avec la nouvelle réalité du pluralisme religieux fut accompli, en 1997, avec une modification à la Constitution canadienne, laquelle permit de regrouper les commissions scolaires sur une base linguistique et non plus confessionnelle.
 
Une deuxième étape s’avère aujourd’hui nécessaire, et c’est celle de la proclamation de la laïcité et de la neutralité de l’État envers toutes les religions, afin que tous les citoyens se retrouvent sur un pied d’égalité face à l’État. L’État de tous n’a pas à se mêler des religions de certains.
 
Avec la « Charte des valeurs de laïcité et de neutralité religieuse de l'État » [projet de loi no 60] du gouvernement Marois, le Québec rejoindra nombre d’états modernes en adoptant ce principe fondamental. Ainsi, aux Etats-Unis, l’auteur de la Déclaration d’indépendance, Thomas Jefferson a évoqué l’impérieuse nécessité d’un « mur de séparation » entre l’État et les Églises. La Constitution américaine proclame d’ailleurs que le pouvoir politique provient du peuple souverain et non pas de déités quelconques.
 
C’est vraiment une anomalie, et presqu’un retour au 19ème Siècle, que le gouvernement fédéral dirigé par Pierre E. Trudeau ait inscrit dans le préambule de l’Acte constitutionnel de 1982 que « le Canada est fondé sur des principes qui reconnaissent la suprématie de Dieu et la primauté du droit ». Il est vrai que cet Acte constitutionnel n’a jamais été soumis directement à la population canadienne pour approbation et que le Parlement du Québec s’en est dissocié. On peut donc douter de sa légitimité démocratique, même son adoption fut légale d’un strict point de vue.
 
De même, en France, il y est proclamé que « la France est une République laïque » et une loi célèbre, datant de 1905, établit clairement le principe de séparation de l’État des institutions religieuses et « la nécessaire neutralité de l’État par rapport au fait religieux ».
 
2- Deuxièmement, le pluralisme croissant de la société québécoise rend nécessaire que l’État laïque et neutre apporte des ajustements raisonnables et équitables dans la façon dont les services publics d’un État laïque et neutre sont dispensés par les employés de l’État.
 
Ainsi, depuis 1983, les fonctionnaires québécois ne peuvent afficher des symboles politiques sur les lieux de travail. La Charte des valeurs québécoises exige que ce devoir de réserve chez les employés publics soit élargi aux symboles religieux ostentatoires, afin de respecter en apparence et dans les faits le principe de laïcité de l’État, mais aussi afin de respecter la liberté de conscience de tous les usagers des services publics dans une société pluraliste.
 
Cela devrait apparaître raisonnable à tous, car les employés d’un État laïque et neutre ne sont pas à la solde d’un parti politique ou d’une religion en particulier mais sont au service de l’ensemble de la population. Ici, il convient de le dire, « le client a toujours raison ».
 
La liberté d'expression et la liberté d’affichage religieux ne sont pas absolus et applicables en toutes circonstances, mais l’expérience montre plutôt qu’elles peuvent et doivent être balisées dans le respect des droits et des obligations de tous.
 
Il devrait être logiquement reconnu dans le cadre d’une société libre et démocratique, que chaque usager des services publics a droit de voir sa liberté de conscience respectée par celle ou celui qui travaille pour l'État, et cet employé a un devoir de réserve dans l'expression et l'affichage ostentatoire de ses convictions religieuses ou politiques dans le cadre de ses fonctions.
 
En effet, travailler pour l’État n’est pas un droit mais un privilège pour lequel il faut se qualifier, et un employé de l'État se doit de respecter les croyances et convictions diversifiées en matière de religion ou de politique des usagers des services publics. Il y a d'autres endroits où un ou une employé(e) de l'État peuvent exprimer leurs convictions religieuses ou politiques en toute liberté. Sur les lieux de travail, cependant, c'est la liberté de conscience de l'usager qui devrait primer. Il s'agit ici d'une limite tout à fait raisonnable et dont la justification peut se démontrer dans le cadre d’une société libre et démocratique.
 
Il est bon aussi de répéter que les droits et libertés de la personne humaine dans nos démocraties sont inséparables des droits et libertés d'autrui et du bien-être général. Selon le principe plusieurs fois séculaire selon lequel « la liberté des uns s'arrête là où la liberté des autres commence », il va de soi que les droits de certains ne peuvent servir à écraser les droits et libertés des autres. Le bien commun exige qu'un juste équilibre prévale.
 
Un juge en chef célèbre de la Cour Suprême américaine a bien exprimé ce principe démocratique fondamental en disant que « Le gouvernement civil ne peut pas laisser un groupe en particulier piétiner les autres simplement parce que leur conscience leur enjoint de le faire » [Robert H. Jackson, 1892-1954, représentant des Etats-Unis au Jugement de Nuremberg en 1945-46].
 
C’est pourquoi, s'il allait s'avérer que la Cour Suprême fédérale, dont les membres sont nommés exclusivement par le gouvernement fédéral, allait ne point reconnaître ces principes démocratiques de base et allait menacer d'annuler en tout ou en partie le projet de loi no 60, une fois son adoption proclamée, le Gouvernement du Québec ne devrait pas hésiter, à mon avis, à invoquer la clause dérogatoire [art. 33 de la Charte fédérale] pour affirmer la préséance de la légitimité démocratique des élus sur celle de juges nommés exclusivement par le gouvernement fédéral. C’était d’ailleurs l’opinion de l'ancien premier ministre de l’Alberta, Peter Lougheed, pour qui « Le pouvoir politique ne devrait pas avoir peur d’invoquer la clause dérogatoire pour affirmer la préséance des élus sur des juges nommés ».
 
3- Une troisième raison d’agir vient du besoin pratique et pressant d’encadrer les demandes d’accommodements pour des motifs religieux, culturels ou politiques, lesquelles se sont multipliées ces dernières années et ont conduit à une improvisation néfaste et pleine d’incohérente et d’arbitraire. Des règles claires et logiques en ce domaine sont devenues absolument nécessaires afin toutes et tous sachent à quoi s’attendre en ce domaine.
 
Encore là, de tels changements sont justifiés et sont nécessaires à cause du nouveau contexte social, fortement influencé par l’immigration de masse des dernières années.
 
Conclusion
 
Par conséquent, il faut conclure que pour des raisons de société, de démocratie et de justice, le principe de la laïcité de l’État et de sa neutralité et de sa séparation face aux religions est devenue une nécessité incontournable que nous nous devons d’appuyer.
 
En pratique, cela signifie qu’il faut faire en sorte que le gouvernement Marois soit réélu majoritairement le 7 avril prochain.
_____________________________________________________________________
Rodrigue Tremblay, est économiste et humaniste
Professeur émérite, Université de Montréal
Ancien ministre
Auteur du livre  “Le Code pour une éthique globale, vers une civilisation humaniste”, Éditions Liber, 2009.

 
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March 9, 2014
Ukraine: A Classic “False Flag” Operation to provoke an armed “Coup d'état” ?
by Rodrigue Tremblay

(Author of the books “The Code for Global Ethics”, and “The New American Empire”)


 “All warfare is based on deception.
Sun Tzu (c. 544 BC – 496 BC), “The Art of War”
 
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
 
World War III will be a guerrilla information war with no division between military and civilian participation.
Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980)


Even though all that follows is public knowledge, it is important to connect the dots if one is to understand fully what has happened in Ukraine recently. Events seem to have unfolded according to a U.S. foreign policy agenda that has been decades in the making within many administrations.

As of now, the key figure of that policy of intervention in the affairs of other nations in the Obama administration is Victoria Nuland (1961- ), an Assistant Secretary of State for European and Euroasian Affairs at the State Department. She has been at that post since May 2013, although she has previously worked with both Democratic and Republican administrations.

Nuland is the wife of historian Robert Cagan, a Council on Foreign Relations member, and one of the co-founders with William Kristol of the infamous “Project for the New American Century” (PNAC) founded in 1997. The PNAC called for, among many things, regime change in Iraq and a strategy for securing global control for the United States.

The PNAC group of neoconservative thinkers has been credited for providing the rationale behind the push for the U.S. to invade Iraq in 2003.
One of its prominent members, Richard Perle wrote, in 1996, a famous report entitled A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm that called for the removal of President Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq, as well as other ideas to bring change to the region. The report was delivered to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In 1998, Richard Perle and other core members of the PNAC—Paul Wolfowitz, R. James Woolsey, Elliot Abrams, and John Bolton—were among the signatories of an open letter to President Clinton calling for the removal of Saddam Hussein.
In September 2000, the PNAC published an even more controversial 90-page report entitled Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategies, Forces, and Resources For a New Century. The report listed as Project Chairmen Donald Kagan and Gary Schmitt. They expressed “the belief that America should seek to preserve and extend its position of global leadership by maintaining the preeminence of U.S. military forces.”

The “New Pearl Harbor” Controversy
Section V of the 2000 Rebuilding America’s Defenses, entitled “Creating Tomorrow’s Dominant Force”, included a key sentence that reads as follows:
“Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event––like a new Pearl Harbor”.

By coincidence or not, exactly one year later, the authors got their “new Pearl Harbor” with the attacks of September 11, 2001, when 3,000 Americans and foreigners were killed.

Their main proposal was for the U.S. to bypass the United Nations, stating that “American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council”, where the U.S. must share a veto with Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom.
Instead, they proposed to enlarge the military alliance that is NATO and turn it from a defensive European alliance into a worldwide offensive military alliance controlled by the United States
In March 2003, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney implemented that foreign affairs policy, in violation of the UN Charter and in using a fake rationale of “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq and other subterfuges for public consumption.

The Ukrainian Crisis of 2014
Many reports indicate that Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland has been very much involved in the coup d’état in Ukraine. Here is what she said on December 13, 2013:
“Since Ukraine’s independence in 1991, the United States has supported Ukrainians as they build democratic skills and institutions, as they promote civic participation and good governance, all of which are preconditions for Ukraine to achieve its European aspirations. We’ve [the U.S. government] invested over $5 billion to assist Ukraine in these and other goals that will ensure a secure and prosperous and democratic Ukraine.”

She is famous for having issued the infamous statement “F…k the E.U.”, in a telephone interview, on February 6, 2014, with American ambassador in Ukraine, Geoffrey R. Pyatt.

U.S. political “investments” seem to have paid off big because anti-government protests intensified greatly in Ukraine, in early 2014, climaxing with the violent overthrow of the elected government of Viktor Yanukovich on February 28, 2014. This followed after snipers had shot protesters and policemen from rooftops in Maïdan square, an event that has resulted with over 70 deaths.
Western officials and western media, and many unaware observers, were naturally quick to condemn the ousted Yanukovich government for the snipers who fired on protesters in Kiev.

However, a taped phone call between EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and Estonian foreign affairs minister Urmas Paet on February 25 would seem to suggest otherwise. Indeed, it has been alleged, from ballistic proofs on the victims, that the U.S.-backed opposition was instead responsible for hiring snipers who gunned down both protesters and policemen in Kiev and not the deposed government of Viktor Yanukovich, as the U.S. officials and U.S. media have widely claimed.

Therefore, the entire coup d’état could have been based on a classic “false flag” operation.
If confirmed, that would be another war started with false pretenses, along the Iraq war, that started in 2003 with similar fabrications.

__________________________________________
Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is an international economist and author, whose last two books are:
The Code for Global Ethics, Prometheus Books, 2010; and The New American Empire, Infinity Publishing, 2003.
To read Dr. Tremblay’s blog, please visit:
http://www.thenewamericanempire.com/blog.htm
The author can be reach at: rodrigue.tremblay1@gmail.com.


FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc.
This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. As such, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.
If you wish to use copyrighted material from our site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the author.

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March 4, 2014

The Bush-Obama's Neocon Foreign Policy of Isolating Russia and of Expanding NATO is a Dismal Failure


by Rodrigue Tremblay
(Author of the books “The Code for Global Ethics”, and “The New American Empire”)

 
“Every state is condemned to follow a policy dictated by its geography.”
Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

[NATO's goal is] "to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down."
Lord Ismay, first NATO Secretary-General

"Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other."
James Madison (1751-1836), fourth American President



The hazards associated with American foreign policy since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 should appear obvious to all, because it is precisely this policy that has caused the crisis in Ukraine with all its negative consequences for the coming months and years.
 
President Barack Obama was candid in admitting it on Monday March 3, 2014, when he said that "we are indicating to the Russians [that] if in fact they continue on the current trajectory they’re on, then we are examining a whole series of steps — economic, diplomatic— that will isolate Russia.”
 
Well, it is precisely this desire to expand NATO and to isolate Russia by incorporating all the countries bordering Russia into NATO, i.e. a strategy of geopolitical and military encirclement of Russia, which has provoked that country when it felt threatened in its national security.
 
This is easy to understand.
For example, what would the United States do if a hypothetical Russian Empire were to incorporate Mexico or Canada into a military alliance? To ask the question is to answer it. Why is it so difficult to understand that the best way to start a war is to threaten a country's vital interests?
 
The truth is that NATO should have been disbanded after the collapse of the Soviet empire in 1991, and especially after the Warsaw Pact was itself dismantled. Europe should have then moved to build an expanded Europe of nations, large, democratic and peaceful, within a framework of economic and political cooperation and peace. But no! The United States wanted to take advantage of the situation and demanded that everything fell into the military-financial U.S. empire.
That is the source of many problems.
 
In my book “The New American Empire”, originally published in 2003, just before the onset of the Iraq war, I pointed out the dangers of the American global imperial ambition and explained the reasons. The Middle East was the first to suffer under this global policy of interventionism. And now, Europe as a whole, most unfortunately, may have to pay the price for this unbridled American hubris, under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, although that policy goes back to George H. Bush and Bill Clinton.
 
This is why I believe President Obama and his neocon advisers do not think beyond their nose, as was the case for the not-too-bright George W. Bush, when they adopt such a global imperialist ideology.
 
In 2008, it just happened that I published an article which has been translated into several languages, and in which I advanced the idea that Europe had a vital interest in disbanding that relic of another age that is NATO. Indeed, we must blame European leaders not to have understood that the fundamental interest of Europe was not to blend into the American Empire but rather to build an independent and united Europe. Because that reality has not been well understood, Europe is now running the risk of falling prey to a new Cold War with divisive and ruinous conflicts, while the United States will try to pull their chestnuts out of the fire, with the U.K as its convenient ally from within.
 
It may be not too late for European leaders to rectify the situation. This would, however, require wisdom and the courage to tell the American neocons who have designed American foreign policy for a quarter of a century that they are not masters of the world and that the European Union has no intention to pursue an aggressive policy of military encirclement Russia. That’s it.
And rather, on the contrary, Russia should be invited to join an expanded Europe of nations, large, democratic and peaceful within a framework of economic cooperation and peace.
 
What would be required of them, however, is a minimum of vision, of insight and a spirit of independence, which currently seems to be lacking badly in many current European governments.
 
Carelessness and the current European abdication in letting Washington decide European foreign policy may serve the interests of the American empire, but this could lead Europe to disaster.


N.B.: Now things are getting muddier. Details of a leaked phone call between EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and Estonian foreign affairs minister Urmas Paet suggest that the US-backed opposition was responsible for hiring snipers who gunned down protesters in Kiev and not the deposed government of Viktor Yanukovich, as the media widely claimed.
http://www.prisonplanet.com/leaked-phone-call-kiev-snipers-hired-by-us-backed-opposition...


                                               
Rodrigue Tremblay
 
Dr. Rodrigue Tremblay is an economist and author, whose last two books are:
The Code for Global Ethics,  Prometheus Books, 2010; and
The New American Empire, Infinity Publishing, 2003.
N.B. : To read Dr. Tremblay's blog, please visit:
http://www.thenewamericanempire.com/blog.htm
The author can be reach at:
rodrigue.tremblay1@gmail.com.


FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc.
This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. As such, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.
If you wish to use copyrighted material from our site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the author.

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February 20, 2016
The Lies, Fabrications and Forgeries of the Bush-Cheney administration to Go to War Against Iraq, for Oil and for Israel


COMMENTS (13)
New

 
Who Assisted the 19 Hijackers?
Posted, Sunday, February 21, 2016 2:48 pm
 
Good reason history article. —I passed it on to many of my true blue American friends. One has to wonder about Trump. —Is it part of the script or has he gone rogue [no doubt has a list on all adversaries]?
I have to think that you know there were no hijackers from any state. Or at least they were not in control of the planes [probably 4 of Dov Zakheim's —former comptroller pentagon/dual citizen —retro-fitted commercial remote-controlled jets].
Gary

Answer by R. T.:
I am told that Donald Trump has read my piece. He may use some of the material in his future speeches. That would be interesting!
 
Like you, I strongly suspect the hijackers were assisted by sophisticated handlers, although I do not have any proof of it. Just as I suspect JFK was done by a Mossad-CIA tandem.
 New
 
Cause of the U.N.’s Impotence.
Posted, Sunday, February 21, 2016 3:34 pm
 
Yes, I agree with you.  One only needs to see the ego-control of leaders, wherever they are. They do not want to relinquish gains.
 
It is unfortunate the USA has so much clout at the UN; it seemingly sterilized to a large degree from serious changes…
 
It is important to accept that the US, Israel, and the Sunni/Wahhabist states flush with money, are employing mercenaries. They are not fighting them. That is simply news fodder for the innocent news watchers of the World at large.
Ken
____________
Answer by R.T.:
The main reason for the U.N.’s impotence is the United States’ veto, and the veto of the other four permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.
 New
 
An Excellent Article!
Posted, Sunday, February 21, 2016 5:25 pm
 
This is an excellent article.  Now, the characters and Jewish neocon cabal need to be brought trial. They are a danger to America and the entire world. We are talking of a hand full of people dictating American military and foreign policy. Where is  "our" Democracy? The idea that "we" have to pay for the Holocaust of WWII is absolute nonsense. It was the Nazis that orchestrated the holocaust, not "US".  Please continue your work.
Walter
 New
 
Great Article!
Posted, Sunday, February 21, 2016 4:28 pm
 
Bravo! Great article.
Sent from my ASUS Pad
Carol
New
 
Trump’s Impact!
Posted, Sunday, February 21, 2016 4:31 pm
 
Thanks for this very well composed synthesis. It's scary but necessary to be understood by the public. Trump's impact should be recognized.
Karol
 Nouveau
 
Où est M. Hans Blix quand on a besoin de lui?
Mis en ligne, le dimanche, 21 février, 2016, 6:57 pm
 
Merci pour ce nouvel article du Professeur Tremblay.
Je ne connaissais pas ladite déclaration de Donald Trump.
Malgré toutes les bêtises qu'on lui connaît, M. Trump a le mérite de dire des choses qu'on n'entend pas souvent, surtout quand elles visent d'anciens leaders (Bush et Cheney) de son propre parti politique.
Pour revenir au cas qui nous occupe (la guerre d'Irak de 2003), j'avoue que même si j'ai un esprit critique assez développé, je ne trouvais pas si invraisemblable (la propagande américaine étant si persuasive et la position américaine étant endossée par Colin Powell, homme qui me paraissait intègre) la possibilité que Saddam Hussein ait des armes de destruction massive. Cependant, je n'ai jamais pensé que cela justifiait une guerre, le dit Saddam acceptant les inspections de l'ONU (Hans Blix).
René
_____________
Réponse de R.T. :
En effet, la déclaration de Trump a eu l’effet d’une bombe aux États-Unis.
 New
 
Reminder of Why the World is in a Mess!
Posted, Sunday, February 21, 2016 8:10 pm
 
No new ground being broken but very good reminder of why the world is in this mess.
Sent from my iPhone.
Thomas
 New
 
No Defensive War!
Posted, Sunday, February 21, 2016 8:23 pm
 
Thank you Dr. Tremblay for this article and keeping this Gringo-Nazi deception in front of the world.
 
Here are my observations/comments:
 
There are only two things about Donald Trump that I agree with, because they are truthful.
- One was his comment that John McCain is/was no hero; the guy was incompetent; he was shot down by people trying to protect people on bicycles on one side of a civil war.
I came to that conclusion several years before Trump mentioned it.
- The second, that it was a mistake for the U.S. to invade Iraq.
 
Also, I have always concluded that the creation, establishment and support of a racist, Zionist/Kosher-Nazi Israel in Palestine (or any place that had a local native population who was unwilling to accept others in large numbers) was the worst mistake the U.S. has made in its entire history and I include Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Libya combined in this assessment, because innocents and uniformed fellow citizens of mine will be killed for years in the future in retaliatory terrorism for the terror unleashed upon the Islamic world by the racist assholes in Washington and Israel…
 
The U.S. public unfortunately has this mindless flag-waving mentality to be scared shitless about 'them'/'others' who are determined to foil U.S. prosperity and standard of living and the damn terrorists in U.S. government exploit this to wage war.
 
The result is that there has never been a defensive war in the history of the United States from 'remember the Maine' to the 'Tonkin Gulf resolution' to 'WMD' in Iraq…
 
This, combined with its nuclear and conventional military might is a disaster waiting to happen as far as civilization on this planet is concerned.
Mazdi
 New
 
Politics is Fertile with Psychopaths!
Posted, Sunday, February 21, 2016 10:13 pm
 
As usual, this is an insightful article.
 
As always in trying to understand geo-politics, never believe the official narrative and always follow the money trail. In all wars, there are two winners and many losers. The winners are the military industrial complex and the bankers who finance both sides of every conflict. The losers are the public who has to pay the cost of the expensive hardware and, of course, pay for the conflict in blood.
We tend to want to judge others by our standards and find it hard to believe that anyone would be so cavalier about sending men and women off to die in the pursuit of profits. We must accept that 4% of the general population is psychopaths. By that I do not mean serial killers who also fall under that umbrella. A psychopath by definition is incapable of feeling empathy or compassion. They seek domination over others and can often pass a polygraph test. Lying is second nature to them. Not all psychopaths are by definition intelligent.
 
This is why politics and the upper corporate echelon is fertile territory for psychopaths. They do not let emotions get in the way of decision making and destroying other people’s lives to enrich their own comes naturally to them. A psychopathic president or Prime Minister does not let compassion, integrity and other emotions interfere and cloud his decision making process. To send a million civilians to their deaths in Iraq and the thousands of deformed babies resulting from Handling and use of DU munitions in Fallujah did not cause Cheney or Bush to lose any sleep…
 
Political leaders are not the real controllers of the reality we live in. Politicians are beholding not to the voters but to the elitists that fund them. They are the bankers and military industrial complex and fortune 500 corporations. John F. Kennedy learned the hard way that if you do not follow instructions you will be removed from your office forcefully. The banking system is a holy grail that cannot be touched. All of what we see and endure around us is about maintaining the status quo for the elite.
 
Their big problem today is the Internet and the expanding consciousness of the general population. This is what Donald Trump is all about. People can now see that government is not by the people and for the people. They know most politicians are frauds who are bought and paid for by the .1%. What we are witnessing today is a rush towards a Zionist One World Order. All leading GOP candidates have had to grovel before Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson for campaign funding.
 
Rubio for example is backed by Norman Brahman a Miami billionaire. Desirable candidates have closets full of skeletons; be it Rubio’s foam parties, Cruz’s wife’s connections to the CFR (Council on Foreign Relations) and so on.
 
If you have any doubt about who is in control look at Immigration. Europe is in a financial crisis yet refugees are moving in by the millions to overwhelm the social safety nets. This will ultimately result in the collapse of Europe through the social burden and resulting social unrest. Does the public want this? If the public doesn’t want unbridled immigration and if politicians answer to the public why are the politicians proceeding with an unpopular program. This is proof of the secret government that Bill Clinton openly admitted to. John F. Kennedy alluded to this in his famous speech about secret societies…
 
Look around at the insanity in Syria. For a year and a half the U.S. was there on the pretense of eliminating ISIS. Vladimir Putin did more in a month than the U.S. did in a year. The U.S. and the Mossad created ISIS. If ISIS is on building a caliphate, the first party you would expect to feel threatened would be Israel; but they have said nothing. Why? The U.S. has satellite imagery, aircraft both fixed wing and helicopters yet they cannot find the long convoys of white Toyota Hilux pickup trucks that journalist seem to find. Any military strategist with half a brain will tell you to cut off the enemy’s supply lines. Why then did the U.S. not stop the oil convoys going to the Turkish border?...
 
We are now looking at an economic collapse and a possible WWIII using Turkey as the Western proxy. I believe that this script will unfold after the next U.S. election, assuming we make it that far.
John
________________
Answer by R.T.:
 
Things are such today that most successful politicians, as you say, are psychopaths.
 
As for Barack Obama, he seems clueless and he does not appear to be in charge in Washington D.C. The neocons seem to be in charge of policies. Thus the mess the U.S. is creating around the world.
 
The people are asleep essentially because corporate media put them to sleep and feed them disinformation on things that matter.
 New
 
Terror Bush I VS Terror Bush II!
Posted, Monday, February 22, 2016 4:23 am
 
You wrote that "after 9/11, few Americans were blaming Iraq for the terrorist attacks, since none of the 19 terrorists involved had any connection with Iraq. In fact, the 19 hijackers in the September 11 attacks of 2001 were affiliated with the Islamist terrorist group al-Qaeda. Fifteen out of 19 were citizens of Saudi Arabia, 2 were from the United Arab Emirates, and the other 2 came from Egypt and Lebanon. None were from Iraq. And their training camps had been in Afghanistan."
 
You are narrowly focused on Terror Bush II and his invasion of Iraq in 2003, starting an 8-year terror occupation of the country. Before that, since early 1991, Iraqis had already started dying in the millions when Terror Bush I bombed the whole of Iraq, to "liberate" Koweit, and later instituted an embargo even on medical and food supplies to make ordinary Iraqis suffer for their support of their leader S. Hussein. Millions of old people, sick, women in pregnancy, babies and infants died in the process. Bill Clinton followed suit, once elected…
 
To end with a comical note, the alleged Egyptian leader of the team of 19 hijackers, Atta, was able to jettison his passport intact, out of the burnt-out Boeing 767, he was said to be at the controls. Then, how convenient for a passer-by to pick up the passport and make it news, splashing on front pages in the USA.
 
A final note: The "training camps" in Afghanistan are nothing odd for a war-torn country, even though the Taliban brought some security when they came to power in 1996 by routing pro-US factions fighting a vicious civil war since 1992 and unable to share power politically.
 
Afghanistan is one more bloody chaos, the US has left in its wake. Iraq is another one. Libya and Syria are similar cases, but without ground invasion; there, the ground troops were US-proxy Islamic fighters.
Alphonso
_________________
Answer by R. T.:
It would take a whole book to touch on every issue you have raised. I stand by my article regarding Bush II’s treachery in Iraq.
 
New
A Great Paper of Value to Americans!
Posted, Monday, February 22, 2016 11:19 am
 
Well. You have written another great paper of real value to Americans. I hope you direct a copy to Mr. Trump. Are you keeping up with the pending Civil war starting in Oregon? If you need references let me know.
Andrew
 New
How to Start a World War?
Posted, Tuesday, February 23, 2016 6:17 am
 
In your recent article, you blame Adolf Hitler for beginning WWII in Europe by attacking a “weaker” Poland at the end of the article.
The hatred that Poles had for Germans and the brutality inflicted on Germans living in that country is almost never mentioned in articles or books about this episode in history, nor was it in what you wrote. The Poles made a deal with the devil to get Germany.
 
It has been stated that:
the British government under Chamberlain gave Poland the guarantee that England would come to its aid if Poland should be attacked. This was on March 31st, 1939. Its purpose was to incite Poland to escalate its endeavors for war against Germany. It happened as planned: England declared war on Germany on September 3rd, 1939, but not on the Soviet Union who also attacked Poland, and this is proof enough that it was England's (and Chamberlain's) intention in the first place to make war on Germany. Thus WW2 was arranged by a complicity between Britain and Poland. It was not Hitler's war, it was England's and Poland's war. The Poles were merely the stooges. Some of them knew it too . . .” (Read: The Unknown History of the 1939 German-Polish Conflict for more information.)
 
For a more realistic approach to Hitler see David Irving’s well researched books at fpp.co.uk. He has spent a lifetime in his pursuit of the truth and has paid a high price for it.
Puumanu
___________________________
Answer by R.T.:
 
The fact that peoples do not like each other is not a motive to start a World War.
 
There may have been a long history of hatred between the Poles and the Germans, but it is Hitler’s Germany that invaded Poland, and not the reverse.
 
It is an undeniable historical fact that Hitler started World War II. Britain and France had told Hitler that if Germany were to invade Poland, there would be war. Hitler went ahead nevertheless.
 
The theory you cite as having Poland collaborating with Chamberlain to draw Germany into a war runs contrary to what most historians have written about.
 
Winston Churchill and others have accused Neville Chamberlain as having appeased Hitler in order to avoid a war. It is thus doubtful that Chamberlain would have incited the Poles to start a war with powerful Germany. Indeed, why would Poland risk complete destruction by provoking a war with Germany? This defies logic.
 
Considering that Hitler went further ahead and attacked Russia later on, it is more logical to assume that megalomaniac Hitler wanted dominium over Europe, if not the world.
 
The lesson here is that people should be careful in following psychopath leaders who don’t mind starting wars of aggression. They are the ones who suffer and pay the price. In all wars, the young and the poor are the victims.
 
As Shakespeare wrote, “The evil that men do lives after them”. It took decades for Europe to recover after WWII.
 
I also think that the Treaty of Versailles, which imposed heavy war reparations on Germany, was idiotic. It worsened the economic situation in Germany and had a lot to do in causing World War II.
 
As for George W. Bush, it is also an historical fact that he invaded Iraq on his own volition. Presently, there are thousands of Turkish soldiers lined up at the Syrian border. If Turkey were to invade Syria to fight the Kurds, in the coming days, weeks or months, there surely could be a World War, since Russia is in Syria, at the invitation of the Syrian government, and so are NATO forces, although illegally.
New
 
Afraid of Trump!
Posted, Saturday, February 27, 2016 7:47 pm
 
I have read your article, which was forwarded to me, as I am one of your subscribers. As usual, I agree totally with your analysis of U.S. foreign policy, which continues to be a neo-con inspired disaster.
 
However, to make Donald Trump look like a hero, for his exposures re: the Iraq War, is a stretch beyond credibility. His obvious intent by this 'big revelation' (of which all thinking people are already aware) was to shame and bully the Bush family and hopefully knock his opponent, Jeb Bush, out of the campaign (which subsequently happened).
 
Trump may not be a neo-con, but in his capriciousness, vindictiveness, bullying and scapegoating, he is, I think, far more dangerous.
 
He has no foreign policy (or any other policy) at all, except this belligerent modus operandi. I cannot fathom how the American people could consider giving someone like him the access to the 'red button', which the U. S. President has. He answers to no one except his personal whims, as is the usual case with billionaires who feel they are superior to the realities that mere mortals face. He plays to the lowest common denominator of human viciousness and has absolutely no concept of the common good. Like a monkey at a typewriter, he may occasionally come up with something, as you observed, that makes sense (for the wrong reasons, in my opinion), but mostly it's garbage.
 
It's true that the U.S. media should long ago have exposed the 'Lies, Fabrications and Forgeries' surrounding the Iraq War if they actually had any sense of public responsibility and were doing the job they should be doing in a democracy. Of course, if they were properly doing their job, someone so clearly unqualified for the job of President of the U.S. would long since have disappeared from the campaign. (The New York Times has tried, to their credit!). But Trump, in his egotism, throws them regular bones of sensationalism, which they can't resist exploiting for their own profit, and so feeds his celebrity status with the masses. 
 
Unfortunately, living in Canada will be no escape from the meanness that someone like Trump might inflict on whatever country he chooses if he obtains the power.
 
As you point out, the continuing neo-con policies inflict plenty of damage, but at least aren't dominated by vindictiveness and spite.
Joyce
_________________________
Answer by R.T.:
 
Your interesting comment will be added below my article. You can read other comments here:
http://www.thecodeforglobalethics.com/pb/wp_0b5e796a/wp_0b5e796a.html - LIES
 
Let us be clear. My reference to Trump’s statement was not to endorse him, but to concentrate on GWB’s misrepresentations and lies to launch a disastrous war of aggression against Iraq, in 2003. You are right that Mr. Trump’s main objective in attacking GWB was to put down his brother Jeb during the South Carolina Republican primary. Nevertheless, Trump’s declaration about Bush’s lies to get the country in a war in the Middle East had the effect of a political bomb against the Republican establishment, because many Republicans still believe Bush’s propaganda. They suffer from ‘cognitive dissonance’, i.e. they dismiss any factual information that conflicts with their support of the Bush-Cheney administration.
 
I have been following the current U.S. primaries very closely. Here is a good analysis of what’s going on in American politics:
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44324.htm
 
Indeed, there is truly a ‘revolt of the masses’ going on in the United States presently. For this reason, the coming November 2016 general election may change a lot of things, and this may affect Canada.
 
When you say that Donald Trump has no foreign policy, you are wrong on that point. Trump is an old Republican non-interventionist, as Republicans used to be before WWII and before the neocons, with their money, took over the Republican Party, with Bush I and Bill Clinton, in the early 1990s. He is also a protectionist and, an ‘America First’ politician who is against economic globalization.
 
These are two important foreign policies that diverge fundamentally from U.S. foreign policies of both neocon-dominated Democrats and Republicans over the last quarter of century. Were Trump to be elected U.S. President next November, there would be a shock felt around the world.
 
The foreign press, and in particular the neocon-dominated media in Canada, outside of Quebec, have not adequately covered what’s going on politically in the U.S. Mind you, Canada has a very concentrated media ownership. For example, Postmedia Network (formerly Canwest), a right-wing organization, owns a near monopoly of newsprint information in many Canadian cities. It owns: the National Post, the Vancouver Sun, the Calgary Herald, the Edmonton Journal, The Regina Leader-Post, the Windsor Star, the Ottawa Citizen, the Montreal Gazette, the Winnipeg Sun, and dozens of other publications. Canadian coverage of the U.S., especially as Mr. Trump is concerned, has been mostly negative, incomplete and slanted. That’s why I believe Canadians may be up for a shock in the coming months if Trump were to win the Republican nomination.
 
The reality is that a majority of Americans nowadays seem to be fed up with establishment politics. Polls indicate that Trump rejoins roughly 30% of the electorate on the right, especially among the white middle class whose members are suffering under the current economic stagnation, while Bernie Sanders rejoins roughly 30% of the electorate on the left, especially among the young, students and more educated Americans who are disgusted with the current corruption of both parties. In theory, if Trump and Sanders, the two outsiders, were to join on a single Third Party ticket, they would win the election handily.
 
The establishment candidates, Cruz, Rubio and Hillary Clinton are on the defensive, especially Ms. Clinton who has been in and out of the U.S. government, with her husband Bill Clinton and with Barack Obama, over the last 25 years.
 
On the Republican side, we will see next Super Tuesday on March 1st, how things settle down. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is nearly certain to be the Democratic candidate in November, considering that her party’s 500 permanent delegates have already chosen her, whatever happens in the primary elections (N.B. the rules are different in the Republican Party).
 
After all is said, I expect the November U.S. election to pit neocon and establishment candidate, and foreign interventionist in Iraq-Libya-Syria Hillary Clinton, against populist, protectionist and non-interventionist Donald Trump. I expect the election to be very close. —(N.B. There is always the remote possibility that either Trump or Sanders could run as a Third Party candidate, if any of them or both are rejected by the establishment of their respective party. In which case, this would mean the defeat of either the Republican Party in Trump’s case or the Democratic Party in Sanders’ case). Stay tuned!


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April 17, 2016
Ten Reasons Why Bill and Hillary Clinton Do Not Deserve a Third Term in the White House


Nouveau

 

Complètement d'accord

Mis en ligne, le dimanche, 17 avril, 2016 15:12

 

Complètement d'accord avec ce long article du professeur Rodrigue Tremblay (juste en désaccord avec quelques mots anachroniques sur l'Iran comme possesseur d'arme atomique dans le chapitre 7...).‬

‪Bravo, j'ai appris beaucoup de choses sur Hillary Clinton!‬

‪Pierre

 

New

 

Very Convincing Material!

Posted, Sunday, April 17, 2016 3:18 pm

 

Thanks for sharing the new article on the U.S. elections. It is a very convincing material with perfect collection of quotations.

Karol

 
New

 

Excellent Article!

Posted, Sunday, April 17, 2016 6:02 pm

 

Excellent article about the Clintons.

Jan

 

New

 

A Timely Article!

Posted, Sunday, April 17, 2016 6:05 pm

 

Thank you very much for your timely article on the US election.

Janet

New

 

Stunning!

Posted, Sunday, April 17, 2016 10:36 pm

 

Your “Ten Reasons” piece is stunning. Excellent work.

 

I note with interest your reference to the Clintons’ ties to Wall Street.

 

Please check this article of mine. And please feel free to use it to advantage as you see fit.

Richard

 

Nouveau

 

Une onzième bévue des Clinton

Mis en ligne, le dimanche, 17 avril, 2016 22:51

 

Il y en a une onzième : Hilary a détruit la démocratie au Honduras, avec le renversement du Président démocratiquement élu, Manuel Zelaya, en 2009.

Roger

 

New

 

Excellent Work!

Posted, Monday, April 18, 2016 12:36 am

 

Excellent work.

 

I am resigned to a case of perpetual war for the balance of my life.

 

A perverted capitalist democracy is deadly and hell.

Mazdi

 

New

 

The Establishment Controls Both Parties.

Posted, Monday, April 18, 2016 4:2 pm

 

Thank you for writing another very informative and factual paper that will certainly educate those willing to read. Most people don’t know that an Establishment controls both parties for the power and profit of the Establishment and that neither left nor right will stand in the way of that profit. The Progressives in Europe, Canada, et al, may never understand that our rights are from Natures God, not from a government and therefore can never be taken away. Progressives, Muslims, Marxists, illegals and others who can’t accept our Constitution are not welcome. You may not know this but most of the Federal Government is being operated contrary to the Constitution by usurpers. My short comments are not meant to take anything away from your great writing. God Bless you.

Andrew

 

New

 

I Would Like to Translate this Article in Slovak.

Posted, Monday, April 18, 2016 8:58 pm

 

This is an EXCELLENT article. I would like to translate it into the Slovak language and have it published in some prestigious Slovak electronic (Internet) periodical(s)…

Ján

 

Nouveau

 

Argumentaire irréfutable !

Mis en ligne, le vendredi, 22 avril, 2016 20:11

 

‪Un grand merci pour cet article du professeur Tremblay.‬

‪J'éprouvais certaines réserves concernant Hillary Clinton suite aux propos de Bernie Sanders.‬

Mais l'argumentaire du Dr Tremblay étant convaincant et irréfutable, cela confirme lesdites réserves. Je ne puis que souscrire aux assertions de M. Tremblay.‬

‪Au risque de vous scandaliser, je vous avoue que je me demande même si Donald Trump ne serait pas un meilleur Président américain. En tout cas, il me semble qu'il serait plus indépendant que Hillary Clinton vis-à-vis des establishments politiques et financiers.‬

‪René ‬

‪______________________

‪Réponse de R. T. :

 

La plupart des gens ont une information superficielle et incomplète sur les politiciens dans notre propre pays. Par exemple, peu de personnes savent que notre PM Philippe Couillard a déjà manifesté sa grande admiration pour l’islam, une religion qui prêche la violence. Cela est encore plus vrai pour les politiciens des autres pays.

 

Dans le cas de Hillary Clinton et de son mari Bill Clinton, cela fait 40 ans qu’ils sont en politique active. Ce sont donc des politiciens professionnels. Ils ont montré tellement de talents à soutirer de l’argent des différents lobbyistes, américains et étrangers, qu’ils ont accumulé une fortune colossale de plus de $100 millions US, et ils dirigent une fondation qui a à son actif un milliard et demi d’avoirs financiers et de nombreux employés.

 

Je lisais récemment un article du magazine Vanity Fair daté de novembre 2015. Voici le lien URL de l’article.

 

On y apprend une foule de choses sur Hillary Clinton et sur son ambition démesurée.

 

Je crois, en effet, qu’elle est la pire personne pour occuper le poste de président des États Unis présentement. En 2008, je m’étais opposé à la candidature de John McCain parce que je croyais qu’il était un psychopathe pouvant lancer son pays dans des guerres multiples ruineuses. Je pense la même chose de Hillary Clinton.

 

New

 

Are Terrorist Rebels Islamic?

Posted, Saturday, April 23, 2016 8:15 am

 

The subject article you authored was well written in being concise and accurate. It sheds important light on the deceiving nature of Hillary Clinton and the facade she portrays. Thank you for same.

 

My only objection to it is that you refer to the    rebels/fanatics in Libya, and the rebel armed groups in the regional Arab countries as "Islamic".

 

You are falling into the same narrative espoused of these groups as disseminated by the media of the same establishment, you criticize Hillary for being a shill.

 

Would you refer to hate spewing venom from anti-immigrant and xenophobic parties in Europe as "secular" or "humanist"? Or would you narrate the white-supremacist violence perpetrated in white-majority countries as "Christian", since they use Christianity as the base of their ideological support?

 

None of the groups you referred to in your subject article are "Islamic", and to refer to them as such, is lazy writing, and does a disservice to an otherwise well-researched article. If you knew anything about Islam, you would know those people are the very antithesis of being Islamic.

Please continue to use vigilance in your writing.

Fawad

_____________________________________

Answer by R. T.:

 

Thank you for your comment.

 

I thought the reason that the Islamic State (ISIS) calls itself “Islamic” is because it professes to be a Sunni Islamic Caliphate.

 

The same applied to the al-Qaeda terrorist organization. It is a militant Sunni Islamist global organization founded in 1988.

 

I also thought that, in Libya, the reason why the Islamic Front calls itself “Islamic“ is because they say they are Islamic.

 

In November 2013, for example, seven Islamist rebel groups (Harakat Ahrar al-Sham al-Islamiyya, Jaysh al-Islam, Suqour al-Sham, Liwa al-Tawhid, Liwa al-Haqq, Ansar al-Sham and the Kurdish Islamic Front) announced that they were forming a new “Islamic Front”.

 

As long as these rebel and terrorist groups call themselves “Islamic“, it does not behoove to me, or to you for that matter, to tell them that they are not “Islamic“. They themselves say they are.

 

As to Islam, that is a religion or a political ideology, which I have studied a lot for my book “The Code for Global Ethics”. The fact that there is no central authority to dictate or moderate its doctrine means that there are many interpretations of its sacred texts, besides the obvious separation between Shiites and Sunnis. In the Koran and in the hadiths, for instance, there are many admonitions of violence that many follow to the letter, and some others don’t. Terrorists are those who followed the 7th Century brand of Islam.

 

For example, the Muslim Brotherhood calls itself an Islamic organization and its slogan is “Allah is our objective. The Prophet Muhammad is our leader. The Koran is our Constitution. Jihad is our way. Death for the sake of Allah is our wish”.

Here again, that is not to me to say they are or are not “Islamic“. If they stop calling themselves Islamic, I would gladly identify them the way they like.

________________________________________

From Fawad:

 

Anyone can say they adhere to a particular ideology. That doesn't mean they actually adhere to that ideology. By your logic, should Anders Breivik, and for that matter any white-supremacist, not be considered a "Christian fanatic"? For they all use Christianity to justify their "uniqueness" and "superiority" as a race. Should the Buddhist monks of Burma who are actively pursuing and promoting genocide against Rohingya be called "Buddhist extremists"? Should the western states who are actively pursuing policies of imperialism, in the name of advancing "democracy", not be considered "Secular aggressors"? And what of Israel? It actively calls itself a "Jewish state". Should its acts of violence not be considered "Jewish terrorism"?...

Since you have studied Islam "a lot", I am interested to know what references from the Hadith and Qur'an you are referring to which enjoin violence, and which of these two forms of violence are "admonished" in said sources? 

_________________________________________

From R. T.:

 

To my knowledge, the Christian or Buddhist groups you mention do not place their religion in their official name. That does not condone their violence. The United States commits a lot of violence around the world, and I deplore it, but it does not do it under the name of any religion.

 

As to radical or fundamentalist Islam preaching violence, this is easy. That brand of Islam, (Wahhabism, salafisme, etc.), wants to apply nowadays the more extreme verses of the Koran, such as:

"Strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah and your enemies" (Surah 8:60).

—"Fight (kill) them (non-Muslims), and Allah will punish (torment) them by your hands, cover them with shame" (Surah 9:14).

"I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers, smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them. It is not ye who slew them, it was Allah" (Surah 8:12, 17).

 

There are more than 100 of such verses in the Koran against women, non-Islamic persons, Jews, etc.

 

Of course, there are moderate followers of Islam who only know or use a verse or two of the Koran to justify enjoying their life such as:

—"Wealth and children are the adornment of the life of this world" (Surat Al-Kahf 18:46).

Others know the Koran but they seek to make their faith relevant to modem life and consider the violent passages in the Koran (as in the Bible) as thinking they come from a bygone era, and are not applicable nowadays.

 

As a Swiss rabbi put it:

Since the Bible also contains verses calling for war and the destruction of the other, then what difference is there with the Koran?

None, if not for the attitude of the religious leaders themselves.

If they consider, as is the case with the majority of Christians and Jews, that these verses are related to bygone historic times, they therefore cannot be inspired by them to justify violence and murder.

On the other hand, if these verses are considered the “divine word” and bearers of the only truth, everything is to be feared.”

 

There seems to be too many imams and too many madrassas, which teach that everything in the Koran is Allah’s words to be adhered to literally.

 

It is not surprising that some hothead terrorists would follow such teaching, with disastrous results.

 

I would hope Islam would reform itself like other religions have done.

 

The daily news, with acts of barbarism committed with the cry of Allah, inform us that this does not seem to be soon.

 

New

 

It is Difficult to Predict the Behavior of Future Presidents!

Posted, Saturday, April 30, 2016 12:31 pm

 

A fine article on Hillary Clinton. But if it makes you feel any better, it has in the past been very difficult to predict the foreign policies of incoming presidents. Such predictions have had a very sorry track record. The actual foreign policies have often turned out to be very different from what had been expected. Hillary Clinton may indeed be a perpetual war president, but she might turn out very differently also.

Chris

_________________________________________

Answer by R. T.:

 

Indeed, I do remember how George W. Bush was promising a “humble“ foreign policy in 2000!

 

Now I hear that the Koch Brothers think Hillary Clinton would be a president of their liking, more so than any Republican candidate!

 

Tell me who is behind a candidate and I will tell you what kind of politician he or she will be.

 

There must be a reason why the entire warmongering neocon apparatus is against Trump!

 

 

Nouveau

 

Magistral !

Mis en ligne, le dimanche, 1er mai, 2016 8:41

 

Magistral !

Vous n’écrivez pas souvent, M. Tremblay, mais quand vous vous y mettez, on en a pour notre argent.

Je conclus de ce que vous écrivez que ces manifestations anti Trump qui sont récemment apparues aux rallyes du candidat républicain sont sans doute organisées par les néocons qui préparent le terrain en vue de la présidentielle pour assurer à leur candidate une voie royale vers la présidence.

 

Nouveau

 

Quelques éléments additionnels.

Mis en ligne, le dimanche, 1er mai, 2016 15:43

 

Je vous rejoins tout à fait dans votre remarquable analyse dans votre récent article sur les élections américaines et les Clinton.

 

Si vous le permettez, je souhaiterai ajouter quelques éléments pour lesquels je ne doute aucunement que vous soyez au fait, mais qui à mon sens pouvaient aussi trouver leur place dans votre article :

 

Clinton coupable de génocides :

 

Avec "l'annexion américaine du Rwanda" dans laquelle le gouvernement Clinton prit une part majeure par la mise en place du génocide Tutsi au moyen d’une déstabilisation intérieure du pays qui s’accompagna ensuite d’une fausse volonté non-interventionniste pour stopper les évènements, coupable ensuite du génocide Hutu par le soutien apporté à Paul Kagame. Au total plus de 800 000 morts de part et d’autre.

 

Nous pouvons aussi lui reprocher le choix malsain d'un secrétaire d'État néoconservateur génocidaire, Madeleine Albright, qui déclara à une journaliste américaine, que le génocide de 500 000 enfants irakiens consécutif au blocus de 10 années dont a souffert l’Irak, était légitime au regard des résultats…

 

Enfin, les Clinton sont, au même titre que les autres présidents américains depuis les années ‘60, coupables au nom du soit disant sacro-saint secret, de cacher les montants et l’utilisation des "black budgets" qui financent par les deniers des citoyens américains les projets secrets du complexe militaro industriel, au simple bénéfices d'intérêts privés.

 

Ils sont à ce titre coupables de cacher non seulement au peuple américain mais aussi à l’ensemble de l'Humanité la maîtrise scientifique de l'énergie du point zéro, de l’anti-gravité, depuis plus de 50 années, tout en éludant l’implication de l’US Air Force et de la Nasa dans des projets secrets de conquête de l’espace ou les budgets engloutiraient des trilliards de dollars chaque année (tels que les trois trilliards égarés par Dick Cheney lors de l’audition comptable du gouvernement fédéral présenté devant le Congrès).

Emmanuel

________________________________________

Réponse de R.T. :

 

Pour ma part, je n’ai pas voulu recenser l’ensemble des 40 années de vie politique de ce couple célèbre. Cela prendrait non pas un article mais quelques livres.

 

En effet, je m’en suis tenu à la période qui commence avec les dernières années du gouvernement Clinton, soit 1998-1999, alors que Bill Clinton était aux prises avec l’affaire Monica Lewinsky. Mais auparavant, les deux Clinton furent impliqués dans une foule de scandales, plus ou moins oubliés aujourd’hui, mais lesquels ont évidemment une importance historique.

 

Comme vous le soulignez, il y a deux ou trois gouvernements et budgets secrets à Washington D.C. Celui de la CIA et des 15 autres organisations secrètes est fort connu, même si son implication dans toutes sortes d’activités louches à travers le monde l’est beaucoup moins.

 

Il y a aussi la tranche néoconservatrice de la haute sphère de l’administration américaine que d’énormes contributions électorales faites aux politiciens américains maintiennent en place, quelque soit le parti au pouvoir. Mme Madeleine Albright faisait partie de cette infrastructure.

 

Remarquez bien qu’une influence semblable existe aussi dans le gouvernement français. Regardez du côté de la défense et des affaires extérieures.



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May 30, 201

N.B.:
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed privately and without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.
 
To read Dr. Tremblay's most recent book
The Code for Global Ethics
and to order the book, click on:
USA and Canada (in English)
Canada et Europe (in French)
 
Also, read:
The New American Empire
Le nouvel empire américain
 
 
Comments (11)

 
New
 
Obama is not Bernie Sanders!
Posted, Monday, May 30, 2016 23:11 pm
 
In 2010, Obama extended the expiring Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. We should have been out there raging. Bernie Sanders filibustered the issue for 8 hours on the floor of Congress and CNN broadcasted it. But there were not enough of us standing behind him. We need to do better. We are the revolution. We thought Obama would be the game changer. No, Obama is not Bernie Sanders. I think he was carefully chosen by the Democratic establishment to continue the secret TPP negotiations that is finally revealed itself seven years later.
Marilyn
 
New
 
Pres. Obama promised everything!
Posted, Monday, May 30, 2016 23:20 pm
 
President Barack Obama promised everything and appeased everybody —including the banks and corporations who forked out $526 million to get him elected!‬
‪None, but none of his promises to the American people were fulfilled, and his 'innovative' way to resolve the healthcare crisis is now in doldrums after some healthcare corporations hiked up the costs and others left the patients stranded and walked if the scheme!‬
‪-He waged wars not unlike George W Bush, destroying Libya, and if it wasn't for the American people who reigned him in he would have been today in Syria.
‪-The US Army is expanding its presence in Iraq, after two years of failure of the military to stop ISIS.
‪-He is collaborating with AL-Qaeda in Syria calling them 'moderate opposition' while he is arranging to partition Syria - exactly what the Neocons planned!!
-‪He is stoking up the Cold War in a manner his predecessor wouldn't dare, amassing troops and nuclear missives on the borders of Russia!!
-‪He is planning for a conflict with China over the South China Sea not by provocative flights only but in arming Vietnam to the teeth (using the American taxpayers' treasure) with a rabid desire to create a majority conflict in the region!
‪This president may well go down in history as one of the worst.
‪In his tenure, the army of the unemployed could only get jobs at wages comparable to those in the 1990s. And many already gave up their search!
‪It is in his rebut more too, that the majority of the population (51%) today live at the near poverty income of $30,000 per year!
‪Not many Americans would be unhappy to see this hapless president go, although a Trump or a Hillary would probably bring us down to our knees!
Khaled

 
New
 
Obama: Two more terms for GWB!
Posted, Tuesday, May 31, 2016 00:34 am
 
Obama's legacy is extending the Bush Administration two extra terms.

 
New
 
Obama: Return the Nobel Peace Prize!
Posted, Tuesday, May 31, 2016 00:55 am
 
Obama: Return your totally undeserved Nobel Peace Prize.
Nguyễn

 
New
 
Obama: The candidate of “Hope and Change”!
 
Posted, Tuesday, May 31, 2016 14:40 pm
 
To the American public traumatized by the Bush Presidency:
Wall Street and corporate America poured huge amount of money to market an African American man, Barack Obama, as the candidate of ‘Hope and Change’ in 2008.
However, once in office, President Barack Obama retained Bush’s Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates and tapped Lawrence Summers, who as President Clinton’s Treasury Secretary pushed for the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, as the Director of the White House National Economic Council.
Not only has President Obama kept Guantanamo Bay detention camp open, he has expanded the use of Predator drones for extra-judicial assassinations and the prosecution of government whistleblowers like Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning who heroically tried to expose the secrecy and deception that underlie crony capitalism and the ‘War on Terror’. [Chelsea Manning is serving a 35-year prison sentence, while Edward Snowden had to seek asylum in Russia.]
Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, was asked in 2010, what difference he saw between Bush and Obama. He succinctly answered, “If something is changed, it’s just the color of the president that’s changed.”
Akio

 
New
Too flattering to Obama?
Posted, Tuesday, May 31, 2016 16:01 pm
 
This article is far too flattering to Obama. He is the true compatriot of Kissinger, his fellow war-criminal Nobel Peace Prize Winner.‬
Lee

 
New
 
Neoliberals and Neocons.
Posted, Tuesday, May 31, 2016 18:00 pm
 
From day 1, Barack Obama brought into his cabinet all the leftover Clinton neoliberals, and a few Bush neocons. That means that from day 1, Obama had an agenda and never had any intention of honoring his campaign promises or the people who elected him.
Then came Obamacare —a corporate-friendly law that didn't cover even half the 44 million who were uninsured. That was followed by disaster after disaster. Yet, the idiot liberals kept blathering that Obama couldn't get anything done because of racism. No, he couldn't get anything done because he's a warmonger and Wall Street shill. The racism smear is starting to get as old as the "anti-Semitic" smear against those who criticize Israel.
Gio

 
New
 
A well-balanced article.
Posted, Tuesday, May 31, 2016 23:00 pm
 
This is a really well-balanced review of presidency; it highlighted the significant positive achievement of Obamacare. Although this is eclipsed by major errors, which have resulted in a global refugee crisis, increased risk of terrorism, global suffering and increased hardship for poorest Americans.‬
Beattie

 
New
A fourth possibility!
Posted, Tuesday, May 31, 2016 23:26 pm
 
In conclusion, I'll provide a fourth possibility.
If we had an electorate that desired change, consequences would have been different. If we had not an opposition party that was so bent on seeing the failure of President Obama, I suspect consequences would have been far different.
Congress writes the laws, not...
Rob

 
New
Victory for Bernie!
Posted, Thursday, June 2, 2016 16:40 pm
 
Great article; and very sad! Victory for Bernie, for the great good it would do!
Dianne
New
Obama was raised in Indonesia!
Posted, Thursday, June 2, 2016 20:00 pm
 
The denial from the world gives me a headache!! The world only needs to know one thing: Obama was raised in Indonesia with Sunni's. From that, everything Obama has done as President has been because of that Sunni upbringing.‬
Simon

 
 

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