Tuesday, January 27, 2015

What Did Happen in Libya?

Terror Inc. and the War on Libya

By Mark Taliano
Global Research, January 26, 2015
“Human rights” or “democracy” have nothing to do with current wars of conquest except that these words are used as cover to hide institutionalized mass murder and theft. In fact, human rights and democracy are usually the first casualties of any invasion.
The “West”, however, understands the value of these words to sell wars which invariably destroy “non-compliant” secular governments in favour of divisive fundamentalist regimes.
Human lives are superfluous to the overriding imperial agendas. In fact, imperial strategists prefer that target countries become internally divided, even when division exacts a huge toll in innocent lives.
It’s all very illegal, but the West is not overly concerned with international sanctions. The West isn’t particularly perturbed by the consequent rise of fundamentalism either, because it uses fundamentalist proxies such as al Qaeda and ISIS – or neo-Nazis — to globally implement their agendas of destruction.
The pre-planned invasion of Libya is a case in point. Prior to the invasion — ironically billed as a “humanitarian Intervention” — Libya’s government, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, boasted significant achievements, including the following:
*The highest standard of living in Africa
*Human Development Index (HDI), a measure of health, education, and income, ranked above the regional average
* Free public health care, and free public education
* 89% adult literacy rate (with girls outnumbering boys by 10% in secondary and tertiary education)
* Subsidized, affordable food
* Homelessness all but wiped out
Given these very positive metrics, how did the West sell its so-called “humanitarian intervention”? Simple. It created a false narrative that demonized Gadaffi as it promulgated lies and media fabrications.
Associate university professor and author, Maximilian C. Forte rebuts the arsenal of lies promulgated by the West in “The Top Ten Myths in the War Against Libya” . Here is the list of evidence-free accusations:
  • Genocide
  • Gadaffi is “bombing his own people”.
  • “Save Benghazi”
  • African mercenaries
  • Viagara-fueled mass rape
  • Gaddafi – the Demon
Freedom Fighters – the Angels
Significantly, the west supports the “rebels” – long-time enemies of Gaddafi – who are basically al-Qaeda/ISIS, the same mercenaries that are currently in Syria.
So, what are the underlying reasons for the destruction of Libya and its people plus the subsequent empowerment of al Qaeda and ISIS terrorists? Dr. Michel Chossudovsky argues in “Operation Libya And The Battle For Oil” that oil is the “Trophy”:
“An invasion of Libya under a humanitarian mandate would serve the same corporate interests as the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq. The underlying objective is to take possession of Libya’s oil reserves, destabilize the National Oil Corporation (NOC) and eventually privatize the country’s oil industry, namely transfer the control and ownership of Libya’s oil wealth into foreign hands.
The National Oil Corporation (NOC) is ranked 25 among the world’s Top 100 Oil Companies. (The Energy Intelligence ranks NOC 25 among the world’s Top 100 companies. – Libyaonline.com).”
Chossudovsky explains further that looting of Libya’s finances would be another goal:
“The financial stakes as well as “the spoils of war” are extremely high. The military operation is intent upon dismantling Libya’s financial institutions as well as confiscating billions of dollars of Libyan financial assets deposited in Western banks.”
The aftermath of the overthrow of the Jamahiriya-Gaddafi rule has unfolded as expected. Abayomi Azikiwe explains in “Libya War Continues Three Years After Gaddafi Assassination” that there is on-going destabilization, with warring factions battling for control.
Washington and NATO are no doubt pleased. They have weakened a once strong, secular Libya –that was (significantly) a model for other African countries — by imposing their will, to the detriment of humanity, and in favour of Islamic Fundamentalism.
The resulting carnage dims future prospects for countries that strive to break free from parasitical, imperial agendas, even as it empowers proxy armies such as al-Qaeda and ISIS.
Washington’s stated goal of conducting a “war on terror” is actually a “war for terror” that is responsible for the slaughter of multitudes, all beneath the false veneer of humanism, freedom, democracy, or any number of other lies.
Mark Taliano, Public Editor, Daily Clout


Monday, January 26, 2015

What is the Unemployment Rate?

John Williams (shadowstats.com) on the December Payroll Jobs Report and Unemployment Rate
By Paul Craig Roberts
January 13, 2015
As increasingly has become the common circumstance, the upside revisions in headline monthly numbers simply are constructs of highly unstable, inconsistent and questionable seasonal adjustments being shifted between months.  The unadjusted data do not revise, but the adjusted data pick up bogus growth from gimmicked reporting . . .
Counting All Discouraged Workers, December 2014 Unemployment Was 23.0%. . . . More than anything else, though, what removes headline-unemployment reporting from broad underlying economic reality and common experience simply is definitional.  To be counted among the headline unemployed (U.3), an individual has to have looked for work actively within the four weeks prior to the unemployment survey.  If the active search for work was in the last year, but not in the last four weeks, the individual is considered a “discouraged worker” by the BLS [and not counted in the U.3 measure].  ShadowStats defines that group as “short-term discouraged workers,” as opposed to those who become “long-term discouraged workers” after one year.
Moving on top of U.3, the broader U.6 unemployment measure includes only the short-term discouraged workers.  The still-broader ShadowStats-Alternate Unemployment Measure includes an estimate of all discouraged workers, including those discouraged for one year or more, as the BLS used to measure the series pre-1994, and as Statistics Canada still does.
When the headline unemployed [U.3 measure] become “discouraged,” they are rolled over from U.3 to U.6.  As the short-term discouraged workers roll over into long-term discouraged status, they move into the ShadowStats measure, where they remain.  Aside from attrition, they are not defined out of existence for political convenience, hence the longer-term divergence between the various unemployment rates.  Further detail is discussed in the Reporting Detail section.  The resulting difference here is between a headline December 2014 unemployment rates of 5.6% (U.3) and 23.0% (ShadowStats). [The U.6 unemployment rate containing the short-term discouraged workers is 11.2%.]
[The 23% unemployment rate is consistent with the declining Civilian Employment-Population Ratio and the declining Labor Force Participation Rate. The rise in discouraged wrkers is reflected in the decline in these ratios.]
[Are you surprised that the government lies about the number of new jobs and the unemployment rate? Why are you surprised? The government lies about everything–”Iraqi weapons of mass destruction,” “Iranian nukes,” “Assad’s use of chemical weapons,” “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” etc.]
[John Williams also reports that the Birth/Death Model used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics assumes that more jobs are created each month by new startups than are lost by companies going out of business. The excess of new startups over closures currently adds an average of 61,000 jobs each month. In other words, these jobs are spun off of the assumptions of a model and are likely to be phantom jobs.]

[There is also the issue of data falsification by the Census Bureau reported in the New York Post by John Crudele and under congressional investigation.
Note: brackets indicate my comments. - Roberts

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Saudi King Abdullahbin Abdulaziz al Saud

Contradiction in Action: The Eulogies for Saudi King Abdullahbin Abdulaziz al Saud

By Binoy Kampmark
Global Research, January 24, 2015
What a spanner in the works of international relations he proved to be. The late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud of Saudi Arabia was always the spoiler in the morality plays of Western powers keen to back him. Oil was always the greatest deterrent against getting on his wrong side, but it also meant the most intolerable of inconsistencies. For most governments, however, these were tolerated.
Those inconsistencies were there for all to see in the eulogies for the monarch. US President Barack Obama gave a description of someone who was distinctly different from a member of the House of Saud. Abroad, he pursued the Arab Peace Initiative. “At home, King Abdullah’s vision was dedicated to the education of his people and to greater engagement with the world” (Politico, Jan 22).
It was precisely such behaviour that gave David Pryce-Jones room for a vital observation. “The world will remember one thing only of King Abdullah, the late king of Saudi Arabia” ventured Pryce-Jones, “and that is how President Barack Obama bowed before him in obeisance. Democracy was seen paying dues to absolute monarchy” (National Review Online, Jan 23).[1]
Such a prostrate position was similar adopted by other US officials. US Secretary of State John Kerry used his twitter account to suggest that he was a “man of wisdom & vision. US has lost a friend and Kingdom of #Saudi Arabia, Middle East, and world has lost a revered leader.” Former US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel seem to be channelling another spirit in describing Abdullah as, “a powerful voice for tolerance, moderation and peace,” having advanced “the lives of his people at home as well as his country’s leadership abroad.”
Former British prime minister, Tony Blair, added the predictable icing sugar, claiming that Abdullah was “loved by his people and will be deeply missed” while the British incumbent, David Cameron, mystified with his statement that the late monarch would be remembered “for his commitment to peace and strengthening the understanding between faiths.”[2] The cynics were certainly getting their fill, and even publications such as the New York Times would strive to find a streak of modernity lurking somewhere in that being which had governed Saudi Arabia as essentially a tribal CEO.
The Guardian’s editorial found room to admire the late sovereign’s efforts to curb the export of Wahhabism, minor moves towards democratisation in introducing elections to municipal councils, and proved “good, if slow” in his efforts to court the growing grouping of “educated commoners” needed to keep Saudi Arabia stable.[3] The editorial had to also concede to the Saudi ability, not merely to weather the stormy onslaught of the Arab Spring, but turn it against itself in various Middle Eastern states.
It did not take long for various news agencies to pick up that Saudi Arabia, prior to a 2013 law banning terrorist financing, had been at the forefront of Sunni funding for a colourful assortment of so-called enemies of the free world. A US cable from the WikiLeaks Public Library of US Diplomacy, titled “Terrorist Finance: Action Request for Senior Level Engagement on Terrorism Finance” (Dec 30, 2009) is illuminating on that precise point.[4]
“General talking points for all Embassies” are noted, including the theme of, “Cutting off the flow of funds to terrorist organizations and achieving stability in Af/Pak [Afghanistan and Pakistan]” as “top US priorities.” Specific countries mentioned in connection with terrorist funding include Saudi Arabia, whose donors “constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.” Recipients include al-Qa’ida, the Taliban, LeT, and Hamas, “which probably raise millions of dollars annually from Saudi sources, often during Hajj and Ramadan.”
The cable further conveys a certain meekness in dealing with the Saudi government. The Treasury attaché office in Riyadh was meant to provide a “robust interaction and information sharing on the issue.”
It is hard to imagine what the appearance of such robustness could have been – another US cable (Apr 20, 2008) made available by WikiLeaks revealed the sentiments of the monarch as conveyed by the Saudi ambassador to the US, Adel al-Jubeir.[5] Riyadh was getting tetchy over Iran, which it was itching to strike. “[Abdullah] told you to cut off the head of the snake.” The Iranian head remained in tact, though a few others may well have rolled.
The gender side of the commemorations were also somewhat skewed. Head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, was a test case that silence can, indeed, prove golden – when exercised with judiciousness. Instead, she decided to volunteer a view that King Abdullah had been “a strong advocate for women. It was a very gradual, appropriately so probably for the country.” The great moderniser was, after all, averse to letting his daughters out, keeping them under lock and key for taking issue with stifling, and overwhelming male guardianship.
It all proved a bit much for the former British MP and conservative Louis Mensch, who made a few ripples with a resounding, albeit social media driven “F***K YOU” to Cameron’s ingratiating behaviour to the House of Saud.
“It is so unacceptable to offer deep condolences for a man who flogged women, didn’t let them drive, saw guardian laws passed, & STARVES THEM” (emphasis in original).
As for the issue of preventing women from driving in the kingdom, The Independent found it fitting to publish a story taken from former Saudi Ambassador Sherard Cowper-Cole’s memoir, Ever the Diplomat. When visiting Balmoral as a Crown Prince in September 1998, Abdullah was greeted to an astonishing spectacle: the Queen of England taking the wheel of a Land Rover.[6]
While it would be remiss to point out that no single leader can dictate the entirety of a political system, it remains difficult to call King Abdullah, by any stretch of the imagination, a great, let alone subtle “moderniser”. Public beheadings, the sentencing of Raif Badawi to a thousand lashes and ten years in prison for being critical of the state, and injunctions on the construction of non-Islamic places of worship within the country, suggest the workings of a distinctly anti-modern entity rooted in firm tribalism.
The most striking contradiction of all came in how sworn enemies could also share similar, commemorative ground on the subject of the grovelling eulogy. The Pan-Arabia Enquirer (Jan 23) noted the similarity between the official statements of both the US and ISIS. Abdullah was praised for having “vision and leadership”; he “had the courage of his convictions” and “constantly strived for unity across borders in the Middle East.” Unnamed sources claim that ISIS has requested that its representative not be seated next to Joe Biden.[7]
Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: [email protected]

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Do You Support Euthanasia?

Doctors Killed His Mom Because She Was Depressed. Now He Speaks Out Against Euthanasia
‘I don’t agree that an oncologist with no expertise in treating complex mental health issues can kill a physically healthy woman.’
January 2, 2015
Maynard’s willingness to go public with her story made her the face of the controversial “right-to-die” or “death with dignity” movement.
Just weeks ago, the world watched as Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old woman with terminal brain cancer, followed through on her vow to take her own life.
After receiving a prognosis of six months to live, Maynard and her husband moved from San Francisco to Portland, Ore., where it was legal to obtain a prescription that would allow her to die when she chose.
That decision came Nov. 1. Writing on her Facebook page, Maynard said:
Today is the day I have chosen to pass away with dignity in the face of my terminal illness, this terrible brain cancer that has taken so much from me … but would have taken so much more.

Maynard’s willingness to go public with her story made her the face of the controversial “right-to-die” or “death with dignity” movement.
Also See:
This is Insanity! Child Euthanasia! Where Will It Stop?
14 December 2013