Mês: setembro 2017

USA

Whatever Happened to America?   Paul Craig Roberts Sep. 18, 2017   Over the course of my lifetime America has become an infantile country. When I was born America was a nation. Today it is a diversity country in which various segments divided by race, gender, and sexual preference, preach hate toward other segments. Currently white heterosexual males are losing in the hate game, but once hate is unleashed it can turn on any and every one. Working class white males understand that they are the new underclass in a diversity country in which everyone has privileges except them. Many of the university educated group of heterosexual white males are too brainwashed to understand what is happening to them. Indeed, some of them are so successfully brainwashed that they think it is their just punishment as a white male to be downrodden. Donald Trump’s presidency has been wrecked by hate groups, i.e., the liberal/progressive/left who hate the “racist, misognynist, homophobic, gun nut working class” that elected Trump (see Eric Draitser, “Why He Won,” in CounterPunch, vol. 23, No. 1, 2017). For the liberal/progressive/left Trump is an illegitimate president because he was elected by illegitimate voters. Today the American left hates the working class with such intensity that the left is comfortable with the left’s alliance with the One Percent and the military/security complex against Trump. America, the melting pot that...

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The Dollar

Venezuela Stops Accepting Dollars For Oil Payments   Tyler Durden Sep. 14, 2017   Did the doomsday clock on the petrodollar (and implicitly US hegemony) just tick one more minute closer to midnight?   Apparently confirming what President Maduro had warned following the recent US sanctions, The Wall Street Journal reports that Venezuela has officially stopped accepting US Dollars as payment for its crude oil exports. As we previously noted, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said last Thursday that Venezuela will be looking to “free” itself from the U.S. dollar next week. According to Reuters, “Venezuela is going to implement a new system of international payments and will create a basket of currencies to free us from the dollar,” Maduro said in a multi-hour address to a new legislative “superbody.” He reportedly did not provide details of this new proposal. Maduro hinted further that the South American country would look to using the yuan instead, among other currencies. “If they pursue us with the dollar, we’ll use the Russian ruble, the yuan, yen, the Indian rupee, the euro,” Maduro also said. *  *  * And today, as The Wall Street Journal reports, in an effort to circumvent U.S. sanctions, Venezuela is telling oil traders that it will no longer receive or send payments in dollars, people familiar with the new policy said. Oil traders who export Venezuelan crude or import oil products...

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USA and China

An Economic Lesson for China and Russia   Paul Craig Roberts Sep. 13, 2017   Is there anyone in Trump’s government who is not an imbecile? After years of endless military threats against Russia—remember CIA deputy director Mike Morell saying on TV (Charlie Rose show) that the US should start killing Russians to give them a message, and Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley threatening “We’ll beat you harder than you have ever been beaten before”—now the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin threatens China. If China doesn’t abide by Washington’s new sanctions on North Korea, Mnuchin said the US “will put additional sanctions on them [China] and prevent them from accessing the US and international dollar system.” Here is the broke US government $20 trillion in public debt, having to print money with which to buy its own bonds, threatening the second largest economy in the world, an economy on purchasing power parity terms that is larger than the US economy. Take a moment to think about Mnuchin’s threat to China. How many US firms are located in China? It is not only Apple and Nike. Would sanctions on China mean that the US firms could not sell their Chinese made products in the US or anywhere outside China? Do you think the global US corporations would stand for this? What if China responded by nationalizing all US factories...

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Syria

Syria’s Survival Is Blow to Jihadists   Alastair Crooke Sep. 08, 2017   Despite last-ditch efforts by Israel and its allies to salvage the “regime change” project in Syria, the looming defeat of the Western-backed jihadists marks a turning point in the modern Middle East, says ex-British diplomat Alastair Crooke.   Syria’s victory in remaining still standing – still on its feet, as it were – amid the ruins of all that has been visited upon her, marks effectively the demise of the Bush Doctrine in the Middle East (of “the New Middle East”). It signals the beginning of the end – not just of the political “regime change” project, but also of the Sunni jihadi project which has been used as the coercive tool for bringing into being a “New Middle East.” Just as the region has reached a geopolitical inflection point, however, so too, has Sunni Islam. Wahhabi-inspired Islam has taken a major hit. It is now widely discredited amongst Sunnis, and reviled by just about everyone else. Just to be clear how linked were the two projects: In the wake of the first Gulf War (1990-91), General Wesley Clark, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander for Europe, recalled: “In 1991, [Paul Wolfowitz] was the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy … And I had gone to see him (…) “And I said, ‘Mr. Secretary, you must be pretty happy with the performance of...

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Israel and Iran

Israel’s Geopolitical Gut Check   A once favorable balance of power has shifted, clipping Tel Aviv’s wings. Sharmine Narwani Sep. 06, 2017 Tel Aviv has had a bad few weeks. A once favorable regional balance of power has suddenly shifted in a direction that clips Israel’s wings—all while adversaries on its borders are making swift strategic gains. At the core of the issue is Israel’s obsession with Iranian ascendancy in the region. The 2015 nuclear deal that ended the Islamic Republic’s isolation was a real setback for the Israeli establishment, but what really hit home this summer was a steady succession of political and military victories for the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad and his Iranian and Hezbollah allies. So Israel’s power players headed to the United States and Russia to try to claw back some lost leverage on the ground. They returned from Washington empty-handed, unable to wrest guarantees on keeping Iranian and allied troops out of southern Syria, where the U.S. and Russia in July established a de-escalation zone near Israel’s border. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s consultations with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi went nowhere too. Russian accounts of those talks describe a highly “agitated” and “emotional” Netanyahu who was told in no uncertain terms by a calm Putin: “Iran is Russia’s strategic ally in the Middle East.” To Netanyahu, Putin offered what must have...

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