Sunday, July 21, 2019

Epstein-Iran

"Michael Hudson: U.S. Economic Warfare and Likely Foreign Defenses".  This is about what you might expect to see when smart people - but smart people who need to stay respectable - do their analysis thing without recourse to the JQ.  The general gist is that the Americans are hard-assedly, and probably immorally, acting in their own self-interest.

But they are clearly not acting in their own self-interest.  They are consistently increasing the relative strength of their enemies/competitors, and providing every possible excuse for countries to remove themselves from the power currently located in the US Dollar.  It is impossible to imagine a stupider course of action than the one the Americans are following.

And it is not a Trump thing, though The Clarification in the way Trump frames issues makes it impossible to avoid seeing what is really going on.  None of the mainstream Democrat candidates who can be expected to be allowed to win has the tiniest quibble about the big stupid things Trump is doing.  It is actually quite remarkable.

Putin (referenced by Hudson) (try to imagine any American politician giving a speech like this!):
"Technically, global economic growth, and I hope we will mostly talk about that since this is an economic forum, has been positive in the recent period. In 2011–2017, the global economy grew by an annual average of 2.8 percent. In recent years, the relevant figure was a bit over three percent. However, we believe, and countries’ leaders and all of us must frankly admit that regrettably, despite this growth, the existing model of economic relations is still in crisis and this crisis is of a comprehensive nature. Problems in this respect have been piling up throughout the past few decades. They are more serious and larger than it seemed before.

The architecture of the global economy has changed dramatically since the Cold War as new markets were becoming part of the globalisation process. The dominant model of development based on the Western “liberal” tradition, let us call it Euro-Atlantic for the sake of argument, began to claim not just a global, but also a universal role.

International trade was the main driver behind the current globalisation model. From 1991 to 2007, it grew more than twice as fast as global GDP. This can be accounted for by the newly opened markets of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and goods pouring into these markets. However, this period turned out to be relatively short-lived by historical standards.

The global crisis of 2008–2009 ensued. It not only exacerbated and revealed imbalances and disproportions, but also showed that global growth mechanisms were beginning to fail. Of course, the international community learned its lesson. However, truth be told, there was not enough will or, perhaps, courage, to sort things out and draw the corresponding conclusions. A simplified approach prevailed whereby the global development model was allegedly quite good and, essentially, nothing needed to be changed since it was enough to eliminate the symptoms and coordinate some rules and institutions in the global economy and finance, and then everything would turn out just fine. There were many hopes and positive expectations back then, but they quickly vanished. Quantitative easing and other measures failed to resolve the problems and only pushed them into the future. I am aware that quantitative easing was discussed at this and other forums. We at the Government and the Presidential Executive Office never stop discussing and debating these matters.

I will now cite data from the World Bank and the IMF. Before the crisis of 2008–2009, the global trade in goods and services to global GDP ratio was constantly growing, but then the trend reversed. It is a fact, there is no such growth anymore. The global trade to global GDP ratio of 2008 has never been recovered. In fact, global trade ceased to be the unconditional driver behind the global economy. The new engine represented by state-of-the-art technology is still being fine-tuned and not operating at full capacity. Moreover, the global economy has entered a period of trade wars and mounting direct or covert protectionism.

What are the sources of the crisis in international economic relations? What undermines trust between the world economic players? I think the main reason is that the model of globalisation offered in the late 20th century is increasingly at odds with the rapidly emerging new economic reality.

In the past three decades, the share of advanced countries in the global GDP in purchasing power parity decreased from 58 to 40 percent. In the G7 it dropped from 46 to 30 percent, whereas the weight of the countries with developing markets is growing. Such rapid development of new economies that, apart from their interests, have their own development platforms and views on globalisation and regional integration processes does not correlate well with the ideas that seemed immutable relatively recently.

The previous patterns essentially put the Western countries into an exclusive position and we should be straight about this. These patterns gave them an advantage and an enormous rent, thereby predetermining their leadership. Other countries simply had to follow in their wake. Of course, much happened and is still happening to the accompaniment of talk about equality. I will speak about this as well. And when this comfortable, familiar system began to grow rickety and competition grew, ambitions and a striving to preserve one’s domination at all costs surged. Under the circumstances, the states that previously preached the principles of free trade and honest and open competition began to talk in terms of trade wars and sanctions, and resorted to undisguised economic raids with arms twisting, intimidation and the removal of rivals by so-called non-market methods.

Look, there are many examples of this. I will only mention those that concern us directly and that are common knowledge. Take, for example, the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. I saw in the hall our partners who work with it professionally, not only Russians but also our friends from Europe. This project is designed to enhance energy security in Europe and create new jobs. It fully meets the national interests of all participants, both European and Russian. If it did not meet these interests, we would have never seen our European partners in it. Who could force them into this project? They came because they were interested in it.

But this does not match the logic and interests of those who became used to exclusiveness and anything-goes behavior in the framework of the existing universalist model. They are used to letting others pay their bills; therefore, endless attempts to torpedo this project are made. It is alarming that this destructive practice has not only affected traditional energy, raw materials and commodity markets but it has also leaked into new industries that are now taking shape. Take the situation with Huawei. Attempts are being made not just to challenge it on the global market but to actually restrict it in an off-handed manner. Some circles already call this “the first technological war” to break out in the digital era.

It would appear that rapid digital transformation and technologies that are quickly changing industries, markets and professions, are designed to expand the horizons for anyone who is willing and open to change. Unfortunately, here too barriers are being built and direct bans on high-tech asset purchases are being imposed. It has come to the point where even the number of foreign students for certain specialties is limited. Frankly, I find it hard to wrap my mind around this fact. Nevertheless, this is all happening in reality. Surprising, but true.

Monopoly is invariably about concentrating revenue in the hands of a few at the expense of everyone else. In this sense, attempts to monopolise an innovation-driven technology wave and to limit access to its fruits take the problems of global inequality between countries and regions and within states to a whole new level. This, as we all know, is the main source of instability. It is not just about the level of income or financial inequality, but fundamental differences in opportunities for people.

In essence, an attempt is being made to build two worlds, the gap between which is constantly widening. In this situation, certain people have access to the most advanced systems of education and healthcare and modern technology, while others have few prospects or even chances to break out of poverty, with some people balancing on the verge of survival.

Today, more than 800 million people around the world do not have basic access to drinking water, and about 11 percent of the world's population is undernourished. A system based on ever-increasing injustice will never be stable or balanced.

Exacerbating environmental and climatic challenges that represent a direct threat to the socioeconomic well-being of all humankind are making the crisis even worse. Climate and the environment have become an objective factor in global development and a problem fraught with large-scale shocks, including another uncontrolled surge in migration, more instability and undermined security in key regions of the planet. At the same time, there is a high risk that instead of joint efforts to address environmental and climate issues, we will run into attempts to use this issue for unfair competition.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Today we are facing two extremes, two possible scenarios for further development. The first is the degeneration of the universalist globalisation model and its turning into a parody, a caricature of itself, where common international rules are replaced with the laws, administrative and judicial mechanisms of one country or a group of influential states. I state with regret that this is what the US is doing today when it extends its jurisdiction to the entire world. Incidentally, I spoke about this 12 years ago. Such a model not only contradicts the logic of normal interstate communication and the shaping realities of a complicated multipolar world but, most importantly, it does not meet the goals of the future.

The second scenario is a fragmentation of the global economic space by a policy of completely unlimited economic egoism and a forced breakdown. But this is the road to endless conflict, trade wars and maybe not just trade wars. Figuratively, this is the road to the ultimate fight of all against all.

So what is the solution? I am referring to a real solution rather than utopian or ephemeral one. Obviously, new agreements will be needed for drafting a more stable and fair development model. These agreements should not only be written clearly but should also be observed by all participants. However, I am convinced that talk about an economic world order like this will remain wishful thinking unless we return to the centre of the discussion, that is, notions like sovereignty, the unconditional right of every country to its own development road and, let me add, responsibility for universal sustainable development, not just for one’s own development.

What should be the subject of discussion in terms of regulating such agreements and such a common legal environment? Certainly not the imposition of a single and the only correct canon for all countries, but above all, the harmonisation of national economic interests, principles of teamwork, competition and cooperation between countries with their own individual development models, peculiarities and interests. The drafting of such principles should be carried out with maximum openness and in the most democratic manner.

It is on this foundation that the system of world trade should be adapted to current realities and the efficiency of the World Trade Organisation enhanced. Other international institutions should be filled with new meaning and content rather than broken. It is necessary to sincerely consider, rather than just talk about the requirements and interests of the developing nations, including those that are upgrading their industry, agriculture and social services. This is what equal conditions for development is all about.

Incidentally, we suggest considering the creation of an open, accessible data bank with the best practices and development projects. Russia is ready to publish its successful case studies in the social, demographic and economic areas on an information platform, and invites other countries and international organisations to join this initiative.

With regard to finance, the main global institutions were created as part of the Bretton Woods system 75 years ago. The Jamaican currency system that replaced it in the 1970s confirmed the preference of the US dollar but, in fact, failed to resolve the key problems, primarily, the balance of currency relations and trade exchanges. New economic centres have appeared since then, the role of regional currencies has increased, and the balance of forces and interests has changed. Clearly, in the wake of these profound changes, international financial organisations need to adapt and reconsider the role of the dollar, which, as a global reserve currency, has now become an instrument of pressure exerted by the issuing country on the rest of the world.

Incidentally, I believe the US financial authorities and political centres are making a big mistake as they are undermining their own competitive edge that appeared after the creation of the Bretton Woods system. Confidence in the dollar is simply plummeting.

The technological development agenda must unite countries and people, not divide them. For this, we need fair parameters for interaction in key areas such as high-tech services, education, technology transfer, innovative digital economy branches and the global information space. Yes, building such a harmonious system is certainly challenging, but this is the best recipe for restoring mutual trust, as we have no alternative.

We need to join our efforts, being fully cognizant of the scale of the new era’s global challenges and our responsibility for the future. To do so, we need to use the potential of the UN, which is a unique organisation in terms of representation. We should strengthen its economic institutions and use new associations like the Group of 20 more effectively. Pending the creation of a set of rules like this, we need to act in accordance with the current situation and actual problems and have a realistic understanding of what is happening in the world.

As a first step, we propose, speaking diplomatically, to conduct a kind of demilitarisation of the key areas of the global economy and trade, namely, to make the distribution of essential items such as medicines and medical equipment immune to trade and sanctions wars. (Applause.) Thank you very much for your understanding. That also includes utilities and energy, which help reduce the impact on the environment and climate. This, as you understand, concerns areas that are crucial for the life and health of millions, one might even say, billions of people, our entire planet."
The reason why Putin (and Lavrov) have been so successful at diplomacy in recent years is that Putin stays committed to a rules-based order.  That doesn't mean that Russian allies like Syria will get everything they want (e.g., Putin has limitations on what he can convince the evil devils in Israel to do), but it does mean that Russia will be straight with them, will conform to international laws and norms, and won't turn on its friends the second a shekel falls at Putin's feet.  The kicker is that Putin can reasonably say to anybody that Russia, unlike the Assholians, simply can't afford to be an asshole.  The Russians need the protections of the same rules-based order that Putin is always talking about.  Of course, the new rules, as they are constructed, will have to exclude the Assholians, who can't be trusted.

I've been thinking about the piracy of the Brits and that ship in Gibraltar.  The Brits are, of course, stooges for the Assholians, who are themselves stooges for whichever machers hold the Epstein tapes.  What do you think Lloyd's, which is a Big Deal, and its Names, an even Bigger Deal (of the 0.01% variety), think of the British state committing an act of piracy?  Piracy is a Big Deal for naval insurers.  None of this can even remotely be considered in the interests of Britain.

I wonder what the Spanish think of having Gibraltar abused in this way.

"Iran seizes UK tanker in counter-escalation" (Bhadrakumar).  I like how the British sailors in their big warship just floated around and watched with their thumbs up their asses as the Iranian commandoes rappelled down from helicopters to the deck of their target.  The next James Bond should be a girl, as the guys can no longer handle it!  It is likely the Brits let this happen, as part of the greater Zionist warmongering play, but demonstrated Iranian competence makes their potential defensive threats to the Strait of Hormuz, and the consequent destruction of the world economy, even more credible.

A laughable sudden concern with 'freedom of navigation':  "Britain says seizures of UK vessels by Iran are ‘unacceptable’".

The legal problems with the stated position of the Brits: "The UK’s Dubious Role in the New Tanker War With Iran" (Purkayastha).  And reason to believe the Iranian capture was intended:
"What remains unexplained is why the empty UK tanker switched off its transponder before the alleged incident for about 24 hours, particularly in the period when it was passing through the Strait of Hormuz—or why an empty tanker was accompanied by a British warship. Was the UK baiting Iran by manufacturing a maritime incident in the Gulf?"
"Will Donald Trump Kill His Presidency Over Iran by Larry C Johnson".  His instincts are good, but those tapes . . .  We could be approaching a situation where civilization is ended all because respectable people are touchy about discussing the JQ.

This is a pretty good elucidation of the general liberal consensus (something I used to believe myself but now realize is pernicious bullshit):  "Donald Trump Reveals That He’s an Anti-Semite With Attack on Congresswomen" (Inlakesh):
"Trump’s attacks have been primarily aimed towards Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, as she has been extremely critical of the AIPAC Lobby and the Israeli government. Ilhan Omar has not once slandered the Jewish people, attacked Jewish identity or even used the term Jew or Jewish in her critique of Israel and Zionist Lobby power in the United States. Yet Donald Trump, who makes the most outrageous of comments on a near daily basis and defends them as not being hateful and racist, accuses others of antisemitism at any chance he gets.
In fact Trump can be heard in a recent rally talking about how Ilhan Omar makes anti-Semitic statements, whilst a large crowd of white Americans chant “send her back” behind him.
As the late Edward Said portrayed in his works, the Arab is the ‘new Jew’ to the West.
It is important to note from Trump’s evident disregard for the feelings of various minority communities in the United States, that he really does not wish to be involved in any fight back against racism. So why does he seem to be, on the surface, fighting antisemitism? The answer is very simple, he is not.
In fact, he is promoting antisemitism by legitimizing the Zionist view-point that somehow the AIPAC Lobby, powerful Zionists and the Israeli government are representative of the Jewish people. If you equate Jewish people with these things, then by default you are transferring the crimes of these entities/people onto all Jews.
If someone points out that Zionists, who are Jewish, hold powerful positions and that some of these people are perhaps being biased on the side of Israel and/or are committing a criminal act, this is very clearly not anti-semitic. If you assert that there’s something wrong with Jewish people being in these positions, then you are evidently a bigot, but if you point out that a lot of these individuals hold racist, Islamophobic views – then this is simply a concern for the way this influence among Zionists, whether they be Jewish or non-Jewish, may harm Palestinians or anyone who is opposed to Israel.
If you are attaching an entire group of people [Jewish people] to a genocidal regime or powerful individuals, then you are simply throwing the entire group under the bus.
This tactic is being used by people like Trump and other supporters of Israel. They are attempting to claim that if you criticize individuals who are Jewish Zionists, Israel, or Zionist Lobby power – for their horrific actions and rhetoric, then you are hating all Jews. This shallow, over-the-top argument is in fact creating more animosity we see today towards ordinary Jewish people.
When people are constantly told that Jews are to be equated with Israel, the Zionist Lobby or other individuals who are Zionist Jews, people start to believe it. The people that are against the actions of many influential Zionists, the Israeli state and Zionist Lobby groups, do not stop standing against them when they are called anti-semites for this. Instead, people will ignore these allegations for what they are, or they will fall into the trap of believing what they are told and think that there is some sort of Jewish conspiracy, encompassing most Jews, which is being covered up by Zionists.
The reason many people fall into this trap, is because they most likely have no real connection to Jewish people and are left to make up their mind based upon what they see and hear. Many of these people then end up becoming quite anti-Semitic. This is because they see the Jewish people as being part of Israel and other groups of Zionists, a picture that fascist Israel and its supporters have been able to effectively paint.
When the crimes of Israel and pro-Israel groups are called into question and we are called anti-semites for questioning them, it is absolutely essential as anti-racists that we call this out for what it is. Because we must stop them from throwing Jews under the bus and protecting Israel and its supporters, by transferring their crimes onto the Jewish people."
I agree with the logic of this except in cases where the named group is a violent racist collective who manipulates opinion on the vile things they do by inventing some mystical hatred which completely explains any dissent by outsiders.  In that case, it is immoral not to hate the entire group.  That's not to say that individuals should be punished just for the crime of being in the group (this whole scam is backed up by the constant Holocaust whining and the supposed threat of a Holocaust II), but the trickery has to be named and shamed, and individuals in the group have to be forced to decide whether they accept the collective trickery or not.  This is the thinking they themselves have created to protect their atrocities, and they have nobody to blame for it but themselves. Right now they've managed to create a permanent pass for all of them, which allows the snakes to operate at will.  We're seeing it right now with Epstein-Iran
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