About Me

I am a member of a new Socialist group in Ireland, the United Left Alliance, it has been formed by Socialists that have fought for decades against the capitalist system we are force fed via the capitalist media. This election has been a very important breakthrough not just for the people of Ireland but also Europe. Our country has fallen victim to the vultures that are the IMF & ECB who have begun the end game of the capitalist system, the cheap credit flowed around the globe for the past 20 years has now been reigned in & the unbridled & frenzied speculation over that time which drove prices skywards artificially now leaves the gaping hole in public finances & the people with the banks billions in bad debt. The end game i mentioned is now afoot, with the Private money lenders of last resort valiantly stepping in to 'bailout' our country from it woes (repay the banks private debts by passing it with interest to sovereign debt)Electricity, Gas, Wood & Water are all in the sights of our rescuers facilitated by our very own indigenous fascist’s in the Fine Gael party. George Orwell said, "In times of Universal deceit, telling the truth will become a revolutionary act"

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Move to make libyans life better real trigger for red, white & blue killing of gaddaffi

There appears to be very clear run up of events that caused the american, british & french to fire up the revolution in libya, one would have to delve a little deeper but with so many former regime figures having defected to the 'NTC' during the conflict it would appear that there was a corrupt element in the heirarchy of libya's regime & gaddaffi was going to weed them out, to what level the yanks, brits & french had their people in their we dont know but it seems very clear that the control of the oil was going to be overhauled & the wealth given to the libyan people, cant be having that now,


On 4 March 2008, Gaddafi announced his proposal to dissolve the country's existing administrative structure and disburse oil revenue directly to the people. The plan included abolishing all ministries; except those of defence, internal security, and foreign affairs, and departments implementing strategic projects. His reason for this plan was because he believed that the ministries were failing to manage the country’s oil revenues. Gaddafi claimed he was planning to combat corruption in the state by proposing reforms where oil profits are handed out directly to the country's five million people rather than to government bodies, stating that "as long as money is administered by a government body, there would be theft and corruption." Gaddafi urged a sweeping reform of the government bureaucracy, suggesting that most of the cabinet system should be dismantled to "free Libyans from red tape" and "protect the state's budget from corruption." According to Western diplomats, this move appeared to be aimed at putting pressure on the government to speed up reforms. Gaddafi claimed that the ministries were failing to manage the country’s oil revenues, and that his "dream during all these years was to give power and wealth directly to the people."

A national vote on Gaddafi's plan to disband the government and give oil money directly to the people was held in 2009, where Libya's people's congresses, the country's highest authority, voted to delay implementation. The General People's Congress announced that, out of 468 Basic People's Congresses, 64 chose immediate implementation while 251 endorsed implementation "but asked for (it) to be delayed until appropriate measures were put in place." This plan led to dissent from top government officials, who claimed it would "wreak havoc" in the economy by "fanning inflation and spurring capital flight." Gaddafi acknowledged that the scheme, which promised up to 30,000 Libyan dinars ($23,000) annually to about a million of Libya's poorest, may "cause chaos before it brought about prosperity," but claimed that "Do not be afraid to experiment with a new form of government" and that "This plan is to offer a better future for Libya's children."

Mahmoud Jibril, a former Jamahiriya member who later formed the National Transitional Council, was opposed to Gaddafi's Wealth Redistribution Project where oil revenues would be distributed directly to the Libyan people, an idea that Jibril described as “crazy” in 2010.

In December 2009, Gaddafi personally told government officials that Libya would soon experience a "new political period" and would have elections for important positions such as minister-level roles and the National Security Advisor position (a Prime Minister equivalent). He also promised to include international monitors to ensure fair elections. His speech was said to have caused quite a stir. These elections were planned to coincide with the Jamahiriya's usual periodic elections for members of the Popular Committees, Basic People's Committees, Basic People's Congresses, and General People's Congress, in 2010.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Libya and Nigeria after Gaddafi

The article below would in my opinion be free from the propaganda machines of the WEST (America, britain etc) & EAST (Saudi, Quatar etc), the response from many of the african nations, i would offer, is closer to a reality check from the region, any media report is subject to the author, editor, & media outlet's bias, some are more bias than others, but some hit some home truths that are devoid in the reporting of the clearly massive bias of the WEST & EAST, this article, while it does seem to regurgitate some soundbites has hit the very point that is the aim of NATO from the start,

The fragmenting of the various factions in libya so the country becomes easy picking for them to take sides, the most accurate point aired in the article is this,

With only a provisional Executive Council led by Mustafa Abdul Jalil, it will be interesting to see how the country will be brought under control and the transition to democracy initiated. If it works, it will be a major and uncommon sociological miracle of our time.


By Ochereome Nnanna

LIBYA does not have a common boundary with Nigeria. But it has boundaries with countries like Niger Republic and Chad, which in turn, have boundaries with Mali , Burkina Faso , Northern Sudan and Nigeria, all of which are weak states that have little or no control of their international boundaries.
According to the Director General of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON, Dr.Joseph Odumodu, Nigeria has over 1,000 border entry points out of which only 25 are manned! So, when I talk about Libya and Nigeria after Muamar Gaddafi, you will see where I am coming from
The fall of Gaddafi on Thursday October 20, 2011 may be the beginning of brand new nightmares for people of both countries. Years down the line, we may all rue the day we rushed to the side of the West in our support for the forceful ouster of the tyrant by pro-democracy forces.

We may regret not thinking through the problem in the overall interest of the Libyan and Nigerian people. I hope this will not happen, but the auguries do not seem to support the unbridled sense of euphoria sweeping Libya and even Nigeria at the fall of a man who dominated his country – and to some extent, the continent – for 42 years

Let’s start with Libya. We cannot deny that Gaddafi was a brutal dictator and megalomaniac. It is not easy to build a regime in modern times that lasts 40 years under one man. We cannot deny his frequent rants against the West and even his involvement in sponsorship of terrorism, even though he quickly back-tracked just when the US and allies contemplated an invasion in the manner that Saddam Hussein of Iraq was dealt with. Also undeniable was the fact that he looted his country’s treasury and was estimated to be worth about US$150 billion. These were on the reverse side of the regime

Post-colonial monarchy

The obverse side was that he overthrew a post-colonial monarchy of King Idris and established his Arab socialist Jamahiriya that gave the people economic and social fulfilment but denied them the right to democratic change of governance. Under Gaddafi, Libya was one of the most effectively governed countries in the world. It was a rare example of how the oil money was deployed for the benefit of the people. Libyans lived like princes and princesses. Menial workers from sub-Saharan Africa (including Nigeria ) braved the hellish conditions of the Sahara Desert to work there under situations of virtual voluntary (but lucrative) slavery
The social conditions that obtained in Gaddafi’s Libya were such that Libyan citizens who engaged in lives of crime deserved, under the Islamic Sharia Law, to be given the severe punishments attached. The educational level among Libyans (83 percent, spread evenly among the genders and social classes) was among the highest in Africa and the Arab world. Incidentally, it was this high literacy rate that aided the pro-democracy revolution that took off in Tunisia, spread to Egypt and was copied by Libyans now yearning for democracy

The sudden onset of the Arab Spring at the end of 2010 caught everyone unawares. Certainly, Gaddafi was psychologically unprepared and unwilling to adjust to the demand for democratic change. He was not like that great Ghanaian leader, Flt Lt Jerry Rawlings, who staged two revolutions, cleaned his country free of political and economic vermin, conducted a decade of dictatorship and personally ushered Ghana into a genuine democratic dispensation that has survived for two decades and growing stronger. Gaddafi only saw “dogs” that he benefitted with his rule. He refused to adjust or even run away to safety when he had the Republic of South Africa , Venezuela and other countries begging him to come for asylum. He held on till he was killed, his family ruined, his town and tribe dismantled and everything lost

Now that Gaddafi is gone the hard part of the challenge stares everybody in the face. The Libyan National Transitional Council, NTC, is a coalition of strange bedfellows united by the urge to oust Gaddafi. Now that the mission has been accomplished, we wait to see what other factors still unite them. This is the usual point where former comrade-at-arms begin bloody rivalries

In Libya’s case, there are ethnic, religious, ideological and oil-related reasons for factional fights for control. There are guns everywhere and in every hand. In terms of control, Libya today is comparable only to Somalia. It is usually in this state of flux that Al Qaeda and related Islamist organisations come fishing

The road ahead of Libya is, indeed, rough, long and winding. For a country and an Arab culture that is used to only dictatorship, the yearning for democracy may be a mere chimera, as feasible as the mirages that are usually commonplace in desert climes. Unlike in Egypt and Tunisia where the military establishments survived the fall of the regimes and have since taken charge of the transition to democracy, the Libyan military under Gaddafi was defeated by the citizen revolutionary fighters. This is the most complete revolution ever witnessed in the Arab Spring

With only a provisional Executive Council led by Mustafa Abdul Jalil, it will be interesting to see how the country will be brought under control and the transition to democracy initiated. If it works, it will be a major and uncommon sociological miracle of our time

But if it is mismanaged, the reverberations will transcend Libya. The country might disintegrate, as tribes and factions might engage in wars of supremacy and control over the nation’s oil resources. When such conflicts explode, the West will take sides, and so will Islamists and Libya might turn into another Iraq, Afghanistan or Somalia for years to come. If this happens, both Libyans and Nigerians and countries within reach might look back with nostalgia at the period that Gaddafi was able to run his country peacefully and prosperously. Today’s jubilant victors may never live to see the peaceful, prosperous and democratic Libya they fought for.

For us in Nigeria , the North might become an even hotter bed than Boko Haram has turned it into. With a lot of displaced gunmen and former Gaddafi fighters, many of whom belong to nomadic cultures now roaming the open Sahel, the territorial integrity of our country may take a bad hit. We now have no choice but to press ahead with President Jonathan’s new idea for a national identity card system. We may also have no alternative than to be more serious with manning our borders, especially our Northern borders

When there was a serious drought in the Sahel and Sahara Desert countries in the 1970s, hundreds of thousands of strange-looking, like-skinned refugees thronged towns and cities of Nigeria, living exclusively as beggars and refusing to do any work. If the Libyan civil war and subsequent possible instability triggers another wave of migrations, it may bring a large number of armed and war-hardened refugees

We can only guess at the consequences for our fragile polity

The Red, White and Blue Imperialist War against Libya

The Imperialist attack that murdered thousands of Libyan civilians and smashed swathes of state infrastructure has nothing to do with what happened in Egypt, Tunisia or anywhere else in the Arab world. If you really want to know what went on, begin with Venezuela in April 2002. That failed coup started with a mass media campaign orchestrated by the privately owned Venevision TV and Radio company, which claimed that Chavez supporters had murdered up to 60 trade union demonstrators. It also claimed that Chavez had resigned and was on his way out of the country. This was reported throughout Venezuela and the world. Next up we had the new president Pedro Carmosa sworn in, who promptly dissolved the democratically elected National Assembly and declared the 1999 constitution null and void. As demonstrations erupted organically the police were unleashed, this was not televised but reported as, ‘Chavez hardliners attempting to usurp the will of the people’. This attempted coup had been planned nine months in advance initiated by big business and their acolytes’, the national media, some trade unionists, police chiefs, generals and other henchmen, directed from the good old God fearing US of A.

It is almost 2 years since Libya began trading with Venezuela as it had with Cuba some years earlier, now we begin to see a different equation, one where an alternative social alliance was being assembled outside the USA's sphere of influence. Factor in Gaddafi’s economic diplomacy throughout Africa and Arabia over the last 15 years where he was trying desperately to put in place a gold standard Dinar; which if established would have had serious ramifications for the Dollar and the US economy. Once you understand that oil is bought with dollars you begin to see what has happened to Libya. The US have been preparing for a long time to eradicate the Gaddafi regime by imposing their carefully selected ‘National Transitional Council’ (NTC) by military aggression. This time they were not going to leave their well laid plans in the hands of locals least they too botched-it-up like Carmosa’s Contras. This time they disguised their support beneath NATO banners claiming they were coming to the aid of friendly rebels who have requested their assistance; overstepping seriously their NATO mandate. The old imperialist powers, the UK and France, seemingly playing an equal part with the US in effecting regime change through targeted bombing, supported by special ground forces who helped direct the ‘friendly rebel forces’ in the overthrow of the Gaddafi led Jamarhiriya.

Let’s not forget that Libya was, 6 months ago, the leading African country in terms of human development index (HDI), it also had the highest life expectancy on the continent. Furthermore, it had the highest per capita spend on education and health while also providing less well-off neighbours with funding and technical expertise as part of its outreach humanitarian programme. Libya consists of over 2000 tribes; who send elected representatives to the Council of Tribes (Jamarhiriya) where they debate education, health, cultural and social programmes and also influence the direction of their government’s foreign policy. Unlike Egypt and Tunisia the people do not lack food or social provision, in fact Libyans have one of the best universal health care systems in the world and have a standard of education comparable with France. This is reflected in their HDI standing of 0.755 making them by far the most desirable country in Africa to live in, 50 places higher than Egypt.

Libya holds gold reserves of 148 tonnes worth in excess of $1,000 per person as opposed to $50.00 per person in Ireland and $160.00pp in the UK. Libya also has Billions of dollars invested throughout the world in different countries which have been frozen for the last 6 months. $1.5 billion of this money was frozen in South Africa which the US has decided to take. France has already helped itself to $125 million of Libyan money. Wars like this cost these predators nothing because they ‘sequestrate’ their adversary’s investments and when they’re finished bombing, blasting and leveling the nation’s infrastructure they can look forward to enormous rewards. Their lackeys (NTC) will award multi-billion dollar contracts to those who helped install them, this is how they plunder the wealth from their defeated host.
This is international terrorism of the highest caliber designed to smash sovereign nations that can see-through the immoral imperative of the Red, White and Blue Troika who go about the world bombing, bullying and browbeating those who are not prepared to crawl. Gaddafi we have been told is a mad dog who should have been put down years ago, maybe he was made mad after 8 well documented assassination attempts on his life with at least a similar number of unsubstantiated ones. This policy of targeted assassinations sidesteps any semblance of law, national or international. The US, the UK, France and Israel have become the greatest purveyors of this perversion. Who’s Next in their line of fire, Chavez or (Raul) Castro? Once they have these other little nations crushed beneath the weight of their smart ordinance either directly or indirectly; then they will start paying a lot more attention to the internal opposition in their countries. Their master plan is simple, once they own and control everything, their rule will be tyrannical, then they can do anything they please; there will be no opposition.
To paraphrase ‘the Great US Indian fighter’, General William T Sherman, ‘the only good opponent is a dead opponent’

Martin Niemuller poignantly captured how he ended up in a concentration camp when released from Sachsenhausen in 1945

First they came for the communists: I was not a communist, so I did not speak-out

Then they came for the Trade Unionists: I was not a trade unionist, again I stayed quiet

Next they came for the Jews: I was not a Jew, I looked the other way

Today; today they came for me.
Written by,

Ray FitzPatrick

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fidel Castro’s speech at the University of Havana

My dear comrades:
I asked that we meet early, before the heat of our sun becomes too intense.
This stairway, to which I never imagined I would be returning, keeps some indelible memories of the years when I began to become aware of our era and our duty. One can acquire knowledge and awareness throughout one’s lifetime but never in any other stage of one’s existence will a person again have the purity and selflessness with which, being young, one faces up to life. At that age, I discovered my true destiny.
Thus it is inevitable that, at these moments, I am accompanied by the memory of so many comrades whom I knew exactly 65 years ago. It was during the first week of September that I entered this University, the only one in the country. It is best that I don’t even try to ask for each one of them, and I just hold on to the memory of when they were all young and full of enthusiasm and, as a rule, selfless and pure.
I am extremely encouraged to have present those who today, as we were in yesteryear, even incomparably more well-educated, freer and more aware.

In those days, the power of the brute force and the brutality of force fell upon this university hill, the lack of conscience and the corruption applied upon our people.
Thanks to the example of those preceding us, to the students massacred at the demand of the hordes called the Spanish volunteers, many of whom were born in this country who took up service for the Spanish tyranny, thanks to the Apostle of our Independence and to the blood spilt by dozens of thousands of patriots in three wars of Independence, we have really been preceded by a history which inspired our struggles. We didn’t deserve to be a colony of an empire that was even more powerful, that took over our Homeland and a good portion of our national conscience, sowing fatalism with the idea that it was impossible to shake off such a hefty yoke.

Worse still, a powerful exploiting sector had arisen which, at the service of the Empire’s interests, was plundering the wealth of our people, keeping them shackled and ignorant by force and, not on a few occasions, using others born in the country to act as the torturers and murderers of their own brothers and sisters.
The Revolution put an end to those horrors and it is because of that that we are able to meet here on this September morning.

How far away we were after the triumph to think that, on an occasion like this, we would be returning to meet in efforts even greater and with higher aims than those which, at a certain time, seemed to us to be the highest goals of peoples, in the name of justice and happiness for human beings.
It would not seem to be possible that a country as small as Cuba would be seen forced to carry the weight of the struggle against those who have globalized and submitted the world to an inconceivable plunder, and have imposed a system which today is threatening the very survival of humankind.
I am not speaking only in favour of the interests of our nation. One might say that such objectives have been left behind, in the measure that existence and the well-being of peoples stopped being our objectives, in the name of world interests, without which the life of nations is impossible. It is also certain that, in our struggles for national and social emancipation, our country, the bastion of Spanish colonialism in this hemisphere, was the first to be occupied and the last to rid itself of the yoke after more than 400 years of domination.
Our struggle for national liberation was mixed together with the tenacious efforts of the workers of our country for their social liberation. It was not an act of will; it was an act of fate. The merit of the Cuban people is that they knew how to understand and strengthen the indissoluble bonds between both. (Applause and cries of “¡Viva Fidel!”)

The time humankind has to fight this battle is incredibly limited. Throughout more than three months of unceasing struggle I modestly made the effort to reveal, to an inattentive world, the terrible dangers that threaten human life on our planet. It is well-known, and I have no other alternative than to remember the fact, that we are not living in an age of chivalry and the steel of the swords accompanied by crossbows that were preceded for centuries by battering rams that demolished walls or tried to do so, or war chariots drawn by horses with knives mounted on the wheels; weapons, in brief, always cruel, but with limited destructive power that humans used to wage war on each other since they invented the mace, up to World Wars I and II, when automatic weapons were used , tanks, combat planes and flying fortresses, submarines, torpedoes, armoured vehicles and aircraft carriers that raised the toll of lives lost to tens of millions of humans, and to hundreds of millions of victims of destruction, the wounded, the sick and the hungry, inevitable consequences of wars.

Two nuclear devices were used at the end of the last war. Mankind had never before conceived such terrible destruction and extermination. More than 60 years ago we speak of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; with that we have indicated that the destructive power of accumulated weapons is equal to more than four hundred and forty times the power of one of those bombs. That’s how it is, that’s what mathematics tells us. I add no more because I would have to use rather tough words about the causes and the people responsible for that extremely sad reality.
But that was not enough. The desire for economic and military domination by the first ones to use those terrifying instruments of destruction and death lead humankind to the real possibility of dying out, which we face today. I don’t need to give you arguments for something you already know very well. The problem of peoples today, shall we say, of more than seven billion human beings, is to prevent that such a tragedy should occur.

I am not happy speaking about the painful truth that constitutes something of shame for everything that is identified as policy or government. This truth was deliberately hidden from the world and the difficult task of warning humankind of the real danger it is facing has fallen upon Cuba. We must not falter in that activity. Faced with sceptics, our unmistakable duty is to continue fighting the battle. It is a fact that a growing number of persons in the world have become aware of the reality.
Commenting on the first part of the interview published on Monday, August 30 by the director of La Jornada in that prestigious Mexican newspaper, a citizen of Our America who read it on the CubaDebate website voiced his opinion with words that were so profound that I decided to include the crux of his thoughts in this message to the university students of Cuba:

“I call out to all the countries that today are involved in military conflicts. Please, always think about achieving true peace, that is what we need most. Our children, our grandchildren and the human beings of this world, all of us will thank you. We need to live in peace and security on a planet that day by day becomes less liveable. It is very easy to understand. Nuclear weapons should disappear, no country should have them, atomic energy should only be used for good. THE ONLY REAL VICTORY IS IN ACHIEVING PEACE.
“Today we face two great challenges: the consolidation of world peace and saving the planet from climatic changes. The first is to achieve a lasting peace on solid bases, the second is to reverse climate change. We have to become aware of these problems that we ourselves have created and that we are the protagonists of the changes we must attain. The panorama of the last century was not the same as the one in this century. Weaponry, at this time, is much more sophisticated and deadly and the planet is weaker and more polluted.
“World Conference on Climate Change in Cancun […] the only opportunity left to us. […] We are getting to a critical point where there is no turning back. At that moment, because we are afraid, we would like to do anything to save our lives, but by now everything is in vain and it is too late. The opportunities in our lives appear before us just once and we must know how to make use of them. Our Mother Nature is like a passive smoker who still has not become addicted, we are making her sick indiscriminately.”
“Nobody has the right to use violence against any human being, country or nation. Nobody can cut down a tree if he hasn’t first planted three. […] We cannot turn our backs on nature. Quite the opposite, we must always embrace her tightly. Because we ourselves are nature, we are part of that fan of many colours, sounds, balance and harmony. Nature is perfect.
Kyoto signified hope for all human beings …”
“If we do nothing. Nobody will be saved, there will be no safe place on earth, not in the air, not in the cosmos. The great energy that accumulates daily because of the greenhouse effect, since the solar rays are trapped and emit more energy every day onto the surface of the earth. It will cause natural disasters having unpredictable consequences. Would there be anyone on earth with a button that would be able to stop such a disaster?”
“…we cannot lose any time on anachronistic wars that weaken us and use up our energies. Enemies make wars. Let us eliminate all the causes that make men see other men as their enemies. Not even those who face each other in a war are aware that this is the solution to their problems, they react to their emotions and ignore their consciences mistakenly thinking that the road to peace is war. I say, without the least margin for error, that peace is attained with peace and: IF YOU WANT PEACE, GET READY TO CHANGE YOUR CONSCIOUSNESS (Applause).”

Here you have the essence of his words, quite simple and within the reach of any citizen on earth.
On Wednesday, September 1st, as I was writing this message, information appearing on the CubaDebate website brought us the following news: “A new wave of leakage about an attack on Iran’s nuclear targets being prepared by Israel together with the United States might this time have a basis in reality, as expressed in an article printed this Tuesday by George Friedman, the executive director of the prestigious Stratfor Centre, which has some former CIA analysts among its collaborators..” He is a well educated person with prestige.

The information goes on to say:
“There have been numerous occasions on which different versions of the possible attack on the Islamic Republic presumably filtered from secret services have been spread. According to experts, it dealt with an attempt to exert psychological pressure on Teheran to make it seek consensus with the West.”
“…this technique didn’t work and it is highly unlikely that it will be used again with the same objective, states Friedman…”
“‘It is a paradox, but the new slew of rumours about war may this time be directed towards trying to convince Iran precisely that there will be no war, while in reality, war is now being prepared’ …”
“The analyst completely discards the fact that Tel Aviv is daring to embark on a military operation without counting on the support of the Pentagon.”
“At the same time, the expert warns that the most serious consequence of the possible attack against Iran would be that the Islamic Republic would block the Strait of Ormuz, between the Oman and Persian Gulfs, and that would collapse 45% of world oil supplies thus shooting prices sky high and making world economic recovery after the recession difficult.”
Thus concludes the information.

I find it incredible that the fear of an attack is due to consequences that the price of oil may suffer and to the struggle against the recession. I myself do not harbour the least doubt that the capacity for Iran’s conventional answer would provoke a ferocious war, control of which would escape the hands of the warring parties and it would become an irremediable global nuclear conflict. That is what I maintain.
An important AFP dispatch states that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair warned this Wednesday in a BBC interview when talking about his memoirs being released, that the international community might have no other alternative than the military option if Iran were to develop nuclear weapons.”
It continues:

“Blair concluded that he thought that there was no alternative to this if they continue developing nuclear weapons. They should receive this message loud and clear, he added, echoing a threat that has already been made several times by the US and Israel.
Of course, if they are manufacturing nuclear weapons they have no proof nor can they have any proof because they are using some research centres, doing research; they don’t have, for up to two or three years as they themselves have admitted, any material to begin manufacturing a bomb. This without taking into account that manufacturers of nuclear weapons have 25,000 nuclear weapons, without counting the unimaginable conventional ones. They have no proof of this, it’s a research centre. Is that a reason to attack them? Having a plant producing electrical energy, coming from uranium, that’s nothing constituting a crime and for them it is proof they are manufacturing weapons. They have already done it, they did it in 1981 against an Iraqi research centre, and they did it in 2007 against a Syrian research centre; they didn’t talk about that, it’s somewhat of a mystery why they didn’t speak of it. Because there are terrible things happening that nobody talks about and nobody prints them.

Well, that is the proof, because they are talking about attacking those reactors and those research centres. That’s why one cannot become confused by the little words “if they try” to manufacture nuclear weapons.
A new dispatch from the ITAR-TASS agency reports that sanctions against Iran will not report any desired results, the Iranian problem must not be resolved by any method using force. Today, Sergei Lavrov, head of Russian diplomatic services, stated this in his speech before students –what a coincidence – of the MGIMO International Affairs Institute.”

And the cable goes on:
“We come from the idea that no world problem should be resolved using force, he stated. Lavrov drew attention to the position of US President Barack Obama in regard to Iran, especially involving Iran in the negotiated process. We welcome a normalization in US-Iran relations, he added.
I would think that Russia is not just a member of the Security Council with the right to veto, but also a powerful country whose opinion cannot be ignored. Independently of the fact that in that Resolution of June 9th, all those with the right to veto supported the Resolution. Turkey and Brazil did not support it, and Lebanon abstained. That was a very important moment because the Resolution was approved; it authorized inspection of Iranian merchant vessels and also established a term, they said it was 90 days, and some say it expires on the 9th, other say on the 7th. It also says that on that day they have to inform if they attacked or not.

Now we must sit back and wait to see what they will do in this situation, how they value world opinion, what effect it will have, if they will invent another term or not, if they declare they are not going to do it, or if they ratify that they are going to do it, it might take a bit longer, but it cannot be a lot of time.
I recommend that we are watchful, that we ask our information media to communicate to us, so that we can closely follow the situation.

Thanks to the electronic media there are persons in the world, a growing number of persons who are being informed, because they cannot prevent that, besides even if the news agencies and the great information media in the hands of the powerful capitalist corporations keep silent, the world is finding out about it. I tell you this because of the number of messages that are arriving. I read you one opinion that I selected: it is at 4:52, at 4:54, another at 4:55, the comrades who collect these explain that they are coming from all parts of the world, not just from Latin America. It is impossible to collect and comment on them all, we have an idea about the state of opinions, about their credibility or not, and I can tell you that they are being given great credibility just as you are doing. It is clear, and that is decisive. It is a new stage, never have we seen a situation like this.

Therefore, I suggest to you, and to all our compatriots that are trying to be aware, and to our press media that inform us, because at times the international press keeps strangely silent and then suddenly a series of news items appears. The ones that are going to come out next, each day they will be more interesting.
Nobody can say exactly what is going to happen, because these events are unravelling.
What is going to happen on the 7th, the 9th, the 15th, the 20th? We have to make our plans, work plans, everyone makes their own. As for me, I will be concentrating; I am concentrating on this for a while now, collecting as much information as possible.

But in all this, we all play a part in the job, a part of the responsibility that doesn’t mean that we have to stop whatever we are doing.
Also, another very important country, it is the last one mentioned here, because it was the last cable, yesterday afternoon.
A Reuters dispatch states that the European Union is pressuring China to comply with sanctions against Iran.
Because besides the famous June 9th agreement, number 1929, establishing the sanctions I mentioned, these European satellite powers and those from other parts, imposed additional sanctions to strangle the country and, in this case, they were complaining about China, also about Russia in terms of what they were going to do, but it stated thus:

“The official responsible for the European Union foreign policy, Catherine Ashton, said on Thursday that China had been pressured to ensure that Chinese companies would not fill the void left by other companies that had abandoned Iran because of the sanctions …” It doesn’t say what sanctions, whether the ones by the Council or theirs, they must be referring to all of them, of course. .
Any honest person can understand the complexity of the very serious problem that today threatens the world.
Comrades, university students, as in other times which seem far away and which seem to me to have been just yesterday, I thank you for your presence and for the moral support you are providing for this struggle for peace (Applause). I urge you to not give up fighting for this. In this struggle, as in many others in years past, victory is possible (Applause).

May human life be preserved! May children and youth enjoy life in a world of justice! May parents and grandparents share with them the privilege of living!
The fair distribution of material and spiritual wealth, which mankind is capable of creating through the fabulous development of productive forces, that is the only possible alternative.
Thank you very much.
September 3, 2010

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Globalizer Who Came In From the Cold

Wednesday, October 10, 2001


by Greg Palast

The World Bank's former Chief Economist's accusations are eye-popping - including how the IMF and US Treasury fixed the Russian elections
"It has condemned people to death," the former apparatchik told me. This was like a scene out of Le Carre. The brilliant old agent comes in from the cold, crosses to our side, and in hours of debriefing, empties his memory of horrors committed in the name of a political ideology he now realizes has gone rotten.
And here before me was a far bigger catch than some used Cold War spy. Joseph Stiglitz was Chief Economist of the World Bank. To a great extent, the new world economic order was his theory come to life.
I "debriefed" Stigltiz over several days, at Cambridge University, in a London hotel and finally in Washington in April 2001 during the big confab of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. But instead of chairing the meetings of ministers and central bankers, Stiglitz was kept exiled safely behind the blue police cordons, the same as the nuns carrying a large wooden cross, the Bolivian union leaders, the parents of AIDS victims and the other 'anti-globalization' protesters. The ultimate insider was now on the outside.
In 1999 the World Bank fired Stiglitz. He was not allowed quiet retirement; US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, I'm told, demanded a public excommunication for Stiglitz' having expressed his first mild dissent from globalization World Bank style.
Here in Washington we completed the last of several hours of exclusive interviews for The Observer and BBC TV's Newsnight about the real, often hidden, workings of the IMF, World Bank, and the bank's 51% owner, the US Treasury.
And here, from sources unnamable (not Stiglitz), we obtained a cache of documents marked, "confidential," "restricted," and "not otherwise (to be) disclosed without World Bank authorization."
Stiglitz helped translate one from bureaucratise, a "Country Assistance Strategy." There's an Assistance Strategy for every poorer nation, designed, says the World Bank, after careful in-country investigation. But according to insider Stiglitz, the Bank's staff 'investigation' consists of close inspection of a nation's 5-star hotels. It concludes with the Bank staff meeting some begging, busted finance minister who is handed a 'restructuring agreement' pre-drafted for his 'voluntary' signature (I have a selection of these).
Each nation's economy is individually analyzed, then, says Stiglitz, the Bank hands every minister the same exact four-step program.
Step One is Privatization - which Stiglitz said could more accurately be called, 'Briberization.' Rather than object to the sell-offs of state industries, he said national leaders - using the World Bank's demands to silence local critics - happily flogged their electricity and water companies. "You could see their eyes widen" at the prospect of 10% commissions paid to Swiss bank accounts for simply shaving a few billion off the sale price of national assets.
And the US government knew it, charges Stiglitz, at least in the case of the biggest 'briberization' of all, the 1995 Russian sell-off. "The US Treasury view was this was great as we wanted Yeltsin re-elected. We don't care if it's a corrupt election. We want the money to go to Yeltzin" via kick-backs for his campaign.
Stiglitz is no conspiracy nutter ranting about Black Helicopters. The man was inside the game, a member of Bill Clinton's cabinet as Chairman of the President's council of economic advisors.
Most ill-making for Stiglitz is that the US-backed oligarchs stripped Russia's industrial assets, with the effect that the corruption scheme cut national output nearly in half causing depression and starvation.
After briberization, Step Two of the IMF/World Bank one-size-fits-all rescue-your-economy plan is 'Capital Market Liberalization.' In theory, capital market deregulation allows investment capital to flow in and out. Unfortunately, as in Indonesia and Brazil, the money simply flowed out and out. Stiglitz calls this the "Hot Money" cycle. Cash comes in for speculation in real estate and currency, then flees at the first whiff of trouble. A nation's reserves can drain in days, hours. And when that happens, to seduce speculators into returning a nation's own capital funds, the IMF demands these nations raise interest rates to 30%, 50% and 80%.
"The result was predictable," said Stiglitz of the Hot Money tidal waves in Asia and Latin America. Higher interest rates demolished property values, savaged industrial production and drained national treasuries.
At this point, the IMF drags the gasping nation to Step Three: Market-Based Pricing, a fancy term for raising prices on food, water and cooking gas. This leads, predictably, to Step-Three-and-a-Half: what Stiglitz calls, "The IMF riot."
The IMF riot is painfully predictable. When a nation is, "down and out, [the IMF] takes advantage and squeezes the last pound of blood out of them. They turn up the heat until, finally, the whole cauldron blows up," as when the IMF eliminated food and fuel subsidies for the poor in Indonesia in 1998. Indonesia exploded into riots, but there are other examples - the Bolivian riots over water prices last year and this February, the riots in Ecuador over the rise in cooking gas prices imposed by the World Bank. You'd almost get the impression that the riot is written into the plan.
And it is. What Stiglitz did not know is that, while in the States, BBC and The Observer obtained several documents from inside the World Bank, stamped over with those pesky warnings, "confidential," "restricted," "not to be disclosed." Let's get back to one: the "Interim Country Assistance Strategy" for Ecuador, in it the Bank several times states - with cold accuracy - that they expected their plans to spark, "social unrest," to use their bureaucratic term for a nation in flames.
That's not surprising. The secret report notes that the plan to make the US dollar Ecuador's currency has pushed 51% of the population below the poverty line. The World Bank "Assistance" plan simply calls for facing down civil strife and suffering with, "political resolve" - and still higher prices.
The IMF riots (and by riots I mean peaceful demonstrations dispersed by bullets, tanks and teargas) cause new panicked flights of capital and government bankruptcies. This economic arson has it's bright side - for foreign corporations, who can then pick off remaining assets, such as the odd mining concession or port, at fire sale prices.
Stiglitz notes that the IMF and World Bank are not heartless adherents to market economics. At the same time the IMF stopped Indonesia 'subsidizing' food purchases, "when the banks need a bail-out, intervention (in the market) is welcome." The IMF scrounged up tens of billions of dollars to save Indonesia's financiers and, by extension, the US and European banks from which they had borrowed.
A pattern emerges. There are lots of losers in this system but one clear winner: the Western banks and US Treasury, making the big bucks off this crazy new international capital churn. Stiglitz told me about his unhappy meeting, early in his World Bank tenure, with Ethopia's new president in the nation's first democratic election. The World Bank and IMF had ordered Ethiopia to divert aid money to its reserve account at the US Treasury, which pays a pitiful 4% return, while the nation borrowed US dollars at 12% to feed its population. The new president begged Stiglitz to let him use the aid money to rebuild the nation. But no, the loot went straight off to the US Treasury's vault in Washington.
Now we arrive at Step Four of what the IMF and World Bank call their "poverty reduction strategy": Free Trade. This is free trade by the rules of the World Trade Organization and World Bank, Stiglitz the insider likens free trade WTO-style to the Opium Wars. "That too was about opening markets," he said. As in the 19th century, Europeans and Americans today are kicking down the barriers to sales in Asia, Latin American and Africa, while barricading our own markets against Third World agriculture.
In the Opium Wars, the West used military blockades to force open markets for their unbalanced trade. Today, the World Bank can order a financial blockade just as effective - and sometimes just as deadly.
Stiglitz is particularly emotional over the WTO's intellectual property rights treaty (it goes by the acronym TRIPS, more on that in the next chapters). It is here, says the economist, that the new global order has "condemned people to death" by imposing impossible tariffs and tributes to pay to pharmaceutical companies for branded medicines. "They don't care," said the professor of the corporations and bank loans he worked with, "if people live or die."
By the way, don't be confused by the mix in this discussion of the IMF, World Bank and WTO. They are interchangeable masks of a single governance system. They have locked themselves together by what are unpleasantly called, "triggers." Taking a World Bank loan for a school 'triggers' a requirement to accept every 'conditionality' - they average 111 per nation - laid down by both the World Bank and IMF. In fact, said Stiglitz the IMF requires nations to accept trade policies more punitive than the official WTO rules.
Stiglitz greatest concern is that World Bank plans, devised in secrecy and driven by an absolutist ideology, are never open for discourse or dissent. Despite the West's push for elections throughout the developing world, the so-called Poverty Reduction Programs "undermine democracy."
And they don't work. Black Africa's productivity under the guiding hand of IMF structural "assistance" has gone to hell in a handbag. Did any nation avoid this fate? Yes, said Stiglitz, identifying Botswana. Their trick? "They told the IMF to go packing."
So then I turned on Stiglitz. OK, Mr Smart-Guy Professor, how would you help developing nations? Stiglitz proposed radical land reform, an attack at the heart of "landlordism," on the usurious rents charged by the propertied oligarchies worldwide, typically 50% of a tenant's crops. So I had to ask the professor: as you were top economist at the World Bank, why didn't the Bank follow your advice?
"If you challenge [land ownership], that would be a change in the power of the elites. That's not high on their agenda." Apparently not.
Ultimately, what drove him to put his job on the line was the failure of the banks and US Treasury to change course when confronted with the crises - failures and suffering perpetrated by their four-step monetarist mambo. Every time their free market solutions failed, the IMF simply demanded more free market policies.
"It's a little like the Middle Ages," the insider told me, "When the patient died they would say, "well, he stopped the bloodletting too soon, he still had a little blood in him."
I took away from my talks with the professor that the solution to world poverty and crisis is simple: remove the bloodsuckers.
A version of this was first published as "The IMF's Four Steps to Damnation" in The Observer (London) in April and another version in The Big Issue - that's the magazine that the homeless flog on platforms in the London Underground. Big Issue offered equal space to the IMF, whose "deputy chief media officer" wrote:
"... I find it impossible to respond given the depth and breadth of hearsay and misinformation in [Palast's] report."
Of course it was difficult for the Deputy Chief to respond. The information (and documents) came from the unhappy lot inside his agency and the World Bank.
Award-winning reporter Palast writes Inside Corporate America for the London Observer. To read other Palast reports, to contact the author or to subscribe to his column, go to GregPalast.Com

Monday, July 11, 2011

Bankers live in fear for their mistakes, not the population!

Iceland, a country that wants to punish the bankers responsible for the crisis

Since 2008 the vast majority of the Western population dream about saying "no" to the banks, but no one has dared to do so. No one except the Icelanders, who have carried out a peaceful revolution that has managed not only to overthrow a government and draft a new constitution, but also seeks to jail those responsible for the country's economic debacle.
Pressenza Reikjavik, 3/28/11 Last week 9 people were arrested in London and Reykjavik for their possible responsibility for Iceland’s financial collapse in 2008, a deep crisis which developed into an unprecedented public reaction that is changing the country's direction.
It has been a revolution without weapons in Iceland, the country that hosts the world's oldest democracy (since 930), and whose citizens have managed to effect change by going on demonstrations and banging pots and pans. Why have the rest of the Western countries not even heard about it?
Pressure from Icelandic citizens’ has managed not only to bring down a government, but also begin the drafting of a new constitution (in process) and is seeking to put in jail those bankers responsible for the financial crisis in the country. As the saying goes, if you ask for things politely it is much easier to get them.
This quiet revolutionary process has its origins in 2008 when the Icelandic government decided to nationalise the three largest banks, Landsbanki, Kaupthing and Glitnir, whose clients were mainly British, and North and South American.
After the State took over, the official currency (krona) plummeted and the stock market suspended its activity after a 76% collapse. Iceland was becoming bankrupt and to save the situation, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) injected U.S. $ 2,100 million and the Nordic countries helped with another 2,500 million.
Great little victories of ordinary people
While banks and local and foreign authorities were desperately seeking economic solutions, the Icelandic people took to the streets and their persistent daily demonstrations outside parliament in Reykjavik prompted the resignation of the conservative Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde and his entire government.
Citizens demanded, in addition, to convene early elections, and they succeeded. In April a coalition government was elected, formed by the Social Democratic Alliance and the Left Green Movement, headed by a new Prime Minister, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir.
Throughout 2009 the Icelandic economy continued to be in a precarious situation (at the end of the year the GDP had dropped by 7%) but, despite this, the Parliament proposed to repay the debt to Britain and the Netherlands with a payment of 3,500 million Euros, a sum to be paid every month by Icelandic families for 15 years at 5.5% interest.
The move sparked anger again in the Icelanders, who returned to the streets demanding that, at least, that decision was put to a referendum. Another big small victory for the street protests: in March 2010 that vote was held and an overwhelming 93% of the population refused to repay the debt, at least with those conditions.
This forced the creditors to rethink the deal and improve it, offering 3% interest and payment over 37 years. Not even that was enough. The current president, on seeing that Parliament approved the agreement by a narrow margin, decided last month not to approve it and to call on the Icelandic people to vote in a referendum so that they would have the last word.
The bankers are fleeing in fear
Returning to the tense situation in 2010, while the Icelanders were refusing to pay a debt incurred by financial sharks without consultation, the coalition government had launched an investigation to determine legal responsibilities for the fatal economic crisis and had already arrested several bankers and top executives closely linked to high risk operations.
Interpol, meanwhile, had issued an international arrest warrant against Sigurdur Einarsson, former president of one of the banks. This situation led scared bankers and executives to leave the country en masse.
In this context of crisis, an assembly was elected to draft a new constitution that would reflect the lessons learned and replace the current one, inspired by the Danish constitution.
To do this, instead of calling experts and politicians, Iceland decided to appeal directly to the people, after all they have sovereign power over the law. More than 500 Icelanders presented themselves as candidates to participate in this exercise in direct democracy and write a new constitution. 25 of them, without party affiliations, including lawyers, students, journalists, farmers and trade union representatives were elected.
Among other developments, this constitution will call for the protection, like no other, of freedom of information and expression in the so-called Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, in a bill that aims to make the country a safe haven for investigative journalism and freedom of information, where sources, journalists and Internet providers that host news reporting are protected.
The people, for once, will decide the future of the country while bankers and politicians witness the transformation of a nation from the sidelines.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Labour Party Councillors delusion on Labour web site launching attack on ULA taken from Paul Murphy MEP's BLOG,

As you may already be aware, the flotilla has been delayed by a few more days largely due to the Herculean efforts that are being made by the Israeli establishment to prevent this humanitarian and political mission taking place. The Israel Law Centre has filed a complaint about the seaworthiness of the US ship. This is a transparent attempt to prevent such passengers as holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein and internationally renowned author Alice Walker from participating in the flotilla.

Their latest desperate effort is an attempt to intimidate journalists from going on the boats. They have said that any journalists who goes will be faced with a ten year ban on traveling to Israel. This is an outrageous attempt to prevent journalists being present to witness possible Israeli aggression against peaceful flotilla participants. This blatant attempt to crush press freedom should be condemned by all who defend the right to free speech, regardless of their views on the Flotilla or the Israeli blockade.

Israeli commandos storming the first Freedom Flotilla in May 2010
And while the Israeli state is busy cooking up plans to delay the Flotilla, the establishment parties in Ireland are reduced to pretend bewilderment as in the case of the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter and pathetic smears in the case of Richard Humphreys, a Labour Party councillor in Stillorgan. Cllr Humphrey appears to have taken a bitter disliking to the United Left Alliance, releasing a somewhat hysterical attack on the ULA prior to February’s General Election and his latest diatribe against myself and fellow United Left Alliance activist, Cllr. Hugh Lewis, does not bother me in the slightest. However, his attack on the nine activists who were killed by the Israel Defence Forces last year is outrageous. In contradiction to the facts, but in line with Israeli propaganda, he has stated that responsibility for the killing of these people lies with the “nine Turkish terrorists” and that they “attempted to kill and injure members of the Israeli Defence Forces.” This is a fabrication not backed up with any evidence. In fact, a UN report in September 2010 confirmed that at least six of them were “summarily executed” by the IDF. Out of respect to the family of those activists and concern for the message it sends to the IDF about how it should respond to this flotilla, I call on him to retract that statement immediately.

Despite the combined efforts of the Israeli state and their friends in high and low places, they will not be able to stop this Freedom Flotilla. We will set sail within days for Gaza. The impact of our trip will be felt in Gaza and throughout the world as the horrific conditions that are imposed by the Israeli state on the people of Gaza are highlighted.

The irony of the Labour councillor saying that the aid could be brought in over land & in the same breath telling us the ships are there to bring in arms is incredible, it must not have dawned on the labour councillor that to follow his logic then arms could also be brought in overland. Oh how far Labour have moved from their founding principles in supporting the mighty & powerful over the weak.