Meaner Tougher IMF with Lagarde

Stephen Lendman

On June 28, New York Times writer Liz Alderman headlined, "France's Lagarde Named New Head of IMF," saying:

She'll assume "one of the most powerful positions in global finance as a worsening crisis in Greece threatens the euro currency union and rattles financial markets worldwide."

Washington's choice all along, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner endorsed her over Mexico's central bank governor Agustin Carsten, her only competitor after IMF board of directors excluded Israeli central bank governor Stanley Fischer. Allegedly because of age, he, in fact, lacked support outside Israel, and US officials stuck with traditional IMF policy of a European in charge.

An American always heads the World Bank, yet Washington dominates all international lending agencies, assuring it anoints officials heading them, public discourse notwithstanding.

On June 28, a brief IMF statement announced Lagarde's appointment, saying:

The executive board of the International Monetary Fund today selected Christine Lagarde to serve as IMF managing director and madame chairman of the executive board for a five-year term starting July 2011." China, Russia and Brazil also supported her besides America and most European nations.

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne called it "good news for the global economy and for Britain." French President Nicolas Sarkozy said about his departing finance minister, it's a "victory for France." Indeed so, as French banks are heavily exposed to Greek (and other troubled nations') debt Lagarde is mandated to protect.

US occupation of Iraq: When, oh when will it end?

Adnan Al-Daini

Iraq slowly disappears down the plughole while Iraqi politicians argue about who should sit on which chair, squabbling like children under the shadow of the US imperial occupation. Fourteen months after the last Iraqi election in March-2010, the ministries of defence and interior are being run by the Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki. What a superman he is! Not only is he the Prime Minister, but he can also run these two most difficult of ministries. But wait a minute, examine the achievement of governments since the occupation in 2003, and you discover there are none. The realisation then dawns that these ministers actually do practically nothing in any capacity. It is a mathematical fact that no matter how many zeros you add together you still end up with zero.

The psychological barriers that afflict the rulers and the ruled in a country under occupation are particularly severe in Iraq. They have somehow sucked the initiative from its rulers and have destroyed the pride the people had in their country. People are demoralised and bewildered by the man-made catastrophe that has severely degraded their lives.

It is a measure of the abject failure of successive governments following the illegal war on Iraq in 2003, that a great number of people look back with fondness and nostalgia at an Iraq prior to that war, run by a brutal dictator and suffering under a US-British sponsored blockade that caused the deaths of up to half a million Iraqi children. The incompetence and corruption of governments that have run Iraq since the invasion is breathtaking.

The democracy that supposedly exists in Iraq is no more than a grab of its resources, the spoils of war, to be shared by voracious American and western corporations, arms manufacturers, private security firms and the corrupt elite of the sects and ethnicities that make up the mosaic of Iraqi society.

A World Overwhelmed By Western Hypocrisy

Paul Craig Roberts

There is nothing left of the American character. Only a people who have lost their soul could tolerate the evil that emanates from Washington.

Western institutions have become caricatures of hypocrisy: The International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank are violating their charters in order to bail out French, German, and Dutch private banks. The IMF is only empowered to make balance of payments loans, but is lending to the Greek government for prohibited budgetary reasons in order that the Greek government can pay the banks. The ECB is prohibited from bailing out member country governments, but is doing so anyway in order that the banks can be paid. The German parliament approved the bailout, which violates provisions of the European Treaty and Germany’s own Basic Law. The case is in the German Constitutional Court, a fact unreported in the US media.

US president George W. Bush appointed an immigrant, who is not impressed with the US Constitution and the separation of powers, to the Justice (sic) Department in order to get a ruling that the president has "unitary powers" that elevate him above statutory US law, treaties, and international law. According to this immigrant’s legal decisions, the "unitary executive" can violate with impunity the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which prevents spying on Americans without warrants obtained from the FISA Court. The immigrant also ruled that Bush could violate with impunity the statutory US laws against torture as well as the Geneva Conventions. In other words, the fictional "unitary powers" make the president into a Caesar.

Constitutional protections, such as habeas corpus, which prohibit government from holding people indefinitely without presenting charges and evidence to a court, and which prohibit government from denying detained people due process of law and access to an attorney, were thrown out the window by the US Department of Justice (sic), and the federal courts went along with most of it.

As did Congress, "the people’s representatives". Congress even enacted the Military Tribunals Commissions Act of 2006, signed by the White House Brownshirt on October 17.

This act allows anyone alleged to be an "unlawful enemy combatant" to be sentenced to death on the basis of secret and hearsay evidence not presented in the kangaroo military court placed out of reach of US federal courts. The crazed nazis in Congress who supported this total destruction of Anglo-American law masqueraded as "patriots in the war against terrorism."

The act designates anyone accused by the US, without evidence being presented, as being part of the Taliban, al-Qaeda, or "associated forces" to be an "unlawful enemy combatant," which strips the person of the protection of law. Not even George Orwell could have conceived of such a formulation.

Restoring a Ruined Earth. The Heroic Mission of Thomas Berry

Vincent Di Stefano

Thomas Berry wanted to shift the focus of religion to-
wards care of the Earth.

Industrial civilisation has changed everything. At the dawn of the petrochemical age in 1750, atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide were estimated to be 280 parts per million (ppm). In 1960, they were around 360 ppm. Last month (May 2011) levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide were over 394 ppm.

The oceans of the earth are presently becoming more acidic at ten times the rate that preceded the last mass extinction event at the end of the Cenozoic era tens of millions of years ago.

And while Arctic sea ice cover has been steadily declining in recent years, NASA scientists have confirmed that the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are losing mass at a rapidly accelerating rate.

There are many who have read the warning signs. Half a century ago, Rachel Carson alerted us to the damaging consequences of industrial methods of agriculture on ecosystems everywhere. Soon after, Fritz Schumacher urged us to rethink economics in view of the rapacious influence of corporate globalisation. And both Rosalie Bertell and Helen Caldicott have long warned of the silent, slow and spectrous death emanating from the nuclear industry.

The UN Climate Conferences at Copenhagen in 2009 and Mexico City in 2010 were effectively neutered by the influence of mining and energy companies acting through Western governments, notably the US and Canada. Closer to home, both Liberal and Labour parties are desperately outreaching each other in promised tax cuts while arguing about how best to lower carbon emissions by a sad 5% by 2020.

Meanwhile, 250 million tons of coal - over 10 tons for every man, woman and child living in this country - and 10,000 tons of yellow cake - uranium oxide - continue to be shipped out of Australia each year as part of a non-negotiable assault on the earth, felicitously described as a "mining boom", that has replaced the sheep's back on which the Australian economy was once carried.

Those who have understood the magnitude of the environmental situation that presently confronts us are faced with a two-fold task. The first is to clearly identify the nature of those forces that have brought us to where we are. The second is to envision the changes needed - both in our thinking and in our actions - that might reverse the dangerous situation within which we find ourselves, or at the least, prepare future generations for living on the earth in a very different manner.

One of the most articulate and visionary allies in this task is the late Thomas Berry, theologian, mystic and cultural historian. Berry combines prophetic clarity with a penetrative erudition grounded in the intellectual and spiritual traditions of both West and East.

His vision was slowly formed through many decades of studying the wisdom traditions and through observing the effects of industrial civilisation on the earth's ecosystems during the twentieth century. Thomas Berry offers a truly heroic vision to counter the pathologies of distraction and trivialisation borne of the post-modern enthralment with transience and distaste for grand narratives.[1][2]

Health topic page on womens health Womens health our team of physicians Womens health breast cancer lumps heart disease Womens health information covers breast Cancer heart pregnancy womens cosmetic concerns Sexual health and mature women related conditions Facts on womens health female anatomy Womens general health and wellness The female reproductive system female hormones Diseases more common in women The mature woman post menopause Womens health dedicated to the best healthcare
buy viagra online