Another Tenet of the «Obama Doctrine» – Constitutional «Soft» Coups

Wayne Madsen

President Fernando Lugo in a pensive moment (Baltimore Sun)

The scenario on June 22 in Asuncion, Paraguay was like a case of déjà vu. President Fernando Lugo, a leftist president, was deposed by an impeachment and removal from office engineered by his political opponents in the Paraguayan legislature. In June 2009, another leftist Latin American leader, Manuel Zelaya, was removed by the U.S.-trained and supervised Honduran military at gunpoint under the claimed authority of the Honduran Supreme Court acting on orders from the Honduran Congress. In both cases the United States acquiesced to the new political realities brought about by constitutional «soft»coups and it quickly recognized the accession to power in Paraguay by Lugo’s opponent, Vice President Federico Franco just as it had the Honduran junta led by Roberto Micheletti.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland, who is married to arch-neoconservative and Israel supporter Robert Kagan, one of the chief architects of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, refused to call the Paraguayan Congress’s rapid impeachment and the Senate’s conviction and removal of Lugo a coup. The right-wing governments of Canada, Spain, and Germany quickly recognized the Franco government even as Latin American nations moved to isolate it diplomatically and economically.

The Obama administration has put a «civilian» imprimatur on America’s coups in Latin America, opting to involve governmental branches, such as legislatures and courts, to carry out its covert operations in the Western Hemisphere. Just as drone attacks and targeted assassinations have become a hallmark of the Obama doctrine, for Latin America the internally-launched «autogolpe,» or self coup by government insiders, is preferable to ordering tanks on to the streets, dissolving parliament and the Supreme Court, and turning over power to a military junta of generals and colonels.

Latin American nations now recognize the core of the Obama doctrine for putting one of its loyalists in power and ousting a leader not favorable to Washington’s policies – if the legislative and judicial branches of a government can be used to «constitutionally» eject an executive from power, the United States will recognize the change as constitutional and in keeping with the «democratic process.»

Honduras, and, now, Paraguay serve as stark examples of the Obama doctrine in practice.

Yitzhak Shamir's Criminal Legacy

Stephen Lendman

Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Shamir, both war criminals & terrorists

Shamir reflected the worst of what Joel Kovel calls "imperialist expansion and militarism (with) signs of the fascist malignancy." In his book "Overcoming Zionism," he called Israel "a machine for the manufacture of human rights abuses."

Terrorists like Shamir ran it. They still do. They defend indefensible Zionism. It's corrosive, destructive, racist, extremist, undemocratic and hateful. It claims Jewish supremacy, specialness and uniqueness as God's "chosen people." It espouses violence, not peaceful coexistence. It chooses confrontation over diplomacy. It believes in strength through militarism, intimidation, and naked aggression. It spurns fundamental ethical and moral principles. It's a cancer that's consuming its host and humanity. Shamir represented its dark side.

On June 30, he died at age 96. Hillary Clinton said he "work(ed) for Israel's independence....strengthened (its) security, and advanced the partnership between the United States and Israel." Shimon Peres hailed him as "a brave warrior....a great patriot and lover of Israel who served his country with integrity." Netanyahu said he "fought for the freedom of the Jewish people in its land." He "belonged to the generation of giants who founded the State of Israel and fought for the freedom of the Jewish people." They didn't explain how. They omitted his criminal legacy. More on that below.

Why the Senate Won’t Touch Jamie Dimon: JPM Derivatives Prop Up U.S. Debt

Ellen Brown

When Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase Bank, appeared before the Senate Banking Committee on June 13, he was wearing cufflinks bearing the presidential seal. “Was Dimon trying to send any particular message by wearing the presidential cufflinks?” asked CNBC editor John Carney. “Was he . . . subtly hinting that he’s really the guy in charge?”

The groveling of the Senators was so obvious that Jon Stewart did a spoof news clip on it, featured in a Huffington Post piece titled “Jon Stewart Blasts Senate’s Coddling Of JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon,” and Matt Taibbi wrote an op-ed called “Senators Grovel, Embarrass Themselves at Dimon Hearing.” He said the whole thing was painful to watch.

“What is going on with this panel of senators?” asked Stewart. “They’re sucking up to Jamie Dimon like they’re on JPMorgan’s payroll.” The explanation in a news clip that followed was that JPMorgan Chase is the biggest campaign donor to many of the members of the Banking Committee.

That is one obvious answer, but financial analysts Jim Willie and Rob Kirby think it may be something far larger, deeper, and more ominous. They contend that the $3 billion-plus losses in London hedging transactions that were the subject of the hearing can be traced, not to European sovereign debt (as alleged), but to the record-low interest rates maintained on U.S. government bonds.

The national debt is growing at $1.5 trillion per year. Ultra-low interest rates MUST be maintained to prevent the debt from overwhelming the government budget. Near-zero rates also need to be maintained because even a moderate rise would cause multi-trillion dollar derivative losses for the banks, and would remove the banks’ chief income stream, the arbitrage afforded by borrowing at 0% and investing at higher rates.

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