The Ukraine, as we Know it, is Gone Forever

Mike Whitney

An Interview with "The Saker" - "The Saker" is an ex-military analyst who was born in Europe to a family of Russian refugees. He now lives in Florida where he writes The Vineyard of the Saker blog and is a regular contributor to Russia Insider. The international community of Saker Blogs includes, besides the original Saker blog, French, German, Russian, Oceania and Serbian members and will soon include a Latin American member.


People dancing on Birzhevaya Ploshchad (Stock Exchange Square)

Mike Whitney: Is the United States responsible for the troubles in Ukraine?

The Saker: Yes, absolutely, there’s no doubt about it. While it’s true that the Ukrainian people were unhappy with the corrupt Yanukovich regime, the coup itself was definitely CIA orchestrated. The EU was also involved, especially Germany, but they didn’t play nearly as big a role as the U.S. The taped phone messages of (US Undersecretary of State) Victoria Nuland show who was really calling the shots behind the scenes.

Mike Whitney: What role did the Obama administration play in Kiev’s decision to launch a war on its own people in the east of Ukraine?

The Saker: A central role. You have to understand that there is no “Ukrainian” power in Kiev. Poroshenko is 100% US-run as are the people around him. The head of the notorious Ukrainian secret police (the SBU), Valentin Nalivaichenko, is a known CIA agent. It’s also true that the US refers to Poroshenko “our Ukraine insider”. All of his so called “decisions” are actually made by U.S. officials in Kiev. As for Poroshenko’s speech to Congress a few weeks ago, that was obviously written by an American.


Escape From The Dollar - Mike Whitney Interviews Paul Craig Roberts

Mike Whitney / Paul Craig Roberts

Paul Craig Roberts thinks the Fed has backed itself into a corner. A rise in interest rates would strengthen the dollar, give the dollar new life as world reserve currency, and halt the movement into gold, but a rise in rates would collapse the bond and stock markets and reduce the value of derivatives on the banks’ balance sheets. I asked Dr. Roberts if the Fed would sacrifice the dollar in order to save the banks and what the effect would be on Washington’s power viv-a-vis the rest of the world. His answers to these questions suggest that Washington’s days of financial hegemony and world leadership are numbered.

Mike Whitney: Is the US dollar at risk of losing its position as reserve currency? How would this loss affect US leadership and other countries?

Paul Craig Roberts: In a way the dollar has already lost its reserve currency status, but this development has not yet been officially realized; nor has it hit the currency markets. Consider that the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) have announced their intention to abandon the use of the US dollar for the settlement of trade imbalances between themselves, instead settling their accounts in their own currencies. (There is now a website, the BRICSPOST, that reports on the developing relations between the five large countries.) There are also reports that Australia and China and Japan and China are going to settle their trade accounts without recourse to the dollar.

Different explanations are given. The BRICS imply that they are tired of US financial hegemony and have concerns about the dollar’s stability in view of Washington’s excessive issuance of new debt and new money to finance it. China, Australia, and Japan have cited the avoidance of transaction fees associated with exchanging their currencies first into US dollars and then into the other currencies. They say it is a cost-saving step to reduce transaction costs. This may be diplomatic cover for discarding the US dollar.

The October 2013 US government partial shutdown and (exaggerated) debt default threat resulted in the unprecedented currency swap agreements between the Chinese central bank and the European central bank and between the Chinese central bank and the Bank of England. The reason given for these currency swaps was necessary precaution against dollar disruption. In other words, US instability was seen as a threat to the international payments system. The dollar’s role of reserve currency is not compatible with the view that precautions must be taken against the dollar’s possible failure or disruption. China’s call for “a de-Americanized world” is a clear sign of growing impatience with Washington’s irresponsibility.


Gold Wars

Kelly Mitchell / Paul Craig Roberts

Introduction by Paul Craig Roberts: I do not know what role facts, evidence, or a desire to know the truth any longer play in American lives. This article confirms my experience as a scholar, journalist, public policy maker, and corporate director. The vast majority of people believe what they want to believe. Facts and evidence have little to do with it. People believe what serves their hopes and self-interests as they perceive their interests (often incorrectly) and what validates their emotional commitments. A select few can think independently, but their voices are usually drowned out.

To help those who are capable of independent thought, I am posting with permission the Introduction to a new book, GOLD WARS by Kelly Mitchell, from Clarity Press. I encourage you to order this book and to study it. American institutions are so corrupted that no leadership can rise from the political parties, media, corporations, or universities. We are on a many-faceted course of destruction. Leadership will have to come from non-traditional sources. Perhaps those who can think independently can produce the needed leadership.

The economics profession, Wall Street, and the financial media are committed to maintaining the status quo. There is no independent thought there. The voices maintaining the Matrix in which we live are far more numerous and loud than my voice and the voices of Michael Hudson, Herman Daly, John Williams (shadowstats.com), Mike Whitney, Nomi Prins, Pam Martens, Matt Taibbi, Gerald Celente, Dave Kranzler and the few others who endeavor to break people free of the false consciousness that blinds them to reality. “Free market” economists pretend that financial markets are efficient and do not need to be regulated. Kelly Mitchell shows us that financial markets are manipulated and serve narrow private interests at the expense of society.


Greece and the Euro: Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover

Ellen Brown


Modern version of Niobe and her sorrows:
Niobe and her European lovers this time...

The problem is all inside your head she said to me
The answer is easy if you take it logically
I’d like to help you in your struggle to be free
There must be fifty ways to leave your lover.

~ Lyrics by Paul Simon

The Euro appears to be a marriage of incompatible partners. A June 1st article in the UK Telegraph titled “Why Europe’s Love Affair with the European Project Is Ending” reported that two-thirds of 9,000 respondents thought that having the euro as their single currency was a mistake.

For Greece, it was a tragic mismatch from the beginning; and like many a breakup, it is really about money. Greece is a vivacious young woman chained to a tyrannical old man. She yearns to be free to dance on her own; but breaking up is hard to do. Defaulting on her debts will force her out of the Eurozone and back to issuing drachmas, and she could get brutally beaten by speculators on foreign exchange markets for her insolence.

Fortunately, there are alternatives to an ugly divorce. The treaties binding the 17 member nations are just a set of rules, entered into by mutual agreement; and rules can be bent or broken, especially in crises. The ECB (European Central Bank) broke a litany of rules to save the banks, and so did the Federal Reserve to save Wall Street in 2008. Rules that can be bent for banks can be bent for people and nations—not just Greece, but all the other Eurozone countries threatening to file for divorce.

Paul Simon says there are 50 ways, but here are five creative alternatives.


Greek Fire: Extremist Elites Gone Wild in Democracy's Cradle

Chris Floyd


["Fascism dies tonight..."]

If you want to know what is happening in Greece -- and what the powers that be have in mind for your country as well -- see this remarkable story by Mike Whitney at Counterpunch.

What are seeing in Greece is not an" economic" program; it is -- most openly and brazenly -- a political program: a savagely destructive extremist ideology being imposed on ordinary people by force. In its all-pervasive brutality and tyrannical control of every aspect of life, it makes the "Shariah law" bogeyman of right-wing nightmares look like an anarchists' picnic.

And make no mistake: the extremist doctrine being forced on Greece is, in every particular, the ruling ideology of the United States, Great Britain, and all the "great democracies" of the West. The aim of the doctrine is the "final solution" of the "problem" of democracy: i.e., the fact that the rabble keep seeking a decent life for themselves and trying to order their own affairs instead of staying in harness to enrich an all-powerful elite.

There is black irony in the fact that these elites are literally strangling Western democracy in its cradle. But it is also apt; for as Whitney points out, one of the specific points of the new bailout "agreement" for Greece is, incredibly, "lifting constraints [i.e., safety regulations] on restricted product categories such as baby food." As Whitney puts it:

That’s right; according to the authors of this fuliginous memo, the only way Greece is going to be able to lift itself out of the doldrums is by poisoning its kids with banned baby food.


EGYPT... BEWARE

Nahida Izzat
Exiled Palestinian

The thieves are at it again, aiming to steal the Egyptian Revolution:

Chabadist, US Senator Joseph Lieberman, together with his political creation John McCain visited Cairo on Saturday.

Lieberman, who introduced a bill to establish a Department of Homeland Security, Lieberman who has been the main mover behind the draconian legislation Protect America Act, the Enemy Belligerent, Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act, and the proposed Terrorist Expatriation Act, which would revoke the citizenship of Americans on suspicion of terrorism. Lieberman who wants to kill the Internet tries to hijack the Egyptian revolution as he "wrapped himself with an Egyptian flag."


The FED Has Spoken: No Bailout For Main Street

Ellen Brown
The Web of Debt


"Wall Street Kleptocracy Game" (Credit)

The Federal Reserve was set up by bankers for bankers, and it has served them well. Out of the blue, it came up with $12.3 trillion in nearly interest-free credit to bail the banks out of a credit crunch they created. That same credit crisis has plunged state and local governments into insolvency, but the Fed has now delivered its ultimatum: there will be no “quantitative easing” for municipal governments.

On January 7, according to the Wall Street Journal, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced that the Fed had ruled out a central bank bailout of state and local governments. "We have no expectation or intention to get involved in state and local finance," he said in testimony before the Senate Budget Committee. The states "should not expect loans from the Fed."

So much for the proposal of President Barack Obama, reported in Reuters a year ago, to have the Fed buy municipal bonds to cut the heavy borrowing costs of cash-strapped cities and states.

The credit woes of state and municipal governments are a direct result of Wall Street’s malfeasance. Their borrowing costs first shot up in 2008, when the “monoline” bond insurers lost their own credit ratings after gambling in derivatives. The Fed’s low-interest facilities could have been used to restore local government credit, just as it was used to restore the credit of the banks. But Chairman Bernanke has now vetoed that plan. -Why?


Why the West is Terrorizing Muslims?

Mahboob A. Khawaja

When the European forces invaded and colonized the vast Islamic world, there were no television and sounds and voices of reason to call them as “terrorists.” The colonization scheme of things was not outcome of the Western democratic values but ferocity of violence and killings of millions and millions of human lives for the Empires in the making. The European crusaders crossed the channels and unknown time zones to subjugate the much divided Muslims as part of their nationalism perception and values that Muslims were inferior to the European race and could be used as raw material to erect the new Empires. In an information age, knowledge–driven global culture of reason, ignorance is no longer a requisite to learn from the living history. History speaks of the Al-Andalusia Arab civilization as the longest advanced civilization lasting for eight centuries in Europe. Now, the Europeans identify themselves as civilized people but the effective date for the claim remains a mystery.

The previous Empires knew their geography and limits, but the newly articulated American Empire in its infancy, is challenging to the limits of the Laws of God and appears obsessed with “fear” of being replaced by the new emerging economically productive nations of Asia such as China, Japan and India and others. President George W. Bush invoked the “War on Terrorism” as a dictum of power, not reason and wisdom, to camouflage the prospective future with acts of barbarity and to dispel the notion of accountability in global affairs. Historically, people and nations pursuing this path of behavior have ended up in self-delusional and self-destruction.


Is the CIA behind Mexico's Bloody Drug War?

Mike Whitney

On Friday, two patrol cars were ambushed by armed gunman in downtown Ciudad Juarez. In the ensuing firefight, seven policemen were killed as well as a 17-year old boy who was caught in the crossfire. All of the assailants escaped uninjured fleeing the crime-scene in three SUVs. The bold attack was executed in broad daylight in one of the busiest areas of the city. According to the Associated Press:

"Hours after the attack, a painted message directed to top federal police commanders and claiming responsibility for the attack appeared on a wall in downtown Ciudad Juarez. It was apparently signed by La Linea gang, the enforcement arm of the Juarez drug cartel. The Juarez cartel has been locked in a bloody turf battle with the Sinaloa cartel, led by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

"This will happen to you ... for being with El Chapo Guzman and to all the dirtbags who support him. Sincerely, La Linea," the message read." ("7 Mexican police officers killed in Ciudad Juarez", Olivia Torres, AP)

The massacre in downtown Juarez is just the latest incident in Mexico's bloody drug war. Between 5 to 6 more people will be killed on Saturday, and on every day thereafter with no end in sight. It's a war that cannot be won, but that hasn't stopped the Mexican government from sticking to its basic game-plan.


Goldman’s Travails: Don’t Get Your Hopes Up

Mike Whitney

Schadenfreude. The pleasure derived from watching someone else suffer. It’s human natur, and it’s what’s what’s driving the Goldman pile-on. SEC Enforcement director Robert Khuzami had barely uttered his statement on Friday before the the yelps of joy arose from every corner of the country. “Fraud!” What a happy noise. Revenge is sweet. Suddenly the prospect of subpoenas, indictments, and long prison sentences didn’t seem so remote. But don’t get your hopes up. Goldman was picked for a reason, and that reason has nothing to do with its shady business transactions. It’s politics.

Don’t get me wrong; Goldman is guilty as hell. They slapped together a Kamikaze CDO that was designed to blow up, and then they schluffed it off on their clients without filling them in on the details. It’s called “withholding material information”, and its no-no. It’s like wrapping smelly fish in yesterday’s paper and pawning it off as fresh-caught Blackmouth. You can’t do that. According to former regulator William Black, “Goldman did not just withhold information, they told people, ‘Hey, the investment decisions are being made by experts who would only choose good quality stuff’, when. in fact, the stuff that was put in was chosen because it was considered the most likely to suffer near-term downgrades.”

So Goldman was minting its own roadside bombs and getting input from notorious hedge fund short-seller, John Paulson, who planned to bet against the same CDO. But what’s most shocking, is that Goldman was caught schtuping its own clients just to make a buck. That’s going to haunt them for a very long time. Trust is important, even on Wall Street. Goldman’s reputation is shot.


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