October 22, 2010
The continuing unrest among Tibetan students in the Qinghai province over the introduction of Mandarin as the medium of instruction shows no signs of subsiding, though it has not taken a violent form and the number of those involved in different protest demonstrations is less than 10,000. As a precautionary measure, to prevent any outbreak of violence, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security, which is responsible for internal security, has moved police reinforcements from the adjoining provinces to the Qinghai province.
2. There were reports of two demonstrations on October 22. About 1000 Tibetan students took out an early morning procession in the Gepasumdo (in Chinese, Tongde) county of the Qinghai province. There was also a peaceful demonstration by about 400 Tibetan students studying in the National Minorities' University in Beijing.
3.The Uighur students in Chinese-controlled Xinjiang have not joined the demonstrations so far even though the order introducing Mandarin as the medium of instruction applies to Uighur schools also. However, there have been reports of protests in the local mosques over orders issued by the Ministry of Public Security recently banning the sporting of beards by men and the wearing of veils by women. The local authorities have allegedly threatened to withdraw the licences of shops and other small and medium business establishments if their Uighur owners and staff do not comply with their instructions in this regard. All Uighur Government servants have also been told to comply with this ban.
4. In the meanwhile, there is a cause for worry to the Ministry of Public Security even from the majority Han community. The advocates of genuine political reforms to dilute the dominating role of the Communist Party and ensure respect for freedom of speech have been circulating through the Internet texts of the recent interview of Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, when he was in New York in September, to the CNN emphasising the importance of respecting the freedom of speech. This interview has been blacked out in China by the Ministry of Public Security---an amazing instance of a Department of the Government blacking out an interview of its own Prime Minister.
5. It has been reported that some dissident elements are trying to start a Chinese version of Wikileaks to upload secret government and party documents. A report on this subject carried by the "South China Morning Post" of October 22 is attached. ( 23-10-10)
( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org )
( Report dated October 22,2010, of the "South China Morning Post " )
Chinese dissidents plan their own WikiLeaks
By Choi Chi-yuk
A group of Chinese dissidents plan to launch their own version of whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks to expose central government secrets and promote democracy.
The organisers have signalled their intentions through social networking sites such as Twitter. They aim to launch "Government Leaks" on June 1 next year and they are calling on people to upload confidential government information to their database.
"I think by making government secrets open we can promote democracy in China. This is a fight against the dictatorship, and to return the right to information to the people. I believe it will advance China's political reform," said the founder of the website, who identified himself as "Deep Throat" when talking to the South China Morning Post (SEHK: 0583, announcements, news) .
Deep Throat said a team of professionals had been aseembled to run the site, including journalists, editors, lawyers and hackers - who would help defend against possible cyberattacks.
The founder said he was inspired by Watergate, the US scandal of the 1970s, and the success of WikiLeaks, which gained worldwide recognition after it published a massive trove of US intelligence documents relating to the war in Afghanistan, a move that infuriated the Pentagon and energised opponents of the war.
Ironically, the founders of WikiLeaks include some Chinese dissidents, according to its website, and it has recently launched a Chinese language version. The Chinese WikiLeaks has not so far published any sensitive information on the Beijing government though.
Deep Throat said at first he tried to form a partnership with WikiLeaks. "I sent them a letter on October 1, to all three e-mail accounts listed by WikiLeaks. I told them that I wanted to co-operate with them. But the e-mails never went through as their system was always down. I ended up with three undelivered e-mails in my box," he said.
"Government Leaks has no relations with WikiLeaks, but you can call us the copycat version of WikiLeaks in China," he said.
Unlike WikiLeaks, which is based in Europe where the freedom of speech and rights to information are guaranteed by the European Union's constitution, Government Leaks would inevitably anger the central government.
Many technology-savvy net activists on the mainland feel Government Leaks is too open in its approach. They say the idea is naive and dangerous. Some fear it could become a trap for the authorities to round-up whistle-blowers.
John Kennedy, the Chinese language editor of Global Voices Online, who is more widely known in China by his pseudonym Feng 37, described it as "a blind man riding a blind horse" - a Chinese idiom of things doomed to fail.
Kennedy, a Canadian national, said five out of the seven e-mail service providers of Government Leaks are based on the mainland - meaning they would be subject to severe surveillance by the authorities. "No one would send them anything, except those stupid guys," he said. He also criticised the website for lacking encrypted links to protect informers.
Another mainland net activist, calling himself Zola, also questioned if the security technology of Government Leaks could provide enough protection to whistle-blowers. "In the worst case, the informer could be prosecuted for illegally possessing state secrets," he warned.
He cited the example of mainland journalist Shi Tao, who was sentenced to 10 years in jail in 2005 for leaking state secrets. Shi was incriminated by the central government after the authorities obtained a secret document he sent to an overseas website through a mainland-based Yahoo China server.
Deep Throat said informers' safety would be treated as the most important issue. Government Leaks would not use normal e-mail accounts to communicate with informers. It is also studying encrypted technologies to receive reports. "We will also keep contacting WikiLeaks and see if they can help," he said.
Another challenge for the website is verifying information and fact checking. Deep Throat said he would invite well-known public figures to help authenticate documents.
"We are not formally launched yet. But once the site is up, we will definitely run things through them before publishing them."
Since making the open call for information a few months ago, Deep Throat said Government Leaks was receiving four or five documents on average each week.
But he said most of the information would hardly be considered classified. "Some are out-dated. Some is actual information that is available on the internet. So far we have got only one document that really fits the bill."
Zola said he would not send any sensitive information to Government Leaks unless he was 100 per cent certain about safety.
He does not suspect Deep Throat's motives and background, but he is sceptical over Government Leaks' ability to overcome the daunting technological and legal challenges it faces.
"They have got to have the right mentality in terms of the seriousness of security in the first place. Then they have a chance of being in full command of the network technology. Only then, can privacy and, hence, the safety of both the website operators and potential informers be secured."
I had made an observation for comments by the presiding deity led by Sir Lawrence Freedman (involved with Chilcot Enquiry that I have written about as the usual British whitewash) in the session before lunch, on 21 October. I had compared the current decades to end 16 century East West confrontation when the Eastern power the Ottomans , successors of Aryans, Arabs ,Mongols,Tatars ,Turks etc had reached the maximum overstretch upto the gates of Vienna .Europe , and then the US at head after WWII, had rolled back eastern armies ,colonized and still exploits the nations of the east .After the collapse of the USSR in 1990, West and Nato installed pro-west rulers in Ukraine (,Yushchenko, removed early this year), in Georgia and use of base in Kyrgyzstan , but now the shift has begun for the decline (and fall) of the west .USSR collapsed because of high defense expenditure .US now spends $700 billions as much as the rest of the world put together ,but its armed are forces caught in a quagmire in Iraq , with Tehran now calling the shots in Baghdad.(with acting Iraqi PM Maliki in Iran for help)
It may be recalled that after centuries of warfare between the Byzantine and Persian empires , both were exhausted .Then the Beduins from the deserts of Arabia ,with the new egalitarian ideology of Islam conquered almost all their territories .Moscow collapsed , now what about Washington?!
This was not seriously dealt with by the Chair .I had then left.
Unless we take into account the coming fast decline of the West ,India cannot formulate any realistic strategic policies .India’s strategic community is still ruled by US –UK theories and writings and propaganda and remains beholden to pre October 2009 era ( decline announced by the collapse of Lahman Brothers and Merryl Lynch , basically the financiers have always ruled the world ).
On the subject of economic and financial decline and possible fall of the West here is my last piece on the subject. It has URLs of my articles about the decline of the US led West with a piece Decline of the American Century dated 11 Sep 2002 .
Take care Gajendra Singh Tel 43034706 Delhi
Tel/Fax ; 43034706
“Keynes's collective work amounted to a powerful argument that capitalism was by its very nature unstable and prone to collapse. Far from trending toward some magical state of equilibrium, capitalism would inevitably do the opposite. It would lurch over a cliff," --- Hyman Minsky.
On Thursday, May 6, 2010, ninety minutes before the end of the trading day, the U.S. stock market almost melted down. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped nearly 1,000 points. The market recovered before the end and closed down 348 points, or 3.2%, like a giant 747 narrowly averting a crash landing, but the questions of the day are: What happened? And what does it mean?
Said Robert Reich on his blog on May 6, “at this point no one knows why. Some say it was a sudden burst of worries about Greece's debt and the increasing possibility of a default that might cause a run by global investors. Others point to a "trading error." Giant high-speed computers generate millions in trade based on instructions embedded in computer programs designed to move fast enough to beat everyone else.”
Again on Friday, May 7, Dow fell another 140 points in a wild trading day. The decline wiped out US market gains for the year. The Dow closed down to 10,380!
World's capital markets: an out-of-control computerized Casino!
“Regardless of why it happened, it's further evidence that the nation's and the world's capital markets have become a vast out-of-control casino in which fortunes can be made or lost in an instant—which would be fine except for the fact that most of us have put our life savings there. Pension funds, mutual funds, school endowments—the value of all of this depends on a mechanism that can lose a trillion dollars in minutes without anyone having a clear idea why. So much of the market now depends on computer programs and mathematical models that no one fully understands, so much trading is in the hands of a few people whose fat thumbs or momentary carelessness might sink the economy, so much of global wealth now depends on who can move their money quickest at the slightest provocation—that we are toying with financial disaster every day. The luck or foolishness of a few traders, and inside knowledge and information that some possess and others don't, combined with ultra high-speed computers, put us all at the whim of a system whose risk is way out of proportion to any public benefits,” concluded Reich.
Greek Sickness Infects EU -PIGS to Slaughter
The austerity plans and the bailout packet for Greece which have adversely dented the ruling coalition of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party in the just concluded regional elections in Germany, because Berlin has to foot the bill, would spread around Europe and beyond. It believed that the debt of five EU members Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain (PIGS) totals around $3.9 trillion. Britain’s debt is larger than any one of them.
Well-known US economist and political activist Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. voiced strong condemnation “the British swine have once again imposed a 1923-style hyperinflationary collapse on modern Germany, with the trillions-dollar bailout scheme imposed on the Euro zone this past weekend. Only the immediate enactment of a Glass-Steagall law could prevent the United States itself from falling into the same fate now destined for continental European victims such as, above all other targets for total destruction, the Federal Republic of Germany.”
Bank of England Chief King paints a disastrous future for the country
London’s financially precarious position, which has been known for quite some time, was further unveiled by Edmund Conway, the Economics Editor of the Telegraph, UK. Conway revealed that US economist David Hale, who recently met with Mervyn King, Bank of England boss, was told by the latter that, "whoever wins this election will be out of power for a whole generation because of how tough the fiscal austerity will have to be."
Edmund Conway went on to further expose the untenable crisis awaiting UK:
"…no one yet comprehends just how tough the next five years will be. For obvious reasons: we have not experienced anything like it in our lifetimes. We have been insulated from the full pain of the financial/economic crisis so far by unprecedented low interest rates and by the bank bailouts. At some point, the anaesthetic will wear off and we will face a period of austerity that may well make the ruling party so unpopular that it effectively becomes unelectable for decades. There will be strikes; there will be stagnation; there will probably be a double dip of some variety. But this time the pain will be unmistakably imposed by the politicians."
This analysis was further strengthened by former British minister, Michael Portillo, who said that the "financial crisis ravaging Britain would take 20 years to resolve, but the next five years would be critical!"
The Institute for Fiscal Studies had earlier warned that all three parties were hiding the full details of their plans to cut the deficit from voters. It said that the scale of cuts following the election could be the deepest since comparable records began just after World War II.
“Instability is an inherent and inescapable flaw of capitalism."
Hyman Minsky, a hitherto obscure macroeconomist, who saw what was coming, predicted, decades ago, almost exactly the kind of meltdown that is hammering the global economy.
Minsky believed in capitalism, but he also believed it had almost a genetic weakness. Modern finance, he argued, was far from the stabilizing force that mainstream economics portrayed: rather, it was a system that created the illusion of stability while simultaneously creating the conditions for an inevitable and dramatic collapse.
Minsky's vision might have been dark, but he was not a fatalist; he believed it was possible to craft policies that could blunt the collateral damage caused by financial crises.
In his writings, Minsky looked to his intellectual hero, Keynes, arguably the greatest economist of the 20th century. But where most economists drew a single, simplistic lesson from Keynes--that government could step in and micromanage the economy, smooth out the business cycle, and keep things on an even keel--Minsky had no interest in what he and a handful of other dissident economists came to call "bastard Keynesianism."
Instead, Minsky drew his own far darker lessons from Keynes's landmark writings, which dealt not only with the problem of unemployment, but with money and banking. Although Keynes had never stated this explicitly, Minsky argued that Keynes's collective work amounted to a powerful argument that capitalism was by its very nature unstable and prone to collapse. Far from trending toward some magical state of equilibrium, capitalism would inevitably do the opposite. It would lurch over a cliff.
Minsky’s "Financial Instability Hypothesis"
In the wake of a depression, he noted, financial institutions are extraordinarily conservative, as are businesses. With the borrowers and the lenders who fuel the economy all steering clear of high-risk deals, things go smoothly: loans are almost always paid on time, businesses generally succeed, and everyone does well. That success, however, inevitably encourages borrowers and lenders to take on more risk in the reasonable hope of making more money. As Minsky observed, "Success breeds a disregard of the possibility of failure."
As people forget that failure is a possibility, a "euphoric economy" eventually develops, fueled by the rise of far riskier borrowers--what he called speculative borrowers, whose income would cover interest payments but not the principal; and those he called "Ponzi borrowers," whose income could cover neither, and could only pay their bills by borrowing still further. As these latter categories grew, the overall economy would shift from a conservative but profitable environment to a much more freewheeling system dominated by players whose survival depended not on sound business plans, but on borrowed money and freely available credit. Once that kind of economy developed, any panic could crash the market. The failure of a single firm, for example, or the revelation of a staggering fraud, could trigger fear and a sudden economy-wide attempt to shed debt.
This watershed moment - later dubbed the "Minsky moment" - would create an environment deeply inhospitable to all borrowers. The speculators and Ponzi borrowers would collapse first, as they lost access to the credit they needed to survive. Even the more stable players might find themselves unable to pay their debt without selling off assets; their forced sales would send asset prices spiraling downward, and inevitably, the entire rickety financial edifice would start to collapse. Businesses would falter, and the crisis would spill over to the "real" economy that depended on the now-collapsing financial system. (Note: the write up on Minsky has been extracted from “Why Capitalism Fails“by Stephen Mihm in the Boston Globe of 14 September, 2009.)
”Humanity faces the most serious crisis in modern history.”
In a book titled “The Global Economic Crisis, the Great Depression of the XXI Century,” edited by Prof Michel Chossudovsky and Andrew Gavin Marshall (to be released by end May), over a dozen distinguished economists and writers, Ellen Brown, Tom Burghardt, Michel Chossudovsky, Richard C. Cook, Shamus Cooke, John Bellamy Foster, Michael Hudson, Tanya Cariina Hsu, Fred Magdoff, Andrew Gavin Marshall, James Petras, Peter Phillips, Peter Dale Scott, Bill Van Auken, Claudia von Werlhof and Mike Whitney look under the glittering facade of western Capitalism and reveal a complex web of deceit and media distortion which serves to conceal the workings of the global economic system and its devastating impact on people's lives.
Despite the diversity of viewpoints and perspectives presented within this volume, all of the contributors ultimately come to the same conclusion: humanity is at the crossroads of the most serious economic and social crisis in modern history.
The economic recession is deep-seated in all major regions of the world, resulting in mass unemployment, the collapse of state social programs and the impoverishment of millions of people. The crisis—in tandem with a worldwide process of militarization, a "war without borders" led by Washington and its NATO allies—is intimately related to the restructuring of the global economy. The global financial architecture sustains strategic and national security objectives of the US-led West and their powerful business elites which control and dominate the functions of civilian government.
This book explains how the Federal Reserve (a private body), the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bank for International Settlements, and corporate boardrooms on Wall Street take far-reaching financial transactions routinely from computer terminals linked up to major stock markets, at the touch of a mouse button.
“The meltdown of financial markets in 2008-2009 was the result of institutionalized fraud and financial manipulation. The "bank bailouts" were implemented on the instructions of Wall Street, leading to the largest transfer of money wealth in recorded history, while simultaneously creating an insurmountable public debt.”
This process of economic decline is cumulative. The payments system of money transactions is in disarray. Payments of wages are no longer implemented, credit is disrupted and capital investments are at a standstill. Meanwhile, in Western countries, the "social safety net" inherited from the welfare state, which protects the unemployed during an economic downturn, is also in jeopardy.
The Myth of Economic Recovery
While the existence of a "Great Depression" on the scale of the 1930s is often acknowledged, it is veiled by false claims: "The economy is on the road to recovery". (The US recovered from the 1930s depression by the booming economic industrial production during and posts WWII, when it had a vibrant and expanding industrial economy with European powers dependent on it–a process carried on after the War’s end, which shifted the financial centre from London to Wall Street.)
The financial meltdown is not simply composed of the housing real estate bubble--which has already burst--but there are many more bubbles, all of which dwarf the housing bubble burst of 2008.
Regarding the so called economic recovery, already in early 2010, the "recovery" of the US economy has been predicted and confirmed through a carefully worded barrage of media disinformation. The social plight of increased unemployment in the US has been scrupulously camouflaged. Economists view bankruptcy as a microeconomic phenomenon. The media reports on bankruptcies fail to provide an overall picture of what is happening at the national and international levels. When all these simultaneous plant closures in towns and cities across the land are added together, a very different picture emerges: entire sectors of a national economy are closing down.
Public opinion continues to be misled as to the causes and consequences of the economic crisis, not to mention the policy solutions. People are led to believe that the economy has a logic of its own which depends on the free interplay of market forces, hiding the role of powerful financial actors who pull the strings in the corporate boardrooms and have willfully influenced the course of economic events.
“The American Dream” morphs into a nightmare for the majority
The relentless and fraudulent appropriation of wealth is upheld as an integral part of "the American dream", a means of spreading the benefits of economic growth. A myth becomes entrenched that "without wealth at the top, there would be nothing to trickle down." This is pure hogwash.
Media disinformation largely serves the interests of a handful of global banks and institutional speculators who use their command over financial and commodity markets to amass vast amounts of wealth. The "bank bailouts", presented to the public as a requisite for economic recovery, have facilitated and legitimized a further process of appropriation of wealth. With inside information and foreknowledge, major financial players, using the instruments of speculative trade, have the ability to fiddle and rig market movements to their advantage, precipitate the collapse of a competitor and wreak havoc on the economies of developing countries. These tools of manipulation have become an integral part of the financial architecture; they are embedded in the system.
The Failure of Mainstream Economics
The economics profession rarely addresses the actual "real world" functioning of markets. Theoretical constructs centered on mathematical models serve to represent an abstract, fictional world far removed from reality. By failing to examine the interplay of powerful economic actors in the "real life" economy, the processes of market rigging, financial manipulation and fraud get overlooked. The concentration and centralization of economic decision-making, the role of the financial elites, the economic thinks tanks, the corporate boardrooms: none of these issues are examined in the universities’ economics programs. The theoretical construct is dysfunctional; it cannot be used to provide an understanding of the economic crisis.
Economic science has become an ideological construct to camouflage and justify the New World Order. The powers of market manipulation which serve to appropriate vast amounts of wealth are rarely addressed. And when they are acknowledged, they are considered to belong to the realm of sociology or political science. This means that the policy and institutional framework behind this global economic system, which has been shaped in the course of the last thirty years, is rarely analyzed by corporate hired economists.Poverty and Social Inequality
The global political economy thus enriches the very few at the expense of the vast majority. The crisis has contributed to widening social inequalities both within and between countries. Under global capitalism, mounting poverty is not the result of a scarcity or a lack of human and material resources. The structures of social inequality have, quite deliberately, been reinforced, leading not only to a generalized process of impoverishment but also to the demise of the middle and upper middle income groups.
Bankruptcies have hit several of the most vibrant sectors of the consumer economy. The middle classes in the West have, for several decades, been subjected to the erosion of their material wealth. It exists in theory, built and sustained by household and other debts. With the demise of the civilian economy, the development of America’s war economy, supported by a whopping near-trillion dollar defense budget, has reached new heights. As stock markets tumble and the recession unfolds, the advanced weapons industries, the military and national security contractors and the up-and-coming mercenary companies (among others) have experienced a thriving and booming growth of their various activities.
War and the Economic Crisis
Wars lead to the impoverishment of people at home and around the world. The provision of essential goods and services to meet basic human needs has been replaced by a profit-driven "killing machine" in support of America’s "Global War on Terror". While the poor are made to fight in Iraq and elsewhere, wars enrich the upper class, which control industry, the military, oil and banking. “Western nations, particularly the United States, spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year to murder innocent people in far-away impoverished nations, while the people at home suffer the disparities of poverty, class, gender and racial divides.”
An outright "economic war" resulting in unemployment, poverty and disease is carried out through the free market. In the last twenty years, the global "free market" economy has brought poverty and social destitution to the lives of millions of people. Instead of tackling the impending social catastrophe, Western governments, to serve the interests of the economic elites, have installed a "Big Brother" police state, with a mandate to confront and repress all forms of opposition and social dissent. George Orwell’s 1984 are being created in USA.
The economic and social crisis has by no means reached its climax, and entire countries, including Greece and Iceland, are at risk. One need only look at the escalation of the Middle East Central Asian war and the US-NATO threats to China, Russia and Iran to witness how war and the economy are intimately related.
The Decline of the West and a Depressing Scenerio
In the blog Global Guerilla, John Robb, writing on The Decline of the West states, “the current sovereign debt crisis is another battle in a war for dominance between "our" integrated, impersonal global economic system and traditional nation-states. At issue is whether a nation-state serves the interests of the governed or the interests of a global economic system.
The global economic system is winning. The 2008 financial crisis, the first real battle of this war (as opposed to the early losses in skirmishes in Russia, Argentina, the Balkans, etc) was a resounding defeat for nation-states. The current crisis in the EU will almost certainly end with the same results.
When this war ends, and it won't be long, the global economic and financial system will be the victor. The nation-states of the West will join with those of the global south, mere shells of states that serve only to enforce the interests of the global economic system. More market-states than nation-states, citizens’ incomes will fall to developing world levels (made easy to due highly portable productivity), and wealth will stratify. Regulatory protections will be weak. Civil service pensions will be erased and corruption will reign. The once-dominant militaries of the West will be reduced to a small fraction of their current size, and their focus will be on the maintenance of internal control rather than on external threats. The clear and unambiguous message to every citizen of the West will be “you’re on your own.”
It will fragment society and lead to perpetual stagnation/depression, endemic violence/corruption, and squalor. New sources of order will see the rise of the criminal entrepreneur, whether they are the be-suited corporate gangster or the gang tattooed thug. For in the world of hollow states (without a morality that limits behavior) and limitless connectivity to the global economic system, these criminal entrepreneurs quickly become dominant, violently coercing or corrupting everyone in the path to their enrichment. (In former socialist states of east and central Europe, local and migrant mafias form an important segment of the new ruling elites.)
The author has kept a watch and written about the decline and fall of US hegemony since 11 September, 2002, when a declining US empire appeared at its most dazzling, like the afternoon sun past its prime.
The decline of the American Century Sept 11, 2002 Atimes: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/
The US Empire –Beginning of the End Game 24 Nov, 2006 http://www.
The Decline and Coming Fall of US Hegemony March 30, 2008 http://www.uruknet.de/?p=
-- An editorial titled 'Collapse of U.S. economy' in Belleville Intelligencer of 27 Feb, 2008 confirms the by now generally accepted ill health of US economy. Harry Koza in the Globe and Mail recently quoted Bernard Connelly, the global strategist at Banque AIG in London that the likelihood of a Great Depression is growing by the day. Martin Wolf of U.K.'s Financial Times cited Dr. Nouriel Roubini of the New York University's Stern School of Business, who outlines how the losses of the American financial system will grow to more than $1 trillion, an amount equal to all the assets of all American banks.
The next domino to fall will be credit card defaults, and after that...who knows? There are so many exotic funds out there, with trillions of dollars in paper--or rather computer-screen money--and all about to disintegrate into nothingness. Over the next couple of years, scores of banks that have thrived on these devices, based on quickly disappearing equities, will fail.
The most frightening forecast so far comes from the Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin (GEAB), "The end of the third quarter of 2008 will be marked by a new tipping point in the unfolding of the global systemic crisis. In the United States, this new tipping point will translate into - get this - a collapse of the real economy, (the) final socio-economic stage of the serial bursting of the housing and financial bubbles and of the pursuance of the U.S. dollar fall. The collapse of U.S. real economy means the virtual freeze of the American economic machinery: private and public bankruptcies in large numbers, companies and public services closing down."
We are not experiencing a "remake" of the 1929 crisis or a repetition of the 1970s oil crises or 1987 stock market crisis. What we will have, instead, is truly a global momentous threat - a true turning point affecting the entire planet and questioning the very foundations of the international system upon which the world was organized in the last decades."
Western Military-Capitalist Civilization in Disarray September 25, 2008 http://www.uruknet.de/?p=
"Credit easing does not and cannot substitute for earnings, wages or tax revenues."---Max Fraad Wolff
"The [US] financial system is out of control and has led the economy into a wildly turbulent sea of heavily leveraged speculation. … The road ahead is dark and unknown." Steve Fraser author of" Wall Street: America's Dream Palace."
"Before the US economy can truly begin to expand again, the savings rate must rise to pre-bubble levels of 8pc--$2 trillion of household debt must be eliminated",---Economist David Rosenberg
Corporate Culture and Greed Sink the American Republic 17 May, 2009 http://www.boloji.com/
"Over-grown military establishments are. Under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty."--George Washington (1732-1799), First US President.
"It is part of the general pattern of misguided policy that our country is now geared to an arms economy which was bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and nurtured upon an incessant propaganda of fear." --General Douglas MacArthur, Speech, May 15, 1951
"[The] conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. . . . In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist." --Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), 34th US President, Farewell Address, Jan. 17, 1961
Confirmation of Pressure on Dollar and US Decline 8 October, 2009 http://www.boloji.com/
Falling Empires and their Currencies Rome, France, England and the USA Part 2: From England to the United States of America Rolf Nef January 16, 2007 http://www.financialsense.com/
K Gajendra Singh, Indian ambassador (retired), served as ambassador to Turkey and Azerbaijan from August 1992 to April 1996. Prior to that, he served terms as ambassador to Jordan, Romania and Senegal. He is currently chairman of the Foundation for Indo-Turkic Studies. Copy right with the author. http://tarafits.blogspot.com/
Take care Gajendra Singh Tel 43034706 Delhi
October 21, 2010
According to well-informed Pakistani police sources, this was because the NATO helicopter, which bombed a position in the Kurram Agency, had unwittingly gone very close to the area where the prized assets of the ISI are sheltered. Fears that the US intelligence might have come to know of the presence of these elements in the Kurram area created panic in the GHQ of the Army. It decided to retaliate by stopping the flow of logistics in order to prevent any more strikes by the NATO copters in the area.
( To be read in continuation of my article of September 18,2010 titled “HAQQANI NETWORK IN PARACHINAR” at http://www.southasiaanalysis.
“The US, while targeting the Haqqanis, is pursuing the ‘hammer and anvil approach’. Alongside the spike in the drone attacks, US Special Forces have launched an intense operation against the group in eastern Afghanistan, killing a number of its ‘commanders’. The Haqqaninetwork has been the focus of US action for the past two years. However, after the Dec 2009 suicide attack on the Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost, a key facility of the CIA, the network again came under renewed focus. In this unprecedented intense bombardment by drones, military officials see a shift in US policy in Afghanistan from counter-insurgency to counter-terrorism.” ---“Dawn” of Karachi of September 16,2010
The US has been carrying on Drone (pilotless plane) strikes against suspected members of Al Qaeda and its associate jihadi organizations in North and South Waziristan for nearly four years. These strikes have been stepped up since President Barack Obama assumed office in January last year. There has been a further escalation of the strikes since the beginning of September following reports of an Al Qaeda-inspired plot to carry out Mumbai—26/11 style terrorist strikes in the UK, France and Germany.
2. These strikes have killed many known and identified senior cadres of Al Qaeda, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other associate organizations of Al Qaeda. They have also killed some European recruits to Al Qaeda such as Rashid Rauf of the Jaish-e-Mohammad, who was a British citizen of Mirpuri origin, and German recruits to the Islamic Jihad Union. However, they have not had any success in locating and neutralizing Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, his No.2, Jalalludin Haqqani and his son Serajuddin. The US information seems to be that they are probably in North Waziristan. Hence, the largest number of Drone strikes in that area. The US suspicion has also been strengthened by the reluctance of the Pakistan Army to undertake operations in the North Waziristan area.
3. If it is true that these prized assets of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) are in North Waziristan, the Pakistan Army must have been highly concerned over the stepped-up Drone strikes in that area and reacted strongly against them. But it did not show signs of any such concern. It did protest pro forma against the Drone strikes, calling them a violation of Pakistani sovereignty and calling upon the US periodically to stop them. Beyond that, it did nothing. The presumption in Pakistan is that these strikes are being carried out with the nod of the Pakistani Army.
4. The same Army, which has avoided any retaliatory action against the US for the Drone strikes, reacted vehemently against a helicopter strike by a NATO helicopter on a ground position in the area of the Kurram Agency, in which two soldiers of a para-military unit of the Army were reportedly killed. The Pakistan Army not only protested strongly against the attack, but even retaliated on the ground by stopping the flow of logistic supplies to the NATO forces in Afghanistan through the Torkham area. The US was so concerned by the impact of this on the logistics position in Afghanistan that it asked its then Ambassador in Pakistan, Anne Patterson, to publicly apologise to the Pakistani authorities for this incident. Other apologies from the Pentagon followed. Only then, did the Pakistani Army relent and allow the resumption of logistic supplies.
5. Why did the Pakistan Army retaliate so vehemently against one copter strike in the Kurram area, whereas it had closed its eyes to dozens of Drone strikes in the two Waziristans? According to well-informed Pakistani police sources, this was because the NATO helicopter, which bombed a position in the Kurram Agency, had unwittingly gone very close to the area where the prized assets of the ISI are sheltered. Fears that the US intelligence might have come to know of the presence of these elements in the Kurram area created panic in the GHQ of the Army. It decided to retaliate by stopping the flow of logistics in order to prevent any more strikes by the NATO copters in the area.
6. The “Dawn” Karachi of October 21 has come out with a report on the ground situation in the Kurram area, which explains the importance of Kurram for the Haqqani network and others in the following words: “The most important among all the agencies in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Kurram borders Afghanistan’s Khost province in the south, Paktia in the southwest and Nangarhar in the north, while Kabul is 90 kilometres west of Parachinar. In fact, during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, all the major groups of ‘Mujahideen’ had bases in the area. The Haqqani group is active in Paktia, Paktika, Khost, Ghazni and Wardak, which is close to Kabul. And especially asWaziristan has become vulnerable for the network in the wake of frequent US drone attacks, the Haqqanis are desperate to find safe locations outside the agency. Kurram would prove ideal for them and this is why they are trying to reconcile with the tribes in its lower and upper parts. They are not the first to find Kurram’s proximity to Afghanistan attractive. In fact, Taliban first came there in 2006 when they moved to Orakzai Agency and some parts of Kurram from Waziristan after signing peace deals with the government. Baitullah Mehsud, the late chief of the banned Tehrik-i-Taliban, Pakistan had deputed Hakimullah Mehsud to oversee Kurram, Khyber and Orakzai. Another reason the Taliban shifted activities to Orakzai and Kurram was that North and South Waziristan were being closely watched by the International Security Assistance Force for Afghanistan and they were facing difficulties crossing the border from there. “
7. The text of the “Dawn” report is annexed.( 22-10-10)
( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: email@example.com )
ANNEXURE ( Report carried by “Dawn of October 21,2010)
Haqqani’s two sons mediating in Kurram
By Our Correspondent
Thursday, 21 Oct, 2010
ISLAMABAD: The three-year fragile and ineffective efforts for peace between warring sectarian tribes in Kurram Agency have received an unexpected boost in the shape of the controversial Haqqani network which is now trying to play peace broker.
This has been confirmed by more than one source from among the key players involved in the peace process.
The entry of the Haqqanis in the Kurram peace talks, which date back to 2007, has surprised many. After all, the network is usually mentioned in terms of its war theatre in Afghanistan and its base in North Waziristan. The US has been pressurising the government for months to dislodge the Haqqanis from North Waziristan.
Khalil and Ibrahim, sons of the network’s founder Jalaluddin Haqqani, have reportedly been meeting tribal elders from the Kurram in Peshawar and Islamabad to end the hostilities between the local tribes and bring peace to the area which has witnessed some of the worst clashes in its history over the past three years.
The last round of talks was held in Islamabad on Oct 10. “They first turned up at a meeting held in Peshawar in the first week of September,” a tribal elder told Dawn.
This account is corroborated by another elder who adds that the two brothers were also present at the second meeting in the provincial capital on Sept 16 and then at a subsequent one in Islamabad.
It is expected that elders and mediators will put their heads together in the next few days yet again to ensure sustainable peace in the area.
Although the ongoing spate of violence dates back to 2007 and the peace efforts to 2008, the Haqqanis have been in contact with the rival tribes since early last year.
In the early phase, Haqqani’s senior ‘commanders’ negotiated with all the groups in Kurram on his behalf. But the talks remained inconclusive.
Now he has nominated his two younger sons which shows how important the region has become for the group.
However, the people of the violence-wracked Kurram are apprehensive of the aims of the mediators.
Not only are they wary of those involved in fighting in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but also because they think that the involvement of theHaqqanis may not be possible without the tacit approval of the military which is reported to enjoy links with this group of Afghan militants.
Such suspicions gain credence against the backdrop of reports that members of the Haqqani clan visited Peshawar and Islamabad for the talks.
Some reports suggest that the Haqqanis have sought full authority and ‘machlaka’ (bond) from rival factions before unveiling a new peace agreement. The proposed deal will be binding on all parties.
However some groups are reluctant to give full authority and machlaka to the ‘mediators’.
Instead, they are stressing that the Murree/Islamabad agreement signed by all tribes be implemented.The government had brokered the agreement in Murree that was signed on Oct 16, 2008.
Under the agreement, the rival tribes deposited Rs20 million to the local authorities as guarantee that they would refrain from fighting in the future.
But the five-point agreement which covers all major issues could not be implemented.
Tribesmen blame a lack of interest on the part of the state organs for this.
According to some reports, the tribesmen have sought the release of the people kidnapped during an attack on a convoy on the Thall-Parachinar road in July.
The Haqqanis’ interest is not linked to the welfare of the residents of Kurram but to the tribal agency’s strategic position. The most important among all the agencies in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Kurram borders Afghanistan’s Khost province in the south,Paktia in the southwest and Nangarhar in the north, while Kabul is 90 kilometres west of Parachinar.
In fact, during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, all the major groups of ‘Mujahideen’ had bases in the area.
The Haqqani group is active in Paktia, Paktika, Khost, Ghazni and Wardak, which is close to Kabul. And especially as Waziristan has become vulnerable for the network in the wake of frequent US drone attacks, the Haqqanis are desperate to find safe locations outside the agency.Kurram would prove ideal for them and this is why they are trying to reconcile with the tribes in its lower and upper parts.
They are not the first to find Kurram’s proximity to Afghanistan attractive. In fact, Taliban first came there in 2006 when they moved toOrakzai Agency and some parts of Kurram from Waziristan after signing peace deals with the government.
Baitullah Mehsud, the late chief of the banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan had deputed Hakimullah Mehsud to oversee Kurram, Khyber andOrakzai.
Another reason the Taliban shifted activities to Orakzai and Kurram was that North and South Waziristan were being closely watched by the International Security Assistance Force for Afghanistan and they were facing difficulties crossing the border from there.
However, the militant groups’ move to Kurram was opposed locally. The residents of the upper parts of Kurram opposed the movement of armed men through the agency. Eventually the agency plunged into bloody clashes in April 2007, leaving over 3,000 people dead, according to unofficial estimates, while hundreds of families were displaced.
Property worth millions of rupees was destroyed in clashes and the people suffered immensely because of prolonged closure of the Thall-Parachinar road.
Unfortunately, scrappy media coverage of the clashes gave them a sectarian colour and the involvement of the Taliban was ignored, although the government did acknowledge on some occasions the involvement of a third party.
For a number of reasons, the Taliban since then have not been able to enforce their writ in Kurram. And this is why they have been forced to negotiate peace, a process which the Haqqanis have joined. Meanwhile, the residents of Kurram remain sceptical about the new initiative. DAWN 21-10-10