Hang The Bankers http://www.hangthebankers.com Tue, 26 May 2015 04:09:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Memorial Day: our soldiers died for the profit of the bankers http://www.hangthebankers.com/memorial-day-soldiers-died-for-bankers-profit/ http://www.hangthebankers.com/memorial-day-soldiers-died-for-bankers-profit/#comments Tue, 26 May 2015 04:06:48 +0000 http://www.hangthebankers.com/?p=24985
Memorial Day commemorates soldiers killed in war. We are told that the war dead died for us and our freedom.

US Marine General Smedley Butler challenged this view. He said that our soldiers died for the profits of the bankers, Wall Street, Standard Oil, and the United Fruit Company. Here is an excerpt from a speech that he gave in 1933:

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

I wouldn’t go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

There isn’t a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

Most American soldiers died fighting foes who posed no threat to the United States. Our soldiers died for secret agendas of which they knew nothing. Capitalists hid their self-interests behind the flag, and our boys died for the One Percent’s bottom line.

Jade Helm, an exercise that pits the US military against the US public, is scheduled to run July 15 through September 15. What is the secret agenda behind Jade Helm?

The Soviet Union was a partial check on capitalist looting in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. However, with the Soviet collapse capitalist looting intensified during the Clinton, Bush, and Obama regimes.

War protest we won't fight another rich man's war

Neoliberal Globalization is now looting its own constituent parts and the planet itself. Americans, Greeks, Irish, British, Italians, Ukrainians, Iraqis, Libyans, Argentinians, the Spanish and Portuguese are being looted of their savings, pensions, social services, and job opportunities, and the planet is being turned into a wasteland by capitalists sucking the last penny out of the environment.

As Claudia von Werlhof writes, predatory capitalism is consuming the globe.

We need a memorial day to commemorate the victims of neoliberal globalization. All of us are its victims, and in the end the capitalists also.

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Report: US created ISIS to overthrow Syria’s President Assad http://www.hangthebankers.com/us-created-isis-to-overthrow-syrias-president-assad/ http://www.hangthebankers.com/us-created-isis-to-overthrow-syrias-president-assad/#comments Sun, 24 May 2015 16:20:00 +0000 http://www.hangthebankers.com/?p=24978
From the first sudden, and quite dramatic, appearance of the fanatical Islamic group known as ISIS which was largely unheard of until a year ago on the world’s stage and which promptly replaced the worn out and tired al Qaeda as the world’s terrorist bogeyman, we suggested that the “straight to beheading YouTube clip” purpose behind the Saudi Arabia-funded Islamic State was a simple one: use the Jihadists as the vehicle of choice to achieve a political goal: depose of Syria‘s president Assad.

Who for years has stood in the way of a critical Qatari natural gas pipeline, one which could dethrone Russia as Europe’s dominant – and belligerent – source of energy, reaching an interim climax with the unsuccessful Mediterranean Sea military build up of 2013, which nearly resulted in quasi-world war.

ISIS tank

The narrative and the plotline were so transparent, even Russia saw right through them. Recall from September of last year:

If the West bombs Islamic State militants in Syria without consulting Damascus, LiveLeak reports that the anti-ISIS alliance may use the occasion to launch airstrikes against President Bashar Assad’s forces, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Clearly comprehending that Obama’s new strategy against ISIS in Syria is all about pushing the Qatar pipeline through (as was the impetus behind the 2013 intervention push), Russia is pushing back noting that the it is using ISIS as a pretext for bombing Syrian government forces and warning that “such a development would lead to a huge escalation of conflict in the Middle East and North Africa.”

But it’s one thing to speculate; it’s something entirely different to have hard proof.

And while speculation was rife that just like the CIA-funded al Qaeda had been used as a facade by the US to achieve its own geopolitical and national interests over the past two decades, so ISIS was nothing more than al Qaeda 2.0, there was no actual evidence of just this.

That may all have changed now when a declassified secret US government document obtained by the public interest law firm, Judicial Watch, shows that Western governments deliberately allied with al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups to topple Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad.

Syria Assad

According to investigative reporter Nafeez Ahmed in Medium, the “leaked document reveals that in coordination with the Gulf states and Turkey, the West intentionally sponsored violent Islamist groups to destabilize Assad, despite anticipating that doing so could lead to the emergence of an ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

According to the newly declassified US document, the Pentagon foresaw the likely rise of the ‘Islamic State’ as a direct consequence of the strategy, but described this outcome as a strategic opportunity to “isolate the Syrian regime.”

And not just that: as we reported last week, now that ISIS is running around the middle east, cutting people’s heads of in 1080p quality and Hollywood-quality (perhaps literally) video, the US has a credible justification to sell billions worth of modern, sophisticated weapons in the region in order to “modernize” and “replenish” the weapons of such US allies as Saudi Arabia, Israel and Iraq.

But that the US military-industrial complex is a winner every time war breaks out anywhere in the world (usually with the assistance of the CIA) is clear to everyone by now. What wasn’t clear is just how the US predetermined the current course of events in the middle east.

Now, thanks to the following declassified report, we have a far better understanding of not only how current events in the middle east came to be, but what America’s puppermaster role leading up to it all, was. 

From Nafeez Ahmed: Secret Pentagon report reveals West saw ISIS as strategic asset Anti-ISIS coalition knowingly sponsored violent extremists to ‘isolate’ Assad, rollback ‘Shia expansion’, originally posted in Medium.

ISIS plane

Hypocrisy

The revelations contradict the official line of Western government on their policies in Syria, and raise disturbing questions about secret Western support for violent extremists abroad, while using the burgeoning threat of terror to justify excessive mass surveillance and crackdowns on civil liberties at home.

Among the batch of documents obtained by Judicial Watch through a federal lawsuit, released earlier this week, is a US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) document then classified as “secret,” dated 12th August 2012.

The DIA provides military intelligence in support of planners, policymakers and operations for the US Department of Defense and intelligence community.

So far, media reporting has focused on the evidence that the Obama administration knew of arms supplies from a Libyan terrorist stronghold to rebels in Syria.

Some outlets have reported the US intelligence community’s internal prediction of the rise of ISIS. Yet none have accurately acknowledged the disturbing details exposing how the West knowingly fostered a sectarian, al-Qaeda-driven rebellion in Syria.

Charles Shoebridge, a former British Army and Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism intelligence officer, said:

“Given the political leanings of the organisation that obtained these documents, it’s unsurprising that the main emphasis given to them thus far has been an attempt to embarrass Hilary Clinton regarding what was known about the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi in 2012. However, the documents also contain far less publicized revelations that raise vitally important questions of the West’s governments and media in their support of Syria’s rebellion.”

The West’s Islamists

The newly declassified DIA document from 2012 confirms that the main component of the anti-Assad rebel forces by this time comprised Islamist insurgents affiliated to groups that would lead to the emergence of ISIS. Despite this, these groups were to continue receiving support from Western militaries and their regional allies.

Noting that “the Salafist [sic], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [al-Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria,” the document states that “the West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition,” while Russia, China and Iran “support the [Assad] regime.”

The 7-page DIA document states that al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), the precursor to the ‘Islamic State in Iraq,’ (ISI) which became the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and Syria,’ “supported the Syrian opposition from the beginning, both ideologically and through the media.”

ISIS CIA creation

The formerly secret Pentagon report notes that the “rise of the insurgency in Syria” has increasingly taken a “sectarian direction,” attracting diverse support from Sunni “religious and tribal powers” across the region.

In a section titled ‘The Future Assumptions of the Crisis,’ the DIA report predicts that while Assad’s regime will survive, retaining control over Syrian territory, the crisis will continue to escalate “into proxy war.”

The document also recommends the creation of “safe havens under international sheltering, similar to what transpired in Libya when Benghazi was chosen as the command centre for the temporary government.”

In Libya, anti-Gaddafi rebels, most of whom were al-Qaeda affiliated militias, were protected by NATO ‘safe havens’ (aka ‘no fly zones’).

‘Supporting powers want’ ISIS entity

In a strikingly prescient prediction, the Pentagon document explicitly forecasts the probable declaration of “an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria.”

Nevertheless, “Western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey are supporting these efforts” by Syrian “opposition forces” fighting to “control the eastern areas (Hasaka and Der Zor), adjacent to Western Iraqi provinces (Mosul and Anbar)”:

“… there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).”

The secret Pentagon document thus provides extraordinary confirmation that the US-led coalition currently fighting ISIS, had three years ago welcomed the emergence of an extremist “Salafist Principality” in the region as a way to undermine Assad, and block off the strategic expansion of Iran. Crucially, Iraq is labeled as an integral part of this “Shia expansion.”

The establishment of such a “Salafist Principality” in eastern Syria, the DIA document asserts, is “exactly” what the “supporting powers to the [Syrian] opposition want.” Earlier on, the document repeatedly describes those “supporting powers” as “the West, Gulf countries, and Turkey.”

Further on, the document reveals that Pentagon analysts were acutely aware of the dire risks of this strategy, yet ploughed ahead anyway.

ISIS in cars

The establishment of such a “Salafist Principality” in eastern Syria, it says, would create “the ideal atmosphere for AQI to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi.” Last summer, ISIS conquered Mosul in Iraq, and just this month has also taken control of Ramadi.

Such a quasi-state entity will provide:

“… a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy. ISI could also declare an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of territory.”

The 2012 DIA document is an Intelligence Information Report (IIR), not a “finally evaluated intelligence” assessment, but its contents are vetted before distribution. The report was circulated throughout the US intelligence community, including to the State Department, Central Command, the Department of Homeland Security, the CIA, FBI, among other agencies.

In response to my questions about the strategy, the British government simply denied the Pentagon report’s startling revelations of deliberate Western sponsorship of violent extremists in Syria. A British Foreign Office spokesperson said:

“AQ and ISIL are proscribed terrorist organisations. The UK opposes all forms of terrorism. AQ, ISIL, and their affiliates pose a direct threat to the UK’s national security. We are part of a military and political coalition to defeat ISIL in Iraq and Syria, and are working with international partners to counter the threat from AQ and other terrorist groups in that region. In Syria we have always supported those moderate opposition groups who oppose the tyranny of Assad and the brutality of the extremists.”

The DIA did not respond to request for comment.

Strategic asset for regime-change

Security analyst Shoebridge, however, who has tracked Western support for Islamist terrorists in Syria since the beginning of the war, pointed out that the secret Pentagon intelligence report exposes fatal contradictions at the heart of official pronunciations:

“Throughout the early years of the Syria crisis, the US and UK governments, and almost universally the West’s mainstream media, promoted Syria’s rebels as moderate, liberal, secular, democratic, and therefore deserving of the West’s support. Given that these documents wholly undermine this assessment, it’s significant that the West’s media has now, despite their immense significance, almost entirely ignored them.”

According to Brad Hoff, a former US Marine who served during the early years of the Iraq War and as a 9/11 first responder at the Marine Corps Headquarters in Battalion Quantico from 2000 to 2004, the just released Pentagon report for the first time provides stunning affirmation that:

“US intelligence predicted the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), but instead of clearly delineating the group as an enemy, the report envisions the terror group as a US strategic asset.”

Hoff, who is managing editor of Levant Report — ?an online publication run by Texas-based educators who have direct experience of the Middle East?—?points out that the DIA document “matter-of-factly” states that the rise of such an extremist Salafist political entity in the region offers a “tool for regime change in Syria.”

The DIA intelligence report shows, he said, that the rise of ISIS only became possible in the context of the Syrian insurgency?—?“there is no mention of US troop withdrawal from Iraq as a catalyst for Islamic State’s rise, which is the contention of innumerable politicians and pundits.” The report demonstrates that:

“The establishment of a ‘Salafist Principality’ in Eastern Syria is ‘exactly’ what the external powers supporting the opposition want (identified as ‘the West, Gulf Countries, and Turkey’) in order to weaken the Assad government.”

The rise of a Salafist quasi-state entity that might expand into Iraq, and fracture that country, was therefore clearly foreseen by US intelligence as likely?—?but nevertheless strategically useful?—?blowback from the West’s commitment to “isolating Syria.”

Complicity

Critics of the US-led strategy in the region have repeatedly raised questions about the role of coalition allies in intentionally providing extensive support to Islamist terrorist groups in the drive to destabilize the Assad regime in Syria.

The conventional wisdom is that the US government did not retain sufficient oversight on the funding to anti-Assad rebel groups, which was supposed to be monitored and vetted to ensure that only ‘moderate’ groups were supported.

However, the newly declassified Pentagon report proves unambiguously that years before ISIS launched its concerted offensive against Iraq, the US intelligence community was fully aware that Islamist militants constituted the core of Syria’s sectarian insurgency.

Despite that, the Pentagon continued to support the Islamist insurgency, even while anticipating the probability that doing so would establish an extremist Salafi stronghold in Syria and Iraq.

ISIS armed by US

As Shoebridge told me, “The documents show that not only did the US government at the latest by August 2012 know the true extremist nature and likely outcome of Syria’s rebellion”?—?namely, the emergence of ISIS?—?“but that this was considered an advantage for US foreign policy. This also suggests a decision to spend years in an effort to deliberately mislead the West’s public, via a compliant media, into believing that Syria’s rebellion was overwhelmingly ‘moderate.’”

Annie Machon, a former MI5 intelligence officer who blew the whistle in the 1990s on MI6 funding of al-Qaeda to assassinate Libya’s former leader Colonel Gaddafi, similarly said of the revelations:

“This is no surprise to me. Within individual countries there are always multiple intelligence agencies with competing agendas.”

She explained that MI6’s Libya operation in 1996, which resulted in the deaths of innocent people, “happened at precisely the time when MI5 was setting up a new section to investigate al-Qaeda.”

This strategy was repeated on a grand scale in the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya, said Machon, where the CIA and MI6 were:

“… supporting the very same Libyan groups, resulting in a failed state, mass murder, displacement and anarchy. So the idea that elements of the American military-security complex have enabled the development of ISIS after their failed attempt to get NATO to once again ‘intervene’ is part of an established pattern. And they remain indifferent to the sheer scale of human suffering that is unleashed as a result of such game-playing.”

Divide and rule

Several US government officials have conceded that their closest allies in the anti-ISIS coalition were funding violent extremist Islamist groups that became integral to ISIS.

US Vice President Joe Biden, for instance, admitted last year that Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Turkey had funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to Islamist rebels in Syria that metamorphosed into ISIS.

But he did not admit what this internal Pentagon document demonstrates?—?that the entire covert strategy was sanctioned and supervised by the US, Britain, France, Israel and other Western powers.

The strategy appears to fit a policy scenario identified by a recent US Army-commissioned RAND Corp report.

The report, published four years before the DIA document, called for the US “to capitalise on the Shia-Sunni conflict by taking the side of the conservative Sunni regimes in a decisive fashion and working with them against all Shiite empowerment movements in the Muslim world.”

The US would need to contain “Iranian power and influence” in the Gulf by “shoring up the traditional Sunni regimes in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Pakistan.” Simultaneously, the US must maintain “a strong strategic relationship with the Iraqi Shiite government” despite its Iran alliance.

The RAND report confirmed that the “divide and rule” strategy was already being deployed “to create divisions in the jihadist camp. Today in Iraq such a strategy is being used at the tactical level.”

The report observed that the US was forming “temporary alliances” with al-Qaeda affiliated “nationalist insurgent groups” that have fought the US for four years in the form of “weapons and cash.” Although these nationalists “have cooperated with al-Qaeda against US forces,” they are now being supported to exploit “the common threat that al-Qaeda now poses to both parties.”

John McCain ISIS Assad

The 2012 DIA document, however, further shows that while sponsoring purportedly former al-Qaeda insurgents in Iraq to counter al-Qaeda, Western governments were simultaneously arming al-Qaeda insurgents in Syria.

The revelation from an internal US intelligence document that the very US-led coalition supposedly fighting ‘Islamic State’ today, knowingly created ISIS in the first place, raises troubling questions about recent government efforts to justify the expansion of state anti-terror powers.

In the wake of the rise of ISIS, intrusive new measures to combat extremism including mass surveillance, the Orwellian ‘prevent duty’ and even plans to enable government censorship of broadcasters, are being pursued on both sides of the Atlantic, much of which disproportionately targets activists, journalists and ethnic minorities, especially Muslims.

Yet the new Pentagon report reveals that, contrary to Western government claims, the primary cause of the threat comes from their own deeply misguided policies of secretly sponsoring Islamist terrorism for dubious geopolitical purposes.

SEE ALSO: This is how the United States created ISIS

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US sells over $4b in weapons to Israel, Iraq and Saudi Arabia http://www.hangthebankers.com/us-sells-weapons-israel-iraq-saudi-arabia/ http://www.hangthebankers.com/us-sells-weapons-israel-iraq-saudi-arabia/#comments Sun, 24 May 2015 08:04:58 +0000 http://www.hangthebankers.com/?p=24967
War, what’s it good for?

Aside from countless deaths of innocent civilians of course, it means a GDP boost for the biggest exporter of weapons on earth, the United States, and even more profits for the US military-industrial complex. Profits which mean the shareholders of America’s arms manufacturers get even richer.

Which is why following months of middle-eastern sabre ratling and numerous quasi-wars already raging in the region, moments ago the U.S. State Department approved the sale of 10 MH-60R Seahawk helicopters to Saudi Arabia for $1.9 billion, the first step in “a major multibillion-dollar modernization of the Saudi navy’s eastern fleet.”

MH-60R Seahawk helicopter

MH-60R Seahawk helicopter 

According to Reuters, the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified lawmakers on Thursday about the possible arms sale, which has been discussed for years.

The Saudi government had requested a sale of the 10 MH-60R multi-mission helicopters, built by Sikorsky Aircraft, a unit of United Technologies Corp and Lockheed, as well as radars, missiles and other equipment, the agency said.

Why do the Saudis need a modernization of their already state of the art weapons?

The proposed sale would improve Saudi Arabia’s capability to meet current and future threats from enemy weapons systems, as well as secondary missions such as vertical replenishment, search and rescue, and communications relay.

“Saudi Arabia will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense,” the agency said.

In other words, the Saudis, by funding ISIS, are creating the very “regional threat” (which recently has launched numerous false flag attacks against the same Saudi Arabia to provie the cover for needing such a modernization) that they need to wage war against.

But wait, there’s more!

Because just to make sure the same vendors of lethal equipment have happy repeat customers, the Pentagon also announced a $1.9 billion deal with Israel to supply 3,000 Hellfire precision missiles, 250 AIM-120C advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles, 4,100 GBU-39 small diameter bombs and 50 BLU-113 bunker buster bombs. The order also includes 14,500 tail kits for Joint Direct Attack Munitions for 220kg and 900kg bombs and a variety of Paveway laser-guided bomb kits according to RT.

Bunker buster bomb

Bunker buster bomb in moment of deployment

Wait, wasn’t the US said to have tarnished its relations with Israel in recent months following various diplomatic snubs by Netanyahu and Obama? Well, it was all for show: according to Israeli media deal is seen as “compensation” for the rapprochement between Iran and the US.

Curiously, this is precisely what we wrote two weeks ago in “Obama’s Real Motive Behind The Iran Deal: A Backdoor Channel To Sell Weapons To Saudi Arabia” only we can now add Israel in the mix.

“The proposed sale of this equipment will provide Israel the ability to support its self-defense needs,” the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said, adding that the new contract is meant to “replenish” Israel’s arsenal without supplying the country with any kind of new weapons.

In November 2014 it was reported that Pentagon was going to supplying Israel with 3,000 smart bombs, similar to those used by the Israeli Air Force in Gaza last summer, where an estimated 100 tons of munitions were dropped.

So “modernizing” the Saudi arsenal and “replenishing” that of Israel.

In other words, Obama’s warming up to Iran was nothing but a back door diplomatic loophole to arm Iran’s “threatened” neighbors in the region. Just as we forecast.

As for the beneficiaries, once again there is no question: the main contractors to fulfill the lucrative Israeli arms deal will be Boeing, Ellwood National Forge, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Missile Systems, AFP reported.

But wait, there is even more!

Because, just in case arming Israel and Saudi Arabia with sophisticated modern weaponry isn’t enough to assure of a full on war in the coming weeks as the balance of power in the middle east once again shifts dramatically, the US – to really make sure America’s MIC has even more happy repeat customers, will also deliver 2,000 AT-4 anti-tank rockets to Iraq as early as next week, 1,000 more than announced on Wednesday, to help Baghdad combat suicide car bombings by Islamic State.

Anti tank rocket launcher

Soldier firing AT-4 anti tank rocket

Wait, anti-tank bombs to counter suicide bombers? Apparently yes:

Spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said the delivery would help Iraq defend against approaching suicide bombers driving vehicles packed with explosives, attacks used by Islamic State militants last weekend to help them seize Ramadi from Iraqi forces. “This is a good counter to that (type of bombing),” Warren said.

Warren said the anti-tank weapons would allow the Iraqi forces to destroy approaching suicide car bombers at a distance. Relying on small arms requires disabling the engine or killing the driver, which can be difficult, he said.

And all of this why? So that the Saudis and Iran can “fight” against a Saudi-funded ISIS force, while Israel has “defensive” weapons against an Iran which may become a threat to Israel because of its recently friendly relations with the US.

Or, to conclude with the same summary we provided two weeks ago when predicting this outcome:

In other words, we have, for the past few years, been on the edge of a razor thin Middle Eastern balance of power equilibrium which prevented any one nation or alliance from garnering an outsized influence of military power.

All of that is about to change the moment the MIC figurehead known as president Obama greenlights the dispatch of billions of dollars in fighters, drones, missile batteries, and surveillance equipment to Saudi Arabia and its peers, in the process dramatically reshaping the balance of power status quo and almost certainly leading to yet another middle eastern war which will inevitably drag in not only Israel and Russia at least in a proxy capacity, but ultimately, the US as well.

Just as the US military industrial complex wanted.

Because as every Keynesian fanatic will tell you: in a world saturated by debt, and where organic growth is no longer possible, there is only one remaining option.

War.

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Monsanto funding a free ‘reporter boot camp’ for food writers http://www.hangthebankers.com/monsanto-reporter-boot-camp-for-food-writers/ http://www.hangthebankers.com/monsanto-reporter-boot-camp-for-food-writers/#comments Sat, 23 May 2015 04:53:47 +0000 http://www.hangthebankers.com/?p=24962
Biotech company Monsanto is helping fund a “reporter boot camp” that will be hosted by the National Press Foundation, featuring an all-expense-paid journalism conference called “Food, From Farm to Table.”

The event includes a visit to an organic farm and Monsanto’s research lab.

Twenty journalists will be selected as National Press Foundation fellows to attend the conference in July, which includes travel, meals and hotel accommodation in St. Louis, Missouri. It offers “to take a holistic look at the issues: hunger, food waste, organic, GMOs, food science, feeding the world’s population, and more.

National Press Foundation President Sandy Johnson told the Eater website that she initiated the NPF’s sponsorship relationship with Monsanto after attending a dinner party in January and finding herself sitting next to a member of the Monsanto board of directors. Eater asked if she was familiar with Monsanto’s controversial reputation.

In whose eyes? In your eyes? I’m familiar with the Monsanto that created research and science around agriculture that has allowed the United States to feed the world,” Johnson responded.

Johnson, according to the NPF website, was managing editor for the Institute of Public Integrity and previously the executive editor for state news for AARP. Before that, she was bureau chief for the Associated Press in Washington, DC, the news service’s largest bureau. Under her direction, AP refused to call the 2000 election for George W. Bush despite enormous pressure after TV networks had made an erroneous call.

Monsanto is one of four sponsors for the fellowship, including the AARP Foundation, the Organic Trade Association and the American Farm Bureau Federation, all of which have contributed towards a $100,000 fund to finance the conference. Johnson wouldn’t disclose how much each group had contributed, but she did tell Eater that they had decided to locate the conference in St. Louis, Missouri so they could include a visit to the Monsanto’s labs in the programming.

This is not the first time the NPF has accepted corporate sponsorship. In 2010, the nonprofit came under fire for a multi-day conference training journalists to write about cancer, sponsored by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, and for another conference on retirement sponsored by Prudential, a company which sells insurance and pension investments.

Monsanto poison is killing you

On Saturday, a worldwide event dubbed March Against Monsanto is planned in 38 countries and 428 cities, meant to raise awareness about the dangers surrounding the company’s genetically modified seeds and cancer-linked herbicide Roundup.

The march comes as the demand for GMO labeling is gaining momentum in states like Vermont. In polls conducted by The New York Times, the Washington Post and Consumer Reports, 90 percent of respondents were in support of GMO labeling – an initiative defeated by heavy spending by Monsanto and other food industry-backed lobbying groups.

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Six banks fined $5.8 billion for market rigging http://www.hangthebankers.com/six-banks-fined-market-rigging/ http://www.hangthebankers.com/six-banks-fined-market-rigging/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 02:37:46 +0000 http://www.hangthebankers.com/?p=24944
Editor’s note: these banks made billions more from their crimes, let alone received billions of $ in bailouts which the tax payers funded. So will we receive this money? Will any of these bankers ever go to jail for their crimes? If you or I committed the crimes that these bankers are guilty of we would be serving multiple life sentences behind bars.

Six of the world’s biggest banks will pay $5.8 billion and five of them agreed to plead guilty to charges tied to a currency-rigging probe as they seek to wind down almost half a decade of enforcement actions.

FOREX settlement

Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Barclays Plc and Royal Bank of Scotland Plc agreed to plead guilty to felony charges of conspiring to manipulate the price of U.S. dollars and euros, according to settlements announced by the Justice Department in Washington Wednesday.

The main banking unit of UBS Group AG agreed to plead guilty to a wire-fraud charge related to interest-rate manipulation. The Swiss bank, the first to cooperate with antitrust investigators, was granted immunity in the currency probe.

Loretta Lynch

US attorney-general Loretta Lynch said the banks penalty was ‘fitting’. “It’s commensurate with the pervasive harm that was done.”

The four banks that agreed to plead guilty to currency charges are among the world’s biggest foreign-exchange traders. They were accused of colluding to influence benchmark rates by aligning positions and pushing transactions through at the same time. Traders who described themselves as members of “The Cartel” used online chat rooms to discuss their positions before the rates were set and suppress competition in the market, the Justice Department said.

All of the banks that pleaded guilty said they received needed waivers from the Securities and Exchange Commission to continue managing mutual funds and raise capital quickly, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

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Western backed ISIS now controls half of Syria http://www.hangthebankers.com/isis-now-controls-half-of-syria/ http://www.hangthebankers.com/isis-now-controls-half-of-syria/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 14:44:37 +0000 http://www.hangthebankers.com/?p=24939
Islamic State is thought to be holding sway over half of Syria’s landmass after its seizure of Palmyra, where it has reportedly begun massacring a rebellious tribe and faces no opposition to sacking the city’s ancient ruins.

“There are no forces to stop them [entering the ruins],” Rami Abdurrahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said. “But the important thing also is they now control 50% of Syria.”

Isis seized Palmyra on Wednesday night after a week-long siege that led to the collapse of forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad. The militants are drawing closer to his strongholds of Homs and Damascus and are severing supply lines to Deir Ezzor in the east, which faces an overpowering Isis crackdown.

ISIS terrorist group

Local activists said Isis had imposed a curfew and was sweeping the city for remnants of Assad’s forces. Isis has also killed members of the Shaitat tribe, which fought alongside the Assad regime in Palmyra and had railed against Isis in Deir Ezzor – a rebellion in which the militant group killed 800 members of the tribe.

Control of Palmyra leaves Isis with unopposed access to the city’s magnificent ruins, amid fears that they will destroy significant chunks of Syria’s heritage as it did in Iraq.

But more significantly, Isis controls vast swaths of Syria, from Palmyra to Raqqa and Deir Ezzor in the country’s west, a tract that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates to be 95,000 sq km, or more than half Syria’s landmass. With its seizure of the Arak and al-Hail gas fields near Palmyra, it also controls much of the country’s electricity supply – those two fields power much of the Syrian regime’s strongholds in the west.

Isis also controls the vast majority of Raqqa province, its de facto capital, most of Deir Ezzor, parts of Hassakeh and the Aleppo countryside, most of the Syrian desert as well as parts of the Homs countryside and the Yarmouk refugee camp in southern Damascus.

Palmyra, once a Silk Road hub and one of the cultural centres of the ancient world that occupies mythological status in Syria, is home to some of the most beautiful and well-preserved ruins of antiquity, including the Temple of Bel, built in the first century.

Isis considers the preservation of such historical ruins a form of idolatry and has destroyed temples and historic artefacts, as well as ancient Assyrian sites in Nineveh in Iraq, after conquering the province in a lightning offensive last year.

The group has profited from looting such treasures, in addition to scoring propaganda victories through the wanton destruction of archaeological sites, and Palmyra is likely to face a similar fate.

ISIS with weapon

The fall of the city raises questions about the fighting capability and cohesion of Assad’s remaining troops and allied militias, whose rapid collapse surprised observers, given their close proximity to supply lines and the strategic importance of Palmyra.

The regime is stretched thin after a string of losses to rebels in Idlib in the north, who are backed by Saudi Arabia and Turkey, but residents had expected Assad’s forces to withstand the siege for longer. Instead, they appear to be retrenching in the country’s west, cutting their losses in the face of advances by Isis and the opposition.

Palmyra is the second city to be seized by Isis in less than a week, after the militants routed Iraqi security forces in Ramadi, the provincial capital of Anbar province, highlighting the group’s resilience in the face of a US-led air campaign and the limits of its strategy.

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Rand Paul filibusters Patriot (tyranny) Act renewal http://www.hangthebankers.com/rand-paul-filibusters-patriot-tyranny-act-renewal/ http://www.hangthebankers.com/rand-paul-filibusters-patriot-tyranny-act-renewal/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 04:18:11 +0000 http://www.hangthebankers.com/?p=24935
United States Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) vows to filibuster any attempt in Congress to extend the eavesdropping powers provided to the government through the US Patriot Act before they expire at the end of the month.

Sen. Paul began speaking out against government surveillance on the floor of the Senate at around 1:18 pm ET on Wednesday, saying “I will not let the Patriot Act, the most unpatriotic of acts, go unchallenged.”

Provisions in the anti-terrorism law, passed in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, are set to sunset on June 1 unless Congress extends them before then. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), the Senate majority leader, has advocated for extending the National Security Agency’s ability to conduct such surveillance in certain cases while an alternative solution is sought.

Rand Paul filibuster Patriot Act

As the end-of-month deadline nears, Senator Paul on Wednesday said he would launch a filibuster to ensure the spy powers are not reauthorized.

“We should be in open rebellion saying enough is enough. We’re not going to take it anymore,” Paul said on the Senate floor on Wednesday around one hour into his address.

Earlier in the day, the Department of Justice circulated a memo on Capitol Hill warning lawmakers to act swiftly and be prepared to pull the plug on Sec. 215 of the Patriot Act this week. The memo said this was necessary in order to avoid complications that could arise in the event the program is not renewed before the end of the month. A federal appeals court ruled two weeks ago that Sec. 215 does not authorize the National Security Agency to collect phone records in bulk, contrary to the government’s current interpretation, dealing the biggest blow yet to the previously secret surveillance program first exposed to the public in 2013 by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

During his diatribe, Paul said that he doesn’t fault the NSA as a whole, but rather its eavesdropping programs that permit the government to collect information on entire groups of people without reasonable suspicion or warrant.

“I’m for the NSA. I want the NSA to do surveillance that will help to protect us from attack. Not only am I for surveillance, I am for looking as deep as it takes. But I want some suspicion. I want suspicion that this person, this John Doe, that there is some evidence. You don’t have to prove that they’re guilty, you just have to have something that points towards them being suspicious.”

The Senator from Kentucky took particular issue with the bulk collection of telephone records, emails, and even credit card data. “It should worry us that the government has access to all of our records, all of the time,” he said.

Paul also brought up concerns that spying is already causing “economic punishment” for major US software companies, with foreign users demanding increased encryption. Furthermore, putting in “back-door” access for US spying agencies also opens up software to attacks by hackers.

There is a danger that we will destroy great American companies by forcing this surveillance into their products,” Paul said.

The Bill of Rights was meant for everyone, not just special people, Paul warned. Continuing the bulk surveillance programs that systematically violate the letter and spirit of the Bill of Rights would lead to what former NSA official and whistleblower Bill Binney called “turnkey totalitarianism”.

If you’re not concerned that democracy can produce bad people, you’re not thinking this through,” Paul warned.

In 2013, Sen. Paul led a nearly 13-hour filibuster to raise objection to the US government’s use of weaponized drones.

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Weather control with lasers now possible http://www.hangthebankers.com/weather-control-with-lasers/ http://www.hangthebankers.com/weather-control-with-lasers/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 03:32:16 +0000 http://www.hangthebankers.com/?p=24899
Editor’s note: for further information please see declassified US Air Force documents from 1996: Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025.

Is there anything laser can’t do?

From cutting diamonds to preserving endangered sites, all the way to building terrifying weapons and turning your eyes from brown to blue, there is apparently no end to the list of applications for laser.

Swiss physicist Jean-Pierre Wolf is working on yet another impressive addition to that list: using focused laser beams to affect the weather.

It sounds like black magic, but it’s actually a cleaner version of cloud seeding, a form of weather modification that has been used for several years — most famously by China in preparation for the 2008 Olympics, when they launched rockets to seed the clouds and prevent rainfall during the opening ceremony.

China Olympics weather modification

Rockets being fired in China to modify the weather.

But it’s hard to tell how effective cloud seeding actually is, and it involves the spraying of chemicals into the atmosphere, something which it surely doesn’t need.

Laser is therefore a completely clean alternative to traditional cloud seeding: it’s light, and nothing but light.

A terawatt of power

How does laser actually affect the weather? Just like cloud seeding, it can create new clouds where there are none, by inducing condensation: naturally occurring water vapor is condensed into droplets, and ice crystals form, mimicking the natural process that creates clouds.

That way, rainfall can be triggered to “empty” the atmosphere and increase the potential of dry weather later on: “We did it on a laboratory scale, we can already create clouds, but not on a macroscopic scale, so you don’t see a big cloud coming out because the laser is not powerful enough and because of a lot of technical parameters that we can’t yet control,” Professor Wolf told CNN’s Nick Glass.

That is not to say that the laser he’s tested isn’t powerful: at one terawatt, it has the same energy produced by all the nuclear power plants on Earth: “Of course, it doesn’t last very long,” Wolf said.

Weather control cloud laser Jean-Pierre Wolf

Physicist Jean-Pierre Wolf using lasers to create clouds.

The technology is still in its infancy then, but once it’s perfected, it could help us modulate the weather in areas of high contrast, such as California or Chile, where flooding and droughts occur in extreme vicinity.

Through lasers, those effects could be smoothed to have less rain in flooding-prone areas and more rain in drought-prone areas: “You can transport the water to a different location,” Wolf said.

Taming lightning

Laser seeding can make more than clouds: it can also trigger lightning.

“We also showed that it’s possible to trigger lightning in clouds, within clouds, but not to the ground, yet.”

Recent tests have shown promise: ” A few years ago, in New Mexico, we moved our big mobile terawatt laser to the top of a mountain and we shot it up into the atmosphere, trying to trigger lightning. We didn’t, but we could see some small discharge, lightning, within the cloud. You know, 90 per cent of the lightning discharge are intra-cloud, not against the Earth. So, we are still working on that, but there is hope.”

Controlling lightning, or facilitating its discharge in a desired location, would help reduce the costs associated with lightning damage — they run into the billions of dollars each year, adding to thousands of people injured or killed by lightning strikes.

Dreaming big

Affecting the weather could also turn out to be one of our best bets at limiting the impact of climate change.

Professor Wolf reckons lasers could be used to “repair” the weather, reducing the occurrence of hurricanes, thunderstorms, flooding, and drought.

But his laser technology can look way beyond the clouds: “There are potential applications in the biomedical field: by changing the color of the laser, we could identify and selectively kill cancer cells, with little or no collateral damage.”

Yet another potential application to add to that list: “Every time you think you have done everything you can with lasers, something new comes up: it’s quite amazing.”

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Low retail sales numbers hint to economic problems ahead http://www.hangthebankers.com/low-retail-sales-numbers-economic-problems-ahead/ http://www.hangthebankers.com/low-retail-sales-numbers-economic-problems-ahead/#comments Mon, 18 May 2015 13:19:56 +0000 http://www.hangthebankers.com/?p=24892
From Filip Karinja, for Birch Gold Group

Despite optimistic expectations, recent reports show that U.S. retail sales for April were flat.

Many had expected that the lower-than-average gas prices would provide a lift, but even with prices plummeting by close to a whopping 50% over last year, there was no reflection in the retail sales numbers.

Now, with oil prices on their way back up, downward pressure is again mounting on what’s already a lackluster economy.

When retail sales dropped 2% in Q1 of this year, economists were quick to blame the bad weather. But as for April, they have no explanation to feed us; they’re stumped.

united states retail sales 2011-2015

Here’s one simple explanation for these recent woes: One out of every four American households spend half of their incomes just to cover the rent! Needless to say, that doesn’t leave much for shopping at mall.

And here’s another simple explanation: The labor force participation rate is presently at a 38-year low. With almost one in three Americans not in the work force, that’s over 93,000,000 people!!

Can you think of any sector that’s taking off that will employ all these people and create economic growth? I sure can’t.

The economic slowdown is reducing the coffers of the government, which will start to look elsewhere to replace lost revenues. We have already seen that even retirements funds aren’t safe from the claws of a government facing massive debt problems.

With major U.S. retailers facing a glut of problems, they are expected to close over 6,000 stores in the coming months.

One sector that has been growing is technology, with online sales increasing 0.8% in April. But we might want to temper any enthusiasm on this report: More and more technology is replacing humans in the workforce. In fact, University of Oxford professor Michael Osborne predicts that robots could replace 50% of all jobs in the next 20 years.

Going out of business

That’s an extreme outlook on things, to be sure, but as more robots are introduced into the economy, they will certainly reduce the need for at least some workers.

This technological shift has most recently been on display in China, where an all-robot factory has replaced the human workers.

But not even China is immune from what appears to be a global economic slowdown in consumer spending: They are now feeling the squeeze in the retail space, with sales at 9-year lows.

“Don’t worry, things will soon get better,” we’ll likely hear from our political representatives.

Not according to Stephen King, chief economist at HSBC. In a 17-page report titled, “The world economy’s titanic problem”, King warned his clients that the Fed is simply out of options to help the economy, meaning the next sign of trouble could be catastrophic. Comparing the economy to the Titantic, King writes:

“We may not know what will cause the next downswing but, at this stage, we can categorically state that, in the event we hit an iceberg, there aren’t enough lifeboats to go around.”

Read more…

SEE ALSO: Major US retailers closing over 6000 stores

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McDonald’s food proven to destroy gut health in 10 days http://www.hangthebankers.com/mcdonalds-food-destroys-gut-health-in-10-days/ http://www.hangthebankers.com/mcdonalds-food-destroys-gut-health-in-10-days/#comments Mon, 18 May 2015 09:07:11 +0000 http://www.hangthebankers.com/?p=24885
We all know food at McDonald’s is virtually unfit for human consumption.

Now, disturbing new lab results have reportedly demonstrated the true extent of the damage you are doing to your body when you eat fast food.

Specifically, we’re talking about the ‘devastation’ of your gut health — the attack on the most important part of your biological immune response.

In a report that really brings into focus just what’s going on when we throw a bunch of chemical additives together with some ‘meat-like substances,’ a professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London used one unlucky college student (who also happened to be his son) to see what truly goes on in our stomachs when we chow down on some quarter-pounders.

McDonald's fast food

It goes way beyond just super sizing your pant size and clogging up your arteries.

According to professor Tim Spector, whose research on the effects of McDonald’s food on the gut are published in his book The Diet Myth, something really unexpected happened. Speaking on what happened to his test subject (his college student son):

“His gut bacteria were devastated.”

In just 10 days of consuming Big Macs, chicken nuggets, fries, and Coca-Cola, Spector’s son was found by laboratory fecal testing to lose nearly 1,400 types of bacteria species from his gut – that’s nearly 40% of his total variety. What’s worse is that these did not return after he switched back to a normal diet.

This is really concerning news. It’s the kind of news that helps bring the full picture into view when it comes to the average American diet. As you probably know, I’ve been passionate about the secret to gut health — probiotics and the balance of bacteria — for quite some time.

McDonald's microbe bacteria guy health

It was back in 2011 when I told you about the ‘new’ research that revealed the way in which antibiotics were actually leading to mental illness. This is something that’s now being covered by the mainstream press years later.

But let’s go back to these findings. The discovery is extremely important not just because it shows how damaging fast food can be to the body’s main defense systems, but because it shows how lasting the damage can be. If we don’t take the proper steps to recover our ‘good’ probiotic bacteria, we can suffer for what may end up being a long time.

Here are my tips to get that ‘good’ bacteria back and regain some balance:

  • Take a high quality probiotic with at least 1 billion CFU (colony forming units)
  • Eat fermented foods like kefir on a routine basis
  • Drink fermented teas like kombucha on a regular basis

And, even if you’re starving on an island following a shipwreck, think twice about eating McDonald’s again.

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