"The Jewish people as a whole will be its own Messiah. It will attain world domination by the dissolution of other races...and by the establishment of a world republic in which everywhere the Jews will exercise the privilege of citizenship. In this New World Order the Children of Israel...will furnish all the leaders without encountering opposition..." (Karl Marx in a letter to Baruch Levy, quoted in Review de Paris, June 1, 1928, p. 574)

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Obama's Re-Election Bid: A Peacemaker or the Author of World War III?



The presidential race opened in the US this April when incumbent B. Obama officially announced a re-election bid via various outlets including YouTube, saying that the second term in the White House would enable him to implement the plans that failed to materialize during his first presidency. Jim Messina is to take charge as the future campaign chief, and Obama expects to raise at least $1b – an amount unprecedented in the US history – to advance his candidacy.

Obama's campaign total was reported at $750m when he ran for president in 2008. The fund-raising was largely Internet-based, prompting talks about the importance in today's world of blogging and social media to a politician's public image. If re-elected, Obama will, on top of becoming America's first black president, be the first black president in the US to count two terms in office, the US presidential candidate with the biggest ever campaign fund, and the first presidential hopeful in the US history to avoid pouring his own money into the race to the White House.

These days, social media like Facebook and Twitter are instrumental not only in promoting political figures but also in coordinating mass protests, as the recent unrest in Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, and Yemen clearly showed. To a large extent, Obama can be credited with pioneering the wide-scale use of new media in politics.

Truly speaking, the incumbent cannot boast considerable success over the three years since being elected. While Obama relied on a reformist image to sell his candidacy, his policies in many respects failed to depart from those of his Republican predecessor G. Bush. Some watchers even went as far as to liken Obama to the Soviet Union's first and last president M. Gorbachev, the leader who epitomizes overturned expectations, though there was a time when Obama's promised role – beating the crisis, achieving economic growth, reducing unemployment – seemed almost messianic.

In the meantime Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, a paradoxical combination with the reputation of a leader unleashing a war against a country which in no way threatened the US or its NATO allies. A hypothesis constantly popping up in the US media is that great efforts will be made to bring the offensive in Libya to a happy end by the time the 2012 presidential race is due to begin, but at the moment NATO's prospects in Libya are dire. Hardly by coincidence, the confirmation of Obama's fresh presidential ambitions came together with the announcement that Washington suspends active combat missions in Libya: on April 3 Pentagon head R. Gates said the US stops launching air raids and cruise missile attacks against the country.

On April 4, former congressman Curt Weldon headed for Libya on M. Gadhafi's invitation with a mission described as his private negotiating initiative. The US President and Congress were nevertheless notified of the visit. On April 6, the media featured Gadhafi's letter to Obama in which the Libyan leader – addressing the US president as “son” and wishing him re-election – asked to stop the “unjust war against a small people of a developing country”. Gadhafi wrote that “We have been hurt more morally that physically” and stressed that “democracy and building of civil society cannot be achieved by means of missiles and aircraft”, further charging his opponents with being Al Qaeda members. The message reportedly left Washington unperturbed.

Also on April 6, CNN correspondent Nic Robertson broke the news that Curt Weldon was to unveil a compromise the White House is offering Gadhafi. The deal implies an immediate ceasefire on both sides, a withdrawal of government forces from rebel cities, and unobstructed access of humanitarian convoys to Libya. The linkage between the initiative and Obama's plans for another presidency is not deeply hidden.

R. Enikolopov from Russia's New Economic School expressed the view that in the coming presidential elections Obama would have to compete against unemployment in the US rather than against a Republican rival. Capping unemployment is a staple of Obama's economic policies, while the stimuli packages come at the cost of wider budget deficit. The strategy draws fiery criticism from the Republican camp whose candidates built their programs on debt reduction during the Congress elections last fall. Washington's soft approach to fiscal issues also outrages developing countries like China and Brazil which face the inflow of cash from the US, the results being reevaluations of their currencies and, accordingly, the threat of bubbling. In the US, the suppression of unemployment by such means can have the side-effect of heightened inflation, meaning that the remedy can cause greater harm than the illness which is being treated. It is a well-known fact that inflation is what voters in the US never forgive. The commonly adopted re-election probability model developed by Yale University economics professor Ray Clarence Fair assumes that inflation, along with GDP growth, determines the incumbent's chances to retain office.

Actually, the politically significant food and gas prices in the US are rising due to reasons unrelated to Obama's economic policies, and voters may easily run out of patience if galloping inflation mixes in. While the limited success in fighting unemployment does reinforce Obama's re-election prospects, an inflation surge will kill the hope. As a result, Obama's Administration is forced to gradually tone down the economic stimuli policies.

Aiming at a new presidential term, Obama faces both old challenges – the economic downturn, unemployment and deterioration of the social climate – and the new ones including the war in Libya, a conflict with Iran that permanently looms on the horizon, and the risk of dollar devaluation. The escalation of military conflicts across the world – a process for which Washington bears the lion's share of responsibility – shows that a world war may end up being the likeliest solution to the global crisis.

New evidence that a global war is emerging as the scenario of breaking out of crisis surfaced recently – a few months before NATO attacked Libya - when US banks took to massively converting their assets to cash. The figure below reflects the analysis conducted by Russian economist E. Susin.

It is hitherto unclear where the assets were drained from, but the trend evidently started gaining momentum before the current global escalation. The hypothesis that banks diverted assets to meet their obligations does not go through as the assets ended up converted to cash. Notably, not only US banks but also foreign banks operating in the US were in the pursuit. Considering that they showed $305.5b in cash in mid-December, 2010 but $672.1b as of March 23 on balance sheets, 2011, the increase was to be more than twofold. The money simply fled external markets and, interestingly, did so before the now-obvious reasons for the flight came into being. At the moment foreign banks active in the US are sitting on huge currency holdings (their assets totaling $1.68 trillion, the above data means that 40% of the amount exist in liquidity form). The inescapable conclusion is that at least the financial world was bracing ahead for the global escalation.

Banks continue to service their obligations, but that cannot last forever. Consequently, soon the money will be back to work in the situation where the US – the country with a minimal level of cash circulation and predominantly electronic payments, where carrying more than $20 in the wallet is unusual - is saturated with cash.

US banks are taking measures to endure serious infrastructural crises which may be accompanied by electronic banking blackouts, which are only possible in the settings of a severe military conflict. It is a major war that can put the greatest obstacles in loudly anti-militarist President Obama's way to the White House. A lot will depend on when the next phase of the drama underway in Libya starts to unfold. It is relatively unimportant where – in Iran or North Korea – it will unfold, it is not the geographic location but the timing that currently matters.


Obama using the United Nations to start World War III?

In a move designed to set a precedent that the United States congress shall no longer vote to declare war, President Barack Obama, used a U.N. Security Council resolution as his authority to begin bombing Libya. Does Obama want a one world government under the U.N.? Does Obama fancy himself as the leader of this international government as he has chaired the security council himself before, a violation of the constitution? Why is congress not outraged that their authority has been robbed from them? While the treasury secretary pushes for a one world reserve currency, the president pushes for a one world government and army. I thought Obama hated fighting and was going to try ‘talking’ to the leaders of other countries instead of attacking them? Who is next…Iran, North Korea…or anywhere that keeps us in a constant state of perpetual war?

Obama averted a government shutdown on April 8 by brokering a flimsy budget compromise between two increasingly hostile camps of U.S. capitalists.

One is composed of imperialists who need ever-expanding and more costly U.S. wars. This faction’s power and wealth depend on forcibly reasserting its once almighty control of the world’s energy trade. Until 1975, Exxon, Mobil and Chevron — descendants of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil colossus — (along with ally Texaco) legally owned all of Saudi Arabia’s unsurpassed oil reserves. But today, rival oil and gas barons in China, Russia and Iran, unrest in the Arab world, and al Qaeda threaten the empire headed by U.S. flagship Exxon Mobil.

So, from Libya to Afghanistan, the U.S. war machine seeks to rescue the Rockefeller-Exxon wing of U.S. capitalists, at a cost of trillions of workers’ tax dollars; 27% of everyone’s federal taxes go to pay for these wars, which consume more than half of the Federal Budget.

On the other side of the split stand smaller, domestically-oriented bosses like oil billionaires Charles and David Koch, who consider war taxes an unnecessary burden. They rally popular support by bankrolling the anti-tax Tea Party. Koch Industries’ big new project, a proposed 900,000 barrel-per-day pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to Texas won’t require paying one dime for a single aircraft carrier, bomber or soldier. By contrast, Exxon’s newfound gushers in Iraq [see box] help explain why U.S. “Defense” chief Gates “suggested that American troops could remain [t]here for years.” (San Francisco Chronicle, 4/10)

Each side in this ruling-class divide, highlighted by the budget battle, employs think-tanks to organize opinion among fellow capitalists and mislead the working class. The Cato Institute, founded and funded by the Kochs, decries the U.S. invasion of Libya; calls for halving the Pentagon’s financing; and supported the government shutdown Obama sidestepped. The U.S. war machine does relatively little for the Kochs and allied minor-league bosses.

Thus, Cato fellow Doug Bandow complains, “Most American military forces are busy doing tasks which have no recognizable connection to U.S. security.” (Forbes, 4/4) But the far more influential Rockefeller-led Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has the opposite take. CFR big shot Larry Diamond called U.S. military intervention in rebellious Arab lands a matter of life and death for U.S. imperialism: “It’s an existential challenge for the United States, because our interests in the region are so profound.” (CFR website, 4/8) The CFR cloaks Obama’s Mideast-North Africa oil grab with the liberal fig leaf of “humanitarian protection.”

Saudi Oil Treasure Is Imperialists’ Grand Prize

Holding onto Exxon’s reshaped but still sweetheart Saudi deal forms the core of U.S. strategy relative to the “Arab Awakening.” Exxon now enjoys first dibs on crude oil from the nationalized Saudi Aramco outfit at undisclosed contract prices far below the current going rate of well over $100 per barrel.

When the Saudi royal rulers “seized” the Rockefeller companies’ holdings in 1975 — with oil selling for $13 a barrel — they were assured “access to seven million barrels per day…at the rate of 47 cents per barrel.” (“Oil, God, and Gold: the Story of Aramco and the Saudi Kings,” Anthony Cave Brown, 1998). With figures adjusted for price rises and Chinese encroachment on the U.S. share, this racket still endures.

That’s why Obama, while backing pro-U.S. “rebels” in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia, endorses Saudi-backed “shoot-the-protestors” actions in Yemen and Bahrain. They both border Saudi Arabia. Obama’s recent $60-billion arms sale to the kingdom cements both Washington’s status as Saudi Aramco’s military overlord — dependent on U.S. weaponry — and Exxon’s status as its especially favored partner. However, when market conditions force Koch to buy Saudi oil, he pays prevailing prices.

The liberal war-making Rockefeller wing needs an all-out purge of imperialism-thwarting businesses like Koch as well as a mass, liberal, pro-government, ideological civil war against the Tea Party. But they can’t pull off either yet.

Ex-New York governor Eliot Spitzer tried to force the imperialists’ war agenda throughout Wall Street. But some bankers — more focused on their bottom line than on “sharing sacrifice” to counter China and other imperialists — torpedoed him.

Meanwhile, the rulers face a contradiction: On the one hand, capitalists cut workers’ services to make the working class pay for the current economic crisis. But this severely reduces their ability to win these same workers’ loyalty to Washington’s war agenda.

Headed for World War III, U.S. Rulers Need ‘Roosevelt 2’; But Obama’s Not Achieving It

In The Great Depression, President Roosevelt carefully constructed a host of federal job programs such as his Works Progress and Civilian Conservation schemes which — along with his concessions to mass (communist-led) working-class struggle for Unemployment Insurance, Social Security and the 40-hour week — won a great deal of worker support that U.S. rulers needed to eventually wage World War II.

Presidents Kennedy and Johnson tried similar policies — a militaristic “high-tech jobs” space program in response to the Soviet ‘Sputnik’ (the first shot into space); Medicare and voting rights for black people in response to the Civil Rights struggle. However, they had far less success for the cold war against the phony “communist,” but anti-U.S, Soviet empire. And their efforts eventually failed to win backing for their war of aggression in Vietnam.

Obama, faring even worse, has yet to come up with anything to mobilize the working class for the wars the rulers’ dominant imperialist faction must prepare to wage against Iran, China and Russia. Al Gore’s liberal environmentalism didn’t quite succeed in winning masses to government service. So Obama, or his successor, must find another smokescreen for imperialism.

There exists, nevertheless, a viable but demanding course for workers against worsening ruling-class-enforced war-making and cutbacks. It lies in relying neither on liberal/imperialist nor Tea Party politicians but on our class alone. Exposing the profit motive of both capitalist factions’ attacks on us — on the job, in schools, neighborhoods, universities, among rank-and-file GIs and in every mass organization we work in — can help build a mass base for our revolutionary, communist Progressive Labor Party. We have the long-term outlook of forcibly replacing the bosses’ unceasing wars and repression with rule by the working class in our own class interest.J

Two Million Iraqi Lives, 5,000 Dead GIs Reap Profit Bonanza for Exxon

When Exxon invests in Iraq’s oil, its government pays Exxon $1.90 for every barrel Exxon pumps out of the ground. But it costs Exxon far less to pump that oil. Nominally the oil Exxon gets from Iraqi soil belongs to the Iraqi government. But the 2010 “Entitlement” program forces Iraq to sell the lion’s share of that oil to Exxon and to British firms Shell and BP.

This would be at a price far lower than the current potential $120-a-barrel, as well as less than Iraq sells to other imperialists. This enables Exxon to make fabulous profits. And Exxon’s Iraqi oil fields have enormous potential. The West Qurna field’s yield alone could soon out-produce that of entire oil powerhouses like Venezuela, Kuwait and Nigeria.

So the invasion of Iraq enabled Exxon to gain these enormous profits over the dead bodies of two million Iraqis and 5,000 dead GIs.

Headed for World War III, Saudi Oil Treasure Is Imperialists’ Grand Prize
Posted by challengenewspaper

The Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger, told congregants in a Sabbath sermon that if U.S. President Barack Obama seeks reelection, he must release Jonathan Pollard, Israel Radio reported on Sunday.

In the sermon delivered at Yeshurun Synagogue in Jerusalem on Saturday, Metzger told said there was a feeling that many American Jews that had supported Obama in the last election were disappointed in him, in no small part because of Obama's indifference to Pollard.

A civilian employee for the United States Navy, Pollard was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 on charges of spying for Israel. He is incarcerated at a federal jail in North Carolina.

"If Obama wishes to dictate Israeli policy, he must show that he has mutual interests with Israel," Israel Radio quoted Metzger as saying. The rabbi reportedly added that these "mutual interests" should be shown through releasing Pollard.

Pollard's release has long been a bone of contention between Isael and its chief ally. In January, the Prime Minister's Office sent a letter to Obama requesting the convicted spy's release on humanitarian grounds. This marked the first formal request by Israel for the release of Pollard.

"Even though Israel was in no way directing its intelligence efforts against the United States, its actions were wrong and wholly unacceptable," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote in the letter. "Both Mr. Pollard and the Government of Israel have repeatedly expressed remorse for these actions, and Israel will continue to abide by its commitment that such wrongful actions will never be repeated."

Pollard's health has reportedly been in decline, and he has been hospitalized on several occasions. Last month, he cancelled a meeting with Israel Social Affairs Minister Moshe Kahlon because he was feeling ill.

The United States responded to Netanyahu's announcement of his decision to send the letter by saying only that Pollard at present is still incarcerated.

"Prime Minister Netanyahu has raised this from time to time, both in his current incarnation and in his previous incarnation," State Department Spokesman Philip Crowley said. "All I can tell you is Jonathan Pollard remains in prison."

Israel chief rabbi says Obama must free Pollard if he wants another term



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