Saturday, September 26, 2009
The Economy is a Lie, Too
The Economy is a Lie, Too By Paul Craig Roberts
"When the bubble burst, the extraordinary leverage threatened the financial system with collapse. The US Treasury and the Federal Reserve stepped forward with no one knows how many trillions of dollars to “save the financial system,” which, of course, meant to save the greed-driven financial institutions that had caused the economic crisis that dispossessed ordinary Americans of half of their life savings."
"The consumer has been chastened, but not the banks. Refreshed with the TARP $700 billion and the Federal Reserve’s expanded balance sheet, banks are again behaving like hedge funds. Leveraged speculation is producing another bubble with the current stock market rally, which is not a sign of economic recovery but is the final savaging of Americans’ wealth by a few investment banks and their Washington friends. Goldman Sachs, rolling in profits, announced six figure bonuses to employees."
The United States in Afghanistan By Gabriel Kolko
"At least three-quarters of the supplies essential for America’s and its allies’ war effort flow through Pakistan, and they are often attacked."
"The power of Afghanistan’s nominal president, Hamid Karzai, barely extends beyond Kabul, and his inefficiency and corruption shock many U.S. leaders"
"Obama’s approach to winning the war is far too convoluted to succeed and it is dependent on factors over which he has scant control - not the least being the advice of one of his key advisers, Bruce Riedel, that “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the central all-consuming issue for al Quaida.“ This issue must finally be settled; the chances of that happening are close to non-existent. Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, has warned Obama on several occasions that ”we are running the risk of replicating … the fate of the Soviets.” As the author of Moscow’s ‘Afghan trap’, he should know."
"Meanwhile, Obama thinks he will win the war by escalation - an illusion that also marked the futile war in Vietnam. He also believes he can “Afghanisize” the war - like Nixon thought he could “Vietnamize” that conflict - even though recruits for Karzai’s army have little motivation apart from collecting their salary, and are scarcely a match for the Taliban - a quite divided, complex organization which today dominates much of the country."