Apocalypse Now, Iraq Edition

I wanted to offer a wry chuckle before we headed into the heavy stuff about Iraq, so I tried to start this article with a suitably ironic formulation. You know, a dj -vu-all-over-again kinda thing. I even thought about telling you how, in 2011, I contacted a noted author to blurb my book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People, and he presciently declined, saying sardonically, ‘So you’re gonna be the one to write the last book on failure in Iraq?’I couldn’t do any of that. As someone who cares deeply about this country, I find it beyond belief that Washington has again plunged into the swamp of the Sunni-Shia mess in Iraq. A young soldier now deployed as one of the 1,600 non-boots-on-the-ground there might have been eight years old when the 2003 invasion took place. He probably had to ask his dad about it. After all, less than three years ago, when dad finally came home with his head ‘held high,’ President Obama assured Americans that ‘we’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq.’ So what happened in the blink of an eye?The Sons of IraqSometimes, when I turn on the TV these days, the sense of seeing once again places in Iraq I’d been overwhelms me. After 22 years as a diplomat with the Department of State, I spent 12 long months in Iraq in 2009-2010 as part of the American occupation. My role was to lead two teams in ‘reconstructing’ the nation. In practice, that meant paying for schools that would never be completed, setting up pastry shops on streets without water or electricity, and conducting endless propaganda events on Washington-generated themes of the week (‘small business,’ ‘women’s empowerment,’ ‘democracy building’). We even organized awkward soccer matches, where American taxpayer money was used to coerce reluctant Sunni teams into facing off against hesitant Shia ones in hopes that, somehow, the chaos created by the American invasion could be ameliorated on the playing field. In an afternoon, we definitively failed to reconcile the millennium-old Sunni-Shia divide we had sparked into ethnic-cleansing-style life in 2003-2004, even if the score was carefully stage managed into a tie by the 82nd Airborne soldiers with whom I worked.
In 2006, the U. S. brokered the ascension to power of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shia politician handpicked to unite Iraq. A bright, shining lie of a plan soon followed. Applying vast amounts of money, Washington’s emissaries created the Sahwa, or Sons of Iraq, a loose grouping of Sunnis anointed as ‘moderates’ who agreed to temporarily stop killing in return for a promised place at the table in the New(er) Iraq. The ‘political space’ for this was to be created by a massive escalation of the American military effort, which gained a particularly marketable name: the surge.

This post was published at Ron Paul Institute on September 23, 2014.

FBI, DHS Go Full Scaremonger: Warn Police Of Airstrike-Inspired “Homegrown Extremists” & “Disgruntled Employee” Threats

While careful to note ‘no specific threats‘ have been found, it appears the FBI and DHS have decided it’s time to show why local police departments needed to be fully militarized after all. In the first bulletin, according to Bloomberg, US security officials warned federal and local police to watch for ‘homegrown violent extremists’ who may be motivated to attack by airstrikes in Syria. In the second bulletin, the FBI and DHS assess that disgruntled and former employees pose a significant threat to US businesses due to their authorized access to sensitive information and the networks businesses rely on (no doubt inspired by today’s dreadful occurrences at UPS in Birmingham). It’s just a good thing all those local police forces have MRAPs, don’t you feel safer already? However, don’t forget, as The UK made clear, the definition of terrorist is a tricky one since even viewing ISIS propaganda constitutes a criminal offense.
*U. S. WARNS LOCAL POLICE TO WATCH FOR `HOMEGROWN’ EXTREMISTS *FBI, DHS SAY U. S. AIRSTRIKES MAY INSPIRE TERROR PLOTTING Money well spent?

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/23/2014.

The ‘Military’ Secret to Getting Rich

Priced for Perfection We got back from Argentina on Saturday…
The Argentines have seen it all. They know that politics, like markets, follow cycles. Good follows bad… followed by good again.
‘We’ve had a rough time,’ said one Argentine analyst we talked to.
‘Because the government has been so stupid. But people now know it has been stupid. There’ll be a change in a year, and it will almost surely be for the better.
‘The trouble with the US,’ continued our friend, ‘is stocks are already priced for good things. The Fed has to manage its withdrawal from money printing flawlessly. Profits have to go higher. Inflation and interest rates have to stay at record lows.
‘The economy doesn’t have to get a lot better, but it can’t give us any big surprises on the downside. And none of the geopolitical or other threats – like the Ebola virus – can get much worse.
‘I’d rather invest in a market that is already priced for disaster and be pleasantly surprised when it works out better than expected. Going into a market that is priced for perfection is always a mistake.’

Looking out for evil dudes hiding in the sand …
(Photo via talkmarkets.com)

This post was published at Acting-Man on September 23, 2014.

Gateway Policies: ISIS, Obama and US Financial Boots-on-the-Ground

President Obama’s neo-Cold War is not about ideology or respect for borders. It is about money and global power. The current battle over control of gateway nations – strategic locations in which private firms can establish the equivalent of financial boots-on-the-ground – is being waged in the Middle East and Ukraine under the auspices of freedom and western capitalism (er, ‘democracy’). In these global gateways, private banks can infiltrate resource-rich locales fortified by political will, public aid and military support to garner lucrative market advantages. ISIS poses a threat to global gateway control that transcends any human casualties. That’s why Congress decided to authorize funds to fight ISIS despite the risk.
The common thread of today’s global gateway nations appears to be oil. But even more valuable are the multitude of financing deals that would accompany building new pipelines, arming allies, and reconstructing civil-war-torn countries. Indeed, hundreds of billions of dollars are at stake in America’s wars of ‘principle.’
Middle-East Gateways: ISIS and Money
Obama’s recent public address on fighting ISIS had a dash of economy sprinkled in. For him, US economic policy is foreign policy. It is also a product of an American political-financial expansionary land-and-resource grab that has been going on for decades. Obama’s execution may be far less authoritative than President Eisenhower’s. But his neo-financial Cold War has similar elements to those initiated by Eisenhower and the American banking elite in the 1950s when they collaborated to project American power into more countries, using the military and a combination of public and private capital, as tools.
The second World Bank President and 1950s Chairman of Chase Bank, John McCloy, and ascending and later Chase Chairman David Rockefeller both had aspirations to financially penetrate the Middle East. So did other major bankers. The US government and its banks first focused on Beirut as a gateway to the Middle East. Eisenhower dispatched military personnel to Beirut in 1958 not because he cared about the Lebanese, but because of the attractiveness of the country’s potential as a gateway to the region. By the 1970s, oil and money relationships between Chase and Saudi Arabia and Egypt grew, as they did with Iran and the Shah. Rockefeller’s relationship with the Shah, who kept his family money with Chase, ignited the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979. Before that, the US government and its military contractors made billions of dollars from arms deals with Iran.
Citigroup opened its first Iraq branch in September 2013, ten years after George W. Bush began his Iraq War while facing a recessed American economy. A decade ago, the Bush administration selected JPM Chase to manage billions of dollars of financing for Iraq imports and exports. JPM Chase also opened a branch in Iraq last year to compete with Citigroup for current gains. Billions of dollars in new pipeline funding and other projects are now up for grabs in Iraq. If the US supports the Iraqi government (against ISIS), these banks, as well as oil and infrastructure-building companies are poised to get more of a chunk of that money.

This post was published at Nomi Prins on September 21, 2014.

Pension Funds Being Taken TO Fund Infrastructure

The G20 Central Bankers and Finance Ministers met in CAIRNS, Australia, Sept 21st, 2014. This Summit reflects the attitudes about manipulating the economy where they just do not get it. Christine Largarde, head of the IMF, announced ‘I congratulate the G20 for significant progress in strategies for medium-term growth.’ However, Lagarde is a lawyer – not a trader, economist, money manager or anything that has any experience whatsoever to do with the economy. It amounts to me trying to be a obstetrician, gynecologist, or a divorce lawyer no less a brain surgeon. Yet she would be the first to say anyone without a law degree cannot understand the law. I dare say the same to her – you are not qualified. Such positions should be reserved for ONLY people with experience – not even university professors.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on September 22, 2014.

France Releases Video Of Its First Airstrike Against ISIS

Several months ago, when France vehemently opposed canceling the delivery of the Mistral amphibious warship to Russia, its largest bank BNP was “unexpectedly” slapped with a record $9 billion fine by the US Department of Justice for money-laundering. The retaliatory measure was so obvious even Putin opined on the US action: “We know about the pressure which our U. S. partners are applying on France not to supply the Mistrals to Russia,’ Putin said in July. ‘And we even know that they hinted that if the French don’t deliver the Mistrals, they would quietly get rid of the sanctions against the bank, or at least minimize them.”
Fast forward a few months later when the French banking lobby has clearly gotten not only the upper hand in its ongoing fight with Hollande’s imploding socialist leadership, now facing a record low approval rating, but realizes it once again has all the leverage, not only is the Mistral shipment on the verge of being scrapped, but it is time to make sure that another “BNP” never happens again: after all there are banker bonuses to think of.
As a result, the French administration is scrambling to demonstrate its faithful commitment to whatever warmongering cause the US may unleash on the world, in this case using the ISIS terrorist threat as a pretext to imminently bomb and crush Assad’s Syrian regime, just so the Qatar natgas pipeline to Europe – which as a reminder was the underlying reason for the failed 2013 false flag campaign to eradicate Assad – can finally cross the country unopposed, and deliver the much needed alternative to Gazprom’s product, eliminating the major leverage Putin has over Europe, which also explains why Russia is suddenly so vocal in its demands that the US halt its bombing of the Syrian regime. Follows a succinct situation summary on the Syrian situation from Al-Arabiya:
Russia was the third country to criticize the U. S. decision to bomb ISIS terrorists on Syrian territory, after the Syrian and Iranian governments. It’s not the best company to keep when opposing Obama’s decision in terms of international prestige and perception, however, it was to be expected. The criticism came both from Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin and from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Alexander Lukashevich.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/20/2014.

The Great Father has “Dirty Hands”…Among other Things

Well, the U. S. federal government has always portrayed itself as this ‘Great Father’ to us all, as if we’re just his nave children in dire need of education about how the world really works. We never bought into this crap, but played along with it to save time and avoid more pedantic diatribes from the Great Father. The feds never really believed it, either, in the beginning. But over time, they came to believe their own lie and really thought of themselves as this Great Father. Each president assumes this ‘Great Father’ status as the fatherly figurehead of the usual Washington Great Fathers running the show. But can’t anyone see this is the dad who only calls when he wants to borrow money? The one who gets drunk at family gatherings and threatens everyone? The one who you see around town and if he doesn’t see you, you duck into the nearest coffeeshop to wait him out until he leaves? Most other countries have learned to do this with our Great Father. They’ve had enough of his angry outbursts at the Thanksgiving dinners where he flings the gravy boat against the wall and demands to know why he wasn’t seated at the head of the table. They’ve had enough of his demands that they loan him their lawnmowers when he consistently returns them broken. Just like that one time he swore up and down he could be trusted, and so they loaned him Iraq and he wrecked the whole place in one of his drunken binges. Sadly, we’re stuck with our Great Father, such as he is. Let’s look at the latest family dinner our Great Father is sitting at, simmering in his drunken anger, and about to explode.
Watching our Great Father Obama muddle through this situation with ISIS/ISIL is rather like watching an old Laurel and Hardy movie. Except Laurel and Hardy would have probably presented a sounder foreign policy – if we really need a foreign policy, with all its concomitant headaches. First, our Great Father tells us we don’t have a coalition to fight ISIL, then we might, now we do but they want to be kept a secret. After all, considering what the Great Father did the last time over there, who wants to even be seen with him now? But he is good at buying barroom buddies, I’ll give him that. Be that as it may, now Iran says the U. S. approached them but they said no because the Great Father has ‘dirty hands’. Bingo! The Iranian leader nailed it. The Great Father cannot be trusted because he always has an ulterior motive. And often one that, ultimately, blows up in his face. That is, unless the actual hidden motive is to go in, wreck the place, wreak havoc, then leave. Which is what the Great Father usually does at any family dinner he goes to, invited or not. Thus getting rid of any suspected contenders for Great Father status of other countries somewhere down the road, either real or imagined. The Great Father hates being upstaged. And so it took the leader of Iran to tell the truth to the American people about our Great Father.

This post was published at Lew Rockwell on September 20, 2014.

It’s all scripted! Ebola outbreak and impossibly rapid vaccine response clearly scripted; U.S. govt. patented Ebola in 2010 and now owns all victims’ blood

(NaturalNews) On the very same day that vaccine maker GlaxoSmithKline is being fined $490 million by Chinese authorities for running an illegal bribery scheme across China [3], the media is announcing the “astonishing” launch of human trials for an Ebola vaccine. Care to guess who will be manufacturing this vaccine once it is whitewashed and rubber-stamped as “approved?” GlaxoSmithKline, of course. The same company that also admitted to a massive criminal bribery network in the United States, where felony crimes were routinely committed to funnel money to over 40,000 physicians who pushed dangerous prescription drugs onto patients. This is the company that is now — today! — injecting 60 “volunteers” with an experimental Ebola vaccine.
Spontaneous vaccine development a scientific impossibility
“Normally it would take years of human trials before a completely new vaccine was approved for use,” reports the BBC. [1] “But such is the urgency of the Ebola outbreak in west Africa that this experimental vaccine is being fast tracked at an astonishing rate.”

This post was published at Natural News on Friday, September 19, 2014.

How Secession Can Happen In The US

No, this isn’t a novel. Sorry, the Ticker doesn’t do fiction, and especially not apocalyptic fiction.
I’m talking about reality here, in the wake of the failed Scottish vote.
Reuters reports:
(Reuters) – The failed Scottish vote to pull out from the United Kingdom stirred secessionist hopes for some in the United States, where almost a quarter of people are open to their states leaving the union, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll found.
There’s no such thing as a “hope” when it comes to this. You either believe it would be good or you believe it would be bad.
Washington is likely to ignore those who think it would be good. But they should do something about it instead — although I’m quite sure they won’t. Indeed, not only won’t they do anything about it but neither will those political entities, such as the Libertarians, that could capitalize on this.
Let me note that a quarter of the electorate is radically beyond any vote count that the Libertarians have ever collected, yet they’re too idiotic to look at the economics of the matter and focus there.
Know where I’m going yet with this? Right here:
Today’s Census Bureau report on health insurance in 2013 shows that on the eve of Obamacare, whether you had coverage was largely a question of how much money you made….
….
But the chart above is still one of the best possible arguments for the necessity of Obamacare, by demonstrating that the government programs preceding the law are too narrow to cover the poor. It shows that even with the existence of Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and other assistance, health coverage in the U. S. remains a luxury good — one that the rich can afford but others struggle, in proportion to their income, to obtain.
Health “coverage” is a luxury good. It should be — and it should be an unnecessary purchase.
It is, by the way, exactly that the day after we enforce long-standing laws that are supposed to bear on the behavior in the medical marketplace, both by addressing the existing violators and removing the special protections that make much of what they do legal despite blanket laws that are supposed to make that conduct illegal everywhere in the United States.

This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2014-09-19.

ISIS Update, Ukraine Wants Weapons and Money, the Feds Zero Interest Rate Policy Continues

The following video was published by Greg Hunter on Sep 18, 2014
ISIS update, Ukraine wants weapons and money. Plus the Feds zero interest rate policy continues indefinitely. I truly don’t think a single general and many in Congress think President Obama’s plan to arm rebels and bomb in Iraq and Syria will work. Everybody says we will have to use ground troops if we are serious. We could have bombed ISIS months ago and didn’t, even though the Iraqi government was begging Obama to do so. It probably would have been much more effective back then. Why the delay? Why do we continue to let ISIS sell oil and make millions every day? Why don’t we sanction or bomb that? Both the House and the Senate agreed to arm the moderate rebels in Syria. Haven’t we already tried this?
The President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, is in Washington asking for money, and he’s getting it. The U. S. is chipping in more than $1 billion in various aid packages. The IMF is approving billions in future loans. Poroshenko also wants weapons and, so far, he’s not getting them, at least, that is the story coming out of the White House.
Finally, the Fed made a decision to continue the zero interest rate and easy money policies with no expiration date. If things were really recovering, wouldn’t the Fed be jacking up interest rates and trying to normalize? Of course, and that means the easy money policies are your tip-off that there is no real recovery.

Scotland: Devolution in the 21st Century

Alone, Scotland will go back to being a failed state … Yes supporters are hoping Scotland will become a Scandinavian paradise. But with its history of bitter internal divisions, it is likely to go the opposite way. The Union was a success partly because it sublimated the bitter Scottish divisions in a larger United Kingdom. – UK Telegraph
Dominant Social Theme: What a disaster. The world needs a union, not a separation.
Free-Market Analysis: We’ve written about this once already, but we didn’t want to write about it again until the aftermath. But then it occurred to us that no matter what happens regarding Scotland, the entropy of the modern age has been advanced. And that’s a good thing.
We’ve been beating this particular drum for a number of years – in fact, over a decade now. The Internet, we came to believe, was a great Yang to the elite’s Yin. And that trend continues. Despite all the false-flags and strategies of control, the cultural conversation of the West and even the world is trending away from globalism.
Now, we’re also aware that the mainstream press has been giving the Scottish question an incredible amount of attention. That’s suspicious, of course, and there could be several explanations.
First of all, it could be that an independent Scotland is intended to writhe in splendid isolation, bereft of money, industry and influence in order to serve as an object lesson to others who may wish to take the same path.
Second, we can certainly imagine that an “independent” Scotland would be one that its officials would meekly guide into the waiting arms of the EU as quickly as possible, thus reinforcing the idea that in this day and age no single European entity can stand alone or apart from the waiting arms of Mother Europe.
Finally, there is the possibility that Scotland’s voters reject the idea of independence, which would presumably reduce the overt enthusiasm and support for similar movements elsewhere.

This post was published at The Daily Bell on September 18, 2014.

Guest Post: The US-EU-Russia Sanctions Puzzle

Whatever Russia does, doubt does not even enter the equation. The answer is sanctions. So here we go again. The US Treasury-EU latest sanction package targets Russian banking, the energy industry and the defense industry.
The sanctions are mean. The sanctions are nasty. And there’s no euphemism to describe them; they amount to a declaration of economic war.
Sberbank, Russia’s largest won’t be able to access Western capital for long-term funding, including every kind of borrowing over 30 days. And the current 90-day lending bans affecting six other large Russian banks – a previous sanctions package – will also be reduced to 30 days.
On the energy front, what the US-EU want is to shut down new Russian exploration projects in Siberia and the Arctic, barring Western Big Oil from selling equipment and technology to offshore, deepwater or shale gas projects.
This means Exxon and Shell, for instance, are frozen in their operations with five top Russian oil/gas/pipeline companies: Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Surgutneftegaz, and Rosneft.
No one ever lost money betting on the stupidity of the usual, unknown ‘senior US officials’ – who are now spinning the latest sanction package is to force Moscow to ‘respect international law and state sovereignty.’ A cursory examination of the historical record allows this paragraph to be accompanied by roaring laughter.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/17/2014.

8 Reasons Why Congress Should Vote No on Training and Funding Syrian Rebels

Today Congress will vote on the McKeon Amendment, a piece of legislation most Americans haven’t heard of. But the consequences of the vote today are grave: funding Syrian “rebels” will precipitate a new and wider war in the Middle East. Here are eight reasons why Congress should vote NO on the McKeon Amendment:1. It is a waste of money. We’d be on the hook for a projected $21 billion price tag over three years. The Pentagon plans to train 5,000 rebels in the next year, which at $1 million for each soldier could cost up to $15 billion dollars over the three-year war. The nearly 2,000 U. S. troops in Iraq will cost $6 billion over three years. The last Iraq War added at least $5 trillion to the long-term deficit.2. There are no “moderates.”Historian Alastair Crooke, writing about the connection between Saudi Arabia and ISIS, recently described “moderate” insurgents in Syria as being “rarer than a mythical unicorn.” “Moderates” have a non-aggression pact with ISIS. “Moderates” captured an American journalist and sold him to ISIS, who beheaded him. Saudi Arabia, which, with Qatar funded the jihadists in Syria, is now offering to “train” the rebels. Congress is being asked to swallow this concoction: the sponsors of radical jihadists are going to train “moderate” jihadists.

This post was published at Ron Paul Institute on september 17, 2014.

The CDC, NIH & Bill Gates Own the Patents On Existing Ebola & Related Vaccines: Mandatory Vaccinations Are Near

I have previously reported that Monsanto, or Monsatan as many call them, has partnered with the Department of Defense to use a proxy third party company to develop a vaccine against Ebola. The seed money began at $1.5 million. The value of the deal could grow to an estimated $86 million dollars. The company’s name is Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation (TKMR) (TKM. TO), a leading developer of RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics. ‘TKM-Ebola, an anti-Ebola virus RNAi therapeutic, is being developed under a $140 million contract with the U. S. Department of Defense’s Medical Countermeasure Systems BioDefense Therapeutics (MCS-BDTX) Joint Product Management Office’. As breaking and shocking of a news story as this has the potential to be, the real story is that this is not the most important part of the Ebola threat which has invaded the United States. The truth of the matter is that these unholy and untrustworthy associations, when it comes to ‘fighting’ the Ebola virus, represent the mere tip of the iceberg.
The more on digs into who is behind the creation and the development of vaccines for treating Ebola, the more the conspiracy networks widen. The most amazing fact is how incredibly easy it was to locate this information. I want to be clear on this point, Ebola was invented, a vaccine for Ebola has existed for 8-10 years, some government sponsored institutions as well as some of the global elite have positioned themselves to profit enormously from the spread of the virus and the development of and dissemination of mandatory Ebola vaccines and the imposition of total martial law in the process. Here is the proof.

This post was published at The Common Sense Show on September 17, 2014.

Run, Scotland, Run

Julian McLeod, England. Journalist for 20 years, wondering how on earth we got here and how to get somewhere better. His blog: My Manifesto
By birth and upbringing I am English, but I enjoy the fact that through my Scottish and Welsh ancestry I am also British. So I like the fact that the Scots are rivals in sports such as rugby and football, that our histories and cultures are rich, intertwined and yet different, but they are still one of us in terms of a shared and complex nationhood.
But if I were Scottish and had the opportunity to escape the politics of Westminster, I would vote for independence in a heartbeat. The fact that some Scots are being offered an escape route from oppression but are reluctant to take it is akin to a battered wife refusing to leave her rotten husband.
Westminster has been a serial abuser of Scotland – like some drunk and manipulative bully, spending all his wife’s hard-earned income and then blaming her for not having enough money at the end of the week.
It was Scotland’s North Sea oil that bailed out Margaret Thatcher’s flawed economic policy of destroying the UK’s productive industry while financialising the economy and selling off national assets at less than half their value. The hardest hit were those in the manufacturing north and, in particular, Scotland. With North Sea oil, Thatcher could afford to carry out this folly without being called to account, using oil revenues to pay for the unemployment benefits claimed by those who might otherwise have been employed in manufacturing.

This post was published at Wolf Street on September 15, 2014.

U.S. Targets Islamic State’s Lucrative Oil Smuggling Operations

With U. S. President Barack Obama’s announcement of an open-ended plan for airstrikes on the Islamic State (IS), the U. S. and its allies will need to degrade the power and influence of the Sunni jihadist group, and that means reducing its incoming flow of oil money.
And the Obama administration seems aware of that, according to a New York Times article that reports that the President and U. S. diplomats are pressuring Turkey to cut off the stream of oil smuggled across its border.
IS controls territory in central and northern Iraq, and is thought to be producing between 25,000 and 40,000 barrels per day (bpd). Since they cannot sell this oil legitimately, they smuggle it and sell it on the black market. Some energy analysts think IS could be pulling in between $1.2 and $2 million per day.
‘The key gateway through that black market is the southern corridor of Turkey,’ Luay al-Khatteeb, a fellow at the Brookings Institute’s Doha Center, told the Times. ‘Turkey is becoming part of this black economy.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/16/2014.

OBAMA PISSES AWAY $104 BILLION OF YOUR TAX DOLLARS IN AFGHANISTAN

While the eyes of the world are on Iraq and President Obama’s plans to defeat ISIS, the chief auditor in charge of overseeing the U. S. reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan has a warning to policy makers: Don’t forget about the other war-torn country that has already cost hundreds of billions of dollars and has serious problems with corruption and sustainability.
So far, the United States has poured more than $104 billion into Afghanistan reconstruction efforts – that’s more than all the money spent on reconstructing Europe after World War II. Much of that money, as auditors have noted, has been lost to waste, fraud and abuse. In 2010, SIGAR accountants told The Fiscal Times they could only account for less than 10 percent of that money.
That’s a shocking sum, especially since Congress has already authorized another $16 billion to spend in Afghanistan in the next few years. Still, despite spending an ‘unprecedented’ amount of money to rebuild this country, it has no strategy to weed out corruption – leaving hundreds of billions of tax dollars vulnerable, John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) told an audience atGeorgetown University on Friday.

This post was published at The Burning Platform on The Fiscal Times, September 15, 2014.

THE EVIL EMPIRE & THE IDOLATERS OF MONEY — Harley Schlanger

The following video was published by SGTreport.com on Sep 15, 2014
Harley Schlanger, historian and national spokesperson for LaRouchePAC joins me to talk about 9/11 and false flag terror, western-backed ISIS terror, Obama’s speech, the death of the dollar, the evil empire & the idolaters of money. We also talk about much needed solutions, like impeaching Obama, returning to the REAL American system and the massive water works infrastructure project that could save the west from epic drought, NAWAPA

Russian Hot Money Dodges Sanctions, Gushes into Hong Kong, Hits Resistance

The sanctions, the last batch of which took effect on Friday, are targeting with ever increasing intensity the Russian economy and a growing number of key individuals. The defense, financial, and energy sectors have been hit the hardest. Oil and gas exports are Russia’s economic and fiscal lifeblood; Western financing is Russia’s corporate lifeblood. And that’s where the sanctions have begun to bite viciously. But not only in Russia….
They’re gnawing at the revenues and profits of German companies, and potentially at the value of stock-based compensation and bonuses of their chieftains, who have been waging a loud and relentless campaign against the sanctions, which so far has fallen on deaf ears in Berlin.
A major shift in mercantilist Germany. The prior Chancellor, Gerhard Schrder, a West German through and through, has become Putin’s best buddy over the years, and within practically moments after getting kicked out of office in 2005, started to work for him. Which has led to some delicious imbroglios [for example… Putin Parties With German Ex-Chancellor, Sanctions Be Damned].
Chancellor Angela Merkel originated in Soviet-dominated East Germany, had to learn Russian in school, and experienced Soviet power first-hand. There’s no love lost between her and Putin. Even before the Ukrainian fiasco mucked up the ‘strategic relationship,’ as every German government has insisted on calling it, meetings between them were, let’s say, awkward – though big commercial deals were always signed, and that’s what counted in mercantilist Germany. But not anymore.

This post was published at Wolf Street on September 15, 2014.

Russian Hot Money Dodges Sanctions, Gushes into Hong Kong

The sanctions, the last batch of which took effect on Friday, are targeting with ever increasing intensity the Russian economy and a growing number of key individuals. The defense, financial, and energy sectors have been hit the hardest. Oil and gas exports are Russia’s economic and fiscal lifeblood; Western financing is Russia’s corporate lifeblood. And that’s where the sanctions have begun to bite viciously. But not only in Russia….
They’re gnawing at the revenues and profits of German companies, and potentially at the value of stock-based compensation and bonuses of their chieftains, who have been waging a loud and relentless campaign against the sanctions, which so far has fallen on deaf ears in Berlin.
A major shift in mercantilist Germany. The prior Chancellor, Gerhard Schrder, a West German through and through, has become Putin’s best buddy over the years, and within practically moments after getting kicked out of office in 2005, started to work for him. Which has led to some delicious imbroglios [for example… Putin Parties With German Ex-Chancellor, Sanctions Be Damned].
Chancellor Angela Merkel originated in Soviet-dominated East Germany, had to learn Russian in school, and experienced Soviet power first-hand. There’s no love lost between her and Putin. Even before the Ukrainian fiasco mucked up the ‘strategic relationship,’ as every German government has insisted on calling it, meetings between them were, let’s say, awkward – though big commercial deals were always signed, and that’s what counted in mercantilist Germany. But not anymore.
Over the weekend, it was Eckhard Cordes, chairman of the Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations, who attacked the new sanctions, warning that they would not contribute to a de-escalation of the crisis. He added the word ‘dangerous’ to the already common ‘sanction spiral.’

This post was published at Wolf Street by Wolf Richter ‘ September 15, 2014.