(Sorry I can’t delete the stupid stuff from Lee Camp, but it’s mercifully short.)
And from Paul Craig Roberts, a tongue-lashing analysis of how insanely stupid and risky current US policy is toward Russia. He offers a few hilarious, but excellent suggestions. Yes, I kn know…we’re supposed to loathe him since he was once an assistant to Reagan’s Secretary of Treasury. You decide.
Russia In The Cross Hairs
“Washington’s attack on Russia has moved beyond the boundary of the absurd into the realm of insanity.
The New Chief of the US Broadcasting Board of Governors, Andrew Lack, has declared the Russian news service, RT, which broadcasts in multiple languages, to be a terrorist organization equivalent to Boko Haram and the Islamic State, and Standard and Poor’s just downgraded Russia’s credit rating to junk status.
Today RT International interviewed me about these insane developments.
In prior days when America was still a sane country, Lack’s charge would have led to him being laughed out of office. He would have had to resign and disappear from public life. Today in the make-believe world that Western propaganda has created, Lack’s statement is taken seriously. Yet another terrorist threat has been identified–RT. (Although both Boko Haram and the Islamic State employ terror, strictly speaking they are political organizations seeking to rule, not terror organizations, but this distinction would be over Lack’s head. Yes, I know. There is a good joke that could be made here about what Lack lacks. Appropriately named and all that.)
Nevertheless, whatever Lack might lack, I doubt he believes his nonsensical statement that RT is a terrorist organization. So what is his game?
The answer is that the Western presstitute media by becoming Ministries of Propaganda for Washington, have created large markets for RT, Press TV, and Al Jazeera. As more and more of the peoples of the world turn to these more honest news sources, Washington’s ability to fabricate self-serving explanations has declined.
RT in particular has a large Western audience. The contrast between RT’s truthful reporting and the lies spewed by US media is undermining Washington’s control of the explanation. This is no longer acceptable.
Lark has sent a message to RT. The message is: pull in your horns; stop reporting differently from our line; stop contesting the facts as Washington states them and the presstitutes report them; get on board or else.
In other words, the “free speech” that Washington and its EU, Canadian, and Australian puppet states tout means: free speech for Washington’s propaganda and lies, but not for any truth. Truth is terrorism, because truth is the major threat to Washington.
Washington would prefer to avoid the embarrassment of actually shutting down RT as its UK vassal did to Press TV. Washington simply wants to shut up RT. Lark’s message to RT is: self-censure.
In my opinion, RT already understates in its coverage and reporting as does Al Jazeera. Both news organizations understand that they cannot be too forthright, at least not too often or on too many occasions.
I have often wondered why the Russian government allows 20 percent of the Russian media to function as Washington’s fifth column inside Russia. I suspect the reason is that by tolerating Washington’s blatant propaganda inside Russia, the Russian government hopes that some factual news can be reported in the US via RT and other Russian news organizations.
These hopes, like other Russian hopes about the West, are likely to be disappointed in the end. If RT is closed down or assimilated into the Western presstitute media, nothing will be said about it, but if the Russian government closes down Washington’s agents, blatant liars all, in the Russian media, we will hear forever about the evil Russians suppressing “free speech.” Remember, the only allowable “free speech” is Washington’s propaganda.
Only time will tell whether RT decides to be closed down for telling the truth or whether it adds its voice to Washington’s propaganda.
The other item in the interview was the downgrading of Russian credit to junk status.
Standard and Poor’s downgrade is, without any doubt, a political act. It proves what we already know, and that is that the American rating firms are corrupt political operations. Remember the Investment Grade rating the American rating agencies gave to obvious subprime junk? These rating agencies are paid by Wall Street, and like Wall Street they serve the US government.
A look at the facts serves to establish the political nature of the ruling. Don’t expect the corrupt US financial press to look at the facts. But right now, we will look at the facts.
Indeed, we will put the facts in context with the US debt situation.
According to the debt clocks available online, the Russian national debt as a percentage of Russian GDP is 11 percent. The American national debt as a percentage of US GDP is 105 percent, about ten times higher. My coauthors, Dave Kranzler, John Williams, and I have shown that when measured correctly, the US debt as a percent of GDP is much higher than the official figure.
The Russian national debt per capita is $1,645. The US national debt per capita is
The size of Russia’s national debt is $235 billion, less than one quarter of a trillion. The size of the US national debt is $18 trillion, 76.6 times larger than the Russian debt.
Putting this in perspective: according to the debt clocks, US GDP is $17.3 trillion and Russian GDP is $2.1 trillion. So, US GDP is 8 times greater than Russian GDP, but US national debt is 76.6 times greater than Russia’s debt.
Clearly, it is the US credit rating that should have been downgraded to junk status. But this cannot happen. Any US credit rating agency that told the truth would be closed and prosecuted. It wouldn’t matter what the absurd charges are. The rating agencies would be guilty of being anti-american, terrorist organizations like RT, etc. and so on, and they know it. Never expect any truth from any Wall Street denizen. They lie for a living.
According to this site: http://people.howstuffworks.com/5-united-states-debt-holders.htm#page=4 the US owes Russia as of January 2013 $162.9 billion. As the Russian national debt is $235 billion, 69 percent of the Russian national debt is covered by US debt obligations to Russia.
If this is a Russian Crisis, I am Alexander the Great.
As Russia has enough US dollar holdings to redeem its entire national debt and have a couple hundred billion dollars left, what is Russia’s problem?
One of Russia’s problems is its central bank. For the most part, Russian economists are the same neoliberal incompetents that exist in the Western world. The Russian economists are enamored of their contacts with the “superior” West and with the prestige that they image these contacts give them. As long as the Russian economists agree with the Western ones, they get invited to conferences abroad. These Russian economists are de facto American agents whether they realize it or not.
Currently, the Russian central bank is squandering the large Russian holdings of foreign reserves in support of the Western attack on the ruble. This is a fools’ game that no central bank should play. The Russian central bank should remember, or learn if it does not know, Soros’ attack on the Bank of England.
Russian foreign reserves should be used to retire the outstanding national debt, thus making Russia the only country in the world without a national debt. The remaining dollars should be dumped in coordinated actions with China to destroy the dollar, the power basis of American Imperialism.
Alternatively, the Russian government should announce that its reply to the economic warfare being conducted against Russia by the government in Washington and Wall Street rating agencies is default on its loans to Western creditors. Russia has nothing to lose as Russia is already cut off from Western credit by US sanctions. Russian default would cause consternation and crisis in the European banking system, which is exactly what Russia wants in order to break up Europe’s support of US sanctions.
In my opinion, the neoliberal economists who control Russian economic policy are a much greater threat to the sovereignty of Russia than economic sanctions and US missile bases. To survive Washington, Russia desperately needs people who are not romantic about the West.
To dramatize the situation, if President Putin will grant me Russian citizenship and allow me to appoint Michael Hudson and Nomi Prins as my deputies, I will take over the operation of the Russian central bank and put the West out of operation.
But that would require Russia taking risks associated with victory. The Atlanticist Integrationists inside the Russian government want victory for the West, not for Russia. A country imbued with treason inside the government itself has reduced chance against Washington, a determined player.
Another fifth column operating against Russia from within are the US and German funded NGOs. These American agents masquerade as “human rights organizations,” as “women’s rights organizations,” as “democracy organizations,” and whatever other cant titles that serve in a politically correct age and are unchallengeable.
Yet another threat to Russia comes from the percentage of the Russian youth who lust for the depraved culture of the West. Sexual license, pornography, drugs, self-absorption. These are the West’s cultural offerings. And, of course, killing Muslims.
If Russians want to kill people for the fun of it and to solidify US hegemony over themselves and the world, they should support “Atlanticist integration” and turn their backs on Russian nationalism. Why be Russian if you can be American serfs?
What better result for the American neoconservatives than to have Russia support Washington’s hegemony over the world? That is what the neoliberal Russian economists and the “European Integrationists” support. These Russians are willing to be American serfs in order to be part of the West and to be paid well for their treason.
As I was interviewed about these developments by RT, the news anchor kept trying to confront Washington’s charges with the facts. It is astonishing that the Russian journalists do not understand that facts have nothing to do with it. The Russian journalists, those independent of American bribes, think that facts matter in the disputes about Russian actions. They think that the assaults on civilians by the American supported Ukrainian Nazis is a fact. But, of course no such fact exists in the Western media. In the Western media the Russians, and only the Russians, are responsible for violence in Ukraine.
Washington’s story line is that it is the evil Putin’s intent on restoring the Soviet Empire that is the cause of the conflict. This media line in the West has no relationship to any facts.
In my opinion, Russia is in grave danger. Russians are relying on facts, and Washington is relying on propaganda. For Washington, facts are not relevant. Russian voices are small compared to Western voices.
The lack of a Russian voice is due to Russia itself. Russia accepted living in a world controlled by US financial, legal, and telecommunication services. Living in this world means that the only voice is Washington’s.
Why Russia agreed to this strategic disadvantage is a mystery. But as a result of this strategic mistake, Russia is at a disadvantage.
Considering the inroads that Washington has into the Russian government itself, the economically powerful oligarchs and state employees with Western connections, as well as into the Russian media and Russian youth, with the hundreds of American and German financed NGOs that can put Russians into the streets to protest any defense of Russia, Russia’s future as a sovereign country is in doubt.
The American neoconservatives are relentless. Their Russian opponent is weakened by the success inside Russia of Western cold war propaganda that portrays the US as the savior and future of mankind.
The darkness from Sauron America continues to spread over the world.”
For more opinion of what may…or may not be…afoot with the Syriza Coalition government in Greece, Paul Jay interviews the Socialist Register’s Leo Panitch here, and Jacobin magazine has coverage galore. This piece is long, but might be the most complete. ((Sebastian Budgen is an editor for Verso Books and serves on the editorial board of Historical Materialism. Stathis Kouvelakis teaches political theory at King’s College London and serves on the central committee of Syriza.)
The potential of anti-austerity, and neoLiberal IMF movements in Europe is scaring the bejayzus out of western capitalists, so the world will be watching their next moves, plus the coming election in Spain. Oh, and Yves Smith did a round-up of opinion and coverage here: How Much Success is Syriza Likely to Have in Ending Austerity?
Perhaps my favorite recent opinion piece on Russia and the the horrors of ramping up the Cold War is by Chris Floyd. Do remember as you read at the top that he lived under Putin for a number of years, and his experiences have left him as no fan. But even those of you who find Putin estimable might want to read on; he is a polemicist of high order. ‘Necks and Nostrils: The Murderous Folly of the New Cold War’