Liberty Forged

the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own. ` Nock

Posts Tagged ‘relationships’

Keynes’ General Theory. Much like cluster bombs for the world.

Posted by Jesse on March 5, 2008

The Crisis Point of the Inflationary Boom
By Sean Corrigan

Posted on 3/4/2008

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In a recent survey — jointly conducted by CFO magazine and Duke University — one of the top concerns being expressed by industry executives across the United States, Europe, and Asia was that of the rising cost and — to a slightly lesser extent — the reduced availability of labor, especially that of the skilled variety.

The worry most forcibly competing with this angst was that of whether “consumer demand” would hold up in coming months.

For a Keynesian this conflict can have no meaning, for the central chicanery around which the General Theory is constructed is that depressions can be warded off through monetary debasement, simply by stuffing the workers’ pockets with extra cash, while simultaneously fooling them as to the real value of the nominal wages being received in such a newly clipped coinage.

In the case where wages are rising (labor costs are mounting) because employment is near full (suitable candidates for work are hard to find) then, assuming the mythical “propensity to consume” remains broadly constant, consumer demand should be a shoe-in, and unlearned industrialists need not lose too much sleep over their prospects for either sales or profits.

Granted, “end demand” could also become (temporarily) curtailed by a sudden outbreak of thrift, that virulent, unpredictable strain of global pandemic feared by the macromancers more than dirty bombs, bird flu, melting ice caps, and a direct asteroid strike, combined, for its potency in disrupting the pristine, academic beauty of their consumption functions and ISLM curves.

The unlikelihood of this taking place in a world whose mail boxes bulge daily with unsolicited offers of new credit, and whose masses have been conditioned to view shopping as a sacramental rite, should be all too apparent.

In fact, what our survey results really display are the classic symptoms of the unhealthy discoordination that an unbacked credit expansion induces in the body economic.

What we see here is that most of the businessmen canvassed are finding their costs are rising and, in particular, the dominant cost they typically bear: that associated with retaining a competent and motivated workforce. At the same time, those who do not directly play a part in satisfying the needs of end consumers (an overriding majority, if our sample is representative of industrial and commercial organization as a whole) are beginning to fret about a slackening of demand for their (mainly higher and intermediate goods) output.

As Mises, Hayek, et al. took great pains to explain, what this means is that the seemingly golden age — in reality, a thinly gilded one — during which the first, most favored issuers of cheap credit and artificially boosted equity prices enjoyed almost effortless success, has reached the limit of its ability to postpone the workings of fundamental economic law.

Even if financial capital once appeared so abundant as to provoke strange, Swiftian fantasies about the “saving glut” and the “asset shortage,” real, physical capital was never called into being quite so readily, since its creation requires not the staccato keystroke of a fiat banker, but entrepreneurial vision, hard work, and genuine saving.

By that last we mean a voluntary abstention from current consumption, undertaken in order to improve the chance of greater plenty in the future, and not the corrupt preemption of a man’s spending power — effected with monetary trickery — which inflationists laud as “forced saving.” Being a species of initially unrecognized compulsion, this is a deceit doomed to fatal self-contradiction, once its dupes wake up to the nature of the con being practiced upon them.

Since the boom has been driven forward according to the projections of the borrowers and the low-hurdle eagerness of their lenders, rather than being predicated on meeting the imperatives of consumer sovereignty, we eventually find ambition has come to overmaster achievability and hope to have triumphed over hardheaded calculation.

To be harmonious and self-consistent, production should be guided by the wants of those whose ability to express them comes by virtue of being in harness to the same web of mutually supportive processes that help satisfy the needs of others, in turn. If not, scarce physical resources will be squandered in trying to realize misplaced visions of a world as overbrimming with affordable means as the unnaturally low interest rate treacherously seems to imply.

Worse still, once the fever of the boom spreads from its initial promoters and their preferred clients to infect the populace at large, sobriety and forbearance tends to vanish in a kind of Gresham’s Law of the spirit. A world awash with “liquidity” is not one where the steady flame of good husbandry can outshine the neon-lit promise of instant gain.

To recap, what then we find is that not only does the availability of financial capital become wholly divorced from the extent of the pool of physical capital goods; not only does much of that pool become misused (and, hence, ultimately, stripped of its original “capitalness”); but that the wellspring of capital maintenance and augmentation — namely, voluntary saving — is concreted over to provide a gaudy, Baroque fountain of greater exhaustive consumption.

As this happens, many final-goods prices will rise as they are revealed to have been undersupplied in relation to the monetary means now pouring into the hands of their would-be consumers. Where such goods also comprise inputs to production taking place further upstream (as is archetypically the case with, say, energy), this increase in expense will primarily add to costs and may therefore begin to sap profitability, if these are not either offset with greater efficiencies or fully recouped in higher selling prices.

Furthermore, as they find their standards of living slipping, those workers who are so enabled — and they will be legion at the height of the boom — will be far less shy about insisting upon more from their employers, by way of compensation for their efforts. Labor costs will now feature in the list of boardroom anxieties.

Simultaneously, since “demand” will have come to a white-hot focus of insistency on end-consumer items, all those who can do so will be shifting resources towards meeting it. If this means abandoning half-completed schemes for long-duration projects in favor of pursuing more mundane but now more lucrative goals, such as putting food on the average man’s table and keeping his boiler stoked with fuel in the here-and-now, so be it.

Unfortunately for the Keynesians, with their quaint, quasi-hydraulic depiction of the economy, such intensified end demand will not automatically translate into higher revenues for all the businesses strung out along the chain of production, just as a sudden appetite for beef will not instantly cause the grass upon which the cattle feed to grow more luxuriantly in the pasture.

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What it will tend to do instead is to strip those not immediately involved in meeting that end demand of their ability to call upon productive resources on the same terms as before.

Squeezing margins as in a vice, this development may also diminish the orders received from those closer to the shop front, since these erstwhile business customers will now be too busy scrambling to restack their emptying shelves to contemplate closing off the sales area for a refit, much less to ponder the purchase of a gimmicky new IT system, or to think of splashing out on an expensive and distinctly nonessential corporate makeover.

This last may not wholly be a matter of discretion since, besides seeing their own wage bill expand, consumer-goods merchants are likely to see inventory replacement come complete with higher invoices, so working-capital needs may soon start to crowd out much more deferrable fixed-investment schedules.

Costs up, labor more pricey, yet demand flagging: this is the fate of all too many of the myriad businesses which comprise the vast, hidden, submarine bulk of the iceberg that is our modern, highly specialized, vertically stratified, distributed assembly-line economy — to the befuddlement of a mainstream lacking a proper theory of capital or a true appreciation of the role of time.

Welcome to the crisis point of the inflationary boom!

Sean Corrigan is Chief Investment Strategist at Diapason Commodities Management. Send him mail. See his articles. Comment on the blog.

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Iraq Veterans to testify in DC

Posted by Jesse on March 4, 2008

Patriot missiles: Iraq Veterans Against the War
After Vietnam, American veterans testified to the atrocities they witnessed. Now soldiers who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan are about to do the same

This month, for four days in Washington, DC, beginning on March 13, there will be a second Winter Soldier gathering – 37 years after the first. Organised by the protest group Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), US veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan since the 9/11 attack on New York will testify about their experiences. They will present photographs and videos, recorded with mobile phones and digital cameras, to back up their allegations – of brutality, torture and murder.

The veterans are not against the military and seek not to indict it – instead they seek to shine a light on the bigger picture: that the Abu Ghraib prison regime and the Haditha massacre of innocent Iraqis are not isolated incidents perpetrated by “bad seeds” as the military suggests, but evidence of an endemic problem. They will say they were tasked to do terrible things and point the finger up the chain of command, which ignores, diminishes or covers up routine abuse and atrocities.

Some see it as their responsibility to speak out – like Jason Washburn, a US marine who did two tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq; Logan Laituri, a US Army forward observer in Iraq; and Perry O’Brien, an army medic deployed to Afghanistan in 2003. They believe that, as veterans, they are the most credible sources of information. They say they were put in immoral and often illegal positions. They will speak about what they saw, and what they were asked to do.

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Good conspiracy, bad theory, and the DC complex.

Posted by Jesse on February 24, 2008

The Conspiracy Theory of History Revisited
by Murray N. Rothbard
This article originally appeared in Reason, April 1977, pp. 39–40.
An excerpt.
“There are, of course, good conspiracy analysts and bad conspiracy analysts, just as there are good and bad historians or practitioners of any discipline. The bad conspiracy analyst tends to make two kinds of mistakes, which indeed leave him open to the Establishment charge of “paranoia.” First, he stops with the cui bono; if measure A benefits X and Y, he simply concludes that therefore X and Y were responsible. He fails to realize that this is just a hypothesis, and must be verified by finding out whether or not X and Y really did so. (Perhaps the wackiest example of this was the British journalist Douglas Reed who, seeing that the result of Hitler’s policies was the destruction of Germany, concluded, without further evidence, that therefore Hitler was a conscious agent of external forces who deliberately set out to ruin Germany.) Secondly, the bad conspiracy analyst seems to have a compulsion to wrap up all the conspiracies, all the bad guy power blocs, into one giant conspiracy. Instead of seeing that there are several power blocs trying to gain control of government, sometimes in conflict and sometimes in alliance, he has to assume – again without evidence – that a small group of men controls them all, and only seems to send them into conflict.”

The State of Conspiracy
by Andrew Ward [February 23, 2008]

So I’ve been living and working in Mordor for about half a year. The experience has been quite illuminating. I realized right off the subsidized-bat that I wasn’t in Kansas anymore when I saw the King’s crime of Taxation Without Representation printed on local license plates. Now that’s supposedly a protest slogan, but it seems more like a slave’s sick, self-deprecating joke. The highways are congested with cars and cameras, but the overpasses aren’t mounted by gun turrets, so the workers don’t complain much. For those who don’t or won’t drive, there’s a neat metro system where the trains run on time some of the time to all kinds of “free” museums espousing the progressive history of government. The parks are there for the people to roam, play frisbee toss, lick ice cream, and read the daily spin under the shadow of various pagan monuments. Meanwhile, the instructed Decider instructs the young armies to invade faraway lands full of sand. There are few worries over war among the diverse populace, for our fair and balanced press has confirmed that the best defense is a blitzkrieg offense. Civilizing these countries through a barrel of a gun with American Democracy is not just for the common good of our infallible nation, but for the world good as well.

I have front row seats to the madness of post-9-11 Washington D.C. The overtly fascist overdrive of the U.S. government has twisted an already backwards nation into a Homeland of Terror. Most of the happy people say the loss of freedom is justified because we obviously “need to be safe from the gang of cavemen.” However, there are those brazen individuals who are more concerned with domestic black helicopters than “the gang of cavemen.” Unanswered questions in the 9-11 Commission Report have led to the creation of quite a few theories revolving around September 11th. But mainstream inputs have already debunked all that Conspiracy Theory rubbish… haven’t they? Hologram planes aside, one or more of the following is true about that tragic day: the government’s past actions provoked the attack; the government was grossly unable (or unwilling?) to protect the country; or it was all just a huge, high-tech deadly magic show put on by very secret, compartmentalized elements of the U.S. (and/or foreign) government. Remember the Maine? Hitler’s Reichstag? The Gulf of Tonkin non-event? Is it really unreasonable for one to suspect the beneficiaries of war and government growth to have had a hand in 9-11? Could a twin tower-sized inside job actually be pulled off? Many folks were outraged with the New York Post’s April 12, 2002 headline: “Bush Knew!” (as if Dubya knows anything). But even the notion that September 11th was an inside job orchestrated solely by the Bush administration ignores the Oligarchy, which has dominated the United States for over a century, regardless of which puppet is in office.

For multiple reasons, I’ve had the opportunity to listen to all kinds of so-called “Conspiracy Theorists” over the phone. Many of them inform me that we’re being listened-in on by They. So goons from NSA or DHS put food on the table by monitoring… me?! I’m flattered! But I’m hearing deep anti-Establishment stuff here, so are They really dumb enough to let this conversation go unmonitored? Anyway, I’m lectured about fluorinated water and the vaccinations with mercury. This troubles me, because I like water and my mom made sure I received every vaccination. Others say I must watch Zeitgeist and Loose Change, for both these online flicks have all the Answers. I’m also told about the founders being Free Masons and then I see the map of the Executive Mansion resting at the top of a city street pentagram. Well… I always suspected that Satan’s power flows through the White House. And what’s this about the U.S. still being under the Martial Law enacted by President Lincoln? No wonder that neo-Confederate Tom DiLorenzo hates Honest Abe so much! These conversations warp me into a dimension where my birth certificate legally handed me over to the “State” of D.C.’s jurisdiction. The task is now to reclaim my legal sovereignty from the U.S. Corporation and to escape the Uniform Commercial Code, the Elite’s shadow legal system that redundantly enslaves us all through a web of buried technicalities. But even as I reach as high as I can for the pyramid’s peak, it is, much to the delight of the owl-worshipping aristocracy, always out of reach.

Have you heard the conspiratorial view of the first through third national banks, where the good ol’ U.S. of A is little more than a sovereign-in-name-only satellite for the British Empire? In this story, Andrew Jackson is hailed as the greatest American ever. Five months after the expiration of the first U.S. Bank’s charter in 1811, Americans would find the British burning down the White House (hallelujah!). However, a miraculous post-war stand by General Jackson in New Orleans sent those Red Coats reeling. Two years after the war’s end in 1814, the privately owned Second Bank’s charter is authorized by then president James Madison, so in 1832 it’s up to president Jackson to veto the rebirth of the dragon-demon from hell. Perhaps Jackson was aware that Mayer Amschel Rothschild once said, “Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws.”? Unfortunately for you and me, “Old Hickory” was not around to stop the banker’s secret 1910 Jekyll Island meeting where legislation to cartelize the banking industry was crafted. These bankers, out of the goodness of their hearts, had their men in Congress push for the “much-needed” Federal Reserve Act, which eventually passed in December of 1913 during the administration of their pet president, Woodrow Wilson.

Let’s now take a friendly visit to the generally subversive Council on Foreign Relations, a globalist policy club for the elites founded in 1919 by president Wilson’s right hand man and soul mate, Colonel Edward Mandel House. For almost a 100 years now, CFR members have included the heads of academia, law, media, insurance and especially finance; and every presidential administration since the 1920s has been dominated by CFR members. According to Alex Jones, the mission of the Council on Foreign Relations is to destroy the United States. While I’m not a fan of fronts for the House of Morgan and Rockefeller, does anyone really believe CFR members like Dan Rather are aware of, say, Cecil Rhodes’ American Round Table group? That aside, only 0.001% of the U.S. population can claim membership to the Council on Foreign Relations. With one exception, every media anointed presidential front-runner in this election is a proud, card-carrying member of the highly exclusive CFR. The Huckster is that exception, but the Establishment needed a relative outsider to don the robes of conservative savior. They’d take anybody but that kooky, crackpot Ron Paul. You should all know the media’s song:

Long shot, 9-11 Truther, Ron Paul. Crackpot, Libertarian, Ron Paul. Long shot, Neo-Nazi, Ron Paul!

*End Transmission*

It has long been the dream of powerful men to possess Earth. Throughout history rulers of many a great empire have tried to conquer what they figured was the whole thing. These mad dogs were not raised to be content with the power that they merely inherited. No, the father to son line is always, “There are always more sheep to shepherd.” And thanks to technology, this ant world of ours is becoming a much more manageable ant farm. The State, their corporate beneficiaries and financial masters have managed to sell mercantilism and paper money to the whole world with the goal of obtaining total control. These powers use the United States as the military engine for their New World Order; and a militaristic Empire that the world despises is easily disposable down the road, along with all those silly notions of sovereignty. One hears this and replies “Oh, so you believe in the Illuminati!” Not knowing much about Adam Weishaupt, I explain the long history of the international banking cartel, the socialist tax-exempt foundations and all about the State-media, but their programming responds snidely with “Conspiracy Theorist.”

So while I may never acquire the all-seeing Eye’s view of the Puzzle, I think it’s pretty clear that Conspiracy is a dirty word for a reason: the Establishment engages in conspiratorial acts on a daily basis. It would be foolish for They not to publish loads of worthless historical facts, promote stereotypes along with skin-deep diversity, teach dismal sciences, and report misinformation in order to divide, distract, and mislead the serfs. Think of the armies of dumbed-down children ushered into their local brainwashing center for at least eight mind-numbing hours. Fortunately for Liberty, most don’t finish their homework on so-called market failure. But for “adults” there’s that old, Banker-financed Marxist child’s fable of the Proletariat vs. Bourgeoisie which has crowded out the more accurate, generalized depiction of our situation: the ruling class vs. We, the People. It should be of no surprise that libertarians are widely seen by their fellow peons as poor-hating, ego-worshipping children who just want more of Society’s money.

Maybe this is just the chemtrails talking, but “Conspiracy Theorists” are not crazy for wanting to expose the men behind the curtain. The real crazies are the statists blinded by the curtain of red, white, and blue.

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Ron Paul’s Foreign Policy advisors (Ivan Eland writes about NATO)

Posted by Jesse on February 21, 2008

Ron Paul: Currently, the United States maintains hundreds of thousands of troops in more than 100 foreign countries. In many cases, they are there to defend foreign borders. Maintaining such a global empire drains nearly one trillion dollars from the U.S. economy each year, while offering very little real security for the American people. What’s worse, our U.S. Border Guards are sent overseas to places like Iraq while our own borders remain porous and vulnerable.

“Too often we give foreign aid and intervene on behalf of governments that are despised. Then, we become despised. Too often we have supported those who turn on us, like the Kosovars who aid Islamic terrorists, or the Afghan jihadists themselves, and their friend Osama bin Laden. We armed and trained them, and now we’re paying the price.”

Payback for NATO Expansion [July 17, 2007]
“Those of us who opposed the expansion of NATO in 1999 (admitting Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic) and 2004 (Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, and the former Soviet republics of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania) warned that it would lead to problems with Russia. Those problems have arrived……. NATO has added 10 new countries. And the United States would like to add more, including Ukraine, Russia’s largest and most powerful neighbor. No wonder Russia is beginning to feel encircled.

“In the NATO Treaty, an attack on one alliance member is considered an attack on all – meaning the United States has essentially pledged to provide security for an additional 10 nations in proximity to Russia. In fact, protection from Russia is the reason these small countries wanted to join NATO in the first place. In 1999 and 2004, however, U.S. politicians thought such paper commitments would never have to be fulfilled and that expanding the alliance would help “stabilize” the former Eastern Bloc.

Only now is it becoming apparent that such U.S. security guarantees, handed out promiscuously, might someday have to be honored in a potential tangle with a strengthened, more assertive, nuclear-armed Russia. In fact, the recent surliness of the Russian bear originates from having sand kicked in its face over a number of years by this U.S. encirclement in Europe – not merely from U.S. plans to install a limited, anti-Iranian missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic.”

Read the whole article here….
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Don’t miss Phillip Giraldi, also on the Ron Paul team:
Former CIA counter terrorism officer and Antiwar.com columnist Philip Giraldi discusses his information that Secretaries Rice and Gates have once again been sidelined by Vice President Cheney who remains bent on war with Iran, the truth about al Qaeda and what is to be done about them and the case of former FBI translator-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds and her allegations of crimes by powerful government officials and foreign spies.

This is the MP3 interview and the transcript.

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Also of note: Isabel McDonald, communications director at FAIR, discusses how do-gooder liberals in the American media distort the truth about the situation in the Darfur region of Sudan, the negative consequences for the people there, the precedent set by the NATO intervention in Serbia/Kosovo in 1999 and the general implausibility of American intervention in Africa benefiting anyone.
This is the article mentioned:
The Humanitarian Temptation: Calling for war to bring peace to Darfur

Here is the MP3 of the interview.

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Advisors

Doug Bandow is a political writer and the Robert A. Taft Fellow with the American Conservative Defense Alliance. He has been widely published in leading newspapers and periodicals and is the author of several books – including, most recently, Foreign Follies. Mr. Bandow served as a special assistant to President Ronald Reagan and as a senior policy analyst in the 1980 Reagan for President campaign.

Philip Giraldi is a former officer of the Central Intelligence Agency who writes regularly on intelligence and foreign policy issues. Mr. Giraldi is a partner in the international security consultancy Cannistraro Associates, a contributing editor at The American Conservative magazine and a fellow at the American Conservative Defense Alliance.

Leon Hadar is a Washington-based global affairs analyst whose commentary on U.S. foreign policy has been published in leading newspapers and foreign policy journals. A former UN correspondent for the Jerusalem Post, he is the author Quagmire: America in the Middle East and Sandstorm: Policy Failure in the Middle East.

Ivan Eland is senior fellow and director of the Center on Peace & Liberty at The Independent Institute. Dr. Eland spent 15 years working for Congress on national security issues, including stints as an investigator for the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Principal Defense Analyst at the Congressional Budget Office. He is the author of several books, including The Empire Has No Clothes: U.S. Foreign Policy Exposed.

Charles V. Peña is a senior fellow at the Independent Institute, a senior fellow with the Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy, a senior fellow with the George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute, and an adviser to the Straus Military Reform Project. Mr. Peña is the author of Winning the Un-War: A New Strategy for the War on Terrorism. Organizations are listed for identification purposes only.

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Poor Kosovo. [NATO needs to go]

Posted by Jesse on February 20, 2008

A Postmodern Declaration
Kosovo’s sovereignty is a fiction: real power lies with EU officials backed by Western firepower

“There seemed to be no immediate consequences when, in 1908, Austria annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina. Vienna was in clear violation of the 1878 Treaty of Berlin, which it had signed and kept Bosnia in Turkey, yet the protests of Russia and Serbia were in vain. The following year, the fait accompli was written into an amended treaty. Six years later, however, a Russian-backed Serbian gunman exacted revenge by assassinating the heir to the Austrian throne in Sarajevo in June 1914. The rest is history.”

“Parallels between Kosovo in 2008 and Bosnia in 1908 are relevant, but not only because, whatever legal trickery the west uses to override UN security council resolution 1244 – which kept Kosovo in Serbia – the proclamation of the new state will have incalculable long-term consequences: on secessionist movements from Belgium to the Black Sea via Bosnia, on relations with China and Russia, and on the international system as a whole. They are also relevant because the last thing the new state proclaimed in Pristina on Sunday will be is independent. Instead, what has now emerged south of the Ibar river is a postmodern state, an entity that may be sovereign in name but is a US-EU protectorate in practice.”

“…..Kosovo is also home to the vast US military base Camp Bondsteel, near Urosevac – a mini-Guantánamo that is only one in an archipelago of new US bases in eastern Europe, the Balkans and central Asia. This is why the Serbian prime minister, Vojislav Kostunica, speaking on Sunday, specifically attacked Washington for the Kosovo proclamation, saying that it showed that the US was “ready to unscrupulously and violently jeopardise international order for the sake of its own military interests”.

“…..This tragic situation is made possible only because there is a fatal disconnect in all interventionism between power and responsibility. The international community has micro-managed every aspect of the break-up of Yugoslavia since the EU brokered the Brioni agreement within days of the war in Slovenia in July 1991. Yet it has always blamed the locals for the results. Today, the new official government of Kosovo will be controlled by its international patrons, but they will similarly never accept accountability for its failings. They prefer instead to govern behind the scenes, in the dangerous – and no doubt deliberate – gap between appearance and reality.”

Read the rest here..
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Independence in the Brave New World Order
NATO’s Kosovo Colony

By Diana Johnstone [Feb18, 2008]
“Across this last weekend, the Western propaganda machine was working overtime, celebrating the latest NATO miracle: the transformation of Serbian Kosovo into Albanian Kosova. A shameless land grab by the United States, which used the Kosovo problem to install an enormous military base (Camp Bondsteel) on other people’s strategically located land, is transformed by the power of the media into an edifying legend of “national liberation”.”

“The reality of this shameless land-grab is available to all. I have written about it, Binder has written about it, Szamuely has written about it, many Germans have written about it. The Russians, the Greeks, the Rumanians, the Slovaks and many others know about it. But in the Brave New World Order, it does not exist. People don’t know.

I leave the last word to Aldous Huxley:

“Most ignorance is vincible ignorance. We don’t know because we don’t want to know.”

Read the rest here.
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How Silent Are the ‘Humanitarian’ Invaders of Kosovo?
John Pilger [December 9, 2004]

“……One year later, the International War Crimes Tribunal, a body effectively set up by Nato, announced that the final count of bodies found in Kosovo’s “mass graves” was 2,788. This included combatants on both sides and Serbs and Roma murdered by the Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army. Like Iraq’s fabled weapons of mass destruction, the figures used by the US and British governments and echoed by journalists were inventions – along with Serb “rape camps” and Clinton’s and Blair’s claims that Nato never deliberately bombed civilians.

Code-named “Stage Three,” Nato’s civilian targets included public transport, hospitals, schools, museums, churches. “It was common knowledge that Nato went to Stage Three [after a couple of weeks],” said James Bissell, the Canadian ambassador in Belgrade during the attack. “Otherwise, they would not have been bombing bridges on Sunday afternoons and market places.”

Nato’s clients were the Kosovo Liberation Army. Seven years earlier, the KLA had been designated by the State Department as a terrorist organisation in league with Al Qaida. KLA thugs were feted; Foreign Secretary Robin Cook allowed them to call him on his mobile phone. “The Kosovo-Albanians played us like a Stradivarius,” wrote the UN Balkans commander, Major-General Lewis MacKenzie, last April. “We have subsidised and indirectly supported their violent campaign for an ethnically pure Kosovo. We have never blamed them for being the perpetrators of the violence in the early 1990s and we continue to portray them as the designated victim today in spite of evidence to the contrary.”

Read the rest here..

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Yugoslavia and Afghanistan – How to Understand Media Spin
John Keller [November 2, 2001]
“…The military employs multiple strategies (and a PR firm or two) to shape public perception of the news by controlling the information released to the media. Jared Israel wrote an excellent article describing how these techniques are used in print (and sometimes on TV). Words are chosen carefully based on the emotional response they elicit. Certain facts are referred to again and again, while others are completely ignored. Other “facts” are manufactured out of whole cloth, usually with the tag “unsubstantiated” attached to allow weasel room later. All events are scripted into a master storyline designed to paint the conflict as one of good against evil. The side of righteous America is pitted against the twisted Taliban, or Milosevic, or Iraq, or Noriega, etc.

“So, my question for the mass media is this. Where are the CNN camera crews, pressed in around the refugees? Where is Christiane Amanpore with her righteous indignation? Images are powerful things. Americans see people suffering on TV, and they don’t like it. The military knows this. When it suited their purpose in Kosovo, they made sure to pack the airwaves with images of the displaced and hungry. “See. We’re fighting to help save these people from oppression.” When the story is obviously one of suffering CAUSED by our military, the story gets reported in print, if at all, and camera coverage is downplayed or outright spiked. No spin in the world can hide that fact that our military has caused a massive refugee crisis in Afghanistan. Will George W. Bush sit in the Hague kangaroo court with Slobodan Milosevic to answer charges of genocide and ethnic cleansing? Not very damn likely.”

“This war isn’t going all that well. Americans are watching it while sitting in comfortable living rooms a few feet from the refrigerator. If they see enough images of Afghan refugees fleeing U.S. cluster bombs or digging for dead relatives in the remains of a hospital hit by a “Bunker Buster” bomb, they might realize that this war is not just. Don’t be fooled by the media spin. Read for fact, verify facts, avoid the biased words, and draw your own conclusions.”

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