History Rhymes

Mr. Bush, at a rare prime-time news conference, portrayed himself as the protector of the country and repeatedly invoked the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, saying Mr. Hussein posed a comparable danger.
He tried anew to link Iraq to terrorists, warning that the country could not afford to wait for Mr. Hussein to unleash his weapons against the United States.
''I will not leave the American people at the mercy of the Iraqi dictator and his weapons,'' Mr. Bush said, in the first formal East Room news conference in nearly a year and a half. He said Sept. 11 ''should say to the American people that we're now a battlefield.''
''He's a murderer,'' he said. ''He has trained and financed Al Qaeda type organizations. I take the threat seriously.''

As some in the Bush administration press the case for a pre-emptive strike against Iraq, weapons experts say there is mounting evidence that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has amassed large stocks of chemical and biological weapons he is hiding from a possible U.S. military attack.Washington's concern is that Iraq could supply those weapons to terrorist groups, although U.S. officials say that there is no evidence that has happened so far."If we wait for the danger to become clear, it could be too late," said Sen. Joseph Biden

PHNOM PENH — The US said Friday that Syrian officials would be "held accountable" if they failed to safeguard the country's chemical weapons after a report suggested some were being moved out of storage.

BEIRUT, Lebanon — New details emerging Saturday about what local Syrian activists called a massacre of civilians near the central city of Hama indicated that it was more likely an uneven clash between the heavily armed Syrian military and local fighters bearing light weapons.
Col. Riad al-Assad, based in Turkey as the ostensible leader of the loose coalition of fighters called the Free Syrian Army, told the Arabic television network Al Jazeera on Thursday that there had been no opposition fighters in the town.
Although what actually happened in Tremseh remains murky, the evidence available suggested that events on Thursday more closely followed the Syrian government account.

The Two Faces of Hillary Clinton

Though one is cleary enough.

CAIRO — In the days before Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived here on Saturday, becoming the highest-ranking American official to meet with Egypt’s newly elected Islamist president, she planned to deliver a forceful public speech about democracy.

 But with the new president still struggling to wrest power from Egypt’s top generals, there were too many questions, too many pitfalls and too little new for Mrs. Clinton to offer, said several people briefed on the process. After rejecting at least three different drafts, the administration called off the speech days before its scheduled delivery, these people said.
She said she would work with Congress and the Egyptian government on the details of delivering a $1 billion aid package that President Obama promised a year ago and that Egypt desperately needs. [Fatboy: The Congressional Budget Office said that 45 million people in 2011 received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, a 70% increase from 2007. It said the number of people receiving the benefits, commonly known as food stamps, would continue growing until 2014. The US also desperately needs an aid package. The US government borrows $1 billion from China to provide aid to Egypt?]
But she alluded only lightly to the military’s recent grab for power, or its failure to deliver on its promise hand power to civilians by July 1.
Officials say that the generals have repeatedly ignored American pressure, including the threat that the United States might end its $1.5 billion a year in economic assistance to Egypt, including $1.3 billion in military aid.
She said she planned to meet Sunday with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi.

On Friday, thousands took to the streets of Cairo to demonstrate for the demands of the revolution and against the US-backed counter-revolution in Egypt. The military-installed regime of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf passed a law on Wednesday banning all protests and demonstrations, and punishes violations against the legislation with draconian penalties.
The attempt of the Egyptian bourgeoisie to stabilise the economy through the use of force and thereby reassure foreign investors has the full support of governments in Europe and the US.
Ahmed, an unemployed journalist interviewed by the WSWS in Tahrir Square, said, “At least by the time Sharaf and the military moved to clear Tahrir Square, it was obvious they are controlled by the old forces. The military leadership, in particular, still stands for the old Mubarak dictatorship. I especially hate Tantawi. He’s an old friend of Mubarak and a close ally of the US”.
Ahmed said that the hypocrisy of the US’s role in events knew no bounds: “Hillary Clinton now tears around Tahrir Square, exhorting the virtues of democracy! I remember very well the weapons and the tear gas ‘made in the US’ that were used against us”.

Nothing Egypt's military council has done in its past suggests it has the capacity or inclination to introduce speedy and radical change. Guaranteed its $1.3bn (£812m) annual grant from the US — a dividend from the Camp David peace accord with Israel – it has gained the reputation as a hidebound institution with little appetite for reform.
The frustration of the military's American benefactors shines through in leaked US cables, where the criticism focuses mostly on the man at the top, 75-year-old Field Marshal Muhammad Tantawi.
In March 2008 cable [146040], the US ambassador to Cairo, Francis Ricciardone, described Tantawi as "aged and change-resistant".
Tantawi and [Hosni] Mubarak are focused on regime stability and maintaining the status quo through the end of their time. They simply do not have the energy, inclination or world view to do anything differently," it reads

Hélder Câmara

If there is some corner of the world which has remained peaceful, but with a peace based on injustices the peace of a swamp with rotten matter fermenting in its depths - we may be sure that that peace is false. Violence attracts violence. Let us repeat fearlessly and ceaselessly: injustices bring revolt, either from the oppressed or from the young, determined to fight for a more just and more human world.

In the developed countries of the capitalist world, the mass media are beginning to become businesses, and huge businesses at that. The freedom of journalists is now becoming, in most cases, a very relative thing: it ends where the interests of the business begin

Violence builds up at three levels in a society. Primary violence is the everyday effect of structurally ingrained social injustice. This generates secondary violence - the revolt of the oppressed. And that in turn provokes tertiary violence - repression by the powerful to secure their privileged position. And so the spiral of violence tightens.


Russia No Longer on the Sidelines Hillary

"I ask you to reach out to Russia and China and not only ask but demand that they get off the sidelines," said Mrs. Clinton

MOSCOW — Russia, which seems intent on positioning itself as an increasingly decisive broker in the Syrian crisis, announced on Tuesday that a flotilla of navy vessels had sailed to the Mediterranean Sea and some would dock in the Syrian port of Tartus. The naval group includes several landing craft with marines.


A. This guys a dumbass B. This guy's a liar or C. This guy's a lying dumbass

Mr Tucker said he could not be sure that abuse of the Libor system is not continuing to this day, telling the committee: “I can't be confident of anything after learning of this cesspit.”
The Libor scandal could be repeated in a number of other “self-certifying” markets where prices are determined, he said.
“Self-certification is clearly open to abuse, so this could occur elsewhere,” he said
“We thought it was a malfunctioning market, not a dishonest market,” he said.
“We made a judgement that moving away from the existing method of self-certification was just not feasible during a financial crisis”.


When Will the US Push for Democracy in Saudi Arabia?

Saudi citizens, who happen to be Shias, march in protest of the killing of two unarmed protestors gunned down by Saudi security forces.

Olafur Ragnar Grimsson. One Bad Ass Dude

A recent quote from Olafur:
"[I']m simply saying if the collective decision-making structure of the European Union can take such wrong decisions and follow a misleading course and fundamentally unwise for the healthy future of the European banking system, as I advised before, Arguing that private banks should operate in a way that the profits go to them, but the losses go to ordinary people back home is something that they need to examine.

We have, however, concentrated on our recovery, and paradoxically, what we are seeing in the last two years is that many sectors in Iceland: the energy sector, the tourism sector, the IT sector, the manufacturing sector, and the fishing sector are doing better in the last two years than they did prior to the banking crisis. And you might also find it interesting that the collapse of the banks revealed to us a very interesting aspect of modern banking, which I think has been more or less overlooked in this discussion in Europe and in America in the last two or three years: the Icelandic banks, like all modern big banks in Europe and America and all the other parts of the world, are no longer banks in the old-fashioned way. They have become high-tech companies. High-ranked engineers, mathematicians, computer scientists, programmers and so on and so forth. And their success depends largely on how successful they are in hiring people with this education and capability, not necessarily those trained in business schools or finance, but in engineering, mathematics, computer science and so on."

A story from Forbes Magazine from 18 months ago:
[R]efusing to repay the money will do more than just piss off the U.K. and Netherlands which are now taking Iceland to court. It could very well hurt Iceland’s own financial capacity.
Just last week, Moody’s downgraded Iceland’s debt ratings outlook to negative from stable citing concerns about its recovery related to this very repayment dispute. Now that the people have voted to to repayment there is a sense that more credit ratings agencies including Moody’s will further downgrade the country’s rating.

WSJ from a week ago:
REYKJAVIK, Iceland— Iceland's President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, who wielded the political power of his traditionally ceremonial office and rejected a deal that would have put taxpayers on the hook for $5 billion to Britain and the Netherlands, has been elected to a fifth term.

NYT's yesterday:
REYKJAVIK, Iceland -- For a country that four years ago plunged into a financial abyss so deep it all but shut down overnight, Iceland seems to be doing surprisingly well.
It has repaid, early, many of the international loans that kept it afloat. Unemployment is hovering around 6 percent, and falling. And while much of Europe is struggling to pull itself out of the recessionary swamp, Iceland's economy is expected to grow by 2.8 percent this year.
But during the crisis, the country did many things different from its European counterparts. It let its three largest banks fail, instead of bailing them out'
Some Icelanders say they have been soothed, too, by the country's bold decision to initiate an extensive criminal investigation into the financial debacle. Many members of the old banking elite have been identified as possible suspects, and some of their cases are beginning to come to trial; several people were convicted of financial crimes last month.
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So, Iceland under the leadership of Olafur, who as the WSJ article stated, overruled Iceland's Parliment and PM by allowing the banks to fail and telling the Brits to bugger off and actually prosecuted the banking elites now has lower unemployment and larger GDP growth then the Eurozone, Great Britian and the U.S. combined. This proves that capitalism works as well as proving that the U.S, Eurozone and Great Britan's style of cronyism, Oliogarchy, captured politicians and allowing the banks to function as an organized crime syndicate doesn't.

Fill up your glass with Vodka, arise and salute the citizens of Iceland and Olafur as you listen to their national anthem.

US Txxpayer Backed Jordanian Government MP Pulls Pistol on Live TV

“You are a spy in the pay of” the Syrian government, Shawabka said.
Murad, in return, accused Shawabka of being a spy in the pay of the Israeli Mossad agency and said the lawmaker was “a thief.”

Many commentators believe that the Western media remain silent toward the demonstrations in Jordan, shifting the public attention to the turmoil in Syria.