Pentagon Concludes America Not Safe Unless It Conquers The World

Submitted by Paul Craig Roberts,

The Pentagon has released its “National Military Strategy of the United States of America 2015,” June 2015.

The document announces a shift in focus from terrorists to “state actors” that “are challenging international norms.” It is important to understand what these words mean. Governments that challenge international norms are sovereign countries that pursue policies independently of Washington’s policies. These “revisionist states” are threats, not because they plan to attack the US, which the Pentagon admits neither Russia nor China intend, but because they are independent. In other words, the norm is dependence on Washington.

Be sure to grasp the point: The threat is the existence of sovereign states, whose independence of action makes them “revisionist states.” In other words, their independence is out of step with the neoconservative Uni-power doctrine that declares independence to be the right of Washington alone. Washington’s History-given hegemony precludes any other country being independent in its actions.

The Pentagon’s report defines the foremost “revisionist states” as Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran. The focus is primarily on Russia. Washington hopes to co-op China, despite the “tension to the Asia-Pacific region” that China’s defense of its sphere of influence, a defense “inconsistent with international law” (this from Washington, the great violator of international law), by turning over what remains of the American consumer market to China. It is not yet certain that Iran has escaped the fate that Washington imposed on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Ukraine, and by complicity Palestine.

The Pentagon report is sufficiently audacious in its hypocrisy, as all statements from Washington are, to declare that Washington and its vassals “support the established institutions and processes dedicated to preventing conflict, respecting sovereignty, and furthering human rights.” This from the military of a government that has invaded, bombed, and overthrown 11 governments since the Clinton regime and is currently working to overthrow governments in Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, and Argentina.

In the Pentagon document, Russia is under fire for not acting “in accordance with international norms,” which means Russia is not following Washington’s leadership.

In other words, this is a bullshit report written by neocons in order to foment war with Russia.

Nothing else can be said about the Pentagon report, which justifies war and more war. Without war and conquests, Americans are not safe.

Washington’s view toward Russia is the same as Cato the Elder’s view toward Carthage. Cato the Elder finished his every speech on any subject in the Roman Senate with the statement “Carthage must be destroyed.”

This report tells us that war with Russia is our future unless Russia agrees to become a vassal state like every country in Europe, and Canada, Australia, Ukraine, and Japan. Otherwise, the neoconservatives have decided that it is impossible for Americans to tolerate living with a country that makes decisions independently of Washington. If America cannot be The Uni-Power dictating to the world, better that we are all dead. At least that will show the Russians.

Greek debt crisis: MPs approve bailout plan but some Syriza MPs rebel – as it happened

Athens Parliament has given Alexis Tsipras the authority to negotiate a new bailout by 250 votes to 32, but 17 government MPs didn’t back the plan

Tsipras: We have a strong mandateSummary: Motion passed, but Tsipras hit by defectionsDebate highlights start hereTsipras: We can put Grexit behind usReuters: EC and IMF give thumbs-up
Story: Day of judgment for Greece
Anti-austerity protests in AthensSee the proposals here

3.06am BST

Alexis Tsipras is giving his statement following tonight’s vote right now.

The Greek PM says that his government has a strong mandate to complete negotiations with its creditors towards a viable solution.

#Tsipras: Gov’t has strong mandate to complete talks with lenders for viable agreement. This is priority. Deal with rest later #Greece

#Tsipras: Parliament gave government a strong mandate to complete negotiations. The priority now is successful conclusion of talks #Greece

3.01am BST

It’s almost 5am, and journalists are waiting for Tsipras to issue his statement.

Περιμένοντας δήλωση πρωθυπουργού, πλησιάζει 5 πμ #vouli

3.00am BST

As we wait, here’s a picture of Alexis Tsipras voting earlier:

2.29am BST

Well, I was about to knock off, but apparently there’s a statement coming from the Greek PM. So we’d better hang on….

Tsipras to make statement soon. (It’s 04:30 am!)

2.28am BST

Alexis Tsipras has won crucial approval from the Greek parliament for the €13bn of austerity measures he is proposing to creditors, to obtain a third bailout programme.

After a late-night debate, 250 MPs out of 300 voted to give Tsipras, and finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos, a mandate to negotiate this weekend.

Tsipras lost 17 members of his coalition.

“Now I have the feeling we’ve reached the demarked line. From here on there is a minefield,”

“For the first time, we have on the table a substantial discussion for a debt restructuring.”

EU and IMF officials have given euro zone governments a positive assessment of Greece’s request for a new bailout, a source close to the matter said, making it likely they will agree on Saturday to open talks on lending Athens tens of billions of additional euros.

1.56am BST

Although the bill has passed with a big majority, 250 out of 300, the big question is how the coalition split.

And it appears that only 145 Syriza-ANEL MPs backed the plan, out of 162.

Strong support for proposals in Greek Parl’t (250/300 MPs) but problem for PM is only 145 from coalition, raising Qs about majority #Greece

Questions now if Tsipras can continue with this set-up or whether he needs new MPs/coalition/elections. Also, will lenders trust him #Greece

#Greece govt suffers wider losses than expected – Tough days ahead for Tsipras – Almost impossible to pass bailout laws under this coalition

1.40am BST

Here’s the official result:

1.33am BST

Lots of speculation swirling about how close the result was……

1.24am BST

Now the influential energy minister, Panagiotis Lafazanis, has abstained!

Syriza’s Lafazanis (energy minister) joins dissenters, abstains #Greece

1.23am BST

Govt has lost 10 votes, result will be close. Bill will pass due to opposition support but serious blow to govt. Reshuffle at v least

1.22am BST

Alexis Tsipras’s Syriza party has 149 seats; its coalition partner ANEL has 13, giving 162 votes in the 300-strong parliament.

So he can only afford 11 rebels, before he’s relying on opposition MPs to back him.

1.19am BST

A majority of MPs have now backed the motion – but how many more Syriza MPs will rebel?

Government motion passes in parliament but coalition suffering more losses #Greece

1.18am BST

This is a nailbiter for Tsipras – he’s running the risk of not carrying enough of his own party with him…..

First NO by #syriza MP Gaitani from thessaloniki, brings votes from coalition to 154.. 151 the confidence threshold #Greece

1.15am BST

Another member of Syriza’s Left Platform (the most radical wing), Costas Lapavitsas, has abstained….

Lapavitsas also abstains, gov’t has lost 7 votes so far #Greece

1.13am BST

Six rebels have now abstained, raising the possibility that Alexis Tsipras will be dependent on opposition votes to get his plan through…

There go another two SYRIZA MPs. Total 6 votes.

1.10am BST

Make that four abstentions from the government ranks:

Alternate Minister for Social Security Stratoulis abstains along with three others so far #Greece

So far SYRIZA lost 4 votes: one deputy minister, one former minister, the speaker of parliament and an MP. No comment. #Greece

1.08am BST

Much excitement when former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis is asked to vote (he’s gone off on a family trip)

Huge racket when Yanis Varoufakis’ name is read out. #vouli

1.07am BST

Two government MPs have already abstained…..

Syriza lost two in vote so far (both abstained) #Greece

1.06am BST

AND WE’RE OFF. Voting is underway……on whether to give Alexis Tsipras the authority to negotiate with lenders, based on the €13bn package of measures drawn up yesterday.

1.04am BST

The clocks have struck 3am in Athens, so we should be close to a vote (hopefully).

Every member of the government has deep black circles under their eyes. At least that’s one thing we still have in common with them.

12.49am BST

Parliament speaker Konstantopoulou says won’t vote for new deal, will abstain tonight #Greece

12.47am BST

After that attack on Greece’s creditors, Zoe Konstantopoulou says she will abstain.

Parl’t speaker Konstantopoulou (SYRIZA) says she could never vote for proposals under normal circumstances but will vote “present” #Greece

12.46am BST

Zoe Konstantopoulou, the Syriza MP and House speaker, is now accusing Greece’s lenders of blackmail, and criticising Germany for not making war reparations.

#now Ms. Konstantopoulou (Speaker&SyrizaMP) “Germany is acting like history and Greek people owe something to Germany” #Greece

Zoe Konstantopoulou [Syriza, presidenta del parlamento] recuerda q Alemania a

The Chart That Keeps Angela Merkel Up At Night

There is one thing that keeps Angela Merkel awake at night. It’s not the cries of despair from Greek pensioners; it’s not the stomach rumbles of starving Portuguese; it’s not the penniless Cypriots… it’s the rise of the euroskeptic and the possibility that her empire will be forced to wage not financial war but another type of conflict…

The Financial Attack On Greece: Where Do We Go From Here?

Submitted by Michael Hudson via CounterPunch,

The major financial problem tearing economies apart over the past century has stemmed more from official inter-governmental debt than with private-sector debt. That is why the global economy today faces a similar breakdown to the Depression years of 1929-31, when it became apparent that the volume of official inter-government debts could not be paid. The Versailles Treaty had imposed impossibly high reparations demands on Germany, and the United States imposed equally destructive requirements on the Allies to use their reparations receipts to pay back World War I arms debts to the U.S. Government.

Legal procedures are well established to cope with corporate and personal bankruptcy. Courts write down personal and business debts either under “debtor in control” procedures or foreclosure, and creditors take a loss on loans that go bad. Personal bankruptcy permits individuals to make a fresh start with a Clean Slate.

It is much harder to write down debts owed to or guaranteed by governments. U.S. student loan debt cannot be written off, but remains a lingering burden to prevent graduates from earning enough take-home pay (after debt service and FICA Social Security tax withholding is taken out of their paychecks) to get married, start families and buy homes of their own. Only the banks get bailed out, now that they have become in effect the economy’s central planners.

Most of all, there is no legal framework for writing down debts owed to the IMF, the European Central Bank (ECB), or to European and American creditor governments. Since the 1960s entire nations have been subjected to austerity and economic shrinkage that makes it less and less possible to extricate themselves from debt. Governments are unforgiving, and the IMF and ECB act on behalf of banks and bondholders – and are ideologically captured by anti-labor, anti-government financial warriors.

The result is not the “free market economy” it pretends to be, nor is it the rule of economically rational law. A genuine market economy would recognize financial reality and write down debts in keeping with their ability to be paid. But inter-government debt overrides markets and refuses to acknowledge the need for a Clean Slate. Today’s guiding theory – backed by monetarist junk economics – is that debts of any size can be paid, simply by reducing labor’s wages and living standards, plus by selling off a nation’s public domain – its land, oil and gas reserves, minerals and water distribution, roads and transport systems, power plants and sewage systems, and public infrastructure of all forms.

Imposed by the monopoly of inter-governmental financial institutions – the IMF, ECB, U.S. Treasury, and so forth – creditor financial leverage has become the 21st century’s new mode of warfare. It is as devastating as military war in its effect on population: rising suicide rates, shorter lifespans, and emigration of the age-cohort that always have been the major casualties of war, young adults. Instead of being drafted into the army to fight foreign foes, they are driven from their homes to find work abroad. What used to be a rural exodus from the land to the cities from the 17th century onward is now a “debtor exodus” from countries whose governments owe unpayably high sums to creditor governments and to the banks and bondholders on whose behalf they impose their policy.

While pushing the world economy into a state of war internationally, high finance also is waging a class war against labor – and ultimately against governments and thus against democracy. The ECB’s policy has been brutal toward Greece this year: “If you do not re-elect a right-wing party or coalition, we will destroy your banking system. If you do not sell off your public domain to buyers we will make life even harder for you.”

No wonder Greece’s former Finance Minister Janis Varoufakis called the Troika’s negotiating position “financial terrorism.” Their idea of “negotiation” is surrender. They are unyielding. Official creditor institutions threaten to isolate, sanction and destroy entire economies, including their industry as well as labor. It transforms the 19th-century class war into a purely destructive meltdown.

That is the great difference between today and 1929-31. Then, the world’s leading governments finally recognized that debts could not be paid and suspended German reparations and Inter-Ally debts. Today’s the unpayability of debts is used as leverage in class war.

The immediate political aim of this financial warfare in Greece is to replace its elected government (supported by a remarkable July 5 referendum vote of 61 to 39) with foreign creditor control by “technocrats,” that is, bank lobbyists, factotums and former Goldman Sachs managers. The long-term aim is to impose a war against labor – in the form of austerity – and against the power of governments to determine their own tax policy, financial policy and public regulatory policy.

Fortunately, there is an alternative. Here is what is needed. (I outlined my proposals in a presentation before the Brussels Parliament on July 3, following an earlier advocacy at The Delphi Initiative in Greece, convened by Left Syriza the preceding week.)

A declaration reaffirming the rights of sovereign nations

Sovereign nations have a right to put their own growth ahead of foreign creditors. No nation should be obliged to impose chronic depression and unemployment or polarize the distribution of wealth and income in order to pay debts.

Every nation has the right to the basic criteria of nationhood: the right to issue its own money, to levy taxes, and to write its laws, including those governing relations between creditors and debtors, especially the terms of bankruptcy and debt forgiveness.

Economic logic dictates what was recognized by the end of the 1920s: When debts reach the level that they disturb basic economic balance and derange society, they should be annulled. Another way of saying this is that the volume of debt – and its carrying charges – must be brought within the reasonable ability to pay.

Rejecting the “hard money” (really a “hard creditor”) position of anti-German, anti-labor economists Bertil Ohlin and Jacques Rueff, Keynes argued that creditors had an obligation to explain to Germany just how they would enable it to pay its reparations. At that time, Keynes meant specifically that France, Britain and other recipients of reparations should specify just what German exports they would agree to buy. But today, creditors define a nation’s ability to pay not in terms of how it can earn the money to pay down the debt, but rather what public domain assets it can sell off in what is essentially a national bankruptcy proceeding. Debtor countries are compelled to let their public infrastructure be sold off to rent-extractors to create a neofeudal tollbooth economy.

Under international law, no nation is legally obliged to do this. And under the moral definition of nationhood, they should not be forced to do so. Their right to resist this form of debt blackmail is what makes them sovereign, after all.

It is true that the principle of the European Union was that individual nations would cede their rights to a larger entity. The union itself was to exercise the rights of nationhood, democratically on the basis of a pan-European constituency.

But this is not what has happened. The EU has no common ability to tax and spend; those powers