Democracy Has Departed The West

Democracy Has Departed The West

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

Before the West spreads democracy abroad maybe it could get some for itself. The US is an oligarchy in which government is answerable to six powerful private interest groups. In Europe governments are answerable to the EU, Washington, and private bankers and not to their peoples. In the UK the military brass has declared its hold on the reins of power.

Jeremy Corbyn is the first Labourite to lead the Labour Party in a long time. Considering the stupidity and immorality of the Tories, Corbyn could become prime minister of Britain. Should this occur, Corbyn would shift the budget priorities away from supporting Washington’s wars toward refurbishing the social welfare state that made life for ordinary Britishers more secure and less stressful.

A senior serving general of the British army said that the army would not allow the people to “put a maverick in charge of the country’s security. The Army just wouldn’t stand for it and would use whatever means possible, fair or foul, to prevent that.”

In other words, a democratic outcome unacceptable to the English military will be overthrown. Just like in Egypt.

Here we have the incongruity of Washington and London bringing democracy to others through what Vladimir Putin calls “airstrike democracy,” while tolerating a democracy deficit themselves. The safest conclusion is that democracy is a cloak for an aggressive agenda, not a value in itself to the US and UK elites, who rule and who intend to continue to rule these countries for their personal benefit.

Jonathan Cook reports that the use of “whatever means possible, fair or foul,” against Labour prime ministers who actually stood for the people rather than for the elites is not unique to Corbyn. Labour Prime Minister Harald Wilson faced similar pressure and resigned. 

As far as I can tell, not only has democracy departed the Western world, but also compassion, empathy for others, morality, integrity, respect for truth, justice, faithfulness, and self-respect.Western civilization has become a hollow shell. There is nothing left but greed and coercion and the threat of coercion. When I read—hopefully incorrect reports—that Russia’s President Putin desires to be a partner of the West, I wonder why such a powerful country, which has emerged into light out of darkness, wants to be Satan’s partner. I assume that the reports are untrue or that Putin is acting in the interest of humankind to defuse the dangerous situation created by Washington and its NATO sock puppets.

Russia should not forget the courageous speech that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gave to the UN on September 20, 2006. Standing at the podium, Chavez said that on the previous day George W. Bush stood here, “Satan himself, speaking as if he owned the world. You can still smell the sulfur.” The purpose of America, Chavez said, is “to preserve the pattern of domination, exploitation and pillage of the peoples of the world.”

Chavez’s words were too much truth for US politicians. Nancy Pelosi, the multimillionaire Speaker of the US House of Representatives, said that such a speech was to be expected from an “everyday thug.”

Elsewhere the response was different. Rafael Correa, currently President of Ecuador, said that Chavez had insulted Satan, because although Satan is evil like Washington, he is al least intelligent, and Washington is completely stupid.

The Western World is on its last legs. Unemployment is horrendous for European and American youth—primarily for the educated. Young American women, driven by student debt, advertise on Internet sites for “sugar daddies” to whom they will supply sex for financial support. The easy answer—“education is the solution”— is a lie. Ph.Ds cannot get jobs, because university budgets are cut in order to save money for wars and bank bailouts and 75% of the remaining budget is used by administrations to pay themselves large salaries and perks. NYU, for example, provides its higher administrative personnel with expensive summer homes. University presidents in America have multimillion dollar incomes, while the students drown in debt.

The Wall Street Mentality—unlimited Greed—has taken over American life, and this greed has been exported to Europe, which had achieved a sharing relationship between labor and capital.Today Europe, like the US, is an opportunity wasteland for the young. Greece has been sacrificed for the private bankers, and Italy, Spain, and Portugal are waiting in the wings. In the place of independent European countries, a fascist centralized authority is rising.

As millions of refugees from Washington and its NATO enablers’ wars seek refuge in Europe, budgets for social welfare are further pressed.

In recent years we have witnessed that private bankers acting through the EU were able to appoint the governments of the allegedly democratic governments of Greece and Italy.

In the Western World the aristocracy of wealth is being re-established. If Russia and China join this “partnership,” then billions of peoples will be ruled by a handful of mega-rich elites.

The world is on the knife edge. The West is lost. Russia and China could go down with the West, because both Russia and China suffered tyranny and look to the West for the paths to freedom and liberty. But Western paths lead to “domination, exploitation and pillage of the peoples of the world.”

Will Russia and China participate in the pillage, or will they resist it, standing firm for humanity?

Nine world issues that are still going on, but we forgot to care about

http://www.news.com.au/world/nine-world-issues-that-are-still-going-on-but-we-forgot-to-care-about/story-fndir2ev-1227077254598

Nine world issues that are still going on, but we forgot to care about

 OCTOBER 02, 2014 7:02AM
A detainee peers from his cell in the Camp Delta detention facility on Guantánamo Bay.

A detainee peers from his cell in the Camp Delta detention facility on Guantánamo Bay. Source: AP

WE ARE perpetually inundated with information in this day and age.

With the combination of smart phones, social media and the 24/7 news cycle, it swirls around us constantly.

This instant gratification has debilitated our attention span and capacity for critical thinking.

Most issues or global crises seemingly get about two weeks of consideration before we lose interest. If an issue or crisis hasn’t been solved, and we don’t perceive it as impacting our daily lives, we move on to the next big thing.

Recently, we have granted much of our attention to ISIS, the spread of Ebola, Ferguson and now the protests in Hong Kong, among other issues. All of these topics certainly merit attention. However, there are many issues that were at one point the centre of our attention, but have now been pushed to the edges of our consciousnesses.

It’s true that there are still people actively addressing many of these problems, but the majority of us typically grant our attention to whatever is directly in front of us. If it’s not in our yard, or if it’s not on our newsfeed, we probably forgot about it or aren’t aware at all. Don’t be fooled into thinking that something isn’t important because it’s not trending on Facebook or Twitter.

These are just a few ongoing problems that we have largely forgot about over the past year or so, in no particular order:

1. POVERTY

ISIS and Ebola might seem like the most pressing issues in the world at the moment. Yet, for billions of people across the globe, poverty is far more threatening. Indeed, more than 1 billion people live on less than one dollar a day.

RELATED: NAURU’S DOWNFALL FROM RICH NATION TO POVERTY

In 2009, police clashed with protesters who marched through London demanding action on po

In 2009, police clashed with protesters who marched through London demanding action on poverty, climate change and jobs ahead of the G20 summit. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell Source: Getty Images

Girls walk on a street in the Paisopolis slum in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Picture: Andre Penner

Girls walk on a street in the Paisopolis slum in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Picture: Andre Penner Source: AP

Skid Row, in Los Angeles, contains one of the largest stable populations of homeless peop

Skid Row, in Los Angeles, contains one of the largest stable populations of homeless people in the United States. Picture: Robyn Beck Source: AFP

According to study results announced earlier in the year by the German Institute for Econ

According to study results announced earlier in the year by the German Institute for Economic Research, Germany has the highest division between rich and poor in terms of overall financial wealth. Picture: Sean Gallup Source: Getty Images

Likewise, there are around 780 million people without access to clean water, and around 2.5 billion without basic sanitation. In some places, people have to walk a kilometre or more just to get water.

Tragically, a child under 5 will die every 21 seconds from a preventable water-related disease. These are diseases that were eradicated in developed countries over a century ago, but still claim millions of lives in the present-day. What’s more, there are viable solutions to this problem.

In addition to water, more than 800 million people (more than twice the population of the United States) go to bed without food every single day — 300 million are children. Every 3.6 seconds, someone in the world will die from hunger.

2. HIV/AIDS

Today, close to 33.4 million people are living with HIV/AIDs. Since 1981, when the first cases were reported, more than 25 million people have died from HIV/AIDs, and there is still no cure.

RELATED: AIDS CONFERENCE 2014 GOES ON DESPITE LOSSES

This April 12, 2011 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of

This April 12, 2011 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows an H9 T cell, blue, infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), yellow. Source: Supplied

Njeri, a young girl from the Familia Moja Children's Home in Mang'u, Kenya. The home care

Njeri, a young girl from the Familia Moja Children’s Home in Mang’u, Kenya. The home cares for kids who have lost one or both parents to diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Picture: Amy Woodward Source: Supplied

Former heroin addict Lulu, pictured at his home, a boarding house in Denpasar, Bali, cont

Former heroin addict Lulu, pictured at his home, a boarding house in Denpasar, Bali, contracted AIDS from needle-sharing when shooting up heroin. Picture: Renee Nowytarger Source: News Limited

HIV Prevention

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In 2012 alone, over one million people worldwide died from AIDS-related illnesses.

The vast majority of people living with HIV, close to 97 per cent, live in low and middle-income countries. Most of these people reside in sub-Saharan Africa. Hence, poverty plays a huge role in the spread of this lethal virus.

3. SLAVERY/HUMAN TRAFFICKING

At present, nearly 21 million people are working as modern day slaves as a consequence of human trafficking.

RELATED: AUSTRALIAN FINDS LETTER FROM CHINA PRISON FACTORY

President Barack Obama pauses after a tour of Goree Island, Senegal. Goree Island is the

President Barack Obama pauses after a tour of Goree Island, Senegal. Goree Island is the site of the former slave house and embarkation point built by the Dutch in 1776, from which slaves were brought to the Americas. Picture: Evan VucciSource: AP

Josef Fritzl, was charged with imprisoning and repeatedly raping his daughter in an under

Josef Fritzl, was charged with imprisoning and repeatedly raping his daughter in an underground bunker for 24 years. Source: News Limited

“Enung”, hired as a housekeeper, was beaten and scalded. She crouches in a closet in a Lo

“Enung”, hired as a housekeeper, was beaten and scalded. She crouches in a closet in a Long Island, New York, mansion. Source: AP

AFP officers search an area of a house in Cabramatta, western Sydney. The Australian Fede

AFP officers search an area of a house in Cabramatta, western Sydney. The Australian Federal Police allege Song Ea lured women to Sydney on student visas, but confiscated their passports once they arrived and took them to a brothel where they were kept against their will. Source: News Limited

Indeed, human trafficking is one of the most profitable businesses in the world. Global profits per victim per year are around $21,800, coming out to around $150 billion in total profits.

In the United States, it is estimated that around 100,000 children are trafficked for sexual exploitation every year. This is not only a problem in impoverished countries, it’s worldwide.

4. GUANTÁNAMO BAY

The Guantanamo Bay detention centre, also known as Gitmo, will forever stand as a black mark on the history of the United States. Following 9/11, the United States has detained hundreds of individuals at Gitmo without charge or criminal trial.

RELATED: GITMO PRISONER ARRESTED OVER SYRIA TERROR LINKS

A Guantanamo guard keeps watch from a tower overlooking the detention facility at Guantán

A Guantanamo guard keeps watch from a tower overlooking the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba, in 2010. Picture: /Brennan Linsley Source: AP

A 2010 satellite image shows a portion of Naval Station Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, including t

A 2010 satellite image shows a portion of Naval Station Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, including the secret facility known as Penny Lane, upper middle in white. Source: AP

A detainee peers from his cell in the Camp Delta detention facility on Guantánamo Bay.

A detainee peers from his cell in the Camp Delta detention facility on Guantánamo Bay. Source: AP

A Guantanamo guard visually inspects cells on a two-minute cycle, right, while another st

A Guantanamo guard visually inspects cells on a two-minute cycle, right, while another stands watch in the Camp 5 maximum-security facility at Guantánamo Bay. Picture: Brennan Linsley Source: AP

Since the first detainees were sent to Gitmo in 2002, reports of secret detentions, torture, unfair trials and suicides have surfaced.

Currently, there are still 149 detainees at the detention camp, despite the fact that President Obama promised to shut it down when he came into office.

A number of the remaining detainees are on hunger strike, and are controversially being force-fed, which is arguably a form of torture. There are impending hearings surrounding this issue, which the United States has attempted to keep secret.

5. CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

Sectarian fighting has been ravaging the Central African Republic since 2012. Yet, unlike ISIS, Syria and Iraq, it has received decidedly less attention.

RELATED: WHY ‘LIFE IS CHEAP’ IN AFRICA

Nine world issues we forgot to care about

A Christian fighter stands on the front of a looted Muslim store in Guen, about 250 kilometres north of Bangui, Central African Republic. Picture: Jerome Delay Source: AP

A handwritten list of the people slain in the town of Sibut by Muslim rebels, recorded by

A handwritten list of the people slain in the town of Sibut by Muslim rebels, recorded by local Red Cross officials who collected the bodies and buried the dead. Picture: Krista Larson Source: AP

Bullet impacts inside a looted Muslim store in Guen. Picture: Jerome Delay

Bullet impacts inside a looted Muslim store in Guen. Picture: Jerome Delay Source: AP

Militants release 23 children held in Central African Republic

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Many atrocities have been committed, and the conflict is ongoing. Likewise, due to the complex causes of this war, it doesn’t look as though it will stop anytime soon.

6. DRONES

American drone strikes have killed over 2000 people, many of whom were civilians and children.

RELATED: ISLAMABAD CONDEMNS US DRONE STRIKES

 

Fighters from the Islamic State group gesture as they load a van with parts that they sai

Fighters from the Islamic State group gesture as they load a van with parts that they said was a US drone that crashed into a communications tower in Raqqa early on September 23, 2014. Source: AFP

Pakistani air force personnel carry coffins of foreign tourists as they are unloaded from

Pakistani air force personnel carry coffins of foreign tourists as they are unloaded from a C-130 air plane upon arrival at Chaklala air base. Gunmen dressed as police killed nine Chinese and Ukrainian tourists in an unprecedented attack in the Pakistani Himalayas claimed by the Taliban, who said they had set up a new faction to target foreigners in revenge for US drone strikes. Source: AFP

Washington considering military options in Iraq

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This policy has generated controversy around the world, and animosity towards to the United States. Many worry that it has the potential to perpetuate, rather than end, the War on Terror.There is very little transparency surrounding the drone program, and we don’t have a clear picture of why targets are selected and whether or not they posed an imminent threat to America. Yet, a majority of Americans still support this policy without really questioning it.

7. CALIFORNIA DROUGHT

California has been experiencing one of the worst droughts in recent memory. Some fear that entire communities could be left without water within two months.

RELATED: 25 MILLION PEOPLE AFFECTED IN CALIFORNIA DROUGHT

Marina owner Mitzi Richards carries her granddaughter as they walk on their boat dock at

Marina owner Mitzi Richards carries her granddaughter as they walk on their boat dock at the dried up lake bed of Huntington Lake, which is at only 30 per cent capacity as a severe drought continues to affect California. Picture: Mark Ralston Source: AFP

A man stands beside the stump of a fallen giant Sequoia tree at the Sequoia National Park

A man stands beside the stump of a fallen giant Sequoia tree at the Sequoia National Park. Scientists claim they are under threat from a diminishing snowpack and rising temperatures as a severe drought continues to affect California. Picture: Mark Ralston Source: AFP

Ventura Drivers Say ‘Yes’ to Dirty Cars

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The drought has had a detrimental impact on California’s agriculture, which will have consequences both within the United States and around the world. California exports rice to Asia in addition to restaurants within the United States.

Stanford University scientists believe that greenhouse gases might be the cause of this drought. Accordingly, this is yet another instance of negative impact human activities have had on the environment, and the way in which climate change affects us all.

8. IRAN’S NUCLEAR PROGRAM

The situation with ISIS has led some to believe that the United States should team up with Iran. However, there are still many around the world who are concerned about Iran’s nuclear ambitions, particularly Israel.

An Iranian coal miner smokes a cigarette during a break on a mountain in Mazandaran provi

An Iranian coal miner smokes a cigarette during a break on a mountain in Mazandaran province, near the city of Zirab, 212 kilometres northeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. Picture: Ebrahim Noroozi Source: AP

International sanctions linked to the decade-long dispute over Iran’s nuclear program hav

International sanctions linked to the decade-long dispute over Iran’s nuclear program have hindered the import of heavy machinery and modern technology in all sectors, and coal mining is no exception. Picture: Ebrahim Noroozi Source: AP

The decision to privatise the industry 10 years ago has further squeezed miners, who work

The decision to privatise the industry 10 years ago has further squeezed miners, who work often in dangerous conditions — and make just $300 a month, little more than minimum wage. Source: AP

Indeed, Iran could pose a significant threat to both the Middle East and much of the world if it developed nuclear weapons. As the fight against ISIS rages on, this issue cannot be forgot.

President Obama on Iran Nuclear Program Deal

http://m.wsj.net/video/20131124/112413obamafull/112413obamafull_640x360.jpg

9. WAR ON DRUGS

The War on Drugs has been one of the most expensive failures in history. Right now, much of the focus on this issue surrounds the debate over the legalisation of marijuana.

RELATED: ‘WAR ON DRUGS’ FUELLING HIV EPIDEMIC

Members of HMAS Toowoomba with 5.6 tonnes of cannabis resin, worth an estimated $280 mill

Members of HMAS Toowoomba with 5.6 tonnes of cannabis resin, worth an estimated $280 million, intercepted during a boarding in support of Operation Manitou on September 19, 2014. Source: Getty Images

With her pink AK-47 assault rifle, they call Claudia Ochoa Felix the black widow maker af

With her pink AK-47 assault rifle, they call Claudia Ochoa Felix the black widow maker after she took over the top job at one of Mexico’s deadliest drug Mafia gangs.    Source:Supplied

HMAS Sydney's Commanding Officer, Commander Brian Schlegel, RAN, and Executive Officer Li

HMAS Sydney’s Commanding Officer, Commander Brian Schlegel, RAN, and Executive Officer Lieutenant Commander Andrew Hough stand with nearly two tonnes of hashish on the ship’s flight deck. Source: Supplied

Relatives mourn Jose Yovanny Bocel at an Air Force base in Guatemala City. The discovery

Relatives mourn Jose Yovanny Bocel at an Air Force base in Guatemala City. The discovery of 49 mutilated bodies dumped on a highway in northern Mexico in 2012 appears to be part of an increasingly gruesome war of intimidation among Mexican drug gangs. Picture: Rodrigo Abd Source: AP

However, people should also consider the way in which keeping other drugs illegal fosters violence both within the United States and around the world.

Recently, global leaders met and called for the decriminalisation of drugs, in order to make this a health issue, rather than a criminal one. When one thinks about it, this is a logical approach, and one which has worked very well for Portugal.

This article is an edited version of the original which appeared in Elite Daily.

 

No Drinking Water In Venezuela Until Bankers Get Paid Back

www.zerohedge.com

2013 was a good year for Goldman Sachs investments in Emerging Markets, most notably Venezuelan bonds (as they bet on socialism and won). A year later and Goldman’s EM debt portfolio is still loaded with Venezuelan bonds… and the arrears are mounting.

As Bloomberg reports, at a time whenVenezuela’s record $25 billion in arrears to importers has its citizens waiting hours in line to buy drinking water and crossing borders in search of medicine, President Nicolas Maduro is using the nation’s dwindling supply of dollars to enrich bondholders.

As Bloomberg reports,

 Venezuela, which imports just about everything, and its state oil producer have paid $2.8 billion in interest to overseas creditors this year, according to Barclays Plc. Including debt principal, bondholder outlays will balloon to almost $10 billion by year-end, the London-based firm estimates.

By putting off the local companies responsible for supplying everything from diapers to cancer medications, Maduro can preserve access to debt markets and protect oil shipments that would be vulnerable to bondholder seizure, said Alejandro Arreaza, an analyst at Barclays. Even if that means fanning the world’s fastest inflation and inflaming protests over shortages that have left at least 42 people dead since February.

The government’s priority is to pay the sovereign debt,” Alejandro Arreaza, an analyst at Barclays Plc, said in a telephone interview from New York.

Of course, it’s not just the government debt but state-owned entities that need the USD and are getting priority over the thirsty population…

 State oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA is seeking a loan to pay off $3 billion of debt that matures this year and isn’t planning additional dollar bond sales in 2014, a company official said yesterday. PDVSA, as the Caracas-based company is known, is working to refinance an additional $11.9 billion of dollar debt due through 2017 to bring its annual maturities to no more than $3 billion, said the official, who asked not to be identified because he isn’t authorized to speak publicly.

It’s the first time that it’s ever reached this critical level,” he said by telephone. “And it’s clear that they can’t pay it off at once.”

“There has been a divergence between what happens to Venezuelan bonds in the international market and what happens to businesses that operate inside of Venezuela,”

As one analysts noted… just like everywhere else in the world…

 “The market is giving Venezuela the benefit of the doubt and hopes that it applies other economic measures that in one form or another will guarantee its capacity to repay bondholders,”

 


 

And so it goes…

 

 

No Drinking Water In Venezuela Until Bankers Get Paid Back

No Drinking Water In Venezuela Until Bankers Get Paid Back

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/09/2014 22:38 -0400

2013 was a good year for Goldman Sachs investments in Emerging Markets, most notably Venezuelan bonds (as they bet on socialism and won). A year later and Goldman’s EM debt portfolio is still loaded with Venezuelan bonds… and the arrears are mounting. As Bloomberg reports, at a time when Venezuela’s record $25 billion in arrears to importers has its citizens waiting hours in line to buy drinking water and crossing borders in search of medicine, President Nicolas Maduro is using the nation’s dwindling supply of dollars to enrich bondholders.

As Bloomberg reports,

Venezuela, which imports just about everything, and its state oil producer have paid $2.8 billion in interest to overseas creditors this year, according to Barclays Plc. Including debt principal, bondholder outlays will balloon to almost $10 billion by year-end, the London-based firm estimates.

By putting off the local companies responsible for supplying everything from diapers to cancer medications, Maduro can preserve access to debt markets and protect oil shipments that would be vulnerable to bondholder seizure, said Alejandro Arreaza, an analyst at Barclays. Even if that means fanning the world’s fastest inflation and inflaming protests over shortages that have left at least 42 people dead since February.

The government’s priority is to pay the sovereign debt,” Alejandro Arreaza, an analyst at Barclays Plc, said in a telephone interview from New York.

Of course, it’s not just the government debt but state-owned entities that need the USD and are getting priority over the thirsty population…

 State oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA is seeking a loan to pay off $3 billion of debt that matures this year and isn’t planning additional dollar bond sales in 2014, a company official said yesterday. PDVSA, as the Caracas-based company is known, is working to refinance an additional $11.9 billion of dollar debt due through 2017 to bring its annual maturities to no more than $3 billion, said the official, who asked not to be identified because he isn’t authorized to speak publicly.

It’s the first time that it’s ever reached this critical level,” he said by telephone. “And it’s clear that they can’t pay it off at once.”

“There has been a divergence between what happens to Venezuelan bonds in the international market and what happens to businesses that operate inside of Venezuela,”

As one analysts noted… just like everywhere else in the world…

“The market is giving Venezuela the benefit of the doubt and hopes that it applies other economic measures that in one form or another will guarantee its capacity to repay bondholders,”