American Economic System; Bubbles and “Socialism” for the Rich.

7 01 2015

By: Sami Jamil Jadallah

The late Gore Vidal once described the American capitalist system as “ socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the rest” and Republicans are by definition the “socialists” in this country notwithstanding their lies. The bailout of Wall Street is a confirmation of such “socialism” for the rich while millions lost their homes to foreclosure lost their jobs or businesses were subject to the rules of free enterprise.

That bring us to the current fluctuations in the price of oil down from a high of $120 to $50 and it has a lot to do with politics much more than economic cycles and the impacts are felt around the world from South Dakota, Alberta, Iran and Moscow certainly with the Ukraine and Wall Street.

Over the last several months, Middle East treasuries were fleeced to the tune of $500 billions with stock markets losing more than $100 billions in the last few weeks. The Russian economy is in tailspin with the ruble losing more than 50% of its value.

The present American capitalist system is no longer governed or influenced by “economic cycles” we learned about while in graduate school, now our capitalist system is governed and is influenced by “bubbles” cycles of economic boom and bust that for the most part has nothing to do with well known economic theories such as supply and demands, or with “Keynesianism” but has every thing to do with greedy crooks of Wall Streets.

I am sure that most of us heard of the different theories governments deal with cycles of inflation, unemployment, high interest rates, and other factors that has to do with fluctuations of supplies and demands, upturns, downturns and side turns among other.

There are few well known “economic cycles such as Joseph Kitchins (3-5 years), Jular Fixed-Investment (7-11 years), Kuznets Infrastructure Investment Cycle (15-25 years) and Kondratiev Investment Cycles (45-60 Years) among others.

For many years we heard presidential economic advisors talk about “economic cycles” well known among them is Milton Friedman of the University of Chicago who was key advisor to Ronald Reagan the king of the “voodoo economics”.

Most notable but much lesser known of his “opinions” is his demands for “abolition” of the Federal Reserve System, however he was well known for his theory on “monetarism” and his “natural” rate of unemployment. Keeping in mind his devastating influence on many economies of Latin America in the 70’s and 80’s when his students became masters of Latin American economies.

Of course all of us remember Argentine and Chile among others. Milton Friedman believed in the “Free Market” economic system with minimal intervention including monetary policy, taxation, privatization and deregulation.

Since deregulation, this country has gone through so many booms and bust, man made at best and for sure greedy and crooked Wall Street financiers has every thing to do with it.

1. Saving and Loan Association Crisis (1980’s-1990):
I am sure all of us remember these so called “thrift” local banks that takes deposit and gives out house and car loans. Well , because crooks took over management of these saving and loan associations, 1,043 out of 3,234 went bust. This was a time when any one with money, like doctors and lawyers and drug dealers were looking for tax shelters and there was non other than real estate. But then greedy crooks took over major banks milking them for the cash they have or financing private real estate without the necessary collateral.

We all should remember Silverado Saving and Loan, Mid West Federal Saving and Loan, Lincoln Saving and Loan and Charles Keating and the Keating Five. Senators who were the major beneficiaries of Keating $300,000 generosity. Alan Cranston (D-CA), Don Riegle (D-MI), Dennis DeConcini (D-AZ), John Glen ( D-OH) and John McCain (R-AZ). Of course this pales to the tens of millions the likes of Sheldon Edelson contributes to his “Israeli First” senatorial and presidential candidates. This “bubble” costs the taxpayers over $150 billions.

The Japanese and the Arabs were lured to the real estate market with Japanese buying such prime real estate as the Rockefeller Center and major golf course only to walk away few years later from their $2 billion investment.

2. Junk Bond- High Yield Bonds:

In the words of Christopher Mathews of Time Magazine, “America has been afflicted with one financial scandal after another over the past generation – culminating in the 2008 financial panic, the effects of which we are still suffering under. It has widely been assumed that each of these scandals have had disparate causes, but in their new paper Bratton and Levitin argue that three of the most notorious scandals of the past generation — Michael Milken’s junk-bond-related securities fraud in the 1980s, the Enron scandal of the early 2000s, and the subprime mortgage meltdown of 2007-08 — are all linked by their use of an esoteric accounting mechanism called a “special purpose entity,” or SPE. When used dishonestly, SPEs are nothing more than financial sleight of hand, the clever shifting around of assets to trick regulators and investors into seeing something that isn’t there.”

Soon after taking over major companies through friendly or hostile take over, Wall Street financier simply loot the companies out of its cash or sell cash cow subsidiaries and through their friends on Wall Street issue “junk bonds” literally junk or garbage financial instruments. Companies were looted; stockholders were fleeced with Wall Street rogues laughing all the way to the banks, very few went to jail.

I am sure we all remember the likes of Michael Milken and Ivan Boesky, Meshhulam Riklis of Schenley Industries, Carl Linder of American Finance Corporation, Victor Posner of Sharon Steel, Saul Steinberg of Leasco Reliance, Laurence Tisch of Loews Theaters and Kent Cigarettes and Fred Carr of Enterprise Mutual Funds among others. American stockholders lost hundreds of billions as a result of the looting and fleecing that took place with the active help from Wall Street and indifference from the White House and Capital Hill.

3. Fraud and Lies of Accounting Scandal:

Thanks to an organization called Accounting- Degree.org I was able to find a very well organized summary listing major and big times lies, frauds and cheating among America’s big and leading corporations. I am sure all of us remember this major crisis that cost American stockholders and pensioners several hundred billions. Major among these are:

– Waste Management (1998) when the management of Dean L. Buntrock listed $1.7 billion in false income. The company ended up paying $475 million in fine.
– Enron Scandal (2001) when the management of Ken Lay (friend of Bush) and Jeff Skilling falsified books, fleeced Californian consumers of billions in electrical billings ending with shareholders loosing $74 billion. Tens of thousand lost their lifetime pension.

– WorldCom (2002) or better known as MCI when Bernie Ebbers inflated assets by $11 billion leading to the loss of 30,000 jobs and the stockholders losses of $180 billion.

– TYCO Scandal (2002) where non other than CEO/CFO Dennis Kozlowski stole $ 150 million including throwing a $2 million birthday party for his wife in Sardinia. Not sure how much stockholders lost but it is in the billions.

– HealthSouth Scandal (2003) here CEO Richard Scushy inflated earning by $1.4 billion and as the American justice system works he was acquitted on all 36 counts but was convicted of bribing the governor of Alabama.

– American Insurance Group better known as AIG (2005) ran into deep trouble when its top executives were caught cheating to the tune of $3.9 billions in accounting fraud and bidding rigs. Hank Greenberg was fired and AIG end up paying $1.64 billion in fines to the SEC and paid $115 to the Louisianan Pension Fund and $725 million to the Ohio Pension Fund.

However all of that did not stop top executives at AIG here in the US and overseas from gambling with the investor’s money knowing well that Uncle Sam is always on the side of the big guys, remember, socialism for the rich.

Because of undeclared and hidden losses in derivatives AIG lost $ 85 billions and its shares tumbled 60%. Of course Uncle Sam, always generous with our social security money stepped in and bailed AIG to the tune of $182 Billions, the biggest bailed out ever. To reward its top executive for the excellent job they did in losing that much money, AIG paid $ 165 million in bonuses only to increase that to $450 million.

– Lehman Brothers (2008): This private banking organization, not for you and me but for the big and rich guys is a well-established financial icon on Wall Street for over 160 years. It top management simply hid $50 billions in loans disguised as “sales” and of course when the big lie was discovered the bank executive sough help and for one reason or another, the Secretary of the Treasury at the time Paul Olson decided not to come to the rescue and the bank went belly up. Keeping in mind its chief executive officer Richard S. Fuld earned over $500 millions in the last 8 years heading the bank.

– Columbia/HCA (1997): Now this health service company and provider did what it does best, cheating Medicare and tax payers and was charged with 14 counts of felonies and agreed to pay $600 million in fine. As it happens its top executive Richard Scott (Florida Governor twice) was able to use the hundreds of millions he made heading Columbia /HCA and turn it into a successful political career as the Republican Governor of Florida.

– Bernie Madoff (2008): Bernie the darling of Wall Street sough after by the largest and most powerful Jewish charities and groups. In fact rich and powerful needed good word from someone in the Madoff inner circles to get him to take them on as client.

The guy was so successful in getting his clients return on investment unmatched by any one on Wall Street, 10, 20 and 30 percent return. And of course with that kind of return who would not go to Bernie to invest their money.

As it turned out and while the SEC was under sedation and in a coma, Mr. Madoff tricked his investors to the tune of $64.8 billions in a Ponzi scheme unmatched and unequal in history.

Mr. Bernie was given 150 years jail sentence in one of the government 5 stars jails and was ordered to repay $ 70 billion in restitution. The question is how a guy who succeeded in paying such high return has the funds to repay $70 billion?. His clients will never be able to recover their investment.

4. The Big Internet Bubble:

Please do not stop here, since the bubbles continue with what is known as the dot.com bubble starting in 1997 and peaking in 2000, better known as “ prefix investing”.

Here Wall Street and the initial investors made a killing with the NASDAQ peaking at 5,132.42. Wall Street and its executives made tens of billions while investors lost hundreds of billions. Companies saw their stocks skyrocket because they added “e” prefix or a .com to their names. Speculators were all over the place. America’s economies became economies of speculation, fraud, lies, false accounting and greed.

Economist Andrew Smith argued that IPO or “individual public offering “ tended to benefit banks and initial investors rather than companies, with high profitability of the IPO to Wall Street was a significant factor.”

This was crazy time when 16 Dot COM companies each spent $2 million for 30 seconds ads at Super Ball XXXIV. State and local governments were bending forward and backward trying to lure these Dot Com companies offering substantial tax incentives to these start-up companies.

In the Washington DC area, one only needs to drive up and down the Washington Dulles Toll Road to see these Dot Com companies all over the corridor. Most disappeared since then.

While companies such Amazon, EBay, Google, SISCO survived and flourished many companies had a different fate. North Point Communications, Global Crossing, JDS Uniphase, XO Communication did not fare well.

Here the business model developed was to operate at “ sustained net loss to build market share” a business model that saw some companies like Boo.Com spending $188 millions in 6 months. Companies likes like Books-A-Million stock rose more than 1000% simply because “ it updated its website” with its stock going from $3 to $38.94 to $44 then crashing to $3.

Another company like e. Digital Corporation saw its stock going in January 1999 from $0.06 to 2.91 in December to a high of $ 24.50 in January and then crashing down to $0.07 settling steady at $0.165 in 2010.

Companies like INKTOMI, which was valued at $ 25 Billions, was bought by MATTEL for $3.5 billions in 1999 was sold for $27.3 millions in 2000. InfoSpace saw its stock going up to $1,305 in March 2000 only to go down to $22 in April of 2001.

5. The Subprime Mortgage Bubble:

With the housing boom every one was looking for opportunities to make a fast buck. Wall Street was leading the way followed by homeowners and would be home buyers who too were attracted to a very creative “mortgage packages” that allowed borrowers, many “unqualified” to buy homes paying only interests for few years with the expectations that they resell the homes and make a killing.

Wall Street knew very well American psychology and greed and as such they did every thing it could to create what the former Chairman of the Feds Alan Greenspan called “ creative financial instruments” which were in reality nothing more than big lies, fraud and financial garbage.

Wall Street began to invest heavily in what is called mortgage backed securities (MBS) and collateralized debt obligation (DCO) with very attractive rate of return fueled by high interest rates on mortgages.

However mortgage companies, making commissions of $15,000 or more on each loan, only to repackage such loans and selling it to Wall Street which in turn sold it to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, without any legal recourse or liability, were eager to make the most of this opportunities began to actively seek potential home buyers with lower credit rating, lower income unable to sustain monthly payments, offering different mortgage rates to lure greedy borrowers and consumers dying to join the American dream of buying and owning a home. Home owners no lesser greedy than Wall Street were eager for the opportunity to flip the house they bought under questionable conditions and were hoping to make tens of thousands even hundreds. Mortgage companies were offering adjustable mortgage rates and interest only rates among others. Subprime lending went from a low of 8% in 2004 to a high of 20% in 2006 with adjustable mortgage rates accounting for 90% of the loans.

Bankers, economists, financial experts even average consumers knew well that this “housing economy is unsustainable” and was bound to implode like other bubbles. With the crash of the housing prices demands for mortgage securities “ evaporated” “with companies like Bearn Stearns announced its two hedge funds imploded”.

Not only Wall Street took America and its taxpayers and homeowners to the abyss it also took international banks even countries to bankruptcies.

The US housing market and mortgage backed securities attracted foreign investments from fast growing economies in Southeast Asia to oil producing and exporting countries, with low interest rates even banks borrowed money to get into the act.

Meanwhile the abolition of the Glass –Steagall Act of 1933 which established a wall between commercial banks and securities and investment bank at the behest of Wall Street was abolished by Congress and was repealed by the Gramm- Leach-Bliley Act which allowed commercial banks to get into the securities business and with securities companies going into commercial banking. Hence AIG, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and Lehman Brothers all went into the mortgage business.

These Wall Street institutions were lending trillions of dollars worth of mortgages when they had almost nothing to back it up other than the imploding values of housing.

Between 1st of January and 11 October US investors in the stock market lost over $ 8 Trillions when the value of their investment went from $ 20 Trillions to $12 Trillions.

The Federal Reserve never the people’s bank but is the bankers bank stepped in and rescued many of the too big to fails Wall Street securities and commercial banks even allowing a bank like Bank of America to shift its “portfolio of dangerous bets” to a set-aside company insured by the FDIC putting tax payers money at risk to the tune of $55 trillions.

Of course no need here to go into the numbers of banks, mortgage companies, and financial institutions that went belly up and imploded because of the greed and recklessness of Wall Street and the irresponsible if not the criminal acts of our Congress, a party to the crime.

Nations around the world went into default with Greece, Spain and other countries suffering huge financial losses that put tens of millions of people out their jobs and homes.

Here in the US the situation was no better. Millions of people lost their homes, those who deserve it, greedy and unqualified buyers and those who found themselves out of job because of the economic down turn.

The Federal government, both the Bush and Obama administrations stepped in to save the too big to fail, Wall Street which made hundreds of billions in profits with executive making billions in bonuses, found support from our government, with tax payers and owners of foreclosed homes were left to their fate. Wall Street paid over $100 billions in legal fees to avoid making homeowners whole. True only in the American economic system, socialism is for the rich, free enterprise for the poor.

In closings, if we think that Obama runs the US or Putin runs Russia, we need to keep in mind that it is Wall Street that rules the world. Goldman Sachs runs the world economic and financial system through its network of former executives who run the world economies from Spain and Portugal to Greece to Hungry to the EU. Goldman Sachs invented a financial instrument called ABACUS, a lesser financial instrument than a junk bond and was able to get an AAA rating for it and sold it worldwide. One of the unfortunate banks bought $300 million of this financial garbage, was the Industrial Bank of Dusseldorf. When Wall Street went belly up, the bank found its ABACUS investment not worth the paper it is on and it too had to close down with its stockholders losing every thing. Gore Vidal was true describing America’s capitalist system as “socialism for the rich and free market enterprise for the rest”.

Special Notes of thanks:

Accounting –degree.org, Forbes, Times, NY Times and Washington Post, Wikipedia for the valuable information and sources which was used in this article.


A non-military solution to ISIL will be the most effective

2 01 2015

By Adnan Oktar

The campaign started by the coalition forces against ISIL is continuing intensively. However the desired results cannot be attained from these air strikes. Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby said that the threat posed by the ISIL will not be eliminated “within days or months” and that the extremist group is good at adapting to changes. “It’s going to take a serious effort by all involved. We do believe that we’re talking about years here,” he said. These words are an embodiment of the doubts regarding the extent to which these military operations are expected to work.

The ideology of ISIL

President Obama’s confession in an interview aired on the ’60 Minutes’ program on CBS television is very important. He said, “The U.S underestimated the rise of ISIL in Iraq and Syria.” What the US underestimated was actually the impact of the ideology of ISIL in expanding the organization.

In the same program Obama also said, “Islam is a religion that preaches peace and the overwhelming majority of Muslims are peaceful. But in the Muslim world right now, there is a cancer that has grown for too long that suggests that it is acceptable to kill innocent people who worship a different God.” The most important point to be emphasized here is the existence of a power structure with faulty ideas. That means that one of the most important elements in preventing this is to enlighten the whole world and to raise awareness against these faulty ideas.

As a matter of fact, Obama’s address to the UN General Assembly in September was a good confirmation of this fact; “It is time for the world — especially Muslim communities — to explicitly, forcefully, and consistently reject the ideology of organizations like al Qaeda and ISIL. It’s time to end the hypocrisy of those who accumulate wealth through the global economy and then siphon funds to those who teach children to tear it down.”

Indeed a problem, which has snowballed like no one ever expected has arisen, one that could not be solved merely with military measures. New recruits to ISIL are coming even from the countries supporting the coalition every single day. From the Philippines to the UK, from France to Pakistan, from Japan to the USA, people from all around the world are adopting the philosophy of ISIL, moreover are personally joining their ranks.

The Soufan Group, the Strategic Research Center based in New York, states that more than 15,000 foreign militants from at least 81 countries have entered Iraq and Syria in three years. The report, titled “Foreign Fighters in Syria” and prepared by Richard Barrett notes; “Over 12,000 foreign fighters have gone to Syria since the three-year conflict began, more than traveled to Afghanistan during its ten-year war and violent aftermath. And they continue to arrive.”

The coalition doesn’t prevent new recruits going to join ISIL

There is an immense and intensive effort in social media to gather new recruits for the organization. Professor Anthony Glees, the Director of The University of Buckingham Center for Security and Intelligence Studies who researched this ideological activity expressed this in the following words; “Extremist groups are deliberately misleading British youths by preaching false religious doctrines and promising a better life. None of these young people are poor, needy or followers of discriminating ideologies. Most of the British youths who fight alongside the Islamic State extremist group are well educated and qualified. And they consider jihad as an interim activity. This is something surprising as it is generally believed that a good education can keep people away from terrorism.”

The fact that The Sun Daily reported about Sally Jones’ (45)- a rock music singer and mother of two- leaving the UK to join ISIL shows that this is not something that can be brought to an end with bombings.

The most important part of the matter comes into play at this stage and that is the necessity of conducting a massive educational campaign that will prevent new recruits to the organization.

Operations carried out have a negative impact

Gilles De Kerchove, Counter-terrorism Coordinator of the EU, says that the primary power of ISIL consists of some 31,000 militants. In point of fact, the number of those who embrace ISIL among the great masses who’ve been persecuted by occupations, wars and various dictators is far higher. These people find the organization close to themselves and prefer living with them; as a matter of fact, no other alternative has ever been presented to these people who’ve suffered a great deal in Iraq and Syria. However, no one should doubt that the environment would have changed with breathtaking speed if the people of the region were made to feel that they would be embraced lovingly. That is because love always defeats hatred.

On the other hand, the concept of armed intervention harbors many contradictions within itself, so much so, that the main goal of such an intervention is to stop an organization who inflicts violence upon innocent people and to protect the rights of civilians- primarily their right to live. However in air strikes on suspected hostile targets, scores of civilians invariably lose their lives. Every city that is bombed, every innocent person that dies, merely increases the hatred and the rage of the people in the region. Former CIA Officer Michael Scheuer, who served as the Chief of the Bin Laden Issue Station, voices this mistake of the USA as follows; “U.S. military intervention in any Muslim country means more donations, recruits, and popular support for IS, al-Qaeda, and other like-minded organizations.”

Indeed, what happened in Afghanistan and in the US intervention in Iraq are two very clear proofs of this fact: Armed interventions cause great losses of life and property and can only be realized with very high costs and what’s more, achieving stability through armed interventions has never been possible in the engagement areas such as Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. When we look back in history, we also are confronted with the fact that the USA dropped eight million tons of bombs in Vietnam yet still lost that war.

Intellectual struggle against the ideology of ISIL

“Replacing opinions that create violence with the right opinions” instead of falling into the delusion of “preventing violence with violence” would – before all else – prevent new recruits joining the organization. Any organization that loses its philosophical underpinnings is bound to come to an end. For that reason, pointing out and carefully critiquing the superstitions and resources other than the Qur’an that have been embraced by ISIL (assuming that they represent Islam) and explaining the truth of the Qur’an to make these wrongs right, is a crucial effort that will yield far better results in the long term.

 

The writer has authored more than 300 books translated in 73 languages on politics, religion and science. He may be followed at @Harun_Yahya and www.harunyahya.com.

 

Adnan Oktar’s piece on Daily Mail:

http://dailymailnews.com/2014/12/29/a-non-military-solution-to-isil-will-be-the-most-effective/

 


Open Letter to the Editors of the New York Times

31 12 2014

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

By Sam Bahour
December, 31, 2014

A view of Gaza City

Re “Gaza Is Nowhere” (By Roger Cohen, Dec. 30, 2014):

I started writing this as a Letter to the Editor, but my anger could not be conveyed in only 150 words, so I am posting this open letter instead:

Readers expect greater accuracy from New York Times columnists.

How dare Mr. Roger Cohen suggest that Gaza, a part of my homeland, is “nowhere!”

If Mr. Cohen is at a loss to know where Gaza lies, allow me to guide him. The Gaza Strip, as well as Gaza City, were both part and parcel of Historic Palestine, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. Following the colossal injustice that resulted in the displacement of more than half of the Palestinian people, and then the creation of what we know today as the state of Israel, and the subsequent military occupation of the remaining Palestinian lands of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Gaza Strip become part and parcel of an Israeli-militarily-occupied territory. It is this military occupation under which many of my friends and colleagues were born and live to this day.

 

Smoke rises from buildings in Gaza City following Israeli airstrikes

Despite the bitter life Gazan Palestinians face, they know exactly where they are and who they are. To Mr. Cohen’s possible disappointment, I will not sugar-coat reality with euphemisms or attempt to bury the international community’s disgraceful failures by dwelling on internal Palestinian political dynamics.

What Mr. Cohen terms a “high-tech Israeli facility,” is, in reality, an Israeli military garrison and checkpoint that is equipped with U.S. technology aimed to keep Palestinians locked into the world’s largest open-air prison called Gaza.

The Palestinian road worker who impressed Mr. Cohen is not “among the more productively employed of Gaza’s 1.8 million citizens.” The Gaza community is alive, albeit not well. If he had taken the time to look again without his biased lens, he would have seen an entire society struggling to be productive in a reality where electricity is a luxury, clean water is a distant thought, and having the ability to travel freely is a foreign concept to yet another generation of Palestinians.

Mr. Cohen claims that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is “the only dust-free environment” in Gaza. Spare me, please. Has he forgotten that Gaza has been on the receiving end of three major Israeli military operations within the past six years, which left scores dead and wounded and the rest traumatized for life. If he had only taken the time to visit Palestinian homes he would have found other “dust-free environments,” if dust was of such major concern to him. He would have experienced the generosity of a people battered for decades yet miraculously finding a way to go on educating their war-affected children, sustaining themselves economically, continuing to love, and stubbornly maintaining hope for a better tomorrow, even as they are forced to live in imposed darkness. Indeed, as retired Palestinian diplomat Afif Safieh has famously said, Palestinians have been “unreasonably reasonable” given what has fallen upon them.

To add insult to injury, Mr. Cohen assumes the role of spokesperson for Palestinians, claiming the utmost urgent matter in Palestinian lives is the need “to end the lockdown of Gaza.” Lockdown, Mr. Cohen, is a move used to keep prisoners in their cells. Ending the lockdown is allowing the prisoners to interact among themselves and visit the prison yard. Thank you Mr. Cohen, but no thank you. We have the right to be free from the prison imposed on us by Israel and bankrolled by your country. Our utmost urgent matter is that Israel end its nearly five-decade-long military occupation and allow Palestinians to return to their homes, after which we will take care of ourselves.

I can go on, but you are not interested in Palestine or Palestinians. Your career requires you to feed the stereotypes about my home, me, and my people, and for that, you are part of the problem, not the solution. That, Mr. Cohen, is what is truly “shameful.”

Sincerely,
Sam Bahour
Al-Bireh/Ramallah, Palestine
www.ePalestine.com

http://epalestine.blogspot.com/2014/12/epalestine-open-letter-to-editors-of.html


Free Aljazeera Journalists

29 12 2014


2014 In Retrospect

29 12 2014

syrian-6

By Adnan Oktar

On the eve of the New Year, people wish to believe that things will change for better, a new order with emerge. “Let’s hope for a better year,” they say, that is a good intention, a fine expectation and a source of hope for them. That is what we also hope will happen, of course. Insha’Allah (God willing), 2015 will be a good year for the whole world.

This hope must be maintained; however, it must not be forgotten that a new year is not a magic wand to change the course of events. The difficulties we faced over the year, the toxic ideologies and slowly strengthening hatred, will not suddenly come to an end. We hope that 2015 will be a year when peace will reign, but we also need to do things to bring that about. We therefore need to cast our eyes briefly over what was done wrong in the difficult year 2014:

We entered 2014 with the Syrian civil war. The war, which began in 2011, is still going on, with no intervention from the outside and no proposed solution, and 2014 went down as the year that saw the worst losses in the Syrian war. The death toll has exceeded 200,000, and is known to be certainly very much higher.

The self-ascribed Islamic State (IS), born out of the Syrian civil war, founded a state of its own in 2014. Strategic areas of Syria and Iraq are now under its control. This terrorist organization, which rendered NATO, the UN and the super powers helpless, is the result of wrong western policies toward the Middle East.

The Ukraine crisis, the result of greed alone, ended in a nightmare for a fine European country and ended in nearly 3,000 dead. The EU, which sought to extend its influence in Ukraine while sidelining Russia but which also sat back and watched the internal conflicts, and Russia, which refuses to blink on the subject of its former allies, are still settling their accounts. The resurrection of the Cold War era rivalries appears to be the handiwork of the US deep state.

While all this was going on, the horror of Ebola also appeared, though initially it attracted little world interest. The international organizations believed that money set aside for a solution to the problem in poor countries would not “bring profit.” Vaccination campaigns only began toward the end of the year, after the disease started appearing in the US and Europe; and after more than 6,000 deaths.

In 2014, Crimea went under Russian control. Scotland made a bid for independence, but failed. While the Central African Republic (CAR) was the scene of murder and genocide, Boko Haram continued with its horrifying attacks in Nigeria. One action by Boko Haram, which attracted global condemnation, was the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls, of whom 223 are still in the custody of the terrorist organization.

While all this was going on, 748 people lost their lives in incidents in Iraq in March alone.

As the Israeli-Gaza conflict was making headlines, other conflicts were raging on in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. While all this was happening, a Malaysian jet disappeared, another was shot down over Ukraine, 289 people lost their lives in a ferry disaster in South Korea and 301 in the Soma mine disaster in Turkey. Millions of people were made refugees in 2014, and hundreds lost their lives while seeking refuge in new countries in rickety boats. People also starved to death in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria.

As the number of refugees was rising and the world was being dragged into poverty, Europe began introducing laws to prevent the arrival of migrants. The European Parliament’s elections resulted in wins for extreme right and left wing parties rather than those from the center. Since being anti-migrant is regarded as a “vote winner” it became a popular policy with parties contesting the polls. Anti-migrant protests are still taking place in Germany in these last days of 2014. The economic crisis has had a devastating impact on countries such as Greece, Iceland, Greek Cyprus, Belgium and Italy, but has also affected the entire euro zone. Falling oil prices have affected Russia and the Middle East most of all. 

NSA snooping records, pictures of torture perpetrated by the regime in Syria and finally the CIA torture report were all exposed documents that left their mark on 2014. But these actually said nothing new.

2014 was a difficult year. But when we look back, we see that a great many of these tragedies were the result of using violence against violence, selfishness in the face of ambition or a preference for self-interest over human life. Again when we look back, we see that all these tragedies served the world’s arms manufacturers and various lobbies that profit from the artificial Cold War climate that efforts are being made to establish. The savagery we witnessed over the year had perhaps never before been so wide-ranging and horrifying.

We will be entering 2015 with problems. Nothing is just going to vanish with a magic wand. If the policy of violence in the world persists, then nobody should be surprised if these incidents are multiplied many times over in the years ahead. If the global community and the super powers in particular, fails to learn from 2014 and insists on implementing the same failed policy, then this scourge afflicting almost all countries will continue to grow and become even more ghastly. The year 2014 teaches us is: Violence in the face of violence is leading the world to destruction. The means are wrong. The policy being applied needs to change. The source of the violence must be targeted, and an age of education using the language of love must begin. The scale of the horror means that we need to understand the sign given us by Allah. Unless the method changes, the years ahead will see even more sufferings and afflictions. It would be a shame to waste another tragic year in order to grasp this fact. Let us not forget that 2015 will change nothing; it is we who can be the instruments of change.

The writer has authored more than 300 books translated in 73 languages on politics, religion and science. He may be followed at @Harun_Yahya and www.harunyahya.com.

 

Adnan Oktar’s piece on Arab News:

http://www.arabnews.com/columns/news/680241


The Inevitable Price of Dictatorship

28 12 2014

Posted by Sami Jamil Jadallah on June 2, 2012

By Sami Jamil Jadallah

With the on going killing fields of Bashar Assad’s Syria, by now Washington, Tel-Aviv, Moscow, Berlin, Paris and London should know the “inevitable” price of dictatorship. In the same way Damascus, Baghdad, Algeria, Tripoli, Sana’a, Mogadishu, Khartoum, Tehran, Cairo and Tunis know the price of dictatorship. There is always a heavy price paid by the people and nation, later than sooner.http://www.veteranstoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/dictatorship.jpg

For decades Western powers specially the United States and of course, Moscow as the capital of the former Soviet Union supported criminal dictatorships for reasons that has nothing to do with the rights and benefits of the citizens of these countries but their own selfish and criminal interests.

The United States for and on behalf of Israel always supported Arab dictatorships as a way to provide security and safety for Israel and supported regimes the likes of Mubarak and Ben Ali under the guise of “law and order regimes, ”, first as Anti-Communists and later on as anti-Islamists. It gave material support to Saddam Hussein from the day he came to power in 68 to his 8 years war against Iran, all the way to his invasion of Kuwait and overlooked his killing fields in Halabja and all over Iraq setting the stage for Iraq as a failed state.

The Soviet Union was no different; it supported dictatorships in the Middle East in Syria, Algeria, Libya, Yemen, (at one time) all in the name of “liberation” and as a counter balance to the United States during the Cold War. But then the former Soviet Union always supported criminal regimes thorough out East Europe and Central Asia.

Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria would not be in the mess they are in but for the long time dictatorships that ruled these countries, whether it is individual dictatorship as Barre, Saleh, Ben Ali, Saddam, Mubarak, Assad I and II, Qaddafi or collective dictatorship as is the case in Algeria.

These dictatorships not only ruined the lives of hundreds of millions of people, imprisoned them, tortured them, abuse them, impoverished them, abused them, violated their privacy, but looted the country as they went on to secure law and order for the West and of course “revolutionary” for the former Soviet Union.

By now citizens of these countries should also know the price of silence, the price of not standing up for the criminal regimes ruled by security agencies not for the security of the country but security and longevity for the regimes. The entire state apparatus and all of the resources were put to serve and protect the regimes.

One has to wonder if things could be the same now if the people took to the streets in the hundreds of thousands if not in the millions in the early days of these dictatorship before they solidified their police state. Would Saddam succeed in taking Iraq to ruin, or would Assad pass his regime to his son, or would Mubarak be behind bars, or would Saleh leaves Yemen in ruins, or would Bin Ali loot the country or Qaddafi dies a humiliating death?

One has to wonder how many millions of people would have been saved if America and the West did not provide the political and security covers for such dictatorship and one has to wonder the thousands of lives that could be saved in Syria if Russia decides to walk away from Bashar Assad leaving his fate in the hands of his people and the rope waiting for him?

One has to wonder the trillions of dollars wasted on wars the last 40 years and the millions of people who died and the armament that went up in smoke only to fill the coffers and treasuries of Washington, London, Paris, Berlin, Moscow and Tel-Aviv. One has to wonder the trillions in human capital that was snuffed by 5-cent bullets. Years of family care and decades of educations snuffed because America and Moscow provided covers for these dictatorships.

All of these dictatorships without exception created political parties in their own image; corrupt, incompetent, wasteful, and failing the likes Mubarak National Democratic Front, and Nasser’s Arab Socialist Union, and Ali Saleh’s General People Congress, Al-Bashir’s National Congress Party (lost half of Sudan), Ben Ali’s Rally for Constitutional Democracy, Saddam Hussein’s Arab Ba’athist Party, Assad’s Arab Ba’athist Party.

Others like Libya’s Qaddafi ran the country to ruin with his “Jamahiriya” or “State of the Masses”. Of course Algerian perhaps has the longest running dictatorship with “military” controlling and having all the say so over the National Liberation Front and the Algerian State since independence.

All the blood, the tears, the lost hopes and futures, the exiles, the poverty, the unemployment, the poor run down infrastructures, all the resources of the nation and people were simply wasted and blow away so that Saddam can pass on his kingdom to his kids, and Mubarak can pass his presidency to his son Jamal, with Assad successful in passing his farm to his son Bashar. Qaddafi was killed before he passed his “State of the Masses” to his son Saif. Ali Saleh did succeed in looting the country and passing almost every thing in Yemen to his family while escaping the International Criminal Court.

America and Tel-Aviv gave their full support to the later Shah only to inherit the rules of the Mullahs and the Revolutionary Guards in Iran. What goes around must comes around, with the US paying trillions and tens of thousands of lives as the costs of misguided policies and support for criminal dictatorship.

Let us hope the price of freedom in Syria will not be the same as the price in Iraq and Libya and Sudan. The Palestinian people have to learn sooner than later there is and will be a heavy price they will pay for the dictatorship they call the Palestine Liberation Organization.


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