Amy Goodman, Michael Hudson: G20 Opens as Greek PM Pushes for Referendum on Bailout and Austerity Measures (Democracy Now)
Obama is here to represent the interests of the American banks. And the Europeans are very angry that a few weeks ago Tim Geithner, the bank lobbyist, came over and insisted that Europe not forgive Greece’s bank loans, not let Greece write down the loans, and indeed that it not even claim that Greece should do what Argentina is and write down the loans as a premise, because Mr. Geithner explained to the Europeans that the largest insurers of the Greek debt are American money market funds and hedge funds. And he said American hedge funds and banks would lose money and actually would crash the U.S. economy, if Europe made a concession to Greece to bring debts down to the ability to pay. So, instead of a debt write-down or a haircut, the banks said, “OK, we will agree with what the Americans are insisting on, and we will ask for a voluntary write-down by the banks on the Greek debt they hold.” Obviously, European banks who are not part of the credit default swaps have disagreed with this. So the Americans are putting immense pressure on Europe, saying, “We will wreck your economy, if you don’t wreck Greece’s economy.” (…)
Yesterday, the headline in the Frankfurter Zeitung was “Democracy is Crap,” and—or “Democracy is Junk.” And the reason that was the headline was the financial sector was saying democracy is incompatible with collecting debts, and when they can’t pay, with foreclosing on the public domain and privatizing a country. You can’t have democracy, and you can’t have debts grow beyond the ability to pay and impose austerity, like the IMF used to do in the third world countries. So, what’s at stake is whether Europe—Greece and other countries—are going to be democratic or whether they’re going to be run by a financial oligarchy, run by the E.U. bureaucracy, basically the European Central Bank, that’s neoliberal, anti-labor, anti-government, and totally in the pockets of the most predatory banks.
Amy Goodman: Italian Financial Crisis Prompts Berlusconi’s Exit (Democracy Now)
Dean Baker: Bankers Crush Greek Democracy (CounterPunch)
Tomasz Konicz: Krise und Wahn (Telepolis)
Je weiter sich die kapitalistische Systemkrise in die Gesellschaft und das Massenbewusstsein hineinfrisst, desto irrationaler gestaltet sich die öffentliche Rezeption des Krisengeschehens (…)
Albert Einstein definierte Wahnsinn als das Bestreben, “immer wieder das Gleiche zu tun und andere Ergebnisse zu erwarten”. Die europäische Krisenpolitik erfüllt alle Voraussetzungen, um gemäß dieser Einsteinischen Definition als wahnsinnig bezeichnet zu werden.
Paul Krugman: Crats, Maybe, But Not Much Techno (New York Times)
Atrios complains, rightly, about the description of the policies being followed in Europe as technocratic. (…) But it’s more than that: these alleged technocrats have in fact systematically ignored both textbook macroeconomics and the lessons of history in favor of fantasies.
George Monbiot: The 1% are the very best destroyers of wealth the world has ever seen (Guardian)
Our common treasury in the last 30 years has been captured by industrial psychopaths. That’s why we’re nearly bankrupt
Mike Whitney: Europe’s Crash Landing (CounterPunch)
Italy and the other countries are in dire straits because they do not control their own currency and, thus, cannot control their own fate. They are entirely at the mercy of the ECB. Is it any wonder why restructuring is never seriously considered (because it would cost the banks and bondholders money) or why there’s been no attempt to create a stimulus program that will lift the struggling states in the south out of their slump and back into the black? The ECB refuses to use the tools that are available to it because its overall policy objectives are already being achieved. Internal devaluation and belt-tightening are the path to privatization, fewer social services, and cheaper labor, exactly what the bankers want.
Peter Lee: This Stupid Democracy Thing: Communist China and the Western Commentariat Finally Get on the Same Page (CounterPunch)
Mike King: Death and Police Opportunism at Occupy Oakland (CounterPunch)
Julian Borger: Iran nuclear report: IAEA claims Tehran working on advanced warhead (Guardian)
The UN’s nuclear watchdog will publish new details on Wednesday on alleged Iranian work on an advanced design for a nuclear warhead developed with the help of a former Soviet scientist, according to nuclear experts. (…)
Iranian officials have already denounced the report as “counterfeit” and there are doubts, even in Washington and London, whether the IAEA evidence will be enough to convince Russia and China to abandon their opposition to further economic sanctions, let alone countenance air strikes. (…)
Earlier this year the US supplied Israel with 55 bunker-busting bombs, and last week the Israeli air force conducted drills at a Nato base in Sardinia for long-range attacks.
Ian Williams: Déjà vu all over again (Guardian)
The US is smearing IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei for not finding evidence of Iranian nuclear weapons. Sound familiar?
When it comes to Iran’s nuclear capabilities, whose word would you rather take: that of a Nobel prize-winning head of an international agency specializing in nuclear issues who was proved triumphantly right about Iraq, or that of a bunch of belligerent neocons who make no secret of their desire to whack Iran at the earliest opportunity and who made such a pigs ear of Iraq?
Gareth Porter: FBI Trickery in Terrorism Cases: Debunking the Iran “Terror Plot” (CounterPunch)
Many other domestic terrorism cases have involved deceptive tactics and economic inducements deployed by the FBI to involve American Muslims in fictional terrorist plots. The Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at New York University’s Law School found more than 20 terrorism cases that involved some combination of “paid informants, selection of investigation based on perceived religious identity, [and] a plot that was created by the government.” This history makes it clear that the Justice Department and FBI are prepared to go to extraordinary lengths to fabricate terrorism cases against targeted individuals, and that misrepresenting these individuals’ intentions and actual behavior has long been standard practice. The trickery and deceit in past “counter-terrorism” sting operations provides further reason to question the veracity of the Obama administration’s allegations in the bizarre case of Manssor Arbabsiar.
Ismail Salami: IAEA report thrives on laptop of lies (PressTV)
Gareth Porter: Iran’s “Soviet Nuclear Scientist” Never Worked on Weapons (CounterPunch)
The report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) published by a Washington think tank Tuesday repeated the sensational claim previously reported by news media all over the world that a former Soviet nuclear weapons scientist had helped Iran construct a detonation system that could be used for a nuclear weapon.
But it turns out that the foreign expert, who is not named in the IAEA report but was identified in news reports as Vyacheslav Danilenko, is not a nuclear weapons scientist but one of the top specialists in the world in the production of nanodiamonds by explosives. (…)
The fact that the IAEA and Albright were made aware of Danilenko’s nanodiamond work in Iran before embracing the “former Soviet nuclear weapons specialist” story makes their failure to make any independent inquiry into his background even more revealing.
Nick Meo: Libya dispatch: as lawlessness spreads, are the rebel ‘good guys’ turning bad? (Telegraph)
Stories of gunmen taking expensive cars at checkpoints, giving receipts saying they will be returned after the revolution, are nervously swapped over cups of tea.
More alarming than the looting have been the armed clashes between militias. There have been three big fights in the capital alone in the past week; shoot-outs at a hospital, Martyr’s Square, and the military airport, which have left several dead and dozens wounded.
Then there are the detentions. With the fighting over, the revolutionaries have not been idle. They have kept busy rounding up hundreds of suspected Gaddafi supporters in a wide-scale witch-hunt, often on the basis of little more than rumour and accusation.
Franklin Lamb: Terror and Revenge Engulf NATO’s Libya (CounterPunch)
Peter Baofu: China’s need for a new foreign policy (East Asia Forum)
As China fast approaches superpower status, its current policy of non-interference in world affairs will soon become obsolete.
Michael Neumann: Resolutions and “Solutions”: After Palestine’s Statehood Bid (CounterPunch)
Jonathan Cook: A Response to Michael Neumann: There’s Nothing Idealistic About the One-State Solution (CounterPunch)
Reuters: חילוקי דעות במועצת הביטחון האם להכיר במדינה פלסטינית / UN Security Council panel fails to reach consensus on Palestinian bid, says draft report (Haaretz)
Jamie Jackson: England to wear poppies on armbands as Fifa and FA reach compromise (Guardian)