by Gary Sudborough
27 June 2009
There seems to be a great divergence of opinion among liberals and leftists about what is really happening in Iran. There are those who think Iran is in somewhat of a vacuum and is only trying to have a democratic election against theocracy and a repressive attitude to women’s rights. Other leftists think because the Bush administration in the past had contemplated military action and also covert actions by the CIA against Iran that these facts, among others, argue for an attempted coup taking place, especially given the enormous number of successful and unsuccessful CIA coups which have occurred in the past 60 years. I have an excellent book entitled Killing Hope-US military and CIA interventions since World War 2 by William Blum. I would say that the only countries or continents not to have at least CIA spies in them would be places like Greenland or Antarctica that have little interest for multinational corporations because they are covered with huge ice sheets. Of course, this could change with global warming. You might be served a burger and fries by an Eskimo at the grand opening of McDonalds in Greenland.
By William Bowles
27 June 2009
The arrogance of Empire is so pervasive, so intrinsic to our everyday lives, that it seems ‘natural’ for us to be telling other countries how to behave, what’s right and what’s wrong. This is brought home to me every day as I struggle through the vast stream of news that flows into my inbox. The sheer weight of corporate/state media output is staggering, but especially the seamless integration of the ‘take’ on a story, regardless of country of origin.
Of course there’s no active collusion between the handful of media conglomerates that control the flow of ‘news’, there doesn’t need to be; they take their cues from their respective governments as to what the ‘message’ should be.
This is most apparent in the way the media have presented the unfurling drama in Iran, a drama whose direction has been shaped directly through the intervention of the Western media machine. Regardless of the ‘take’ the Western media has—their centrality to transmitting messages to millions in the West—the media inevitably has become part of the message. So powerful is the global media machine how could it be otherwise?
by Mike Whitney
Global Research, June 26, 2009
Trouble started 24 months ago, but the origins of the financial crisis are still disputed. The problems did not begin with subprime loans, lax lending standards or shoddy ratings agencies. The meltdown can be traced back to the activities of the big banks and their enablers at the Federal Reserve. The Fed’s artificially low interest rates provided a subsidy for risky speculation while deregulation allowed financial institutions to increase leverage to perilous levels, creating trillions of dollars of credit backed by insufficient capital reserves. When two Bear Stearns hedge funds defaulted in July 2007, the process of turbo-charging profits through massive credit expansion flipped into reverse sending the financial system into a downward spiral.
It is inaccurate to call the current slump a “recession”, which suggests a mismatch between supply and demand that is part of the normal business cycle. In truth, the economy has stumbled into a multi-trillion dollar capital hole that was created by the reckless actions of the nation’s largest financial institutions. The banks blew up the system and now the country has slipped into a depression.