IMF–Killer Of Nations

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has made a lot of headlines in the past month or so…..you know Mr. Cool, the head of the fund was caught trying to make happy with a chamber maid and now there is a woman in France that is trying to make happy with the IMF as its new head….you have heard all the jokes….but how much do you know about the IMF?

The Activist Post has a short history…..

Under a new post-war monetary system, the IMF was created to stabilize exchange rates linked to the dollar and bridge temporary payment imbalances. The World Bank was to provide credit to war-torn developing countries. Both bodies, in fact, proved hugely exploitive, using debt entrapment to transfer public wealth to Western bankers and other corporate predators.

Basically, the IMF is NOT an organization to save country’s economic system, but rather to open them up to exploitation from banks and other raiders……how does this exploitation work, you ask?

the scheme destructively obligates indebted nations to take new loans to service old ones, assuring rising indebtedness and structural adjustment harshness, including:

— privatization of state enterprises, many sold for a fraction of their real worth;
— mass layoffs;
— deregulation;
— deep social spending cuts;
— wage freezes or cuts;
— unrestricted free market access for western corporations;
— corporate-friendly tax cuts;
— tax increases for working households;
— crushing trade unionism; and
— harsh repression against opposition to a system incompatible with social democracy, civil and human rights.

As a result, bankers and other corporate predators strip mine countries of their material wealth and resources, shift them from public to private hands, crush democratic values, hollow out nations into backwaters, destroy middle class societies, and turn workers into serfs if they manage to have any means of employment.

Look at what is being asked of Greece, Portugal, Spain and Ireland and what response is being felt by the people of the countries in question…….the truth is that the IMF has caused the collapse of many countries….in the 1980’s, those countries in a struggling sub-Sahara and in the same time frame many countries of Latin America….yet Article ! of the IMF states….

to give confidence to members by making the general resources of the Fund temporarily available to them under adequate safeguards, thus providing them with opportunity to correct maladjustments in their balance of payments without resorting to measures destructive of national or international prosperity.

Sounds good, huh?  Yep, kinda like the “all men created equal” of the Constitution in the 1850’s…..the IMF destroys more economies than it saves and yet it continues to rape countries of their resources…it is time for the world to realize that these organizations help….but helps only the ones that can do the raping, not the raped……

Is Pinochet Still Dead?

Once and awhile I turn my attentions to thew international scene…there are times when the world needs to be reminded of some disgusting situations from the past…back in the dark days of the 70’s there was a prick of a dictator, one Pinochet that lead a coup that overthrew the first popularly elected socialist president of Chile…..for those that do not remember the days…it sucked to be a Chilean leftist…it meant prison, torture and finally death…some 28,000 to be somewhat close…..Pinochet was eventually forced from office and became an instant international human rights fugitive….he eventually died….(I am sure that thousands of Chileans celebrated)…..

I know…this is old news, right?….hang in there …there is a method to my madness….

There has been a presidential election in Chile with some interesting back stories…..

Pinera, 60, won the contest against one-time President Eduardo Frei, a Christian Democrat, unseating the center-left coalition that had governed Chile since dictator Augusto Pinochet was forced from power in 1990.

The victory marks a political shift in Chile, a nation of 17 million people that straddles 4,100 kilometers (2,547 miles) of the Andes Mountains from its northern border with Peru to the Cape Horn.

In the 2010 election, Chileans chose a president with ties to the dictator who led the 1973 coup that left Socialist President Salvador Allende dead. Pinera managed a 1989 presidential campaign for Hernan Buchi, Pinochet’s former finance minister.

Pinera won with the support of two parties founded by former Pinochet collaborators — the National Renovation party and the Independent Democratic Union. Two of Pinera’s top campaign advisers held posts in the dictatorship and a third is a former Pinochet minister.

Pinera, a Harvard University-trained economist and former Citigroup Inc. executive, said during his campaign that he embraces Pinochet’s economic policies of cutting corporate taxes and encouraging investing in the country, and abhors the rule of terror.

Okay Chile has a new president, what is the big deal?……This guy says he was opposed to Pinchet’s Reign of terror, but yet he runs campaigns for some of his closest allies….apparently Pinochet’s policies help make this guy wealthy, so he says he likes the economic policies and that is about it….

The center left parties have been popular since the Pinochet days and the current president has a 80% approval rating but she cannot run consecutively, so this guy is a rightist and leftist policies are popular so how will this new president play out for the next 4 years?  Will he go to any lengths to secure his policies? Even to the extreme?

Is The US Moving Toward Isolationism?

Inkwell Institute

First of all….do you understand what isolationism is?

Isolationism is a foreign policy which combines a non-interventionist military policy and a political policy of economic nationalism (protectionism). In other words, it asserts both of the following:Non-interventionism – Political rulers should avoid entangling alliances with other nations and avoid all wars not related to direct territorial self-defense.

Protectionism – There should be legal barriers to control trade and cultural exchange with people in other states.

Now we have an understanding of the topic…….but does the US seem to be moving in that direction?

In a recent Pew Poll the following results were recorded:

a plurality of Americans — 49 percent — think the US should “mind its own business internationally.”. Not surprising that the country is turning inward during tough economic times, but this is still a dramatic number.Matched only by this: for the first time a plurality of Americans — 44 percent — see China as the world’s leading economic power. Only 27 percent name the U.S.

Read the rest of the Pew findings HERE.

The early history of the US was full of the sentiments isolationism:

Proponents of non-interventionism distinguish their polices from isolationism through their advoacy of more open national relations and free trade. Examples of supporters of non-interventionism are Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who both favored nonintervention in European Wars while maintaining free trade.  (Thanx to wiki for the info)

The US was NEVER fully isolated….we have always involved ourselves in other countries affair…..but in a public face we were isolationists….all that public BS came to an end first with our involvement in WW1 and finally was eliminated as a public face with the attack on Pearl Harbor and the US has been nosed in to the world ever since.

But today it appears that the American people are embracing the idea of isolationism a little at a time…the recession is making Americans worry about their personal economy…..they are starting to think that all revenue needs to be used here in this country….that wars and our foreign policy are using up funds that could save Main Street from a total collapse….

As the job situation gets worse and prolonged the more Americans are saying that we should mind our own business and let the rest of the world take care of themselves…..

Another part of the whole isolationism thing is protectionism…..I recently wrote on this phenom before….basically it is a return to “buy American”.  As jobs are lost the call for protectionism gets louder and louder….some see it as a way to protect what few jobs are left in this country…….as the situation on Main Street gets worse the calls for more of an isolation posture will grow louder.

As a side note…..I have always supported the idea of using American revenue here at home first and then if there is any left over then let the world ask for our help….charity begins at home….and the United States is home.

Understanding Iran–Conclusion

From the Professor’s Classroom.

It is the summer of their discontent…..I read that somewhere…..it explains what is happening in Iran.  And what is happening is that history is repeating itself….all over again…as Yogi would say.

Let us step back into my trusty “way Back” machine and travel to the 1960’s.  The Shah has been installed as “supreme” ruler of Iran by the oil companies and the CIA and he begins his “White Revolution”.  A massive program of economic and cultural reforms.  And at the same time opposition to the Shah and his US handlers was growing.  Enter the SAVAK–the Shah’s secret police that was used to quell any and all opposition throught arrestys, torture and murder.  They helped the Shah retain his power over real and pertend political opposition.

Then in the late 70’s the protests grew and grew from all corners of the country.  And all looked to a little known cleric exiled in France, the ayatollah Khomeini.  There was marching in the streets, beatings, arrests and deaths associated with these protests until the Shah lost it all and the Islamic Republic was formed.

The US and its citizens lost sight of basic human rights in there fear of “creeping” communism and at lead to a blind eye to what was actually going on in Iran.  So in the attempt to protect the flow of oil from Iran, they allowed those to come to power that would cease the flow of oil to the west.  Kinda like shooting oneself in the foot.

Now we return to the present and the election results and the ensuing protests.  It all sounds so darn familiar, right?  The politics of Iran is coming in full circle back to the beginning.  The results of the recent election has brought about beatings, arrests and death; weapons used by the SAVAK are now the weapons of the Council.

Wish I could go forward in time and see what the result will be, but I cannot….it will all depend on the actions of the clerics on the Council and the strength of the opposition.  There is a rumor circulating that Washington is pumping money into the opposition to the tune of $400 million, but that is just a rumor….but one cannot discount it….it is not like we have never done that before.

The protesters seem to have the will and the guts to continue their actions….the leaders are behind them 100%….maybe the leaders should step forward and prove they are willing to face the same dangers and results as the protesters…then maybe all this will be for the good of the country…well the good of the west,  at least.

Afterword:  Slowly but slowly the ruling mullahs and their lackeys are quelling the protests….the protests are becoming smaller and smaller as the “enforcers” use violence to get a handle on the demostrations.

Russia Fanning The Flames Of a New Cold War

Russia’s military leaders approved a plan by the navy on Sunday to station warships permanently in friendly ports across the globe.

Underfunded since the 1991 break up of the Soviet Union, the Russian navy has been reasserting itself over the last year by chasing Somali pirates around the coast of east Africa and steaming across the Atlantic to visit allies in South America.

“The General Staff has given its position on this issue and it fully supports the position of the (Navy’s) main committee,” deputy chief of staff Colonel-General Anatoly Nogovitsyn told RIA Novosti news agency.

A resurgent navy has become central to a strategy for Russia — which enjoyed a decade of economic revival from 1998 — to project itself in foreign affairs.

In August a Russian diplomat said the navy was to make more use of a Syrian Mediterranean Sea port. Last month a Russian warship cruised off Cuba after visiting South America for the first time since 1991.

Nogovitsyn said Russia was directly negotiating with foreign governments to station warships at bases around the world permanently, although he declined to give exact details.

Few people are watching this situation and it is only a matter of time before the Russian bear raises its head again.

Russia Pumps Up The Volume

Medvedev says Russia reserves the right to use force to defend its interests and will not tolerate Western attempts to contain it.

In an interview on Wednesday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev defended his country’s military response to Georgia’s offensive against South Ossetia – seen as Russia’s backyard – in August as a tough but unavoidable action.

“Russia’s interests must be secured by all means available, this is my deep conviction. First of all, by international and legal tools … but, when necessary, by using an element of force,” Reuters quoted Medvedev as saying in his end-of-year interview, broadcast on Russia’s main television stations.

Russian military launched a massive counter-attack in August after forces under Georgia’s pro-Western President Mikheil Saakashvili attacked South Ossetia, which had declared independence from Tbilisi’s rule following the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s.

Medvedev said he was compelled to take such a measure to prevent genocide in the face of criticisms from Western states which described the Russian action as disproportionate.

Is that a new Cold War I smell?

World Economic Growth

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has become even gloomier about the prospects for the world’s economies.

It is predicting that developed economies as a whole will shrink by 0.3% next year, having predicted growth of 0.5% less than a month ago.

It would be the first time there has been an overall contraction in developed economies since World War II.

Worst hit will be the UK, shrinking 1.3%, followed by Germany at 0.8% and the US and Spain contracting by 0.7%.

Emerging economies have also been downgraded, with the forecast of Chinese growth down from 9.3% to 8.5%, India down from 6.9% to 6.3% and Russia down from 5.5% to 3.5% growth.

The IMF is still expecting the overall global economy to grow in 2009, but it has cut its growth forecast to 2.2% from the previous estimate of 3%

“Prospects for global growth have deteriorated over the past month, as financial sector deleveraging has continued and producer and consumer confidence have fallen,” the IMF said in its report.

Not looking good for the world in the coming year.  It will be interesting to see where the Obama team wioll take the US and eventually the world.

Marx Gets Resurrected

Two decades after the Berlin Wall fell, communism’s founding father Karl Marx is back in vogue in eastern Germany, thanks to the global financial crisis. His 1867 critical analysis of capitalism, Das Kapital, has risen from the publishing graveyard to become an improbable best-seller for the academic publisher, Karl-Dietz-Verlag.

“Everyone thought there would never again be any demand for Das Kapital, the managing director, Joern Schue-trumpf said. He has sold 1,500 copies so far this year, triple the number sold in all of 2007 and a 100-fold increase since 1990. “Even bankers and managers are now reading Das Kapital to try to understand what they’ve been doing to us,” he added.

A recent survey found 52 per cent of eastern Germans believe the free market economy is “unsuitable” and 43 per cent said they wanted socialism rather than capitalism. Unemployment in the former communist east is 14 per cent, double western levels, and wages are significantly lower. Millions of jobs were lost after reunification.